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H > HANIMEX  > PENCIL II   


Hanimex
PENCIL II

This Australian computer was in fact built and conceived in Hong Kong by Soundic Electronics, which produced a lot of low-end products at that time.

The high-resolution (256 x 192) can only be accessed with at least a 16k RAM extension.

The Basic (SD-Basic 2.0) is supplied on a ROM cartridge, it allowed to display up to 32 sprites.

The Pencil II also came with an interesting expansion cartridge. The regular cartridge port was the exact same size as a Colecovision cartridge, and when you plugged the "Colecvision Support" cartridge into the side of the unit, it played regular Colecvision games.

Unfortunately, very few games and applications were developped and the Pencil II quickly fell into oblivion...

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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I had one of these computers back in 1984. I learned BASIC programming which set me up for what was to come. I owe my current level of computer and software literacy, especially with MS Excel, to the Pencil II computer. It did come with some very basic programmes and games, the BASIC programming for which, were so large, that the running speed was excruciatingly slow and they were virtually unusable.

I managed to write a few flying/bombing type games which ran a lot faster than those originally supplied. I also wrote a few display type programmes, one of which was for the local radio station. The Pencil II really was pretty good for that.

Where these cassette tapes are now, is anybody''s guess. Pleasant memories of a time when things were good.

          
Wednesday 2nd May 2012
Peter Byrnes (Australia)

 

NAME  PENCIL II
MANUFACTURER  Hanimex
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  Australia
YEAR  1984
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  SD-Basic 2.0 available on cartridge
KEYBOARD  Chicklet keyboard with 6 function keys, 4 arrow keys and a reset key
CPU  Zilog Z80 A
SPEED  Unknown
CO-PROCESSOR  One custom chip for video, sound, I/O and memory management
RAM  18 kb (up to 80 kb)
ROM  20 kb
TEXT MODES  30 x 24
GRAPHIC MODES  256 x 192
COLORS  16
SOUND  3 channels, 5 octaves and 1 noise generator
SIZE / WEIGHT  37 x 22 x 7,5 cm / 1,5kg
I/O PORTS  RGB, cartridge, Centronics, Expansion bus, Joystick (2), Tape, RS232 (optional)
OS  CP/M with the optional disk-drives
POWER SUPPLY  External AC adaptor
PERIPHERALS  16k & 64k RAM expansions, 5''1/4 disk-drives, joysticks
PRICE  365 (France, 1985)


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