Electronic Arts Inc. is an American video game company headquartered in Redwood City, California. It is the second-largest gaming company in the Americas and Europe by revenue and market capitalization after Activision Blizzard and ahead of Take-Two Interactive and Ubisoft as of March 2018. Founded and incorporated on May 27, 1982, by Apple employee Trip Hawkins, the company was a pioneer of the early home computer games industry and was notable for promoting the designers and programmers responsible for its games. EA published numerous games and productivity software for personal computers and experimented on techniques to internally develop games, leading to the 1987 release of Skate or Die!. The company would decide in favor of abandoning their original principles and acquiring smaller companies that they see profitable, as well as annually releasing franchises to stay profitable. EA develops and publishes games including EA Sports titles FIFA, Madden NFL, NHL, NBA Live, UFC. Other EA established franchises includes Battlefield, Need for Speed, The Sims, Medal of Honor, Command & Conquer, as well as newer franchises such as Dead Space, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Army of Two and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Their desktop titles appear on self-developed Origin, an online gaming digital distribution platform for PCs and a direct competitor to Valve's Steam. EA owns and operates major gaming studios, EA Tiburon in Orlando, EA Vancouver in Burnaby, BioWare in Edmonton as well as Austin, DICE in Sweden and Los Angeles. Trip Hawkins had been an employee of Apple Inc. since 1978, at a time when the company had only about fifty employees. Over the next four years, the market for home personal computers skyrocketed. By 1982, Apple had completed its initial public offering and become a Fortune 500 company with over one thousand employees. In February 1982, Trip Hawkins arranged a meeting with Don Valentine of Sequoia Capital to discuss financing his new venture, Amazin' Software. Valentine encouraged Hawkins to leave Apple, where Hawkins served as Director of Product Marketing, allowed Hawkins use of Sequoia Capital's spare office space to start the company. On May 27, 1982, Trip Hawkins incorporated and established the company with a personal investment of an estimated US$200,000.
For more than seven months, Hawkins refined his Electronic Arts business plan. With aid from his first employee, Rich Melmon, the original plan was written by Hawkins, on an Apple II in Sequoia Capital's office in August 1982. During that time, Hawkins employed two of his former staff from Apple, Dave Evans and Pat Marriott, as producers, a Stanford MBA classmate, Jeff Burton from Atari for international business development; the business plan was again refined in September and reissued on October 8, 1982. By November, employee headcount rose to 11, including Tim Mott, Bing Gordon, David Maynard, Steve Hayes. Having outgrown the office space provided by Sequoia Capital, the company relocated to a San Mateo office that overlooked the San Francisco Airport landing path. Headcount rose in 1983, including Don Daglow, Richard Hilleman, Stewart Bonn, David Gardner, Nancy Fong; when he incorporated the company, Hawkins chose Amazin' Software as their company name, but his other early employees of the company universally disliked the name.
He scheduled an off-site meeting in the Pajaro Dunes, where the company once held such off-site meetings. Hawkins had developed the ideas of treating software as an art form and calling the developers, "software artists". Hence, the latest version of the business plan had suggested the name "SoftArt"; however and Melmon knew the founders of Software Arts, the creators of VisiCalc, thought their permission should be obtained. Dan Bricklin did not want the name used. However, the name concept was liked by all the attendees. Hawkins had recently read a bestselling book about the film studio United Artists, liked the reputation that the company had created. Hawkins said everyone had a vote but they would lose it if they went to sleep. Hawkins liked the word "electronic", various employees had considered the phrases "Electronic Artists" and "Electronic Arts"; when Gordon and others pushed for "Electronic Artists", in tribute to the film company United Artists, Steve Hayes opposed, saying, "We're not the artists, they are..."
This statement from Hayes tilted sentiment towards Electronic Arts and the name was unanimously endorsed and adopted in 1982. He recruited his original employees from Apple, Xerox PARC, VisiCorp, got Steve Wozniak to agree to sit on the board of directors. Hawkins was determined to sell directly to buyers. Combined with the fact that Hawkins was pioneering new game brands, this made sales growth more challenging. Retailers wanted to buy known brands from existing distribution partners. Former CEO Larry Probst arrived as VP of Sales in late 1984 and helped expand the successful company; this policy of dealing directly with retailers gave EA higher margins and better market awareness, key advantages the company would leverage to leapfrog its early competitors. A novel approach to giving credit to its developers was one of EA's trademarks in its early days; this characterization was further reinforced with EA's packaging of most of their games in the "album cover" pioneered by EA because Hawkins thought that a record album style would both save costs and convey an artistic feeling.
