Lots of pictures/info about lots of personal computers made since the beginning to the early 90′s
The IBM 610 Auto-Point Computer was the first personal computer, in the sense of a computer to be used by one person and was controlled by a keyboard. The principal designer of this machine was John Lentz, as part of his work for the Watson Lab at Columbia University.
The IBM 610 was introduced in 1957. It was small enough to easily fit in an office. It was designed to be used in a normal office, without any special electrical or air conditioning requirements. It used vacuum tubes, a magnetic drum, and punched paper tape readers and punchers. The input was from a keyboard and output was to an IBM electric typewriter, at eighteen characters per second. It was one of the first (if not the first) computers to be controlled from a keyboard. The term "auto-point" referred to the ability to automatically adjust the decimal point in floating-point arithmetic.
Its price was $55,000, or it could be rented for $1150 per month ($460 academic). A total of 180 units were made. It was a slow and limited computer, and was generally replaced by the IBM 1620.
The Programma 101, also known as Perottina, was the first commercial "desktop computer".
Produced by Italian manufacturer Olivetti, based in Piedmont, and invented by the Italian engineer Pier Giorgio Perotto. It was launched at the 1964 New York World's Fair, volume production started in 1965. A futuristic design for its time, the Programma 101 was priced at $3,200 ($23,000 if adjusted to 2011. About 44,000 units were sold, primarily in the US.
The Programma 101 had many of the features incorporated in modern personal computers, such as memory, keyboard, printing unit, magnetic card reader/recorder, control and arithmetic unit and is considered by many as the first commercially produced desktop computer, showing the world that it was possible to create a desktop computer (HP later copied the Programma 101 architecture for its HP9100 series).
The Soviet MIR series of computers was developed from 1965 to 1969 in a group headed by Victor Glushkov.
It was designed as a relatively small-scale computer for use in engineering and scientific applications. Among other innovations, it contained a hardware implementation of a high-level programming language capable of symbolic manipulations with fractions, polynomials, derivatives and integrals.
Another innovative feature for that time was the user interface combining a keyboard with a monitor and light pen used for correcting texts and drawing on screen. It could be considered one of the first personal computers.
A programmable terminal called the Datapoint 2200 is the earliest known device that bears some significant resemblance to the modern personal computer, with a screen, keyboard, and program storage.
It was made by CTC (now known as Datapoint) in 1970 and was a complete system in a small case bearing the approximate footprint of an IBM Selectric typewriter. The system's CPU was constructed from a variety of discrete components, although the company had commissioned Intel to develop a single-chip processing unit; there was a falling out between CTC and Intel, and the chip Intel had developed wasn't used.
Intel soon released a modified version of that chip as the Intel 8008, the world's first 8-bit microprocessor. The needs and requirements of the Datapoint 2200 therefore determined the nature of the 8008, upon which all successive processors used in IBM-compatible PCs were based.
Additionally, the design of the Datapoint 2200's multi-chip CPU and the final design of the Intel 8008 were so similar that the two are largely software-compatible; therefore, the Datapoint 2200, from a practical perspective, can be regarded as if it were indeed powered by an 8008, which makes it a strong candidate for the title of "first microcomputer" as well.
The Kenbak-1 is considered by the Computer History Museum to be the world's first personal computer. It was designed and invented by John Blankenbaker of Kenbak Corporation in 1970, and was first sold in early 1971.
Unlike a modern personal computer, the Kenbak-1 was built of small-scale integrated circuits, and did not use a microprocessor. The system first sold for US$750. Only around 40 machines were ever built and sold. In 1973, production of the Kenbak-1 stopped as Kenbak Corporation folded.
With only 256 bytes of memory, an 8-bit word size, and input and output restricted to lights and switches, the Kenbak-1 was most useful for learning the principles of programming but not capable of running application programs.
The HP 9800 was a family of what were initially called programmable calculators and later desktop computers made by Hewlett-Packard, replacing their first HP 9100 calculator. The 9830 and its successors were true computers in the modern sense of the term, complete with a powerful BASIC language interpreter.
Micral is a series of microcomputers produced by the French company Réalisation d’Études Électroniques (R2E).
According to the Computer History Museum, the Micral N was the earliest commercial, non-kit personal computer based on a microprocessor.
The SCELBI-8H was based on the first 8-bit microprocessor from Intel, the 8008. The 8H came with 1K of random-access memory and was available either fully assembled or in a kit (consisting of circuit boards, power supply, etc. that the purchaser assembled).
The Xerox Alto was one of the first computers designed for individual use (though not as a home computer), making it what is now called a personal computer.
It was developed at Xerox PARC and released on March 1, 1973.
It was the first computer to use an early version of the desktop metaphor, first commercialized on the later Xerox Star, and one of the first with a mouse-driven graphical user interface (GUI) (concepts first introduced by Douglas Engelbart while at International) and several other innovations in user interfaces of the time, including a bit-mapped display, a windows-based graphical user interface, icons, folders, mouse, Ethernet networking, file servers, print servers and e-mail.
It was not a commercial product, but several thousand units were built and were heavily used at PARC, other Xerox facilities, and at several universities for many years.
The Alto greatly influenced the design of personal computers in the following decades, notably the Apple Macintosh and the first Sun workstations.
The Mark-8 was based on the Intel 8008 CPU (which was the world's first 8-bit microprocessor), designed by graduate student Jonathan Titus and announced as a 'loose kit' in the July 1974 issue of Radio-Electronics magazine.
The Mark-8 was introduced as a 'build it yourself' project in Radio-Electronics's July 1974 cover article, offering a US$5 booklet containing circuit board layouts and DIY construction project descriptions, with Titus himself arranging for $50 circuit board sets to be made by a New Jersey company for delivery to hobbyists.
Prospective Mark-8 builders had to gather the various electronics parts themselves from a number of different sources. A couple of thousand booklets and some hundred circuit board sets were eventually sold.
The MITS Altair 8800 is a microcomputer designed in 1975 based on the Intel 8080 CPU.
Interest grew quickly after it was featured on the cover of the January, 1975, issue of Popular Electronics, and was sold by mail order through advertisements there, in Radio-Electronics and other hobbyist magazines.
The designers hoped to sell a few hundred build-it-yourself kits to hobbyists, and were surprised when they sold thousands in the first month.
The IBM 5100 Portable Computer was a portable computer introduced in September 1975, six years before the IBM PC. It was the evolution of a prototype called the SCAMP developed at the IBM Palo Alto Scientific Center in 1973.
When the IBM PC was introduced in 1981, it was originally designated as the IBM 5150, putting it in the "5100" series, though its architecture was not directly descended from the IBM 5100.
When microprocessors (CPU chips) became available, SWTPC became one of the first suppliers of microcomputers to the general public, focusing on designs using the Motorola 6800 and, later, the 6809 CPUs.
Many of these products were available in kit form as well. SWTPC also designed and supplied computer terminals, chassis, processor cards, memory cards, motherboards, I/O cards, disk drive systems, and tape storage systems.
The IMSAI 8080 was an early microcomputer released in late 1975, based on the Intel 8080 and later 8085 and S-100 bus. It was a clone of its main competitor, the earlier MITS Altair 8800, and is largely regarded as the first "clone” computer."
