This was more or less a 8088 based IBM PC/XT clone. It came in six variations: monochrome or colour screen, one or two 5.25" DS-DD floppy disk drive or a half-height 10 MB hard disk in place of the second floppy drive.
It did support the IBM ISA bus, but also had an NCR proprietary expansion bus for memory and some adapters to integrate with other NCR proprietary banking and retail products. It ran a separately licensed version of MS-DOS called NCRDOS.
The later versions were called PC4/i, for (really) IBM compatible.
The PC4 won the German International Forum Design award, in 1985.
Jon Andre Finnerud from Norway writes us:
As the local bank in my town were replacing their old computer systems, a lot of PC4's were just thrown away. I got mine from a friend working there. It was actually a PC4i, It had an internal 12" graphics display, capable of hi-res CGA-graphics. In adittion it had a standard 5,25" floppydrive and a 10MB Harddisk. The sound was the traditional beeper, with a knob in the front to adjust the volume(!) The main processor was a 8086-16bit running at 4Mhz, and i also believe i had a Z80 processor (after it failed i studied the mainboard firmly). My friend at the bank also told me that they where running CP/M on them while in use at the bank. (i never tested it myself) Sadly the internal display went dead, and since it was impossible to get a replacement, i started fiddling with the idea of somehow replace the internal display with an old IBM 12" VGA monitor i had laying. But it never happened, and i somehow managet to throw it in the garbage :-( Now i regret it, and have even been looking around for a "new" one.
Siva Balendran clarifies:
I used to work for NCR in London (UK); it was called PC4i.
The reason Jon Andre Finnerud could not connect the IBM monitor was it used a hi-res CGA-graphics card developed by NCR.
I could remember it was used there up until 2000, for running some applications.
Special thanks to Chad Stellrecht who donated us this computer !
I have a spare PC4, mono, that likely doesn''t work. But all the components, except the tube, are likely standard, so if anyone wants one they can have that much more fun fixing it! 25$ + shipping from NJ.
Wednesday 12th September 2012
As one of three engineers responsible for the design of the PC4 I would like to clarify a few data points. The DMV, designed at our facility in Augsburg, Germany, won the German industrial design award. The DMV ran CPM and MSDOS but was not hardware compatible with the IBM PC. The PC4 was the first fully IBM PC compatible computer from NCR. It was designed and manufactured at the NCR plant in Liberty, South Carolina, USA.
Friday 7th May 2010
Larry (South Carolina, USA)
This was the very furst computer that was totally mine as a kid. I simply loved it at the time, and now seeing it again, I almost want to track one down for old times sake.
The all-in-one build was such a pain to work on for even the simplest of things, but other than that, it was one hell of a little computer. This brings me back to days of Hero's Quest in whopping CGA graphics, hopping around bbs's, Norton Commander, and programming black jack in gwbasic.
The big block of manuals were fantastic. I literally always had one with me, going thru page after page of dos commands. A true delight for a geek of a kid.
Friday 11th June 2004
Matthew (Ohio, US)
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
None - NCR GW-Basic on diskette
Full stroke 95 keys with cursor keys, numeric keypad and functions keys
Intel 8088-2 (16 bit)
Socket for a 8087 math coprocessor
128 KB expandable to 640KB on the main processor board.
40 or 80 columns x 25 lines
640 x 400 (Colour version), 720 x 348 (Monochrome version, Hercules Graphics emulation)
16 colours or grey shades
Built-in speaker. 1 channel
SIZE / WEIGHT
46 W) x 36 (D) x 38 (H) / 23 kg
8 x ISA compatible slots, Serial and Parallel ports
BUILT IN MEDIA
6 configurations, typicaly one 5.25'' 360 KB disk drive and one 10 MB hard-disk
NCR-DOS operating system, MS-DOS
Any 8-bit PC-compatible extension cards, and peripherals