EA referred to their developers as "artists" and gave them photo credits in their games and numerous full-page magazine ads. Their first such ad, accompanied by the slogan "We see far
Random-access memory is a form of computer data storage that stores data and machine code being used. A random-access memory device allows data items to be read or written in the same amount of time irrespective of the physical location of data inside the memory. In contrast, with other direct-access data storage media such as hard disks, CD-RWs, DVD-RWs and the older magnetic tapes and drum memory, the time required to read and write data items varies depending on their physical locations on the recording medium, due to mechanical limitations such as media rotation speeds and arm movement. RAM contains multiplexing and demultiplexing circuitry, to connect the data lines to the addressed storage for reading or writing the entry. More than one bit of storage is accessed by the same address, RAM devices have multiple data lines and are said to be "8-bit" or "16-bit", etc. devices. In today's technology, random-access memory takes the form of integrated circuits. RAM is associated with volatile types of memory, where stored information is lost if power is removed, although non-volatile RAM has been developed.
Other types of non-volatile memories exist that allow random access for read operations, but either do not allow write operations or have other kinds of limitations on them. These include most types of ROM and a type of flash memory called NOR-Flash. Integrated-circuit RAM chips came into the market in the early 1970s, with the first commercially available DRAM chip, the Intel 1103, introduced in October 1970. Early computers used relays, mechanical counters or delay lines for main memory functions. Ultrasonic delay lines could only reproduce data in the order. Drum memory could be expanded at low cost but efficient retrieval of memory items required knowledge of the physical layout of the drum to optimize speed. Latches built out of vacuum tube triodes, out of discrete transistors, were used for smaller and faster memories such as registers; such registers were large and too costly to use for large amounts of data. The first practical form of random-access memory was the Williams tube starting in 1947.
It stored data. Since the electron beam of the CRT could read and write the spots on the tube in any order, memory was random access; the capacity of the Williams tube was a few hundred to around a thousand bits, but it was much smaller and more power-efficient than using individual vacuum tube latches. Developed at the University of Manchester in England, the Williams tube provided the medium on which the first electronically stored program was implemented in the Manchester Baby computer, which first ran a program on 21 June 1948. In fact, rather than the Williams tube memory being designed for the Baby, the Baby was a testbed to demonstrate the reliability of the memory. Magnetic-core memory was developed up until the mid-1970s, it became a widespread form of random-access memory. By changing the sense of each ring's magnetization, data could be stored with one bit stored per ring. Since every ring had a combination of address wires to select and read or write it, access to any memory location in any sequence was possible.
Magnetic core memory was the standard form of memory system until displaced by solid-state memory in integrated circuits, starting in the early 1970s. Dynamic random-access memory allowed replacement of a 4 or 6-transistor latch circuit by a single transistor for each memory bit increasing memory density at the cost of volatility. Data was stored in the tiny capacitance of each transistor, had to be periodically refreshed every few milliseconds before the charge could leak away; the Toshiba Toscal BC-1411 electronic calculator, introduced in 1965, used a form of DRAM built from discrete components. DRAM was developed by Robert H. Dennard in 1968. Prior to the development of integrated read-only memory circuits, permanent random-access memory was constructed using diode matrices driven by address decoders, or specially wound core rope memory planes; the two used forms of modern RAM are static RAM and dynamic RAM. In SRAM, a bit of data is stored using the state of a six transistor memory cell.
This form of RAM is more expensive to produce, but is faster and requires less dynamic power than DRAM. In modern computers, SRAM is used as cache memory for the CPU. DRAM stores a bit of data using a transistor and capacitor pair, which together comprise a DRAM cell; the capacitor holds a high or low charge, the transistor acts as a switch that lets the control circuitry on the chip read the capacitor's state of charge or change it. As this form of memory is less expensive to produce than static RAM, it is the predominant form of computer memory used in modern computers. Both static and dynamic RAM are considered volatile, as their state is lost or reset when power is removed from the system. By contrast, read-only memory stores data by permanently enabling or disabling selected transistors, such that the memory cannot be altered. Writeable variants of ROM share properties of both ROM and RAM, enabling data to persist without power and to be updated without requiring special equipment; these persistent forms of semiconductor ROM include USB flash drives, memory cards for cameras and portable devices, solid-state drives.
