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atrionfo
11-27-2007, 01:09 PM
Has anyone heard of the Rabbit Computer RX83? It was released (if it WAS released in America at all) in 1983 by a Hong Kong company. It was shown at a CES (1983?). The computer features a Z80A processor, 2KB RAM, keyboard, and 256x192 resolution 8-color graphics.

http://www.ballyalley.com/non-bally/rabbit_RX83.jpg

It seems that some kind of deal was being worked to port Astrocade tape games to this machine.

Can anyone fill me in at ALL about this computer? A Google search shows nothing.

Adam

MrSparkle
11-27-2007, 02:08 PM
hah the lack of spacebar is a great "feature" i wonder how you could program in basic without a spacebar

10print"helloworld"
20goto10

Steve W
11-27-2007, 07:20 PM
That's a pretty bizarre machine. I can't imagine it ever came out in the US, since the market here was saturated in 1983-84. There were a lot of machines announced back then that I never saw, though. Like the NEC Trek, the Amstrad computer line, or the Tano Dragon 64 (which are apparently still sitting in a warehouse in California, and you can order them for around $35).

atrionfo
11-28-2007, 09:57 AM
This answer was posted on the Bally Alley Yahoo message board by Olivier from www.old-computers.com:

The Rabbit Computer RX83 is very interesting... and very connected to
the "GEM 1000 Junior Computer / Charlemagne 999" system from GEM.
Have a look here:

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=420&st=1

and more pictures here:

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/photos.asp?t=1&c=420&st=1

It is also quite related to the more popular (in Brazil) MC-1000
Color Computer from CCE.

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=331

You can see that the RX83 is the basicaly the same computer, which
like the GEM 1000, seem to have never reached the shelves, at least
in Europe and North America.

That's why I would love to add it to the museum.
Could you guys provide me with the info you have?

Cheers

atrionfo
11-28-2007, 10:01 AM
This is the reply that I gave to Olivier:



The Rabbit Computer RX83 is very interesting... and very connected to
the "GEM 1000 Junior Computer / Charlemagne 999" system from GEM.


Well, that's very interesting!



That's why I would love to add it to the museum.
Could you guys provide me with the info you have?


When my break starts, I'll scan all of the RX83 info I have, convert it to PDF,
and add it to Ballyalley.com. If you want, I can send you the 300-dpi TIFFs of
each image that I use to make the PDFs so that you can do whatever you want with them.

What a neat little twist this is. And to think, if the computer HAD been
released in America it might have had ports of WaveMakers games! I wonder why ports for RELEASED computers were not pursued? I guess the crash came along and just crushed EVERYTHING!

Adam

Ensjo
03-19-2008, 09:56 PM
When my break starts, I'll scan all of the RX83 info I have, convert it to PDF, and add it to Ballyalley.com. If you want, I can send you the 300-dpi TIFFs of each image that I use to make the PDFs so that you can do whatever you want with them.

Adam, I had a CCE MC-1000, and so I'm interested in info on the RX83, to see if it is indeed the same machine. What info do you have? Have you already scanned it all? I'd like to get a copy, if you please.

Greetings!

Ensjo
03-19-2008, 11:12 PM
hah the lack of spacebar is a great "feature" i wonder how you could program in basic without a spacebar

10print"helloworld"
20goto10

If it is indeed the same machine as GEM 1000 and CCE MC-1000, it didn't have a space bar, but a space key instead. Check out the right bottom key below:


http://mc-1000.seedwiki.com/accounts/costa_emerson_16086/mc1000.1.jpg

I wonder why the reporter was so baffled. ZX-80, ZX-81 and ZX-Spectrum all made a lot of success with a mere space key too. Maybe having a space bar instead of a space key was a minimum standard in the U.S. market at the time?
__________________________

Evidences that it is (basicly) the same machine:


