In the 1980s the French Thomson company produced a range of 8-bit computers based on the 6809E CPU.
They were released in several variations (mostly concerning the keyboard or color of the casing) covering the MO and TO seriesfrom late 1982 to 1989. While MO and TO models are incompatible in software, most of the peripherals and hardware were compatible.
These machines were common in France due to the 1980s governmental educational program Computing for All (Informatique pour Tous) .Around 100,000 MO5 and TO7/70 computers were ordered and installed in schools. Export attempts to Germany, Italy, Algeria, USSR, India, Argentina and Spain were unsuccessful.
It is reported that there were 450,000 Thomson computers in France in 1986.By 1988 Thomson had only sold 60,000 of the predicted 150,000 computers, abandoning computer development the following year.
About 84 games were released for the TO7,194 for the MO5, 3 for the TO7/70, 10 for the TO9, 21 for the MO6, and 128 for the TO8. Most titles were released between 1984 and 1987 and by French companies such as Infogrames, Loriciel, FIL or Coktel Vision.
The Micromega was fundamental on the adoption of Unix by the French government, due to the localization of the Unix operating system. According to Dominique Maisonneuve, a Unix developer at CERG (Paris): "It was thanks to the Micromega that the government became interested in installing Unix. What was needed, was some hardware with a French coloring.".
The Matra & Hachette Ordinateur Alice is a home computer sold in France beginning in 1983. It was a clone of the TRS-80 MC-10, produced through a collaboration between Matra and Hachette in France and Tandy Corporation in the United States.
The FM Towns is a Japanese personal computer built by Fujitsu from February 1989 to the summer of 1997. It started as a proprietary PC variant intended for multimedia applications and PC games, but later became more compatible with IBM PC compatibles. In 1993, the FM Towns Marty was released, a game console compatible with existing FM Towns games.
The ThomsonMO5 is a home computer introduced in France in June 1984 to compete against systems such as the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64. It had a release price of 2390 FF.
The FM Towns Marty is a fifth-generation home video game console released in 1993 by Fujitsu, exclusively for the Japanese market. It is often claimed to be the first 32-bit CD-based home video game system, although it has a 16-bit data bus, just like the earlier Commodore CDTV and Sega CD, which both have Motorola 68000 processors that are similar internally 16/32-bit, but with a 16-bit data bus. The console came complete with a built in CD-ROM drive and disk drive. It was based on the earlier FM Towns computer system Fujitsu had released in 1989. The Marty was backward-compatible with older FM Towns games.
The Thomson EF936x series is a type of Graphic Display Processor (GDP) by Thomson-EFCIS. The chip could draw at 1 million pixels per second, which was relatively advanced for the time of its release.
The AT&T UNIX PC is a Unix desktop computer originally developed by Convergent Technologies, and marketed by AT&T Information Systems in the mid- to late-1980s. The system was codenamed "Safari 4" and is also known as the PC 7300, and often dubbed the "3B1". Despite the latter name, the system had little in common with AT&T's line of 3B series computers. The system was tailored for use as a productivity tool in office environments and as an electronic communication center.
Micral is a series of microcomputers produced by the French company Réalisation d'Études Électroniques, beginning with the Micral N in early 1973. The Micral N was the first commercially available microprocessor-based computer.
The Olivetti M24 is a computer that was sold by Olivetti in 1983 using the Intel 8086 CPU.
The Thomson TO7, also called Thomson 9000 is a home computer introduced by Thomson SA in November 1982, with an original retail price of 3750 FF. By 1983 over 40000 units were produced. About 84 games were released for the TO7.
The ThomsonMO6 was a Motorola 6809E-based computer introduced in France in 1986. It was intended as the successor to the Thomson MO5 and featured 128 KB of RAM, a 40×25 text display, and a new built-in Microsoft BASIC interpreter. It retained compatibility with its predecessor, while incorporating the same technology as the TO8.
The Thomson TO8 is a home computer introduced by French company Thomson SA in 1986, with a cost of 2,990 FF. It replaces its predecessor, the Thomson TO7/70, while remaining essentially compatible.
The VG5000μ is a computer created by Philips in 1984. It was manufactured in Le Mans by Radiotechnique (RTS) and marketed under the Philips, Radiola and Schneider brands.
The Thomson TO9 is a home computer introduced by French company Thomson SA in 1985.
The Thomson TO16 or Thomson TO16PC is a PC compatible personal computer introduced by French company Thomson SA in 1987, with prices ranging from 9000 to 16000 FF depending on the version.
The Computing for All plan was a French government plan to introduce computers to the country's 11 million pupils. A second goal was to support national industry. It followed several introductory computer science programs in schools since 1971. The IPT plan was presented to the press on January 25, 1985 by Laurent Fabius, Prime Minister at the time. It aimed to set up, from the start of that school year, more than 120,000 machines in 50,000 schools and to train 110,000 teachers. Its estimated cost was 1.8 billion francs, including 1.5 billion for equipment. The plan was abandoned in 1989.
The EXL 100 is a computer released in 1984 by the French brand Exelvision, based on the TMS 7020 microprocessor from Texas Instruments. This was an uncommon design choice but justified by the fact that the engineering team behind the machine came from Texas instruments. It was part of the government Computing for All plan and 9000 units were used in schools.
The Olivetti M28 personal computer, introduced in 1986, was the successor to the Olivetti M24. It had an Intel 80286 CPU running at 8 MHz and 512 KB of RAM, featuring a 5.25" floppy drive and a 20 MB hard drive. The operating systems were MS-DOS 3.2 and XENIX. The computer had room to install three disk units, as opposed to only two on the M24. It was possible to install a 70 MB hard drive, a 80287 math co-processor and a enhanced CGA compatible graphic card capable of displaying 640x400 pixels with 16 colors.
SMT Goupil was a French IT company created in 1979 by Claude Perdrillat, previously a senior executive in the General Directorate of Telecommunications.
Léanord was a French computer brand, founded in 1960 at Haubourdin, near Lille. It was a subsidiary of Creusot-Loire and started to develop computers in the late 1970s.
LogAbax was a French computer brand. Founded in 1942, the company was one of France's pioneers in computer manufacturing. The name is composed of two abbreviations: Log from logarithm and Abax from abacus.