ECC memory includes special circuitry to detect and/or correct random faults (mem
The 8086 is a 16-bit microprocessor chip designed by Intel between early 1976 and June 8, 1978, when it was released. The Intel 8088, released July 1, 1979, is a modified chip with an external 8-bit data bus, is notable as the processor used in the original IBM PC design, including the widespread version called IBM PC XT; the 8086 gave rise to the x86 architecture, which became Intel's most successful line of processors. On June 5, 2018, Intel released a limited edition CPU celebrating the anniversary of the Intel 8086, called the Intel Core i7-8086K. In 1972, Intel launched the first 8-bit microprocessor, it implemented an instruction set designed by Datapoint corporation with programmable CRT terminals in mind, which proved to be general-purpose. The device needed several additional ICs to produce a functional computer, in part due to it being packaged in a small 18-pin "memory package", which ruled out the use of a separate address bus. Two years Intel launched the 8080, employing the new 40-pin DIL packages developed for calculator ICs to enable a separate address bus.
It has an extended instruction set, source-compatible with the 8008 and includes some 16-bit instructions to make programming easier. The 8080 device, was replaced by the depletion-load-based 8085, which sufficed with a single +5 V power supply instead of the three different operating voltages of earlier chips. Other well known 8-bit microprocessors that emerged during these years are Motorola 6800, General Instrument PIC16X, MOS Technology 6502, Zilog Z80, Motorola 6809; the 8086 project started in May 1976 and was intended as a temporary substitute for the ambitious and delayed iAPX 432 project. It was an attempt to draw attention from the less-delayed 16- and 32-bit processors of other manufacturers and at the same time to counter the threat from the Zilog Z80, which became successful. Both the architecture and the physical chip were therefore developed rather by a small group of people, using the same basic microarchitecture elements and physical implementation techniques as employed for the older 8085.
Marketed as source compatible, the 8086 was designed to allow assembly language for the 8008, 8080, or 8085 to be automatically converted into equivalent 8086 source code, with little or no hand-editing. The programming model and instruction set is based on the 8080. However, the 8086 design was expanded to support full 16-bit processing, instead of the limited 16-bit capabilities of the 8080 and 8085. New kinds of instructions were added as well. Instructions directly supporting nested ALGOL-family languages such as Pascal and PL/M were added. According to principal architect Stephen P. Morse, this was a result of a more software-centric approach than in the design of earlier Intel processors. Other enhancements included microcoded multiply and divide instructions and a bus structure better adapted to future coprocessors and multiprocessor systems; the first revision of the instruction set and high level architecture was ready after about three months, as no CAD tools were used, four engineers and 12 layout people were working on the chip.
The 8086 took a little more than two years from idea to working product, considered rather fast for a complex design in 1976–1978. The 8086 was sequenced using a mixture of random logic and microcode and was implemented using depletion-load nMOS circuitry with 20,000 active transistors, it was soon moved to a new refined nMOS manufacturing process called HMOS that Intel developed for manufacturing of fast static RAM products. This was followed by HMOS-II, HMOS-III versions, a static CMOS version for battery powered devices, manufactured using Intel's CHMOS processes; the original chip measured minimum feature size was 3.2 μm. The architecture was defined by Stephen P. Morse with some help and assistance by Bruce Ravenel in refining the final revisions. Logic designer Jim McKevitt and John Bayliss were the lead engineers of the hardware-level development team and Bill Pohlman the manager for the project; the legacy of the 8086 is enduring in the basic instruction set of today's personal computers and servers.
All internal registers, as well as internal and external data buses, are 16 bits wide, which established the "16-bit microprocessor" identity of the 8086. A 20-bit external address bus provides a 1 MB physical address space; this address space is addressed by means of internal memory "segmentation". The data bus is multiplexed with the address bus in order to fit all of the control lines into a standard 40-pin dual in-line package, it provides a 16-bit I/O address bus. The maximum line
Recoil is the backward movement of a gun when it is discharged. In technical terms, the recoil momentum acquired by the gun balances the forward momentum of the projectile and exhaust gases, according to Newton's third law, known as conservation of momentum. In hand-held small arms, the recoil momentum is transferred to the ground through the body of the shooter. In order to bring the rearward moving gun to a halt, the momentum acquired by the gun is dissipated by a forward acting counter-recoil force applied to the gun over a period of time after the projectile exits the muzzle. To apply this counter-recoiling force, modern mounted guns may employ recoil buffering comprising springs and hydraulic recoil mechanisms, similar to shock absorbing suspension on automobiles. Early cannons used systems of ropes along with rolling or sliding friction to provide forces to slow the recoiling cannon to a stop. Recoil buffering allows the maximum counter-recoil force to be lowered so that strength limitations of the gun mount are not exceeded.
