Aquarius USR()

From: Sam Ismail <>
Date: Mon Jul 7 17:23:49 1997

On Mon, 7 Jul 1997, Andy Brobston wrote:

> When I first got my Mattel Aquarius some thirteen years ago, I
> remember going through the owner's manual, typing in all the programs
> and all that. The manual documented the USR() function as something to
> execute machine language, which was "beyond the scope of the manual."
> I looked for probably three years (until I got my Apple IIgs and lost
> interest) for info on "machine code." The only place I knew to look
> was the public library, which, of course, had nothing.
> Does anyone know more about this? I don't have my Aquarius where I'm
> living right now to play with, unfortunately.

Basically, you'd poke in Z-80 assembler code and then use the USR()
function to execute it. I followed the same path you did, and alas never
did search beyond the scope of the manual to do assembly. It wasn't
until I got my Apple ][ that I learned 6502 assembly. You'd probably
need some systems manuals for the Aquarius to do anything useful on it,
and I don't think Mattel ever had anything like that publicly available.

Speaking of Aquarius, yesterday I had the pleasure of rooting around in
Doug Coward's collection, which I must say is incredible. He has
computers that I never even knew existed, plus lots of rare games
machines and peripherals and stuff. I think on of the rarest items he
has is an Aquarius Compact Disk Drive. I thought it was never supposed
to be released, but there it is, sitting on one of Doug's shelves. It's
a big sucker, about 8" x 8" by 2.5". Just amazing. It seems to have
used the Compact floppy disks which looked like a 3.5" but were
rectangular in shape (longer than it is wide). Doug, scan that in and
put it in your museum!

Computer Historian, Programmer, Musician, Philosopher, Athlete, Writer, Jackass
Received on Mon Jul 07 1997 - 17:23:49 BST

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