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The Mattel Aquarius had a short life in the history of computing. It was released in 1983, but its technical capabilities really didn't allow it to compete with other machines that were already established in the market place, despite it's relative cheap price.
The machine was based around the Zilog Z80 processor but had limited RAM, just 4K (although it was expandable to 20K via cartridges), the sound and graphics were very limited, just at a time when other machines were doing arcade quality software.
Programs could be loaded via tapes, or by the cartridge slot on the right hand side, but with little interest from software companies, and not having a dedicated in house software company, the machine had a very small software library.
It used Microsoft Basic, which was of good quality, but programming on the tiny chiclet keyes was not easy. Mattel realised quickly the machine was not going to succeed, and the Aquarius was discontinued just four months after release achieving very poor sales.
In the UK, the Aquarius may have been sold in catalogues like the Gratten one and not so much in the high street, which was already awash with far more capable machines, such as the Sinclair and Commodore computers.
The machine was actually made by a company called Radofin in Hong Kong, who were more well known for their games console machines of the time.
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH502. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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