This story just keeps developing. I decided to restore the computer to it’s original state, since the modification appeared to be unfinished, and redundant. I carefully pulled the ROM, very carefully bent the pin back into the place, and placed the rom into my programmer to preserve the code that was within.
Upon reading the code to memory, I was stunned. I half way expected to see something along the lines of two separate versions of code. However, what I saw was something entirely different. What I saw was this:
This ROM was an aftermarket ROM developed by a gentleman by the name of Howard Saltzman, of Baltimore Maryland. And was sold by Highland Microkit. How cool! But what was it? I hadn’t the faintest idea. So, I went to google…and came up empty handed. Searching for “Howard Saltzman” and “Baltimore” didn’t return much. And I spent a few hours trying different combinations. That is until I searched for “Highland Microkit” and “Saltzman”.
I then came up with something odd. A hit for a PDF file from a magazine called “Profiles.” It was apparently a magazine geared towards the Kaypro in one way or another, but not excluding other computers entirely. The particular magazine I found was this one here. Or, if the link dies, you can download from Retro Depot here. On Page 77 there is an add for a company called Highland Microkit, which advertises a rom called the “Roadrunner Custom Monitor”. Well, sure enough if I scroll down to 0x01B0 it clearly identifies itself as the Roadrunner ROM v1.5. But what does it do? And why have I not seen this ROM listed on any websites which store backups of Kaypro images?
In either case, you can download the ROM Image right here. It is saved as a text file, but it is actually a binary. So you’ll need to rename it to “.bin”. It’s the only way my server would allow it to upload, since it poses a “security risk” being a binary.
I’ve tried to track down Mr. Saltzman, and the closest I’ve come so far is that he attended an engineering college in Maryland, may have become a professor, and ultimately retired some time ago. He is likely 61 years old from what I can gather on LinkedIn. But I cannot find any contact information on him. But if ANYONE knows who this man is, I’d LOVE to talk with him about this ROM. Who knows, maybe I have the only surviving example out there. And if that is the case, he very well may want a copy.
Details will be given as they are learned, but it would appear that we are learning quite a bit about this old work horse. But lets see if we can track down Mr. Saltzman.