This Elan Challanger was probably one of the last computers made by Leanord before the company was bought by Siemens in 1989.
It is a standard AT compatible system. Although the hardware design was similar to some Bull Micral PC series: a passive backplane on which are connected several system boards, The Elan was developped fully by Leanord's design team, based in Haubourdin near Lille city.
Two utility programs delivered along with MS-DOS allowed to switch the CPU speed between 8.77 and 12 MHz, replacing the hardware "Turbo" switch, and to modify the ROM BIOS.
The colour version supports the EGA graphics standard but allows only 4 colours to be displayed simultanously.
The machine didn't meet a large success, apart from some French public services, and the French Department of Education where it was used in schools as a server for small networks called Nano-Réseau.
Jacques Daniere was project leader on the Elan:
I was project leader (and accessory marketing boss) on the Elan at Leanord. The Elan was not conceived in cooperation with Bull in any way ( which was one of our main competitors). The Elan's team was also responsible for the programming of the BIOS and electronics within. The team also realized the nano network in collaboration with the Lille university. The Elan brand started in 1985 with one 8088, then the 286, and the first 386 in Europe, way ahead of Bull, Goupil, Tulip and others, presented at the SICOB'86.
Originally the BIOS at Leanord was developped by the same French team, responsible for the Olympia BIOS, Normerel(oplit) BIOS, Matra's MAX20 BIOS : the Didier Martinot team (3S company located at Montrouge).
Elan's in Czech Republic, by Martin Vlk:
We had a school network of about 10 Leanord Elan computers. It was around 1990 when I was in secondary shool.
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 was part of the team who developped the ELAN motherboards from 1985 to 1994. The 1984- 1989 period was really great for PC developpers !!! I also participated to the promotion of ELAN PC in Techecoslovaquia from 1987 to 1989: this also has been a great experience in going to the Eastern Europe" that was still "communist. i remember quite well Pave Baudis and the "sceptic man".
Tuesday 28th February 2012
Jean-Marc Marcant (France)
Helo Jean-Marc Marcant,
thank you! We had your computers Leanord Elan XTs in token ring at Kralupy nad Vltavou, Czech Republic. It was my first PC experience I was 15 years old. And at home I had only 8-bit ZX-Spectrum clone. I will never forget the impression when saw them for the first time connected to network in our computer classroom. Then I fell in love with computing forever and my profession was chosen that time.
Wednesday 26th October 2016
Lukaz1010 (Czech Republic)
I used this computers at school at my 10th year. It was in 1988 in Portugal. We had a small network with about 11 computers. One was the model in the picture which belonged to the teacher, it had a 3,5 and 5,1/4 disk drive, plus a 20Mb hard disk drive. The other 10 computers had no hard-disk, only 2 5,1/4 disk drives. Monitors were green phospor with CGA graphics.
Monday 7th May 2012
Daniel Almeida (Portugal)
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
8.77 or 12 MHz (Turbo mode)
Socket for a 80287 math co-processor
128 to 640 KB
40 or 80 columns x 25 lines
640 x 200 (CGA) or 720 x 348 (Hercules) depending on the video card