Gun chamber pressures and projectile acceleration forces are tremendous, on the order of tens of thousands of pounds per square inch and tens of thousands of times the acceleration of gravity, both necessary to launch the projectile at useful velocity during the short travel distance of the barrel. However, the same pressures acting on the base of the projectile are acting on the rear face of the gun chamber, accelerating the gun rearward during firing. Practical weight gun mounts are not strong enough to withstand the maximum forces accelerating the projectile during the short time the projectile is in the barrel only a few milliseconds. To mitigate these large recoil forces, recoil buffering mechanisms spread out the counter-recoiling force over a longer time ten to a hundred times longer than the duration of the forces accelerating the projectile; this results in the required counter-recoiling force being proportionally lower, absorbed by the gun mount. Modern cannons employ muzzle brakes effectively to redirect some of the propellant gasses rearward after projectile exit.
This provides a counter-recoiling force to the barrel, allowing the buffering system and gun mount to be more efficiently designed at lower weight. "Recoilless" guns exist where much of the high pressure gas remaining in the barrel after projectile exit is vented rearward though a nozzle at the back of the chamber, creating a large counter-recoiling force sufficient to eliminate the need for heavy recoil mitigating buffers on the mount. The same physics affecting recoil in mounted guns and cannons applies to hand-held guns. However, the shooter's body assumes the role of gun mount, must dissipate the gun's recoiling momentum over a longer period of time than the bullet travel-time in the barrel, in order not to injure the shooter. Hands and shoulders have considerable strength and elasticity for this purpose, up to certain practical limits. "perceived" recoil limits vary from shooter to shooter, depending on body size, the use of recoil padding, individual pain tolerance, the weight of the firearm, whether recoil buffering systems and muzzle brakes are employed.
For this reason, establishing recoil safety standards for small arms remains challenging, in spite of the straight-forward physics involved. A change in momentum of a mass requires a force; that force, applied to a mass, creates an acceleration, which when applied over time, changes the velocity of a mass. According to Newton's second law, the law of momentum -- changing the velocity of the mass changes its momentum, it is important to understand at this point that velocity is not speed. Velocity is the speed of a mass in a particular direction. In a technical sense, speed is a scalar, a magnitude, velocity is a vector and direction. Newton's third law, known as conservation of momentum, recognizes that changes in the motion of a mass, brought about by the application of forces and accelerations, does not occur in isolation. Furthermore, if all the masses and velocities involved are accounted for, the vector sum and direction, of the momentum of all the bodies involved does not change; this conservation of momentum is why gun recoil occurs in the opposite direction of bullet projection -- the mass times velocity of the projectile in the positive direction equals the mass times velocity of the gun in the negative direction.
In summation, the total momentum of the system equals zero just as it did before the trigger was pulled. From a practical engineering perspective, through the mathematical application of conservation of momentum, it is possible to calculate a first approximation of a gun’s recoil momentum and kinetic energy, properly design recoil buffering systems to safely dissipate that momentum and energy based on estimates of the projectile speed coming out the barrel. To confirm analytical calculations and estimates, once a prototype gun is manufactured, the projectile and gun recoil energy and momentum can be directly measured using a ballistic pendulum and ballistic chronograph. There are two conservation laws at work when a gun is fired: conservation of momentum and conservation of energy. Rec
Atari SA is a French corporate and brand name owned by several entities since its inception in 1972 by Atari Interactive, a subsidiary of the French publisher Atari, SA. The original Atari, Inc. founded in Sunnyvale, California in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, was a pioneer in arcade games, home video game consoles, home computers. The company's products, such as Pong and the Atari 2600, helped define the electronic entertainment industry from the 1970s to the mid-1980s. In 1984, as a result of the video game crash of 1983, the original Atari Inc. was split, the arcade division was turned into Atari Games Inc. Atari Games received the rights to use the logo and brand name with appended text "Games" on arcade games, as well as rights to the original 1972–1984 arcade hardware properties; the Atari Consumer Electronics Division properties were in turn sold to Jack Tramiel's Tramiel Technology Ltd. which renamed itself to Atari Corporation. In 1996, Atari Corporation reverse-merged with disk-drive manufacturer JT Storage, becoming a division within the company.
