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E > EPCOM / SHARP > Hotbit HB-8000   


EPCOM / SHARP
Hotbit HB-8000

The HOTBIT HB-8000 was, along with the Gradiente Expert, the only MSX system officialy available in Brasil (though imported MSX systems like the Canon V-20, Yamaha CX5, Yashica YC-64, etc. could be bought). It was developped by Sharp and marketed by Epcom. It is a classic MSX 1 computer, with 64 KB RAM and two cartridge slots (one on top, and the "expansion" port on the side of the system).

MSX systems did very well in Brasil and litteraly killed the previous micro-computer market populated with TRS-80, Apple II and Spectrum clones from local companies. Gradiente (sound / HIFI products) and Epcom/Sharp (video products) were big companies, and put a lot of money in the marketing of their MSX computers.

Though the Hotbit was more respectful of MSX standards than the Gradiente Expert, it did not win the marketing battle, and its production was stopped in 1988.

There are several versions of the Hotbit HB-8000: version 1.0 and 1.1 use a white case, while version 1.2, released to be compatible with the Gradiente Expert ASCII table (problem related to portuguese special characters), use a black case.
_______________________

Djogo Patrao adds:
Back on these days, the most annoying difference between Hotbits and Experts was in which slot were the RAM. A great deal of software didn't autodetected this, and assumed the Expert default, which caused bad (and wrong) opinions about Hotbit.

Rafael Rigues reports:
If you look on the back of a black Hotbit, you will notice that the area surrounding the ports is covered by a thin plastic mask, as it was originally recessed. Removing this mask, you will find a circular opening for an extra port marked RGB (the text is molded in the plastic). This leads to the speculation that this model was originally designed as an MSX 2 machine.

However, I had the opportunity to help in an interview with the marketing manager of Sharp on that era, and he knew nothing about this. According to him, the 1.2 models are black simply to make them more appealing and fit better with A/V equipment of the time.


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''s a TV commercial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v$7PeCWm_trY8) from december 1985 which shows the Hotbit being sold for Cr$3,900,00.00 (yes, nearly 4 million cruzeiros). That would have meant about US$400 as the exchange rate was Cr$10,000.00 that month (things were very dinamic then!). In 2015 dollars, that''s US$877.77.

          
Wednesday 20th May 2015
Gabriel Graça (Brazil)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v$zsjTpFR0oYQ

we can run zx spectrum 48k and one 128k programs at 6mhz please help

          
Saturday 6th April 2013
Roger Jowett (Ulster Londonderry)
sam coupe

I bought one of these for $ 5 a while ago. They are amazing.

          
Tuesday 2nd August 2011
Matheus de Paula Medeiros (Brazil)
O sistema caiu

 

NAME  Hotbit HB-8000
MANUFACTURER  Epcom / Sharp
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  Brazil
YEAR  December 1985
END OF PRODUCTION  1988
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Hot-Basic v1.2
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke keyboard, 5 function keys and 4 arrow keys. 73 keys. Portuguese special characters
CPU  Zilog Z80A
SPEED  3.58 MHz
CO-PROCESSOR  TMS-9128NL video processor
RAM  64 KB (28 KB free with MSX Basic)
VRAM  16 KB
ROM  32 KB BASIC/BIOS ( MSX BASIC V1.0)
TEXT MODES  Mode 0 : 40 x 24
Mode 1 : 32 x 24
GRAPHIC MODES  Mode 2 : 256 x 192 with 16 colors (Hires mode)
Mode 3 : 64 x 48 with 16 colors (Multi colour mode)
32 sprites
COLORS  16
SOUND  General Instruments AY-3-8910 Programmable Sound Generator
3 channels, 8 octaves
SIZE / WEIGHT  405 x 280 x 58 mm / 3,2 Kg
I/O PORTS  Audio output, 2 controller ports, 1 cartridge slot, Tape interface (1200/2400 bauds), Composite video output (PAL-M), RF TV output, Printer / Centronics interface
OS  MSX DOS
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in PSU, 120/220V AC60Hz
PRICE  Unknown


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