Apricot Portable was Apricot Computers' attempt at a portable computer, first released in November 1984. It had a 3.5" floppy drive, 4.77 MHz CPU and 256 KB RAM. It was the first computer to use an 80-column/25-line LCD and speech recognition for input/output. The speech recognition software held 4096 words, with only 64 available at a given time. It was also unique in the way that it had an infrared link between it and the keyboard; this was relatively new at the time. However, if an object blocked the infrared beam, communications would be cut off, of course. Due to the large amount of interference that other infrared sources could cause, the communications protocol used by the keyboard had to feature 4 parity bits per byte. Engineers found that any less than this would not work correctly. The Apricot also featured a somewhat Mac-like graphical interface. It was originally priced at £1965.
The unit used an infrared keyboard because the infrared system was cheaper than using a cable.
Manufactured by ACT in the UK in 1984
lntel 8086 at 5 Mhz
with 256k RAM, up to 1024k
VRAM 128k with the color option
External monitor : 640 x 256 (8 colors simultaneously out of a palette of 16)
Centronics parallel, RS232 serial,RGB monitor ports
Apricot-compatible expansion slot
One Sony 3.5'' disk-drive, double-sided, 720k
MS-DOS 2.11, Concurrent CP/M Version 3, CP/M 86
Date: November 1984
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH2143. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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