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Hewlett Packard

The HP-87 was the follow-on model to the HP-85 in the 'Series 80'. It was a logical development, keeping the same processor and clock speed, but with the following changes:

• Basic language extended ie long variable names added, support for larger graphical display, total 48K in ROM.
• Allows programs to address memory above 64K, through use of an extended memory controller.
• HP-87 has 32K RAM built in, and allows up to 4 extra RAM modules of either 32K, 64K or 128K ie 534K max.
• Built in HP-IB interface, together with software support for basic I/O, mass-storage and printing without additional ROMs.
• Bigger screen allowing 80 column text, with either 16 or 25 lines.
• No built in tape or printer.
• Support for multiple (up to 5) binary programs in RAM.

The HP-87 was followed by the HP-86 and HP-87XM. The HP-86 lost the internal monitor in favour of an external monitor, and lost the built in HP-IB connector in favour of a Centronics parallel printer port and two connectors for HP floppy disks.

The HP-86 also had 64K RAM while the HP-87XM included 128K RAM. The final machine in the series 80 family was the HP-86B, which went back to having a built-in HP-IB port and featured 128K of RAM.

Thanks to John Shadbolt and his site for this information

Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


The local public safety/911 dispatch center back in the ''80s in my town (Bismarck, ND) had an HP-87 at their dispatch console that was used to control the outdoor warning sirens (for tornado alerts and such) across town. It was loaded with a custom software package for such, IIRC.

Saturday 13rd July 2019
Ryan Schweitzer (United States)


MANUFACTURER  Hewlett Packard
TYPE  Professional Computer
YEAR  September 1982
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  HP Basic interpreter
KEYBOARD  Full stroke 93 keys with numeric keypad and user definable keys
CPU  'Capricorn' custom HP 8-bit CPU
SPEED  0.625 MHz
CO-PROCESSOR  Custom HP I/O circuits
RAM  32 KB up to 534 KB max.
ROM  48 KB
TEXT MODES  80 chars x 16 or 24 lines (software switch)
GRAPHIC MODES  544 x 240 dots
COLORS  Monochrome
SOUND  Tone Generator
SIZE / WEIGHT  Unknown
I/O PORTS  Four I/O Ports, HP-IB
OS  Built-in BASIC language. Optional CP/M O.S. Needed external FD/HD unit
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply unit - 110V / 240V switchable
PERIPHERALS  Speech Synthesis module, modem
Various extension cards: GP-IB, Serial, FDD/HDD controller, I/O routines, Parallel, BASIC extensions
PRICE  $2495, (HP-87), $2995 (HP-87XM)

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