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The North Star Advantage was a 4 MHz, Z80A based computer, with 64K of user RAM, and 16K of graphics RAM. It used two single-sided, double-density 180K floppy disk (hard-sectored) drives, and an optional 5MB Winchester disk. It also included a 8035 microprocessor for keyboard and disc control. The Advantage was housed in a case that included a high-resolution, monochrome 11-inch screen, a 87-key keyboard and twin 5.25-inch floppy drives. It sold for £2,295 plus VAT in June 1982.
The Advantage was known for its graphics capabilities, and was sold with four demonstration programs, one of which plotted and calculated a pattern of lines reminiscent of the arcade game Qix. The Advantage also had an optional 8088 co-processor board available that ran MS DOS 1.0.
While initially successful, North Star's sales suffered from the company's adherence to hard sector floppy drives, which made software difficult to port onto North Star's machines.
It was no longer a significant factor in the industry by the time the less expensive CP/M computers with built in displays (and soft sector drives), such as the Osbourne and the Kaypro were released.
Sales slowed during the growth of the PC market, and the company folded in 1984.
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH56696. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.