The 2HR (HR
for High Resolution) is the successor of the Victor / Hector 16k models, but
this time is conception is entirely french. The machine has been completely
redesigned and this new model is then more powerful. This is in fact a completely
new machine with more memory and high-resolution. It is still compatible with
the 16k models in a "model 1" mode choosen at the start-up menu.
Thus, the graphic
possibilities are enhanced : a new resolution (243 x 231) is available, wich
each point addressable individually. But sadly, very few software use this high
Dorothée unveils the 2HR at the MIJID, Paris en 83
THE BASIC III
When you know how much you had to pay for a Microsoft Basic Licence (75.000
francs + 150 fr for each machine sold), it's not surprising that Micronique
decided to develop its own Basic : the "Basic III". It seems quite
exhaustive. There are many useful graphic statements (PLOT, LINE, PEN, BRIGHT,
FLASH, SCROLL, etc.). In and out communications can be managed easily (INP and
OUT), and there are even some evenemential statements like ON ERROR for example.
The only (big) negative point, is that the Basic is not stored in ROM, you have
to load from tape each time you want to use it, just like with the Victor Lambda
and first 16k models.
The Basic editor
is very complete, it's a real editor : there are possibilities for manipulating
lines, characters strings, renumerating, moving blocks of lines, etc... Sadly,
like the Basic, you have to load it from tape...
For the design, it is the same thing as the Hector, same keyboard (AZERTY from
november 83), same case, 2 joystick plugs, built-in tape-recorder (no counter),
etc... The fact that the joysticks are still the same is a good thing (see Victor
Lambda), since they are equiped with an analog knob and allowing to build nice
and useful analogic / numeric extensions for the Hector...
like the Victor Lambda, the history of the different models is a bit messy :
The first model named Victor 2HR with two red fat oblique lines for the number
"2" (summer 83).
the logo changes. "Victor" is now written juste above the tape-recorder,
and "2HR", on the left above the keyboard, is drawn with big dots.
The tape-recorder keys are different, which certainly means an entire change
of the mecanism...
Victor changes its name and becomes Hector, because of the new name of the american
company Sirius, which is renamed Victor Technologies. The "big dots"
logo stays unchanged, but of course the name above the tape-recorder changes.
start of 84, Micronique unveils a new model, identical to the 2HR, but with
the Basic built-in ROM, it is called the 2HR+.
in 85, appears a 2HR+ newlook : the case is kind of "metal-bronze-grey"
At the start of the year 84, Micronique
improves its 2HR : the 2HR+ is born. What's new then ? Well the big thing is
that the Basic is now built-in ROM !
No more need to load the Basic from tape each time you switch on the computer...
Indeed the name of the 2HR+ fits him well, since it's a real plus...
the 2HR+ was launched, Micronique proposed an extension card (950 fr) to transform
a 2HR into a 2HR+.
we must admit that when all this models were following each others, it was quite
a mess. In 84 for example, a 2HR+ delivered to the french mag "Le Haut-Parleur"
for testing, came with a Basic III tape and a Victor Lambda documentation (!)
which was indicating how to load the Basic from tape. But does not the 2HR+
have its own built-in Basic ? Well yes, why ?
Inside, we notice that the motherboard
has been studied to simplify the conception of new models. Indeed, just above
the main board, we find a smaller card which plugs into the initial socket made
for the Z80 ! This one is found directly on this smaller card, with 3 "2732"
memory chips which contain the Basic interpreter. Thus, for each model (HRX,
MX), only this small card was changed. For the HRX, for example, the memory
chips will contain the Forth interpreter. That's practical !
small board was found on a pre-serie machine, but later models had one simple
mainboard with spaces reserved for extra RAMs or ROMs...
talk a bit technical : the memories are dynamic RAMs of 64k words of 1 octet
(4164 family) and the printer interface and extension connector circuit is an
surprise, the video process is entirely realised with classical logical circuits
and doesn't use any integrated controller. In the same way, the choice of the
sound synthesizer is curious : it's a 76477 from Texas-Instrument which is not
especially conceived to be interfaced with a micro-processor... odd. Besides,
the Hector doesn't have any integrated speaker, the sound comes out from the
TV or the monitor.
finally, we can say the quality of the conception is excellent, which is normal
since Micronique had already a large experience in electronic conception.
The 2HR is a good improvement over the original american computer, with a last
a high resolution and more memory. And for the 2HR+ version, we have a built-in
Basic, just like on real micros. What a luxury !
view the Hector/Victor software list, click
+ Good keyboard
+ The analog knobs on the joysticks
+ The improvements over the Victor
+ The overall good conception
The Basic on tape (2HR)!
- No counter on the tape-recorder