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1980s Computers Explanation of terms
Notes


The Colour Genie


Colour Genie

Manufacturer

EACA (Hong Kong)
(Sold in the UK by Lowe Electronics)

Model

Colour Genie
Also known as the EG-2000

Date Launched

August 1982

Price

£225
Reduced to £200 by October 1982

Microprocessor type

Zilog Z80A @ 2.2 MHz

ROM size

16 kilobytes

Standard RAM

16 kilobytes

Maximum RAM

32 kilobytes
Extra 16KB cost £38.50

Keyboard type

Typewriter style

Supplied language

Microsoft Level II BASIC
This was close to the Level II BASIC in the Tandy TRS-80 but with added graphics commands. Some Tandy BASIC programs could be typed in and run on the Colour Genie, but they could not be loaded from cassette.

Text resolution

40 x 24 characters

Graphics resolution

160 x 96 pixels

Colours available

16 for text when using a television display, 8 when using a monitor.
Only 4 colours for graphics.

Example Screenshot

Colour Genie display
a kaleidoscope pattern produced using the Colour Genie's four colour, medium resolution display.

Sound

3 channels, output through TV

Cassette load speed

1200 baud
EG2016 cassetteEACA sold the matching EG2016 cassette recorder for £28.75.

Dimensions (mm)
Weight (grams)

443 x 280 x 85
4000 (power supply was built-in)

Special features

Built-in recording level meter (above the function keys) to improve tape loading.
EG2013 joysticksOptional EG2013 joysticks (£49.50 a pair) included a numeric keypad.

Good points

Ports for parallel printer (external adaptor needed), light pen, limited form of RS-232C, joysticks, cartridges and monitor output.

Bad points

Graphics resolution was low compared to its main rivals such as the Sinclair Spectrum and Atari 400, reducing the Colour Genie's appeal to games players.
Like many early machines, it was not possible to display text at the same time as graphics.
Little software was available for the Colour Genie.

How successful?

Sold in small numbers in the UK, minimal sales elsewhere.
EACA folded in 1983.

Comments

The Colour Genie was a development of the moderately successful Genie I but unlike the Mark I, the Colour Genie was not compatible with any established machine which meant it had no existing software when launched.
Review of the Colour Genie



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