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T > TATUNG  > EINSTEIN TC-01   


Tatung
EINSTEIN TC-01

The Tatung Einstein has characteristics very near those of the MSX machines (same video modes, same sound chip, sprites, etc.) but is not compatible with this standard. It was built in the UK at Tatung's plant in Telford in Shropshire.

The Einstein runs under Xtal/DOS which is an operating system compatible with CP/M. It was possible to connect an other floppy disk drive and a 80 column card was available.

The Einstein was a very attractive computer but it was too expensive to have great market success.

Ste Cork recalls:
Pretty much every 8-bit development house in the NW of the UK was using these machines in the late '80s, we'd develop for Atari, C64, ZX, Amstrad, MSX, C16, you name it. Superb keyboard, and the power-supply was so stable that you could quickly flick the switch off and on without the machine even noticing. No mains spikes could ever interrupt these things. I even wrote / sold a couple of games on it natively, they did ok. We mainly used them with 5.25 inch disks though, since the 3-inch disks it used weren't so reliable if you were writing to them continuously. The 256MB silicon-drive was a must-have.Doomed to be for hobbyists / developers only though, since it had no mass market appeal at the price / performance.

Alan Wilson reports us:
This computer at the time was a programmers dream, the operating system was easy to reprogram, and an excellent MOS (Machine operating system) mode meant that disk sectors or tracks could be easily loaded into memory, edited, then written back. Because of this, they were used to develop disk copy protection for the up and coming next generation Amiga and Atari ST.

Trefor Hazlewood-Jones adds:
Unlike most home computers this one boots up in MOS, it is then necessary to load Xtal/dos and a high level operating system. Xtal/basic was supplied with the machine but I also have disks to boot it into BBC/basic FORTRAN and Pascal. The right hand drive bay will accept a 3.5 inch floppy drive and the machine will happily format and use 3.5 inch floppy disks. Note: A 3.5" drive requires modifications to the case and it will only format 720K floppies. You need an updated DOS system first to enable you to access more than the standard DOS

Einstein and Spectrum games, by Matthew Wilkes:
There was a nifty assembler specially written that we used to use at Elite Systems for programming the ZX Spectrum games - enabling you to write and assemble Z80 code, then download to the Spectrum via interface I (F5 I think it was :-)) - if your buggy code crashed, you could simply re-boot the Spectrum and debug on the Einstein.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v$zsjTpFR0oYQ

please help
was there a zx spectrum emulator for the tatung einstein please - not just the basic...

          
Saturday 6th April 2013
Roger (Ulster)
bmp2scr hmpr bit 5$6 clut mods per scan line

Graham, please contact me :)

          
Tuesday 14th August 2012
Rikard (Sweden)

I have one of the original development Einsteins from Bradford. It''s a black prototype case with some soldering iron marks and one of the first motherboards, a composite video output for TV and one floppy drive. There are two floppies, one with the OS and two manuals, one introduction book and one OS book. This is not getting used so I need to sell it. Please let me know if you''re interested.

          
Saturday 30th June 2012
Graham (Stafford, UK)

 

NAME  EINSTEIN TC-01
MANUFACTURER  Tatung
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  Taïwan
YEAR  1984
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  None
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke QWERTY keyboard. 51 keys + 8 function keys
CPU  Zilog Z80 A
SPEED  4 MHz
RAM  64 KB (44 KB free for user)
VRAM  16 KB
ROM  8 KB (up to 32 KB)
TEXT MODES  40 / 32 columns x 24 rows
GRAPHIC MODES  256 x 192 dots
COLORS  16
SOUND  3 voices, 7 octaves
SIZE / WEIGHT  43.5 (W) x 51.5 (D) x 11.5 (H) cm
I/O PORTS  RS232c, Centronics, User port, Joystick (2), Bus Z80, Floppy Disk
BUILT IN MEDIA  one or two Hitachi 3'' floppy disk unit (380 KB)
OS  Xtal/DOS
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in switching power supply unit
PRICE  £499


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