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O > OLIVETTI  > M24


Olivetti
M24

Maarten Jongkind (Netherlands) recalls:
As a field engineer back in 88 I did a lot of repairs on the m24, They were indeed very much compatible with the IBM pc's at the time but their strange up-side-down motherboard made it difficult to swapp parts with IBM machines or IBM clones. Their monitor adapter was better then de ibm or its other clones but also a bit odd. Some software didn't know how tho handle it and other software handled it as being a enhanced graphics adapter. It wasn't but it worked anyway wich was a big advantage.

After the company I worked for went out of bussines I was able to salvage a number of parts from which I could reconstruct 2 M24 and a M22 portable which is basically the portable version of the early IBM portable Pc.

From Jose Alonso (Spain):
There was a special version of the M24 SP called PE-24. It was an M24 with a poweful graphic card made by Matrox and a fantastic colour monitor, and also a math coprocessor and a 20 MB hard disk. It was very much faster than other PC compatible systems of the time.

Charles Verrier adds:
The M24 was a really nice - well-designed machine to use. Excellent keyboard, and VERY good monitors. The colour monitor was stunningly good for its time.
It has a unique design feature in that the motherboard was mounted upside down in the bottom of the case - you had to turn the whole thing over to slide off the bottom of the case, but then you had full access.
Memory was fitted to the motherboard in rows of socketed ram chips, so it needed less room than modern PC's where the SIMMS stick up from the board.
The main body of the case was for the PSU, drives, and ISA expansion cage, which was connected to the motherboard via a small slot in one edge of the base plate.
It was replaced by the M28 - which had the 80286 processor.

Gary Miles memories:
As a field service hardware engineer I used support a site at Galxo Pharmaceuticals that had many hundreds of these PC's. One problem with them (I think it applies to M24 and M28's was the keyboard connector used the same type of D plug as the display.
If the monitor were plugged into the keyboard socket it would then stop the keyboard working from then on.  It would blow a small inline fuse on the motherboard; we could never get spares of this fuse and so used to replace it with ether a 1-ohm low wattage resistor, or if we were really desperate just a single strand of thin patching wire.
This machines were ultra reliable apart from the hard disk would fail to start on cold day, I always knew I would get 1 or 2 non booting PC's on cold frosty morning.
These PC's were great games machines as they were much faster then clunky IBM's of the time and us onsite engineers would often spend Friday afternoons with our workshop door locked and windows blacked out playing with flight simulator etc.





 
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