Two years after the initial Amiga launch, Commodore released their replacement to the ageing Amiga 1000. The Amiga 2000 developed the 'big box' Amiga market that continued to divide users' until the mid-1990s, and formed the second part of Commodore's plans to diversify the Amiga market into high and low end systems (the low-end A500 had been launched two months previous). Like the Amiga 500, the A2000 was shipped with Kickstart/Workbench 1.2.
The machine offered several advantages over the Amiga 1000 and 500:
Seven internal expansion slots (5x 100 pin Amiga Zorro II and 2 x 16-bit ISA slots). The ISA slots were disabled by default (only power and ground pins activated), but could be used when a Commodore bridgeboard was installed (a PC-on-a-card). Inactive slots can be used for non intelligent cards like TBCs or fan cards.
One megabyte memory as standard (expandable to 9MB).
The CPU could be upgraded through the purchase of a processor card and attaching it to a 86 pin processor slot.
he A2000, also known as the Commodore Amiga 2000, was released in 1986. Although aimed at the high-end market it was technically very similar to the A500, so similar in fact that the A2000B revision was outright based on the A500 design. What the A2000 had over the A500 was a bigger case with room for five Zorro II proprietary expansion slots, two 16-bit and two 8-bit ISA slots, a CPU upgrade slot, a video slot, and a battery-backed clock.
It should also be noted that, like the Amiga 1000 and unlike the Amiga 500, the A2000 came in a desktop case with a separate keyboard. The case was more PC-like than the A1000 - taller to accommodate the expansion cards and lacking the space beneath for the keyboard.
Also like the Amiga 1000, the 2000 was sold only by specialty computer dealers.
The A2000 was eventually succeeded by the Amiga 3000 in 1990.
CPU: Motorola 68000 (7.16 MHz NTSC, 7.09 MHz PAL)
256 KB ROM for Kickstart code.
512 KB (Max) / (1 MB Max) of Chip RAM.
512 KB Fast RAM in MMU slot (in some Model As only) / Soldered on motherboard
Practical limit of 8 MB total Fast RAM memory without the use of a CPU expansion card, due to the 24-bit address bus.
3.5" DD Floppy drive, capacity 880 KB
SCSI Hard drive in A2000HD systems.
The Apricot XEN-PCm is a high-quality sound and graphics multimedia version of the XEN-PC released in 1995. It has a Soundblaster card and is a 486 machine.
"High performance and versatility are two essential factors in the continuing success of the Apricot XEN-PC range. In this latest line-up, the super fast Intel Pentium processor has been incorporated to provide one of the fastest desktop systems available. Combined with the Apricot engineered system design, the incredible 120MHz Pentium processor sets the agenda for the range as a whole.
Graphical user interfaces such as Windows, NT and OS/2 have settled as the norm for all tasks from word processing to video editing. This is why all XEN-PC models include industry-leading graphic acceleration coprocessors to provide the very best on-screen performance. All models use local bus technology to closely integrate the video circuitry. The entire range features the Cirrus Logic GD5434 with 1MB video RAM, except for the XEN-PC 590 and 5120 which have 2MB as standard.
For those seeking the ultimate in system and graphic performance, the new Matrox MGA Impression Plus board, rated at over 40 million WinMarks using the new WinMarks benchmarking system - WinBench Vr4, is available as an optional extra.
As software packages and the files that they create become ever-more space consuming, a selection of high capacity hard drives are matched to the expected requirements of each model.
When your requirements change, so too will your XEN-PC. Expanding each model is straightforward and, most importantly, fully industry standard. Each model uses widely available SIMM memory modules, processor upgrades, storage devices and peripheral boards."
Full Processor Range from Intel 486DX4-100 to Pentium-120MHz
High Power VL or PCI Local Bus Video Acceleration
Up to 2GB of Fast Access Hard Disk Storage
High Resolution Low Radiation Monitors
Up to 128MB RAM Expansion
Processor Upgradeability IBM Compatible
Apricot Style and Ergonomics
The Apple Adjustable Keyboard is a flat ergonomic keyboard that is formed of two halves that hinge away and back from the user, the space bar would have remained centrally placed. Originally the device would have included wrist rests and a numeric keypad.
Monitor Master is a video switch box for the Atari ST. The back of the device has two sockets, one for a colour and one for a monochrome monitor. The reverse also has an audio jack to enable output to a stereo or other audio equipment. A central button on the front is used to switch between them.
