M20 Olivetti M20

Welcome in the Olivetti M20 site



M20 at work This site is intended to be a meeting point for the M20 community and a collection of informations and manuals dedicated to this computer.

The Olivetti M20 was a personal computer dedicated to business and scientific areas. It was produced by the Italian company Olivetti between 1982 and 1985. Among its peculiarities there was the choice of the CPU, the Zilog Z8001, and the operating system, called PCOS, which was developed by Olivetti especially for this machine.
Olivetti has always been extremely attentive to the design of its products; the M20 was not an exception and it was drawn by the pen of Ettore Sottsass.
We want to attempt to preserve as much as possible the technical informations and the software which was developed for this machine.

If you own a M20, PLEASE CONTACT the webmaster (remove capital letters in the email address). We need to come in touch with other M20 user all around the world. We are particularly interested in photos, anecdotes, screenshots, technical informations and manuals, repairing tips, easter eggs, tutorials...

Mystery box solved!

The Mistery Box Andreas Pittini sent us a few interesting informations about this strange piece of hardware: this is (was!?) a special feature for a tax accountant. The "Mystery Box" on your homepage i know as special DATEV-Device.  This is for turning on the PC at night for receiving data from remote.

20 years ago they was simply collecting data and transferred them to DATEV. (DATEV had a big computing centre for doing the calculations and storing the data for years).
The transfer of the data could be done at night, so DATEV simply called the M20 by phone.
btw: tax accountants always have had a M20 DES! (see also the PCOS "sl"-Command and option 16 (DATEV))


Andreas Senk, the owner of the M20 DES added: The NEC D8253 mounted to the expansion card a timer chip. If I switch off the M20 at the normal mains switch, only monitor, drives and some parts of the board loses power. The rest is powered from internal power supply in the box. So it might be that an incoming call is recognized by the additional card and box and powers the M20 up to full status. The timer chip then seems to activate the sleep mode after a given time again.

DATEV eG is a German association for tax consultants, auditors and lawyers.
You can find more photos in this page.

Thanks Andreas!


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