The Sphere I was a personal computer completed in 1975 by Michael Donald Wise of Sphere Corporation, of Bountiful, Utah. It featured a Motorola 6800 CPU, onboard ROM, Monitor, 4 KB of RAM, and a keyboard with a numeric keypad.
The Sphere I was among the earliest microcomputers. Michael touted it as the first "true PC" because it had a keyboard, a number pad, a monitor, external storage, and did not run on a punch tape. When Byte Magazine did its annual history of the computer, it always included Sphere 1, showing that prior microcomputers lacked the user I/O interface built into the Sphere I.
The Sphere 1 also included a keyboard operated reset feature consisting of two keys wired in series that sent a reset signal to the CPU triggering a Hard reboot. Wise considered this to be the first keyboard activated reset - a predecessor to the now-common Control-Alt-Delete combination.
The original Apple Computer, also known retroactively as the Apple I, or Apple-1, is a personal computer released by Apple in 1976.
They were designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak, while Wozniak’s friend Steve Jobs had the idea of selling the computer.
The Apple I was Apple’s first product, and to finance its creation, Jobs sold his only means of transportation, a VW Microbus, and Wozniak sold his HP-65 calculator for $500.
It was demonstrated in July 1976 at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California.
HP 9830s were built with a processor similar in architecture to the HP 1000/2100 series minicomputer. They ran at a speed comparable to the first IBM PCs, and could draw a mesh of a 3D SIN(X)/X function with no hidden lines over the course of several minutes—a technological breakthrough for the time.
The Rockwell AIM-65 computer was a development computer based on the MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor introduced in 1976, and was essentially an expanded KIM-1 computer.
Available software included a monitor with line at a time assembler/disassembler, BASIC interpreter, assembler, Pascal, PL/65, and FORTH development system.
Available hardware included a floppy disk controller and a backplane for expansion.
Bob Marsh, Lee Felsenstein and Gordon French started designing the Sol-20 between April and July 1975. It utilized the Intel 8080 8-bit microprocessor chip, running at 2 MHz.
A major difference between the Sol-20 and most other machines of the era was its built-in video driver, which allowed it to be attached to a composite monitor for display.
The Sol-20 consisted of a main motherboard (PCB) mounted at the bottom of the case, and a five slot S-100 bus card cage. The main PCB consisted of the CPU, memory, video display, I/O circuits. Inside the case included power supply, fan, and keyboard. The case was painted 'IBM blue' and the sides of case were made of solid oiled walnut originally salvaged from a gun stock manufacturer.
With the release of their CPU card, PolyMorphic began selling complete systems. The Poly-88 board set consisted of a CPU with a 8080 chip, and an 8251 USART for serial communication to a modem, printer, or cassette tape interface, Video Terminal Interface (VTI)—which produced a 16-line display of 64 characters per line, and RAM (ranging from 8K up to 56K, the maximum supported in their system architecture). Source(s): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymorphic_Systems_(computers)
PolyMorphic's System 8813 consisted of a larger chassis holding one, two, or three 51⁄4-inch minifloppy disk drives which used single-sided, single-density storage on hard-sectored diskettes. Storage capacity was approximately 90K bytes per diskette.
It included CPU and VTI card,; a RAM card with at least 32K of memory, and a disk controller card to interface with the minifloppy drives.
The Poly disk operating system was called Exec. The three disk drives were distinguished by numbers enclosed in angle brackets such as <1>, rather than the drive letter convention (A:) used by CP/M and later MS-DOS. File names were case-sensitive and could contain up to 31 characters including a two-character extension (ex. Notes.TX). Later versions of Exec supported subdirectories. The naming syntax continued to use angle brackets. For example, a file in a second-level subdirectory on drive 2 might be named <2
The Apple II is one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputer products, designed primarily by Steve Wozniak and manufactured by Apple Computer.
In terms of ease of use, features and expandability the Apple II was a major technological advancement over its predecessor—the Apple I, a limited-production bare circuit board computer for electronics hobbyists that pioneered many features that made the Apple II a commercial success.
Introduced at the West Coast Computer Faire on April 16, 1977, the Apple II was among the first successful personal computers; it launched the Apple company into a successful business (and allowed several related companies to start).
Throughout the years a number of models were sold, with the most popular model remaining relatively little changed into the 1990s. It was first sold on June 10, 1977. By the end of production in 1993, somewhere between five and six million Apple II series computers (including about 1.25 million Apple IIGS models) had been produced.
The Apple II was one of the longest running mass-produced home computers, being in production just under 17 years, and became one of several recognizable and successful computers during the 1980s and early 1990s, although this was mainly limited to the USA.
It was aggressively marketed through volume discounts and manufacturing arrangements to educational institutions ,which made it the first computer in widespread use in American secondary schools. The effort to develop educational and business software for the Apple II, including the 1979 release of the popular VisiCalc spreadsheet, made the computer especially popular with business users and families.
The Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) is a home/personal computer produced in 1977 by Commodore International.
A top-seller in the Canadian and United States educational markets, it was Commodore’s first full-featured computer, and formed the basis for their entire 8-bit product line.
Introduced in October 1977, the NorthStar Horizon was an 8-bit computer system based on the ZiLOG Z80A microprocessor. It was produced by North Star Computers, and it could be purchased either in kit form or pre-assembled.
Capable of running CP/M and NSDOS (NorthStar's proprietary Disk Operating System), a standard NorthStar system sported one or two hard-sectored 5.25 inch floppy disk drives and a serial interface to which one could connect a terminal to interact with it.
The original "TRS-80 Micro Computer System" launched in 1977 (later known as the Model I) was one of the earliest mass-produced personal computers.
The first units—ordered unseen—were delivered in November 1977, and rolled out to the stores the third week of December.
The line won popularity with hobbyists, home users, and small-businesses. Tandy Corporation's leading position in what Byte Magazine called the "1977 Trinity" (Apple, Commodore and Tandy) had much to do with Tandy's retailing the computer through more than 3,000 of its Radio Shack storefronts.
Notable features of the original TRS-80 included its full-stroke QWERTY keyboard, small size, its floating point BASIC programming language, an included monitor, and a starting price of US$600 (equivalent to US$2,230 in 2011). The pre-release price was US$500 and a US$50 deposit was required, with a money back guarantee at time of delivery.
The Compucolor II was an early home computer introduced in 1977 by Intelligent Systems Corporation.
It was a lower-cost version of the Compucolor, which is credited with being the first home computer system with built-in color graphics, designed to hit the home computer price points.
Unlike its predecessor, it was an "all-in-one" computer, meaning that mainboard, monitor and floppy disk drive were integrated into one case.
At the time, the PET and TRS-80 offered the out-of-the-box experience, lacked the graphics and required the use of a computer monitor, which drove up the price. The Apple II offered both graphics and color, but required at least some user assembling to get operational. The Sorcerer would combine these features.
The Sorcerer was powered by a Zilog Z80 running at 2.106 MHz with 4 to 48 kilobytes of RAM, giving it performance parity with the TRS-80.
In its basic form it consisted of a single chassis containing the computing hardware with the keyboard on top, a layout that became common with machines like the Atari 800 and Commodore VIC-20. In this form it could be attached to a 3rd party computer monitor and used with software loaded from the "ROM-PAC" cartridges and a cassette tape drive as a low-cost offering.
