Noval Advert - June 1977
From Byte - The Small Systems Journal
If you can imagine it, you can achieve it with the Noval 760
Noval was founded in the summer of 1976 as a spinout of Gremlin Industries, a manufacturer of electronic arcade games. Its stated mission aim was to supply the market with its own in-house microprocessor technology, which it had been developing over the previous three years.
As a result of its arcade connection, it was unusually heavy on games - with a library of over 50 programs available. The company was also involved in a project called Telemath, run with the San Diego school system, to create tutorial games designed around maths learning.
The Noval 760 in its "natural setting for use", from Byte, September 1977
In an article describing the product, Lane T. Hauck, Director of R&D at Noval, wrote:
"The Noval 760 computer was designed to fill the needs of the advanced hobbyist, who has a serious interest in learning about writing and using software. The system emphasis at Noval has been placed on the provision of a unified hardware and software package which facilitates program development. The Noval 760 system does not allow the user to pick up a four-year degree in computer science within two weeks by reading the manual, but it does simplify some of the 'dog' work required to design, write and debug programs written for amusement or more serious business."
The computer itself was based on Intel's 8080A CPU, with 16K of RAM, and a dedicated graphics system with 4K of memory. Oh, and it was housed in what must surely be the pinnacle of computers-as-furniture: an actual fully-functional desk, complete with drawers.
Some of the Noval 760's components, including a printer and three Centronics parallel ports. Also shown is the machine running some of the games available for it. From Byte - The Small Systems Journal, June 1977
Despite being billed as "The ultimate in home computers", and with the suggestion that the Noval and its games might become "a home entertainment system", the 760 retailed for $2,995, or about £16,100 in 2024 money. Just as well that it was the "the finest personal computer ever offered", and at least it came with a free desk.
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