Thomson MO5 - magic in the house

Nice article from Jamel Tayeb featuring Thomson’s MO5, one of a range of micros supported to some extent by Le plan informatique pour tous (something like the UK’s Computer Literacy Project.) “ITP trained ~150000 students and ~50000 teachers during its existence.”

Oh, and a lightpen!


I find myself continually amazed at the screen-editing BASIC variants like the one shown in the video on this article. Having grown up an Apple kid, I had no such thing back in the day, and even now seeing screen editing on a C64 out this MO5 seems magical.

Regarding the light pen and having a look at the package, in French, it’s “crayon optique”, combining practical aspects with technical elegance, while in German, it’s “Lichtgriffel”. Sometimes languages do live up to their respective stereotypes – sigh. :wink: (I always suspected that light pens may have enjoyed broader use in German speaking countries, if we just had a nicer term for them.)

Fun fact: “Griffel” is an antiquated term for a tool used to engrave script (by the application of appropriate pressure), not exactly what you want to attack your CRT with. – Just as it sounds, medieval in every sense. (Etymologically it’s related to gripping something by your fingers, for which it is also used for sticky fingers in slight slang. Again, not a favorable connotation for something quite near your CRT.)

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