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V > VIDEO TECHNOLOGY  > LASER 100/110   


VIDEO TECHNOLOGY   Video Technology
LASER 100/110

The Laser 100/110 was the first model of the Laser 100/200/300 family.

The ROM was nearly identical to the one of the Tandy Radio-Shack TRS-80 Color Computer, with only minor changes. It's so close that when people write Laser emulators, they use TRS-80 CoCo ROM documentations (Laser detailed documentations are hard to find, especially about the ROM itslef).

The Basic was a Microsoft Basic just slightly modified to avoid lawsuits, some statements being stored in the ROM but not available on the machine!

Like the most of the Vtech products, the Laser 100/110 was "cheaply" conceived: chicklet keyboard, plastic case, light-weight... It was produced to compete against the first wave of micro-computers like the famous Sinclair ZX-81.

The difference between the Laser 100 and the Laser 110 must be the RAM size (like the Laser 200 and 210), though very little information on the Laser 100 is available.

The biggest difference with its big brother the Laser 200 was that it only had a black & white display.

An obscure VZ-100 version was also released but this wasn't the same machine as the VZ series sold in Australia and New-Zealand by Dick Smith Electronics.

_______________________

More information about the BASIC ROM from James Diffendaffer:
Actually, the Laser 100/110 (and VZ200/300 etc...) are TRS-80 Model 1 clones (also Z80 machines). The major difference is in the use of the 6847 video chip which is also used in the TRS-80 Color Computer (based on the 6809 so it's ROMs wouldn't be suitable).

The ROMs are a very close copy of the Model 1 with patches for different hardware (video for example). They use a different line editor than Tandy; and to help keep Tandy off their back, designers intentionally disabled some ROM routines in the BASIC function tables so it wouldn't be 100% compatible. Some of the routines were easily re-enabled by patching the ROM vector table (pointers in RAM to the ROM routines).

People writing emulators use the COCO docs for the video chip but most of the ROM docs are based on the Model 1. It's common to use the Model 1 ROM disassembly.


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.

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There was a RAM extension module, which extended the memory by 16KB. It was a quite bulky unit to be plugged into the Laser computer. The price was about 160€ (for 16 KILObyte!!!!)

          
Wednesday 31st October 2012
Christoph

I owned a Laser 110. As far as I remember it had 4KB of memory.

          
Friday 25th May 2012
Dinis (Austria)

 

NAME  LASER 100/110
MANUFACTURER  Video Technology
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  Hong Kong
YEAR  1983
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Microsoft Basic
KEYBOARD  QWERTY, 45 rubber keys
Basic instructions and graphic symbols
CPU  Z80A
SPEED  3,58 Mhz
CO-PROCESSOR  Motorola 6847 video processor
RAM  Laser 100 = 2 KB or 8 KB?
Laser 110 = 4 KB or 8 KB ?
Upgradable to 64 KB
ROM  16 KB
TEXT MODES  32 columns x 16 lines (Mode 0)
GRAPHIC MODES  128 x 64 dots (Mode 1)
COLORS  Monochrome
SOUND  Beeper, 1 voice & 3 octaves
SIZE / WEIGHT  29 (W) x 17 (D) x 4 (H) cm / 800g
I/O PORTS  Tape-recorder (600 bauds), RF tv out, Composite video out, Memory upgrade port, Expansion port
POWER SUPPLY  External 9V AC adaptor
PRICE  Unknown


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