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CompuMate SV010
Atari 2600 Junior with the 'UNIVERSUM Heimcomputer' German clone of the CompuMate
Also known as CompuMate[1]
Manufacturer Spectravideo[2]
Release date January 6, 1983; 38 years ago (1983-01-06)[3]
Introductory price 79.99 US$[1][4]
Operating system Microsoft BASIC[1]
CPU MOS 6507 @ 1.19 MHz (from the Atari VCS/2600/2600jr)
Memory 2K built-in RAM, 16K built-in ROM[5]
Storage via audio jack on tape
Display 10 lines × 12 characters
Graphics 40x40 pixels with 10 selectable colors
Input 42-key Sensor Touch Keyboard, (2x) 9-pin sub-D connector, game cartridge connector, earphone mini-jack, microphone mini-jack
Dimensions 13-1/2"W x 6"D x 1-1/2"H (W 343mm x D 152mm x H 38mm)

The Spectravideo CompuMate SV010 was a home computer expansion for the Atari VCS / 2600 video game system released 6 January 1983 at the Winter CES( Winter Consumer Electronics) show in Las Vegas.[3][6][7][8]

In Germany, the CompuMate was also sold by Quelle, a catalogue company, which labeled it under its own-brand "Universum".

File:UNIVERSUM Computertastatur fuer Atari Videospiel 2600 Seite rechts.jpg
'UNIVERSUM Heimcomputer' alias 'Spectravideo CompuMate SV-010' Face of right side with audio in and audio out for tape player
File:UNIVERSUM Computertastatur fuer Atari Videospiel 2600 Frontansicht.jpg
'UNIVERSUM Heimcomputer' alias 'Spectravideo CompuMate SV-010' aerial view

In Brazil, around 1985, at least two clones of CompuMate where made, one by Milmar Electronics ("Dactar-Comp"), and another known as "CompuGame".[9]


It consists of a membrane keyboard unit with interface connectors. These connectors were placed in the module slot and both controller ports of the Atari console. As the user could place the keyboard on the old style VCS consoles, the two devices resulted in one compact unit. When using with the 2600jr console, resulted in a desktop computer look with separated keyboard.[10]

The CompuMate was equipped with an audio jack for use with a standard tape connector as a possibility of permanent data storage.

PAL and NTSC versions of the CompuMate exist.[11][12]

Built-in software[13]

The CompuMate offered built-in software:

  • a Microsoft BASIC programming language with a text based interpreter.
  • Music Composer a very simple music synthesizer program with 4 built-in Demonstration songs (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Long Long Ago, Jingle Bells and My Bonnie).
  • Magic Easel a very simple drawing program (40x40 pixels with 10 selectable colors) and limited animation possibilities (9 cycling frames). Two built-in demonstration pictures (Worldmap and snowman)[4][14]

Each of the built-in demonstration samples are only accessible from the related software.

CompuMate Software[2]

Spectravideo also also offered 12 educational Basic programs on cassette tape for the CompuMate:

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 (Advertisement) CompuMate Basic Keyboard Enhancer, Page 7, Electronic Games Magazine (August 1983), Internet Archive
  2. 2.0 2.1 Video games into computers:Spectravideo, By Myron Berger, Page 166, Popular Science, Oct 1983
  3. 3.0 3.1 Spectravideo CompuMate at the Wayback Machine (archived February 8, 2002)
  4. 4.0 4.1 CompuMate (SpectraVideo), Part of the Secret to the VCS's Longevity, By Scott Stilphen, 2600 Connection
  5. Atari 2600 peripherals: Spectravideo Compumate, Mostly Inclusive Atari 2600 Mapper / Selected Hardware Document, 2012-04-03, Kevin Horton aka kevtris, Version 1.00
  6. Atari 2600 Spectravideo Compumate Keyboard, Geek Vintage
  7. The history of Spectravideo, By Roger Samdal
  8. Spectravideo CompuMate, AGH Museum
  9. A history of Atari in Brazil.
  10. How to Turn Your Atari Into a Computer(For Less Than $90), by Martin Bass, Appeared in the August/September 1983 issue of "Video Games Player"
  11. PAL version, CompuMate
  12. NTSC version, CompuMate
  13. CompuMate, Battle of the Bits Lyceum
  14. Subject: Compumate - the REAL "Music Machine"! (was "What's a Spectravideo Compumate keyboard for ? ), Date: Mon, 24 Mar 1997, From: christian-oliver windler, Newsgroups:

External links