PDA

View Full Version : Micro Professor I and II?



carlsson
April 12th, 2004, 10:40 PM
A Z80-based Micro-Professor sold on eBay last week for $41.00US
Hmm.. does the Z80-based Micro Professor have anything in common with the Apple II-alike 6502-based Micro Professor II by Multitech?

Terry Yager
April 13th, 2004, 04:46 AM
Hmmmnn, I dunno, but I guess it's possible they may have made it in more than one processor type.

--T

carlsson
April 13th, 2004, 01:18 PM
Yep, the Internet seems to confirm that it is the same Multitech who had a number of models, of which some may have been produced in the name of other companies:

Z80 models: MPF-I, MPF-IA, MPF-IB and MPF-IP
6502 models: MPF-II, MPF-III
8088 models: MPF-1/88, MPF-PC (possibly even a 80286 model)

I think in Sweden, only the MPF-II was ever mentioned in a computer magazine, as an inexpensive and quite legal (compared to the direct clones) alternative to an Apple. Or maybe I'm too young to have read older magazines mentioning the Z80 training computers.

Terry Yager
April 13th, 2004, 05:32 PM
Yep! Looks like you're right, the same company (I googled it too). The 6502 & x86 models don't seem to be trainers, tho...more like home computers in the usual sense. I kinda like the idea of programming in hex, and the breadboard area is interesting too, for experimental/learning purposes. I don't know if the other models were ever released over here, the only one I ever remember hearing about was the Z80 model.

--T

carlsson
April 13th, 2004, 11:00 PM
Notice how almost the exact same keyboard is used on both the MPF-I and MPF-II models, although a separate rubber keyboard was offered to the latter one. It was marketed as a computer for your genius kids to master, so while not being a trainer, it still had some of the same aura.

lither
December 2nd, 2005, 12:33 AM
Yep, the Internet seems to confirm that it is the same Multitech who had a number of models, of which some may have been produced in the name of other companies:
Z80 models: MPF-I, MPF-IA, MPF-IB and MPF-IP
6502 models: MPF-II, MPF-III
8088 models: MPF-1/88, MPF-PC (possibly even a 80286 model)

multitech is the old name of Acer co.
the Acer co. from Taiwan started their bussiness in the late 1970. Their name at that time is Multitech and Z80 based micro professor -1 series is their first product. then in the apple II time, they produced 6502 based MPF-II

in the early 1980 , the Multitech wanted to enter the market of Europe and they was advised to use an easier pronounciated name.the "Acer" was created at last. I remember that they paid a lot of money for someone to invent this name . There is a few year (probably 1-2 years) that both name was used by the Acer co. I have the Acer 610 ,700 pc , they have both the Multitech and Acer logo.
(i believe the acer 710 also has both logo on it but i dont have one . 610 , 700 and 710 are 8088 based pc , but the processor is a V20 class processor produced by SAB)
Finally , the Acer gave up the logo of Multitech because Acer is easier for pronounciation and memory.
Today , the logo of multitech was owned and used by a different company which has no relation with the MPF series.

carlsson
December 2nd, 2005, 01:39 AM
Interesting bit of trivia! I can not recognize hearing anything about Acer until the mid-late 90'ties, so to me that is more than a decade between the two names. To sell the old name further is one thing, but to include the old logotype seems to me a bit odd, unless they had branched off Multitech as an individual company unit and sold it as a whole, minus the old patents and products.

lither
December 2nd, 2005, 02:55 AM
Interesting bit of trivia! I can not recognize hearing anything about Acer until the mid-late 90'ties, so to me that is more than a decade between the two names. To sell the old name further is one thing, but to include the old logotype seems to me a bit odd, unless they had branched off Multitech as an individual company unit and sold it as a whole, minus the old patents and products.
I check the internet further. The Acer /multitech was founded in 1976. They were well-known in the early 1980 with their product microprofessor series ( MPF-1, MPF-2) but when they try to enter the Europe they received a letter from a lawyer of another multitech who had already have the right of logo in some european country and claimed they was founded in 1970 , this company was a modem producer.
Partly due to the logo conflict and partly due to the name of multitech is too long and too common ( XXX-tech etc) , the Acer/multitech decided to use another name . They gave one million USD to O&M for this job and finnally the Acer was created.
The Acer are clever as they pay their money to O&M instead of the lawyer for a time-consuming court matter. Today, the logo of Acer is valued about 1-2 billion USD

carlsson
December 2nd, 2005, 03:32 AM
I kind of remember hearing about the name conflict, now when you mention it. Maybe if the MPF computers had made a bigger impact, Acer as a company would have been better recognized, or it is me who is a youngling with poor memory. Since it appears they moved into X86, chances are that they were not mentioned in home computer magazines.

