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ribbets
September 6th, 2006, 07:46 AM
After reading a lot of the old posts from Europe ,,Africa ,, Australia and others.. what are the basics, to watch for when looking for a computer manufactured outside the US?....I know of several systems that were brought back from Europe , by friends that were in the service in the 80's, and are usually kept as souveneirs. and now are in their attic or garages.. Are there any particular Brands or Models to look for.. I don't think you can be a collector without at least one from some other country and clones shouldn't count. How about the Soviet made Osborne or the French equiv. TRS 80..

ribbets
September 6th, 2006, 07:51 AM
carlson , cpm/user help me out here..

Luke
September 6th, 2006, 08:01 AM
I can only say, that here in Poland were produced two popular here microcomputers:

Meritum I (1983)

TRS 2 clone, compatible.

http://www.wodip.opole.pl/~lootmuchow/informatyka/meritum_01_middle.jpg

Elwro 800 Junior (1986)
Computer for shools, ZX Spectrum clone, had modified CP/M (CP/J).
These computers could be used in network and childrens could acces FDD and printer connected to teacher's computer.

http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grafika:Elwro_800_calosc.jpg

Erik
September 6th, 2006, 08:12 AM
If anyone ever finds a Micral they'd like to sell me I'd be interested in discussing it.

carlsson
September 6th, 2006, 02:17 PM
Are you asking for a list of computer models manufactured outside USA, or more technical aspects: video mode, voltage etc? Also, you're not particularly interested in clones, but unique designs.

Most of the popular European home computers were the UK ones, except for domestic computers in some countries. Here is a partial list:

England
Sinclair: ZX80, ZX81, Spectrum (16K, 48K, 128K, +2, +3 etc), QL.
Jupiter Ace, the Forth computer has a ZX form factor and shares several other aspects with the Sinclair computers.

Amstrad: CPC464, 664, 6128, 6128+ (sold as Schneider in Germany etc), PCW, various PC clones (also sold as Schneider).

Oric: Oric-1, Atmos, Telestrat (very rare and expensive). Both the Amstrads and Orics were popular in France.

Acorn: Atom, Electron, BBC (various models, including B, Master, Master Compact), Archimedes (various models, more along with Amiga/PC)

Wales
Dragon 32, 64 (kind of TRS-80 CoCo 1/2 clones, small differences)

Sweden
ABC-80, ABC-800, ABC-1600, Scandia Metric 65, 85 (early school/office computers - the original ABC-80 was said to be inspired by TRS-80, but not compatible at all)

Compis (official school computer, featuring 80186, now relatively rare to see as most schools probably threw them away in the early 1990's)

Some more obscure ones are Camputers Lynx, Comx-35 (Dutch/Hong Kong, very rare), Basis-108 (German Apple II relative) to name only a few from top of my head. People from other countries will be able to name more, in particular the uncommon stuff from former East Europe that even didn't make it here back in the days.

If we move our focus to Australia and that region, MicroBee 32 and 128 comes to my mind. Like many other computers, I think they were also intended for school use to begin with. Dunno what the rest of the Aussie or for that matter NZ computer industry looked like.

Asia is a completely different chapter. You have probably heard of the MSX standard, which had successors in MSX2, MSX Turbo-R and so on. A lot of Japanese, and also European (e.g. Phillips), Brazilian etc companies entered the market with one type of MSX computer each. The basic specs were identical, but each computer often had a small extra feature that made it unique, or at least the keyboard layout was a few keys different. Look for brand names such as Yamaha, Sony, Goldstar, Canon, Pioneer, Hitachi, Phillips, Mitsubishi and many more. Also Sega made some attempts of a computer, SC-1000, SC-3000 etc. Some of these are very uncommon, perhaps not on the native market over there, but at least if you're looking for someone who ships internationally. Spectravideo was a part US owned company who also was a forerunner to the MSX standard with the SVI-318/328 and later made fully compatible computers in SVI-728/738.

