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T > TANGERINE > MICROTAN 65     


TANGERINE
MICROTAN 65

This computer is what is the ZX-80 to the ZX-Spectrum, but for the Oric 1. Tangerine developped this computer before they became Oric and produced the Oric-1.
It was mainly sold in kit, without the complete keyboard shown in the photo, but with a little hexadecimal keyboard.

The unextended Microtan 65 couldn't use Basic (Basic65) due to its RAM limitation (1kb), so only machine-code was usable.

Te 1kb ROM contained TANBUG, a monitor which allowed to enter machine code programs. But with the unextended Microtan65, there was no way to save your work (not tape facility), so you had to re-type your program each time you switched-on the computer !



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The computer on which I really learned hardware and software design, after starting out a year earlier with the MK14.

The basic card and the expansion card (Tanex) were available with a tiny backplane of just two slots and sold as a Micron, but I built up a 19" rack - all the cards were eurocard with DIN41614 connectors carrying all the signals needed to do anything... I remember high-resolution (at the time) full-colour graphics cards that I designed.

Tanex allowed a Microsoft Basic, but I also recall several other languages including one or two assemblers and Forth - figForth 65 from memory.

I was working as an engineer for BBC News at the time, and programmed the countdown display used on the first space shuttle launch on a Microtan. I also cheerfully ripped off the design for any number of useful little projects$ an easy way to synchronise the video output over an incoming broadcast video signal had all sorts of uses in a broadcast studio. Some of the equipment I designed around this card (or around my versions of it) ran critical tasks for over fifteen years.

          
Friday 13rd July 2012
Neil Barnes (UK)
Nailed Barnacle

I have a Tangerine computer in the loft . . we used to use them at work for all sorts because of their I/O capabilities. A Doctor wrote a Word Processor called Azimov for it. Mine has a long, thin orange (tangerine?) case with an almost square front panel with the connectors on ot. The PCB arrangement is that there are two in ''double decker'' formation. I think it may have been a Micron. The boards didn''t plug into a proper bus, and having later worked for a company which made S100 boards the Tangerine ones were not big enough. They could have used S100 interconnections between PCBs I suppose but they don''t look like S100 format bords to me. Still got the manuals too, plus my son had an Oric. I wonder if he''s still got it?

          
Friday 4th May 2012
Rex Hanson (UK)

Yes a group of three of us bought a Tangerine Micron in 1979, with the intent of OEM-ing video, voice and games cards and also a colour monitor. These cards, and some accompanying software, were developed and several were built, but the Micron did not go far, probably due to its prohibitively high price. just heard about Steve Jobs.

          
Wednesday 5th October 2011
Lloyd Davies, now USA, was UK. (Sunset Beach NC, USA)

 

NAME  MICROTAN 65
MANUFACTURER  Tangerine
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  1979
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Machine-code (through TANBUG)
KEYBOARD  Hewadecimal keyboard in basic version
CPU  6502
SPEED  0.75 MHz
RAM  1 kb (up to 48k)
ROM  1 kb (TANBUG v1), upgradable to 14kb
TEXT MODES  32 x 16
GRAPHIC MODES  64 x 64 with graphic characters
COLOrsc  Monochrome
I/O PORTS  Bus, Tape, Monitor
PRICE  From $82 (single board version)





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