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2013/94/1 Computer, and circuit board, for Microbee PC85, plastic / metal / electronic components, made by Microbee Systems, Gosford, New South Wales, Australia, 1985. Click to enlarge.

Microbee PC85 computer and circuit board

Made
The Microbee PC85, despite its unassuming appearance, represents a zenith in the success of computing in Australia in the 1980s. The PC85 was designed and manufactured by the Microbee Systems company, which just half a decade earlier, was a shop front in suburban northern Sydney selling electronics supplies to hobbyists. The PC85 was developed to directly compete with Apple computers, Commodore computers, and other US giants such as IBM, and considering the vast differences in financial …

Summary

Object No.

2013/94/1

Object Statement

Computer, and circuit board, for Microbee PC85, plastic / metal / electronic components, made by Microbee Systems, Gosford, New South Wales, Australia, 1985

Physical Description

The microbee computer consists of a flat, rectangular keyboard comprising a beige moulded plastic housing with a standard QWERTY alphanumeric keyboard. The keys are made of cream-coloured plastic with black lettering and a black plastic with cream lettering for the function keys. At the rear of the unit is a series of multi pin jacks for the power supply unit, cassette, visual display unit, monitor, printer and modem, with the circuit boards visible throught a grate in the casing. The top centre of the keyboard displays, 'MICROBEE' and the bee logo, with two stickers on either side, 'Premier Series' and 'PC85'. The underside of the keyboard has four small rubber feet and an embossed panel, 'MICROBEE MODEL II / c 1982 MICROWORLD PTY LTD / SERIAL NUMBER No072546'.

Dimensions

Height

65 mm

Width

360 mm

Depth

240 mm

Production

Notes

This computer was designed and manufactured by Microbee Systems, formerly Applied Technology, in Gosford, New South Wales, Australia, in 1985. This particular unit was the last Microbee PC85 to have been produced.

History

Notes

This Microbee PC85 was kept by Owen Hill, who in 1978 began work at an electronics supplier - Applied Technology - and built a computer he had designed. The kit computers Mr Hill designed were popular with hobbyists, but at the same time Apple, Commodore and several other US companies were selling complete computer systems, which negated specialist computer knowledge, and thus were selling to a much wider market. In 1982, fully assembled Microbees were on the market, and, with the assistance of Department of Education contracts, the company expanded greatly. A factory was opened at Gosford in New South Wales to manufacture Microbee computers, and the company continued to expand. Mr Hill kept this particular PC85 because it was the very last Microbee PC85 to be manufactured.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Mr Owen Hill, 2013

Acquisition Date

2 October 2013

Cite this Object

Harvard

Microbee PC85 computer and circuit board 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 26 October 2021, <https://ma.as/473941>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/473941 |title=Microbee PC85 computer and circuit board |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=26 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}