The Advanced Computer Products Advanced Rom Mk2 Adaptor allows ROMs and EPROMs to be fitted to the Electron with a Plus1 or Slogger Rombox Plus. The Mk1 Adaptor holds 1 ROM and the Mk2 Adaptor holds 2 ROMs.
The Multiface Two was released by Romantic Robot UK Ltd in 1987 for the Amstrad CPC and was sold for around £40. It could save data and programs it also allowed the user to view and edit the contents of memory - either for debugging programs or for cheating at games. A pass-through port in on the back of the unit allowed other peripherals to be connected at the same time as the Multiface.
The MIMI 802 was released in June 1982. It was made by British Micro, a Watford-based company. The system was designed for small businesses and word processing applications.
It is a Z80-based 64KB machine, with built-in 5.25 inch drives. It is a spiritual successor to the Superbrain range of machines. Its operating system OS/M is fully CP/M 2.2 compatible. One unusual feature is the inclusion of a light pen socket.
The MIMI 802 originally cost £1,350. The monitor was available in an orange or green display and cost from £132.
The MIMI 802G, which offered high resolution graphics, was released at the same time. It originally cost £1,495.
This is the absolute original build of the Sinclair Spectrum, probably dating from late 1981 to early 1982.
It has been in the possession of Nine Tiles for the whole of its existence, a subcontract company who had been responsible for the Basic ROM in the ZX80 and ZX81, and finally the Spectrum.
The ZX80 and ZX81 BASIC were written by John Grant, who would comment in 1985 "Certainly with the Spectrum we wanted to rewrite the code, but there wasn't the time and there definitely weren't the resources. "At every point in the development of the ZX range Clive wanted the maximum new facilities for the minimum money."
Again for the ZX Spectrum, Nine Tiles were called on to provide the New BASIC, but this time there was eventually an extra 8K to play with, as what started out as an expansion of the ZX81 BASIC soon turned into a
large 16K program.
Sinclair wanted as few changes to the ZX81 code as
possible but Nine Tiles felt the software needed a major upgrade from a
machine with just 1K to one that had 16K. Steve Vickers who had joined Nine Tiles in January 1980, added the floating-point arithmetic, including trigonometric and other functions.
Richard Altwasser was the man tasked with the majority of the Spectrum's hardware, taking over from Jim Westwood, who was moved to the portable TV business. Richard and Steve were to work closely, bringing the hardware and software together.
The new basic took about a year, and while almost finished, it proved to be very slow, and to make matters worse, financial disagreements came to a head between the two companies in February 1982.
Both Steve Vickers and Richard Altwasser left their respective companies shortly after to form Cantab, the Basic ROM was never quite finished, with support for peripherals lacking as no working units were handed to Nine Tiles in time.
The original plan was for the machine to ship, and an upgraded ROM to be made available later, a plan rendered impossible by the sheer number of machines sold.
To counter this, peripherals had to include a shadow ROM to work alongside the host machine.
The result of all this unsettled period was that Sinclair launched the Spectrum with an unfinished ROM, Nine Tiles continued to work on it until 3 months after launch, but by then too many machines had shipped, so the new code and this prototype were no longer needed.
The prototype machine itself has a full travel keyboard with the commands hand written on the top. All the chips are labelled, and the underside of the board is all hand wrap wiring.
The layout has familiar components, but the is very different from the final configuration of the Spectrum.
This one of a kind machine has come to the museum with the enormous generosity of Kate and John Grant along with other machines from Nine Tiles.
The Sun Fire V100 is a rack mountable server computer, it would have used the Solaris operating system 8,9 or 10. The V indicates an entry level and mid-range rackmount and cabinet server (UltraSPARC, IA-32 or AMD64).
The computer could support up to 64GB of RAM, this has 16GB.
Amstore was built by Northern Computers Ltd, and was a 20MB hard disk
for all Amstrad computers connected by a Nine Tiles multilink network.
It allowed for a network between 1 and over 100 Amstrad computers to be
connected to the same hard disk for sharing of programs, information
files, accounts and word processed documents.
was connected through an Amstrad network, a buffer-insertion multi-user
ring network. The Amstrad network could be used with any Amstrad
machine and with IBM PC, Apricot, BBC and Apple Computers using Nine Tiles Simplenet software.
Amstore Harddisk (and the Amstrad computers) are connected as a
'stations' to this network. There can be max 120 stations, max 3km
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.
