'''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 variations (mostly concerning the keyboard or colour of the casing) 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 :'''
*MO6 : 128K Ram and built in Tape driver.
*TO8 and TO8D : 256K Ram and Built-in 3"1/2 Disk drive for the TO8D version (D=Disk)
*TO9 and TO9+ : professionnal casing with separate Keyboard and Central unit. The " +" version has an in-built Modem.
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==
'''* d) BIT MODE MAP 16 :''' 160x200x16
*'''further Extra Video modes :''' Those Thomson computers also had a few extra video modes that enabled transparency-masked plans (but with less colours than the usual CPC-like bitmap modes)
and which could be used for video incrustation. Another mode enabled to manage 2 separate pages (screen) at the same time.
'''* e) Mode page (page1/page2) :''' this enable to provides 2 separate screen pages in 320x200x2.
'''* f) Overprinting Mode :''' 320x200
sized screen ,
* 2nd plan is 1 colour+transparency on the 1st plan
* 1st plan is 2 colours
(possible 3 colours on screen+border)
'''* g) Triple-Overprinting Mode :''' Four 1bit per pixel plans on the same screen in 160x200.
* 4th pan is 1 colour+transparency into 3rd plan
* 1st plan is 2 colours.
This make-up for a total of 5 colours on screen (+ border).
Those Bitmap video modes are coded (hardware generated) slightly differently than on CPC so you can't simply port the Graphic Datas from CPC/PLUS to Thomson MO6/TO8 without some proper recoding.
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]]
Thomson computers also got their share of
'''Speccy Ports''' due to the Attribute based Video mode of the 1st generation.
'''MO5 was basically a 6809E based ZX Spectrum.'''
=Examples of games co-
developped on Thomson and CPC=
* [[Bivouac]] (TO8)
* [[Iznogoud]] (TO8)
* [[Sapiens]] (MO5/TO7) : originally an MO5 game.
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.
Most of those use the superior TO8 specifications and are visually not that different from Amstrad PLUS productions.
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]]