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The information we have about this computer is sketchy.
O.S. was a powerful graphical BASIC interpreter modded from the TI basic.
Forth language was also available but not widely used.
Cortex had a mode to give 256 K RAM. ROM was copied into RAM at start-up and then swiched off allowing boot code and basic to be altered at start-up.

Cortex was followed by the Cortex II which was just a re cased version with same style as early apple/dragon 32 beige/yellow plastic sloping cases, but using same main board and disk drives.

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.
Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


I built a Cortex back at end of 1982 when it came out in the magazine Electronics Today.Being a keen electronics hobbyist,it looked like the ideal thing for me to get my teeth into.I trained in the early days on Digital PDP8 and 11 linked to engineering equpment.I did a lot of machine code writing for the Cortex and wrote games like Othello,Mastermind and mazes etc.
My machine now needs some tlc,which it will have even though it still works fine.At the time I built it,it was way ahead of its time and really fast with "sprites"that could be moved around the screen.
Not quite sure what to do with it now as space is somewhat limited in new home.

Thursday 15th October 2020
Dennis Johnson (Wales/UK)

Hello, I still have a brochure for a "Powertran" PSI COMP 80 (Z80 based computer). The keyboard looks exactly the same as the one in your small pic but it has a hex pad where your pic has a numeric keypad? I think I have details of a precursor to the one you have presented. If you would like, I can scan and email the pages (7 of them). Kind Regards Joe.

Monday 15th June 2020
Joe Mc (UK)

I have a Cortex 2, built from old stock kit last year. It''s running complete with the FDC and dual 5.25" drives from a BBC computer. If you have the missing copies of the Cortex user group magazine please visit and let us know.


Friday 4th January 2013
Jim Hearne (UK)


MANUFACTURER  Powertran Cybernetics
TYPE  Professional Computer
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  1983
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Power Basic and simple assembler/disassember.
KEYBOARD  Full-strok keyboard with numeric keypad
CPU  TMS 9995 (16 bit)
SPEED  3 MHz (12 MHz crystal)
RAM  64 KB
ROM  24 KB
TEXT MODES  40 x 25
GRAPHIC MODES  256 x 192
SOUND  built in speaker with primitive sound function
SIZE / WEIGHT  Unknown
I/O PORTS  Serial RS-232C, Tape recorder port, optional Parallel printer card made by the Cortex User Group, Ebus extension bus that would take cards from the TI990 series minicomputer.
BUILT IN MEDIA  Optional 5.25'' FDD (worked off a TMS9909 FDC. The Basic included a 'Boot' command which would boot the disk.)
PRICE  £249 + vat (later £199 + vat) for a kit of self assemby parts. Construction details in 'Electronics today international' magazine

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