Great blog post here about a very rare but cheap very early machine:
Franz Morat KG tv-computersystem 6800
Here’s the main image:
What do we connect it to? Mains power, Television. Input device? Aready included and attached, a lightpen.
Software? Next to nothing, if not absolutely nothing - the user interface, on the television screen and using the lightpen, is built in hard logic.
And yet, it offers a machine monitor, and allows you to enter and run, or single step your program, and view memory in hex.
If you view memory in binary, that’s a little like a 16x16 pixel display. Go wild!
As an extra cost option there’s a cassette interface.
I think this is wonderfully minimal. According to the blog post it’s all about learning and familiarity:
relatively cheap computer that you can produce easily in-house and that people will buy because they want to learn to program computers
Very interesting, there’s also a manual.
The company still exists but mainly making plastics. So not sure if they constructed these themselves or the mentioned Dutch company Rotex (or maybe none of them, maybe import companies?). The distributor was Svemor Meßtechnik. But Franz Morat (1911-1986) also made some early machines, including 1963 the first automated circular knitting machine.
The prices were very high in 1976. 1200/1950 DM.
I think I got 1 or 2 DM pocket money then a week. And I think 1 or 2 monthly wages. An apprentice got ~300 DM. I wonder if they sold all the 2000 parts and I wonder who bought them.
An update on the blog:
BTW we have another 6800 computer thread nearby
Dream computer - 6800
Interesting, that there are 2 display modes. A binary UI with blocks as shown in the photo. Not sure if they also managed to display the hex memory page as shown in the first post.