For larger systems, the base unit could be attached to an external S-100 expansion chassis that sat behind the console, allowing cards to expand the system as well as offering floppy disk support.
The ABC 80 (Advanced BASIC Computer 80) was a home computer engineered by the Swedish corporation Dataindustrier AB (DIAB) and manufactured by Luxor in Motala, Sweden in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was based on the Zilog Z80 running at 3 MHz and had 16 kB RAM, expandable to 32 kB, and 16 kB ROM containing a fast semi-compiling BASIC interpreter.
The ABC 80 was a huge hit in Sweden, and grasped a majority share of the rising personal computer market thanks to its office software in Swedish. Although the ABC 80 fans would defend the ABC 80 by referring to its good BASIC and usable extension bus, it couldn't defend the home market against the gaming computers with color graphics and better sound that arrived in the early 80s like the Commodore 64, even though a new cheaper version was released that could use an ordinary TV instead of the dedicated video-monitor.
The Apple II Plus (stylized as Apple ][+) is the second model of the Apple II series of personal computers produced by Apple Computer, Inc. It was sold new from June 1979 to December 1982.
It shipped with 16 KB, 32 KB or 48 KB of RAM, expandable to 64 KB by means of the Language Card, an expansion card that could be installed in the computer's slot 0. The Apple's 6502 microprocessor could support a maximum of 64 KB of address space, and a machine with 48KB RAM reached this limit because of the additional 12 KB of read-only memory and 4 KB of I/O addresses.
The Sharp MZ80K was one of the popular early consumer-level microcomputers, with an architecture based on the Zilog Z80 8-bit microprocessor. It was introduced into Europe in 1979.
The machine had 48KB of RAM, 32KB of which was available for user programs. It could run a variety of high-level languages including BASIC, Pascal and FORTRAN, which had to be loaded into RAM before any programming could be undertaken. It could also be programmed directly in assembly code or machine code. The machine had an inbuilt monochrome display and a cassette tape drive. The display, keyboard and cassette drive lifted on hinges to expose the motherboard and circuitry underneath. Graphics capability was primitive, with only preset shapes and icons being available and no native hi-res capability. This was not unusual for a late-1970s vintage microcomputer. The main drawback, however, of the MZ-80K was the non-standard keyboard, which was difficult to use.
The MZ-80K sold well in Europe despite its high price (it retailed at over £500 in 1980), and a large range of software was available, including some Japanese arcade games. It was superseded in 1982 by the MZ-80A machine.
The Atari 8-bit family is a series of 8-bit home computers manufactured from 1979 to 1992. All are based on the MOS Technology 6502 CPU running at 1.79 MHz—roughly twice that of similar designs—and were the first home computers designed with custom co-processor chips.
Its architecture allowed the Atari designs to offer graphics and sound capabilities that were more advanced than contemporary machines like the Apple II or Commodore PET, and gaming on the platform was a major draw- Star Raiders being widely considered the platform's killer app. Machines with similar performance would not appear until the BBC Micro in late 1981 and the Commodore 64 in 1982.
Overall, the Atari 8-bit computer line was a commercial success, selling two million units during its major production run between late 1979 and mid-1985, putting its sales on par with machines like the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and TI-99/4A. Its primary competition in the worldwide market was the Commodore 64, by far the best selling computer of the 8-bit era. Atari also found a strong market in Eastern Europe and had something of a renaissance in the early 1990s as these countries joined a uniting Europe. Some estimates place sales during this period at another two million units.
The Texas Instruments TI-99/4A was an early home computer, released in June 1981, originally at a price of US$525. It was an enhanced version of the less successful TI-99/4 model, which was released in late 1979 at a price of $1,150. The TI-99/4A added an additional graphics mode, "lowercase" characters consisting of small capitals, and a full travel keyboard. Its predecessor, the TI-99/4, featured a calculator-style chiclet keyboard and a character set that lacked lowercase text.
The Acorn Atom was a home computer made by Acorn Computers Ltd from 1980 to 1982 when it was replaced by the BBC Micro (originally Proton) and later the Acorn Electron.
The Atom was a progression of the MOS Technology 6502 based machines that the company had been making from 1979. The Atom was a cut-down Acorn System 3 without a disk drive but with an integral keyboard and cassette tape interface, sold in either kit or complete form. In 1980 it was priced between £120 in kit form, £170 ready assembled, to over £200 for the fully expanded version with 12 KB of RAM and the floating point extension ROM.
The Philips P2000T home computer was Philips' first real entry in the home computer market. It was a Z80-based home computer that used a Teletext display chip to produce the video picture and a small Mini-Cassette recorder for 42 kilobytes of mass storage capacity.
Although the Teletext video chip permitted a quick entry into the home computer market, it was also the major weakness of the P2000T. Using the Teletext standard in itself was not a bad idea because it did support eight colors and rudimentary graphics. But unlike later entries in the home computer market which also supported a Teletext display mode, such as the venerable BBC computer and the Oric Atmos, the P2000T did not support a high resolution display mode. This made it very difficult to develop interesting games for it. As a result, the P2000T had only limited success, and Philips later replaced it with their MSX machines.
The machine did gain popularity in The Netherlands, especially in the areas of science, education, and data communications (videotex).
The CT-80, an early home/personal computer developed by the small Dutch company MCP (later renamed to Aster Computers), was sold in its first incarnation as a kit for hobbyists, later as ready to use.
It was the first commercially available Dutch personal/home computer.
The Aster computer could use the software written for the popular Tandy TRS-80 computer while fixing many of the problems of that computer, but it could also run CP/M software, with a big amount of free memory Transient Program Area, (TPA) and a full 80×25 display, and it could be used as a Videotext terminal.
Although the Aster was a clone of the TRS-80 model I it was in fact more compatible with the TRS-80 model III, and ran all the software of these systems including games. It also had a built in speaker which was compatible with such games software.
The VIC-20 is an 8-bit home computer which was sold by Commodore Business Machines.
The VIC-20 was announced in 1980, roughly three years after Commodore's first personal computer, the PET.
The VIC-20 was the first computer of any description to sell one million units.
The DAI personal computer is a rare, early home computer from the Belgian company Data Applications International. The DAI came to market in 1980. It provided many pioneering features such as high resolution color graphics, a maths co-processor, and a pre-compiling BASIC interpreter. But it never became a commercial success.
Photo: Marcin Wichary
The Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer (also marketed as the Tandy Color Computer and affectionately nicknamed CoCo) was a home computer launched in 1980. It was one of the earliest of the first generation of computers marketed for home use in English-speaking markets.
While the model was eventually eclipsed by the onset of the IBM PC clones, enthusiasts have continued to tinker with the "CoCo" to the present day.
The TRS-80 MC-10 microcomputer is a lesser-known member of the TRS-80 line of home computers, produced by Tandy Corporation in the early 1980s and sold through their RadioShack chain of electronics stores. It was apparently designed as a low-cost alternative to Tandy's own TRS-80 Color Computer to compete with entry-level machines that had previously dominated the market, such as the Commodore VIC-20 and Sinclair ZX81.
Due to its limited feature set, the MC-10 was of value primarily to hobbyists and as an introduction to computer programming. It was not a commercial success and was discontinued only a year after its introduction.
