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


Ready prompt T-shirts!

see details
ZX Spectrum T-shirts!

see details
ZX81 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
Elite spaceship t-shirt T-shirts!

see details
Atari ST bombs T-shirts!

see details
Moon Lander T-shirts!

see details
Competition Pro Joystick T-shirts!

see details
C64 maze generator T-shirts!

see details
Pak Pak Monster T-shirts!

see details
BASIC code T-shirts!

see details
Breakout T-shirts!

see details
Vector ship T-shirts!

see details
Pixel adventure T-shirts!

see details

A > ACT > Apricot PC   

Apricot PC

After having imported the Victor Sirius for years in the UK, ACT produced its own computer largely inspired by the Sirius : the Apricot PC.

It was supposed to be transportable as there is a handle on the main-unit ! If you really want to move your Apricot this way, the keyboard can be clipped to the main-unit.

Several features made this computer quite technically innovative :
• the Apricot PC was possibly the first computer outside Japan to use 3.5'' disk-drives (315k or 720k),
• the graphics quality and features were excellent (800 x 400) and came directly from the Victor Sirius,
• the keyboard was quite original with 8 "normal" and 6 flat programmable function keys along with a built-in LCD screen (40 characters / 2 lines) which displayed the function of the keys. This feature was largely used by the included software, but not much by third-party software.

This small LCD screen could also display the current line of text you're working on and there's even a contrast knob on the right of the keyboard.

It's possible to transfer files and some software from a Sirius or an IBM PC to the Apricot PC by connecting them with a special cable. There's also an IBM PC emulator which forces the Apricot to act like an IBM PC. It works well for some applications but not all.

Some software was supplied with the Apricot PC : Supercalc, various system tools, asynchronous communication, IBM-PC emulator, Microsoft Basic-86, Basic Personal and ACT Manager (a graphical interface for MS-DOS). Word, Multiplan, Wordstar, dBase II, C-Pascal, Pascal UCSD, C, Fortran, Cobol and Basic Compiler 5.35 were available optionally.

In 1984, ACT launched new versions of the Apricot PC with built-in hard-disks and a different colour case. They were called Apricot Xi.


About IBM/PC compatibility, Greg Taylor specifies:
Concerning the early Apricot PCs (including the Xi) the reason they could not run all MS-DOS programs is that while they came with a copy of MS-DOS, they did not have an identical BIOS so any calls to specific BIOS modules could often fail.
For example, dBase III could not run (on mine anyway) but a competitor product called (I think) DBXL did run. That apart, they were very nice computers for their time with 3.5" disks (nearly everyone else was still using 5.25") and high-quality graphics.

Ian Foggon reports:
The original Apricot PC also came in another flavour you have not listed. It was possible to have these units upgraded to 286 IBM compatible standard by Apricot UK. This involved the replacement of the motherboard and the addition of a 20Mb Miniscribe HDD in the place of one of the Sony 3.5” FDDs. My Father had this done to his Apricot PC back in 1988. These units had their own specially written manuals, and the keyboards were re-keyed to make them IBM compatible too.

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


David Fisher. They are DOS discs 3.5" $ work on IBM I think, have you tried I know the format is a little different IBM allow less files. I could copy to IBM format but don''t know if the DOS $ BIOS calls work. Regards Dave

Thursday 20th May 2021
Dave whale (Neath Abbey, W Glam)

Charles Whitmore I tried to email you but W10 refuses don''t know why. I may be able to help assuming the discs haven’t ‘faded’. Are your drives SS 315m or DS 720m. Stuffs in loft so can’t say which I have. Regards Dave

Thursday 20th May 2021
Dave whale (Neath Abbey, W Glam)

Does anyone know where I can get a set of operating disks for the apricot pc and an xi as I can’t find mine and I would quite like to revisit these 2 computers now I have retired. If you can help then please email me at thank you

Sunday 4th April 2021
Charles Whitmore (United Kingdom)


NAME  Apricot PC
TYPE  Professional Computer
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  September 1983
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Microsoft Basic-86 and Basic Personal delivered on disks
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke keyboard, 101 keys, 8 function keys, 6 dynamic function keys (membrane keys)
Built-in 40 characters x 2 lines LCD screen
CPU  Intel 8086
SPEED  4,77 Mhz
CO-PROCESSOR  Intel 8089 (for in/out tasks), 8087 optional arithmetic co-processor
RAM  256k, up to 768k
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  80 x 25, 132 x 50 (character matrix 10 x 16)
GRAPHIC MODES  800 x 400 dots
COLORS  Monochrome (colours facilities)
SOUND  1 tone channel
SIZE / WEIGHT  Main unit : 42 x 32 x 10 cm
Main unit : 6,4 kg / Monitor : 4,1 kg / keyboard : 1,5 kg
I/O PORTS  RS232c, Centronics, 2 x Apricot expansion slots
BUILT IN MEDIA  1 or 2 x 3''1/2 disk-drives (315k or 720k), optional 5Mb and 10Mb hard-disks
OS  MS-DOS 2.0, CP/M 86, Concurrent CP/M
UCSD p-system in option
PERIPHERALS  1 additional 3''1/2 disk-drives, 5Mb and 10Mb hard-disks, trackball, printer, plotter
PRICE  2 x 315 Kb floppies : £1595 (UK, november 84)
2 x 720 Kb floppies : £1795 (UK, november 84)

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 ACT Apricot PC 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) -