Amstrad's Secret PCWs! (New Computer Express)
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Express exclusive - Amstrad's new launches expected in September

Amstrad is to launch two new PCWs, the 9512 Plus and the 9256. It is also to kill off the 8000 range of machines, the 8256 and 8512, Express can exclusively reveal.


Although few details are available as yet, a spokesman for Amstrad's public relations company, Michael Joyce Associates told Express: “The new machines are the 9512 Plus and the 9256. The main changes to the range will be that the 3-inch drives will be dropped in favour of Sony standard 3.5-inch drives manufactured by Citizen. There will also be a new styling".

While final release dates for the machines have not been confirmed, it is expected that the Business Computing ‘91 Exhibition in September will be the venue for the launch.


It is known the machines are well past the development stages, and are already in production awaiting final shipment early in 1992. One development machine has already been seen in the UK.

The main change to the PCW, the addition of 3.5-inch disk drives, is not unexpected. The 3-inch floppy drives used in the older PCWs, and also used in the Amstrad CPC and Spectrum ranges, have been in short supply for well over a year. Far Eastern manufacturers have turned production lines over to the 3.5-inch versions which are commonly used in PCs, Macs, STs and Amigas.


In terms of software support, the cheap-to-licence CP/M operating system, seen by most people in the industry as archaic has been retained albeit in its latest version. This version is able to support both the new floppies, and hard drives.

Prices for the new machines have not, as yet, been confirmed.

Bundled software, according to the spokesman: "... will be LocoScript which will be loaded from disk'.


Locomotive Software's technical director, Richard Clayton, offered a strong "No comment” on the possibility of a Locomotive/Amstrad collaboration on the new machines. “If Amstrad was launching new machines, and we were working on
them then we would not be able to comment,” he explained.

A spokesman for Michael Joyce Associates said: ‘The decision as to when to launch the machines has not been made. And, although this is unconfirmed, post-September looks likely”.


So what is there in terms of the future, or lack of it, for the 8256 and 8512 PCWs the spokesman for Michael Joyce Associates told Express:

"It looks as if the 8000 series is being dropped”.

Detailed: the new PCWs

Although both Amstrad and its press and public relations company were reticent about commenting definitively on the exact specifications of the new PCWs, we have been able to track down the basic details which are as follows:

  • Two new machines - the 9512 Plus and the 9256
  • Both machines will have space for two 720K 3.5-inch drives produced by Citizen.
  • The 9512 Plus will come with a parallel/Centronics interface to take a daisywheel printer.
  • The 9256 will have a custom interface to take an as yet unnamed “captive printer”.
  • Both machines with paper-white screens.
  • Both machines will retain Digital Researches CP/M operating system. However this will be configured to a new version which might mean that programs such as Mini Office Professional will not run in its present state.
  • The version of the CP/M operating system adopted for the new PCWs supports both the 3.5 and 5.25-inch drive configuration and hard drives.

New Computer Express

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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.