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C > CAMPUTERS  > LYNX   


Camputers
LYNX

The Lynx 48 was a competitor of the Sinclair Spectrum and the Oric 1. It was a good machine but its main problem was a lack of software. Several models were available with 48 KB, 96 KB or 128 KB RAM, and it was possible to reach 192 KB with on-board RAM expansions! There is even a monitor in the Lynx's ROM which allowed the user to write and edit programs written in machine code.

The 96 KB and 128 KB versions featured 4 KB of additional ROM memory (mirrored twice for obscure reasons) with lots of extra commands for sound effects, such as laser and klaxon, and for using 24 KB of dedicated RAM as data space.

The Lynx Basic has really cool features, unseen on other systems of its category, like REPEAT-UNTIL and WHILE-WEND statements, and automatic indenting of procedures! The graphic possibilities were excellent, especially with the 128 KB model, and CP/M could be used with the optional 5.25" disk-drive and 96 KB or better models.

However, the Lynx had no great success outside Great Britain. The designer of the Lynx is John Shireff, an ex-drummer.

Some hardware devices on the bus had potentially contentious outputs. This meant that you had to be quite brave if you wanted to program in assembly language - if you made a mistake, you could damage the hardware itself. This was highlighted in the user manual!

Camputers ceased trading in 1984. Several companies expressed an interest in buying the business, and in November, 1984, a firm called Anston Technology took over. A re-launch was planned but never happened, and in June, 1986 Anston sold everything - hardware, design rights and thousands of cassettes - to the National Lynx User Group. The group planned to produce a Super-Lynx but was too busy supplying spares and technical information to owners of existing models, and the project never came into being.

_________

Contributors: John J. Diamond (editor), Richard Hince



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We had one of the first Lynx computers. My brother and father sneaked off to the NEC (without telling me) and attended one of the first ''Computer Shows'' in the UK open to the public. They spent the day (supposedly) bench testing various offerings before settling on a Camputers Lynx. Our parents had decided that a home computer would be a good investment and I was hoping that they would decided to get a ''Spectrum''! Both my brother and Dad argued that the demand for one would be huge and even then supply issues abounded,so the purchase of a Lynx was decided. They returned home that evening full of themselves, and much to my annoyance at where they had been without me, announced what they had decided over the tea table. The machine was promised for delivery in short order....... From memory I think it took Camputers at least 4 months after the specified date to get the machine to us - on its arrival my brother was delighted - I on the other hand pointed out the total lack of software support for it, and that the majority of computer publications at the time pretty much ignored it too! We only every had one game for it, based on ''Star Trek'', it was actually pretty good, but had a stupid timer mechanism which meant you could only play the game for about 20 mins before it simply restarted! TBH I couldn''t be bothered with it, primarily because my school didn''t even have a technology department or anybody on the staff who was interested in computers enough to engage with pupils. I think my Dad ended up with about half a dozen of them and various extra''s like a bloody great monitor. The whole lot eventually went to the recycling tip, along with a BBC Model B etc.

          
Tuesday 22nd February 2022
Lin (UK)


Wow, I''m speechless.
I owned a Lynx, my first computer.
In fact I loved it so much I went on to do a degree in IT and have a 30 year (and hopefully more) career in IT.
I used to live in Bradford and I wanted a TR-80 or a Spectrum but I bought a Lynx and I was delighted.
It''s like reading about your first girlfriend, except she didn''t go on to marry your best mate, she died and went to computer haven.

          
Wednesday 20th April 2011
Colin Baxter (New Zealand)

I was one of the founders of the Norwegian Lynx User Group.
We had a few members around the country and released a handfull of user magazines before Camputers went down.
I still have some copies of the magazines.
We also modified the ROM with some special functions which were added to the interpreter and also we put in Norwegian national letters on spare space in the character table in ROM.
I also had to build my own floppy controller from scratch as it was impossible to get a controller at the last days of the Camputers. I hardcopied a friends controllerboard by beeping track by track.
I managed to get the new board work in my first attempt and were pretty proud of myself on that time.
I got a Lynx 96 and Lynx 128 w/ CPM/M today.

          
Friday 12th September 2008
Petter Lenge (Norway)

 

NAME  LYNX
MANUFACTURER  Camputers
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  March 1982
END OF PRODUCTION  June 1984
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Lynx Basic, machine code monitor
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke keyboard, 57 keys
CPU  Zilog Z80A
SPEED  4 MHz
CO-PROCESSOR  Motorola 6845 (CRT controller)
RAM  48 kb, 96 kb or 128 kb depending on models (max. 192 kb)
ROM  16 kb (48K version), 24 KB (96K and 128K versions)
TEXT MODES  40 x 24, 80 x 24
GRAPHIC MODES  256 x 248, 512 x 480
COLORS  8
SOUND  one voice beeper
SIZE / WEIGHT  32 x 20 x 7 cm / 2 kg
I/O PORTS  Serial port, Tape (600 to 2100 baud), RGB video output, TV output (RF modulator), Composite video output & lightpen
Optional extension box with Parallel and joystick ports
OS  CP/M optional
POWER SUPPLY  External PSU
PERIPHERALS  floppy disk unit
PRICE  48k : £225 (UK, 82)
96k : £299 (UK, 82)
128k : £345 (UK, 82)




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