A clone of the MC-10, the Alice, was marketed in France through a collaboration among Tandy, Matra and Hachette.
The Sinclair ZX80 is a home computer brought to market in 1980 by Science of Cambridge Ltd. (later to be better known as Sinclair Research).
It is notable for being the first computer (unless one counts the MK14) available in the United Kingdom for less than a hundred pounds. It was available in kit form for £79.95, where purchasers had to assemble and solder it together, and as a ready-built version at £99.95.
The ZX80 was very popular straight away, and for some time there was a waiting list of several months for either version of the machine.
Video Genie (or simply Genie) was a series of computers produced by Hong Kong-based manufacturer EACA during the early 1980s. They were compatible with the Tandy TRS-80 Model I computers and could be considered a clone, although there were hardware and software differences.
The ZX81—released in a slightly modified form in the United States as the Timex Sinclair 1000—was a home computer produced by Sinclair Research and manufactured in Scotland by Timex Corporation. It was launched in the United Kingdom in March 1981 as the successor to Sinclair's ZX80 and was designed to be a low-cost introduction to home computing for the general public. It was hugely successful and more than 1.5 million units were sold before it was eventually discontinued.
The ZX81 found commercial success in many other countries, notably the United States, where Timex manufactured and distributed it under licence and enjoyed a substantial but brief boom in sales. Timex later produced its own versions of the ZX81 for the US market – the Timex Sinclair 1000 and Timex Sinclair 1500. Unauthorised clones of the ZX81 were produced in a number of countries.
The ZX81 was designed to be small, simple, and above all cheap, using as few components as possible to keep the cost down. Such limitations, however, achieved Sinclair's objective of keeping the cost of the machine as low as possible and prompted the emergence of a flourishing market in third-party peripherals to improve its capabilities. Its distinctive design brought its designer, Rick Dickinson, a Design Council award.
The ZX81 could be bought by mail order in kit form or pre-assembled. In what was then a major innovation, it was the first cheap mass-market home computer that could be bought from high street stores, led by W.H. Smith and soon many other retailers.
The ZX81 marked the first time that computing in Britain became an activity for the general public, rather than the preserve of businesspeople and electronics hobbyists. It inspired the creation of a huge community of enthusiasts, some of whom founded their own businesses producing software and hardware for the ZX81. Many went on to play a major role in the British computer industry in later years. The ZX81's commercial success made Sinclair Research one of Britain's leading computer manufacturers and earned a fortune and an eventual knighthood for the company's founder, Sir Clive Sinclair.
The Osborne 1 was the first commercially successful portable microcomputer, released on 3 April 1981 by Osborne Computer Corporation. It weighed 10.7 kg (23.5 lb), cost $1,795 (USD), and ran the then-popular CP/M 2.2 operating system.
The computer shipped with a large bundle of software that was almost equivalent in value to the machine itself, a practice adopted by other CP/M computer vendors.
Its principal deficiencies were a tiny 5-inch (13 cm) display screen and use of single sided, single density floppy disk drives which could not contain sufficient data for practical business applications, and considerable unit weight.
The BBC Microcomputer System, or BBC Micro, was a series of microcomputers and associated peripherals designed and built by the Acorn Computer company for the BBC Computer Literacy Project, operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Designed with an emphasis on education, it was notable for its ruggedness, expandability and the quality of its operating system.
After the Literacy Project's call for bids for a computer to accompany the TV programs and literature, Acorn won the contract with the Proton, a successor of its Atom computer prototyped at short notice. Renamed the BBC Micro, the system was adopted by most schools in the United Kingdom, changing Acorn's fortunes. It was also moderately successful as a home computer in the UK despite its high cost.
Acorn also employed the machine to simulate and develop the ARM architecture which is much used for embedded systems. Globally, as of 2013, ARM is the most widely used 32-bit instruction set architecture in terms of quantity produced.
Galeb (en. Seagull) was an 8-bit computer developed by the PEL Varaždin company in Yugoslavia in the early 1980s. A grand total of 250 were produced by the end of the summer of 1984, before being replaced by Orao.
Galeb was designed by Miroslav Kocijan and inspired by Compukit UK101 and Ohio Scientific Superboard and Superboard II computers that appeared in the UK and USA in 1979 and were less expensive than Apple II, Commodore PET and/or TRS-80 computers. The code name YU101 was chosen to resemble Compukit's UK101.
Galeb was very similar to computers that inspired it.
The ZX Spectrum is an 8-bit personal home computer released in the United Kingdom in 1982 by Sinclair Research Ltd.
Referred to during development as the ZX81 Colour and ZX82, the machine was launched as the ZX Spectrum by Sinclair to highlight the machine's color display, compared with the black-and-white of its predecessor, the ZX81. The Spectrum was ultimately released as eight different models, ranging from the entry-level model with 16 kB RAM released in 1982 to the ZX Spectrum +3 with 128 kB RAM and built-in floppy disk drive in 1987. Together, they sold in excess of 5 million units worldwide (not counting numerous clones).
The Spectrum was among the first mainstream audience home computers in the UK, similar in significance to the Commodore 64 in the USA. its introduction led to a boom in companies producing software and hardware for the machine, the effects of which are still seen today. Some credit it as the machine which launched the UK IT industry. Licensing deals and clones followed, and earned Clive Sinclair a knighthood for "services to British industry".
The Commodore 64, Oric-1 and Atmos, BBC Microcomputer and later the Amstrad CPC range were major rivals to the Spectrum in the UK market during the early 1980s. Over 24,000 software titles have been released since the Spectrum's launch and new titles continue to be released, with over 100 new ones in 2012. In 2014, the model was proposed to be relaunched as a bluetooth keyboard.
The Timex Sinclair 1000 (TS1000) was the first computer produced by Timex Sinclair, a joint-venture between Timex Corporation and Sinclair Research. It was launched in July 1982.
The TS1000 was a slightly-modified Sinclair ZX81 with an NTSC RF modulator instead of a UK PAL (Units sold in Portugal have a PAL RF modulator) device and the onboard RAM doubled to 2K. The TS1000's casing had slightly more internal shielding but remained the same as Sinclair's, including the membrane keyboard. It had black-and-white graphics and no sound. It was followed by an improved version, the Timex Sinclair 1500.
The Commodore 64 is an 8-bit home computer introduced in 1982 by Commodore International, and it's claimed to be the highest selling computer of all time.
Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore PET, the C64 took its name from its 64 kilobytes of RAM, and had favorable sound and graphical specifications when compared to contemporary systems such as the Apple II, at a price that was well below the circa US$1200 demanded by Apple, but the same couldn't be said of the Tandy Color Computer, which was initially priced at $399.
For a substantial period (1983–1986), the C64 dominated the market with between 30% and 40% share and 2 million units sold per year, outselling the IBM PC compatibles, Apple Inc. computers, and the Atari 8-bit family of computers.
Part of its success was because it was sold in retail stores instead of electronics stores. Commodore produced many of its parts in-house to control supplies and cost. It is sometimes compared to the Ford Model T automobile for its role in bringing a new technology to middle-class households via creative mass-production.
Approximately 10,000 commercial software titles were made for the Commodore 64 including development tools, office productivity applications, and games.
