Click Here to visit our Sponsor
The History of Computing The Magazine Have Fun there ! Buy goodies to support us
  Mistake ? You have mr info ? Click here !Add Info     Search     Click here use the advanced search engine
Browse console museumBrowse pong museum


ZX Spectrum T-shirts!

see details
ZX81 T-shirts!

see details
Ready prompt T-shirts!

see details
Atari joystick T-shirts!

see details
Arcade cherry T-shirts!

see details
Spiral program T-shirts!

see details
Battle Zone T-shirts!

see details
Vectrex ship T-shirts!

see details
Moon Lander T-shirts!

see details
Atari ST bombs T-shirts!

see details
Elite spaceship t-shirt T-shirts!

see details
C64 maze generator T-shirts!

see details
Competition Pro Joystick T-shirts!

see details
Pak Pak Monster T-shirts!

see details
BASIC code T-shirts!

see details
Breakout T-shirts!

see details
Pixel adventure T-shirts!

see details
Vector ship T-shirts!

see details


RAIR microcomputer
Black Box

RAIR was a very early UK manufacturer of 8085-based systems and eventually licensed its designs to ICL.

This obscure system was sold with a hard-disk and a 5"1/4 disk-drive built-in. It was conceived to be used as a multi-user system.

The following languages were available : Basic, Cobol, Fortran, Pascal, PL/1.

More information about Black Box internal hardware in the ICL Personal computer page.

Pictured here is a model 3/30.


Douro says:
This machine uses a Seagate st506 hard drive; I am quite certain that it could use many different drives through the interface.

John Pettitt adds:
Later black boxes were 8088 based and used hard disks up to 15MB.
RAIR was the first company in Europe to ship a 5.25 HD and the second world wide.

Mark Sharples reports:
The boards on this model would sometimes come free from the mother board during transit. The engineer would arrive from Rair, wait for the client to leave the room, and then simply drop the computer from about two inches off the desk to re-install the system.

We need more info about this computer ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system, please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.
Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


I stumbled over this. The old days. We should probably plan an old get together with the crew. I see John and Tim commenting. What happened to Howard, Mark and Dave Fogden and the others? I have still lots of photos. Still a roll of poster from our hot-air balloon. What happened to "Technology For Business" after the bought us up. I remember they weren''t very happy about my balloon at the time. Is there a place we upload photos?

Thursday 7th April 2011
Guenter H Krauss (Germany)

Thanks John
that was a sad time.
Richard was my best friend then and still is.
I have a lot of his stuff still in my loft, photos taken at rair and I think the first talking computer he was Woking on at the time. If I remember correctly he was in a race to beat the US in getting a chip to talk, something like that anyhow, I know little about this tech stuff.
anybody know what happened to Richards home videos ?

Thursday 2nd August 2007
$#/\wN (essex UK)

I never met Rick - if I recall correctly he died the same week I started working for Lifeboat Associates (we shared offices with RAIR) - Tim may remember him.

Monday 5th March 2007
John Pettitt (California)
CloudView LLC


NAME  Black Box
MANUFACTURER  RAIR microcomputer
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  1979
KEYBOARD  Depends on the video terminal used
CPU  8085 (Later 8088)
SPEED  3 MHz then 5 MHz (8088: 5 MHz)
RAM  from 64 kb to 512 kb
VRAM  Unknown
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  Commonly 80 chars. x 25 lines terminals
COLORS  Unknown
SOUND  Unknown
SIZE / WEIGHT  50.5 (W) x 40.5 (D) x 14 (H) cm.
I/O PORTS  from 2 to 8 serial ports (RS-232c / V24)
BUILT IN MEDIA  5''1/4 disk-drive (256 kb)
5 Mb ST-506 hard-disk, then 15 and 30 MB
OS  Mono-user : CP/M
Multi-user : MP/M
Multi-machine : MP/M Network
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply unit
PRICE  64kb RAM and 2 x serial ports : 6097 (France, july 82)

Please buy a t-shirt to support us !
Ready prompt
ZX Spectrum
Arcade cherry
Spiral program
Atari joystick
Battle Zone
Vectrex ship
C64 maze generator
Moon Lander
Competition Pro Joystick
Atari ST bombs
Elite spaceship t-shirt
Commodore 64 prompt
Pak Pak Monster
Pixel Deer
BASIC code
Shooting gallery
3D Cubes
Pixel adventure
Vector ship

Related Ebay auctions in real time - click to buy yours

see more RAIR microcomputer Black Box Ebay auctions !

Click here to go to the top of the page   
Contact us | members | about | donate old-systems | FAQ
OLD-COMPUTERS.COM is hosted by - NYI (New York Internet) -