In 1998, Hasbro Interactive acquired all Atari Corporation related properties from JTS, creating a new subsidiary, Atari Interactive. Infogrames Entertainment bought Hasbro Interactive in 2001 and renamed it Infogrames Interactive, which intermittently published Atari branded titles. In 2003, it renamed the division Atari Interactive. Another IESA division, Infogrames Inc. changed its name to Atari Inc. the same year, licensing the Atari name and logo from its fellow subsidiary. In 2008, IESA completed its acquisition of Atari, Inc.'s outstanding stock, making it a wholly owned subsidiary. IESA renamed itself Atari, SA in 2009, it sought bankruptcy protection under French law in January 2013. In 1971, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney founded a small engineering company, Syzygy Engineering, that designed and built Computer Space, the world's first commercially available arcade video game, for Nutting Associates. On June 27, 1972, the two incorporated Atari, Inc. and soon hired Al Alcorn as their first design engineer.
Bushnell asked Alcorn to produce an arcade version of the Magnavox Odyssey's Tennis game, which would be named Pong. While Bushnell incorporated Atari in June 1972, Syzygy Company was never formally incorporated. Before Atari's incorporation, Bushnell considered various terms from the game Go choosing atari, referencing a position in the game when a group of stones is imminently in danger of being taken by one's opponent. Atari was incorporated in the state of California on June 27, 1972. In 1973, Atari secretly spawned a competitor called Kee Games, headed by Nolan's next door neighbor Joe Keenan, to circumvent pinball distributors' insistence on exclusive distribution deals. Joe Keenan's management of the subsidiary led to him being promoted president of Atari that same year. In 1976, through Grass Valley, CA firm Cyan Engineering, started development of a flexible console, capable of playing the four existing Atari games; the result was the Atari Video Computer System, or AVCS. The introductory price of $199 included a console, two joysticks, a pair of paddles, the Combat game cartridge.
Bushnell knew he had another potential hit on his hands but bringing the machine to market would be expensive. Looking for outside investors, Bushnell sold Atari to Warner Communications in 1976 for an estimated $28–32 million, using part of the money to buy the Folgers Mansion. Nolan continued to have disagreements with Warner Management over the direction of the company, the discontinuation of the pinball division, most the notion of discontinuing the 2600. In 1978, Kee Games was disbanded. In December of that year, Nolan Bushnell was fired following an argument with Manny Gerard. "e started fighting like dogs. And the wheels came off that fall. Warner claimed they fired me," recalled Bushnell. "I say I quit. It was a mutual separation."Development of a successor to the 2600 started as soon as it shipped. The original team estimated. Mid-way into their effort the home computer revolution took off, leading to the addition of a keyboard and features to produce the Atari 800 and its smaller sibling, the 400.
The new machines had some success when they became available in quantity in 1980. From this platform Atari released their next-generation game console in 1982, the Atari 5200, it was unsuccessful due to incompatibility with the 2600 game library, a small quantity of dedicated games, notoriously unreliable controllers. Under Warner and Atari's chairman and CEO, Raymond Kassar, the company achieved its greatest success, selling millions of 2600s and computers. At its peak, Atari accounted for a third of Warner's annual income and was the fastest growing company in US history at the time. However, it ran into problems in the early 1980s as interference from the New York-based Warner management affected daily operations, its home computer, video game console, arcade divisions operated independently and cooperated. Faced with fierce competition and price wars in the game console and home computer markets, Atari was never able to duplicate the success of the 2600; these problems were followed by the video game crash of 1983, with losses that totaled more than $500 million.
Warner's stock price slid from $60 to $20, the company began searching for a buyer for its troubled division. In 1983, Ray Kassar had res
The Atari ST is a line of home computers from Atari Corporation and the successor to the Atari 8-bit family. The initial ST model, the 520ST, saw limited release in April–June 1985 and was available in July; the Atari ST is the first personal computer to come with a bitmapped color GUI, using a version of Digital Research's GEM released in February 1985. The 1040ST, released in 1986, is the first personal computer to ship with a megabyte of RAM in the base configuration and the first with a cost-per-kilobyte of less than US$1; the Atari ST is part of a mid-1980s generation of home computers that have 16 or 32-bit processors, 256 KB or more of RAM, mouse-controlled graphical user interfaces. This generation includes the Macintosh, Commodore Amiga, Apple IIGS, and, in certain markets, the Acorn Archimedes. "ST" stands for "Sixteen/Thirty-two", which refers to the Motorola 68000's 16-bit external bus and 32-bit internals. The ST was sold with the less expensive monochrome monitor; the system's two color graphics modes are only available on the former while the highest-resolution mode needs the monochrome monitor.
