timex-computer.jpg (19841 bytes)

Timex Sinclair 3068

CPU and options unknown, but rumored to be competitive with the visionary Amiga line of computers and Sinclair Loki.
A few years after Timex left the computer business, a former engineer there gave some information to a local computer user group:

Ever hear of the T/S 3068? (And other matters)

At a recent meeting of the LIST (Long Island Sinclair Timex) users group, the former head of the Research and Development department of Timex Computer Corporation, Bill Skyrme, attended and gave a talk. Mr Skyrme is currently president of Psion, Inc, the manufacturer of the Organizer pocket computer.

While Mr. Skyrme admitted he was still under contractual agreement with Timex and that certain information couldn't be discussed, he did mention some items that turned many members of LIST green.

The TS2068, related Skyrme, was to either have been a "cleaned-up" 48K spectrum or a totally re-engineered design. While a clean Spectrum was submitted for FDD approval, the later model was selected for manufacture.

Another computer was in the works called TS3068. It would have featured 1 Megabyte RAM, virtual memory, 256 colours and hi-red graphics. "The only machine that would be in its class today is the Amiga," stated Skyrme. The TS3068 would have retailed for only $199.95

Another interresting fact was that the "BEU" (Bus Expansion Unit) for the TS2068, as seen in the photo published by TIME DESIGNS (see July/August, page 23) was, according to Skyrme, completely engineered and ready for production. With an internal floppy disk interface built in, Timex would have sold external 3.5" drives (in little silver boxes) for as little as $49.95. This plan was far enought along that Timex had a supplier lined for the drives.

Most of the information on proposed products for TS2068 (and TS3068) will never be made puplic due to a myriad of legal reasons and the engineers involved in the project have all gone their separate ways.

March/April 1988 Timex Designs Magazine.

Jack Boatwright have send me this info (he received it last year (1998)) about TC3068:

A few years ago, LIST had as a guest speaker Mr Bob Skye, who at the time was the Vice President of Psion Computer. Before coming to Psion, Mr Skye was an engineer with Timex Computer Division. Mr Skye gave us a demonstration of the new Psion Hand held computer. He was also gracious enough to answer questions and tell us what was going on at Timex before it closed down the computer division. The Timex engineering unit, during the production of the TS1500 and TS2068, were planning for the next stage of home computing.
Their goal was to go head to head against the Amiga, C-128, IBM PC-Jr. and other advanced computers which were coming out at that time. The computer they
designed was designated TS3000, production units to be TS3068. It was a
16bit machine which used an advanced Motorola 16 bit CPU. Its operating system allowed it to use existing Timex TS2068 programs, Sinclair Spectrum programs and a new series of programs designed for 16 Bit operation. It could be programed with TS2068 tapes or cartridges, but it also had a built in 5 1/4 floppy disk drive. Programs could be saved or loaded to disk. It had ports for color TV, composite monitor, and the new RGB monitors which were starting to make the scene. It had ports for RS-232, Kempston Joy sticks, and parallel printer ports. The operating system allowed use of Centronixs and the new Epson Type printers. The keyboard was an improved version of the TS2068. A membrane with a tactile rubber overlay. The overlay was specially designed to give the feel of a mechanical keyboard, with less weight, and have much better durability. The guts had a Mil-Grade mother board. It had 256K of internal Ram, part of which had battery back-up using Ni-Cad cells for an early version of non-volital memory. It had a front dock port similar to the TS2068 with a major exception. The front port on the 2068 could only be used for program cartridges and utility peripherals, i.e., OS-64, Spectrum emulator. The front port of the 3068 could accomodate the 2068 add-ons and a specialty cartridge developed by Timex. This cartridge contained an EPROM which could be programmed by the computer, then used later as a program cartridge. You could take a program from tape, load it into the computer and program an Eprom cartridge with the program for unlimited future use. The EPROM cartridges had a small window which allowed the EPROM to be erased using a UV light or commercial eraser. This EPROM programming feature, was later used by Psion for non-volital program storage in their hand held computer. 3 prototypes of the new computer were built for engineering purposes. The bugs were corrected and further improvements in design were incorporated. Turbo, Password protection, and improved timing system for faster and better operation were added. The unit operated at 20Mhz which was fast for that time. Before production, Timex made a corporate decision to drop the computer line. They never made an attempt to sell it or allow the inside people to take it over. Even though the division was a money maker, Timex decided to remain true to its watches. Timex computers engineering division in the USA was disbanded. The fate of the prototypes is unknown. Timex computer manufacturing division in Portugal stopped all lines except for the TS1000. Timex was under long term contract to manufacture TS1000 uncased boards for a European commercial refrigeration manufacturer who used them as dedicated controllers. TS1000s were in production for at least 3 years after Timex closed the computer division. And so it goes....