C64 emulators allow anyone with a modern computer, or a compatible video game console, to run these programs today. The C64 is also credited with popularizing the computer demoscene and is still used today by some computer hobbyists.
The Dragon 32 and Dragon 64 are home computers that were built in the 1980s. The Dragons are very similar to the TRS-80 Color Computer (CoCo), and were produced for the European market by Dragon Data, Ltd., in Port Talbot, Wales, and for the US market by Tano of New Orleans, Louisiana. The model numbers reflect the primary difference between the two machines, which have 32 and 64 kilobytes of RAM, respectively.
The EACA EG2000 Colour Genie was a computer produced by Hong Kong-based manufacturer EACA and introduced in Germany in August 1982. It followed their earlier Video Genie I and II computers and was released around the same time as the business-oriented Video Genie III.
The BASIC was compatible with the Video Genie I and II and the TRS-80, except for graphic and sound commands; some routines for Video Genie I BASIC commands were left over in the Colour Genie's BASIC ROM. Programs were provided to load TRS-80 programs into the Colour Genie. Colour Genie disks could be read in a TRS-80 floppy disk drive but not vice versa.
Unlike the earlier Video Genies, which were compatible with their main competitor (the Model I TRS-80), the Colour Genie was also incompatible with the rival TRS-80 Color Computer -- one fundamental difference being the different CPUs.
The FM-7 ("Fujitsu Micro 7") is a home computer created by Fujitsu, first released in 1982, only sold in Japan. It is a stripped down version of their earlier FM-8; during development, the FM-7 was known as the "FM-8 Jr.".
Although it is known as a lower cost model, most notably removing its (expensive) bubble memory technology, the FM-7 was given a more advanced sound synthesizer, leading to a strong uptake among the hobbyist computer market in Japan and making it a more dominant system than the FM-8.
The Thomson TO7 is a home computer introduced by Thomson SA in November 1982.
The TO7 is built around a 1 MHz Motorola 6809 processor. ROM cartridges, designed as MEMO7, can be introduced through a memory bay. The user interface uses Microsoft BASIC, included in the kit cartridge. The keyboard features a plastic membrane, and further user input is obtained through a lightpen. Cooling is provided by a rear radiator. Standard TV screens can be used as output through a SCART (Peritel) connector.
An upgraded version, the Thomson TO7-70, was later released. Among improvements was an increased RAM of 48KB (64 KB including Video RAM) instead of 8KB (22 KB including video RAM). 70 stands for 64+6 (64KB RAM + 6KB ROM). The 6809 processor was replaced by a 6809E and the color palette was extended from 8 to 16 colors.
The Sord M5 is a home computer launched by Sord Computer Corporation in 1982. Primarily the Sord M5 competed in the Japanese home computer market. It was also sold as the CGL M5 in the United Kingdom by Computer Games Limited, and was reasonably popular in Czechoslovakia, where the M5 stood as one of the first affordable computers available to the general public. Takara also sold models in Japan as the Game M5, and models were also exported to South Korea.
The Commodore MAX Machine, also known as Ultimax in the United States and VC-10 in Germany, was a home computer designed and sold by Commodore International in Japan, beginning in early 1982, a predecessor to the popular Commodore 64. The Commodore 64 manual mentions the machine by name, suggesting that Commodore intended to sell the machine internationally; however, it is unclear whether the machine was ever actually sold outside of Japan. It is considered a rarity.
Photo: William Ward
The Grundy NewBrain was a microcomputer sold in the early 1980s by Grundy Business Systems Ltd of Teddington and Cambridge, England.
When—in early 1980—the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Further Education department conceived the idea of a computer literacy program, BBC Engineering was instructed to attempt to draw up an objective specification. Eventually, under some pressure from the Department of Industry to choose a British system, the BBC 'chose' the NewBrain, and the BBC specification was closely written around the NewBrain specification.
The Jupiter Ace was a British home computer of the early 1980s, produced by a company, set up for the purpose, named Jupiter Cantab. The Ace differed from other microcomputers of the time in that it used Forth instead of the more common BASIC.
The Apple IIe (styled as Apple //e) is the third model in the Apple II series of personal computers produced by Apple Computer.
The e in the name stands for enhanced, referring to the fact that several popular features were now built-in that were only available as upgrades and add-ons in earlier models. It also improved upon expandability and added a few new features, which, all combined, made it very attractive to first-time computer shoppers as a general-purpose machine.
The Apple IIe has the distinction of being the longest-lived computer in Apple's history, having been manufactured and sold for nearly 11 years with relatively few changes.
Based on a MOS 1 MHz 6502A CPU, the Oric-1 came in 16 KB or 48 KB RAM variants for £129 and £169 respectively, matching the models available for the popular ZX Spectrum and undercutting the price of the 48K Spectrum by a few pounds.
During 1983, around 160,000 Oric-1s were sold in the UK, plus another 50,000 in France (where it was the year's top-selling machine). Although not quite the 350,000 predicted, this was enough for Oric International to be bought out and given sufficient funding for a successor model, the Atmos.
The Oric-1 improved somewhat over the Spectrum with a different keyboard design replacing the Spectrum's unusual Chiclet keyboard. In addition the Oric had a true sound chip, the programmable GI 8912, and two graphical modes handled by a semi-custom ASIC (ULA) which also managed the interface between the processor and memory.
Aquarius is a home computer designed by Radofin and released by Mattel in 1983. It features a Zilog Z80 microprocessor, a rubber chiclet keyboard, 4K of RAM, and a subset of Microsoft BASIC in ROM. It connects to a television set and uses a cassette tape recorder for secondary data storage. A limited number of peripherals, such as a 40-column thermal printer, a 4-color printer/plotter, and a 300 baud modem, were released for the unit.
The Memotech MTX500, MTX512 and RS128 were a series of Zilog Z80A processor-based home computers released by Memotech in 1983 and 1984. They were technically similar to MSX computers, but were not compatible.
The MTX500 had 32KiB of RAM, the MTX512 had 64KiB, and the RS128 had 128KiB (a significant amount at that time). The computers featured an all-aluminium case and full size keyboard with real keys (unlike others of the same vintage such as the Sinclair ZX Spectrum). In addition to the standard (for the time) BASIC language interpreter, it included some interesting variations, such as a built-in assembler, a built-in disassembler/debugger called Panel, a forerunner of HyperCard called Noddy, more sprites than the comparable equipment at the time, and support for rudimentary windowing in BASIC.
The Coleco Adam is a home computer, and expansion for the ColecoVision (port 3), released in 1983 by American toy manufacturer Coleco. It was an attempt to follow on the success of the company's ColecoVision video game console, but was not very successful, partly because of early production problems.
Coleco shared that it lost $35 million in late 1983, the time of the Adam's launch, along with a loss of $13.4 million in the first 9 months of 1984.
The Timex Sinclair 2068 (TS2068), released in November 1983, was Timex Sinclair's fourth and last home computer for the United States market. It was also marketed in Portugal and Poland, as the Timex Computer 2068.
A variant of the machine was later sold in Poland under the name Unipolbrit Komputer 2086.
The VTech Laser 200 was an early 8-bit home computer from 1983, also sold as the Salora Fellow (mainly in Fennoscandia, particularly Finland), the Texet TX8000 (in the United Kingdom) and the Dick Smith VZ 200 (in Australia and New Zealand).
