The ADAM is available in two models, the complete system and Expansion Module #3. When the memory console of Expansion Module #3 is connected to the ColecoVision, the two models are essentially identical in function. The unit pictured here is the expasion module #3 (it is shorter than the complete unit). The expansion module #3 uses part of the Colecovision hardware, thus the memory unit doesn't have any cartridge slot, and isn't delivered with any controllers nor TV switch box.
The whole system is made of the daisywheel printer, the memory unit and the keyboard. The power supply is built-in the printer!
The Smart Basic isn't in ROM and has to be loaded from a tape, however there's a little word processor in ROM, this word processor prints the text to the printer at the same time the user types on the keyboard, but can also be used as a classic wordprocessor.
The Adam had a pretty short life, only two years! Despite this there is still a community of Adam fans who still use their system. Nowadays, most Adam users use a 320k 5 1/4 inch disk drive, an external 2400 baud modem, and a 20, 30 or 40 megabyte IDE harddisk. Adams often have memory expanders up to 2 MB in size (which is usually used as a RAM disk), and also a parallel printer (like a bubble jet)!
Greg Bowman reports that he got an external CD drive for his Adam from his uncle who was then Vice President of Coleco. He notices that this CD drive was designed especially for the Adam. If anyone has more information about this CD drive, don't hesitate to mail us.
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.
Most hyped home computer ever, oh my. The folks who brought you the Cabbage Patch Kids were now bringing you... a useful home computer system! One big box held everything. The big selling point was that it came with a printer -- and the whole shebang would cost $600 -- this at a time when printers alone were more expensive than that. Much more. Especially daisy wheel "full letter quality" printers. Yike. Okay. Well, the price changed to $700 by the time it was released... and the complaints rolled in. The first complaint was that the printer was of low quality and not durable. After a little while, it would start printing letters on a slant. Wow. So, you had to send the printer in for a repair... and in the meantime, you couldn't use your computer system because the power supply was in the printer! Sucked! Also, the system box would give off a nice big magnetic pulse when it was powered up, so if you happened to have your BASIC tape in the drive or sitting on top of the console, it might get corrupted. Sucked! Oh well. There were a few games that came out for the Adam, and you could buy blank tapes too, and it'd play colecovision cartridges. Eventually a disk drive was introduced... but by then it was too late. The home computer format war had split into Commodore 64 / Apple IIe / Atari 800XL. Your local retailer wasn't interested in giving over shelf space to anything else (well, until the Atari ST and Amiga 1000 arrived, and plenty of retailers ignored those two).
I was married to my 1st wife when her parents bought us one of these for Christmas our 1st year of marriage. I comtained the Z80 processor that was in my 1st computer that I built while living in England. Back then the Sinclair ZX81 was a kit you could buy in basement computer shops around Norwhich England, I bet I spent 1000.00 US building and adding on to it..anyway the Adam was our 3 rd PC in 1983 and helped paved the way to the home PCs, 8086,80888,286,386,286,586 up to todays multi processor systems I now have. It also helped to launch my career in IT which I hope to retire from in a few years.
I was an original ADAM owner way back when and although I jumped in and out several times, I still have an ADAM setup right next to my PC. Please check out my web page at www.sacnews.net/adamcomputer. There is a section there with PDFs of old ADAM Newsletters, including a complete set of NIAD Newsletters. The site itself contains HTML copies of an old ADAM Newsletter called Expandable Computer News.
SmartWriter wordprocessor, Smart BASIC delivered on data-pack
Full-stroke keyboard with separated arrow keys, ten command keys and six programmable function keys. 75 keys
Zilog Z80 A
64 kb (25 kb available with Smart Basic), upgradable to 144 kb
40 x 24 / 36 x 24
256 x 192
3 voices, 5 octaves
Cartridge slot (complete system only), RGB video out, 2 x Joystick sockets, expansion port, 2 x ADAMNET port (serial port used to connect printer, digital tapes and keyboard), 3 x card connectors inside the case
BUILT IN MEDIA
1 - Digital data pack reader (real to real magnetic tape encased in a Lexan cassette), 256 KB. There is a room for an optional second one
EOS (Elementary Operating System) / OS-7
Built-in the printer !
Second digital data-pack drive, 5''1/4 disk-drive, modem, 64k RAM expansion