Made in the UK by Compukit in New Barnet, North London, the Compukit UK 101 was originally a copy of the Ohio Scientific Superboard II single-board computer. The Compukit UK 101 retailed for £219 +VAT.
It featured a few enhancements for the UK market - notably replacing the 24x24 (add guardband kit to give 32x32) screen display with a more useful 48x16 layout working at UK video frequencies. The video output was black and white with 256 characters generated by a 2K ROM. It had no bit-mapped graphics capability. The video was output through a UHF modulator, designed to connect to a TV set.
In common with other home computers of the time, software could be saved and loaded on standard cassette tapes. The UK101 uses the Kansas City standard tape format. I/O was managed by a Motorola 6850 ACIA. This allowed a full RS232 port to be implemented, with the addition of a few extra components and minor modifications to existing jumpers on the board.
The 40 pin expansion socket opened up the world to the UK101. It also mated with all Superboard extras. One could attach a dual 5.5-inch floppy disk controller and a memory expansion card (40K max) to allow faster and reliable save/load of programs/data.
You could buy the UK101 as a kit or as ready made for an extra fee. Full constructional details were featured in Practical Electronics magazine, starting in the August 1979 issue.
The kit came in a cardboard briefcase, in which there were anti-static tubes containing the 65+ ICs, a box of IC sockets, and bags containing passives (mainly 0.1uF ceramic decoupling capacitors) and keyboard bits (the keyboard switches were soldered directly to the PCB).
Our UK101 is mounted in a wooden box and is complete with original A4-size book authored by Dr. A.A. Berk, covering assembly, trouble-shooting, and circuit diagrams with descriptions as well as the original box
We are extremely grateful to Derek Tilford for very kindly donating this machine
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH8099. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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