Poly 1 Computer

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dreamseal
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Poly 1 Computer

Post by dreamseal » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:02 pm

This is totally unrelated to the Oric, but I thought that a few people might be interested in this.

I discovered this only a couple of weeks ago. I am originally from New Zealand. I was born there, grew up there, went to school there, started working there. Up until about 10 years ago I was still living there.

So being a big retro computer fan, how on earth have I never heard of this 8-bit 1980s retro computer developed in New Zealand for New Zealand schools?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poly-1

https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/bl ... sition.htm

http://www.cs.otago.ac.nz/homepages/and ... y/Poly.htm

For 1981, this seemed like quite an impressive machine. It had 64K RAM, and supported accessing another 64K RAM above that. It had five separate "screens", two text, two graphics, and a background screen that were super imposed on top of each other. - Such a shame that the New Zealand government pulled out of the deal to purchase these to supply to New Zealand schools.

This is a real collectors item.

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Dbug
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Re: Poly 1 Computer

Post by Dbug » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:15 am

Machines made for government contracts tend to have some quite powerful features, just look at the BBC, with some quite powerful basic, 2mhz cpu, and decent graphic modes.

I like the design of the machine, would fit just perfectly on a set of Space:1999!

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Chema
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Re: Poly 1 Computer

Post by Chema » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:47 pm

Indeed. Really nice Space:1999-esque design! :)

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dreamseal
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Re: Poly 1 Computer

Post by dreamseal » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:15 am

Dbug wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:15 am
Machines made for government contracts tend to have some quite powerful features, just look at the BBC, with some quite powerful basic, 2mhz cpu, and decent graphic modes.
Yes, such a shame that the New Zealand government pulled out of the deal to purchase these for schools. That was probably the beginning of the end for that machine. They kept making it for a few years, but it was apparently quite expensive, so without the NZ government buying them, it was probably quite difficult to sell with all those much cheaper machines tarting to come out. There would have been a few thousand sold, but very rare these days it seems. Which is a shame, because it would have been interesting to see what some demo coders could have done on the real machine with the superimposed 5 screens. Not being a particularly popular machine, there wasn't much of a software base for it, so the games available appear to be only quite simple BASIC games that didn't really push the machine with its graphics capabilities.

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ibisum
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Re: Poly 1 Computer

Post by ibisum » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:16 am

As I understand it, this used a TELETEXT chip for the text layer, and had other layers that could be imposed somehow? Seems wonderful. I'm guessing we'll get a taste of this with OricExos..

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dreamseal
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Re: Poly 1 Computer

Post by dreamseal » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:11 pm

It actually has two TELETEXT chips, and two separate graphics screens, that are layered on top of each other, with a single colour background "screen" behind that. It fetches the data from the four screens in parallel and there appears to be a couple of ways that they can be combined/mixed.

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Re: Poly 1 Computer

Post by NekoNoNiaow » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:10 am

The look of this kitten is quite special: with its all plastic enclosure, side handles and this weird recessed square at the top it is almost as if it was designed to be used as a swimming pool floating computer. ;)
I can picture three people gathering around it in the pool : one typing at the keyboard and the two others discussing while holding one of the handles with one hand and drinking a tequila with the other hand that they would put back on the recessed top of the machine once they are done. :D

Clearly a winning concept. ;)

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