Compucolor II

The CompuColor II was an early home computer introduced in 1977 by Intelligent Systems Corporation. It was a lower-cost version of the Compucolor, which is credited with being the first home computer system with built-in color graphics, designed to hit the home computer price points. Unlike its predecessor, it was an "all-in-one" computer, meaning that mainboard, monitor and floppy disk drive were integrated into one case.

To lower costs, the original CompuColor's custom monitor and housing was re-packaged into a standard GE 13" color television set, from which the TV-tuner controls section was removed. The machine was based on the Intel 8080 and used an SMSC-supplied graphics chip (CRT5027) that provided 128 by 128 in 8 colors. The system was sold with as little as 8kB of RAM, expandable up to 48kB, and offered with one of three keyboards, which attached to the computer with a ribbon cable. A ROM-based BASIC was also included (apparently a knock-off, but improved version of Microsoft BASIC).

The original CompuColor used an 8-track tape for storage, but this proved unreliable. In the CompuColor II, it was replaced with a 53kB 5,25" floppy disk drive, which was placed on the right side of the screen instead of the TV-tuner controls section. The file system drivers were not changed, which resulted in the Operating System continuing to think it was interfacing with a tape drive: When a file was deleted, the files beyond that point on the disk were moved to fill the empty space, using the 8kB portion of RAM dedicated to the video as a buffer.

Most software for this computer was written by hobbyists, with some software written by third-parties. Intelligent Systems Corporation created a few software titles of their of own. The most important title for the CompuColor II was probably a game called "Startrek". The predecessor CompuColor was advertised with the screen showing the game running from the 8-track tape.