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S > SORD  > M23 Mark III   

M23 Mark III

The Sord M23 Mark III was available with 12" green monitor or a 14" color monitor.

Despite the M23 featured a cartridge port, all of its important software came on floppies, including the ground-breaking PIPS-III and several BASIC compiler variants developed by Sord and running on their own OS. A lot of good business software and games were written with these.

There were later Mark systems released, including a Mark I with the world's first 3.5 inch floppies deployed, and the Mark V with eight inch drives -- the Mark III had 5.25'' floppies. There was also the Mark X with a 10MB hard drive.

Around 1983 or so the "M23EX" was released - this was basically an M23 with the mk41 drives (5.25" DSHD) housed in an M68 case (more PC-style with separate keyboard and floppies in the main case). It was a low cost option contemporary with the more expensive and better spec'd M68.

Graphics required an upgrade - from memory it was a chip, and also an upgrade from "FDOS" to "GDOS" (the graphics DOS). Graphics on this and the M68 were operated in a weird way from CBASIC or BASIC-II (a structured BASIC) - you put it into graphics mode and then issued specially formatted PRINT commands to access graphics - for example:

20 GRAPH 1
... other code ....
50 GRAPH 0


Contributors: Andrew Joll

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 worked for Broadlands Finance (NZ) in the early ''80s. Broadlands acquired a small number of SORD''s and had a simple programme written to assist with the promotion of repayment insurance for dealer written HP agreements. I smuggled the Christchurch machine home and over many nights nutted out how to programme the PIPS platform to do stuff that was really useful for the business! First and very fond memory of harnessing this brave new technology!!

Tuesday 11th July 2017
Simon (New Zealand)

I used a Sord for several years for work. The PIPS_III spreadsheet would do something in one operation that Excel still won''t - Sort and Sub total in one operation.
I think the spreadsheet was ahead of its time.
My boss bought it in Singapore where we had business interests.
Eight years ago when moving and downsizing I reluctantly gave away two Sord models - one with 5.25 and the other an 8 inch disc and all the manual etc.
There never were any good old days but I think nostalically about my Sord my first computer.

Tuesday 21st July 2015
Gerry (New Zealand)

The price in Italy was Lire 4,900,000 + IVA (14$?) in 1982 (found in an old computer magazine ad), about 5 months of salary of an employee at the time.

Saturday 4th October 2014
Pecoramatta (Italy)
Rétro Scan


NAME  M23 Mark III
TYPE  Professional Computer
YEAR  1982
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke keyboard with numeric keypad, function keys and arrow keys
SPEED  4 Mhz
CO-PROCESSOR  APU (Am9511) arithmetic processor
RAM  128 KB
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  80 x 25
GRAPHIC MODES  640 x 256
COLORS  8 colors
SOUND  Unknown
SIZE / WEIGHT  420 x 107 x 300 / 3.8 Kg
I/O PORTS  2 x RS232c ports (75 - 19200 baud), Centronics/Parallel port, 3 x bus slots
BUILT IN MEDIA  Two optional 5.25'' disk-drives (330 KB)
OS  Sord DOS, CP/M, UCSD Pascal
POWER SUPPLY  110, 230 V AC +/- 15%
PRICE  Unknown

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Ready prompt
ZX Spectrum
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Battle Zone
Vectrex ship
C64 maze generator
Moon Lander
Competition Pro Joystick
Atari ST bombs
Elite spaceship t-shirt
Commodore 64 prompt
Pak Pak Monster
Pixel Deer
BASIC code
Shooting gallery
3D Cubes
Pixel adventure
Vector ship

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