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A > APF > Imagination Machine     

Imagination Machine

This strange hybrid computer came in two parts: a videogame console and a computer. The game system, called the APF MP-1000, was released in 1978. It had two controlers, each with a joystick and a numeric keypad. It came with a built-in game called "Rocket Patrol".

The computer console, the "Imagination Machine" was sold as an add-on for the MP-1000. You could also buy both at the same time (most people did). The computer has a 53-key standard typewriter keyboard, a built-in stereo cassette deck (1500 baud), a built-in sound-speaker and an internal operating system and BASIC language interpreter. The APF BASIC, delivered on cartridge, was quite poor. You had to use a lot of POKEs and CALLs to play with graphics. For example, to clear the screen, the command was CALL 17046.

The video game system nestled on top of the keyboard module. This computer add-on concept would later be used by several game system manufacturers like Coleco with their Colecovision game system connected to the Adam Computer, or Intellivision and their ECS module (and keyboard component).

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 learned BASIC on the IM-1 in the 7th grade. Great memories. I used to program up in the spare bedroom with a b/w TV that my folks could spare. When I'd finished a significant bit of programming, I would lug the big thing downstair to view on the big family TV to check the colors I'd programmed!

Tuesday 13rd March 2007
John (again) (Maine)
My MySpace area

The Imagination Machine was my first real computer. I had a C64 after but wow I still remember opening the box and the huge machine coming out of it. I really learned to program on that machine.

Monday 30th May 2005
John (Maine, USA)


NAME  Imagination Machine
TYPE  Home Computer
YEAR  1979
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  APF Basic on cartridge
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke keyboard - 53 keys
CPU  Motorola 6800
SPEED  3.579 Mhz
CO-PROCESSOR  Motorola MC-6847P video display generator
RAM  9 KB expandable to 17 KB
ROM  14 KB
TEXT MODES  16 lines x 32 char. (8 colours)
GRAPHIC MODES  128 x 192 (8 colours) - 256 x 192 (4 colours)
COLOrsc  8
SOUND  Built-in music synthetiser & speaker, one channel, 5 octaves
SIZE / WEIGHT  unknown
I/O PORTS  TV aerial output, Microphone jack, expansion port
BUILT IN MEDIA  1500 baud, stereo cassette deck
POWER SUPPLY  13.8V AC / 1.25 Amp
PERIPHERALS  5.25'' disk drive unit, expansion box, RS-232 & 8 KB RAM cartridges
PRICE  $599



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