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The Tatung Einstein was an eight-bit home/personal computer produced by Taiwanese corporation Tatung, designed in Bradford, England at Tatung's research laboratories and assembled in Bridgnorth and Telford, England. It was aimed primarily at small businesses.
|Introductory price||£499 (equivalent to £1,706 in 2021)|
|Media||3-inch floppy disk|
|Operating system||MOS (Machine Operating System); Xtal DOS (CP/M-compatible); Xtal BASIC (BASIC)|
|CPU||Zilog Z80 @ 4MHz|
|Memory||64KB RAM, 16KB VRAM, 8KB-32KB ROM|
|Storage||3 inch floppy Drive 1770 FDC|
|Display||256 × 192, 16 colours|
|Input||51 key Keyboard, Joystick|
|Dimensions||43.5 × 51.5 × 11.5cm|
|Successor||Tatung Einstein 256|
The Tatung Einstein TC-01 was released in the United Kingdom in the summer of 1984, and 5,000 were exported to Taipei later that year. A Tatung monitor (monochrome or colour) and dot matrix printer were also available as options, plus external disc drives and an 80 column display card. It was also capable of running ZX Spectrum software with the "Speculator" addon.
The machine was physically large, with an option for one or two built-in three-inch floppy disk drives manufactured by Hitachi. At the time, most home computers in the UK used ordinary tape recorders for storage. Another unusual feature of the Einstein was that on start-up the computer entered a simple machine code monitor, called MOS (Machine Operating System).
A variety of software could then be loaded from disk, including a CP/M-compatible operating system called Xtal DOS (pronounced 'Crystal DOS', created by Crystal Computers in Torquay), and a BASIC interpreter (Xtal BASIC). More than 400 software titles were released for the system, including about 120 games. Versions of popular software like DBase or WordStar were available.
Thanks to the reliability of the machine, and ample memory, the machine proved useful by many software houses to use for programming, and then porting the code to the machines they were made for, namely the Spectrum 48k, Amstrad CPC, and Commodore 64. Eventually, it was superseded by the PC and Atari ST as the development systems of choice.
The follow on machine, the Einstein 256, basically was the same as the original, with improved video (Yamaha V9938) and a more slimline black case.
Technical specifications Edit
The machines were quite similar.
Tatung Einstein TC-01 Edit
The Tatung Einstein TC-01 specifications are similar the MSX standard.
- CPU: Zilog Z80A @ 4 MHz
- ROM: 8K to 32K
- RAM: 64 KB system; 16 KB video
- Video: Texas Instruments TMS9129, 16 colours, 32 sprite planes
- Audio: AY-3-8910 (also reads the keyboard matrix)
- Z84C30 CTC
- Z84C20 PIO
- Intel 8251 SIO
- 1770 FDC 3'' floppy disk controllers
- Z80 'Tube' bus/interface
- Analogue joystick ports
Tatung Einstein 256 Edit
- RAM: 64K user; 192K video
- Video: Yamaha V9938, 512 colours
See also Edit
- "Tatung Einstein TC-01 - Computer - Computing History". www.computinghistory.org.uk. Retrieved 2022-10-30.
- Horizonte asiático (in Spanish). APACL. 1986.
- An Introduction to Tatung Co., 1984. Tatung Company. 1984.
- "Tatung Einstein Speculator". www.tatungeinstein.co.uk. Retrieved 2022-12-22.
- "Speculator Spectrum Emulator". www.tatungeinstein.co.uk. Retrieved 2022-12-22.
- McAlpine, Kenneth B. (2018-11-09). Bits and Pieces: A History of Chiptunes. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-049611-1.
- Bolton, David (2019-01-17). "Blast from the Past: Retrieving Old Game Source Code". Dice Insights. Retrieved 2022-10-30.
- "EINSTEIN TC-01 Tatung". www.old-computers.com.
- Sharpe, Michael (2011-12-13). Family Matters: A History of Genealogy. Casemate Publishers. ISBN 978-1-84468-650-6.
- "Tatung Einstein 256 - Computer - Computing History". www.computinghistory.org.uk. Retrieved 2022-10-30.
- "Tatung Einstein 256". www.tatungeinstein.co.uk. Retrieved 2022-10-30.
- Joshi, Rajmohan (April 2006). Introduction To Computers. Gyan Publishing House. ISBN 978-81-8205-379-3.
- Investors Chronicle. Financial Times Business Pub. 1984.
- "Tatung Einstein Complete Software List". www.tatungeinstein.co.uk. Retrieved 2022-12-22.
- "Tatung Einstein business software". www.tatungeinstein.co.uk. Retrieved 2022-12-22.
- Joshi, Rajmohan (April 2006). Introduction To Computers. Gyan Publishing House. p. 73. ISBN 978-81-8205-379-3.