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N > NCR  > PC8   


NCR
PC8

After IBM produced the PC/AT, NCR introduced their AT clone and called it the NCR PC8. It was primarly produced in Augsburg Germany.

It was 80286 based and clocked the CPU at 8 MHz max. With the PC8, NCR offered their NCR-DOS, but also a UNIX variant (Xenix).

The system was bundled with NCR-DOS, GW-BASIC, Getting Started booklet, On-line NCR HELP, NCR User Interface, and User Diagnostics.

Better pictures needed !

Ryan May reports :
The PC8 had several varieties. The PC8 on NCRs site was always refered to by a tier number and a model number, NCR themselves rarely use the PCX to identify a unit.

Both units I got had a stock 20mb MFM hard drive (NCR labled), two 5.25" HD floppies, and 640kb RAM on the system board (though there were checkboxs on the front panel of the unit for 256kb, 512kb, 1512kb).
There was a front panel you could fold down that had a checklist of all the possible items that could be installed in the unit. Also under the front panel was a volume control for the pcspeaker.

Both units also had a 15" NGA?? (NCR proprietary video) monitor. I really wanted to use the screens because they were very high quality. I ran all sorts of diagnostics and nothing seemed to know what they where, all said CGA and the only video mode that I could get to work was CGA. BUT!! By appearance, in text mode the screens appeared to be VGA or even SVGA in the 80x25 text mode. I have never seen monitors that where that clear. They where 16 color or possibly 64 color ttl.
One utility I used thought the screens where 640x400, which is what I assume to be correct. The text (in text mode) looked like Modern, it was very thin and very clear/smooth, much different than I am used to.


Omer van der Horst Jansen reports :
The PC8 was designed before thumbscrews were common in PC case design. To help you to open the case it came with a nifty NCR-branded screwdriver that could be flipped for use with Phillips and regular screws. My PC8 has been dead for almost a decade but I'm still using that screwdriver every day!

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I got one of these from a good friend back in 1992. It was used, but damn, it felt good. Must weigh 25 kg, so who needs a theft insurance! :)
The main harddisk is a seagate 30 MB ST4038 that alone weighs 3-4 kg, but its fitted with a *wow* ˝ height 40 MB Disk, that i had to partition, since DOS 3.3 cant handle it. Sincerely a PC from back when stuff was meant to be inherited by your children. To bad the "personality" board seems to have gone sour recently, but i dont think ill ever scrap it. I owe my possible grandchildren to see the difference of hitech from back then when they complain that my son is sayin that iPhone was top-of-the-pops when he was a kid.

regards, cep

          
Thursday 26th August 2010
Claus E. Petersen (Denmark)

My parents had one of those for their business, and it was a monstrous beast of a machine $ the picture really doesn''t do it justice, because the only thing showing scale is the equally monstrous keyboard (note function keys on the left AND all the way across the top, going from F1 to F30.) Theirs was equipped with 512KB from the factory, 20MB disk, 1.2MB 5.25" and dealer-installed Wangtek 60MB QIC-02 tape drive. NCR Graphics was exactly what Ryan May reports: doublescan CGA, 640x400, which made text mode much less wretched than it was with real CGA.

The case looks like a box but it was a work of art mechanically, with multi-part metal hinges for the front panel (hiding the cabinet lock, volume control, and third external 5.25" bay), a velcro-attached rear noise cover, and some serious powder coating inside and out. Extra feet were provided to turn it on its side to make a full tower. I don''t know what the breakdown on its power supply output was, but it had a "400W" sticker on the side of it. This thing was serious business! To this day I can still remember the merry hum of its stepper-drive Seagate.

It had ROM BASIC, and as with the other PCx machines, it actually showed what it was testing as it POSTed, a nice step up from the IBM PC and XT.

As I recall from the brochures my folks had, the system in that configuration ran north of $4500.

          
Wednesday 2nd June 2010
ian Butler (Detroit, MI)

Used to work for NCR UK in Tech Support - the PC8 had a heavy metal case. As you lifted the lid off, the power switch would quite often get knocked off, exposing the metal switch contacts!! Not very safe!

          
Sunday 23rd November 2008
Mark Powell (England)

 

NAME  PC8
MANUFACTURER  NCR
TYPE  Professional Computer
ORIGIN  U.S.A.
YEAR  1986
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Unknown
KEYBOARD  Advanced mechanical keyboard. 30 function keys. Seperate command and cursor keys.
CPU  80286 (16-bit CPU)
SPEED  6/8 Mhz
CO-PROCESSOR  Optional
RAM  256 kb, 512kb, 640 kb or 1512 kb depending on models. (640 KB max. on the main processor board)
VRAM  Unknown
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  80 x 25
GRAPHIC MODES  640 x 400
COLORS  Yes
SOUND  Beeper?
I/O PORTS  Parallel / Centronics port, RS232 serial port, 8 x PC/AT-compatible expansion slots.
BUILT IN MEDIA  Integrated 5.25'' 1.2M flex disk drive on basic system and integrated 20MB or 30MB fixed disk on enhanced systems.
Up to 128MB fixed disk capacity with optional 64MB disks.
OS  NCR-DOS 3.1 operating system
NCR 286 Xenix operating system (optional - supports up to 16 users concurrently)
POWER SUPPLY  PSU built-in


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