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Apricot Xen Multi-User

NeXT

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
7,083
Location
Kamloops, BC, Canada
This thing's pretty expensive at $250CAD and the guy seems pretty hardline on no international buyers but I'm gonna make a try for it anyways because why the hell not but if anyone else wants to try, here it is.

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/304048667650

He is correct about it being rare and a low serial number. the Multi-User machines were I believe a normal non PC-compatible Xen running Concurrent MS-DOS and with an additional tape drive that let you netboot diskless Xen machines, or probably equivalents. There's not a lot of information besides a flyer because they did not sell well.

apricot_xen_multiuser_1986_small.jpg

http://www.vintads.it/dati/apricot_xen_multiuser_1986_small.jpg

You can verify the low serial number is correct because this machine has an external power supply and still has the 3.5" floppy drive, both of which were eliminated in later revisions. Copies of the OEM install floppies are in the Actapricot file archive.
 

JohnElliott

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2006
Messages
588
Location
Sussex, UK
Here's a picture of the innards: https://www.seasip.info/VintagePC/Images/xen_innards.jpg

Top left is a stack of RAM boards. Top right are two expansion cards, for colour and mono video. Top centre are the CPU, the BIOS ROMs (which I've imaged), a Z80-SIO and Z80-CIO and a NEC D7107 DMA controller.

Bottom left are the reset button, keyboard port, and two floppy connectors: "PL7 WITHOUT POWER" and "PL6 WITH POWER" (the latter connected to the floppy drive).

Whether it would be possible to power it up at all without a keyboard or monitor, I don't know.
 

NeXT

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
7,083
Location
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Congrats on the fully loaded Xen. Three memory boards plus the onboard should max you out with 2mb of ram. :D
The mono and color monitor ports should be compatible with the monitors used on the F series but I know on the later PC-compatible model they provide an onboard Apricot monitor port plus a regular selectable. MDA/CGA port.
As for a keyboard I have seen them pop up on Deskthority a few times. People thinking they found something good but apparently it's rubber dome or equally not as interesting. I'm sure any of them might part with theirs if you compensate them.
 

Sandwer

New Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2022
Messages
1
Location
Devon, UK
I didn't grab that one - there is a story attached to it. Only recognised it when you mentioned the colour card. Should have a 40mb hard drive, tape drive and used to be my dev machine. There is a very interesting piece of software on that hard drive if it has survived….the Dutch memory remapper that gives it proper ibm compatibility…unlike emibm.com.

However…I had an unexpected surprise when I bought a replacement Xen a few weeks back - the previous owner said it ran xenix. In place is what I assume to be a multiport serial card, a pair of miniscribes and 2mb ram. Working apricot monitor and a keyboard. A real find.

Only drawback is the power supply, it is pulsing. Sigh.
 
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