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Tim's Amstrad NC Users' Site

Introduction

OWhat are the Amstrad Notepad and Notebook Computers?

The Amstrad Notepad and Notebook computers are laptop computers designed to be easy for the novice computer user to understand and use. They incorporate built in software for tasks such as word processing, keeping a diary, and managing contact information (names, addresses etc).

'If you can't use this new computer in five minutes, you'll get your money back!'

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A 1992 newspaper advert for the Amstrad NC100.
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To achieve this ease of use, the design of the Amstrad Notepad and Notebook computers includes coloured keys for accessing their major functions. Another useful feature for the new computer user is the 'Stop' button that will cancel any action that the user does not want to happen. Although easy to use, the Amstrad NCs should not be underestimated-- they all have advanced features such as spell checking and mail merge in their word processor software, and even allow you to program them using the BBC BASIC programming language.

OThe Amstrad NC100 Notepad Computer

The NC100 Notepad Computer was the first product in the NC series to be launched by Amstrad in September 1992. Its main software features are accessed using the coloured keys, as shown below:

Function Key (Yellow) and Word Key (Red)

Word Processor

     
  • 48,000 word spell checker
  • Mail merge facilities including merge from Address Book
  • On screen bold, italic and underline fonts (no true-type fonts!)
  • Find & Replace, Block copy, move & delete
Function Key (Yellow) and Calc Key (Green)

Calculator

     
  • Standard calculator (no scientific functions)
  • Green keys (laid out in the style of a standard calculator) are used for number entry
  • Memory functions
Function Key (Yellow) and Diary Key (Blue)

Diary, Address Book and Clock

     
  • World time zones
  • Multiple alarms (NC100 will switch on automatically at set times)
  • Diary with calendar (can be set to notify you of an entry as soon as the NC100 is switched on.)
  • Searchable address book

The main hardware features are as follows. Please see the NC100 Specification for more details.

  • 64kb battery backed RAM -- option to add up to 1Mb of memory on memory card
  • 80 character x 8 line mono screen
  • Serial and parallel ports (for printer and communications)


OThe Amstrad NC150 Notepad Computer

The second product in the NC series, the NC150, is essentially an NC200 in an NC100 body. Launched in April 1993, it has the same hardware as the NC100, and the same software as the NC200 (see NC200 below).  Its only hardware differences are that it has 128kb of RAM like the NC200, and includes the possibility of connecting an optional external floppy drive. Unfortunately, it was only marketed in French and Italian versions (at a cost of about 300).

Please see the NC150 Specification for more details.

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The Amstrad NC150.
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A 1993 Italian leaflet advertising the Amstrad NC150.
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NC150 pictures and information on this site were provided courtesy of Gavin Taylor


OThe Amstrad NC200 Notebook Computer

The last computer in the NC series, the NC200 Notebook Computer, was launched in October 1993. The hardware for the computer had been redesigned to be more practical, the major addition being a disk drive. The extra software included is as follows:

 

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A 1993 newspaper advert for the Amstrad NC200.
Click to enlarge.

Function Key (Yellow) and Spread Key (White)

Spreadsheet

     
  • Fully featured, though not that easy to use
  • Charting and graphing facilities
Function Key (Yellow) and G Key

Games

     
  • Three Tetris clones -- one using triangles rather than squares!
  • High score memories
  • Music

The superior hardware features include:

  • 3.5" floppy disk drive -- MS-DOS filing system, but sadly only 720kb.
  • Double size screen -- 80 characters x 16 lines mono, backlit
  • 128kb battery-backed RAM

Please see the NC200 Specification for more details.

OAbout this website

Tim's Amstrad NC Users Site was started in 1997 to provide support for users of the Amstrad Notepad and Notebook computers and share with readers the many programs which I had written in BBC BASIC over the years.

My first computer was an Amstrad Notebook NC100, and its attraction to me was that it could be programmed in BBC BASIC, since I had previously used a BBC Micro and programmed in BBC BASIC at school.  I brought the NC200 Notebook as soon as it came out mainly because of the security that a disk drive gives (no battery backed RAM that can lose precious programs!), but sold my NC100 to a friend at school.  Of course, I now wish I hadn't done that because I can't test out the NC100 programs that are on this site.  I also lost most of the programs I had written for the NC100, which is the reason why most of my programs on this site are for the NC200.

In 1997 I started a degree course at the University of Greenwich and used the Internet for the first time.  This website was my first attempt at web design and was originally hosted on the University of Greenwich web server at www.gre.ac.uk/~st702/ncus.html - not an easy address to remember!  After about a year, the site navigation needed restructuring, so I redesigned it to look as it does now, and brought the domain name www.ncus.org.uk.

In 1999 the programs from Mark Ray's Amstrad Notepad Users Web were incorporated into the website and the total program count now exceeds eighty.  Readers are still contributing to the site with programs and articles, so the site should continue to remain 'alive' all the while users continue to find new uses for the NC computers.  If you have anything to contribute, please email me at .

Tim Surtell
October 2000

Since designing this website, I have developed several other websites which you may like to visit.

You can view my full portfolio at Surtell.com
 
1997-2014 Tim Surtell

Tim's Amstrad NC Users Site
www.ncus.org.uk

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