Good morning everyone!
Today's retro pick is a masterpiece of 1980s german engineering. It's also a masterpiece of german lack of creativity when it comes to give a good product a cool design.
The machine is a "Triumph Adler Alphatronic PC". It has a (for the time) fast 4MHz Z80 CPU, 32 KB ROM and 64 KB RAM. Graphics capabilty is 160 x 72 pixel at 16 colors, text display is 40x27 and 80x36.
It has a proprietary cartridge slot, MS BASIC in ROM and could run CP/M 2.2 (320 KB Disks).
But it came too late and was too expensive (1800 Deutsche Mark in 1984) to compete on the Commodore dominated market here in germany.
@Wintermute_BBS isn't that an Alphatronic P2? https://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=484 one of the very few 8085-based desktops
the PC was a self-contained keyboard unit https://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=241
@Wintermute_BBS I didn't realize until recently just how enormous the Z80/S-100 ecosystem was. It seems every Byte Magazine ad circa 1980 was for a S-100 card.
Then the IBM PC came, and it all rolled up and blew away in fairly short order. So it is an ecosystem that is less visible and appreciated today. It seems like Commodore, Apple and Atari get the attention today. Probably because they were produced so much longer.
@psf the S-100 bus was used in many industrial grade applicartions of the time, I remember SPSS systems from Siemens using it.
@Wintermute_BBS Oh my word - I used to HAVE one of those. The family business retired it in the mid 1980s, and we ended up with it at home. We eventually donated it to a local school.
@jonbeckett my old school used to have one of these (maybe it was yours ?! 😅). But they didn't use it anymore, it just sat there and gathered dust. Did you use yours when you had it at home?
@Wintermute_BBS so that's what that is. I saw that name pop up when I was compiling Z88dk. 80s computers had the best names.
Their main problem was marketing. Great machine, great engineering but TA built typewriters before and tried to use this business connections to sell computers. They never understood computers was marketed completely different and failed.
@Wintermute_BBS wow, cool! But 160x72/4Bit graphics mode? That's super blocky - it's almost like what I use in my terminal but for text, not for pixels.
Didn't they have another monochrome mode or something?
Also, I agree to Wintermute. Designwise this is German industry uglyness at its finest. Compare this to the Dutch (that's just the neighbours of Germany) Holborn 9100 from 1981 and it's like 1780 design vs 2100 design ;)
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