Technical Desktops


98x5 Computers Selection:

Name: 9831A
Product Number: 9831A
Introduced: 1977
Division: Calculator Products
Ad: Click to see
Original Price: $7200
Catalog Reference: 1978, page 582
Donated by: Chris Simpson, Victoria (manuals).


The 9831A was one of the rarest computers ever made by HP. The 9831A was a very interesting computer. It was a replacement for the 9830. It had the same firmware and spoke the same version of BASIC as the 9830. But, it used the same hardware I/O, interface options and form factor as the 9825.

The 9831A was also the central computer in the bundled 9896 computer system. The 9896 also included two 9885 disc drives, a 9871A printer and a desk. The 9831A was only in production for a little over a year. The 9896 was obsoleted in December of 1978. Although the lives of the 9831A and the 9896 were short and uneventful, they were not failures. These products spawned the HP 250 and 260 which went on to lead productive ten year lives.

Ansgar Kuekes has created an amazing utility for allowing a modern PC to emulate disc drives for the 9831A. To run "hpdrive", you only need a GPIB card for your PC and a 98034 HP-IB interface: HPDrive. Using Ansgar's "HPDir" utility, you can use your PC to perform disc operations on the old software (copy discs, transfer files, etc): HPDir.

Collector's Notes:

The 9831A that we have at the museum is not entirely the real thing. Our unit has a built-in printer (which was not available on the 9831A). Our 9831A is really a 9825A with the 09825-6790509825-67905 HPL ROM removed and replaced with the 09831-6790509831-67905 BASIC ROM for the 9831A. These two machines are basically System-ROM interchangeable. The 9831A cannot access the pluggable ROMs used for the 9825 and vice versa. There are also some differences in the functions of certain keys.


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