On the Japanese market, some other US companies also tried to enter by making purely Japanese versions, e.g. Commodore VIC-1001 (which is a Jap VIC-20) or the Japanese C64 - much less common to find than your average US version C64 breadbox.

dongfeng
September 6th, 2006, 04:40 PM
To Carlsson's list of computers from the UK I would also add the Commodore Amiga range. Nearly everyone I knew had one of these in the UK!

ribbets
September 7th, 2006, 04:26 AM
I'll put them in my pda and when out roaming the country side I can have a list of things to look for...maybe worth a trip to PEI or Scotia this fall....

carlsson
September 7th, 2006, 06:44 AM
But the Amiga is not an European computer, even if many were manufactured here and it mainly was popular on this side of the Atlantic. I read somewhere that the Amiga was considered too cheap and sold in toy stores, so US people frowned at it for those reasons. In the USA, you want expensive status symbols, not cheap functional items or something.

ribbets
September 7th, 2006, 07:15 AM
Be nice now,,, carlson some of us are cheap and functional here....
THANKS for the info.

carlsson
September 7th, 2006, 03:30 PM
Oh well, here is the Wikipedia quote:


Mass-market Amigas were then (1990) considerably cheaper than PCs and Macs at the time. This factor helped to boost sales in the more price-conscious European markets, but it also led to Commodore being viewed in U.S. markets as a producer of cheap "game machines". This perception was furthered by the fact that most Commodore retail outlets were toy stores, and marketing campaigns were woefully mismatched with the status-conscious American public. Overall, the Amiga was very successful in Europe, but it sold less than a million units in the U.S..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Amiga

Perhaps this entry, like many other on Wikipedia, isn't entirely reliable. ;-)

Unknown_K
September 7th, 2006, 10:05 PM
I would think the MSX standard used by many companies overseas starting in the 1980's would be your best bet. Documentation for these should be easy enough to find, same with software.

There are quite a few eastern block knockoffs of western machines and a few homemade types but I would think they would be hard to get running and hard to get software for.

Terry Yager
September 9th, 2006, 02:10 PM
Oh well, here is the Wikipedia quote:

[COLOR=black]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Amiga

Perhaps this entry, like many other on Wikipedia, isn't entirely reliable. ;-)

Only as reliable as the source material...I wouldn't mind seeing the actual sales data for myself.

--T

dongfeng
September 9th, 2006, 02:34 PM
But the Amiga is not an European computer, even if many were manufactured here and it mainly was popular on this side of the Atlantic. I read somewhere that the Amiga was considered too cheap and sold in toy stores, so US people frowned at it for those reasons. In the USA, you want expensive status symbols, not cheap functional items or something.

I know it is not an European computer, but the success in the UK really was much more than any other brand. Other computers where common, but I remember more people with Amiga's than any other.

carlsson
September 10th, 2006, 10:39 AM
Oh well. In that case, the Commodore 64 is a Swedish or German computer, but not particulary a UK computer based on what I've read. At least not if we consider those who could afford a disk drive. ;-)

I remember Olivetti (Italy) license built some Acorn computers. Probably there is a lot of licensees or clones to dig from, but they are so uncommon that it takes a big computer collector to sell his collection (like Dimitri did) to find them.

dongfeng
September 10th, 2006, 10:53 AM
There where so many differnet microcomputers and clones in the 1980's where to start!

It is interesting to compare trends towards certain models and brands in different countries.

From a UK perspective, most people in the '80s either had a Commodore VIC-20 or C64, or a Spectrum of some description. Later on, from about 1988, Amigas had a very high influence here. Other common computers where the Amstrad CPC series and BBC/Acorn (mainly since they where the computers used by schools). I would say Commodore and Sinclair had the most market share and software sales in the UK.

I remember having many arguements at school over who's format was better "my VIC20 is better than your Spectrum 48k" and so on ;)

IBM PC's and clones where about, but I can't honestly remember anyone actually having one for home use. Those that did just had them running business software for work. It wasn't really until the 486 that people really started to buy them as there where just better alternatives for less money about.

If I had to name a UK most popular computer list, it would be as follows (not in any order):

Commodore Amiga 500
Sinclair Spectrum 48k
Commodore VIC-20 / C64
BBC Micro

Less common but still quite frequent would be:

Acorn Archimedes
Amstrad CPC series

Luke
September 10th, 2006, 11:50 AM
In Poland first computer used by 'mass' was ZX-81.
It was cheap, so people bought it.

Then was Commodore C64, Atari 800XL, Amstrad CPC and Amiga 500.

In Poland many people also used XT and AT286 clones in late '80s.
In '90s 386 and 486 beacame popular.

carlsson
September 10th, 2006, 02:23 PM
Yes, Atari 8-bit and I believe also ZX Spectrum appears to have a big demo scene in Poland. Or maybe the Speccy scene is relatively bigger in Czech Republic.

TroyW
September 10th, 2006, 10:53 PM
If anyone could get their hands on a microbee, I'm sure that would be a collectors item now...