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M > MICRONIQUE  > Victor Lambda


MICRONIQUE Click here to read to company history
Victor Lambda

victor_lambda

> SOME HISTORY

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.

In 1980, 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 PSU dissipate.

> 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...

One particularity 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.

Ok, 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 ?

In addition, there are two joystick ports on the Victor Lambda, that's another good point.

 

> 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...

To view the Hector/Victor software list, click here.

 

> CONCLUSION

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.

The first 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.

 

coin_vert_1.gif (126 octets) dotclear.gif (172 octets) coin_vert_2.gif (127 octets) coin_rouge_1.gif (147 octets) dotclear.gif (172 octets) coin_rouge_2.gif (146 octets)
Good points dotclear.gif (172 octets) + Integrated tape-recorder
+
Good keyboard (2nd versions)
+ The analogic controllers
dotclear.gif (172 octets) Bad points dotclear.gif (172 octets) - The text/graphical resolutions
- The Basic on tape !
- No tape-recorder counter
dotclear.gif (172 octets)
coin_vert_4.gif (125 octets) dotclear.gif (172 octets) coin_vert_3.gif (126 octets) coin_rouge_4.gif (145 octets) dotclear.gif (172 octets) coin_rouge_3.gif (147 octets)

 





 
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