FM Towns 2DF
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Built by Fujitsu from 1989 to 1997, the FM Towns was designed to be used with multi media applications, but was later brought more in line with the IBM compatibles. Initially the FM Towns great rival was the NEC 9801, which had 70% of the PC market in Japan. Fujitsu went straight for the weakness of this machine which was in the graphics department, much like the Amiga had taken on the IBM Compatibles in other markets.
The name FM Towns, means Fujitsu Micro, and the Towns part came from Fujitsu naming their products after Nobel prize winners, in this case Charles Townes, the 1964 winner for physics. The E was dropped before production, so to make clear how to pronounce the name.
After realising that software sales drove hardware, the machine was the home of some great arcade conversions of the day, primarily using the CD-ROM format.
Initially the machines ran an 80386 variant, that could be upgraded, there was a choice of one or two MB of RAM, which could be increased to six. There were not hard disks installed, and were not required for most uses. there is a hidden area and connector for connecting an HDD, but there is not a power connector, so the user would have to make internal changes themselves.
The machine ran on it's own version of Windows 3.0, along with its unique graphical TownsOS, in 1989 this could be run straight from the CD Drive. Later versions of the computers could also run Windows 95, some of the Towns software need boot disks to run.
To Boot the system from CD, there is a hidden ROM containing the basic MS DOS,the CD Driver and DOS EXE file. With a minimal fee, games and applications developers could have a bare bones TownsOS to boot the game straight from the CD, so there was no need for a floppy boot disk or HDD.
It is also compatible with some FM Towns Marty software.
This computer has arrived at the museum with the kind generosity of Jonny Blanchard of Re Enthused.
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH60616. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.