My first PC, Spectravideo SV-328

I stumbled to Roger’s Spectravideo page while back and it brought back good memories.

Back in 1984 I got a Christmas present that I had been asking from my mom for a long time. Finally my mom had been bought me a computer! I was exited when I open the package I knew what it was, there was no doubt… I finally had my own C64 no more I had to feel outsider on their C64 talks. Little I knew that my mother had asked from local electronics store a computer that can actually help me doing homework and on learning stuff. You know, all that nerd stuff you do with computer but not gaming.  So, finally when I got the present open I saw that she had bought me something else.


I was pissed… I expected Commodore 64

So, there I was with my new computer and Christmas holidays ahead so no friends to ask where to get games and how to get started. Luckily in the box there was couple of games that I could play over the Christmas holidays. The computer game with big manual and introduction to BASIC both were written in English. As a 9 years old Finnish boy, I had just started English lessons in the school but my level wasn’t even close to understand what those books were saying. But from trial and error I finally figured out how to load a game from cassette drive and how to run basic commands.


SV-328 right after boot

The SV-328 was the business-targeted model of the Spectravideo range, it wasn’t really for gaming. It had full keyboard with numeric keypad, and no built-in joystick. SV-328’s Zilog Z80A @ 3.6 MHz processor combined with 80 kB RAM (64 kB available for software, remaining 16 kB video memory) was somewhat good hardware, better than C64 on that time.

My machine came with 2 joysticks and casette drive. I had half a dozen games to start with. I really miss that machine now. It’s probably like everything else from eighties (better leave it for that decade) but I would love to see and try it again anyway.

Released 1983 (Summer CES, Chicago)
Processor Zilog Z80A @ 3.6 MHz
Memory 64 KB (+16 KB video memory)
Operating system Microsoft Extended BASIC
Country USA
Year 1983
Ram 80 KB
VRam 16 KB
Rom 32 KB
Graphic 256 x 192
Colors 16
Sound 3 channels, 8 octaves
Ports centronics, rs232c, rgb, tape, joystick (2), cartridge

For more Spectravideo info, take a look Roger’s Spectravideo page  and of course WikiPedia Page of SV-323.

If you have SV-323 in the attic, please contact me I am interested buying it just for the sake of good memories.