Like the HP-110 or the Sharp PC-5000, the Dulmont Magnum belongs to the first family of notebook computers with LCD screen (not yet back-lighted). Moreover, it was the first computer conceived and manufactured in Australia. It was also called Kookaburra (an Australian bird) for some export markets.
The Magnum was a PC-compatible system featuring an Intel 80186 processor, 96 KB of RAM, an 8 line LCD screen and several management software in ROM: word processor, spreadsheet, telecommunication, file manager, and appointment. Additional ROM software could be added thanks to two 128 KB cartridge slots.
A rechargeable Ni-Cad battery pack allowed ten to twelve hours of continuous use, and a lithium battery kept the content of the RAM memory when the system was turned off.
Due to various RAM/ROM configurations in the system, the drive letters assignation was specific to the Dulmont: drive A corresponded to the software in ROM, drives B and C, to each optional ROM expansion, D to the internal C-MOS RAM, E and F to the external floppy disc drives.
Chris Todter adds:
I was the engineering manager for this project. Most of the information is accurate, although it actually came out about 2 years earlier, and definitely pre-dated the Sharp 5000, and the HP-110.
The speed got up to 8MHz, and the display was up to 40 lines by the time the company folded. It also contained patented power saving features whereby it would put the processor to sleep between keystrokes.
This computer has just been featured as part of a working teardown on YouTube in Australia by a guy called Dave. https://youtu.be/st7H_vqSaQc
Tuesday 29th November 2016
Ian (England, United Kingdom)
Somebody have schematic diagram Dulmont Magnum? Someone has a laptop in working condition?
Thursday 31st March 2016
A friend I''ve lost contact with had a Time Office Kookaburra. I think they were renamed thus when Time Office Computing, (nothing to do with Henry Luce), bought Dulmont.
NO WAY was this the first computer or even the tenth Microcomputer designed or built in Australia! Try CSIRAC $ perhaps the Automatic Totalisers long before that. The first Australian DESKTOP computer was probably the EDUC-8 c1973-4.
Monday 10th February 2014
David Payne (Melbourne, Australia)
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
No language but a software package
Full-stroke 76 keys with function and arrows keys
96 KB up to 384 KB
128 KB up to 384 KB
40-80 characters x 8 lines
SIZE / WEIGHT
32(W) x 27,5(D) x 5,5(H) cm. / 4.8 Kg
2 x ROM cartridges, 2 x Serial, Parallel, Composite video, Expansion port