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E > EPSON  > PX 8 / HC-88 / Geneva   


Epson
PX 8 / HC-88 / Geneva

The PX-8 was the successor of the PX-4 and HX-20. The main improvement was a twice bigger flip-up LCD screen.

It was sold with four cartridges which could be added to the base of the unit: a BASIC Programming Language, CardBox Plus, a diary for 400 names and addresss, Calc, a spreadsheet and WordStar the well known word processor. A double 5.25" floppy drive was available, and an Epson developed stand alone 3.5" floppy drive.

The PX-8 was designed to be compatible with CP/M programs but these may need some modifications due to the display system. Actually, 8 lines of 80 characters were shown at any one time, but the display could be scrolled through up to 48 lines.
It may also act as a terminal for other computers.

The PX-8 was sold as HC-88 in Japan and Geneva in the USA.

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Back about the time these were coming off sale, I found a shop in London that was remaindering them very cheaply. I bought one and took it into the Government Department for which I then worked. Jealous eyes, then a very senior person had a word with the Clerk of Stationery, and a cab was dispatched to clear out the shop. They lasted in intensive Government use for quite a number of years, only finally being overtaken by much more modern laptops. They were light and the battery would last all day. And there was a very portable printer $ battery again$ that went with them.
The later snag was that they were CPM, whereas the desktop machinery was MSDOS by then, so transferring texts across was a bit of a fag $though it could be done$.
I later used mine to calculate race results at a dinghy sailing club, though it was a bit slow for real-time work of that kind.

          
Wednesday 9th March 2011
Ian

The Epson PX-8 was actually quite impressive. Besides running for up to three hours on it's batteries (with the battery backpack), it could also play and record minicassettes, in data or voice mode.

The cartridges were actually more akin to ROM chips. You had to open the bottom of the case, and swap them out. It also featured a RAM drive with it's RAM, and you could access the data minicassette like a regular disk (albeit slower) through the on-board CP/M.

All in all, pretty nice machines, and light too. I still own mine, and it runs beautifully save for the dead batteries.

          
Monday 27th May 2002
Josef (Earth)

Hi Geoquip, did you list that PX-8 and PF-10, I didn''t see them?

          
Wednesday 28th July 2010
Alien Nerd

 

NAME  PX 8 / HC-88 / Geneva
MANUFACTURER  Epson
TYPE  Portable
ORIGIN  Japan
YEAR  1984
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Microsoft Basic
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke 72 key with function keys and cursor keys
CPU  Zilog Z80 (+ Hitachi 6301 for I/O)
SPEED  2.45 MHz (Z80) / 614 KHz (6301)
RAM  64 KB (up to 184 KB)
VRAM  6 KB
ROM  32 KB
TEXT MODES  8 lines of 80 characters
GRAPHIC MODES  480 x 64 dots
COLORS  LCD monochrome display
SOUND  beeper - Volume control
SIZE / WEIGHT  29.7 (W) x 21.6 (D) x 4.6 (H) cm (A4 size) / 1.8 Kg
I/O PORTS  RS232, bar code reader, bus, ADC, cartridge, analog in (2)
BUILT IN MEDIA  small tape recorder
OS  CP/M 80
POWER SUPPLY  External 6V. AC adaptor and rechargeable Ni-cad battery
PERIPHERALS  64 KB or 128 KB Memory expansion units, 3.5'' and 5.25'' FDD units
PRICE  £798
1990 FF (France, january 1988)


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