Other Far East Computers

Mattell Aquarius - 1983

Technically, this is a US computer . Mattell, a US company, had produced a number of excellent game consoles. However, they made a mistake with one of advertising that a keyboard and cartridge would follow to turn the console into a proper computer (arguably, many computer firms had spent years turning computers into games consoles!). A laudable intention which backfired when they appeared unable to produce the upgrade. With threats from US consumer agencies, they turned to Radofin, based in Hong Kong, to produce them a proper computer. Released in 1983, the result was one of the worst-selling computers on record. It was not too bad in theory, it came with a rubbery keyboard but it was well made with a cartridge slot to load games. The trouble was that it came with only 5K of memory and it needed 3.5K of that to run BASIC. In 1983, everyone offered 32K or better so 1.5K really was useless. It was available for only a few months before being dumped. Despite awful sales, these still come up occasionally on eBay and sell for very little despite these being very rare indeed.