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Vintage Computers

2016.03.31 11:05

ACT [1983] Apricot PC

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After having imported the Victor Sirius for years in the UK, ACT produced its own computer largely inspired by the Sirius : the Apricot PC. 

It was supposed to be transportable as there is a handle on the main-unit ! If you really want to move your Apricot this way, the keyboard can be clipped to the main-unit. 

Several features made this computer quite technically innovative :
� the Apricot PC was possibly the first computer outside Japan to use 3.5'' disk-drives (315k or 720k),
� the graphics quality and features were excellent (800 x 400) and came directly from the Victor Sirius,
� the keyboard was quite original 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. This feature was largely used by the included software, but not much by third-party software. 

This small LCD screen could also display the current line of text you're working on and there's even a contrast knob on the right of the keyboard. 

It's possible to transfer files and some software from a Sirius or an IBM PC to the Apricot PC by connecting them with a special cable. There's also an IBM PC emulator which forces the Apricot to act like an IBM PC. It works well for some applications but not all. 

Some software was supplied with the Apricot PC : Supercalc, various system tools, asynchronous communication, IBM-PC emulator, Microsoft Basic-86, Basic Personal and ACT Manager (a graphical interface for MS-DOS). Word, Multiplan, Wordstar, dBase II, C-Pascal, Pascal UCSD, C, Fortran, Cobol and Basic Compiler 5.35 were available optionally. 

In 1984, ACT launched new versions of the Apricot PC with built-in hard-disks and a different colour case. They were called Apricot Xi

 

 

NAME   Apricot PC
MANUFACTURER   ACT
TYPE   Professional Computer
ORIGIN   United Kingdom
YEAR   September 1983
BUILT IN LANGUAGE   Microsoft Basic-86 and Basic Personal delivered on disks
KEYBOARD   Full-stroke keyboard, 101 keys, 8 function keys, 6 dynamic function keys (membrane keys)
Built-in 40 characters x 2 lines LCD screen
CPU   Intel 8086
SPEED   4,77 Mhz
CO-PROCESSOR   Intel 8089 (for in/out tasks), 8087 optional arithmetic co-processor
RAM   256k, up to 768k
ROM   Unknown
TEXT MODES   80 x 25, 132 x 50 (character matrix 10 x 16)
GRAPHIC MODES   800 x 400 dots
COLORS   Monochrome (colours facilities)
SOUND   1 tone channel
SIZE / WEIGHT   Main unit : 42 x 32 x 10 cm
Main unit : 6,4 kg / Monitor : 4,1 kg / keyboard : 1,5 kg
I/O PORTS   RS232c, Centronics, 2 x Apricot expansion slots
BUILT IN MEDIA   1 or 2 x 3''1/2 disk-drives (315k or 720k), optional 5Mb and 10Mb hard-disks
OS   MS-DOS 2.0, CP/M 86, Concurrent CP/M
UCSD p-system in option
POWER SUPPLY   Built-in PSU
PERIPHERALS   1 additional 3''1/2 disk-drives, 5Mb and 10Mb hard-disks, trackball, printer, plotter
PRICE   2 x 315k floppies : 6080  (France, september 84)
2 x 720k floppies : 6840  (France, september 84)
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