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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


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
YEAR  September 1982
BUILT IN SOFTWARE / GAMES  HP Basic interpreter
CONTROLLERS  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
NUMBER OF GAMES  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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