Thomson computers

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Thomson TO7 computer on display at the Musee Bolo, Lausanne Thomson TO-07-IMG 0414-white.jpg
Thomson TO7 computer on display at the Musée Bolo, Lausanne

In the 1980s the French Thomson company produced a range of 8-bit computers based on the 6809E CPU. [1]


They were released in several variations (mostly concerning the keyboard or color of the casing) covering the MO and TO series [2] from 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) . [3] [4] [5] Around 100,000 MO5 and TO7/70 computers were ordered and installed in schools. [6] 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. [7] By 1988 Thomson had only sold 60,000 of the predicted 150,000 computers, abandoning computer development the following year. [6]

About 84 games were released for the TO7, [8] [9] 194 for the MO5, [10] [11] 3 for the TO7/70, [12] 10 for the TO9, [13] 21 for the MO6, [14] [15] and 128 for the TO8. [16] [17] Most titles were released between 1984 and 1987 and by French companies such as Infogrames, Loriciel, FIL or Coktel Vision. [18] [19]

First generation

Second generation

Unix systems

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.". [36]

PC compatible

See also

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