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New Zealand-made Computer from 1981!!

  • Reserve met Reserve met 
  • Closed: Wed 2 Dec 2009, 2:01 pm
Listing #: 256940964
Yes, New Zealand's first entry into the Computer Manufacturing game. Made by a bunch of ambitious university students (or young grads), it was pretty rough and ready, in the Number 8 Wire league. As you can see, it's built into a cheap cardboard "case", made from old-fashioned suitcase board. It even has suitcase latches on the sides...

As a result(?) it was a complete commercial failure, even though it used some novel ideas.

For example, instead of paying for a purpose-built video controller chip, they used the Fast Interrupt (FIRQ) input on the (revolutionary) 1? MHz Motorola 6809 chip to make the MPU drive the video display routine. This meant the MPU (CPU) spent most of its time driving the display instead of actually processing - but you could turn the display off if you wanted it to run faster. A very helpful feature, of course... And I don't remember how you do that now, either.

However, it did provide a very cheap microprocessor learning and development system, and I used it extensively at the time. You'll see it has a number of add-ons, including a Battery-backed up RAM that could be used to develop and test programs without having to write EPROMS. All good stuff...

If you'd like to own this magnificent and remarkable piece of New Zealand Computer History, please, feel free, bid away. NO Doubt, it would be a great conversation piece, so I'm sure the competition will be FIERCE!

I think it still works but I don't have a suitable monitor to plug it into any more so I can't say for sure. It used to also have a TV Modulator in an external metal box, but I don't know what's become of it. As I dig through the boxes in the garage, I guess I'll unearth it sometime.

Oh, Yeah. This is the "Advanced" model that included a ROM Expansion board (on the upper level), and features a multi-position Rotary Switch (top left of the keyboard box) that allows you to switch the system to access different banks of the ROM Expansion board. You'll see several EPROMs (inc Invaders 1.1) already in residence.

Shipping details

  • To be arranged
  • Seller allows pick-ups
  • Seller location: Auckland City, Auckland, NZ

Payment details

  • NZ bank deposit
  • Cash

About the seller

2iz (287 287 positive feedback) Address Verified Mar 2014
  • 99% positive feedback
  • Member since Mar 2006

Closes: Wed 2 Dec, 2:01 pm. 2009 This auction used auto-extend.