(From the PHILAJAMES Newsletter, Oct -Dec 1979)
The computer hardware the size of a portable TV was so compact it is incredible that it can… keep inventories and diaries… provide up-to-date financial information… and do a host of other varied tasks. But then it was a minicomputer with an 8-color CRT screen…with a capacity of 128,000 characters making it larger than any mini-computer presently in the market. Called a Zapstar, it was introduced… recently by Zapsystem, Ltd., a Canadian company and subsidiary of Caltray Corporation.
The guy responsible for the design and development of this mini-computer is Jose Luis Laraya, a Filipino and a former Monbusho scholar. Yes, Baby or Jolo as friends fondly call him, was the brain behind this versatile space-age machine…
Jolo was a recipient of the 5-year Japanese Government Scholarship Grant. After finishing the Japanese Language and General Education Course at Chiba University he entered the University of Tokyo where he finished Electronics Engineering in 1967. From Japan he went to Ontario, Canada where he did post-graduate work in Computer Science and MBA at Queen’s University Computing Center. … Eventually he designed three … microcomputer systems: the MCM 700, 800, and 900. His latest brainchild is the Zapstar. Five hundred of his computer systems are now installed n different places in Canada, USA, Europe and the USSR. One of the units is now at work at the Department of National Defense in Canada and another at the Academy of Science in the USSR… He is happily married to Parvaneh G. Laraya, also a Monbusho scholarship grantee.