Click Here to visit our Sponsor
The History of Computing The Magazine Have Fun there ! Buy books and goodies
  Mistake ? You have mr info ? Click here !Add Info     Search     Click here use the advanced search engine
Browse console museumBrowse pong museum


ZX Spectrum T-shirts!

see details
Ready prompt T-shirts!

see details
Spiral program T-shirts!

see details
Atari joystick T-shirts!

see details
Battle Zone T-shirts!

see details
Vectrex ship T-shirts!

see details
Competition Pro Joystick T-shirts!

see details
Atari ST bombs T-shirts!

see details
Moon Lander T-shirts!

see details
Elite spaceship t-shirt T-shirts!

see details
C64 maze generator T-shirts!

see details
Pak Pak Monster T-shirts!

see details
BASIC code T-shirts!

see details
Shooting gallery T-shirts!

see details
Vector ship T-shirts!

see details
Pixel adventure T-shirts!

see details
Breakout T-shirts!

see details

R > R2E  > MICRAL-N   


The Micral-N, introduced in 1973 and powered by Intel's 8008 chip, was the first commercial non-kit computer based on a microprocessor. It was conceived in France by François Gernelle and commercialised by a company called R2E in 1973. The term "microcomputer" first appeared in print in reference to the Micral-N.

The Micral-N was initially developed for the I.N.R.A. (French National Institute for Agronomic Research) which didn't had sufficient budget to buy the lowest "mini" at the time (Digital Equipment PDP-8).

The development began in July 1972, in a hut in Chatenay-Malabry (Paris suburbs), with F. Gernelle and 3 of his collaborators: Mr. Benchetrit (soft ingineer), Alain Lacombe (electrical technician) and Jean-Claude Beckmann (in charge of the mechanical). The first prototype was delivered January, 15th 1973!
Mr. Tuong-Tong-Ti arrived later to manage the company, but never influenced anything in the design (not enough knowledge).

The 8008 that powered the Micral was essentially an 8-bit 4004. It was originally intended to be a custom chip for Computer Terminals Corp. of Texas (later known as Datapoint). CTC rejected the 8008 because it was too slow and required too many supporting chips, but when Intel offered it to the open market, it was quite successful.

The Micral-N was working at 500 KHz, running approximately 50,000 instructions per second. It was set on a bus, did have a MOS memory, parallel and serial I/O cards, a real-time system. In one word, it had all the characteristics of nowadays computers. First systems were manufactured and sold at the amazing price (at the time) of 8,500 French Francs (about $1300)

Supposedly it was the first personal computer programmed by Philippe Kahn, founder of Borland.

R2E, which got under way the Micral-N, developed a whole series of computers based on the most powerful processors of the time: 8080, Z80, 8088, constantly adding improvements like monitor-keyboard in 1974, hard disk in 1975, etc. Every machine was managed by the SYSMIC monitor, which became PROLOGUE in 1978, a multitask system created in France too. The last of this system was the Micral 20. After that, Bull, who had became the owner of R2E, joined MSDOS standard...

Picture and text parts, courtesy of Federation des Equipes Bull (Federation of Bull teams)


Later in life when Bull owned them there was a z-80 with either just floppy or floppy and hard drive... I have a catalog of an outfit surplussing a group of them in USA called DEALIN'' ELECTRONICS in Palo Alto. Date?
Ed Sharpe archivist for SMECC

Tuesday 7th November 2017
Ed Sharpe (az)

I am a teenager and i like old computers!

Monday 22nd August 2016
David Lowry

I am writing a book about the 1970''s computer era, and find Mr. Beckmann''s information quite helpful. I have some questions about the company finally went out of business - could he describe what happened to things like support of the system, how it was programmed, and how Bull got in the picture?

Tuesday 20th January 2015
Dr. Darrel VanDyke (U.S.A.)


TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  France
YEAR  1973
CPU  Intel 8008
SPEED  500 KHz
RAM  Unknown
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  Depends on the connected video terminal
I/O PORTS  Parallel, Serial
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply unit
PRICE  8,500 French Francs (about $1300)

Please buy a t-shirt to support us !
Ready prompt
ZX Spectrum
Spiral program
Atari joystick
Battle Zone
Vectrex ship
C64 maze generator
Moon Lander
Competition Pro Joystick
Atari ST bombs
Elite spaceship t-shirt
Commodore 64 prompt
Pak Pak Monster
Pixel Deer
BASIC code
Shooting gallery
3D Cubes
Pixel adventure
Vector ship

Related Ebay auctions in real time - click to buy yours

Click here to go to the top of the page   
Contact us | members | about | donate old-systems | FAQ
OLD-COMPUTERS.COM is hosted by - NYI (New York Internet) -