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N > NEC  > PC 8801


This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the NEC  PC 8801 computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message!

  Click Here to add a message in the forum


Tuesday 26th May 2020
James (Ireland)

Personally I''m surprised that this system was not released outside of Asia because it was very powerful in its later years with FM sound and full colour graphics and if it was released it would have probably buried the IBM PC

Tuesday 20th August 2019
Richard E Sgrignoli (Pennsylvania/USA)

I was in the Air Force stationed in Japan (Misawa Air Base), and I bought the PC-8801n in Aomori, Japan with my reenlistment bonus in April 1982. The manuals were all in Japanese, so I hadn''t really been able to use it to its full potential. I used it for the next five years until I bought a Dell System 25, but the PC-8801 (now my secondary computer) lasted for about 12 years (until 1994) when it became inoperable due to the post office damaging the 8" dual drive when I shipped it from one duty station (Key West) to the next (Hawaii).

Saturday 10th November 2012
Frits Meuris (Nederland)

The NEC PC8801 was the followup from the NEC PC8001. It was distributed in west Europe by NEC Neuss Germany. These even manufactured computer furniture to be bought by complete systems. In the U.K. this was also a well know model in the marked of office equipment. The PC8801 had 2 basic interpretors in ROM, at first the bill gates written N-basic from Microsoft and second the very special Microsoft N-88 basic with extended commands for graphics etc.
You could load CP/M operating system by discette. At first the CP/M from the PC8001 computer, and later also CP/M in PC8801 mode.
In GB was at last also availble separate double DS/DD 8 inch discette station. The discettes had 1,2 Mb capacity in this format. Also was available a harddisk station from Japan for these computers. It''s brand was Anritsu, and the capacity was 10 Mb.

In America was another development going, also selden sold in Europe, the famous APC computer.
This was a more IBM compatible model, with build in
2 x 51/4 inch discette stations. The APC was the counterpart for the Northstar pc''s.

only link for available software

Friday 13rd April 2012
Brent (US) (Colorado, USA)

It was definitely released in the US. My folks bought one in 1982 or 1983. I learned to program on it in BASIC, Pascal, and Z80 Assembly.

It went from sibling to sibling until it finally was sent to me sometime in the 90s. It still functioned as late as a year ago when I finally donated it to a museum rather than move it across country with me. :-) By the time I got it back from a sibling, you could emulate a Z80 processor in software faster than the NEC would run it, but... I still have fond memories of all the hours I spent in front of it during my high school years, though.

Saturday 7th April 2012
Ian E. Gorman

I bought a PC-8801 in Canada and used it from 1984 to 1990, with an NEC "Spinwriter" printer, and a pair of 5.25" disk drives, CP/M WordStar (with MailMerge) and MultiPlan.

I didn''t buy the MS-DOS board (it was only available with DOS 1.25) and heard later that, in contrast to the PC-8801 itself, the MS-DOS board was very troublesome.

I also used code and circuit diagrams supplied by NEC to write a driver that used the 48K graphics memory as a rAM disk, a utility that would convert 5.25" diskettes from N88-Basic format to CP/M format and back, and a file manager that would automatically recognize MS-DOS and CP/M diskettes and treat them as if they were all CP/M diskettes. All of these were posted on a bulletin board run by Ryugen Fisher, who gave me some useful advice and coaching.

It was a very good computer and, at the time, well-supported by NEC Home Electonics in the USA.

Saturday 27th February 2010
Daniel (Switzerland)

I don''t know if it applies in this particular case, but it doesn''t have to be a contradiction. Quite a few times manufacturers have simply already been promoting a system in a country before deciding not to release it after all, for financial reasons or whatever. Judging by how little English coverage there is on the system, I would suppose it was never released, or was a big failure.

Tuesday 29th July 2008
Guy (US)

I'm confused. The main article says the machine was not released in the USA, but there are american ads.

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