Microtanic Advert - 1st September 1983
From Personal Computer News
If you want flexibility and expandability, then you want the Microtan 65
The Microtan 65 was a single-board computer first built by Tangerine in 1980.
Available as either a kit, or ready assembled, Tangerine sold around 10,000 of the 6502-based boards before abandoning it. The company then went on to design and build the Oric-1 computer, before renaming itself as Oric Products International.
Eventually, the Microtan 65 was resurrected by one of its previous dealers - Microtanic Computer Systems - which had acquired all rights to the machine when Tangerine had "disinherited its child". It was relaunched in September 1983, again as a kit or ready-built, although its popularity was said to have been largely as a kit. It came with 1K RAM, 1K ROM, the keyboard interface and basic video output.. Personal Computer News said of the re-launch:
Micros that require you to take up a soldering iron are few and far between these days, so Microtanic might find itself fuelling a nostalgia boom with its Microtan kit. A new generation of enthusiasts could discover the delights of microcomputer construction, and old-timers could treat themselves to a sentimental journey, the more so since the Microtan 65 is none other than the old Tangerine micro under new ownership".
One of the reasons for its popularity was that it was possible to expand the system with all sorts of additional expansion boards, which you could add as and when funds allowed. Many of these were also available as a kit, but some - like the disk controller board - were considered too complex and so were only available ready built. The complete board, and any extras, were housed in a standard 19" rack frame, with a built-in power supply.
A Microtan 65 and some additional cards in its 19" rack, showing an Information Technology 82 badge for some reason. From Personal Computer News, 1st September 1983
A review of the machine in Personal Computer News, 1st September 1983, suggested that it would appeal to enthusiasts who do not want a little box of mysteries. It also highlighted a few issues, the first being that the price seemed a little high. That seems a bit harsh, as the board itself was only £60, or about £230 in 2024, although that was probably without the rack and keyboard.
The reviewer was also surprised by the clock speed of the Microtan's 6502 processor, which was set at only 0.75Mhz when the same chip was used by many other computers of the day at speeds of up to 3MHz - four times as fast. However, it concluded positively, saying:
The system is a taut and intelligent design. With the quality of documentation and backup, it is easy to understand users' almost fanatical loyalty to the machine".
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