Memotech MTX

Made in U.K. by Memotech in 1983
Generation: 3
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Memotech MTX500
Memotech MTX512
Memotech? RS128

A Z80A based computer with built-in support for memory paging and desktop windowing (in 1983).

The BASIC included in the ROM of the MTX units is notable as being one of the most extensive and powerful versions of the language ever created for a 8-bit system. Within the BASIC, were commands for making a windowed and even desktop environment. Programmers could also directly type assembly language in a line of BASIC code (much like some modern C++ compilers allow). Yet, it has equally notable shortcomings. Such as limiting named variables to a single letter. As the language was fully case-sensitive, that was a total of 52 (A-Z & a-z). But such things do not ultimately inhibit making advanced games due to other advanced features, using pointers within BASIC for example (which are much more efficient than variables anyhow) and no set limit on them.

Speculator was a combined hardware emulator and software emulator that allowed some ZX Spectrum games to run on a Memotech MTX.

When Memotech was about to closed due to bankruptcy, the company prepared 64,000 units for cash sale to the Soviet Union as a last gasp. Most computer companies at the time were bound by an embargo from exporting to the USSR but Memotech found a loophole that let their company sell computers for use in Soviet schools. MTX ROMs (with BASIC) and documentation were translated to Russian, black cases were made, Crylic keyboards were used. The operation required additional funding that Memotech expected to secure from the British government. Independently, the British government backed out and the Soviet Union switched to Yamaha who were willing to accept steel and oil instead of cash as payment for 64,000 computers. But some MSX machines actually made it to Soviet schools, a rare communism win. Still owning the government and various banks, bankruptcy commenced. The British government promptly withdrew funding from all computer manufactures (most notable Sinclair, Acorn, and Apricot).

So what became of those 64,000 Russian MTX computers?