Amstrad PCW 8256

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 Amstrad PCW8256 was primarily sold as a word processor but was actually quite a competent general use computer owing to its flexible CP/M+ operating system and BASIC interpreter.

The PCW 8256 was launched in September 1985, and had 256 KB of RAM and one floppy disk drive. Launched a few months later, the PCW 8512 had 512 KB of RAM and two floppy disk drives. Both systems consisted of three units: a printer; a keyboard; and a monochrome CRT monitor whose casing included the processor, memory, motherboard, one or two floppy disk drives, the power supply for all the units and the connectors for the printer and keyboard. The monitor displayed green characters on a background that appeared black when the system was active. It measured 12 inches (30 cm) diagonally, and showed 32 lines of 90 characters each. The designers preferred this to the usual personal computer display of 16 64-character lines, as the larger size would be more convenient for displaying a whole letter. The monitor could also display graphics well enough for the bundled graphics program and for some games.

Manufacturer: Amstrad
Date: September 1985

Magazines RELATED to Amstrad PCW 8256 in our Library

Item Manufacturer Date
Personal Computer World - October 1985 01-10-1985
Practical Computing - November 1985 November 1985
Personal Computer World Special: Business Computing The 1986 Survival Guide April 1986
Your Computer - May 1986 May 1986
Personal Computer World - May 1986 01-05-1986
Personal Computer World - June 1986 01-06-1986
Personal Computer World - July 1986 01-07-1986
Practical Computing - August 1986 August 1986
Personal Computer World - October 1987 01-10-1987
Practical Computing - November 1987 November 1987
Your Computer - November 1987 November 1987
Personal Computer World - December 1987 December 1987
The Micro Designer - Issue 4 - October 1990 Creative Technology October 1990
Personal Computer World - February 1996 February 1996

Other Systems Related To Amstrad PCW 8256:

Item Manufacturer Date
Amstrad CPC 464 Amstrad 1984
Amstrad CPC 464 Plus Amstrad 1984
Amstrad CPC 464 PPC MP1 Boxed System Amstrad June 1984
Amstrad CPC 664 Amstrad 1985
Amstrad CPC 6128 Amstrad July 1985
Amstrad PC1640 HD20 Amstrad 1986
Amstrad PC1512DD Amstrad 1986
Amstrad PC1640 DD Amstrad 1986
Sinclair ZX Spectrum +2A Amstrad 1987
Amstrad PCW 9512 Amstrad 1987
Amstrad PCW 9512 Amstrad 1987
Amstrad PPC 640D Amstrad 1988
Amstrad PC2086 S Amstrad 1988
Amstrad ALT-386SX Laptop computer Amstrad 1988
Amstrad PPC 512D Amstrad 1988
Amstrad PC2286/40 Amstrad October 1989
Amstrad PCW 9256 Amstrad 1990
Amstrad ACL-386SX120 Amstrad 1991
Amstrad PC4386SX Computer Amstrad 1991
Amstrad ANB-386SX40 Amstrad September 1991
Amstrad Mega PC 386SX Amstrad 1993
Amstrad 7286 HD40 Amstrad 1993

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH528. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

 

Amstrad PCW 8256

  Book Archive   [4]
  Games Archive   [3]
  Software Archive   [3]
  Peripherals   [4]
  Promotional Items   [2]

Click on the Image(s) For Detail


User Submitted Articles


Add Your Article >>>

Founding Sponsors
redgate Google ARM Real VNC Microsoft Research
Heritage Lottery Funded
Heritage Lottery Fund