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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)
As we say : '''Proudly Merde in France.'''
=History : a French phenomenon=
An earlier plan to equip schools called "'''10.000 computer plan'''" was also started in 1979 and bought some TO7 as early as 1982.
It was decided to favour French industry and Thomson had to hastily produce a full range of adequate computers, '''based on the MOS 6809E CPU clocked at 1mhz''' design of their 1982's computer the TO7.
A notable flaw was the '''lack of a proper Soundchip''', as only a poor '''beeper''' was put on those. Also most earlier models had very poor keyboards (just see pictures).
While the second generation (MO6/TO8) fixed a lot of issues such as lack of Memory and poor video modes, it was too late for them to take a good home-market share :
AmstradCPC and AtariST were here.
=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
late1982-1983 to 1989.
While MO and TO models are incompatible 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.
Most TO computers were supplied with a light pen, or even mouse (TO9) for the later generations.
The varied ranges were plagued by inconsistencies in releases, alongside a bigger price than Amstrad's products.
Many models were actually re-released better and with bugs fixed, and often more inbuilt features the year later
As a result, peoples were shy and reluctant to get into this because those computers were not the best for the same price on the market, to begin with, and because it is always a shame to see that if you waited a bit more, you would have had a far better product.
Amstrad customers had this with the CPC664.
A typical example is the TO9, which was supplied with no Monitor first, then was supplied with a colour monitor for the exact same price a 4-6 months later.
And with a lot of additional stuff 1 year after being first released (TO9+...). And TO9 keyboard was no more compatible with TO9+...
MO5 was first released with rubber keyboard. Then it had a more proper hard plastic mechanical keyboard, which was also supplied in a collector "Michel Platini" white casing..
*'''MO5E''': had a different casing and was aimed at Export, but was also sold on French market as the MO5Etentu (extended), with a AZERTY keyboard though. It features
and in- build Joystick and (slightly) upgraded beeper.
The casing would later be re-used with MO6 hardware as Network terminals renamed MO5NR.
*'''TO7''' : produced from 1982 to 1984. Supplied with only 24K RAM (16K used by the video)... so actually 8K usable, upgradable into 48K (
so actually 32k because of the 16k video). It can display only 8 colours. Probably the worst keyboard ever.
* '''TO7/70''' : in 1984, this one replaced the "faulty" TO7.
It was developed by the '''Science and Technology University of Lille''' (city in northern France).
it could enable to connect up to 31 Thomson (
O/TO) computers called "Nanomachines" with a more powerful computer "head network".
It was largely supplied to various levels of schools by 1985.
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) (also known as Chamonix Challenge)
* [[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.