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L > LUXOR  > ABC 80


Luxor
ABC 80

Per Nützmann specidfies:
The LUXOR ABC 80 hardware and OS is almost an TRS 80 model 1 "clone". The guys behind it went to the U.S.A. to look at the market at that time and found the TRS computer ;-). One "story" why it was made is that LUXOR had a very large supply of monitors that they couldn't sell. "So why not make a computer, it needs a monitor". And LUXOR's core business at that time was TV-sets.


Gábor Képes adds:
There was also a Hungarian version of the ABC-80. It was the BRG ABC-80, in a white metal case. It was not a clone but a Swedish-Hungarian cooperation.
BRG (Budapesti Radiotechnikai Gyar - Radiotechnical Factory of Budapest) made the datasette of the original ABC-80s.
The Hungarian version was working with a domestic television set and could manage a dual datasette!

Tomas Axelsson reports to us this funny information:
One "fun fact" about the ABC 80 is that it really hadn't got a soundchip, just some built in "prerecorded" sounds that you could adress with assemblercode. But if there is a will, there is a way! You just put a bent paperclip in the port for the taperecorder and shortcircuit two pins. Then you could send data to the tape and thanks to the shortcircuit you get sound instead!! You just altered the value of a variable and got different pitches on the sound( you could play tunes!!).

Mĺns Almered, from Gothenburg, Sweden, corrects:
Im afraid I have to say that Tomas Axelsson are quite a bit wrong. I actually have the manual for the ABC80 right in front of me right now and I was using the machine for several years. There is actually a true soundchip inside ABC80 and the soundgenerator-chip named SN76477 was made by Texas Instruments.
The problem using it was that the chip is half digital and half analogue controlled and the hardware design in ABC80 only used digital access to the chip, all analogue control voltages where replaced with fixed resistors and this limited the use of the chip.
Most people used the chip for pulswith modulation by turning the chip on and off and the sound was quite okay. The command for using the chip in ABC80 was OUT 6, [value] there was no problem at all using poke to the chip or accessing the chip from assemler language, there where actually a program with a speaking-swedish demo named "Rulle -det talande trollet".
Using the casette relay for making sound is a bad way of making sound on the ABC80, besides this is not very unike, music has been made on relay machines decades before ABC80. A much better way of using the internal taperecorder relay is to connect it to the telephone line and use it for pulse dialing :-)

Alf Christophersen's memories:
I used a ABC80 for my thesis in biochemistry and also for work sampling data from different equipments and controlling calibration instruments.
The computer was equipped with diskette station, ADC card (with 128x preamplifier, fully programable), DAC and a relay card, all using the ABC-bus which was very easy to use for scientific equipments. Being open ended, you could also connect at least 32 computers together in a network and connect to that network as many drives as you liked. We never had the money for that, but I had it demonstrated with 4 rather big harddisks. Much bigger than in the IBM PC's that came later (and which was a real hell to connect to equipments).

ABC at school, by Rikard Johnels:
We had two small ABC network set up at our school back in the end of the 70's. Three ABC80 connected to a dual 51/4" floppydrive, and five ABC800 (one 800C and four 800M) connected to a dual 8" floppy. No hard drives. Each network had their own matrix printer.
No one knew how to use the new "hi-resolution" graphics on the 800, so i skipped classes and sat for hours trying to figure it out. Eventually i got it right, and were able to hold classes in basic graphic handling.
I was around 14 at the time. :)
The ABC BASIC is very easy to learn, and very complete. Most of the contemporary BASIC's werent as extended as the ABC's (as far as i found it).
I almost miss hacking away on them...

Add-ons by Kurt Nyström, from Sweden:
My company MYAB was the biggest manufacturer of pirate add-ons to the ABC80. We offered 16 kB extra RAM, a conversion kit for 80 chars/line on screen and also a CP/M conversion kit including 64 kB extra RAM.





 
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