GEM 1000 is pictured with TWO different (though very similar) cases in old-computers.com one similar to MC-1000's, the other similar to RX83's. The "rubberized keyboard" seems to be the same on all three machines.
The cables connected to the RX83 in the picture are exactly where they would be on a MC-1000 connected to power supply (back), TV (right) and tape recorder (left), with a memory expansion pack (back).
It was presented with a "Music Composer program which shows four standard staffs of music with notes during playback". MC-1000 was shipped with a tape which had a program called "Music Composer" whose playback screen is just like that.
Hardware seems to be the same: "Z80A"; "uppercase only", "eight colors", "resolution of 256 x 192 pixels" (MC6847?); "sound on three channels" (AY-3-8912?).


Features that don't seem to match (due to reporter being misinformed?):

"one-stroke Basic commands": Well, in fact, in MC-1000, since you have only uppercase letters, the combo SHIFT+letter was used to fast-type common BASIC commands. It's not as it is in the ZXs, where BASIC reserved words are "atomic", typed and deleted at once. In MC-1000, SHIFT+P fast-types "PRINT", but you can delete each letter separately.
"four graphic modes": since MC-1000's BASIC is similar to Apple II's, it provides access to only two graphic modes: "HGR" (hires) and "GR" (lores). All other graphic modes of MC6847 may be accessed, though, by means of POKEs or OUTs. Maybe RX83 had a different BASIC interpreter that made better use of the machine's hardware?
"user-defined graphic characters": MC-1000's BASIC has no graphic instructions other than for (un)plotting lines and dots. No native support to printing characters in graphic mode. I wonder if this refers to a feature of MC6847 where, in text mode, you can have user defined characters, given a memory where it can fetch that info. This feature is not used in MC-1000.

atrionfo
08-23-2017, 07:44 PM
If it is indeed the same machine as GEM 1000 and CCE MC-1000, it didn't have a space bar, but a space key instead. Check out the right bottom key below:


http://mc-1000.seedwiki.com/accounts/costa_emerson_16086/mc1000.1.jpg

I wonder why the reporter was so baffled. ZX-80, ZX-81 and ZX-Spectrum all made a lot of success with a mere space key too. Maybe having a space bar instead of a space key was a minimum standard in the U.S. market at the time?
__________________________

Evidences that it is (basicly) the same machine:


GEM 1000 is pictured with TWO different (though very similar) cases in old-computers.com one similar to MC-1000's, the other similar to RX83's. The "rubberized keyboard" seems to be the same on all three machines.
The cables connected to the RX83 in the picture are exactly where they would be on a MC-1000 connected to power supply (back), TV (right) and tape recorder (left), with a memory expansion pack (back).
It was presented with a "Music Composer program which shows four standard staffs of music with notes during playback". MC-1000 was shipped with a tape which had a program called "Music Composer" whose playback screen is just like that.
Hardware seems to be the same: "Z80A"; "uppercase only", "eight colors", "resolution of 256 x 192 pixels" (MC6847?); "sound on three channels" (AY-3-8912?).


Features that don't seem to match (due to reporter being misinformed?): [...]


I have uploaded a flyer to archive.org for the Rabbit RX83 computer. You can read the flyer here:

https://archive.org/details/RabbitComputerRX83FlyerfromSummer1983CES

Here is some information about the source of the flyer, and also the contents of the flyer:

This flyer was handed out to Bob Fabris at, I think, the Summer CES show in June of 1983. Bob was the the editor of the Arcadian newsletter (for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade) in 1983. He was extremely interested in the Rabbit RX83, as he felt he could provide software for this quite-limited machine.

Like the Astrocade, which had 1.8K available to BASIC, the Rabbit RX83 shipped with just 2KB of RAM. In fact, Robert was working out a deal in which programs that had been previously written for the Astrocade would be ported to the Rabbit RX83 computer. The final deal would have cost Rabbit computer $2,500-$5,000 for each program ported to the RX83. I do have all of the paperwork exchanged between Rabbit Computer's president, Daniel Young, in Hong Kong and Bob Fabris; it's quite fascinating!

