Wren Executive System

This system is interesting in a number of ways, firstly the design is rather novel, a carry handle at the back, which is attached to the machine above the various ports and interfaces, but perhaps most impressively, the top half of the machine is on rails, so the screen and disk drives slide away from the user to reveal the keyboard underneath.

From left to right at the rear are an autodial modem socket, paddle controls, RS232c Winchester HDD or network socket, printer port reset button and colour output socket.

It has a 7 inch monochrome screen, although the system can be connected to a colour monitor, it is also equipped with two 5.25 disk drives, which are 40 track and 190k. It is a Z80 based machine with 64K expandable to 256K.

The Wren was one of the last laptop CP/M computers, and as well as a computer it can be used as a Teletext terminal. It weights more than 12 Kg due to its largely metal construction.

The construction was sub contracted to the Thorn EMI factory in South Wales, but unfortunately only 1000 were built before Wren Computers Ltd went bust. Apparently this left many suppliers holding parts for 9000 machines that could never be built.

The company was a joint venture between Transam and Prism.

The software package was excellent and included, the Perfect series of programs, and had a version of BBC basic.

The onboard modem could dial stored numbers, and is Prestel compatible.

Unfortunately due to quality issues the machine never reached the market place in sufficient numbers to save the company.

Manufacturer: Wren Computers Ltd
Date: 1984

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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH51455. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.


Wren Executive System

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