AlterCodex srl was founded by its CEO, Massimo Portolani, to deliver hardware and software solutions, embedding the know-how acquired designing electronics for 40 years. the founder nowadays supervises any design taking advantage of the skills of people he has worked with for years. Contact us for more information.


massimo portolani


My name is Massimo Portolani, I started meddling with electronics as an hobby when I was 12. In those days radio transmissions were generally in clear and it was quite easy to listen to Police or the communications between a plane and control tower. I built home made receivers, very simple, with a BSX26 transistor and a TAA300 amplifier, manufactured myself metal boxes in the Bus refurbishing factory of my friend's father, and I sold these devices to my friends for about 15000 lira each (about the same value today's 50 Euros). My teen-ager years passed among CB transceivers, guitar amplifiers and similar devices, just for fun. When I was 18 I was asked to translate a book from english into italian: Video Game Logic. That was my starting point in digital electronics. Reading how the first video games were engineered made me think I would like to start designing myself digital devices, and here I am. My first board, that I was paid 500000 lira to design, was meant to upgrade old mechanical pinballs into electronic ones, with 7 segment displays and electronic sound. I use the 6502 processor, the same I saw used in Atari Sprint-2 machines and Break-out, but also on Apple II. Later I realized that Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak had designed the Break-Out, and this explained me some resemblance of these video games boards with Apple II own logic board. In those days we designed PCBs by hand, we had no PC, but only the first microcomputers, like Commodore PET. We had CP/M (an operating system to which MS/DOS is similar), 160 Kb of floppy disks and 64 Kb of memory. In 1981 I started my own company, Digital Portrait Systems (later to become DPS-Promatic srl), to manufacture machines to print portrait on T-shirts or Wanted posters. People were really amused when seeing something so innovative and business was quite good. We then started manufacturing weighing scales and blood pressure monitors but also funny and successful machines like the Bocca della VeritĂ  (sold in thousands around the world). After many years I decided to found AlterCodex srl to be able to use this know-how to assist others in designing their products. Having started so early, when you had literally "hands in wires", has built a way of thinking that wants to look what happens below he surface. Nowadays engineers are sometimes used to collect the libraries available and use them to solve problems. This is a smart thing to do, but I try always to understand what happens under the hood, to be (more or less) sure of what to expect in various conditions.
For any of your important projects you can rely on AlterCodex. We will always try our best and tell you what we think up front, even if this sometimes means losing a job. Designing a product means following up product life, including necessary modifications coming from technology changes (quicker and quicker) but also from new requests from customers. This is why what matters to us is building up a long lasting relationship.