Im'b Industries (later Im'B incorporated) (1964-1989) was a computer hardware company formed in Glasgow Scotland by James Holkins and Ross McLeod producing mainly portable computer solutions and various nasal grooming products.
Formation and Name
The name Im'B was originally tokened by Holkins when prototyping the company's first product the Im'B 101 Personal Computation Device in 1965. When Holkins would excuse himself to use the lavatory he would exclaim "Im'B going for a shit". The company's offical title actually stands for a foreshortened phrase for I'm Brilliant.
Im'B was built around the idea of portable computer modules, unable to fund the project they instead focused on early desktop machines culminating in what was later dubbed the S-1 Series. The S-1 machines were met with some limited success in Europe and Japan, with the money on production premiums Im'B built its first design laboratory in Soho, London.
Early Years (1965-1969)
With the success of the S-1 Series, Holkins began work on the S-2 Series but immediately abandoned the project when contracted by the United States Department of Public Safety to create an efficient nose grooming tool. McLeod's team was left to the S-2 Series, his dream of a portable module was realised in the second of S-2 Series the PC-D 4. The new device was considered too heavy to be of practical use, and its 5v battery supply had to be constantly recharged for the machine to display effectively.
The losses from the S-2 Series were covered by the profits of Holkin's Nose Groom-Master, enough money was generated in the year of 1968 that the company could afford to move its operation to San Francisco. In 1969 the company began shipping its S-2 line to America where it was met with luke warm reception. Holkins contract with the Department of Public Saftey expired in the early months of 1969, leaving him free to head the SP-3 Series with McLeod. The Series 3 release was critically acclaimed umongst its Japanese and European users, the American market was less than impressed. The company closed the financial year with a massive profit margin due to oversea's sales.
In late 1969 Holkins and McCleod began work on a new portable units dubbed the L-4 Unit, officially ending the Series 1, 2 and 3 product lines in July 1972. The L-4 Unit sold moderately well domestically, the European and Japanese markets favoring the Series 3's approach to programming feeling the L-4 unit's where far to simplified. The S-31 was produced in early 1974 which continued to see circulation until the early eighties. The company's first global success was the shipping unit of the L-4, the L-48 a.k.a Discovery, shipping over twenty thousand units in 1975. Many of the Japanese developers abandoned support for Im'B engine until the release of the L-48's conversion matrix sales. Many classic video games that ran on the Discovery where made within its five year run including the best selling Destiny Quest Series by Japanese developer Dog-Leg Designs. McLeod left the company before completing the fabled and slow going L-5 or Newbirth series due to failing health concerns. He retired a year later while trying to develop a video game he called Overhaul.
Decline and Discontinuation (1982-1989)
Holkins unable to effectively run the company on his own, hired Lorraine Walter a radical business person who had no experience with computer technology. She demanded an overhaul of the previously efficient management structure, and called for products to be "hip" to appeal to the current market trends. With the failure of the Master-4 (M-4) Series Holkins declared the company bankrupt and dissolved its shares. Many of the company's programmers and electronic engineers were hired by Lexxus Corporation for their work on the first orbital Research Station.
1. Platinum Publishing. "Daygazer Magazine Issue 34". Retrieved 2010-04-02
2. Theft and Dice. "Im'B Computer Inc". Retrieved 2009-02-19