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A > ACT > Apricot F1


 

This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the ACT Apricot F1 computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message! For other purposes like sales messages, hardware & software questions or information requests, please use our main forum.

  Click Here to add a message in the forum

 

Thursday 1st January 2009
Triphazard (UK)

Whoa... Are there really so few owners/fans of this great machine? My own has a single 3.5" slot, no HD, 9" green screen and I broke the fibre optic cable for the IR keyboard. I couldn''t afford the IR trackball while it was available but I added 512K to the default 256K on board.

I also managed to get copies of SuperCalc 3, DBase II and Friday!, a database program created using DBII. I still giggle at the MS Windows 1.0 vouchers it came with. (This machine recalculated the most basic spreadsheet with figures scrolling along for several seconds, like those cliche ''80s movies.)

However, at the time it was about a year ahead of IBM''s PCs. They still had 5.25" floppies, 64K RAM, 8088 chips and locked-in servicing.

I can $ a single disk to launch MSDOS 2.0, SCalc/SWriter and all the data I have. It will all run from a RAM disk and batch save my data back to disk before shutting down.

Computers today don''t seem to do anything any faster than before. Graphics look great but we still sit and wonder what to do next...



Saturday 22nd July 2017
Nosher (Bradford, UK)

I used the Apricot F1 in an educational environment. Use of the machine could survive loss or breakage of the IR pipe but it was possible to pick up your keyboard and reboot your neighbour''s machine. Other machines did not have this issue. Use of the Apricots came to an abrupt end when $ing a 3M diskette instantly decapitated the drive head rendering the machine useless. Other machines did not have this fatal flaw. There didn''t appear to be much different about 3M diskettes but the metal shutter contacted the lightly suspended disk head and ripped it out of position.


Thursday 6th October 2016
Jimbob (Scotland)

I remember my Dad giving me a side by side demonstration of an F1 beside an IBM of the same vintage.
The F1 wiped the floor with the IBM in loading or copying from floppy discs and the wireless keyboard was a revelation to a young kid.
Wonder how much further forward we''d be if innovative companies like Apricot had survived rather than Apple or IBM.


Monday 7th September 2015
Chris (NJ)

I have a line on one of these systems in the UK, but being I''m in the US, I''d like to acquire one here if at all possible, reasons are clear. Please contact me if you have one - dreyfusshudson at yahoo dot com. Many thanks.


Tuesday 21st October 2014
Dylan Smith (United Kingdom)

We had one at our school. It was very nicely made and came with a small but good quality colour screen, and a pretty innovative design. I remember rigging up a serial cable and bodging together some code to transfer images from a friend''s Amiga 500 to the Apricot. However, it was hugely let down by being one of those "yes it runs MS-DOS but no it''s not IBM compatible" machines which made it more or less pointless. MS-DOS even back in the day was awful and the only reason for running it would be IBM compatibility


Wednesday 1st January 2014
John Moore (New Zealand)

I purchased an F1e back in 1985 for NZ$2700 ! By today''s standards that''d get you something really flash. This had just one 315k disk drive (not 320k like the rest of the world). I could never figure out for the life of me why ACT did not make all their computers IBM compatible. They would have possibly been still in business, as (as as been pointed out) their computers were quite innovative, especially since they were one of the first to use 3.5in floppie disks. I can also remember buying my first lot of "single sided" disks .. NZ$80 for10! I still have the original activity disks that came with the computer. I did find the keyboard a bit strange as the key tops kept on wearing out, so I stuck laminated characters over the top of each key! Other than that the computer worked fine with 256k of RAM. The fact it also came with it''s own version of GWBASIC made it interesting, along with Super Writer, Super Calc and Super Planner. It also came with a communications programme to connect to an IBM compatible machine (with limited success). My son and I wrote literally hundreds of programmes in BASIC. A few I eventually (using the comms package) converted to Turbo Basic and a .exe file. Apart from the Bios problems I loved it. See also Apricot PC.


Wednesday 1st January 2014
John Moore (New Zealand)

I purchased an F1e back in 1985 for NZ$2700 ! By today''s standards that''d get you something really flash. This had just one 315k disk drive (not 320k like the rest of the world). I could never figure out for the life of me why ACT did not make all their computers IBM compatible. They would have possibly been still in business, as (as as been pointed out) their computers were quite innovative, especially since they were one of the first to use 3.5in floppie disks. I can also remember buying my first lot of "single sided" disks .. NZ$80 for10! I still have the original activity disks that came with the computer. I did find the keyboard a bit strange as the key tops kept on wearing out, so I stuck laminated characters over the top of each key! Other than that the computer worked fine with 256k of RAM. The fact it also came with it''s own version of GWBASIC made it interesting, along with Super Writer, Super Calc and Super Planner. It also came with a communications programme to connect to an IBM compatible machine (with limited success). My son and I wrote literally hundreds of programmes in BASIC. A few I eventually (using the comms package) converted to Turbo Basic and a .exe file. Apart from the Bios problems I loved it. See also Apricot PC.


Tuesday 19th February 2013
Chris (USA)

I want one.


Saturday 25th February 2012
RC Ellis (USA)

I had the F1 - as a DOS compatible it was fine. The machine I bought came with an early version of Microsoft Word for DOS - which worked well.

I managed to find a connector on the motherboard which allowed me to add a second 720 3.5" floppy - had to put it in a separate box, but it worked.

The monitor finally failed and I was able to connect a Radio Shack CGA monitor.

I was also able to run Turbo Pascal 3.0 on it. And as a CS teacher that was wonderful.
It was very stylish overall, and I got good use out of it for several years.


Friday 8th April 2011
Andrew Fison (usa)

I remember doing my college accounts courses on these, our computer room had about 20 of these in there, also one advantage of the infra-red keyboards was you could pull the batteries out of the one in front of the screen and stand behind your mate typing on another keyboard while he wonders where all the strange calcs came from


Wednesday 23rd August 2006
Ian Chard (Oxford, UK)

I spend a depressing few weeks writing a small database on one of these things in the late 80s. It was a monochrome monitor, and the phosphor lag time was *huge* -- you could still read text several seconds after clearing the screen!


Tuesday 12th February 2002
Newtony (Belgium)

Hi everyone,

I began collecting old computers about three years ago, mostly IBM-compatibles. I also have five Apricot F1 computers. They were in pretty bad shape but I should be able to get at least one in complete working order. However I don't have any software for them and I can't get them to work with regular MS or PC-Dos, probably because the BIOS is not 100% IBM-compatible. Is there anyone here who can get me working copies of the F1 software such as Activity ? I really want these machines to work, so any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.





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