The machine ran basic games on cassette such as "Hoppy" Frogger, "Cosmic Rescue" Scramble, "VZ Invaders" Space Invaders and Moon Patrol. The computer was discontinued in 1985 to make way for more advanced home computers.
The Acorn Electron is a budget version of the BBC Micro educational/home computer made by Acorn Computers Ltd. It has 32 kilobytes of RAM, and its ROM includes BBC BASIC v2 along with its operating system.
The Lynx was an 8-bit British home computer that was first released in early 1983 as a 48 kB model. Several models were available with 48 kB, 96 kB or 128 kB RAM. It was possible to reach 192 kB with RAM expansions on board.
The machine was based around a Z80A CPU clocked at 4 MHz, (6 MHz for the 128/192 kB models) and featured a Motorola 6845 as video controller. It was possible to run CP/M with the optional 5.25" floppy disk-drive on the 96 kB and 128 kB models.
The machine was quite advanced for its time. When compared to its competitors—such as the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and the Oric 1, however, it was also fairly highly priced.
Camputers rebranded and relaunched each machine on several occasions, with the 48k machine renamed the Leisure, and the 128k machine renamed as the Laureate. The machine had very little software available, and surived only until Camputers ceased trading in June 1984. It is believed that approximately 30,000 Camputers Lynx units were sold worldwide.
The COMX-35 was a home computer that was one of the very few systems to use the RCA 1802 microprocessor, the same microprocessor that is also used in some space probes.
The COMX-35 had a keyboard with an integrated joystick in place of cursor keys. It was relatively inexpensive and came with a large collection of software.
The Matra & Hachette Ordinateur Alice was a home computer sold in France beginning in 1983. It was a clone of the TRS-80 MC-10, produced through a collaboration between Matra and Hachette in France and Tandy Corporation in the United States.
The Alice is distinguished by its unique, bright red casing. Functionally, it is equivalent to the MC-10, with a Péritel (SCART) connector replacing the RF modulator for video output.
Unlike its progenitor, the Alice became a popular computer in its home country, aided by its presence in schools as part of the country's Informatique pour tous ("Information technology for everyone") programme.
Microprofessor III (MPF III), was Multitech's (later renamed Acer) third branded computer product and also (arguably) one of the first Apple IIe clones. Unlike the two earlier computers, its design was influenced by the IBM personal computer.
Because of some additional functions in the ROM and different graphics routines, the MPF III was not totally compatible with the Apple IIe.
One key feature of the MPF III in some models was its Chinese BASIC, a version of Chinese-localized BASIC based on Applesoft BASIC.
The MPF III included an optional Z80 CP/M emulator card. It permitted the computer to switch to the Z80 processor and run programs developed under the CP/M operating system.
The Sinclair QL (for Quantum leap), is a personal computer launched by Sinclair Research in 1984, as an upper-end addition to the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.
The QL was aimed at the serious home user and professional and executive users markets from small to large businesses and higher educational establishments, but failed to achieve commercial success.
The Macintosh 128K, released initially as simply the "Apple Macintosh" (without the 128k designation), is the original Apple Macintosh personal computer.
Its beige case contained a 9 in (23 cm) monitor and came with a keyboard and mouse.
A handle built into the top of the case made it easier for the computer to be lifted and carried. It had an initial selling price of $2,495 ($5,595 adjusted for inflation).
The Macintosh was introduced by the now famous $900,000 television commercial by Ridley Scott, "1984", that most notably aired on CBS during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984.
The sales of the Macintosh were strong from its initial sales release on January 24, 1984 and reached 70,000 units on May 3, 1984.
After its successor, the Macintosh 512K, was introduced, it was rebadged as the Macintosh 128K.
The IBM PCjr (read "PC junior") was IBM's first attempt to enter the home computer market. The PCjr, IBM model number 4860, retained the IBM PC's 8088 CPU and BIOS interface for compatibility, but various design and implementation decisions led the PCjr to be a commercial failure.
When the PCjr became available in early 1984, sales were below expectations from the beginning, even with discounts. "Inventory is beginning to pile up", Time wrote in April, in part due to the launch early that year of the "exciting" Apple Macintosh. By December it stated that the PCjr "looked like one of the biggest flops in the history of computing...[it] sold as sluggishly as Edsels in the late 1950s".
The Apple IIc, the fourth model in the Apple II series of personal computers, is Apple Computer’s first endeavor to produce a portable computer. The result was a 7.5 lb (3.4 kg) notebook-sized version of the Apple II that could be transported from place to place.
The c in the name stood for compact, referring to the fact it was essentially a complete Apple II computer setup (minus display and power supply) squeezed into a small notebook-sized housing. While sporting a built-in floppy drive and new rear peripheral expansion ports integrated onto the main logic board, it lacked the internal expansion slots and direct motherboard access of earlier Apple IIs, making it a closed system like the Macintosh.
However, that was the intended direction for this model — a more appliance-like machine, ready to use out of the box, requiring no technical know-how or experience to hook up and therefore attractive to first-time users.
The Amstrad CPC (short for Colour Personal Computer) is a series of 8-bit home computers produced by Amstrad between 1984 and 1990. It was designed to compete in the mid-1980s home computer market dominated by the Commodore 64 and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, where it successfully established itself primarily in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and the German-speaking parts of Europe.
The CPC464 featured 64 KB RAM and an internal cassette tape deck. It was introduced in June 1984 in the UK. Initial suggested retail prices for the CPC464 were GBP249.00/DM899.00 with a green screen and GBP359.00/DM1398.00 with a colour monitor. Following the introduction of the CPC6128 in late 1985, suggested retail prices for the CPC464 were cut by GBP50.00/DM100.00.
In 1990, the 464plus replaced the CPC464 in the model line-up, and production of the CPC464 was discontinued.
The Commodore 16 is a home computer made by Commodore with a 6502-compatible 8501 CPU, released in 1984. It was intended to be an entry-level computer to replace the VIC-20 and was often sold for $99 USD. A cost-reduced version, the Commodore 116, was sold only in Europe.
The C16 and C116 belong to the same family as the higher-end Plus/4 and are internally very similar to it (albeit with less RAM and lacking the Plus/4's user port and integrated office suite.) As a result, software is generally compatible between all three provided it could fit within the C16's smaller RAM.
While the C16 was a failure on the US market, it enjoyed some success in certain European countries and in Mexico.
Released in November 1984, the $1,200 Tandy 1000 was designed as a PC compatible with enhancements compatible with the IBM PCjr.
The machine and its many successors were successful unlike the PCjr, partly because the Tandy 1000 was sold in ubiquitous Radio Shack stores and partly because it was less costly, easier to expand, and almost-entirely compatible with the IBM PC. The PCjr's enhanced graphics and sound standards became known as "Tandy-compatible".
With its graphics, sound, and built-in joystick ports, the 1000 was the best computer for PC games until VGA graphics became popular in the 1990s.
The Commodore Plus/4 is a home computer released by Commodore. The "Plus/4" name refers to the four-application ROM resident office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, database, and graphing), and it was billed as "the productivity computer with software built-in".
Internally, the Plus/4 shared the same basic architecture as the lower-end Commodore 16 and 116 models, and was able to use software and peripherals designed for them. However, it was not compatible with the established Commodore 64.
