The Access Computer had a 9.5" built-in screen (amber) and a built-in 80 CPS Dot Matrix Printer. It also had a built-in modem and came with a full range of software : CP/M, CBasic, Communication software, Perfect Writer, Speller, Filer and Calc.
The name of the machine was shortly changed to Actrix (Access Matrix) because of copyright issues.
From Tom Creviston:
I sold, maintained, studied, and used this computer. It was unique in that it had a detachable keyboard, TWO 5-1/4" disk drives, an EPSON MX-80 printer built-in to the top, a built-in 300 baud modem, a parallel printer port, a plug-in 8088 IBM-PC card, serial ports, and a full complement of CP/M software including the Perfect Word, DBase, CBasic, and a host of utilities that would make most programmers proud. I ran a FORTH operating system on this machine that ran my observatory for a long time.
It was the best portable at the time and still has features that beat "laptops" to this day. Such as input, communication, print apability, transportibility, throw it in the trunk and make it work later capability.
Bob Montgomery's opinion:
I developed the communications utility and various other programs for this computer. I worked for the company about a year as a contract programmer.
The computer included everything but the kitchen sink. Unfortunately, the design wasn't very well thought out and it wasn't very reliable.
Access Martix was founded by the same individual who manufactured boards for the Osborne transportable.
Michael O'Donnell recalls:
I bought one of these in 1983 and used it for about four years, until I replaced it with an IBM PS/2. Even then I continued to use it as a backup machine. I would have students use it to type in lecture notes, then send them to the IBM via the built-in modem (across the hall).
I found it to be pretty stable, and it never broke down on me. But this computer was "portable" only if you needed a weight lifting workout. Mine came with CP/M and lots of Basic software; I programmed statistical routines in basic with this.
We need more info about this computer ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system,
please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.
I purchased an Access in December of 1984, about the time they were gong off the market. I used it for several years and produced a variety of publications that I printed with the machine. My son did some programming for me in Basic and the machine ran them very well. Even though it was heavy, 30 lbs+, I found that the 60 K memory and the portability were remarkable compared to the IBM 1620 that I first used in 1963 which had 60 K memory but required an air-conditioned room of moderate size. I haven' used the Access in years, but I still have it alo0ng with all the original manuals, something modern computers, such as my current Dell, lack, as well as all the original disks. I look upon it as another of the many antiques that fill my house.
Saturday 16th August 2008
William Sevon (USA)
I bought one of these computers when they first came out. I loved it. It had everything you could possibly want built right in; computer, disk drives, printer, modem, and several ports. It was advertised as a 'portable' but I called it 'transportable' because it weighed so much.
Tuesday 31st January 2006
Randolph James (USA)
I just got an ACCESS today, & I was wondering if anyone knew where I can get manuals/docs, software, anything at all for this system? Thanx!