Author Topic: cpc472 schematic?  (Read 8858 times)

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Offline ukmarkh

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Re: cpc472 schematic?
« Reply #25 on: 13:43, 14 April 10 »
Its gonna feature more in the book... glad to know the stuff i'm discovering and writing about is of interest to people. Alan Sugars new book, your fired! Talks about Amstrad's history in great detail. Worth picking up.
 
This is a great post. I knew some of the info, but not all of it... Btw, have you noticed that all this is not in the wiki article? (hint, hint!)

Offline deepfb

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Re: cpc472 schematic?
« Reply #26 on: 15:01, 14 April 10 »
PPPS. Here http://www.zonadepruebas.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=1058  is some spanish text, saying that the fee could range from 15,000 to  300,000 Pesetas per unit. How much would that have been in dollars or  euros?

Colossus, webmaster of zonadepruebas, asked me to sort out the evidences we had, and to write that article. Some days ago he suggested me to extend the explanation in english, so here is a brief translation of it:

Hypothesis & Facts:

1. Some Spanish companies may have lobbyed for a tariff on imported computers, calculators and other electronic machines during the first half of the eighties*. As a result, the Spanish Government passed an Act (Real Decreto 1215/1985, dated on 17th of July, 1985) that established a tariff on headings 84.52 (calculator and accounting machines, cash registers, etc.) and 84.53 ("automatic machines for data processing", including computers) imported from foreing countries.

2. Foreing computer manufacturers lobbyed themselves as a response, and forced the Government to move to an equidistant position: the tariff would be charged only on "micro-computers", that is, "automatic machines for data processing with less than 64 KB of memory". The lobbying movement was so effective that the Spanish Ministro de Economía (equivalent to the head of the British Departments of Commerce and Treasury), Carlos Solchaga, gave up his summer vacation and travelled to Mallorca, were the king was having his holidays, to have the new law signed (Real Decreto 1558/1985, dated on 28th of August, 1985). The urgency of the trip gives an idea of how powerful were foreign computer manufacturers at that time.

3. The tariff charged on imported computers lasted one month only, from the 25th of July to the 3rd of September, 1985. The amount of the tariff per unit ranged from 15,000 to 300,000 pesetas (90 to 1,800 euro at current prices), depending on the type and the value of each particular model. From the 3rd of September, 1985, only computers with less than 64 KB of RAM were charged with the 15,000ptas./90€ tariff, leaving tax-exempt the rest.

4. Amstrad España wasn't fully satisfied by the tariff discount, and started selling their allegedly 72 KB model (Amstrad CPC 472) on September 1985 to avoid the tariff. My guess is that Amstrad UK was aware of this movement (maybe not his engineers, but at least the sales department), since the computers should arrive at Spain with the legend "72 KB RAM computer" labelled anyplace.

5. Spain joined the EEC on 1st of January, 1986. The Government had to align his tariffs policy with that of the EEC, and as a result it has to remove the charges on the heading 84.53 (EEC Comission Decision 1985/80908, dated on 15th of November, 1985). There was no point in marketing the CPC 472 model from then on.

*One of them may have been Eurohard, the Spanish company that bought the rights on the Dragon range of computers to Dragon Data at the end of 1984. Eurohard was manufacturing and selling 32 KB and 64 KB computers at that time -the Dragon 32, Dragon 64 & Dragon 200 models-, and developing a MSX-1 compatible computer with no more than 64 KB of RAM.
« Last Edit: 17:47, 14 April 10 by deepfb »

Offline nocash

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Re: cpc472 schematic?
« Reply #27 on: 15:22, 14 April 10 »
Hi deepfb, thanks for the info! I wasn't aware of the lobbying part. Silly me, could have imagined that the capital dictated what happens in politics :-)

Now, I have missed the part where the spanish keyboard came in. Wasn't that important for paying / not paying the tax, too?

And in the end, after 1st Jan 1986, the tax was completely dropped, and neither 72K nor the N~key were required?

>"15,000 to 300,000 pesetas (90 to 1,800 euro at current prices)"
Good to know. Definetly more than the cost of the daughterboard.

Offline deepfb

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Re: cpc472 schematic?
« Reply #28 on: 17:33, 14 April 10 »
Silly me, could have imagined that the capital dictated what happens in politics :-)

That is always true :-D

Now, I have missed the part where the spanish keyboard came in. Wasn't that important for paying / not paying the tax, too?


