The MZ-80K was a multi-functional personal computer which Sharp began to market in 1978, during the height of the "mai-con" (microcomputer) boom. It won immediate popularity among microcomputer enthusiasts, and captured a market share of 50% -- far above its nearest competitor.
The MZ-80K used the BASIC language, which allowed users to create and run programs by combining simple English words at about the 7th grade level. This made it possible to easily write programs, without specialized computer knowledge.
Computers are an indispensable necessity for modern society (in areas such as the space program and online systems for banking), and microcomputers can do the same work, although there are definitely differences in speed and memory capacity. If a computer is like a large business truck, the microcomputer is like a personal automobile. At the time, the "mai-con" was a hit product which sparked a personal computer boom.
Features of the MZ-80K
- BASIC language programming could be done in tape mode.
Programs were loaded into RAM from tape, and could be created interactively using simple English words. Even a beginner could quickly become a programmer.
- CRT display
Processing results could be displayed and checked on a 10-inch CRT screen, and this made programming and editing easy.
- Equipped with clock and sound circuits
Clock circuit: Allowed display of the time by programs.
Sound circuit: Allowed programs to produce tones spanning 3 octaves.
In contrast with previous machines which came as full-kits, this was an assembly kit in which all key components (such as the CPU board, CRT display, power supply and cassette deck) were already adjusted and inspected.