Torch Hard Disc Computer
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Torch Computers Ltd is one of the longest-established computer manufacturers in Cambridge. It was founded in 1989 under the name Cube Eastern and was renamed Torch Computers in 1991 when certain parts of the original Torch Computer company were purchased. That previous company started in 1982 and was located in Great Shelford, a village just south of Cambridge. It ceased trading in 1990.
Initially, Torch was a maker of standard desktop PCs, but it soon became clear that the company’s main strength was in making PCs that were in some way different to the typical mass-produced products.
That difference was apparent in various ways, for example, some customers wanted a computer that was slimmer than usual; another customer wanted kits of parts presented in a special box to aid production of scientific instruments. Most of their larger customers were particularly keen to ensure that their product remain consistent in every way for as long as possible, and then, as technology moved on, to be consulted and guided in establishing the replacement product so that their sales were not disrupted.
The integral monitor is a Cub. The heart of the machine is a BBC Micro Model B, with a Torch Z80 coprocessor fitted. The hard drive is hooked up to the BBC via a Torch SASI controller and a SASI/ST506 bridge board. There's provision for a modem inside, although ours does not have this fitted. All the standard BBC ports are brought out to the rear of the case, and the Econet chips are fitted to the BBC board. This unit was manufactured by the earlier company based in Toft, Cambridgeshire
There is a full review of a Torch C series Computer in Personal Computer World January 1983.
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH1060. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.