The One Per Desk, or OPD, was an innovative hybrid personal computer / telecommunications terminal based on the hardware of the Sinclair QL. The One Per Desk was built by International Computers Limited (ICL) and launched in the UK in 1984. It was the result of a collaborative project between ICL, Sinclair Research and British Telecom begun in 1981, originally intended to incorporate Sinclair's flat-screen CRT technology.
Rebadged versions of the OPD were sold in the UK as the Merlin Tonto and in Australia as the Telecom Australia Computerphone.
From the QL, the OPD borrowed the 68008 CPU, ZX8301/8302 ULAs, 128 KB of RAM and dual Microdrives (re-engineered by ICL for greater reliability) but not the 8049 Intelligent Peripheral Controller. Unique to the OPD was a "telephony module" incorporating an Intel 8051 microcontroller (which also controlled the keyboard), two PSTN lines and a V.21/V.23 modem, plus a built-in telephone handset and a TI TMS5220 speech synthesiser (for automatic answering of incoming calls).
The OPD was supplied with either a 9-inch monochrome (white) monitor or a 14-inch colour monitor. Both monitors also housed the power supply for the OPD itself. Later, 3.5" floppy disk drives were also available from third-party vendors
The system firmware (BFS or "Basic Functional Software") was unrelated to the QL's Qdos operating system, although a subset of SuperBASIC was provided on Microdrive cartridge. The BFS provided application-switching, voice/data call management, call answering, phone number directories, viewdata terminal emulation and a simple calculator.
The Psion applications suite bundled with the QL was also ported to the OPD as Xchange and was available as an optional ROM pack. Other optional application software available on ROM included various terminal emulators such as Satellite Computing's ICL7561 emulator, plus their Action Diary and Presentation Software, address book, and inter-OPD communications utilities.
We also have a large OPD monitor as well as the more conventional smaller monitor. These together with the OKImate EN3212 thermal printer were kindly donated by John Penn-Simkins
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