I again went through my Swedish magazines, and these are the four last mentions of anything Multitech:

* Early 1984 (February?), there was a small notice about MPF-PC, 8088 and MS/DOS 2.0 compatible. In the same issue, an upset owner of MPF-II had written a letter complaining about the poor compatibility between it and Apple II, referencing Personal Computer World in September 1983 who had an article about only a small fraction of the Apple software would run on the MPF. The magazine idly wondered if the MPF-PC would be more IBM PC compatible than the II was Apple compatible.

* Also early 1984 (March?) in another magazine, there printed a small notice about an unnamed Taiwanese compane who had made an Apple II clone and were sentenced to eight months of prison. Considering the poor compatibility, I suppose this did not refer to Multitech. According to the notice, the Taiwanese company had named their clone "The Rotten Apple". Dunno if it was true though.

* During Spring (March-April 1984), in a third magazine there was a MPF-II users' page with a few simple Basic programs. If the mother company had changed its name to Acer around then, the users' club surely should have made a mention about it?

* Last evidence I have was in the Classifieds section where someone sold a second-hand MPF-II as late as November 1984. The MPF-PC was never mentioned anywhere in these following magazines, and neither was Acer as a company. It doesn't say so much though.

lither
December 2nd, 2005, 04:52 AM
Considering the poor compatibility, I suppose this did not refer to Multitec...
MPF-II is only 6502 base machine , it is not well compatible with the apple-II
In fact , some 6502 pc even claimed to be " MPF-II" compatible
here is an example

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=1161

around 1984-1985 , due to too many apple-II like machine on the market , the Apple sue almost all machine using the 6502 processor. i cant find the result the copywright problem between the multitech and the apple , at least i cant find the multitech paid apple money for this .If so , this small company will be collapsed at that time.

carlsson
December 2nd, 2005, 09:54 AM
IIRC, weren't some of the Laser / Dick Smith / VZ machines (I tend to sort them under the same label, but maybe they were separate) also Apple II compatiblish to some degree? I know there were a lot of clones of different degree.

I suppose Apple only got in touch with those claiming or where compatibility could be shown. I mean, it would be a bit pointless suing Commodore, Atari, Acorn and Oric (to which extent it still existed) since neither of these machines natively were Apple compatible. There is a hardware emulator expansion for the C64 though that was one of the few legal Apple emulators or clones, since it required original ROMs or something like that? I should know it better, but I never came across it and I'm too lazy to search Internet or my old COMPUTE! magazines.

Terry Yager
December 2nd, 2005, 10:50 AM
IIRC, weren't some of the Laser / Dick Smith / VZ machines (I tend to sort them under the same label, but maybe they were separate) also Apple II compatiblish to some degree? I know there were a lot of clones of different degree.

I suppose Apple only got in touch with those claiming or where compatibility could be shown. I mean, it would be a bit pointless suing Commodore, Atari, Acorn and Oric (to which extent it still existed) since neither of these machines natively were Apple compatible. There is a hardware emulator expansion for the C64 though that was one of the few legal Apple emulators or clones, since it required original ROMs or something like that? I should know it better, but I never came across it and I'm too lazy to search Internet or my old COMPUTE! magazines.

You forgot to mention Franklin. For more info, there's an Apple II clone page at:

www.apple2clones.com

Also see the wiki:

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

--T

carlsson
December 2nd, 2005, 10:58 AM
Wow, 180+ known clones. The Basis 108 was reviewed (and priced) in one of my magazines too. I thought it was a TRS-80 clone, but it really was an Apple II ditto.

Some of these clones (as well as genuine Apples) are of course part of Dimitri's ongoing auctions too, preliminarily ending on Sunday.