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C > CASIO  > FP 6000   


Casio
FP 6000

The Casio FP-6000S is Casio's most ambitious computer for overseas market. It has been marketed in all of Europe's countries. However, it is also Casio's biggest (and costiest) failure on the market. It was hindered by three things : it was pretty late to arrive to the marketplace (developed in 1984, it only arrived in Europe in 1986), it was very expensive (US$ 10000 for a system with monitor, FDD and HDD), and the distribution channels (accustomed to watches and calculators) did not know how to sell this beast. Moreover, it was NOT IBM compatible, although it was indeed MS-DOS (ver. 2.11) compatible, which certainly did not help. Very few specific software was developed for the 6000.

The FP-6000S still has a beautiful, modular design. The CPU unit is housed in a tall vertical white unit with a grey faceplate. The on/off switch is bright orange (the white and orange colors has been consistently used by Casio for its professional computer range). The 94-key keyboard was one of the best mechanical keyboards ever produced, along with IBM's 'M' "clicky type" model. The CPU has three slots for expansion. Both the mono and color monitor are antiglare and have a very good image quality.

The CPU offered 256Kb standard memory, upgradeable to 768 kb using 256Kb ram boards. Hence, up to two RAM boards could be added. Since these would eat all the available slots on the FP-6000S, Casio produced a special expansion cabinet (FP-6060S-IO) similar to the one of the FP-1000 line (FP-1060 I/O), therefore adding 5 more slots. Which would total 3+5 (-1 for the expansion cabinet board)=7 useable slots.

All the disk and expansion units are housed in same sized and shaped cabinets. User had the choice of adding 1 or 2-drive, 5.25" (320kb or hi density 1.2 Mb), or even 2x8" (1.2 Mb). The FDD unit was connected through the FDD Interface Board, using one of the slots of the FP-6000S. An optional splitter box (FP-6051) allowed to connect two disk cabinets, for up to 4 floppy disk drives total.

The Hard Disk Drive unit offered similar modularity. One could start with a 10-MB HDD, and daisychain a second 10-MB Unit. Later on, Casio offered 20-MB models. These were connected using an dedicated Hard Disk Drive Interface Unit, using another slot.

There were a lot of options available to the FP-6000S, which concurred to increase the cost of a complete system. The most curious one was the 64kb Video Ram Expansion (consisting of 8x8kb chips), since the standard video ram was only 32kb. Having 96kb video ram total allowed use of all of the hi-resolution graphic modes in color.

Other options included a mouse (with an interface board), a GPIB interface board, a printer board (up to 2 printer boards could be added), a printer buffer board (with 32 Kb RAM), a "universal" board (a bare PCB in fact), and an RS-232C interface.

The Casio FP-6000S used MS-DOS 2.11, which supported directories. it also sported a high-end Basic language, the C86-Basic which was a simple DOS executable consisting of a loader (C86BASIC.EXE) and an overlay (C86BASIC.BIN). C86Basic took up some 50 to 60 Kb, leaving very small useable memory for BASIC programs on an 256Kb machine. The FP-6000S had a fantastic demo Casio used on trade shows and such, with sound and graphics, that only runned on a 512kb machine with 96kb Vram. Like all Casio Computers, C86-Basic used 10 program zones, and was upwards compatible. One could transpose pretty easily programs coming from the FP-200's C85-Basic and FP-1000/1100's C82-Basic. An extended graphics command set (for that time) allowed for lots of graphics fantasies, including virtual/ layered screens, adaptive X-Y coordinates and graphic modes (from 160x100 upto 640x400).

Thanks to Joscelyn FLORES, fond of Casio computers, for all this information.



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Now that Youtube exists, I found it funny to upload a (very) short video of my Casio FP-6000 running part of the demo I am talking about in the description$ here it is : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v$U06c5cdNVoM

          
Friday 4th January 2013
Joscelyn Flores (France)

Hi, I was wondering if someone had parts for this computer ? I have one, but one of the har disks has failed, and I am missing a printer cable and a RAM board... I would be glad to share some programs that work on this computer!

          
Monday 23rd August 2004
Joscelyn Flores (Paris, France)

 

NAME  FP 6000
MANUFACTURER  Casio
TYPE  Professional Computer
ORIGIN  Japan
YEAR  1985
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  None
KEYBOARD  94-key QWERTY, configurable with FP-Conv 6000 options.
CPU  16-bit, i8086 compatible, 8 Mhz
SPEED  16 Mhz.
CO-PROCESSOR  Optional 8087 arithmetic processor
RAM  256 KB expandable to 768 KB
VRAM  32 KB expandable to 96 KB
ROM  4 KB (BIOS)
TEXT MODES  80 chars. x 25 lines.
GRAPHIC MODES  640 x 400 pixels
COLORS  16
SOUND  1 canal - Built-in loudspeaker
SIZE / WEIGHT  CPU : 12 (W) x x30.3 (H) x 37.5 (D) cm / 8,5 Kg
Keyboard : 45.2 (W) x 20 (D) x 3.8 (H) cm / 2 Kg
Monitor : 31 (W) x 30.8 (H) x 39.9 (D) cm / 7 Kg
I/O PORTS  1 x Parallel, 1 x Serial RS232
BUILT IN MEDIA  1/2 x 5.25'' 320 KB or 2 x 8'' 1.2 MB floppy drives
Optional 10 MB and 20 MB hard-disks
OS  MS-DOS
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply unit
PRICE  From about $3150
256 KB / 2 Disk-Drives model = 28 500 FF (France, febr. 84)
10 MB Hard-Disk / Color monitor model = 56 000 FF (France, febr. 84)


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