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DAI Personal Computer

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{{Infobox machine |name=DAI Personal Computer |cpu=8080 |os= |language=BASIC |} The DAI personal computer is a rare, early home computer from the Belgian company Data Applications International. The DAI came to market in 1980. It provided many pioneering features such as high resolution color graphics, a maths co-processor, and a pre-compiling BASIC interpreter. But it never became a commercial success.

The BASIC interpreter was remarkably fast for the time because it pre-compiled to an internal byte-code, unlike the Microsoft BASIC interpreter which most other systems of the time used. This is a significantly more difficult trick than doing the same for C or other compiled languages, as the byte-code had to be re-expanded so it could be edited as is usual for BASIC. DAI variables could be up to 14 characters long. The internal byte code used pointers to a variable look up table at the bottom of the code, which made the code extremely compact, despite long variable names.

This technique was rare (only other known example is the ABC 80), and is remarkably similar to that now used for Java.


Further technical detailsEdit

  • CPU: an Intel 8080A at 2 MHz
  • Memory: a maximum of 48KB dynamic RAM, 24 KB ROM and 256 Bytes of static RAM (stack RAM)
  • Keyboard: 56 Keys
  • Video interface: a PAL, NTSC or SECAM compatible color-TV output signal
    • Text mode: 60 characters × 24 lines
    • High resolution graphics modes: low - 65 x 88 pixels; medium - 130 x 176 pixels; high - 260 x 352 Pixels
    • available colors: 4 or 16 colors (16 color mode was actually 4 color palette)
  • Cassette interface: Audiocassette (600 Baud)
  • Alternative main storage systems:
    • The "DAI Memocom Data Recorder" (which used Philips minicassettes)
    • Two eight inch floppy disk drives (which enabled the use of CP/M).
  • Peripherals: a card rack, the ("DAI Real World Card System"), could be connected through the DCE-Bus to the DAI.
  • Input-Ports: 2 Paddles and two RS-232 serial input ports.
  • Output-Ports: 2 stereo audio outputs, and two RS-232 serial output ports.
  • Sound generation: 3 stereo voices + 1 noise generator,
  • System software:
  • the system was also supported with a 8080-Assembler.
  • miscellaneous: a true random number generator implemented in hardware.


Emulation Edit

There is a MESS driver for the DAI

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