While the Plus/4 had some success in Europe, it was a total failure in the United States, where it was derided as the "Minus/60".
Orao (en. Eagle) was an 8-bit computer developed by PEL Varaždin in 1984. It was used as a standard primary school computer in Croatia and Vojvodina from 1985 to 1991.
Orao (code named YU102) was designed by Miroslav Kocijan to supersede Galeb (code named YU101). The goal was to make a better computer, yet with less components, easier to produce and less expensive. Originally the Motorola 6809 microprocessor was planned for the CPU but was abandoned for MOS 6502 due to its significantly lower cost.
In the middle of 1984 a Brazilian company called Prológica, which made its own versions of 8 bits US computers, brought to the Brazilian market a new equipment for its personal computer series called "CP" (shorten of Personal Computer in Portuguese).
The CP 400 was launched in 1984 with a case very different from the original Coco and other clones. It was available in two models: I and II. The main differences between the two models were the power supply (built in), keyboard and RAM capacity.
This computer was 100% compatible with the original Color Computer model 2 and was designed to work with the PAL-M TV standard.
Photo: Nate Cull
The KC 85 ('KC' meaning "Kleincomputer", or "small computer") were models of microcomputers built in East Germany, first in 1984 by Robotron (the KC 85/1) and later by VEB Mikroelektronik "Wilhelm Pieck" Mühlhausen (KC 85/2, KC 85/3 and KC 85/4).
Due to huge demand by industrial, educational as well as military institutions, KC 85 systems were virtually unavailable for sale to smaller customers.
The Thomson MO5 is a home computer introduced in France in 1984 to compete against systems such as the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64. At the same time, Thomson also released the up-market Thomson TO-7/70 machine. The MO5 was not sold in vast quantities outside of France, and was largely discontinued in favour of the improved Thomson MO6 in 1986. MO5s were also used as educational tools in French schools for a period.
The Thomson MO5 runs on a Motorola 6809E processor clocked at 1 MHz. It originally featured 48kB of RAM, a 40×25 text display, and built-in Microsoft BASIC.
Over 200 pieces of software are known to exist for the MO5.
The TC 2048 or Timex Computer 2048 is a computer created by "Timex of Portugal, Lda", a branch of Timex Corporation.
It was highly compatible with the Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer, although differences in the ROM prevented 100% compatibility.
Timex Portugal sold the TC 2048 in Portugal and Poland, where it was very successful. Also, a NTSC version was sold in Chile. This computer forms the basis of an improved Spectrum-compatible machine, the Spectrum SE.
The Commodore 128 (C128, CBM 128, C=128) home computer is the last 8-bit machine that was commercially released by Commodore Business Machines (CBM). Introduced in January 1985 at the CES in Las Vegas, it appeared three years after its predecessor, the bestselling Commodore 64.
The C128 is a significantly expanded successor to the C64, with nearly full compatibility. The new machine has 128 kB of RAM in two 64 kB banks, and an 80-column color video output. It has a redesigned case and keyboard. Also included is a Zilog Z80 CPU which allows the C128 to run CP/M, as an alternative to the usual Commodore BASIC environment.
The presence of the Z80 and the huge CP/M software library it brings, coupled with the C64's software library, gives the C128 one of the broadest ranges of available software among its competitors.
The Atari ST is a home computer released by Atari in 1985, and was part of the 16/32 bit generation of home computers, based on the Motorola 68000 CPU, typically with 512 kB of RAM or more, a graphical user interface, and 3½" microfloppy disks as storage.
It was similar to the Apple Macintosh, and its simple design allowed the ST to precede the Commodore Amiga's commercial release by almost two months. The Atari ST was also the first personal computer to come with a bit-mapped color GUI, using a version of Digital Research's GEM released that February.
The ST was primarily a competitor to the Apple Macintosh, Commodore Amiga and in certain markets the Acorn Archimedes. Where the Amiga had a graphics accelerator and wavetable synthesis based sound, the ST had a simple frame buffer and a 3 voice synthesizer chip but with a slightly faster CPU, and had a high-resolution monochrome display mode, ideal for business and CAD. In some markets, particularly Germany, the machine gained a strong foothold as a small business machine for CAD and Desktop publishing work. The Atari ST also enjoyed some market popularity in Canada.
The ST was also the first home computer with integrated MIDI support. Thanks to its built-in MIDI, it enjoyed success for running music-sequencer software and as a controller of musical instruments among amateurs and professionals alike, being used in concert by bands and performers such as Jean Michel Jarre, Madonna, Eurythmics, Tangerine Dream, Fatboy Slim, and 1990s UK dance acts Utah Saints & 808 State, as well as naming German digital hardcore band Atari Teenage Riot.
The ST was later superseded by the Atari STE, Atari TT, Atari MEGA STE and Falcon computers.
The Commodore Amiga 1000, also known as the A1000 and originally simply as the Amiga, was the first personal computer release by Commodore International in the Amiga line.
It used one of the most powerful and orthogonal CPUs for its time and also one of the most advanced graphics and sound hardware of its class with a preemptive multitasking operating system that fit into 512 KB of memory.
The Amstrad PCW series was a range of personal computers produced by British company Amstrad from 1985 to 1998, and also sold under licence in Europe as the "Joyce" by the German electronics company Schneider in the early years of the series' life.
When it was launched, the cost of a PCW system was under 25% of the cost of almost all IBM-compatible PC systems in the UK. As a result PCWs became very popular in the home and small office markets, both in the UK and in Europe, and persuaded many technophobes to venture into using computers.
However the last two models, introduced in the mid-1990s, were commercial failures, being squeezed out of the market by the falling prices, greater capabilities and wider range of software for IBM-compatible PCs. The last model branded as a PCW was totally incompatible with the earlier ones.
The Expert, made by Gradiente Eletrônica (to date best known as a game console and Hi-Fi equipment company) was the second and last MSX home computer launched in the Brazilian market, in mid-1980s.
Released one month after Epcom's Hotbit (just in time for 1985's Christmas), the Expert model XP-800 was a clone of the National CF-3000, with a computer case resembling a stereo system, a detached keyboard with a proprietary connector, no caps lock LED and no reset key.
The Electronika BK was a series of 16-bit PDP-11-compatible Soviet home computers developed by NPO Scientific Center, the leading Soviet microcomputer design team at the time. It was also responsible for the more powerful UKNC and DVK micros. First released in 1985, they were based on the К1801ВМ1 (Soviet LSI-11-compatible CPU) and were the only "official" Soviet home computer design in mass production.
They initially sold for about 600-650 rubles. This was expensive, but marginally affordable, so they became one of the most popular home computer models in the Soviet Union despite numerous problems.
Later, when that price edge was eclipsed by cheaper ZX Spectrum clones, their powerful CPU and straightforward, easy to program design made them popular as demo machines. BK (БК) is a Russian abbreviation which stands for "Бытовой Компьютер" -- domestic (or home) computer. It was also for a short time used as cash register, for example, in the State Universal Store.
The Enterprise is a Zilog Z80-based home computer first produced in 1985. It was developed by British company Intelligent Software and marketed by Enterprise Computers. Its two variants are the Enterprise 64, with 64 kilobytes (kB) of Random Access Memory (RAM), and the Enterprise 128, with 128 kB of RAM.
