Exidy Sorcerer
Model:DP1000-1, DP1000-2
Price:US$895 with 8K RAM
US$1150 with 16K RAM
US$1395 with 32K RAM
CPU:Zilog Z-80 @ 2MHz
RAM:8K, 16K, 32K
Display:composite video (B&W)
512 x 240, 64 x 30 text
Ports:composite video, cassette
serial, parallel, cart, bus
Storageexternal cassette
optional floppy drive
OS:'Monitor' in ROM
BASIC, CP/M in cart or floppy


Before the Sorcerer computer, Exidy Inc. was a leading manufacturer of home and arcade video games. They decided that they had the knowledge and expertise to design and market a home computer.

The Sorcerer seems to have been more popular in Europe than in the U.S. - CompuData distributed the Sorcerer in Europe while Exidy sold them in the U.S.

After Exidy went bankrupt, CompuData, which had changed its name to Tulip Computers, took-over and continued marketing the Sorcerer in Europe. I think this is when the keys turned from light to dark!

There is also a computer known as the "Dynasty smart-ALEC" - this is really just an Exidy Sorcerer licenced by Dynasty Computer Corp. of Dallas, Texas. It also has the dark keys as seen above.

The Sorcerer has no built-in programming language other than the 'monitor', which provides access to memory for dumping or changing memory locations. There are also commands for reading and writing to either of the tape interfaces, and even tapes written by BASIC can be loaded from the monitor.

All other programs and languages are loaded from either a cassette tape, or a cartridge (ROM-Pac) plugged into the right side of the console. These ROM-Pacs are real, authentic, 8-track tape cartridges with a computer circuit-board inside instead of a music tape.

The Sorcerer is the second computer to use ROM cartridges for instant program loading and access. The first was the VideoBrain Family Computer from 1977, one year earlier than the Sorcerer.

There are actually at least two version of the Sorcerer. The original motherboard (model DP1000-1) had hardware issues with the RS232 serial communications, according to "The computermuseum", and was redesigned and released as the more common Sorcerer II (model DP1000-2). The Sorcerer II also increased the maximum RAM from 32K to 48K.
The model DP1000-4 is the "Dynasty Smart-ALEC", a rebadged Sorcerer.

Above: The original Exidy Sorcerer motherboard.

Above: The redesigned Exidy Sorcerer II motherboard.

If the standard Sorcerer wasn't enough for you, the could purchase the S-100 Expansion Unit ($419), allowing you to utilize any of the hundreds of S-100 cards on the market. The S-100 bus was very popular in the late 70's - many of the earliest computers used it exclusively.

There isn't much inside of the Exidy S-100 chasis, just a power supply and six S-100 expansion slots, but this is all there is to any S-100 computer - all of the logic and circuitry are on the S-100 cards which plug into the slots.

Although any 'composite video' monitor can be used, the Exidy "Video/Disk" ($2995) offers that professional touch. It contains a 12-inch video display and dual mini-floppy disk drives with data storage capacity of 630K words.

Related Links

  • Sorcerer from Wikipedia
  • The Trailing Edge's Exidy Sorcerer Pages
  • Exidy's Sorcerer magazine review
  • http://www.computer-museum.nl/ - "The computermuseum"

  • Return to the Obsolete Technology Homepage