|★ PEOPLES ★ SCHOOLS GO FOR CPCS|POPULAR COMPUTING WEEKLY) ★|
|Schools go for CPCs|Popular Computing Weekly)|
AMSTRAD's attack on the Acorn-dominated schools micro market is achieving some success with sales so far to more than 15 local education authorities.
Northern Computers, a Warrington-based company which was appointed sole educational distributors by Amstrad some nine months ago is selling machines at a discount to schools and educational authorities throughout the UK.
The disc-based Amstrad CPC 664 with green screen monitor sells to educational authorities at £279, and the colour monitor version sells for £369. In addition, Northern Computers is bundling £200 of educational software with each machine.
According to Northern Computers director Gareth Littler, “Amstrad appointed us sole educational distributors, and we set up the Amstrad Educational Scheme, which has been gathering momentum ever since.”
Schools have been buying both the 464 and the 664, but Gareth Littler said, ”The 664 overtook the 464 almost immediately it was made available to educational authorities.”
Northern Computers has also designed a ring network system which can handle up to 122 micros per ring. It can be used to link Amstrad 464s, 664, BBC Bs, Apricots, Apples and IBM PCs.
The first network to be installed by Northern Computers will be at the Bootle High School, which comes under the Sefton Educational Authority. The planned network will include 18 Amstrad 464s.
The network interface includes a built-in Z80 microprocessor, and sells for £125 per computer to educational authorities.
According to Louis Melia, the man in charge of the Amstrad sales office at Northern Computers, the peak period for sales to educational authorities is March, when all the cash remaining in the year's education budget must be spent or lost.
"We were moving between six and 12 Amstrads a day last March. This year we are aiming at 100 per day m the Christmas period and next March.”
He suggest that one reason some schools were turning to Amstrad was that "they are having difficulty getting new BBC Bs.”
In addition to the network and associated products, Northern Computers has also produced an implementation of BBC Basic which runs on the Amstrad machines, which has mcreased the machines' appeal to schools.
Popular Computing Weekly (1985)