Making the spanish keyboard compulsory for every home computer is not related at all with the marketing of the 472 model. I believe the confussion comes from the coincidence in time of the Acts setting the new tariffs (RD 1215/1985 and RD 1558/1985) and the Acts that made compulsory the inclusion of the Ñ key (RD 1250/1985 and RD 2707/1985).

And in the end, after 1st Jan 1986, the tax was completely dropped, and neither 72K nor the N~key were required?

No, being an EEC member only affected to the tariffs policy, so only the tax was dropped. The obligation of marketing computers with a spanish keyboard is still valid, as it is also in France, Germany or Belgium with french, german or belgian keyboards, if I'm not wrong.
It's true that making compulsory to sell a particular, language-specific keyboard can be seen as an anti-free trade regulation, but at the end the EEC allowed this kind of national regulations in order to preserve the cultural heritage of each country.
« Last Edit: 17:37, 14 April 10 by deepfb »

Offline nocash

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Re: cpc472 schematic?
« Reply #29 on: 19:38, 14 April 10 »
Whew, two different laws. Can we copy that info to the 472 page... or did you plan to add it yourself?

Don't think we had (or still have) a law for german keyboards. The CPCs all had english keyboards, some MSXs had english, some had german keys. German keys became standard with PC keyboards, but that might have been self-regulated; it' would just have looked strange if common PC users (like office people) would write letters without umlauts.

Btw. how usable was the spanish CPC keyboard in practice? It has the tilded N, but still lacks topdown ? and ! and the turkish C. And didn't have (or did it?) dead keys for accent marks on áéí.. and àèì.. and âêî.. Guess some of them might be almost more important than the N... though that comes in "espanol" so maybe somebody insisted that it'd need priority :-)

Offline Gryzor

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Re: cpc472 schematic?
« Reply #30 on: 21:18, 14 April 10 »
Alan Sugars new book, your fired! Talks about Amstrad's history in great detail. Worth picking up.
 

Really? Had no idea!!! Darn, my last Amazon order was delivered a few days ago... I'm picking it up indeed.

Offline deepfb

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Re: cpc472 schematic?
« Reply #31 on: 23:12, 14 April 10 »
Whew, two different laws. Can we copy that info to the 472 page... or   did you plan to add it yourself?

Well, although cpcmaniaco has explained me several times how to add contents to the wiki, I'm too lazy -and I'm little bit too busy-  to do it myself. So I would be very grateful if you place it on the proper article :-)

Btw. how usable was the spanish   CPC keyboard in practice? It has the tilded N, but still lacks topdown ?   and ! and the turkish C. And didn't have (or did it?) dead keys for   accent marks on áéí.. and àèì.. and âêî.. Guess some of them might be   almost more important than the N... though that comes in "espanol" so   maybe somebody insisted that it'd need priority :-)

Circumflex accents (â, ê, î...) are not present in spanish, and cedilla (Ç) and grave accents (à, è, ì...) are not used at all in spanish, galego or euskera, but in catalan only -catalan speakers will also miss one letter only present in their language, the 'geminada' l, which is like this: l·l - for example, col·lateral ('collateral' in english), or il·legal ('ilegal' in english).
So as a castellano-speaking, when using the Amstrad CPC I'm lacking  of the usual accents (á, é, í...), opening exclamation and question marks (¡ ¿) and diaeresis (in castellano-spanish, only over the ü, and not very commonly used).
Only the lack of accents is a real problem, but I think there was some word processor(s) that addressed the `\ key to a specifically-created character, so accented vocals could be displayed on the monitor, and even printed. Does any spanish user remember that, or am I wrong?

Anyway, I haven't ever thought about it: is it annoying to write texts on a CPC for german or french people? (I'm sure it is for greek, turkish or danish users ...not to say the Aleste owners :-D).
« Last Edit: 23:22, 14 April 10 by deepfb »

Offline OCT

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German symbols
« Reply #32 on: 22:26, 15 April 10 »
is it annoying to write texts on a CPC for german or french people?
No, but they do tend to have some symbols transferred to the front of a few keys (for their umlauts and sz ligature), as on http://cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=662.0;attach=452;image.
PC keyboards additionally swapped Y and Z (and make it a little hard to enter c-cedilla except by Alt-135 or on Linux) for the German layout, but the French one is very different indeed (as sold there on the CPC already).
« Last Edit: 22:29, 15 April 10 by OCT »