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R > RABBIT COMPUTER > Wrap Bit II   


RABBIT COMPUTER
Wrap Bit II

A year after the announcement of the Rabbit RX83 Color Computer, the Hong-Kong based company reveal their new computer: the Wrap Bit II.

It's weird machine powered by a Z80, built-in an IBM style keyboard and offering full Coleco Adam compatibility (with the right optional interface) ! Problem, we don't even know if the Wrap Bit II was ever really released...

On power up the machine displays the "Rabbit Computer Inc" logo and waits for a key to be pressed.

The BASIC has several instructions to handle sprites, character (re)definitions, graphics and sound. There is even a DEBUG instruction that give access to a machine code monitor allowing memory and its content to be listed, altered or moved.

All the computer holds into an IBM style keyboard with function keys and keypad, though the quality is not the same. It is possible to enter BASIC keywords, Sinclair style, at a single keypress by using the SHIFT key or SHIFT LOCK (just as it was the case with the Rabbit RX83). The function keys found on the left of the keyboard can be used to set up screen colors. The bottom two keys enable the paper and ink colors to be cycled through.

All input from the keyboard is in upper case, the SHIFT key being used to access the single keyword entry facility. If CTRL+SHIFT+@ are pressed simultaneously, lower case is available.

There are two display connections on the Rabbit, one composite for a monitor, the other RF output for television. The text display is 40x24 characters and the graphic display offers a 256x192 pixels resolution. The main drawback with the display is the screen scroll. This, apart from being dreadfully slow, copies lines from various parts of the rest of the screen and briefly flashes them at other places, notably the bottom line.

The sales brochure specifies that 16 colors are available, but it's rather 8 colors with a brightness option. INK, PAPER and BORDER instructions are used to change the display colors accordingly.

It's possible to mix text and graphics with several lines at the bottom of the screen on which to display text. The SPRITE command allow sprites to be placed on screen after they have been set up with PATTERN. Once placed, any of the 32 available sprites can be moved with the MOVE command. This automatically deletes the sprite from its current location and redisplays it at the new relative position specified in the MOVE command.

Rabbit announced data storage option called the Datasafe memory, offering 8Kb semi-permanent RAM storage which can be used to store data after the machine has been switched off.

Another option for saving data is the disk drive, which was also announced (but never released ?). Four of these drives could be connected, each having a 640 Kb storage capacity.

The Wrap Bit II was supposed to be released in different versions: 48 Kb, 80 Kb or 144 Kb RAM.

The sales brochure announces that the Wrap Bit II is Colecovision compatible through an optional adapter which maybe was never released... CP/M is also an option though the computer would need 80 columns interface + the disk drives. Not sure either if these have ever been released...

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.).


 

 

NAME  Wrap Bit II
MANUFACTURER  Rabbit Computer
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  Hong Kong
YEAR  April 1984
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Extended Basic
KEYBOARD  83 keys, IBM style layout with function keys and numeric keypad
CPU  Z80
SPEED  3.6 MHz
RAM  48 Kb or 80 Kb expandable to 144 Kb
TEXT MODES  40 x 24
GRAPHIC MODES  256 x 192 pixels with 32 sprites
COLORS  16 colors (8 colors with brightness option)
SOUND  3 voices + noise channel
I/O PORTS  Cassette, UHF video output, Composite video output, 2 x joysticks, expander port (CP/M, Coleco converter, disk drives)
POWER SUPPLY  External power supply
PRICE  $280 (april 1984)




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