The Hungarian Enterprise SAGA, the Story Continues...


    
The Hungarian Enterprise SAGA, the Story Continues....

    written by Vincze Bila Gyvrgy (EGZO)

    The ill-fated Enterprise 128 appeared in Hungary in 1987. The biggest hungarian chain of department stores, the "CENTRUM"-chain, opened several "enterprise-shops" and sold this computer for a really low price, almost everywhere in the country. The complete machine (with tape recorder and external joysticks) costed about only 20.000 forints. Other additional devices, like "EXDOS" floppy controller, "SpeakEasy" speech-sythesizer, hardware zx-spectrum emulator card etc. were also available. 

    The Enterprises came in the country from two sources : UK and Germany, so some of the computers had english, the others had german EXOS and basic interpeter. Due to low price and the "dense" advertisements, about 20.000 Enterprises were sold until 1989. The EP128 "starter" config (machine+tape) costed 11.900 Ft in 1989.

    20.000 machines? Yes, it's a really big number... ...it means at least 20.000 users. These users needed softwares, news, and technical support, but the fact is that, "CENTRUM" stores stopped the whole Enterprise business after selling their whole EP-stock. The hungarian Enterprise users were soon left alone. 

    They didn't give up. Csaba Hajnal and his friends founded the ENTERPRESS, the hungarian Enterprise mag. This mag and the big Enterprise-club in Budapest were the origin of the "new" Enterprise, as we should call : "our enterprise".

    Talented, young programmers appeared : Gyanyi Sandor, the author of the legendary "Small demo", Haluska Laszlo, the father of the EP-DOS (it was the Dos Navigator for EP-s), Zozo, who invented the 7.12 Mhz Enterprise (without additional circuits !!!), Meszaros Gyula, who designed the bus-interface, the serial transfer card, the clock-card and several other hardwares, the Richter brothers, Szilagyi Zoltan (Agsys), DevilSoft and the others...

    These programmers formed the Ep-Scene, which became self-supporting. There were games, (well, most of the games were zx-spectrum 128 conversions - it was a separate "job" to crack and modify the original speccy programs...), demos and user softwares.

    In 1992, the manufacturer of the Enterprises, the german VTGe, opened a local office. They promised a lot of strange things (about technical support, new softwares and the new Enterprise, with Hitachi super Z80, 21 bit address bus, MIDI interface and so on...), but after some months they disappeared. Nobody knew why. (the german ENTERPRISE company allegedly still exists. they would be manufacturing PC-s.)

    In 1993, on an Enterprise you could view PCX images, play VOC or even converted MOD-files, handle your huge databases and... ...play popular games, like "Lemmings", the "Dizzy"-games, "Chase H.Q." (YES!!!) and the others...

    1994 was the "last" year. The ENTERPRESS magazine died, and almost everybody of the "old" Ep programmers and users became PC and AMIGA user, although they didn't sell their old machine. The "CENTRUM" had destroyed the remaining Ep-related stock (mainly spectrum emulators). (They took everything on a van to a rubbish dump, and burned. Sad, but true.)

    Now it's 1997. Apparently Enterprise is not dead. The hungarian users had proved that it is possible to create something brand new from nothing. We should preserve this computer, it's great operating system and the user's philosophy to show that times, when you could make your own computer...

    And the story is not yet finished.... Any complementary information is welcome....
Comments