Hitachi MB-6880-8 Basic Master

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An early home micro, in a sturdy metal case with plastic sides, that have grills for heat dispersal. Dating from around 1978, it has a Motorola 6800 processor, running at a 750 KHz. This was the company's first commercially produced CPU. It has 4Kb of RAM, with a 16 kb ROM. The computer had a black and white display.

Its keyboard has 56 keys, that do not include familiar ones such as Ctrl or ESC. Apart from the keyboard, the tall front gives it a rather stark appearance. There is a holed grill on the front for the rather large internal speaker. There is no high resolution graphics mode, but the computer does have 253 characters including graphics symbols. The BASIC Language was only Integer supported.

The computer has an NTSC-J RF socket, a channel switch for RF, also has two sockets for audio I/O, a power din socket, and also one for cassette tapes to be used as it's media. There is an adjustable knob for volume, either through the internal speaker or the sockets. There is a wide expansion bay cover on the back, also of steel, that when removed, reveals a rather large edge connector.

This model appears to have been upgraded to BASIC LV2, and has a daughter board fitted to the motherboard.

The secondary name is the Basic Master, this was changed to the Basic Master Level 1 after the release of the MB-6880 L2.

Although not well known outside of Japan, the computer had some good success in the country, in a market initially shared by NEC and Sharp. As was to be expected at the beginning of the computer industry in Japan, the price was a very large sum of  money, 118,000 Yen.

Donated with the kind generosity of Johnny Blanchard.

Manufacturer: Hitachi
Date: 1978

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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH68288. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.


Hitachi MB-6880-8 Basic Master

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