Nelma Persona

Dublin Core


Nelma Persona


hardware: desktop computer


Historical Context:

Nelma Data Corporation was a desktop computer manufacturer based in Mississauga Ontario. In 1982, the company announced its Persona desktop computer (the NDC 100 Persona). In Fall 1983, the computer was shown at computer expo trade show COMDEX'83 held in Las Vegas, and advertised as "the professional small business computer." The Persona was distributed through ComputerLand which, at that time, was possibly the world’s largest computer retail chain.

Since its introduction in August 1981, the IBM Personal Computer (model 5150, commonly referred to as the IBM PC) had been rapidly gaining in popularity despite the fact that it operated under little known DOS operating system from Microsoft instead of the popular  CP/M operating system from Digital Research.  The main idea behind the Persona's development was to offer an affordable desktop computer with capabilities (and appearance) similar to that of the IBM PC but running CP/M instead of DOS.

Later, to deal with the popularity of the IBM PC and rapidly expanding IBM PC clone market, Nelma offered a hardware kit to turn the Persona into an  IBM PC compatible computer.

The Nelma Persona was designed by Jose Laraya -- the same engineer who in the early 1970s was leading the design of the MCM/70 personal computer at Micro Computer Machines of Toronto.

Technical specifications:
  • CPU: Zilog Z80A
  • RAM: 64Kb
  • external storage: two  180Kb floppy drives
  • ports: serial and parallel
  • keyboard: QWERTY-style, detachable, with keypad and 11 program function keys
  • display: a stand alone 12 inch CRT, monochrome (green)
Nelma offered a range of optional hardware for Persona including:
  • Intel 8086 processor kit
  • 360Kb floppy diskette drives
  • 10Mb Winchester hard drive
  • additional 64Kb or 128Kb RAM
  • high resolution color graphics

  • CP/M operating system version 2.2, Digital Research
  • WordStar word processor, MicroPro
  • MailMerge mailing list handler, MicroPro
  • CalcStar spreadsheet, MicroPro
  • InfoStar database, MicroPro
  • SpellStar spelling checker, MicroPro
  • MBasic, Microsoft
  • Persona communications package, Nelma
  • Persona Professional Accounting, Nelma

The museum has a NDC 100 Persona (serial number 8300321) with a keyboard and monitor. It was manufactured in March 1983.


Nelma Data Corporation




North America




Nelma Data Corporation, “Nelma Persona,” York University Computer Museum Canada, accessed June 15, 2024,

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