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1980s Computers Explanation of terms

The Exidy Sorcerer

Exidy Sorcerer with display unit


Exidy Incorporated (US)
UK dealer was EMG Microcomputers



Date Launched

August 1978


A matching 12 inch display and twin floppy disc drive unit cost £1890

Microprocessor type

Zilog Z80 @ 2.1 MHz

ROM size

4 kilobytes for monitor

Standard RAM

8, 16 or 32 kilobytes
Later 48 kilobytes

Maximum RAM

48 kilobytes

Keyboard type

Typewriter style with numeric pad

Supplied language

Microsoft BASIC on cartridge

Text resolution

64 x 30 characters

Graphics resolution

Pseudo 512 x 240 pixel graphics by redefining up to 128 characters. The display was not fully bit-mapped so there were limitations on what could be displayed.

Colours available



None, but an external speech synthesiser was available.

Cassette load speed

1200 baud
Supported two cassette decks for transfer of data

Dimensions (mm)
Weight (grams)

480 x 320 x 100 approx. (keyboard unit)
Not known

Special features

High graphics resolution for the period.
Had 128 user-definable characters.
The first computer to use ROM cartridges (housed in 8-track stereo cases).
Allowed single key entry of BASIC commands.

Good points

With a disk drive expansion box it could run the CP/M operating system.
Large memory capacity for 1978.

Bad points

Very expensive with disc drives.
The display was not very clear when using a domestic TV – it really needed a proper computer monitor.

How successful?

Too expensive for the home market and not as popular as it could have been in business.
Sold well in Holland.


The Exidy Sorcerer was clearly designed as a top of the range (for its time) business and 'serious' computer.
Software for word processing and accountancy was available.
The hardware was very powerful by 1978 standards but the Sorcerer was probably a bit too expensive.

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