|★ PEOPLES ★ AMSTRAD MACHINE IS ANNOUNCED (POPULAR COMPUTING WEEKLY) ★|
|Amstrad machine is announced (Popular Computing Weekly)|
ALAN Sugar, Amstrad's chairman, has now formally announced the Amstrad home computer.
Called the CPC 464, the machine will be offered in four versions. System 1 consists of the CPC 464 console with green screen monitor, priced at £229. System 2 replaces the green screen monitor with a colour monitor for £329. Systems 3 and 4 are the same as 1 and 2, respectively, except a single 3in Hitachi disc drive is also included running CP/M. These latter options are priced at £429 and £529.
The two disc versions result from a licencing deal with Digital Research for the CP/M 2.2 disc operating system.
Amstrad plans to deliver the first batch of 1,000 machines to stores in June and by Christmas expects to have produced over 200,000 machines, all of which have already been underwritten by the major chain stores.
The CPC 464 Is to be sold initially by Boots, Dixons. Comet (recently bought by Woolworths) and Rumbelows.
The CPC 464 — reviewed in this issue — has a Z80 processor, with 64K Ram and 32K Rom. The machine also features a built-in cassette unit.
According to Alan Sugar, the machines demonstrated at the launch were production run units with finished Roms, which means that Amstrad may well avoid embarrassing delivery delays.
Software for the CPC 464 also looks healthy. By June some 50 cassette titles will be finished. About 22 titles are running now.
These will include educational titles from Bourne Software. a wordprocessor from Juniper , Pascal from Hisoft and a promising selection of games conversions. These include: Codename Mat and Haunted Hedges from Mic-romega, two titles from Inde-scomp Roland in the Cave and Roland on the Ropes (better known in this country as Quicksilva's Boogaboo and Fred), Mr Wimpey, Hunchback and Pengwyn from Ocean. Microbot from Softek and several titles from Romik.
An assembler/disassembler is in the pipeline and Softek is working on a Basic Compiler.
The CPC 464 is to be launched simultaneously in the UK, French and Germany. At present there are no plans to sell the Korean manufactured micro in the US.