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VTech Precomputer 1000

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VTech Precomputer 1000

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Vtech is known for educational computers. They teach children general studies including typing, math, history, science, etc.

The Precomputer 1000 was released in 1988 and was aimed for children 9 and up. It has a dot matrix 20x1 LCD screen and built in keyboard that feels nice and crappy at the same time like a normal 80s computer. Power is from either 6 C cell batteries or an Atari 2600/VCS power adapter.

What makes this educational computer different and interesting is that it has a BASIC interpreter and runs on a Z80 processor. The interpreter seems to be a ripoff of another. This makes it very powerful. It supports floating point arithmetic and string parsing. Unfortunately, the peek/poke functionality was removed. There is a cartridge port which would offer possibilities of expansion, but that's out of my scope.

The computer also has a calculator program that also supports floating point arithmetic and parentheses.

Unfortunately the interpreter doesn't seem to have a MOD operator and is possibly lacking others. This may have been to "save space." For calculating MOD, we may use d1-(d2*int(d1/d2)) with d1 as the divided and d2 as the divisor.

Variable names are limited to two characters.
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