The Interact computer had a very short life in USA. It had only just got in production when the Interact Co. of Ann Arbor MI, went bankrupt. Several thousand machines were produced though. Some of them were sold by Protecto Enterprizes of Barrington, IL, the liquidator, but the main part was sold by MicroVideo, also of Ann Arbor. Protecto bought lots of back-of-the-magazine ads for years, always printed with WE LOVE OUR CUSTOMERS.
The Interact shipped with 2 joysticks, a built-in tape recorder, a TV RF modulator and 2 KB of ROM. Everything, including BASIC, must be loaded from tape. A little trivia: The tape unit did include an erase head, but it was not connected! Tapes had to be erased on a regular cassette recorder before being reused. Another surprising feature is that the 1 key is after the 0 key at the far right of the keyboard. Thus the row is starting from 2 and finishing by 1... See explanation in the Read more page.
MicroVideo supported the machine for two years, 1979-80, making some hardware expansions (32K RAM card and stringy floppy drive), replacing the original minimalist EDU-BASIC language with a Microsoft 8K graphic version, and even publishing 3 issues of Interaction, a newsletter of the Detroit Interact Group.
The Interact computer finally vanished from the US market in late 1980. However, a French company bought the rights of the machine and started to sell the Interact under Victor Lambda name in French market. See the rest of the story here.
In 1980, Lambda System starts to sell the Interact computer without even changing its name. The documentation is in english and the computer is sold with a NTSC television ! Thus, since nothing was changed inside the Interact, it is still an NTSC computer !
Later the same year, Lambda System manages to implement a video card inside the system so the video output becomes SECAM via a Scart plug. At the same time, they put the power supply unit into the system, just under the tape storage comparment, above the tape recorder. This small space is now closed by a small grid that lets the heat of the PSU dissipate.
Lenguajes None (EDU-BASIC on cassette tape)
Teclado QWERTY, chicklet Teclado 53 Teclas
CPU Intel 8080 A
Velocidad 2 MHz
RAM 8 or 16 KB
ROM 2 KB
Modos de Texto 17 chars. x 12 lines
Modo gráfico 112 x 78 in 4 Colores
Sonido 1 voice, 4 octaves
Tamaño/Peso 46.3 (W) x 26.5 (D) x 10 (H) cm / 5.8 kg
Puertos de entrada/salida 2 joystick sockets, TV output
Almacenamiento interno Tape recorder (1200 bauds)
Fuente de alimentación External AC transformer
Perifericos 32 KB RAM card, stringy floppy drive
Precio 300$ (USA, 1980)