HC88, HC90, HC91 and HC2000 computers

HC 88 / HC90 / HC91 / HC91 + / HC2000. Home Computer systems produced at ICE

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HC computer 88

The personal computer HC 88 was designed by Traian Mihu, Eugen Dobrovie and Victor Cososchi, in 1989, at ICE Felix.

This system works both with the BASIC interpreter and under the CP / M operating system, which allowed the HC 88 to become the solution to replace CUB Z computers, in a cheaper and more accessible configuration.

The motherboard contained Z80 microprocessor (or, extended k memory of 80 kB (64 kB + 16 kB) and permanent EPROM memory of 2 kB.

Optionally, the HC 88 personal computer included a extended EPROM memory, standard serial interface and 256 kB or 1MB RAM memory extension.

It had a keyboard interface, a encoder for connection to color TV in PAL standard, as well as ports for connecting the monochrome or color monitor.

Support for program and data storage was provided by two 5 1/4 "floppy disk drives and an audio cassette player.

The results were printed on a needle printer. In text mode, it displays 32 or 80 characters per line depending on the program system used.

HC computer 90

HC 90 was a "microcomputer for entertainment, scientific and engineering calculations", produced in 1990 at the ICE Felix Bucharest company.

Production continued until 1992. It was the improved version of the HC 85 computer, with the same configuration but more modern integrated.

The microprocessor was Z80A, on 8 bits, with a speed of 3,5 Mhz, the ROM memory was 16 kB, and the RAM memory was 64 kB. Of the 64 KB, 48 were available to the user.

HC computer 91

Personal computer HC 91 has been produced by ICE Felix since 1991 and is a ZX Spetrum clone. It is the successor to the HC85 and HC90 models, all 3 of which are almost identical in configuration.

HC 91 works directly with the BASIC language - resident in EPROM permanent memory - compatible with the SINCLAIR SPECTRUM interpreter.

HC 91 works graphically with a resolution 256 × 192 pixels, 16 colors, and in text mode it works with 24 lines of 32 characters each. HC91 compared to HC90 had the advantage that it could run the CM / M operating system.

HC 91+ computer

HC 91+ was produced in 1994 by ICE Felix and is an improved version of the HC91 computer.

Although the design of the motherboard is similar to the previous model, the configuration is completely different. The microprocessor is Zilog Z80 - Z0840004PSC, which works at a speed of 4 Mhz, and the memory is higher, both ROM (64 kB) and RAM (128 kB).

HC computer 2000

HC 2000 is an improved version of HC 91 systems.

Technical specifications: CPU Z80 A - 8-bit microprocessor with 3,5 MHz clock; ROM - 48 KB (16 kB for the BASIC interpreter, 16 kB for the BIOS CP / M 10KB for the IF1 interface driver). RAM 64 kB.

Built-in interfaces: audio cassette interface, 1500 bauds, joystick interface, 3.5-inch floppy disk interface, CCITT V24 serial interface (RS-232C).

The program system ensures operation as a Sinclair compatible system or CP / M compatible system. Included interpreter for LOGO, FORTH, PASCAL, BETA BASIC.

The computers shown can be viewed at Retro IT Museum in Arad. Below, the room with Romanian computers and the collection of processors inside the museum.

Retro IT Museum in Arad

Bibliography:

Nicolae Tapus, Information Science and Technology in Romania, Romanian Academy, Romanian Academy Publishing House - Bucharest, 2018
https://retroit.ro/
https://www.youtube.com/
https://muzeuldecalculatoare.ro/
http://homecomputer.de/
https://sites.google.com/

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15 comments

  1. This while others already had 286. In my unconscious madness I also assembled, with my own means and some logistical help from friends from IIRUC, a HC Maracineanu, the home made precursor of the HC taken by ICE Felix.
    An amateur radio was the one who drew the diagram and the components and the ready-corroded board were sold on the bag in Bucharest. The one I made had Russian EPROMs of a kilo each, and integrated mostly Russian, but it worked quite well, I have no idea why it had the frequency of writing on the box offset from the reading, so I had to to vary the speed of the tape recorder so that he could read what he had written.
    Otherwise, it was a pretty nice experience for an amateur. Especially since my daughter used them to learn something about computers. I designed a 5 volt and 12 volt source, respectively, classic, had a stroke as big as a child's head, at that time switching sources only experienced engineers dared to do, and I was a poor poor computer operator.
    I got aluminum foil and built a case myself. I still have them through the attic of the country house.

  2. In Timișoara, several components were manufactured for the computers of the time, among which the Memory Factory produced memories with ferrite rings used in the mainframes of the time, Felix C-256 and Felix C-512.
    I don't know who produced the keyboards but they were quite reliable for that time. As far as I can remember, TIM-S had an ultra-flat keyboard, with inscribed foil, as you can see on current printers or gadgets, but there was also a version with normal keys.

  3. Well, in Timisoara the caps were poured, and I think that the contacts in Conex, somewhere, because they were extremely large, about 12-13 millimeters high, needed a metal grid on top to support them. They had a spur in which the inscribed key cover was placed by pressing.

  4. Anyway, all the pieces were in black, there were certain people who knew where to buy them, we being in Buzau, we fell into the hands of a speculator to buy them, I sold the bike and a Russian measuring device to get of money.

  5. Yes, there were interesting times, in 1986 as a student in the 12th grade I built together with a colleague, guided by the foreman from the electronics workshop, the computer LB881.
    It also had a keyboard with keys that were assembled separately. It was based on the 8080 and not the z80 like the HCs, had a more rudimentary BASIC than the spectrum clones and had no graphics mode.

  6. Interesting! There were some terminals that used this technology at the time, I think they were called DAF.

  7. With HC84 year of manufacture 1983, in October 1984 I was playing with it, it had no box, it had two parallel slats as support and TV Sport monitor. It was once…

  8. LB881 was my first computer, from 1982, 1983. Intel 8080 processor and Intel 8082 coprocessor. When I broke it due to a short circuit I was no longer able to repair it and switched to Cobra with Z80.

  9. Hi! This post could not be written any better! Reading
    this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this.
    I will forward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good
    read. Many thanks for sharing!

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