The KC85/1 was originally introduced as the HC-9001, "HC" meaning "Home Computer". But as the industry demand for computers was so high, they even used these home computers, so the name was changed to KC85/1, "KC" standing for "KleinComputer", which could be translated to "Small Computer".
The machine had very limited graphical capabilities with 128 pre-defined graphic and 96 text symbols in text mode (8x8 pixels size). The BASIC language needs to be loaded from cassette every time you needed it (or you could also get it as an optional ROM Module). It has got an awful keyboard (3 x 10 mm plastic keys), which was quite a pain to type with for a long time.
There was probably no real reason to prefer it from the other available models, except its low price, compared to its bigger and more featured brothers.
Info kindly provided by Stefan Goehler.
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I remember this particular computer very well, as it was my first computer and I learned how to program BASIC and Assembler on it. The keyboard surely was a pain in the ass, not so much because of its form factor but rather because a lot of force was necessary to press down a key. Good training for a guitar-player like me, but horrible in general.
Its former name was actually "Z 9001", not "HC9001", see here for an example: http://www.homecomputermuseum.de/comp/detail/111.jpg.
Friday 19th December 2008
Wow, who the hell would think designing a keyboard like that would be a "good" thing!?!?! Shoot some engineers :)
Friday 16th November 2007
Josh Carlson (Gadsden, AL, USA)
KC 85/1 - Z 9001
END OF PRODUCTION
BUILT IN GAMES
KC 85/1 OS, HC OS
QWERTZ-Layout, 65 keys. VERY hard to type with
U880 D (Z80 clone)
17 KB (16 KB free), expandable to 64 KB max.
6 KB (4 KB OS + 2 KB character map)
40x24 characters (switchable to 40x20)
Graphics only possible with 128 pre-defined graphic and 96 text symbols in text mode (8x8 pixels size)