Luxor ABC series of Swedish computers

Luxor ABC80: a Z80 based Swedish home computer launched in 1978. It achieved impressive benchmarks for the era using a semi-compiled BASIC.

There was also an office version introduced in 1981, the Luxor ABC800, and a Unix version in 1985 using a 68008 CPU, the Luxor ABC1600.


Nice machine! I’d be interested to know exactly how that ‘semi-compiled’ Basic worked - it does seem fast. I couldn’t turn anything up with a quick search - there’s a user manual but it doesn’t mention anything about implementation.

For comparison with the benchmarks in the linked wikipedia page, there are benchmarks here for Mallard Basic and BBC Basic running on Acorn’s 6MHz Z80 second processor. ABC seems to compare very well.

Found a little bit of a confirmation here (p78 of Retro Gamer, issue 115, 2013) but no real detail:

Örjan’s brief was to keep costs down while producing a powerful, easy to use system. A colleague, Johan Finnved, wrote a clever BASIC for it that partially compiled programs into machine code before running them, and the system’s parent companies unveiled their collaboration, the ABC 80, in August 1978. The ABC 80 eventually accounted for over 60 per cent of the Swedish market, and its games library featured some genuinely unique titles. “Aside from the graphics limitations it was a really good platform,” says developer Isak Engquist.

(via this archived site)

Edit: this book (in Swedish) seems to say that the Basic is tokenised and expressions are converted to an RPN format.