The Tatung Einstein was released the UK in 1984, costing £500. Tatung, a Taiwanese company electronics and home appliances company, designed and manufactured the TC-01 in England.
The Tatung Einstein is built around the Zilog Z80 CPU, running at 4MHz. It came with 64K RAM, 16K video RAM, and 8K ROM, which was expandable to 32K. It ran the MOS operating system, which software could be loaded from disk, such as a CP/M-compatible operating system called Xtal-DOS (created by Crystal Computers in Torquay), and a BASIC interpreter (Xtal-BASIC). Xtal-DOS allowed you to manipulate both memory and disks. With the Backup and Copy utilities you were able to format and copy whole disks, as well as individual files. It also allowed interfacing with transient programs, so that software including dBase II and WordStar were available to use. Xtal-BASIC, was an MSX-like version also from Crystal Computers, who wrote a number of Basic for Sharp computers.
The TC-01 featured 256 x 192 pixel medium resolution graphics, 32 sprites and 16 colours. A monitor was available for £200, as well as an external disk drive for £200. The computer had a built-in 3-inch disk drive (the same used by Sinclair and Amstrad). It featured expansion ports for printer, user I/O, CPU bus, two joysticks, UHF, video, RGB, RS-232C, and external disk drive ports.
The Tatung Einstein TC-01 was not a commercial success, but was popular amongst software developers. Many software houses used the Tatung Einstein as a game development platform before the game code was ported to the final retail machines.
Our model is unboxed and was very kindly donated by Kim Faulkner and is model No: TC 01 with a serial number of 6013514
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH519. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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