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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...



MSDOS 3.5" 1.44 MB double-density floppy disk.

hi density
double density was 720kb on the pc

Saturday 26th May 2012
roger jowett (ulster)
sam koop20th buthdi

I still have my PCW-16, from Dixons, with the Citizen Dot Matrix printer. I used to love playing with the Rosanne O/S and loading CP/M which allowed me to play and make games on the machine, someone provided me the neccessary floppys from PCW Format magazine, not sure that still exists. Great little machine, as long as the screen holds out I''ll keep it.

Thursday 28th July 2011
Graham Holloway (Stevenage, UK)
GHS Computers

May 2009. Further to my previous posting about the PCW16 some five years ago, may I report that I am STILL using my PCW16 for all my general correspondence. What a splendid machine it is and still giving faithful service. Since I purchased it for a pittance, it has also proved to be great value for money. May it long continue !

Sunday 9th May 2010
Alan Birt (England)


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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