The Enterprise was powerful for the time, but was not a commercial success. The Amstrad CPC 464 included a monitor and cassette recorder, was released before the Enterprise, and retailed for less.
After the initial manufacturing run of 80,000 units, it is believed that no further units were made, so that the Enterprise is an extraordinarily collectible item in Europe. The company shipped 20,000 units to Hungary on its closure, and a strong user community formed there.
The CCE MC-1000 was an obscure Home computer produced in Brazil by CCE (Comércio de Componentes Eletrônicos).
Not much is known about the machine, but it seems clear that it owned its heritage to the Belgian GEM 1000, and the Rabbit RX83 which were systems produced in Hong-Kong by the firm "Rabbit computers". It was followed up by the MC 4000, an Apple 2 clone.
The PMD 85 was an 8-bit personal computer produced from 1985 by the companies Tesla Piešťany and Bratislava in the former Czechoslovakia.
They were deployed en masse in schools throughout Slovakia, while the IQ 151 performed a similar role in Czech part of the country.
This computer was produced locally due to a lack of foreign currency with which to buy systems from the West. After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, production of the PMD 85 was stopped. PMD 85 was not competitive in quality or features compared to foreign PCs available at that time.
The BBC Master was a home computer released by Acorn Computers in early 1986. It was designed and built for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and was the successor to the BBC Micro Model B.
The Master 128 remained in production until 1993.
The Amstrad PC1512 was Amstrad's mostly IBM PC-compatible computer system, first manufactured in 1986. It was later succeeded by the PC1640.
It launched for £499 and sold very well, as it was one of the first cheap PCs in Europe. It significantly helped open up the European PC market to consumers as well as businesses, and Amstrad's advertising of the PC1512 was aimed at homes rather than offices.
The 1512's influence was such that the UK PC magazine PC Plus originally targeted itself at the "Amstrad PC 1512 and compatibles", since home ownership of other PCs at the time was rare.
The Apple IIGS (stylized as IIgs) is the fifth and most powerful model in the Apple II series of personal computers produced by Apple Computer. The "GS" in the name stands for Graphics and Sound, referring to its enhanced multimedia capabilities, especially its state-of-the-art sound and music synthesis, which greatly surpassed previous models of the line and most contemporary machines like the Macintosh and IBM PC.
The machine was a radical departure from any previous Apple II, with its true 16-bit architecture, increased processing speed, direct access to megabytes of RAM, wavetable music synthesizer, graphical user interface, and mouse. While still maintaining full backwards compatibility with earlier Apple II models, it blended the Apple II and aspects of Macintosh technology into one. Keeping with Apple's "Apple II Forever" slogan of the time, the IIGS set forth a promising future and evolutionary advancement of the Apple II line, but Apple paid it relatively little attention as the company increasingly focused on the Macintosh platform.
The Apple IIGS was the first computer produced by Apple to use a color graphical user interface, as well as the "Platinum" (light grey) color scheme and the Apple Desktop Bus interface for keyboards, mice, and other input devices. It was also the first personal computer to come with a built-in "wavetable" sample-based synthesizer chip, utilizing technology from Ensoniq. The machine outsold all other Apple products, including the Macintosh, during its first year in production.
Although the Atmos had not turned round Oric International's fortunes, in February 1985, they announced several models including the Oric Stratos/IQ164. Despite their backers putting them into receivership the following day, Oric was bought by French company Eureka, which continued to produce the Stratos, followed by the Oric Telestrat in late 1986.
In December 1987 after announcing the Telestrat 2, Oric International went into receivership for the second and final time.
The Unipolbrit Komputer 2086 was a Polish version of the home computer Timex Sinclair 2068, produced by a joint venture of the Polish Unimor and Timex Computer of Portugal.
The machine wasn't 100% ZX Spectrum-compatible (like all other Timex Sinclair versions) and a "Spectrum Emulation" cartridge was available (usually bundled).
The Tomy Tutor (originally known as the Tomy Pyuuta (ぴゅう太), and in the UK as the Grandstand Tutor) was a home computer produced by the Japanese toymaker Tomy.
It was architecturally similar, but not identical, to the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, and used a similar 16-bit CPU. The computer was launched on the UK and European markets in late 1983. Outside Japan, however, sales were not significant.
The TV Computer (TVC) was a home computer made by the Hungarian company Videoton around 1986. The computer was based on the Enterprise (computer) and had a built-in BASIC interpreter. Programs could be loaded via tape or floppy. It had a built-in joystick, and a keyboard with Hungarian letters and nine function keys.
The Acorn Archimedes was Acorn Computers' first general purpose home computer to be based on their own ARM architecture.
Using a RISC design with a 32-bit CPU, at its launch in June 1987, the Archimedes was stated as running at 4 MIPS, with a claim of 18 MIPS during tests.
The name is commonly used to describe any of Acorn's contemporary designs based on the same architecture, even where Acorn did not include Archimedes in the official name.
Didaktik Gama was the first clone of the ZX Spectrum with one speciality: 80 KiB RAM divided into two switched 32 KiB memory banks and 16 KiB of slower RAM containing graphical data for video output, while the size of ROM was 16 KiB.
This computer had become an unreachable dream for many children and adults in former socialist Czechoslovakia as the computer was considerably expensive and seldom available to buy. It is said there were waiting lists several years long.
The Robotron KC 87, fully known as the Kleincomputer robotron KC 87 (KC standing for Kleincomputer, lit. "small computer"), was an 8-bit home computer released in 1987 and produced in East Germany by the VEB Robotron-Meßelektronik "Otto Schön" Dresden, part of the Kombinat Robotron.
The first model in the series, the Robotron Z 9001, was introduced in 1984 and renamed Robotron KC 85/1 in 1985. Despite similar names, the Robotron home computers were not directly related to the KC 85 series produced by the VEB Mikroelektronik "Wilhelm Pieck" Mühlhausen.
The Apple IIc Plus is the sixth and final model in the Apple II series of personal computers, produced by Apple Computer.
The "Plus" in the name was a reference to the additional features it offered over the original portable Apple IIc, such as greater storage capacity (a built-in 3.5-inch floppy drive replacing the classic 5.25-inch), increased processing speed, and a general standardization of the system components.
In a notable change of direction, the Apple IIc Plus, for the most part, did not introduce new technology or any further evolutionary contributions to the Apple II series, instead merely integrating existing peripherals into the original Apple IIc design. The development of the 8-bit machine was criticized by quarters more interested in the significantly more advanced 16-bit Apple IIGS.
The Iskra 1030 was an Intel 8086 compatible personal computer produced in Kursk, USSR. It was produced at the Scetmash factory ("Счётмаш" - Russian).
The SAM Coupé is an 8-bit British home computer that was first released in late 1989. It is commonly considered a clone of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer, since it features a compatible screen mode and emulated compatibility, and it was marketed as a logical upgrade from the Spectrum.
The Atari TT030—part of the Atari ST family—was originally intended to be a high end Unix workstation, but since the company took over two years to release a port of Unix SVR4 for it, it never made it into the workstation market.
However, thanks to open hardware documentation the Atari TT was one of the first non-Intel machines to have Linux ported to them.