CHE, pronounced ‘Tsjee’ because it resembles Cray, is a computer from the early 1980s.

The Computer Hobbyclub Eindhoven was an initiative of employees of the Philips NatLab to tinker with computers and whatever these people did in their private time. They used a MOS 6502 and a whopping 64K memory. Because of the planned expansions, making it compatible with an Apple II was a logical choice. The CHE-1 was born.

People could become a member of the Computer Hobbyclub Eindhoven after which they could purchase a building kit. The club had a monthly magazine (De Tsjee) where new hardware was developed, but also software and support was offered.

Extensions such as a printer card, serial card, floppy controller, RGB cards and even RAM cards were conceived and made. To avoid problems there was officially no firmware in the ROM, although in practice the firmware of an Apple II accidentally got into the chip.

The CHE could also be purchased in a case such as is present in the museum. On the front is the word CACHE, pronounced in Dutch this is a corruption of the word Kastje (=little cabinet). The same was done with the keyboard, TOUCHE or Toetsje (=little key).

As far as is known, only 1 real CHE has been developed and modifications have been applied on this. For example, compared to an Apple II, the CHE-1 could use 64K memory and CP/M could also be used via a Z80 card.

The CHE-1 could also store data up to 640 kByte through modifications (instead of 160 for the Apple II) and a special operating system was written for this. System CHEAP or CHE DOS.

A real hobby computer. Since there was no major company behind the development, the CHE-1 computer was discontinued after an outage of users due to other computer interests.

Around 1,300 mainboards have been sold.

Desktop Computer