MM4

Mephisto MMIV with Turbo kit

1987

32 Kb Rom, 8 Kb Ram

Processor: 6502 - 8 bit

Frequency: 16-20 Mhz

 

Subsequently they started advertising and started knocking at the door of Hegener and Glaser who weren't interested at all in the Turbo Kit because it crossed their marketing strategy. Basically:

 

  • Richard Lang (Chess Genius) for the high end market with superior hardware.

 

  • Ed Schröder (Rebel) for the middle class market with average hardware.

 

  • Frans Morsch (Fritz) for the low end market with limited hardware.

Business is business.

 

Something remarkable happened during 1987 and 1989. In 1987 a 2 man company called Schaetzle und Bsteh developed the Turbo Kit for the 6502 processor. Via the genius bit-slice technique they were able to speedup the MM4 running at 5 Mhz to 16 Mhz and later even up to 18 and 20 Mhz giving the MM4 an ELO boast of 150+ points.

It was a brilliant strategy and together with their superior hardware and 3 talented chess programmers they could maintain their position as market leader for years. As such Richard, Frans and I were not even financial concurrents of each other as the loot was honestly divided.

 

Richard with his superior (16-bit) hardware was supposed to win the World Championship every year and lead the Swedish (SSDF) rating list and did not disappoint, he won about everything in those days to the satisfaction of Hegener & Glaser.

 

And then came the Turbo Kit and the landscape changed. The MM4 Turbo overtook the leading position on the SSDF rating list.

SSDF list before the Turbo Kit

1. Mephisto Dallas 68020 (12 MHz) 2107

2. Mephisto Dallas 68000 (12 MHz) 2045

3. Mephisto Amsterdam (12 MHz) 1997

4. Mephisto MM IV (5 MHz) 1984

SSDF list with MM4 Turbo Kit

1. Mephisto MM IV Turbo (16 MHz) 2172

2. Mephisto Roma 68020 (14 MHz) 2102

3. Mephisto Dallas 68020 (12 MHz) 2095

 

Houston, or actually Munich we have a problem, the market strategy of H&G was under attack.

 

The (my) fun lasted about a year, then suddenly the Mephisto MM IV Turbo mysteriously disappeared from the SSDF rating list and the world according H&G was "in Ordnung" again.

 

What happened?

 

It's one of those quiz questions that are not so hard.

 

But business is business.

Richard Lang

Frans Morsch

Ed Schröder