ACT Apricot PC
The Apricot PC (originally known as the ACT Apricot) is a personal computer manufactured by Apricot Computers, formerly known as Applied Computer Techniques or ACT.
Launched in late 1983, it marked the first time ACT developed a microcomputer independently, having previously marketed the Victor Sirius 1 for marketing and sales. The Apricot PC was considered the first 16-bit system to be compatible with the Sirius 1, not IBM, indicating how influential the Sirius 1 was in the UK at the time.
The system was positively received in the UK, with reviewers praising the high resolution of the 800x400 screen (equivalent to the Sirius 1).
Under the hood, the Apricot PC used an Intel 8086 processor with a speed of 4.77 MHz. An 8087 math co-processor was optionally available. The system had 256 KB of memory, which could be expanded to 768 KB. The computer shipped with a 9-inch CRT green screen, supporting both 80x25 text mode and 800x400 pixel graphics mode.
In 1984, Apricot released the Apricot Xi, a similar computer, but with a hard drive instead of a second floppy drive.
As for software, due to a non-IBM PC compatible BIOS, trying to run software like dBase III led to a system crash. However, the system came with SuperCalc and various system utilities, asynchronous communications, and an emulator for IBM PC, as well as Microsoft Basic-86, Basic Personal, and ACT Manager (a GUI for MS-DOS).
Although the system ran MS-DOS and CP/M-86, it was not compatible with IBM PCs due to differences in the underlying BIOS and hardware.
The diskette format was "not fully compatible", meaning that reading a regular PC FAT diskette in an Apricot, or vice versa, would result in an encrypted list of directories with some files missing.
To convert the computer into an IBM compatible PC, Apricot later offered the option of replacing the motherboard with one with an Intel 80286 processor.