When and How did you rediscover Memotech ?

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When and How did you rediscover Memotech ?

Post by Crazyboss » 09 Dec 2014 21:25


Wonder if people will use some time to write a bit about when they rediscovered Memotech ?
I do believe some had the Memotech hidden away for years, and suddenly rediscovered it ? - other might had get rid of it and got a new one from e.g Ebay.

Here is my story:

I bought my first Memotech 2nd hand, when i was 13years old, in april 1987. It was my first computer, I had great fun with it, but already in August 1988 or 1989, I sold it in order to buy a SpectraVideo 328 (Pre MSX), cause my mothers brother had one, and we could exchange programs and games. I sold the Memotech to my brother. There years passed, and I moved to MSX, MSX2+ and last MSXTURBO-R before the PC took over...

In around 1998 I bought a CD Burner. I recall around 300£.

Later I saw the Memotech MTX where my brother left it at the loft, and I bought it back from him, and tried to convert some games back to CDR for better chance of a success Load from a CD instead of TAPE.

a few more years passed, and then I was searching, the internet a found emulator files, knows as .MTX files, and I came up with the idea to transfer the files back to the Memotech since I could not find all the old games as tapes.

Later I discovered the ColecoVision had same hardware as the Memotech (Might be around 2000-2001) and got in touch with John Dondzilla who gave me his Colecovision source code for Space Invasion he wrote in Assembler, I made a Memotech MTX Conversion of that game.

Before 2009 (dont know the year) I got in touch with Andy Key, it was long time before Facebook group was born.

Since Facebook came and I found the Memotech Group, I used more time with the Memotech, and more people discovered the group .

It seems like my first success full conversions from other systems was made from 2012 (not including the Colecovision Space Invasion). So actually A lot happends from 2009 and forwards, and I dont have any plans to drop working at projects for Memotech. I feel the computer gave me so much joy in the 80's so I going to pay it back, with new software :) and since we have a good network of fans its worthy:)

My Original Memotech is dead, and cant be repaired, but I currently have two Working Memotech MTX512's one with Danish Keyboard and ROM. And another is a UK standard.

I have one or two dead mainboards, but no time to check what is wrong, also have two spare keyboards and cases, so I guess could be restored into working computers ? :)

Also have a FDX (or SDX) its a Single DISK Drive in a FDX box, which need repair, mainly I guess the PSU is the problem.

Please share your story :)
//CLAUS - Webmaster at www.mtxworld.dk

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Re: When and How did you rediscover Memotech ?

Post by Martin A » 10 Dec 2014 00:42

Thinking back to the 80's, and making my head hurt!

I got my original MTX512 around Christmas 83, with money saved from my first 3 months wages.

That was followed up with a DMX80 (April 84) and a FDX Single Christmas 84. (I did buy myself nice presents!)

1985 saw the FDX single upgraded to FDX twin, 80 column card and CPM.

At some point I "upgraded" to a 256k series 2, and sold the original 512, that was a mistake the series 2 was totally unreliable, that eventually went back for a refund, and I brought a new MTX500 and 32k expansion with the refund and had a little left over I seem to recall.

The MTX stayed as my main machine until 89 when I brought an Acorn Archimedes A310.

The MTX moved on to my mother, who kept it until the drive unit failed, at which point the MTX500 moved on to another family member for their children and ended up in my aunt's loft with 2 boxes of games.

The DMX80 kept on going well past year 2000, and eventually got scrapped about 10 years ago having survived 20 years of (mis)use.

In 1994 I started writing a MTX Emulator on an Acorn A3010, that's when I copied the roms and games over to the Acorn, using the printer ports.

That emulator was eventually released onto the fledgling internet in 1996.

Fast forward a few years, I inherited my grandfather's MTX500 (32k) and later retrieved my MTX500 (64k) form my aunt's loft, sadly only one box of games survived. The PSU was also a victim of time.

The 32k expansion, RS232 and Speculator have since found their way to Aberdeen for some collector guy......

So that's how I ended up with 2 MTX 500's, no disc drive and only one PSU, and about 60 tapes, a surprising number of which still load.

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Re: When and How did you rediscover Memotech ?", but I'm afr

Post by Dave » 10 Dec 2014 05:04

And this is my story . . . . . .

Like Martin, I bought my original MTX512 around the end of '83, and followed it up with a twin drive FDX sometime in mid '84. Although I really wanted the FDX, I couldn't afford a colour monitor, at the time, so was stuck with a green monochrome display. Similarly, I didn't splash out on a DMX-80, I opted for a Canon PW-1080 which had better reviews than similar DMPs and worked well for me.

