Thomson TO7

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Thomson TO7

Thomson TO-07-IMG 0414.jpg

Thomson TO7 computer on display at the Musée Bolo, EPFL, Lausanne
Developer Thomson SA
Type Home computer
Generation 8-bit
Release date France: 1 December 1982;35 years ago (1982-12-01)
Retail availability 1982-1984
Discontinued May 1984
Media Cassette tape, MEMO7 cartridges
Operating system none
CPU Motorola 6809 @ 1 MHz
Memory 8  KB RAM, 4KB ROM
Successor Thomson TO7/70

The Thomson TO7, also called Thomson 9000 [1] is a home computer introduced by Thomson SA in November 1982, with an original retail price of 3750 Franc. By 1983 over 40000 units were produced. [2]

Home computer class of microcomputers

Home computers were a class of microcomputers that entered the market in 1977, that started with what Byte Magazine called the "trinity of 1977", and which became common during the 1980s. They were marketed to consumers as affordable and accessible computers that, for the first time, were intended for the use of a single nontechnical user. These computers were a distinct market segment that typically cost much less than business, scientific or engineering-oriented computers of the time such as the IBM PC, and were generally less powerful in terms of memory and expandability. However, a home computer often had better graphics and sound than contemporary business computers. Their most common uses were playing video games, but they were also regularly used for word processing, doing homework, and programming.

Franc name of several currency units

The franc (₣) is the name of several currency units. The French franc was the currency of France until the euro was adopted in 1999. The Swiss franc is a major world currency today due to the prominence of Swiss financial institutions. The name is said to derive from the Latin inscription francorum rex used on early French coins and until the 18th century, or from the French franc, meaning "frank".

The TO7 is built around a 1 MHz Motorola 6809 processor. ROM cartridges, designed as MEMO7, can be introduced through a memory bay. The user interface uses Microsoft BASIC, included in the kit cartridge. The keyboard features a plastic membrane, and further user input is obtained through a lightpen. Cooling is provided by a rear radiator. Standard TV screens can be used as output through a SCART (Peritel) connector, with a resolution of 320x200 (with 2 colors for each 8x1 pixels).

Motorola 6809 microprocessor

The Motorola 6809 ("sixty-eight-oh-nine") is an 8-bit microprocessor CPU with some 16-bit features from Motorola. It was designed by Terry Ritter and Joel Boney and introduced in 1978. It was a major advance over both its predecessor, the Motorola 6800, and the related MOS Technology 6502. Among the systems to use the 6809 are the Dragon home computers, TRS-80 Color Computer, the Vectrex home console, and early 1980s arcade machines including Defender, Robotron: 2084, Joust, and Gyruss.

ROM cartridge removable enclosure containing read-only memory devices

A ROM cartridge, usually referred to simply as a cartridge or cart, is a removable memory card containing ROM designed to be connected to a consumer electronics device such as a home computer, video game console and to a lesser extent, electronic musical instruments. ROM cartridges can be used to load software such as video games or other application programs.

Microsoft BASIC is the foundation product of the Microsoft company. It first appeared in 1975 as Altair BASIC, which was the first BASIC by Microsoft and the first high level programming language available for the Altair 8800 microcomputer.

An upgraded version, the Thomson TO7/70, was released in 1984. [1] Among improvements was an increased RAM of 48KB (64 KB including Video RAM) instead of 8KB (22 KB including video RAM). 70 stands for 64+6 (64KB RAM + 6KB ROM). The 6809 processor was replaced by a 6809E and the color palette was extended from 8 to 16 colors.

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The ThomsonMO5 is a home computer introduced in France in 1984 to compete against systems such as the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64. At the same time, Thomson also released the up-market Thomson TO7/70 machine. The MO5 was not sold in vast quantities outside France and was largely discontinued in favour of the improved Thomson MO6 in 1986. MO5s were also used as educational tools in French schools for a period.

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In the 1980s the French Thomson company produced a range of 8-bit computers based on the 6809E CPU. They were released in a lot of models variations from late 1982 to 1989.

References

  1. 1 2 "OLD-COMPUTERS.COM : The Museum". www.old-computers.com.
  2. "Thomson TO7". www.obsolete-tears.com.