The COMX 35 is a computer designed and manufactured in Hong-Kong by COMX World Operations LTD. The computer is based on an RCA CDP-1802A processor running at 2.8 MHz. The machine contains a total of 35 kB of memory of which 32 kB can be used by the user.
This computer is quite oscbure, and little is known about its history, particularly in Honk-Kong.
It was desgined and manufactured in Hong Kong by COMX WORLD OPERATIONS LIMITED. It was also sold in Sweden by Noxon AB, and in the UK by ALSY Computers Ltd, but it is in the Netherlands that he had most success (at least for Europe concerns).
The company that imported the COMX-35 to the Netherlands, West Electronics, supplied almost all of COMX software for free and copyright-free (or for a small fee for tape, disc and / or shipping). West Electronics also hosted several homemade software competitions, resulting in the fact that most software found today for the COMX-35 are actually in dutch.
There is no graphic mode, but user definable characters can be used to simulate graphics. The sound features are poor as there is only one single channel beeper. You can hear it when pressing a key. The Basic is very simple, with not a lot of specific statements, since there is not much to play with...
The keyboard is said to be waterproof (can someone test that for us ?) and used goldplated contacts under the keys (if you've got one, you are rich :-)). There is a built-in joystick to the right of the keyboard (very easy to break), a bit like on the Spectravideo SV-318. And just above it, is the power Led.
Different hardware extensions were made available, including an expansion box allowing 4 extension cards to be connected simultaneous. Cards were available to connect floppy disk drives, printers (parallel, serial and thermal) and an 80 column monitor. A 32K RAM extension was available as well, however the additional RAM was not usable or supported by COMX BASIC.
The chosen CPU, the RCA CPD-1802, was also used in the RCA Studio 2 videogame system and a development/hobby systems using Chip-8, like the Cosmac RCA VIP. This 8-bit processor is still being manufactured in many forms, as it is radiation-resistant. It was also used as the heart of the Voyager, Viking and Galileo probes !
The COMX-35 is black but can also be found in a white case. This model is rarer than the black one.
The COMX-35 did have a successor: the COMX-PC1. This was just a COMX-35 in a different housing and better keyboard. This PC1 was also sold as the Savla PC1 in India!
The design of the COMX-35 is quite similar to the Pecom 64 and the Telmac 600, even the BASIC is based on the same code as these computers. All 3 were based on Quest Super BASIC.
The COMX Basic is interesting and has some original features such as TIME and TIMOUT functions. TIME(X) can be used to start a clock and when X units of time has elapsed, the TIMOUT Y is used to jump to a subroutine beginning with the line number Y. Pretty neat !!
Thanks to www.homecomputermuseum.nl, ww.comxclub.hobby-site.com and www.emma02.hobby-site.com for some of the info.
Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to Old-Computers.com or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).
Special thanks to Kin Wing Fung who donated us this computer !
COMX-35 was my first computer when i was in the airforce in 1983. If memory serves me correctly I paid $299 including a tape of "100 Free Games". These turned out to be a home made cassette of very basic "BASIC" games. I think I bought one commercial game COMX INvaders. I remember trying to justify my purchase at the time by boasting about the built in Joystick and the powerful interrupt driven command in the BASIC. Regrettably it was not well supported at the time and I sold it a couple months later for $200 which I put towards my C64. But thats another story!
Friday 30th December 2011
Joey Rivers (Australia)
The Club is going very well, a emulator is in the process of building and the website is finally done. Feel free to post your info, comment of suggestions to me. Address and numbers can be found on the contactpage.
it appeared in 1979, it was the 1st computer i saw, my teacher typed 10 print "the teach is crazy" ande explained that adding a semi colon caused the words to be printed along the line instead of on the nexxt line if you added 20 goto 10. i was hooked, 2 years l8r i convinced my father to buy a timex sinclkair 1000, the 1st day appeared in 1981 in holland
Friday 23rd February 2007
COMX World Operations LTD
END OF PRODUCTION
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
Calculator type keyboard, 55 keys QWERTY Carriage Return (CR), RT, ESC, SHIFT (x2), DEL
Video : RCA CDP1869 & CDP1870 chipsets
32 Kb RAM which are available for BASIC programs
3 Kb CMOS static RAM
40 columns x 24 lines. 64 upper case ASCII characters
None, but 64 user programmable graphical characters
1 channel synthesiser - 8 octaves, 16 volume steps and special effects + white noise generator
SIZE / WEIGHT
29 (W) x 16 (D) x 4.5 (H) cm
Tape, Monitor, 44-pin Bus expansion
BUILT IN MEDIA
9V ac 500 mA external power supply unit / center positive - -(o- +