Coleco Adam

The Coleco Adam is a historical, marketed exclusively in the U.S. home computer with Zilog Z80 processor. The U.S. company Coleco tried since 1983 to follow up with the Adam to the success of its game consoles ( ColecoVision ). The Adam toiled but especially at the beginning of production various technical problems, and the market success did not come. Coleco introduced a sale of the Adam 1985; the company filed for bankruptcy in 1988.


The Coleco Adam was sold as a complete system with extensive software and peripherals, which also includes a tape drive (later a 5 ¼ -inch floppy disk drive ), and a daisy-wheel printer belonged. Like the time when home computers usual, it was intended to use a TV as a monitor.

About a cartridge slot games the ColecoVision system could be used on the Adam. Conversely, could a ColecoVision console through the purchase of hardware upgrades to an Adam.

The Adam generated at the start of a strong EM field that can affect disk or even delete them if they remain in the unit.

The printer contains the power supply for the entire system, which is not executable without this.


  • CPU: Zilog Z80 with 3.58 MHz
  • Auxiliary processors: three Motorola 6801 with 1 MHz for memory management, tape drive, and a keyboard controller
  • Memory: 80 KiB
  • Video Memory: 6 KiB
  • ROM: 32 KiB
  • Internal slots, a cartridge slot; proprietary serial bus ( " AdamNet " ) with 62.5 kbit / s half duplex.
  • Digital Data Pack tape drive, 256 KiB
  • Graphics: Texas Instruments TMS9928A; Resolution 256 × 192 pixels; 32 Sprites
  • Sound: Texas Instruments SN76489AN, three voices


In contrast to contemporary competitors was Colecos variant of the BASIC interpreter, SmartBasic, not in ROM, but settled on a disk. SmartBasic was largely compatible with Applesoft BASIC, making an extensive, existing offer has been opened up to software.

The system will boot at startup first into a Typewriter mode. Pressing a button in a word processor ( "Smart Writer" ) switch. Other system components are the Elementary Operating System ( EOS ) and the ColecoVision operating system.

The operating system CP / M was available as an option.


Coleco presented the Adam in June 1983 before the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). As a sales goal by Christmas 1983, a half million units was given. From the presentation of the system until the start of delivery of the retail price of 525 rose to 725 U.S. dollars. Included it was comparable accessories so roughly on par with its competitor Commodore 64, and significantly lower than the IBM PCjr.

The Adam has been rated by the American trade press largely favorable; Keyboards and printers were of good quality, sound, and graphics correspond to the standard time. However, the sales did not reach the expectations; In addition, many customers came back because of the above -mentioned technical problems buying from. In the fourth quarter of 1984, the Coleco Adam brought a loss of 35 million U.S. dollars.

As countermeasures Coleco put a new operating manual for Adam on, reduced the selling price, and awarded for each instrument purchased the option on a college scholarship in the amount of $ 500. However, fewer than 100,000 units have been sold, and Adam was in 1985 again from the market.

The Adam project weakened Coleco and spent a large part of the capital which had accumulated the company with the sale of the Cabbage Patch Kids; Coleco filed for bankruptcy in 1988.

Until at least 2012 there or have there been in the United States an annual Adam convention, AdamCon.