Ferranti Advance 86
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The Ferranti Advance 86 was an early IBM PC compatible system conceived by Advance Technology (UK) and built by Ferranti (well known for its military products, and the ZX-81custom chip). It was sold in branches of W H Smith as It was intended to appeal to the home user and to small businesses. It had the same features as the IBM PC (360 KB disks, identical graphic resolution) but had a different CPU, the 8086 which was a true 16-bit processor, for a much lower price !
The Advance 86 was IBM PC compatible, from the keyboard, the disks, the resolution, to the expansions which could be used with the Advance through four IBM-compatible slots. In fact, the Advance 86 was first conceived as a home-computer (model 86A) and was later upgraded with a ''new box'' housing the two disk-drives, the expansion slots and thus the IBM compatibility features (model 86B). This is why the model 86B is composed of two main cases, the smallest one being the original one (86A) which houses the main board and has a wide trap-door to store the keyboard when not in use.
The Advance 86 was one of the few professional systems to work without any fan thanks to its dual power supply unit, making work more pleasant. However, a fan was later added into the lower case.
Manufactured in the United Kingdom from December 1983
Our 256K Advance 86 was very kindly donated by Harvey Jones and the keyboard, manual and software donated by Ian Abernethy.
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH7141. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.