The Amstrad PCW
('Personal Computer Word Processor
') series was a versatile line of microcomputers pitched as a complete, integrated home/ office solution, and came complete with a full-size word processor keyboard, high resolution monochrome monitor, dot matrix
printer, three-inch floppy disk
drive(s), LocoScript word processing software, and the CP/M
operating system, including the Mallard BASIC programming language.
Several models were released:
- The PCW8256 featured 256 kilobytes of RAM and one floppy drive that could store 180 kilobytes on each side of the disk. It had a green screen monitor.
- The PCW8512 came with 512K RAM and two floppy drives, the second of which could store 720K on a double-density floppy without needing the disk to be turned over.
- Subsequently, Amstrad released the PCW9512, which featured a white-screen monitor.
The machines were built around the Zilog Z80
processor, and managed the relatively large amount of RAM using a technique known as bank switching
(allowing access to more than the 8-bit
Z80's normal address bus maximum of 64KB). Although not at all designed as games machines, some games were released for the platform, including Batman, Head Over Heels, and Bounder.