The Victor Lambda is thus a french adaptation of an american
computer : the Interact
Computer. But Lambda System, who sell the Victor, goes bankrupt a
short time after Interact. Then comes Micronique which buy the Victor
and all the original rights to the Americans. The Victor Lambda becomes
then entirely french.
Lambda System starts to sell the Interact computer without even changing
its name. The documentation is in english and the computer is sold with
a NTSC television ! Thus, since nothing was changed inside the Interact,
it is still an NTSC computer !
Later the same year, Lambda System manages to implement
a video card inside the system so the video output becomes SECAM via a
Scart plug. At the same time, they put the power supply unit into the
system, just under the tape storage comparment, above the tape recorder.
This small space is now closed by a small grid that lets the heat of the
> WHAT'S INSIDE
The first Victor Lambda uses an Intel 8080A running at
2Mhz. It has a RAM of 16 KB and a ROM of 2 KB. The Basic Microsoft "Level
II" was avalaible on tape. That was a pain to have to load the Basic
from tape each time you wanted to use it... but the loading time was fairly
short in fact. As usual they were saying that this was more practical
if you wanted to upgrade to a new Basic version. Yeah...
The resolution is really bad ! In text mode, it is 12x17
characters !! And in graphical mode it reaches painfully 112x178 points
! It looks like this:
Impressive, isn't it ? There are only 4 colors on screen
chosen from a total of 8 colors (black, white, yellow, red, blue, cyan,
magenta and green). About the sound, there is only one voice and 4 octaves...
of the Victor is to have an integrated tape-recorder. This one is reliable
but has no counter ! A real bad point. The speed rate is 1500 bauds.
> WHAT ELSE ?
Well, not much...
Ah yes, the controllers are cool.
there are ugly, but look at the little black knob at the top of the joystick...It
allows to play pong-style games for example... But above-all, it means
that the Victor Lambda has built-in analog/numeric converters, and this
is great. Because the most skilled amongst us can build analog interfaces
and control everything from the Basic. Isn't this great ?
addition, there are two joystick ports on the Victor Lambda, that's another
> AND THE SOFTWARE
Well, there were some software but most of them were really
basic. I mean fast programmed software to enlarge quickly the list of
programs available for the new Victor. Besides, most of them were those
originaly made by Interact, not surprising...
view the Hector/Victor software list, click
Well, in fact the Victor Lambda was a machine almost too
modern for its time in 81, but it experienced a very bad commercial strategy
at the start and it was a bit too expensive. It was a good initiation
machine even if loading the Basic from tape each time you want to use
it was a bit boring.
versions based on a Intel 8080A didn't sell in quantity and are hard to
find. Later models, based on Z80A with a motherboard re-designed by Micronique
are the most common Hector found...
Later, the 16 KB Hectors (lowest models) were based on the
Z80 and had a built-in Basic III language.
+ Good keyboard (2nd versions)
+ The analogic controllers
The text/graphical resolutions
- The Basic on tape !
- No tape-recorder counter