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Viscount Electronics Ltd

PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:22 pm
by YetiSeti
Well, it's no surprise googling them only turned up your site.

I just found a C64 game tape digging into a box (no cover unfortunately) with labelling :
Distributed by Viscount Electronics Ltd, P.O. Box 513 Palmerston North.

I'm guessing it's NZ written?

Re: Viscount Electronics Ltd

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:50 am
by tezza
Yes, Viscount Electronics. It deserves a note in New Zealand computer history.

That was one of the first computer shops in Palmerston North and probably the most significant in very early days of personal computing (1981-1984). That's where I bought my System 80, software and monthy journals like Micro-80. The owner, Frank (Goldhaming?), was an active entrepreneur who set up import deals with a number of manufacturers. His shop also serviced and modified machines. His market was more than just local. If you check out past issues of Bits and Bytes you'll see a number of ads there.

Like most general personal computer stores catering to the growing market Viscount electronics didn't survive the split into distinct business computer and home computing. Design Electronics got the Apple franchise, and the PC clone market was serviced by others. Trying to service the home market was disasterous as the likes of the Commodore 64 started to be sold by K-Mart at such a low margin there was hardly any money in it. The margins were slim.

I'm not sure when Frank closed the store but I suspect around 1985? I'm only guessing that is was because of the above, but I suspect I'm right as speciality stores up and down the country suffered this way. Some stores, like David Reid, were general electronic chain stores and dealt with more than just computers so could ride it out. Viscount Electronics thought was only a small shop specialising in only computers and so was vunerable.

Viscount electronics epotimised the local personal/hobby computer shop that bought computing to many of us who discovered it in the early 1980s. It had a significant role here in Palmerston North.

As far as I know Frank still lives locally. If you ever read this Frank, I'd welcome your reflections. Your shop was influential in many people's lives!

Re: Viscount Electronics Ltd

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:50 pm
by lizardb0y
Here are some scans of newspaper advertisements from Viscount Electronics. I don't have the original papers, and no dates for these ads unfortunately. ... rtisements

Re: Viscount Electronics Ltd

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:21 pm
by tezza
yes, it looks like he advertised nationally. A few of his ads appear in Bits and Bytes.

Re: Viscount Electronics Ltd

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:25 pm
by lizardb0y
I expect these were local Palmerston North papers - they were accompanied by ads from other PN stores and the occasional one identifiable as the Evening Standard.

Re: Viscount Electronics Ltd

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:24 pm
by nama
Reviving an old thread...
Just got hold of another Vic 20, this one came with five Viscosoft Vic-20 cassettes:

Lunar Rescue
Cattle round-up
Head on
Cosmic Debris

YetiSeti, I think it would be a great idea to make digital backups of your cassettes, if you haven't already. That's my plan.
I think these programs represent a valuable piece of NZ computing history.


Re: Viscount Electronics Ltd

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:44 pm
by glc
I have a price-list dated 1st May 1982 from Viscount electronics
here are few examples (Commodore) lists education price followed by retail price

CBM 4016 16K 40col 12 vdu $1564 $1995
CBM 8032 32K 80 col 12 vdu $3471 $4428
CBM 8050 D/Disk drive 1Mg $3471 $4428
MX-80 FT Printer IEEE $1356 $1783
CBM Modem $755 $963
16k memory upgrade board $766.08 $975
DS Joystick single paddle $48 $48

viscalc $391 $420
pascal $283 $360
invaders $26.52 $35
breakthrough $26.52 $35

memorex disks ss/sd (1) $7.16 $8.98
cassettes c20 $2.08 $2.45

Re: Viscount Electronics Ltd

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:47 pm
by tezza
Yes, I remember seeing those models in the shop. All sorts of weird and wonderful machines in 1982. At eyewatering prices!