The ACT 800 was the first machine sold by ACT company. It was in fact manufactured in the USA.
The ACT-800 was built as an attempt to design a computer that would last 7 years without becoming obsolete. Why therefore the specifications were so dated from the start is mystery. The machine was clearly based on the Commodore PET line of computer which were very, very popular certainly in the UK - far more than the US registers.
The ACT-800 was an 'all in one unit' but with an external 5.25'' disk drive. The CPU was a 6502 running at 2 MHz (to give it the 'edge' over the PET.) The machine had text only modes so no graphics to speak of but did handle 80 columns on screen. RAM was 48 KB and ROM included a rendering of BASIC similar to the PET's.
That was it. It was no a revolutionary machine by any stretch of the imagination and the computer was far from a commercial success.
Thanks to Laurence Coombes for the info.
About the ACT-800, Steve Squires sent us this information:
Back in 1982 there was a very obscure machine kicking around which was badged the "ACT 800". It was a on-piece unit with a single circuit board, housed inside a huge case. The keyboard was built-in and permanently affixed to the top was a monochrome monitor (about 14 inches).
To service it you simply unscrewed a couple of screws at the bottom and the entire top half (monitor and keyboard) hinged up from the back (a bit like the Commodore PET) and was propped up on a metal arm a bit like an engine hood.
This monster actually had plug-in options for an external dual 8-inch floppy unit and had a built-in IEE488 port. I can't remember what processor this thing ran on but I do remember that it had about 32K RAM when fully loaded.
I had the pleasure of working on this obscure machine back in 1981.
We need more info about this computer ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system,
please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.
The ACT 800 was manufactured by a company call Computhink who also made the disk drive it was called the minimax in America
Saturday 28th April 2012
Tom Turnbull (United kingdom)
I was given one of these to use when I worked for Petsoft around 1981 it came with twin 5-1/2 inch floppies that cost around £1000 the disk filing system was terrible you could not have read and write access on the same file. I was asked to convert PET games to it but the screen was not bit mapped like the PET to write to the screen you had to poke the X Y co-ordinates into 2 memory locations with the poke value of what you wanted on the screen in a third memory location. I gave up converting games on it. It was not a nice machine.