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I > ICL  > Personal computer


This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the ICL  Personal computer computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message!

  Click Here to add a message in the forum


Wednesday 9th March 2011
Steve Johnson (USA)

I used to work as a test engineer in the ICL plant in Kidsgrove where these machines were made. I automated the test suite by utilising the 25th line of the screen which you could both write to and read from. This enabled the machine to know where it was up to after a reboot say after formatting the Hard Disc. This greatly reduced the number of manual interventions required to test the machine and earned me an award from the ICL Suggestion Awards Scheme.

Monday 6th September 2021
Ruben Hillier

I have the icl model 31 but it doesn''t work I was hoping someone would be able to help. It''s been in a attic for a long time got it down to try it all iy dose is show ":" on the screen. It did power up once and had some righting then "A: " But froze and touching keyboard did nothing but beep. I put an ms dos fopy in nothing happened.

Wednesday 10th March 2021
Jim Hancock (UK)

In about 1982, I was working in the Magnetic Tape Group, part of “Peripheral Product Engineering” in ICL Kidsgrove. The department received a “Robbogram”, demanding a £100 terminal for this machine. Robbograms were terse messages from Rob Wilmott, so rather like a command from God! Somehow this requirement ended up with George Fitzgerald, my manager, and it ended up in my lap. I had NO idea about terminals, keyboards, RS232 etc, so it was a steep learning curve. I first played with an ADM3A terminal, a very basic machine, almost a glass teletype, Not really up to the job, and costing well over £200. Fortunately someone in our commercial department contacted Nissei Sangyo, who represented (amongst many other manufacturers) Kokusai Electric, a terminal manufacturer based not far from Tokyo. They were developing a new range of terminals, and we had 3 prototypes, KDS7361, KDS7362 and KDS7363. KDS7362 had the right balance of features, and we validated it using a Rair Black Box. When ICL wanted to launch the Personal Computer, the tooling wasn’t ready for injection moulded cases, George Fitzgerald and I persuaded Kokusai to make 250 machines with vacuum moulded cases. They weren’t happy, but George could be very persuasive. Real typists found that the 2-key lockout keyboard slowed them down, and some Wordstar issues led to a “release 2” product, with n-key rollover keyboard and a specific Wordstar mode which prevented characters disappearing if you typed too fast. I got two (exhausting) trips to Japan out of this project. I remember bringing a release 2 product back as hand luggage, only to find at Heathrow I couldn’t raise the import duty, and had to phone a friend! It was a very successful product, an OEM sales group selling it was formed, and later colour terminals were introduced, but by this time I was back in my comfort zone, introducing 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch cartridge tape drives. Jim Hancock

Friday 13rd October 2017
Stephen Dewey (United Kingdom)

The technical authors at BRA01 were very keen on using the game that was started with the command Advent.something to "learn" about the RAIR $)

Saturday 25th June 2016
Murray (New Zealand )

Hello I have a ICL 8120/01 with 6 xtra cards and all the original ICL software,cp/m disks, ICL PC10 ,,,
Would like to know what the /01 means in 8120/01 ,,

Sunday 12th October 2014
Jon Hales (UK)

I have an ICL 8122/05 (Rair Black Box) with 8088 and a 10Mb Rodime Hard Disk, but haven''t tried to switch it on. Having removed all components, I powered on PSU alone which looks OK, but it''s providing only 10.3 volt instead of 12.0 volt. The HD has several labels referring to maintenance replacement of transistors, so under-volting PSU might be deliberate. Any info or software much appreciated.

Thursday 7th November 2013
Ian White (uk)

I designed and manufactured the first 3000-4000 power supplies for this machine. The main feature of this power supply was that it was one of the first designs to use the new power MOSFET transistors that switched at high frequency and reduced the size and weight of the power supply.

Sunday 24th February 2013
Peter Roberts (Manchester, England)

I have an ICL Personal Computer, Catalogue Serial No - 8120/01, can anyone give me any info on this machine as I''m struggling to find anything about it.

Tuesday 19th February 2013
Ian Lever (UK)

I used to write instructions for modifying the ICL PC2 for re-sale as BT machines$ the ICL badges were literally prised off, and lovely new brown BT M22xx badges stuck on in their place!

I provided final line support within BT for the M2200 series - interfacing with ICL, and found ICL great to work with.

Thursday 11th October 2007
Bill Perry (UK)

The PC2 series were also sold on to British Telecom through BT Merlin for them to resell. They were rebadged as the M2200 series. Having the the same numbers at the end as those shown on the first page. e.g. Model 15 =M2215, Model 26 = M2225 etc.

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