The "Barry-Box" is a sound processing unit that will allow your BBC Micro to record, store and play back audio samples.
The unit" plugs into the 1MHz bus thus leaving the analogue and user ports free for other applications. A ROM is also supplied and needs to be plugged into a spare language socket.
The main unit has two knobs that control the input and output volume. Additionally three 3.5mm jack plugs enable an external speaker, microphone and auxiliary power supply to be connected. The device originally sold for £79.95 in 1985.
The Barry Box was featured in the May 1986 issue of BEEBUG Magazine (p.13). Link below.
The A305 and A310 were launched in June 1987. It was the first RISC CPU based computer in the world. There were 2 models, the A305 and the A310. The A305 could be upgraded to the A310 specification.
The RISC-based A310 excelled on integer programs, but the lack of FPU showed up in the 'Savage' benchmark, where slow IEEE-754 compatible emulation routines in the C library hurt the performance. Remarkably, the A310 could run Savage in interpreted BASIC in 32.8 seconds, only about 50% slower than the Compaq Deskpro 386 equipped with a 80287 math coprocessor.
The A310 ran an operating system called Arthur. It was based on earlier OS Acorn wrote in 1979 for the BBC Micro, a 6502-based PC. Arthur was quite modern for a PC and included features like modularity between the OS and file system (two different file systems were supported), a graphical user interface (GUI) called Desktop, and a built in scripting language. A310 was installed with an ARM2 processor and 1 MB RAM.
This machine has the Arthur operating System 1.2 installed.
The Arthur OS was only supposed to be a stop gap while Acorn continued development on the ARX system, the original project led by paul Fellows was only given 5 months to develop it from scratch. However the ARX project was delayed time and again, until eventually it was dropped when it was deemed possible for Arthur to have a window manager and full desktop. It was also small enough to fit in the 512K of memory, where as ARX required 4MB of RAM and a hard drive.
From the Archimedes brochure: "The Archimedes 310 personal workstation - world beating technology in an affordable microcomputer. The Archimedes range of microcomputers represents a British breakthrough in the application of RISC technology to personal computing. Acorn has designed and developed the RISC microchip for the Archimedes range to bring practical benefits to all microcomputer users.
Acclaimed at its launch with the British Microcomputing Awards 'Micro of the Year' title, the Archimedes system has also won the 1988 TOBIE award for Best New Technology Application of the Year. In the words of Personal Computer World magazine, The fact is that the ARM chip is amazing, and the Archimedes which uses it is equally wonderful."
CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT ARM (Acorn RISC Machine) 32-bit microprocessor using Reduced Instruction Set Computer technology. A typical execution rate of 4 MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second) makes the Archimedes system the world's fastest microcomputer in its class to date.
MEMORY 1 Megabyte of fully addressable built-in RAM. Complex software applications to run from RAM without frequent delays for disc reading. Long documents and large quantities of data to be held in memory for faster processing. 512 kbytes of ROM store the complete operating system and the BASIC programming environment, along with the window driven user interface. The Archimedes system is ready to run as soon as you switch on. You do not have to load the operating system from disc. Storing the operating system in ROM makes more RAM available for applications."
The Model III is basically an upgrade of the Model I, which was released three years earlier. It has the same CPU, but it is faster, has more memory, and the floppy drives hold twice as much data, although the Model I could be upgraded to some of these features.
The major reason for developing the Model III was because the FCC had just instituted new regulations about RF emissions generated by computers and other electronic devices. The Model I was completely unshielded and was unable to pass the emission restrictions.
The Model III system is entirely self-contained. The original Model I had edge-type connectors with ribbon cable connecting the keyboard to the (optional) Expansion Interface, as well as the floppy drives. This type of connection is very unreliable, and led to the occasional system crash or lock-up.
Introduced July 1980
The improvements of the Model III included built-in lower case, a better keyboard, and a faster (2.03 MHz) Z-80 processor.
Our model was kindly donated by Leslie Robert Linford-Hazell
100 Adhesive backed punch tape joiners. These perforated joiners, when used with a paper tape repair tool could repair torn punched tape. The two torn ends of tape would be cut clean and held in place using the repair tool. The perforated tape could then be applied.
A control unit for the CNC932, a three axis machine tool. The tool can be controlled using a microcomputer. Ours comes with an interface enabling it to be used with the BBC Micro. The included manuals have example programmes in BASIC to demonstrate the capabilities of the drill and control unit. There is also software for the Apple-IIe included. The drill is only intended for the light milling of materials such as toysteel.
