RM 380Z (Light Blue Case)
The Research Machines 380Z, often called the RML 380Z or RM 380Z, was an early 8-bit microcomputer produced by Research Machines Limited in Oxford, England, from 1978 to 1985.
The 380Z used a 4 MHz Z80A microprocessor (hence the name) with up to 56K of user RAM. When fitted with an optional floppy disk drive the system ran the CP/M operating system. The basic system came with a text-only monochrome video card, which could be enhanced with a high-resolution graphics board.
The 380Z was sold mainly to schools in the UK, with some also sold to industry. In 1979 a dual 8-inch disk system with 56K of memory cost £3266, and a 16K cassette-based system cost £965 (excluding VAT).
The 380Z was packaged in a large, black, 19-inch wide, rectangular metal case containing the power supply, a number of printed circuit boards and the optional 5¼-inch floppy disk drives. Early versions were contained in a light blue metal case with a white front and only had a cassette interface; only a small number of these were made. This example in our collection is one those early versions. The keyboard was separate and came in a tough metal case.
The system used a passive bus architecture with no motherboard – all electronics were contained on a number of cards interconnected by ribbon cable.
Memory 64K maximum (56K usable)
Media 5¼-inch or 8-inch floppy disk
Graphics 320×192 pixels, 2 bits per pixel (optional)
Operating system CP/M
Manufacturer: Research Machines
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH1775. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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