Microbee Computer Donated from Down Under

Australian Company, Microbee Technology, have donated one of their limited edition Microbee Premium Plus computer kits to The Centre for Computing History.

The kit computer is a modern version of the original Microbee computer sold to schools across Australia nearly 30 years ago! The Microbee was very succesful, especially in the education market, and can be considered the equivalent of the BBC Micro computer here in the UK.

The Microbee used a Z80 processor and though originally only available in kit form, once demand rose, they were supplied fully built.

"The Microbee Premium Plus is great addition to the collection", Jason Fitzpatrick said, "We already have an original Microbee from 1983 and the addition of this re-release is really welcomed, and being a limited edition of only 100 units, it's a very special addition too!"

The Premium Plus is a hybrid kit computer. The baseboard (which has the keyboard, Z80 CPU, PIO, 6545 screen controller and video circuits) is supplied in kit form with comprehensive assembly instructions, and the coreboard is pre-assembled using mostly surface mount technology. Microbee have put a lot of goodies into the new coreboard design, including floppy disk emulation and storage via SDcard. There is also an ethernet port and high speed serial (RS232) port. The best bit is that there is also another microprocessor on the new coreboard and it has been configured to make the Premium Plus a true dual processor computer.

Ewan Wordsworth, director of Microbee Technology, said "I am really pleased to be able to make this contribution and admire the work being done by the Centre for Computing History. It is very important that our technological past is not forgotten as there is always something to be learned from the thought processes, concepts and innovation that went into creating these machines. I am all for encouraging people to learn from basic principles and this is where I feel that although the older technology is a lot simpler than today's devices, it is still just as valid as a learning tool which teaches the basics of how computer systems work. I'm delighted that the Microbee Premium Plus will be represented within such a fine collection."

The new machine comes with additional components to let it run a more modern OS in uClinux as well as its original CP/M and Microbee have kindly included an SDcard with the kit that has lots of original software that can be loaded quickly.

"This makes the computer great to have on display. For many, the software is just as important as the hardware, and being able to experience the computer with its original software is really important." Said Jason.

The Centre for Computing History would like to thank Ewan and Microbee Technonology for this very kind donation.

For more information about Microbee Technology visit the website http://www.microbeetechnology.com.au/

or visit the Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/MicrobeeTechnology

Date : 08-03-2013

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