HCM: East-European Home-Computer ...
| Bulgaria | Czechoslovakia | GDR (DDR) | Hungary | Poland | Romania | USSR | Yugoslavia |
Hungarian Home-Computer:
| HomeLab 4 | Aircomp 16 | BRG ABC-80 | HT 1080Z | HT 2080Z | HT 3080Z |
| Primo A/B | Videoton TVC | Triton IPT-02 |
Special thanks to: Andras Schaffer, tomcat^grm, Képes Gábor, Zoltan Szabo

Please contact me if you have any additional information (e.g. pictures / articles), find an error or want to sell/trade/donate a machines to the HCM.

Hungarian Computer History by "Tomcat of Greenroom"
As you might be interested in how Hungarian computers were manufactured and sold, here is a little story which might give you a glance about Hungarian technology level in the eighties, and also some explanation for why we had so many models in production. In the Communist age, the cold war, one of Hungary's strategic tasks was to produce military electronic systems for the Warsaw Pact armies and industry. [complete story]




According to Gilbert de Berdierax BRG stands for "Budapesti Radiotechnikai Gyar" (Radiotechnical Factory of Budapest) Thanks to Képes Gábor who provided this information:

The BRG ABC-80 was the first educational computer in Hungary. It was produced under license from the swedish company Luxor that designed the Luxor ABC-80. The keyboard of the BRG machine is the same as the Luxor's but the case is not made of platic but of metal. As the Luxor ABC-80 is very similair to the Tandy TRS-80 Model I with regard to Hardware and ROM the BGR might be compatible to the TRS-80 to a certain degree.

Technical Overview:
Year: 198? CPU: Zilog Z-80 / 4MHz
RAM/ROM: 16kB / 16kB Clone: Luxor ABC-80
Colors: b/w Resolution: 78x75 (?)

HT-Series: HT 1080Z / HT 2080Z / HT 3080Z

HT 1080Z

HT 2080Z

HT 3080

The HT 1080Z was the original version of this computer. It was a very popular educational computer - in fact the complete name is "School-Computer HT 1080Z/64". Both the 1080Z / 2080Z were "Tandy TRS-80 Model I" Clones that came in the very same case as the EACA VideoGenie EG3003 and the Dick Smith System-80.

The HT 2080Z was equipped with an automatic level control for the tape recorder. Some of the HT machines were original EACA VideoGenies with a hungarian ensignia.

The latest modell was the HT 3080Z. It was a hungarian design, based on the Sinclair Spectrum. It was capable to use Spectrum programs if you loaded the Speccy ROM from tape. The 3080Z never entered mass production, less than 100 prototypes were made and it's almost impossible to find them.

Technical Overview:
Year: 198? CPU: Zilog Z80
RAM/ROM: ??? / ??? Clone: TRS-80
Colors: ??? Resolution: ???

Microkey: Primo A-32/48/64, B-32/48/64

Primo A32

Primo A64, red

Primo B64

Thanks to "tomcat^grm" who provided this information:

The is Primo was first announced in 1984, by the company named "Microkey Kft." (Kft literally means GmbH), which was founded by SZTAKI (Szamitastechnikai Kutato Intezet, Computer Technology Research Institute), Elektromodul (another company) and the "New Life" agricultural cooperative (these cooperatives were like the "kolhoz" in the USSR, or the "Landwirtschaftliche Produktionsgenossenschaft" in the GDR.) There were 7000 pieces manufactured, of which 1000 had "real" keyboards ('B'-Series.

The Primo's original name was MICROTER, and the power supply was called ENERGOTER. The machine was renamed to PRIMO, and later PSU, but somehow they still printed MICROTER on the box. The name ENERGOTER was only printed on the warranty forms. The Primo sported an East German Z80 clone as CPU, called U808, and was sold in 16K, 32K and 48K RAM configurations. There were no expansion units or devices ever sold, all you were able to connect was the TV and a cassette tape. Although, the mainboard contained some kind of expansion port. The "A" model had a slot on its backside.

The exact name of different models were given after the amount of RAM inside, so PRIMO A-16 had 16K, and so on. Graphical capabilities were poor, the only resolution it was able to handle was 192x256, 2 colors. Very interesting, but the Primo had no separate graphics or text screen modes, the user could mix graphics and text on the same screen. Anyway, the screen was capable of displaying 42x16 characters. Surprisingly all graphics was handled by the CPU itself, and also all other functions, which is quite special.