Produced by International Computers and Tabulators (ICT). We don't currently know what this item was used for. It appears to be a modified punch card machine. The mechanical keypad has a hexadeximal input along with four buttons that have had their original function changed.
The Apple Newton, or simply Newton, is an early line of personal digital assistants developed and marketed by Apple from 1993 to 1998. Some electronic engineering and the manufacture of the Newton was done in Japan by Sharp. The original Newtons were based on the ARM 610 RISC processor and featured handwriting recognition software. Apple's official name for the device was "MessagePad"; the term "Newton" was Apple's name for the operating system it used (Newton OS), but popular usage of the word Newton has grown to include the device and its software together. The name is an allusion to Isaac Newton's apple.
The original Apple Newton MessagePad features a 20 MHz ARM 610 processor, 4 MB of ROM, 640k of SRAM (150k usable), and infrared-beaming capabilities in a compact handheld case with a 336x240 pressure-sensitive monochrome display for use with a provided stylus. The original Newton MessagePad was one of the first handheld systems, or PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants), to attempt to recognize natural handwriting and use a basic form of artificial intelligence to 'tie' relevant information together. The Newton MessagePad models are technically not 'Macs', as they do not operate the MacOS, and instead use the NewtonOS (also developed by Apple).
Sold from August 3, 1993 to March 4, 1994
Processor: ARM 610 20 MHz
Processor Upgrade: N/A FPU (Integrated): N/A
System Bus Speed: N/A Lookaside Bus Speed: N/A
ROM Size: 4 MB Data Path: N/A
Level 1 Cache: None Level 2 Cache: None
RAM Type: Built-in VRAM Type: Built-in
Standard SRAM: 640k/150k 1. Maximum SRAM: 640k/150k 1.
Motherboard SRAM: 640k/150k 1. RAM Slots: None
Standard VRAM: N/A Maximum VRAM: N/A
Standard Hard Drive: None 2. Int. Hard Drive Type: N/A
Standard CD-ROM: None Standard Disk: None 2.
Standard Modem: 9.6k (internal) 3. Standard Ethernet: None
Case Type: Handheld Form Factor: MessagePad (OMP)
Exp. Slots: 1 PCMCIA (Type II) 4. Exp. Bays (Free): N/A
Battery Type: 4 AAA/NiCad Recharge Battery Life: 5-10 hours 5.
Built-in Display: 336x240 B&W 6. Supported NewtonOS: 1.0, 1.1, 1.1.1
Dimensions: 7.25 x 4.5 x 0.75 7. Avg. Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Original Price: $700 US
In 1988, Hauser left Olivetti to start the Active Book Company, investing one million pounds of his own money. Not wanting to repeat the mistakes made by Acorn, which had kept its technology to itself, he demonstrated the Active Book to as many large companies as he could. AT&T acquired Active Book and incorporated it into EO in July 1991. Hauser became Chief Technical Officer and Chairman of EO Europe.
Olivetti & Co, already an 80% shareholder in Acorn Computers Plc, had a 7% stake in Active Book Co Ltd, the new company of Acorn co-founder Dr Hermann Hauser, taking the total funding to $5m. The Cambridge company was formed to develop and market a revolutionary pen-based concept in notebook computers.
Dr Hermann Hauser, who was the co-founder of Acorn Computers Plc and helped develop the BBC Micro planned to launch his A4-sized computer through his current Cambridge-based Active Book Company Ltd. To achieve this goal Active Book has signed an agreement with Acorn giving it access to the Acorn RISC Machine design as a standard cell, and to the Acorn RISC operating system. Hauser included ARM in his custom design chip Hercules which uses super-integration techniques to produce a multi-function chip. Claiming to be ahead of both Japanese developments and Intel in chip design, Hauser says that his Hercules array will include a video controller, memory management and direct memory access with the RISC CPU. The chip will be produced for the manufacture of the Active Book Computer. The computer will not have a keyboard - users will point and write to use its features.
This model has has a prototype board with a screen attached.
