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C > CAMPUTERS  > LYNX


Camputers
LYNX

Anders Carlsson comments :
Camputer Lynx' Danish/Scandinavian agent Compuscan retired the computer before the launch in early 1983.

According to the agent, early Lynx computers were faulty in such way it was not possible to attach a printer, and also not upgradable to 128-196K as promised by Camputers, who however said these errors could be fixed over time.

Compuscan had a good reputation and feared their customers would be upset about partly "faulty" computers and even file official complaints against them. So despite a number of positive reviews on Danish computer magazines, Compuscan felt they could not trust Camputers Lynx to be OK and decided not to sell it at all!

Raj Naik's experience:
I bought this machine in the hope of developing software - like mail merge, Payroll and basic accounting. I was at Loughborough University at the time and learning about the Z80 cpu. None of the reviews mentioned that there was no file handling included with this machine - which meant no data could be saved - which meant no mail merge, no payroll and no accounting software.
I was devastated after reading the manual and not finding a way to save data to a cassette file. How could I explain to my parents that this machine was useless for developing software. I spent many late nights investigating the machine code and finally developed a means of saving data to the cassette - it was called DFL - Data files for Lynx.
When we advertised the product we got many calls from 'experts' saying that it was IMPOSSIBLE and we were lying. We even had Camputers asking us to supply hundreds of DFL cassettes for resale. We managed to sell 200-300 DLF packages before Camputers went bust. The software we sold paid for the machine and gained us a lot of business experience. I love this machine.

Raj, Lynx Software Developer
DFL - Data Files for Lynx
Space Invaders for Lynx
Home Budget for Lynx
Voodoo Zombie Island for Lynx - had great fun developing this one - hours of fun 'testing' this one with friends

Geoff G Sore (former Tech. Dir. of Camputers plc) reports:
The prime mover was in fact Richard (Dick) Greenwood. I then ran the R&D whilst Dick hassled for the funds and set up Camputers. We started in March and shipped the first 48Ks in time for Christmas (but no where near enough to meet orders). Whilst John Shireff was a key player in the initial hardware development and I would never wish to underate his contribution, you should also mention equally significant the contribution of Davis Jansen who wrote the initial 48K Basic virtually singlehanded, operational in about 5 months as I recall.

John Skilleter reports:
I think that you've been rather kind to the Camputers Lynx as it wasn't much of a success 'in' Great Britain either. It had two rather special features; firstly, the graphics data was held in banked memory which meant that screen update was really slow - the screen couldn't be scrolled, so text just wrapped off the bottom back on to the top and, secondly, the Basic supported floating point, but 'not' integers - even the line numbers in a Basic program were stored in floating point format, so you could have a program like:

10 FOR i=1 TO 10
10.5 PRINT i
10.1237843 NEXT i

I suppose it meant that you never needed a renumber command as there was always room for an extra line of code between lines 1000 and 1001 :-)

From Richard Sheppard:
The Lynx was also designed to run the Forth Language.
I have a 96k version. Within its RAM you could hold a complete Forth development environment (including compiler) as well as the final Forth program(s). Forth programs are VERY compact and very efficient.

At that time, Forth was thought to be ideal for many tasks, especially controlling machinery. Some radio telescopes are programmed in Forth.
However, Forth was later eclipsed by BASIC, especially BBC BASIC





 
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