'''Thomson''' is a French High
tech corporation who produce Weapons or HI-FI Electronic devices.
It used to produce 8-bit home computers in the 80's though sub-companies : '''SIMMIV''' (Société Internationale de Micro-Informatique et de Vidéo) also known as '''Thomson Micro.''' (1983-1989)
Despite those machines were litteraly whipped out by Amstrad in the French market, they remains a well known fail in France, and is still quite beloved in this country by those who knew them at school.
As we say : '''Proudly Merde in France.'''
=History : a French phenomenon=
Despite this they were quite common because in the 80's , the french governement started a program "Plan informatique pour tous" (computering for all plan) which consisted of equipping schools with computers networks.
As a result, a lot of Thomson computers were almost only sold to schools, appart from the few infortunates who got one instead of an Amstrad CPC.
=Range and products=
The Thomson 8bit computers are 6809E CPU based (1mhz )
They were released in a lot of models from 1983 to 1989.
While MO and TO models are uncompatible in software, most of the peripherals and Hardware were compatible.
2nd generation was almost fully retro-compatible with 1st generation but specific 2nd generation
softwares couldn't run on 1st generation computers.
Those compatibilities issues were fatal to the range alongside the success of the Amstrad CPC in France.
''First generation :'''
*TO7 and TO7/70
'''Second generation :'''
TO8 and TO8D
*TO9 and TO9+
'''PC compatible :'''
Funny Stuff :'''
*NanoReseau (Nano-Network ) was a Network solution very "popular" as it was largely used in France's Schools. Actually some sort of Ethernet.
=Palette and Video Modes=
'''Resolution : 320x200x16 colours in 8x1 attributes (2 colours per attributes)'''
The Attribute system was comparable to MSX1 with attributes of 8x1 and 16 colours diplayable on screen (2 per attributes) , but with a 320x200 resolution instead of a 256x200 resolution..
Graphically the MO5
/TO7 are superior to ZX Spectrum in almost every way .
==MO6 and TO8==
The 2nd generation of 8 bit
thomson computers got the addition of the 3 bitmap video modes (no attributes) of the Amstrad CPC/PLUS, alongside the "heritage" (legacy) 320x200x16 attribute based mode.
But the palette have been upgraded into a 4096 colours 12bit palette, the same as on the unreleased at the time Amstrad PLUS range (and of course the Commodore Amiga... and many other computers and consoles).
Bitmap video modes are :
Minus the lack of Hardware sprites and raster interrupt facilities (still doable on Thomson machines), the MO6 and TO8 are actually superior (in graphics) to the Amstrad PLUS Range due to the attribute based mode in addition to the 3 "CPC-like" modes, and largely superior to the Amstrad CPC due to the awesome Palette.
[[File:RGB 12bits palette color test chart.png]]
=Impact on French market=
Because a french computer, french games producers ported many of their games on those computers.
Thomson computers were
know to have been used in some "common developpments" and ports for Amstrad CPC games.
As later MO6/TO8 models did include Video mode similar to Amstrad CPC's ones, in addition to a 16 colours character attributed mode (like on MSX1 or Spectrum...more like the MSX1 though...) and a 4096 colour palette.
Also those later models included more RAM than Amstrad's 8 bit computers.
But those computers were lacking a decent sound chip as it was shipped with only a beeper. Thomson said more decent sound system would be included into
cartridge, but they would never be available.
Even the AY seems like a Sid in comparison.
And the almost only market was France (perhaps a few sold in Italia), where Amstrad litteraly raped Thomson's market shares in their homeland.
The fact was that the Amstrad CPC was more well rounded machine, far cheaper and had a fully compatible range while MO6 wasn't even compatible with TO8 (nor MO5 with TO7).
Thomsons also got their share of '''Speccy Ports'''.
=Exemples of games co-developped on Thomson and CPC=
Sapiens ( MO5/TO7) : originally an MO5 game.
Le 5ème Axe ( french name) from Loriciels, was originally a MO5 game.
* Captain Blood : the TO8 version is exactly the same as the CPC version, minus the sounds.
Don't laught, there is an actual Demoscene on Thomson computers .
www.fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomson_MO5 MO5 on Wikipedia (french)]
www.fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIMIV More Thomson Computers on Wikipedia (french too)]
*[http://www.logicielsmoto.com/home.php Logicielsmoto.com] a complete French site with softwares and stuff on Thomson computers.
[[Category:Non CPC Computers]]