The assembly was very primitive, as the Primo was produced in the workshop of an agricultural cooperative, usually repairing broken tractors and such... They were all hand assembled, For example, the RF modulator box was made of a piece of aluminium sheet, boldly cut with a pair of sheet scissors, and sticked onto the mainboard with everyday glue. The entire machine is built up from circuits made in socialist countries, no Western parts inside. The keyboard was a mayhem. It's was legendary bad, literally unusable. A Hungarian magazine once wrote:

"Well, now some words about the keyboard. I afraid we can't talk about any keyboard here, except for the reset button. But we can talk about a "pawboard", or a "massageboard", and the nervous breakdown it might cause. I afraid those who "quickly got comfortable" with this pawboard, will also quickly get comfortable with bitter sugar, onion cakes or even poppy seed gulash..."

The "B" series changed the crap keyboard to a real one, and it also got two extra I/O ports on the backside. There were only 1000 pieces manufactured.

There was also a special, very rare "C" version, mentioned by a former serviceman. This Primo C was said to be able to handle the Commodore 1541 drive. There were only 100 pieces produced of this model.

The BASIC interpreter of the PRIMO had been developed by SZTAKI, and was said to be a quite good one.

The Microkey Primo Series is a independent hungarian design so these machines are not compatible with any other systems.

A detailed web-page about the Primo-Series can be found [here].

Technical Overview:
Year: 1983 CPU: U808 (Z-80 clone)
RAM/ROM: 16,32,48kB / 16kB Clone: -
Colors: b/w Resolution: 192x256

Videoton: TV Computer 64 / TV Computer 64 +

TV Computer 32k

TV Computer 64k

TV Computer 64k+

Thanks to "tomcat^grm" who provided this information:

The TVC was designed based on an older model of Enterprise, but using Hungarian made parts. The processor was a Z80, and had 32 or 64K RAM. Outputs were RGB, RF and composite video. Display capability was 320x200x16.

There are four slots on the top of the machine for expansions. Here should one plug the floppy drive, the memory expansion or game cartridges.

There were three versions of this machine. The original was a 32K model, with a mainboard marked "HBA" and a BASIC interpreter version 1.2. The second model had 64K and a HBA- 2 mainboard. The third was designed for a school computer tender, it had 64K RAM and a 2.2 version BASIC compiler. This was also called TVC 64K+.

There is no information about how many game cartridges had been made, but Space Invaders was surely available. But there were numerous games been created and sold on disks. Also, a lot of experimental peripherials were created, like the sound digitizer I've just found. For me it seems that the floppy drive was able to handle two different file systems.

Technical Overview:
Year: 198? CPU: Zilog Z-80
RAM/ROM: 64kB / ?kB Clone: none
Colors: 16 Resolution: 320x200

Triton: Triton IPT-02

Triton IPT-02

Triton IPT-02 (white)

Thanks to "tomcat^grm" who provided this information:

Triton was (actually it still is) a company manufacturing communications equipment. In 1982 they were ordered to start manufacturing computers, to endorse Hungarian computer markets growing.

There's not much info about the result, the IPT-02. It had a 4 MHz Z80 chip, like everything else in Hungary, and 16K RAM. It had a quite oversized external power supply, which was sized twice as the machine itself! They also built one prototype of the machine with a built-in floppy drive, but never entered to production. The IPT-02 entered the previously mentioned school computer tender, which the TVC and the Primo won, so they immediately suspended the production of this model. Only 100 pieces had been built.

Technical Overview:
Year: 1982 CPU: Zilog Z-80 / 4MHz
RAM/ROM: 16kB / ?kB Clone: none
Colors: ??? Resolution: ???

???: HomeLab 4



Homelab-4 (Brailab)

The HomeLab is the predecessor of the Aircomp.

Technical Overview:
Year: 198? CPU: Zilog Z-80 / ?MHz
RAM/ROM: ?kB / ?kB Clone: none
Colors: b/w Resolution: ?x?

Aircomp: Aircomp 16

Aircomp 16

Thanks to "tomcat^grm" who provided this information:

This machine was designed by the Lukács brothers, originally named Homelab II. The BASIC interpreter was also designed by the brothers, so it's a 100% Hungarian machine. The CPU is a Z80, with 4 MHz speed, and the compy has 16K RAM and 16K ROM. It had numerous expansion possibilities, like a debugger or a double point arithmetic coprocessor. The Aircomp had a touchkey keyboard. There was also a series with "normal" keys, but those are extremely rare. The machine is capable of 320x200 monochrome video display. It has a normal RF and a composite video output. It also featured some kind of bus connector and an RS-232. There were two models, a white "soapbox" model, which had a built-in power supply, and a black one, with external power supply.

Another interesting fact about the Aircomp 16 is that there in the german computer magazine CHIP 09/83 there was a two page article "Computer-Technik in Ungarn" about the development of the Aircomp-16 computer.

Technical Overview:
Year: 198? CPU: Zilog Z-80 / 4MHz
RAM/ROM: 16kB / 16kB Clone: none
Colors: b/w Resolution: 320x200