Tomy Tutor, originally sold in Japan as the Pyūta (ぴゅう太)
and in the UK as the Grandstand Tutor, is a home computer produced by
the Japanese toymaker Tomy. It was architecturally similar, but not
identical, to the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, and used a similar
16-bit CPU. The computer was launched on the UK and European
markets in late 1983. Outside Japan, however, sales were not
2 Similarities to TI-99/4A
4 External links
Produced by Matsushita, the machine was released in Japan in 1982
under the name of
Tomy described the Tutor, with 16K RAM, as good for games and
education. The company stated that its documentation would let an
eight-year-old child use the computer without adult supervision.
One of the major flaws pointed out with the Tutor was not its
hardware, but its marketing: the Tutor was announced as a children's
computer when in fact it was practically a cheap, evolved version of
the TI-99/4A, even having a similar 16-bit CPU (the TMS 9995, closely
related to the TI-99/4's TMS 9900); other competitors in its price
range still used 8-bit microprocessors.
The Tutor did not sell well against the
ZX Spectrum in the UK and the
Commodore 64 in other countries. It ended up being removed quickly
from the market and replaced the following year by the
Tomy Tutor MK
II with a standard mechanical keyboard instead of the original
"Chiclet"-style keyboard. However, the new model seems to have been
sold only in Japan, and even then only for a short period of time.
The Pyūta Jr. was a console version of the Pyūta, and similarly was
only sold in Japan.
Similarities to TI-99/4A
Portions of the operating system and BASIC code are similar to the
99/8. According to Barry Boone (a well known programmer for the
TI-99/4A), the Tutor's built-in BASIC uses the same internal one byte
tokens as does TI's Extended BASIC, and many of the memory scratchpad
locations are placed at the same relative locations as the TI-99/4A
and TI-99/8. For instance, keyscan values are
returned at offset >75 and floating point is stored at >4A.
^ a b TI-vs-Tomy, Floodgap.com
^ Mitchell, Peter W. (1983-09-06). "A summer-CES report". Boston
Phoenix. p. 4. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
Tomy Tutor at Floodgap.com
Tomy Tutor from Your Computer magazine, October 1983
Tomy Tutor/Pyūta page at Old-computers.c