In some markets Germany, the machine gained a strong foothold as a small business machine for CAD and desktop publishing work. Thanks to its built-in MIDI ports, the ST enjoyed success for running music-sequencer software and as a controller of musical instruments among amateurs and well-known musicians alike; the ST was superseded by the Atari STE, Atari TT, Atari MEGA STE, Falcon computers. The Atari ST was born from the rivalry between home-computer makers Atari, Inc. and Commodore International. Jay Miner, one of the original designers for the custom chips found in the Atari 2600 and Atari 8-bit family, tried to convince Atari management to create a new chipset for a video game console and computer; when his idea was rejected, Miner left Atari to form a small think tank called Hi-Toro in 1982 and began designing the new "Lorraine" chipset. The company, renamed Amiga Corporation, was pretending to sell video game controllers to deceive competition while it developed a Lorraine-based computer.
Amiga ran out of capital to complete Lorraine's development, Atari, owned by Warner Communications, paid Amiga to continue development work. In return Atari received exclusive use of the Lorraine design for one year as a video game console. After one year Atari would have the right to add a keyboard and market the complete computer, designated the 1850XLD; as Atari was involved with Disney at the time, it was code-named "Mickey", the 256K memory expansion board was codenamed "Minnie". After leaving Commodore International in January 1984, Jack Tramiel formed Tramel Technology with his sons and other ex-Commodore employees and, in April, began planning a new computer; the company considered the National Semiconductor NS320xx microprocessor but was disappointed with its performance. This started the move to the 68000; the lead designer of the Atari ST was ex-Commodore employee Shiraz Shivji, who had worked on the Commodore 64's development. Atari in mid-1984 was losing about a million dollars per day.
Interested in Atari's overseas manufacturing and worldwide distribution network for his new computer, Tramiel negotiated with Warner in May and June 1984. He bought Atari's Consumer Division in July; as executives and engineers left Commodore to join Tramiel's new Atari Corporation, Commodore responded by filing lawsuits against four former engineers for theft of trade secrets. The Tramiels did not purchase the employee contracts when they bought the assets of Atari Inc. so one of their first acts was to interview Atari Inc. employees to decide whom to hire at what was a brand new company. This company was called TTL renamed to Atari Corp. At the time of the purchase of Atari Inc's assets, there were 900 employees remaining from a high point of 10,000. After the interviews 100 employees were hired to work at Atari Corp. At one point a custom sound processor called AMY was a planned component for the new ST computer design, but the chip needed more time to complete, so AMY was dropped in favor of an off-the-shelf Yamaha sound chip.
It was during this time in late July/early August that Leonard Tramiel discovered the original Amiga contract, which required Amiga Corporation to deliver the Lorraine chipset to Atari on June 30, 1984. Amiga Corp. had sought more monetary support from investors in spring 1984. Having heard rumors that Tramiel was negotiating to buy Atari, Amiga Corp. entered into discussions with Commodore. The discussions led to Commodore wanting to purchase Amiga Corporation outright, which Commodore believed would cancel any outstanding contracts, including Atari's. Instead of Amiga Corp. delivering Lorraine to Atari, Commodore delivered a check of $500,000 to Atari on Amiga's behalf, in effect returning the funds Atari invested into Amiga for the chipset. Tramiel countersued Amiga Corp. on August 13, 1984. He sought an injunction to bar Amiga from producing anything with its technology. At Commodore, the Amiga team was in limbo during the summer of 1984 because of the lawsuit. No word on the status of the chipset, the Lorraine computer, or the team's fate was known.
