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R > RCA > Fred   


This Fred computer is a prototype designed by Joseph Weisbecker, engineer at RCA. He already imagined several early computer designs before this Fred model, such as the System 00 or the original Fred concept.

Fred (Flexible Recreational & Educational Device) is in fact a concept imagined by Joseph Weisbecker for an educational computer able to play games. This concept emerged in several hardware versions through time. The first models could be dated as early as 1970 or 1971 !

The first models (like the one code-named System 00) used only small-scale digital TTL logic chips, the Fred computer picture here is the first system of the project to use integrated chipsets, particularly the RCA's COSMAC 1801 chip set, which would later become the single-chip COSMAC 1802.

All the incredible work initiated by Joseph Weisbecker eventually led to the RCA Cosmac line of computers (like The Microtutor or the Cosmac VIP) and the RCA Studio II gaming system, among other projects.


Photo of the Fred computer courtesy of the Sarnoff Collection, The College of New Jersey

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NAME  Fred
YEAR  1974
CONTROLLERS  Hexadecimal flat keyboard on front panel + switches
CPU  RCA 1801 dual chipset
SPEED  1.6 MHz
ROM  None
COLORS  Black & white
I/O PORTS  Video out, audio, expansion slot
MEDIA  Tape player/recorder

Software for this system!

1971 RCA
1971 RCA (developer)
1971 RCA

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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

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