Manufacturer: Tiki Data
- Type: Personal computer
- Released: 1984
- Introductory price: 12.000 NOK (~USD 1,350)
- Internal media: upto 2 x 5.25" disk drives, ~8 MB hard drive optional
- OS: TIKO (CP/M-80 clone), in addition with Intel 8088 CPU card (or rev.D): TIKOS (CP/M-86 clone) and MS-DOS 2.11 (Not IBM PC compatible)
- CPU: 4 MHz Zilog Z80, optional 4 MHz Intel 8088 CPU card
- Memory: 64 KB RAM, in addition with Intel 8088 CPU card (or rev.D): 256-736 KB RAM
- Backward compatibility: CP/M-80 2.2, in addition with Intel 8088 CPU card (or rev.D): CP/M-86
- Sound: AY-3-8912 (3 channel mono)
- ROM: 8 KB
- Video RAM: 32 KB
- Palette: 8 bit (256-colors)
- Screenmodes: 256x256 (16 on-screen colors), 512x512 (4 on-screen colors) or 1024 x 256 pixels (2 on-screen colors)
- Discontinued: 1989? (was still sold and delivered in the early 90's)
- Successor: TIKI 200 (IBM PC clone)
Released 1984: Tiki-100 was a CP/M 2.2 compatible personal computer manufactured by Tiki Data of Oslo, Norway. The computer was launched in the spring of 1984 under the original name Kontiki-100, and was first and foremost intended for the emerging educational sector, especially for primary schools. Early prototypes had 4 KB ROM, and the ‘100’ in the machine’s name was based on the total KB amount of memory (32 KB video RAM + 64 KB RAM + 4 KB ROM).
It was decided by the government that Norwegian schools should use a “standard” computer. The Tiki-100 was was partly influenced by the specifications laid out by the government. One of the most influential of these specifications was compatibility with CP/M and the Z80 CPU. I’ve read that one other requirement was at least 32 KB RAM. (TIKI-100 got 64 KB). The machine was given good sound and graphic capabilities for its time. While other educational computers at the time had a main focus on BASIC and simple computer-science, the Tiki-100 had more focus on being a tool to aid in education and everyday-life situations. This put forth the need and memory requirements to run more complex applications.
Tiki-100 was released under the original name ‘Kontiki-100’ in the spring of 1984. Thor Heyerdahl threatened to open a legal case on the use of the Kontiki name, with reference to the name of his famous raft, and the name was changed to simply TIKI-100. On my own TIKI-100, the KONTIKI labels on the rear has been masked, and also the label on the mainboard. On the shipping box itself, the KONTIKI name has been scrambled with a black marker.
My TIKI-100 and repairs
I bought the computer from someone that had found it at an disposable & recycling center. When I got it, the screen was black with no picture at all, but the mainboard got powered on and a keyboard LED was flashing. The flashing was a good sign, means most of the computer was probably working as there is some “testing” in the ROM’s software, making the LED flash. I suspected a failure in one of the RAM chips making up the 64 KB system RAM.
When I powered it on the second time, It smelled burned, smoke was coming out and shortcut noises. One of the capacitors had “exploded”. I replaced all the capacitors on the main-board to prevent this for happening again.
I then replaced all the old RAM chips and inserted sockets for the new ones. Still black screen. I measured to check if it was break in any traces surrounding the RAM chips then, could’n not find any broken traces. Much later, after a lot of replacing chips and testing at my own with no luck, I got help from a friend. He came to my job-office one day, we had the assembler source code to the built in system ROM (TIKI-Monitor), and he had the equipment and the expertise I’m missing.
He connected his “test-lab-laptop” to the pins on the Z80 CPU and “recorded” the signals when turning on the computer. Then he checked the ROM assembler source code instruction for instruction upon the signal recordings. Soon he found out it was failing to copy a specific byte to the RAM after initializing the ROM at power on. It actually was a broken trace surrounding the RAM chip after all (exactly what I looked for in the first place). I soldered in a wrapping wire to fix the broken trace. Finally, the computer worked just perfectly.
Upgrade 2016: Fitted a modern “Gotek” floppy emulator as a second floppy drive, it’s using disk image files from an FAT32 formatted USB memory stick. Very convenient for moving software from a PC.
Upgrade 2017: Installed an hard disk controller “emulator”. This card uses an SD memory card for emulating two 8 MB hard disks. The card was designed by Frank Fugledal and manufactured by Kjell Sundby in 2017. It uses a modern micro controller and is designed to function similar to the original card that was an official option or upgrade while the computers was in production. It fits in one of the internal expansion slots, and is supported by the computers original ROM version 2.03W (W=Winchester). Frank Fugledal also improved upon the TIKI emulator for Windows to support the hard disk images used by the card, this makes it easy to transfer software from a modern PC.
I found an 5.25″ bay front plate that looks very similar to the ones originally used in TIKI 100’s with hard drive. I removed the drive LED on the controller card and wired the LED on the front plate instead, worked as planned. After at tips, I also changed two resistors on the controller, that made it more compatible with all sorts of SD cards.
Links: Documentation, software and a TIKI-100 emulator (www.djupdal.org) GOTEK floppy emulator and HDD controller for TIKI-100 (www.sundby.com) The first and only TIKI-100 "scene demo" ever made (youtube.com)