I got into the PC world a couple of years later, with a Viglen Elite 286, but still favoured my MTX. I was full of good intentions, such as learning Z80 assembler and "c", but I'm afraid that most of my time was spent playing games - not very well!

Sometime towards the end of '89, my FDX went faulty. I didn't have much knowledge of the inner workings of the machine back then and my "best guess" was that it was a fault on the FDX video card. Around that time, I changed employer and didn't get much time to devote to my hobbies, I moved to Aberdeen and worked lots if hours - lucrative, but it didn't leave much time for looking at the FDX.

Although I did want to get the FDX working again, without any support or spare parts, it was just consigned to various cupboards for the next 20 years or so. By 2009, I had started using ebay and I began keeping an eye out for Memotech parts and eventually got hold of a second FDX, unfortunately this one had faulty drives and I had problems getting one system to work even with two units, so after a brief flurry of activity, things sort of died again until 2012.

Now the bad bit . . . . . .

In January 2012, I had a serious, "life changing", accident and found myself with a bit more time on my hands. I spent 5 months in hospital and did lots of web surfing during that time. It was during that period that I found Andy's site and exchanged some e-mails with him that led me to getting an Altera DE1 Development board and "making" my own REMEMOTECH. So, some twenty odd years after my original FDX purchase, I finally saw CP/M running in colour on "Memotech" hardware!

I joined Facebook in 2012 to get into the MTX500 group (I still don't use FB for anything else).

My Memotech collection has been expanding since then, some dodgy bloke in the South of England keeps sending me bits, but that supply seems to have dried up :-)
I have to look in other places now!


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Re: When and How did you rediscover Memotech ?

Post by 1024MAK » 10 Dec 2014 16:30

Did anyone play with / use / get Memotech ZX81 expansions before they got a MTX?

Did this help in the choice of getting a MTX?


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Re: When and How did you rediscover Memotech ?

Post by 1024MAK » 10 Dec 2014 16:34

Did you choose a MTX for any particular reason?

Was this, did this change once the first exciting play time with the machine end? That is, after a few weeks were you using it for the same thing that it was obtained for?

Or did the "educational" very quickly become "games machine" :lol:


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Re: When and How did you rediscover Memotech ?

Post by Martin A » 10 Dec 2014 23:57

My ZX81 had a Sinclair ram pack, and a DKtronics (??) keyboard, the Memotech add-ons were too expensive for pocket money and the Saturday morning gardening job.

I picked the MTX when I was looking to upgrade from SInclair systems (I had a Spectrum too) as it was the Z80 user's BBC.

Of course like many I was going to learn to program in assembler, write games and make my fortune.....

I did eventually learn Z80 assembler, and I did write a couple of games, even earned £25 for one (but not on the MTX). I guess 2 out of 3 wasn't bad!

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Re: When and How did you rediscover Memotech ?

Post by AndyKey » 12 Dec 2014 18:44

I was a school kid living in Witney when they started building their Factory in Station Lane.
I went there with my Quasar game for ZX Spectrum hoping to write games for their new computer.
Got a short job working in the (very dusty) portacabins using an SM1 to code games for the MTX, before the MTX was ready.
From there wrote more games, such as Mission Alphatron, which I sold for a royalty.
And I also did a stint in Continental Software, just across the road.
Worked on Memotech "technical support" helpline over a holiday break, and earned my own MTX (in place of wages).
Eventually, with games royalties, I could afford an upgrade to MTX+RS232+FDX+8"+512KB RAM upgrade.
I even acquired an SM1.
Left Witney to go to University, before the original Memotech folded, and after it did fold, I wrote videowall software for Memotech Computers Ltd.
Around that time, Geoff gave me my one-off special SDX, and I think I gave him the FDX.
Although I had Memotech stuff at University, I then got exposed to IBM PCs, UNIX systems, ..., and the world changed.
{{{ Andy

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Re: When and How did you rediscover Memotech ?

Post by johnha » 21 Apr 2015 03:31

I'm a bit late to this but haven't been on the forum for a while - please forgive my tardiness.

I was a child of the '80s micros (mostly Dragon 32/64s), but bought an RS128 off a mate at uni in the '90s (it was a whim - I had no idea what I was buying - only that it looked cool). PC's became ubiquitous and I had the idea of using the RS128 as a PC keyboard by tearing out the inners and interfacing the keyboard to PS2 (fortunately sense prevailed). I later bought an MTX512 from a car boot (since sold).

This kit sat in various lofts for years when I was working 'down south' and I'd completely forgotten about it until I changed employers (to the North) and bought a BBC Master with USB add-on from a bloke on the internet. Then one day on the Acorn forum, some bloke called Dave popped up mentioning Memotech...

I'm a hard core bit basher at heart - although my career has evolved into something more abstract over the years.


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