Thursday, February 17, 2011

The incredible Amstrad PPC 640

Though most of Amstrad's PCs were cheap, mediocre, yet incredibly popular (in Europe, that is) computers, the company did manage to occasionally come up with unique offerings, just like the Amstrad PPC 640 you see above. It was a relatively portable PC of the mid-80s, that besides it's pretty unique design, sported 2 disk drives, built-in LCD monochrome monitor, the standard 8088 processor, serial and parallel ports, a modem, 640k of RAM and a full-sized keyboard. Shockingly, the thing ran on 10 C (!) batteries or 12V AC adapter.

You can bid on such a (quite rare) beauty via this Amstrad PPC 640 eBay auction. The computer is in full working condition, still looks lovely and comes complete with mains cable, cigarette lighter adapter, manuals, operating instructions, MS-DOS 3.3 disks, carry bag, disk holder, built in phone adapter for modem. Seller ships worldwide. Apparently, you'll have to provide them batteries yourselves...

6 comments:

  1. Be prepared to invest in a small luggage trolley to carry this bad boy around with you.

    I dunno what it is about Amstrad machines particularly, but a lot of them look really, really... Soviet. Like something out of a Cold War movie.

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  2. Hmmm, that actually is a most interesting comment. It does make sense you know. Amstrad, just like most soviet-era products I'm aware of, tended to go for low price, sturdy build, functional design and mass production.

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  3. I remember a fantastic hi-fi from Amstrad in my cousin's room, it was apparently cheap but sounded pretty good and had a lot of functions.

    As for the PPC640, despite the crappy monitor (I guess better flat screens had yet to come out back then) seems ahead of its time. And MS-DOS 3.3 means some serious gaming.

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  4. I think Amstrad actually first made its name via compact and cheap hi-fis. Don't think I've ever heard one though.

    Ah, and you are right. MS-DOS 3.3 was a great DOS that did allow for gaming without problems and without having to fiddle with the RAM too much.

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  5. As an avid fan of the blog, it truly is a pround moment to see one of my ebay listings appear on Retro Treasures - thanks Gnome.

    My parents had an Amstrad Hi Fi too - black with garish pink and green graphics and a knackered tape deck - fantastic it was :)

    I always felt that Amstrad got a bad press in the 80's; especially the CPC which, has some cracking games for it. But to many it was just seen as a Spectum clone with a naff green monitor.

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  6. It was pleasure blogging about this unique computer oh Anonymous. And thanks a ton for the kind words too!

    Mind you, I've always had a soft spot for the CPC, especially the 6128. Had excellent games and was way more powerful than the humble 48k Spectrum I was more used to.

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