* CPU: Zilog Z80A 3.58 MHz
* Co-Processor: Z80A-CTC (timer), TMS 9929 (video processor), SN76489AN (Sound Generator)
* RAM: 4 KB (up to 36 KB)
* VRAM: 16 KB
* ROM: 8 KB (up to 28 KB)
* Text Modes: 40 x 24 (characters matrix: 6 x 8 pixels)
* Graphic Modes: 32 x 24 (character matrix 8x8), 64 x 48 (character matrix 4x4), 256 x 192 (full graphic)
* Colors: 16
* Sound: SN76489AN with 3 voices (6 octaves), 1 noise channel, 7 special sounds
* I/O Ports: RF TV output, video & audio outputs, Joystick (2), Cartridge slot, Tape interface (2000 baud), Centronics (printer)
* Keyboard: Calculator type, 55 keys. Upper/lower case letters, 64 graphic symbols, 28 Basic statements, FUNC, CTRL, SHIFT (x 2), RETURN, SPACE, RESET
* Peripherals: Cartridge multiplexer (EC-5), 32 KB RAM expansion (EM-5), joysticks (JS-5), joypads (JP-5), expansion box (EB-5), thermal printer (PT-5), Parallel I/O cartridge (PI-5), Serial interface cartridge (SI-5), Floppy disk drive (FD-5)
* Built In Language: Basic-G, Basic-I and Basic-F delivered on cartridges
This computer used cartridges. You can insert game cartridges, or if you want to use basic, you can insert one of 3 basic cartridges:
* "BASIC-I" a integer based basic,
* "BASIC-G" a basic for graphics,
* "BASIC-F" a basic for floating point operations.
Notice that the "printer" (prin) is emulated as well. Cartridges
The Sord must have a cart in the "cartridge" (cart) device to start up. Some cartridges may not work. Carts in .rom format are supported. Cassettes
MESS supports cassette emulation for sordm5 using a "cassette" (cass) device. Tapes must be in .cas or .wav format.
* Saving commands: ''save"cmt:"'' where is the name of the file.
* Loading commands: ''old"cmt:"'' will load the next file on the cassette. ''chan"cmt:"'' and ''run"cmt:"'' can also be used to load and run the next file on the cassette.
* no memory expansion supported
* loading from cassette does not work
History and Trivia
The SORD M5 had no really great success outside Japan (and later Czechoslovakia) but had lot of interesting characteristics, very close to MSX computers released soon after. Anyway, It was not compatible with it. (It has the same CPU (Z80), a Z80 CTC timer chip and the same video chip, but a different sound chip and the I/O port assignments are not the same). In fact some MSX games have been converted to the Sord by enthusiasts.
Sord M5 design was quite original. The machine was quite small. The two-tone grey plastic casing opened to reveal a bright yellow back, which housed the ROM cartridge slot. The keyboard was similar to the rubber matting of the Spectrum, but felt markedly better. Most keys had a Basic keyword on them in small light-grey letters (available by holding down the function key as an other key is pressed). There was no full-size space-bar.
There was only 4K of internal RAM, but memory expansions were available. The joysticks simply plugged into tiny DIN sockets, and there was a port for a Centronics printer. The power supply was external and rather cumbersome.
It used a dedicated video chip (Texas Instrument 9918, 9928 or 9929, depending on the model) and had the same video characteristics as the MSX computers (same graphic resolution, same number of colors, same number of sprites, etc.) but didn't belong to this family. The M-5 had 32 graphics symbols in ROM and could handle up to 32 sprites. Its sound chip was the Texas Instruments TI 76489, which wasn't MSX compliant. It had three independent sound channels which could produce a variety of music and synthesized sounds. The sound was sent
through the TV speaker.
Several cartridge based languages were available: the Basic-I (very simple version for beginners, delivered with the system), the Basic-G (with lot of graphic commands) and the Basic-F (for mathematic and scientific applications). The M-5 supported Inp and Out in Basic to
control Z-80A ports, but had no obvious connector to the external world other than the ROM cartridge slot into which the Basic cartridge had to be be inserted.
One year later the M5 Pro and M5 Jr were released with a built-in power supply unit (and more RAM?).
(info from old-computers.com)
* Czech M5 page -- http://falabella.lf2.cuni.cz/~naidr/sord/
* M5 at old-computers.com -- http://old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=217
* Emu5 -- http://www1.interq.or.jp/~t-takeda/m5/index.html