A review for the Portico Technology from Personal Computers News (14-20 July 1983) - "Latest in the long line of British-built CP/M machines is the Miracle from Portico Technology. It's a heavy (28lb) business portable complete with a shoulder bag. Inside there's a 10in screen, twin 400K-floppies and a full size detached keyboard The computer has a Z80 with 64K RAM plus a 64K RAM disk cache memory. Software is based on CP/M 2.2, and the Miracle comes with The Guide from Decision Systems to make life easy. Bundled software includes the Micromodeller financial planner, the Iankey typing tutor and the three Chang Labs integrated packages: Memoplan. Fileplan and Profitplan These provide for word-processing. file handling and spreadsheet processing respectively. Two of the Miracle's nice points (besides the £1,795 price tag) are intelligent disk drives' and its cache memory. The 64K cache memory is used to keep the most frequently used disk sectors. Portico makes dramatic claims for the resulting speed increase.
The example in our collection comes with its manuals, software and carry bag for the computer.
The PDP-11 was an extremely successful and influential family of machines which has spanned over two decades from the early 1970s through the mid 1990s. The first PDP-11 in 1970 cost $10,800 and was DEC's first and only 16 bit computer.
The 11/04 (September 1975) was an implementation of the Unibus pdp-11 architecture, and was essentially a replacement for the 11/05 & 11/10. It was the first pdp-11 to escape without a 'proper' lights & switches front panel, instead it had the glorified 'programmers console' as an option - a hex keypad and an LED display which showed address/data digitally.
It came in two chassis, like the 11/05 & 11/10 - a half-height example, which had the entire Unibus backplane, power supply, front panel - basically the whole computer - sliding into an evil jamming finger-trapping metal sleeve - and a full-height example, basically the same BA11 box as used by the 11/35 and many many other DEC applications. It's very similar to its higher-spec twin, the 11/34. Our model is the half height one.
The PDP 11/04 is a Unibus based 16-bit minicomputer which included the following boards:
M7263 KD11-D 11/04 processor module
M7847-DJ MS11-JP 16-Kword 18-bit RAM
M9312 Bootstrap terminator with 5 empty ROM sockets
M7859 KY11-LB Console interface; programmer's console
M7856 DL11-W RS-232 SLU & realtime clock option
G7273 Bus Grant & Non-processor grant
M8256 RX211 RX02 floppy disk controller
The Neo Geo CD game console from SNK was released in 1993, four years after its cartridge-based equivalent.
This is the first iteration a front loading machine, and the second of the home Neo Geo family of consoles. The system was originally priced at around US$300. It has a single speed CD-ROM drive making loading times relatively long as a result. This was because the cartridges contained most of the graphic and sound data for the game, which was retrieved much faster than could be achieved by the CD format.
However, the trade-off was that Neo Geo CD game prices were much cheaper at £50 each, whereas the the Neo Geo AES game cartridges could cost as much as £300 each.
The system can also play Audio CDs and all three versions of the system have no region-lock.
The Neo Geo CD was bundled with a control pad instead of a joystick like the AES version. However, the original AES joystick could be used with all three Neo Geo CD models, instead of the included control pads.
The third model of CD machine was the Neo Geo CD-Z, this was a much smaller unit, and had a cache memory twice as large to reduce loading times, despite retaining the single speed CD-ROM.
Our Neo GEO CD Front Loader is on long term loan from Jason Fitzpatrick.
This computer was designed for use in the kitchen as a simple web browser, and for entertainment, such as the inbuilt CD/DVD drive and a radio plus TV tuner.
Recipes could be stored in the 4mb memory, and also could be catalogued into folders for starters, mains and desserts.
The keyboard is wireless, and both it and the remote control are both waterproof, there is also a stylus for the very accurate touch screen.
The flip screen version of this machine won the award of excellence at the 2003 Consumer Electronics Awards.
The machine has a flat screen monitor attached to the base, on top of the screen is a stylus for the touch screen.
The machine could also be paired with other Beyond products such as bread makers and coffee machines, being also marketed as a control centre for the kitchen.
The icebox is not a full fledged computer as it cannot store or download anything, and this was to become the main problem for the machine, a very high price of £1300 was far more than could be paid for a more powerful and capable computer, even if a normal one at the time would not like the atmosphere of the kitchen.
The ProScan image scanner interface is designed to be combined with a handheld scanner such as the Naksha hand scanner (CH33098). The interface allows the user to digitise images and edit them on an Amstrad PCW using editing software such as MicroDesign II. The interface has a breakthrough connector allowing for a second expansion like the RamPort (CH50923).
The Excelerator + Plus is an external 5.25" disc drive for the Commodore 64 and 64C. The Plus had faster read/write times than the Commodore 1541 and 1541C drives and was one of the first drives to be fitted with external dip switches to change the device number.
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