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Was the Amstrad CPC 6128 sold in the US?


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I dont know the exact model but when I worked at Sears in the mid 80s we sold an Amstrad "Word Processing" package which included the monitor (with disk drive built in), keyboard and 9pin dot matrix printer.  The disk drive was a 3" I believe and not the standard 3 1/2".

 

So Sears did carry 1 Amstrad model for a year or so.

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Word processing package sounds like the PCW series, which is a different branch than the CPC series. I understand why Sears would bring in affordable PCW machines for a test run.

 

Given that the 6128 came out relatively late - 1985 or 1986 without looking it up - I would think only a niche dealer in the US would import it. Again, Amstrad sold well built home computers at an attractive price but as I understand the US market quickly moved to PC and other 16-bit systems, it would seem like a late attempt. In particular as both the Commodore 128 and Atari 130XE should've co-existed on the lower end of the market. The CPC also didn't have any particular hardware features like MIDI or other forms of interfacing not seen elsewhere.

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According to the Amstrad Computer User articles quoted in all the wikis, it was sold through a US subsidiary of Indescomp (later branded as Amstrad Spain) in 1985. Given the CPC was bundled with a monitor that contained the system power supply, having it run PAL software wouldn't be a problem. If Amstrad paid attention to how Sinclair and Acorn had to rework the systems that had been sent out and then returned in their failed attempts to crack the US market, Amstrad would have done minimal customization and just need to brush off the 3 months of dust from crossing the Atlantic twice. 

 

I can't find an article about it in the trades of the time but I may be searching on the wrong terms. Infoworld gave a couple of paragraphs to even really obscure European manufacturers with unsuccessful US launches so I am positive that even the slightest announcement would be there. I have no direct knowledge of it since I was living in Germany then. 

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I know the Acorn BBC Micro has a power supply built to handle either 220V or 110V, configurable with a jumper just like much later PC compatibles. I suppose the Amstrad CPC didn't have a similar type of power supply, otherwise it would have been dead easy to export the system with bundled monitor and power supply if all it took was to take it apart, move one jumper/link and voila it would handle 110V instead. As you wrote, PAL/NTSC no longer is an issue if the monitor is part of the deal. Software supply would be an issue though, everything imported from Europe.

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