Last update :- February 19th, 2012

Introduction

Here I'm going to introduce you to and give you some background information on the computers I've owned and built since I got into the hobby.

Quick index:

Amstrad CPC6128

The Amstrad CPC6128 was my first computer - bought in 1986 when it was at the forefront of the personal computer craze and I still have it to this day. Click on the images below for a larger picture.

Amstrad CPC6128 Keyboard Amstrad CPC6128 Monitor & Keyboard
Amstrad CPC6128 Keyboard Amstrad CPC6128 Monitor & Keyboard

The CPC (Colour Personal Computer) 6128 was built in 1985 and had the following specifications:

The competition at the time was stiff from the Sinclair Spectrum, Commodore C64 and BBC Micro to name a few. It stood up well against the first two as a games machine and was on a par with the BBC for small business purposes and expansion capability.

After a couple of years it was relegated to a cupboard and forgotten about - until I spotted a copy of "Amstrad Action" magazine at the local newsagents. Interest was lost again as the magazine became difficult to get a hold of and I switched to the new 16-bit Sega Megadrive console.

Then things changed again when I spotted the same magazine again in a larger town centre newsagents. At that point I started buying all sorts of extras for it - new games & utilities, a "nippy" dot-matrix colour printer (Star LC10 I think), a 3.5" second disk drive and a Multiface II (which allowed you to save games to disk). I also got most of the back-issues of the magazine and signed up with a fanzine called WACCI which still runs today.

At this point I also "met" a guy called Peter Campbell who ran a company known as CampurSoft (which later became known as ComSoft). I managed to get a hold of the circuit diagram for the machine and ended up designing a ROM expansion board for it (affectionately known as the "Black Brick" because of the case I had to put it in!). These were hand-built including the PCB and sold worldwide for about £30 via CampurSoft - the total exceeding 150! As a result I also wrote articles on various modifications for the machine and had them printed in WACCI.

I still use this machine occasionally in "virtual" form via an "emulator" called WinAPE which you can find details of in my Games section via the homepage. The reason behind this is that there are some classic games and ROMs that are simply not available any more on any other platform. It's great to go "retro" every now and then and play games like "Exolon" and "Crystal Kingdom Dizzy" - it takes all types

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