Sheduled to be released in the U.S. in 1983 summertime, the PC-8201 was expected to compete directly with Tandy Model 100. Both machines were very similar, but the NEC could expand its internal RAM memory from 16 KB to 64 KB (only 32 KB for the Model 100).
The 8201's 32 KB ROM contained the operating system, Microsoft BASIC interpreter, a simple text-editing program and a telecommunication program. It could display the full 128 ASCII character set as well as Japanese Katakana characters and 61 user-definable characters.
Nec produced its own range of peripherals for the 8201, like a floppy disc controller (PC-8233) and various floppy drive units, including the most sold 3.5" unit (PC-8031). A video monitor adapter (PC-8240), an acoustic modem and a bar-code reader were also available.
You can sync this computer with a standard PC using a serial cable connection and some terminal program like PROCOMM. I've gotten it to work with ASCII protocol so far.
Something else really cool is that this system should last 20+ hours on a single charge of batteries. That, and a really high-quality keboard for quick note-grabbing during a class or a presentation.
We need more info about this console ! 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 Old-Computers.com or one of our partners.
For your reference:
Wednesday 31st July 2019
John LOW (Hong Kong)
I still have one in working condition. However, manual, accessories like the cable and program tape are long gone.
Wednesday 17th May 2017
I used an NEC PC8201A in the early 80s to hook up a Mettler balance to do "real-time" fill weight for medical solutions at one of our plants in AltaVista, Virginia. I wrote the interface program in basic to allow the inspector to place the bottle on the scale, hit the spacebar to take the reading, and the statistics for all the bottles were displayed when completed, flagging in and out of spec bottles. It was a great machine!
Saturday 16th November 2013
Mark (Chicago / USA)
BUILT IN SOFTWARE / GAMES
Microsoft BASIC 1.0
Full-stroke 67-key with 5 function keys and arrow keypad
2.4 576 MHz
16 KB up to 64 KB internally, and 128 KB via IC sockets underneath unit
32 KB (standard, up to 64 KB)
40 chars. x 8 lines
240 x 64 dots
4 channels, 3.5 octaves
SIZE / WEIGHT
30 (W) x 21.3 (D) x 3.3 (H) cm. / 1.7 kg
RS 232 (DSUB 25 pin type), SIO1, SIO2 connectors, 8 pin duPont BERG modular jack - 3 megabytes/minute max transfer CMT socket - 8 pin DIN plug for cassette recorder, Standard centronics printer port, Bar code reader socket - 9 pin DSUB connector, SYSTEM SLOT - for ram cartridges (programs, software etc.)
CMOS battery backup RAM
4 x AA batteries, NiCad battery pack or AC adaptor (DC 6-8.5V, 600mW)