Zorba (computer)

The Zorba was a laptop computer running the CP / M operating system built in 1983 and 1984. It was originally manufactured by Telcon Industries of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a company specializing in the manufacture of telecommunications equipment . The Zorba was one of the last CP / M computers on the market. At the time of its introduction, Kaypro and Osborne machines already dominated this market. The introduction of Compaq Portable, compatible with IBM PC and running MS-DOS, sealed the fate of CP / M machines.

The Zorba was one of the last 8-bit notebooks running the CP / M operating system. It had features very similar to the Kaypro II. The initial selling price was $ 1,595. The Zorba rights were sold by Telcon for $ 5 million to MODCOMP (Modular Computer Systems, Inc.), a company specializing in the manufacture of minicomputers. Modular Micro Group was created specifically to market the Zorba. Modular Micro Group has sold two different models. The Zorba 7 was sold for $ 1,595. There was a green CRT screen of 7 “and 2 floppy disks of 410 Ko. The Zorba 2000 was sold for 2000. It had a green or yellow screen of 9”, 2 diskettes of 820K and a hard disk of 10 megabytes available. Sales were very poor. In one year, Zorba’s computer stock was sold to Gemini Electronics, a company specializing in the sale of excess inventory. The remaining stock was sold at a price of about $ 799 per unit. In all, only about 6,000 Zorba computers were manufactured and sold.

The Zorba computer came with several video emulations, including Heathkit 19/89, Zenith 19/89 and DEC VT52. This allowed them to virtually manage any existing CP / M software. A “perfect software” was available for $ 190. This included the Perfect Writer word processor, the Perfect Speller spell checker, the Perfect Filer database manager, and the Perfect Calc program for spreadsheets. It could also run the MicroPro package (WordStar, Mailmerge, SpellStar, CalcStar and DataStar).

The Zorba had a detachable 95-key keyboard with 19 function keys and a numeric keypad. It had a Z80A processor, operating at 4Mhz. It came with 64 KB or RAM and 4 KB of ROM (expandable to 16 KB). The text only screen had 80 characters x 25 lines. It comes with 2 serial ports, a parallel port and an IEEE-488 port.

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