Apricot PC

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Apricot PC
Also known asACT Apricot
ManufacturerApricot Computers
Typepersonal computer
Release dateLate 1983 (1983)
Operating systemcame with standard MS-DOS 2.11 and CP/M-86.
CPU4,77 MHz @ Intel 8086 CPU
Socket for optional Intel 8087 co-processor.
MemoryRAM 256 kB(Max 768 kB)
Storage2 × 3.5" floppy drives with 315 kB or 720 kB capacity
DisplayCRT green-screen 9"
Graphicstext mode 80 × 25 or graphics 800 × 400 pixels
Inputkeyboard with an integrated LCD display

The Apricot PC was a personal computer produced by Apricot Computers. Released in late 1983, it was Apricot's first computer made for business use.

The press received it well, especially for the high resolution 800 × 400 of its time and its trackball cable (future models used IR).

It used an Intel 8086 processor running at 4,77 MHz. A 087 math co-processor was optional. The amount of memory was 256 kB, expandable to 768 kB. CRT green-screen 9"[1] with text mode 80 × 25 or graphics 800 × 400 pixels. Equipped with two floppy discs and a keyboard with an integrated LCD display. Released in 1983, it achieved success in the United Kingdom.

The Apricot Xi was a similar computer released in 1984,[1] with a hard drive instead of a second floppy-drive.


Due to an IBM PC incompatible BIOS, trying to run a software package like dBase III would result in a system crash.[1]

The system was delivered with SuperCalc, and several system utilities, asynchronous communication,[1] an emulator for IBM PC, Microsoft Basic-86, Basic Personal and ACT Manager (a GUI for MS-DOS). Optionally available were Microsoft Word, Multiplan, WordStar, dBase II, C-Pascal, UCSD Pascal, C, Fortran, COBOL and Basic Compiler 5.35.

IBM PC compatibility[edit]

The manufacturer did not completely clone the IBM BIOS, so although it ran MS-DOS and CP/M-86, it was not IBM PC compatible as the underlying system BIOS and hardware was very different. An Intel 8089 I/O controller was used, instead of the Intel 8237 DMA chip used in IBM computers; the ROM was only a simple boot loader rather than a full BIOS; and there was no 640k barrier. The floppy disk format was "not quite compatible"; attempting to read an ordinary PC FAT floppy in an Apricot, or vice versa, would result in a scrambled directory listing with some files missing.

Apricot later offered the possibility of converting the computer into an IBM compatible PC by replacing the motherboard with one equipped with an Intel 80286 processor.

Technical data[edit]

  • Processor: Intel 8086 4.77 MHz. Socket for optional Intel 8087 co-processor.
  • BIOS: 2 × EPROM containing the BIOS
  • Memory: 256 kB RAM expandable to 768 kB on board.
  • Storage: 2 × 3.5" floppy drives with 315 kB or 720 kB capacity[1]
  • DMA chip: Intel 8089
  • Graphics: Comes with a green phosphor screen 9" that weights 1.9 kg. Can display one of these modes:
    • Text 80 × 25 (Characters of 10 × 16 pixels)
    • Text 132 × 50 (Characters of 6 × 8 pixels)
    • Graphics at 800 × 400
  • Mechanical Keyboard 101-key QWERTY, 8 function keys and 6 keys standard dynamic membrane with an LED to the left of each one to indicate they are active. An LCD with 40 × 2 characters is included, which can display the key assignment. Weighs 1.5 kg and can be attached to the frame underneath for easy transport.
  • Housing: 42 × 32 × 10 cm plastic cream weighing about 6.4 kg The front half of the top shows a depression to bring the monitor. In the front two 3.5" floppy drives that can be protected with a shutter for transport. Under these, a carrying handle. At the rear two proprietary Apricot connector slots for expansion, parallel printer port of Centronics micro ribbon 36 pin connector type, serial port DB-25 connector, monitor connector and power supply with a switch.
  • Support for two internal 3,5" Sony floppy disk drives
  • Input / Output:
    • External monitor connector.
    • Parallel printer port, Centronics micro ribbon 36-pin connector
    • RS-232 serial port
    • Two expansion connectors or internal Apricot
  • Operating system came with standard MS-DOS 2.11 and CP/M-86.


External links[edit]