Microbee restoration

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Microbee restoration

Postby nama on Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:08 am

I wanted to post a link to my adventures in Microbee land:

http://web.mac.com/lord_philip/other_co ... robee.html

Cheers

Philip
Retro computing at: http://www.neoncluster.com
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Re: Microbee restoration

Postby tezza on Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:45 am

Thanks for posting that link.

The microbee. It was a computer I used to see mentioned now and again back in the day, but I've never actually seen one. I didn't realise these micros were ever used in New Zealand schools.

The menu is built into the ROM of the Swedish version yes? What did the menu allow you to do, and was there are English version for the standard model? Is it an extra EPROM, a lot like the System 80 arrangement where 2k is set aside for a custom chip?

I wonder if they were the only commercially produced Aussie 8-bit computers or were there others?

Do you know if the CP/M disk format was similar to others (Kaypro, Osborne etc.) or was it unique to the microbee?
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Re: Microbee restoration

Postby nama on Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:34 pm

Yes, I can imagine they were not so popular in NZ. I had the fortune (misfortune) if moving around a lot as a kid and got to experience many different schools with a number of different computer systems. If I remember correctly Paraparaumu Collage upgraded it's Microbee computers to Sinclair QL's. Shortly after the schools QL acquisition I moved to Waiopehu collage which had System 80's. The Microbees at school were the only ones I had ever seen before owning the one I have now.

Unfortunately I can't talk with much confidence about CP/M as I have never used a Microbee with a disk OS. I do know that there are a number of CP/M disk formats available. ds84, ds80, ss80, ds82, ss80 etc...but I'm not sure what the differences are.

Yes, the Swedish menu is built into ROM. this menu system was introduced into the Microbee product line in around 1983-4 with the introduction of the Microbee PC85. From the menu you can access such software (from ROM) as Wordbee (word processor), BASIC, a graphing program, database program, videotext, telecommunication software etc. The bee's I used at school where much earlier models and just came with BASIC. As far as I am aware the menu system is built into it's own ROM and all the other programs are also on their own ROM.

I'm not sure if the were any other commercially available Aussie built machines. In this respect NZ rocks, as we had both the Aamber Pegasus and the Poly.
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