【Sord】 M5 Creative Computer

Sord (today, the Toshiba Personal Computer System Corporation) announced the M5, a household personal computer, in October 1982.

Fitted with a 3.58 MHz Z80 CPU and priced at under \50,000, this model was directly aimed at getting computers in homes. It had a ROM cassette interface and software was provided on ROM cartridges.

The M5 was provided on an OEM basis to Takara and was sold as a gaming device with an accompanying joypad.

Its original concept, though, was as a proper household computer, not a gaming device. It was equipped with a built-in keyboard and preloaded with the BASIC-I programming language.

Predating Nintendo's family computer in 1983 and the MSX home computer architecture promoted by Microsoft and the ASCII Corporation, the M5 paved the way for household hobby computers.

Hardware specifications of the M5
CPU Z80 (3.58 MHz)
Sound generator SN76489A with three square wave generators, one white noise generator, and seven envelope filters
ROM 8 KB (internal monitor), expandable to 24 KB with an external cartridge
RAM 20 KB (of which 16 KB were VRAM), expandable to 24 KB with an external cartridge, expandable to 52 KB with an extension box
Keyboard Full-sized keys (in Japanese syllabary order) with a hiragana key
RF outputs Video, audio, NTSC format, designed for color TVs using either Channel 1 or Channel 2, 75 ohms
Display 16 colors, four modes, 32 sprite images — 32 sprites could be used simultaneously
Video output NTSC format
Audio output Approx. 1 volt peak-to-peak
External interfaces Audio cassette interface, parallel printer interface, cartridge connector
External dimensions (w×d×h) 262×185×35 millimeters (B5 size)
Weight 800 g (main unit only)
Standard accessories BASIC-I ROM cartridge, AC adaptor, signal cable for audio cassettes, TV connector cord (with an antenna switch), standard game cassette tape (with two games)

Sord M5