Gepard - a rare 68000 workstation from Germany

The first two in a series of blog posts from Fritz Hohl about a rather special rare machine:

I give you: the mighty Gepard (Cheetah) computer, a mid-1980s, modular, German 68000 computer with a proprietary operating system written with a proprietary Modula-2 compiler developed from nerds for nerds. Only about 300 systems have been built originally, probably only a few of them survived, and even less are in an operational state. The documentation is exclusively German, and the computer pre-dates the Web. Apart from a new mentions in forum posts, it’s the first time that something will be written about it in English. Currently, no Computer Museum has a Gepard (as far as I am aware).

Many resources in the second post (mostly in German)

Some photos and details here about this model:
http://kundenserver.computronics.de/vintagecomputing/Rechner/Gepard/gepard.html
(via http://www.tempel.org/AboutThomasTempelmann who helped develop the machine)

2 Likes

Latest update mentions the Modula-2 compiller:

The Modula-2 compiler was initially written by Jürgen Müller (who did not have much experience in this matter) directly in Assembler. The development started as a cross-assembler project on an Apple II. As soon as enough developer systems were produced, the development was moved to a Gepard itself, and as soon as no Apple II (or C64) was needed anymore, everything was done on the Gepard itself. As a result of being developed in Assembler, the compiler was very fast at compiling code (one Gepard manager believe it to be the fastest M2 compiler at that time in the world). As a result of the main programmer being not that experienced in that area the compiled code was not that fast (although the comparison of the Gepard Modula-2 to any Apple II compiler went of course very well for the Gepard as proven by the original comparison from 1985(?) below).

table

source: 68000=news Nr. 6

Users of the Gepard Modula-2 also often mentioned the completeness of the compiler positively. Being the main system language, it even featured an inline assembler.

Jürgen Müller received a royalty of 22.50 DM per Gepard for the compiler.