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A > AXEL  > AX-20   

AXEL Click here to read to company history

This french mono-bloc system had no great success. It was however a nice designed system with its 8 function keys mounted directly onto the monitor (like with some Hewlett-Packard systems). The idea was interesting, because the function of each key was dynamicaly displayed right above it, but it becomes tiring to have to lift an arm to reach these keys...

The AXEL-20 can display 640 x 416 pixels with 8 different level of brightness. The system has it own character set (128 ASCII characters, upper and lower case). The user character generator is only optional. In fact many features are optional; real-time clock, disk-drive, expansion bus, V24 card, modem, graphic card...

The AXEL-20 is not IBM PC compatible at all. It can only read IBM disks with a special software tool.

The OS and languages available were MS-DOS, CP/M, Fortran, Basic, Pascal and Cobol. Software amng others: Dbase II, Multipla, Wordstar.

The AX-20 was marketed as the MAX-20, under the Matra brand ("M" for Matra ?).
Two years later, an enhanced model was marketed: the AX-25.

Thanks to Bertrand Poupeau for the picture

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


whne I was younger my father had bought me one of these as a award for cleaning the kitchen (I know good award) but it was actually very efficient.

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
rosie duff

My father brought me one around 1987... It came with a bootable floppy with an operating system similar to DOS (the boot loader was contained into a file called AXEL.SYS). Commands such as DIR, COPY,REN worked fine.

I also had Microsoft Basic (MBASIC) on the boot disk.

Saturday 2nd February 2008
Stephane Gregoire (Montreal)

I just wanted to say that the Axel AX-20 looks very familiar to me. When I was younger, In the year 90 or so, I was learning to code in Turbo Pascal on a clone of this system. It was made by MATRA and was called MAX-20 (M was for Matra I guess while AX-20 was the name of the system).

Sunday 24th February 2002
nico (France)


TYPE  Professional Computer
ORIGIN  France
YEAR  September 1982
KEYBOARD  AZERTY full-stroke keyboard with separated numeric keypad, 80 keys
8 programmable function keys on the monitor !
CPU  Intel 8088
SPEED  4,77 Mhz
CO-PROCESSOR  Optional 8087 math co-processor
RAM  64 kb (up to 1 Mb)
ROM  2 kb
TEXT MODES  80 x 26 (the two bottom lines are reserved for system messages)
Character matrix: 8 x 12
GRAPHIC MODES  640 x 288
COLORS  8 brightness levels (12'' monochrome monitor)
SOUND  Built-in speaker
SIZE / WEIGHT  42 x 51 38 cm
I/O PORTS  Serial port, Parallel/Centronics interface, expansion bus - 5 slots (optional)
BUILT IN MEDIA  5.25'' disk-drive - 320 kb (optional)
OS  MS-DOS & CP/M 86
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in PSU - 65W
PERIPHERALS  Printers, disk-drives, V24 communication card, high resolution card, modem
PRICE  3918 (France, september 83)

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