Difference between revisions of "Thomson"

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(Impact on French Game companies)
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[[File:RGB 12bits palette.png]]
[[File:RGB 12bits palette.png]]
*[http://www.fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomson_MO5 MO5 on Wikipedia (french)]
*[http://www.fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomson_MO5 MO5 on Wikipedia (french)]
*[http://www.fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIMIV More Thomson Computers on Wikipedia (french too)]
*[http://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.
*[http://www.logicielsmoto.com/home.php Logicielsmoto.com] a complete French site with softwares and stuff on Thomson computers.
[[Category:Non CPC Computers]]
[[Category:Non CPC Computers]]

Revision as of 10:35, 21 January 2011

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.

Yet those machines were litteraly whipped out by Amstrad in the French market.

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 only sold to schools.

Range and products

First generation :

  • MO5
  • TO7
  • TO7/70

Second generation :

  • MO6
  • TO8
  • TO8D
  • TO9
  • TO9+

Impact on French Game companies

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 cross developpment for Amstrad CPC games.

  • Le 5ème Axe (french name) from Loriciels, was originally a MO5 game.

Latter TO8 models did include Video mode similar to Amstrad CPC's ones, inb 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 latter models included more RAM than Amstrad's 8 bit computers.

But those computers were lacking a decent sound chip : Even the AY seems like a sifd in comparison. And the only market was France, where Amstrad litteraly raped Thomson's market shares in their homeland.

Exemples of games co-developped on Thomson and CPC :

  • Bivouac (TO8)
  • Iznogoud (TO8)
  • Sapiens (MO5/TO7)

Palette and Video Modes

MO5 and TO7

The 1st generation of 8 bit thomson computers have a custom 4-bit RGBI palette of 16 colours.

Screen color test Thomson MO5.png

MO5 TO7 palette.png

Quite comparable with the ZX Spectrum palette, it is indeed done with a range of medium and clear tones instead of dark and medium.

Also it is to notice that instead of having 2 Black, one was replaced by an Orange.

The Attribute system was comparable to MSX1 with attributes of 8x1 and 16 colours diplayable on screen (2 per attributes) 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 video modes of the Amstrad CPC/PLUS, in addition to the heritage attribute based mode.

But the palette have been upgraded into a 4096 12bit palette, the same as on the unreleased at the time Amstrad PLUS range (and of course the Commodore Amiga).

Those Bitmap video modes are :

  • 160x200x16
  • 320x200x4
  • 640x200x2

Minus the lack of Hardware sprites and raster interrupt facilities (still doable on Thomson machines), the MO6 and TO8 are actually superior to the Amstard PLUS Range due to the attribute based mode in addition to the 3 "CPC-like" modes.

RGB 12bits palette color test chart.png

RGB 12bits palette.png


  • Logicielsmoto.com a complete French site with softwares and stuff on Thomson computers.