In the fall of 1984, Commodore informed the team that the Lorraine project was active again, the chipset was to be improved, the operating system developed, the hardware design completed. While Commodore announced the Amiga 1000 with the Lorraine chipset in July 1985, the delay gave Atari, with its ma
The ZX81 is a home computer, produced by Sinclair Research and manufactured in Dundee, Scotland by Timex Corporation. It was launched in the United Kingdom in March 1981 as the successor to Sinclair's ZX80 and was designed to be a low-cost introduction to home computing for the general public, it was hugely successful, more than 1.5 million units were sold before it was discontinued. The ZX81 found commercial success in many other countries, notably the United States where it was sold as the ZX-81. Timex manufactured and distributed it under licence and enjoyed a substantial but brief boom in sales. Timex produced its own versions of the ZX81 for the US market: the Timex Sinclair 1000 and Timex Sinclair 1500. Unauthorized clones of the ZX81 were produced in several countries; the ZX81 was designed to be small and above all inexpensive, using as few components as possible to keep the cost down. Video output was to a television set rather than a dedicated monitor. Programs and data were saved onto compact audio cassettes.
It had a mere 1 KB of memory. The machine had no power switch or any moving parts, with the exception of a VHF TV channel selector switch present on early "ZX81 USA" models and the Timex-Sinclair 1000, it used a pressure-sensitive membrane keyboard for manual input; the ZX81's limitations prompted the emergence of a flourishing market in third-party peripherals to improve its capabilities. Such limitations, achieved Sinclair's objective of keeping the cost as low as possible, its distinctive case and keyboard brought designer Rick Dickinson a Design Council award. The ZX81 could be bought by mail order in kit pre-assembled, it was the first inexpensive mass-market home computer that could be bought from high street stores, led by W. H. Smith and soon many other retailers; the ZX81 marked the point when computing in Britain became an activity for the general public rather than the preserve of businessmen and electronics hobbyists. It produced a huge community of enthusiasts, some of whom founded their own businesses producing software and hardware for the ZX81, many went on to play a major role in the British computer industry.
The ZX81's commercial success made Sinclair Research one of Britain's leading computer manufacturers and earned a fortune and an eventual knighthood for the company's founder Sir Clive Sinclair. The ZX81 has a base configuration of 1 KB of on-board memory that can be expanded externally to 16 KB, its single circuit board is housed inside a wedge-shaped plastic case measuring 167 millimetres deep by 40 millimetres high. The memory is provided by either two 2114 RAM chips. There are only three other onboard chips: a 3.5 MHz Z80A 8-bit microprocessor from NEC, an uncommitted logic array chip from Ferranti, an 8 KB ROM providing a simple BASIC interpreter. The entire machine weighs just 350 grams. Early versions of the external RAM cartridge contain 15 KB of memory using an assortment of memory chips, while versions contain 16 KB chips, but the lowest addressed kilobyte is disabled; the front part of the case is occupied by an integrated 40-key membrane keyboard displaying 20 graphic and 54 inverse video characters.
Each key has up to five functions, accessed via the FUNCTION keys or depending on context. For example, the P key combines the letter P, the " character, the BASIC commands PRINT and TAB; the ZX81 uses a standard QWERTY keyboard layout. The keyboard is mechanically simple, consisting of 40 pressure-pad switches and 8 diodes under a plastic overlay, connected in a matrix of 8 rows and 5 columns; the ZX81's primary input/output is delivered via four sockets on the left side of the case. The machine uses an ordinary UHF television set to deliver a monochrome picture via a built-in RF modulator, it can display 24 lines of 32 characters each, by using the selection of 2×2 block character graphics from the machine's character set offers an effective 64 × 44 pixel graphics mode directly addressable via BASIC using the PLOT and UNPLOT commands, leaving 2 lines free at the bottom. Two 3.5 mm jacks connect the ZX81 to the EAR and MIC sockets of an audio cassette recorder, enabling data to be saved or loaded.
This stores each data bit as a number of pulses, with each pulse being a 150 µs'high' a 150 µs'low', followed by an inter-bit silence of 1300 µs. A' 0' bit consists of a' 1' bit of nine pulses; the baud rate therefore varies between 400 bps for all' 0's and 250 bps for all'. A file with equal amounts of'0's and'1's would be stored at 307 bps; this provides a somewhat temperamental storage medium for the machine, which has no built-in storage capabilities. The ZX81 requires 420 mA of power at 7–11 V DC, delivered via a custom 9 V Sinclair DC power supply; the ULA chip, described by the ZX81 manual as the "dogsbody" of the system, has a number of key functions that competing computers share between multiple chips and integrated circuits. These comprise the following: Synchronising the screen display; the ZX81's built-in RF modulator can output a video picture to either a UHF 625-line colour or monochrome television. France required a modified version of the machine to match the positive video modulation of SECAM sets, while the US and Canada requir