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A > AMSTRAD  > PCW 16   

PCW 16

The PCW 16 replaced the PCW 9512. Contrary to the previous models, which used a text-based interface, the PCW 16 used a graphical user interface called The Desktop. The computer didn't run CP/M like the old PCW computers, but had its own operating system called Roseanne. Even though CP/M wasn't supplied, it was adapted to this machine by independent developers.

Unlike the previous PCW models which came with only the Locoscript word-processor, the PCW16 came with a complete range of built-in software - word-processor, spreadsheet, address book, diary/alarm, calculator and file manager.

Luckily, Amstrad abandoned the Hitachi 3" floppy format and switched to the standard MSDOS 3.5" 1.44 MB double-density floppy disk. The Roseanne system could use long filenames (up to 31 characters). The display was also standard: 640 x 480 VGA mode.

Amstrad provided Several internal expansions for the PCW-16, 1 MB RAM, 2 MB Flash RAM, Application ROMs, second FDD drive; but it seems that none of them saw the light.


Rob W. remembers:
Dixons UK were selling the PCW-16 as late as December 1997, bundled with a Citizen Dot-Matrix Printer for about £170, which seemed expensive, but up against the latest £1,999 P233-MMX Packard Bell at the time, it seemed somewhat cheap :)
Sadly, despite being taken in by its psychedelic keyboard colours and constant nagging, my dad didn't buy me this :(
But... the following year he bought me a P233-MMX for £600 and the rest is history.
Unfortunately, I have not seen one since. Wonder why...

TYPE  Professional Computer
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  1994
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke keyboard, PC-AT type
CPU  Zilog Z80 A
CO-PROCESSOR  Winbond 83787 I/O chipset
RAM  1 MB DRAM + 1 MB Flash RAM (holds Operating System and built-in software)
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  Bitmapped characters
GRAPHIC MODES  640 x 480 dots
COLORS  Monochrome built-in display
SOUND  1 channel
SIZE / WEIGHT  35.5 (H) x 30 (D) x 31 (W) cm (main unit)
I/O PORTS  Serial & Parallel Ports, Serial mouse, AT keyboard
BUILT IN MEDIA  One 1.44 MB 3.5'' disk-drive
OS  Roseanne + CP/M 2.2
POWER SUPPLY  Power supply built-in
PRICE  £299 when it came out

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