Per Nützmann specidfies:
The LUXOR ABC 80 hardware and OS is almost an TRS 80 model 1
"clone". The guys behind it went to the U.S.A. to look at the
market at that time and found the TRS computer ;-). One "story"
why it was made is that LUXOR had a very large supply of monitors that
they couldn't sell. "So why not make a computer, it needs a
monitor". And LUXOR's core business at that time was TV-sets.
Gábor Képes adds:
There was also a Hungarian version of the ABC-80. It was the BRG ABC-80,
in a white metal case. It was not a clone but a Swedish-Hungarian
BRG (Budapesti Radiotechnikai Gyar - Radiotechnical Factory of Budapest)
made the datasette of the original ABC-80s.
The Hungarian version was working with a domestic television set and could
manage a dual datasette!
Tomas Axelsson reports
this funny information:
One "fun fact" about the ABC 80 is that it really hadn't got a
soundchip, just some built in "prerecorded" sounds that you
could adress with assemblercode. But if there is a will, there is a way!
You just put a bent paperclip in the port for the taperecorder and
shortcircuit two pins. Then you could send data to the tape and thanks to
the shortcircuit you get sound instead!! You just altered the value of a
variable and got different pitches on the sound( you could play tunes!!).
Mĺns Almered, from Gothenburg, Sweden, corrects:
Im afraid I have to say that Tomas Axelsson are
quite a bit wrong. I actually have the manual for the ABC80 right in front
of me right now and I was using the machine for several years. There is
actually a true soundchip inside ABC80 and the soundgenerator-chip named
SN76477 was made by Texas Instruments.
The problem using it was that the chip is half digital and half analogue
controlled and the hardware design in ABC80 only used digital access to
the chip, all analogue control voltages where replaced with fixed
resistors and this limited the use of the chip.
Most people used the chip for pulswith modulation by turning the chip on
and off and the sound was quite okay. The command for using the chip in
ABC80 was OUT 6, [value] there was no problem at all using poke to the
chip or accessing the chip from assemler language, there where actually a
program with a speaking-swedish demo named "Rulle -det talande
Using the casette relay for making sound is a bad way of making sound on
the ABC80, besides this is not very unike, music has been made on relay
machines decades before ABC80. A much better way of using the internal
taperecorder relay is to connect it to the telephone line and use it for
pulse dialing :-)
I used a ABC80 for my thesis in biochemistry and also for work sampling
data from different equipments and controlling calibration instruments.
The computer was equipped with diskette station, ADC card (with 128x
preamplifier, fully programable), DAC and a relay card, all using the
ABC-bus which was very easy to use for scientific equipments. Being open
ended, you could also connect at least 32 computers together in a network
and connect to that network as many drives as you liked. We never had the
money for that, but I had it demonstrated with 4 rather big harddisks.
Much bigger than in the IBM PC's that came later (and which was a real
hell to connect to equipments).
ABC at school, by Rikard Johnels:
We had two small ABC network set up at our school back in the end of the
70's. Three ABC80 connected to a dual 51/4" floppydrive, and five
ABC800 (one 800C and four 800M) connected to a dual 8" floppy. No
hard drives. Each network had their own matrix printer.
No one knew how to use the new "hi-resolution" graphics on the
800, so i skipped classes and sat for hours trying to figure it out.
Eventually i got it right, and were able to hold classes in basic graphic
I was around 14 at the time. :)
The ABC BASIC is very easy to learn, and very complete. Most of the
contemporary BASIC's werent as extended as the ABC's (as far as i found
I almost miss hacking away on them...
Add-ons by Kurt Nyström,
My company MYAB was the biggest manufacturer of pirate add-ons to the
ABC80. We offered 16 kB extra RAM, a conversion kit for 80 chars/line on
screen and also a CP/M conversion kit including 64 kB extra RAM.