Apricot PC XI
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In 1982, ACT released their first microcomputer. It was built by another company, but marketed under the ACT brand. In America it was a moderate success. Later in 1982 ACT signed a deal with Victor to distribute the "Victor 9000" as the ACT "Sirius 1" in the UK and Europe. It sold for £2754 and was a commercial success, but did not become popular in the US. The "Sirius 1" was not IBM PC compatible.
In September 1983 the Apricot PC was released, based on an Intel 8086 microprocessor running at 4.77 MHz. It was often referred to as the 'ACT Apricot'. It ran MS-DOS or CP/M but was not compatible at a hardware level with the IBM PC. It had two floppy disks, and was one of the first systems to use 3.5" disks, rather than the 5.25" disks which were the norm at the time. The graphics quality was critically acclaimed, with an 800 x 400 resolution and a keyboard with 8 "normal" and 6 flat programmable function keys along with a built-in LCD screen (40 characters / 2 lines) which displayed the function of the keys, or could be configured to echo the current command line in MS-DOS.
The keyboard contained an integrated calculator, and the results of a calculation could be sent to the computer where it would appear on the command line, or in the current application. Microsoft Word and Multiplan were supplied with the Apricot PC. Lotus 123 was also available, and took advantage of the machine's high-resolution graphics. The industrial design of the machine was well conceived, with an integrated flap covering the floppy drives when not in use. The keyboard could also be clipped to the base of the machine, and an integrated handle could be used for transporting it. The supplied green phosphor monitor had a nylon mesh glare filter.
A model (known as the Apricot PC Xi) was made available later in 1984 with a built in 10Mb hard disk.
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH6095. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.