Unfortunately, the Rabbit RX83 was not released in the United States. The system was released in Belgium as the GEM 1000 and in Hong Kong as the Rabbit RX83. It also was released as the CCE MC-1000 in Brazil in 1985.

Other documentation in the Bob Fabris collection includes flyers for the Rabbit II, which had a proper full-stroke keyboard and 80K RAM (which sounds like they were including ROM and RAM).

Here is the information that is in the Rabbit RX83 flyer:

Specifications

CPU - Z80A
Clock Speed - 3.58MHZ
ROM - 8K
RAM - 2K
MAX. RAM - 64K
Built-in Language - Rabbit standard BASIC
TV display - 32 character by 16 lines
Color - 8 vivid colors
Video - RF with 3-channel sound modulated output
Resolution - 256 x 192 pixels
Baud rate - 1200
Keyboard - 50 Keys including special function keys
Graphic mode - 4 full graphic modes & 2 semigraphic modes

I/O Ports

One cassette port
One general expansion port with 256 addresses
Two joystick ports
One RF + sound modulated output port

Power Source - 9 volt DC 1 AMP. power adapter or DC source
Operating temperature - 0-35C
Dimensions - 8.34"W (2 12mm) x 1.73"H(44mm) x 6.89"D (1 75mm)

Optional Accessories

RA8001 - 16K RAM Cartridge
RA8002 - Centronics Printer Interface with Cable
RA8003 - Joystick Controllers (pair)
RA8004 - Data cassette recorder
RA8005 - Video Games/Software Cassette Tape
RA8006 - Plug-in Game/Software Cartridge.
RA8007 - Software Manual
RA8008 - Hardware Manual
Available Soon - Dot Matrix thermal printer, modem, expander

Here are some text descriptions from under pictures:

Lunar Lander - The Rabbit RX83 can handle a lot of video games which are educational and can improve your reaction time.

Music Composer - With The Music Composer software, you can enjoy the fun of composing or playing back your own music with two harmonies. Don't bury your music talent.

BASIC - You can write programs in BASIC language to do mathematics or house-keeping records.

"Shooting Game" - You can write your own game programs later on when you become more proficient in computer software.

Ensjo
01-13-2018, 10:15 PM
I have uploaded a flyer to archive.org for the Rabbit RX83 computer. You can read the flyer here:

https://archive.org/details/RabbitComputerRX83FlyerfromSummer1983CES

Rabbit RX83 and CCE MC-1000 are officially (basically) the same machine! The three programs that appear on the flyer Music Composer, Mars Lander and the "Tank Battalion" clone are all among the software released for the MC-1000.

A notable distinction is that the "BACK SPACE" key is an "@" in MC-1000, and the "LINE FEED" is a "↑". (EDIT: I just realized the keys "@" and "↑" keys are also present on the RX83 as pictured in the opening post!)


[Bob Fabris] was extremely interested in the Rabbit RX83, as he felt he could provide software for this quite-limited machine.

[] Robert was working out a deal in which programs that had been previously written for the Astrocade would be ported to the Rabbit RX83 computer. The final deal would have cost Rabbit computer $2,500-$5,000 for each program ported to the RX83. I do have all of the paperwork exchanged between Rabbit Computer's president, Daniel Young, in Hong Kong and Bob Fabris; it's quite fascinating!
[]
Other documentation in the Bob Fabris collection includes flyers for the Rabbit II, which had a proper full-stroke keyboard and 80K RAM (which sounds like they were including ROM and RAM).

Man, I would love to have access to that documentation.

Do you know if Bob Fabris and/or Daniel Young are still alive and reachable via Internet? I eager to find anyone who could give more hints about the origins of the MC-1000!

I'm subscribed to this post, answer and I'll be notified via e-mail (I hope).

Thanks in advance.