This project was founded in order to preserve and document the
The Poly Preservation Project
If you are interested in participating then contact Andrew Trotman.
If you have any
old parts, documentation, or books then please let us know.
Most Recent Release
Poly and Proteus Emulator 1.2 (for Windows)
Now contains ROM version 3.4 and fixes for the 6840 and interrupts (but, unfortunately, still oncasionally hangs)
Poly and Proteus Emulator 1.1 (for Windows)
Now emulates the Poly, Proteus, and Epson MX-80 Printer.
Poly and Proteus Emulator 1.0 (for Windows)
This emulator is a completely refactored emulator that does the Poly and the Proteus.
It emulates the dual processor of the Proteus (6809 and Z80), and the networking between the Proteus and the Poly.
You can boot POLYSYS, FLEX and CP/M disks. There are some "features" it does not emulate fully, but these
are unlikely to be seen (such as display top-half of screen double-height). Let me know if you want
the source code.
Poly Emulator 0.11 (for Windows)
This is a proof-of-concept emulator that demonstrates that yes, with an enormous amount of
effort it is, indeed, possible to write and emulator for the Poly. It took quite some time
to de-code the ROM, to decode the hardware. It works on Windows. It fully supports
Text and Graphics (pages 1,2,3,4, and 5, including mixed modes), Sound, Clock, and Cassette Interface.
It does not yet support networking.
Poly Disk Archive
Poly Software Archive
The Poly were connected to a drive unit that housed dual 8" floppy disks. Single sided they held 295,680 bytes and
double sided they held 591,360 bytes. We connected a dual-floppy NEC APC to the PC via the serial port and wrote CP/M
software in 8088 machine code to dump the disks and send them to the PC. The Poly disks were formatted 77 tracks, 15 sectors per
side, 256 bytes per sector. Sector skewing was used and the sector order was:01,06,0B,04,09,0E,02,07,0C,05,0A,0F,03,08,0D,17,1C,10,
Prototype Poly Resources
View from Left, View from Right
These photos were given to us by a member of the development team. We eventually located and recovered this machine then donated it to Te Papa.
Evaluation of the POLYCORP micro computer system in education (26-29 May 1981)
10 page pamphlet detailing who was involved in the tests and where they were based.
POLYCORP Educational Computer System (in black and white)
POLYCORP Educational Computer System (in black and green)
Early advertising brochure
Poly 1 Resources
Poly in the Media
Grant Dickson brought this 1985 news article about hacking to my attention. Its hosted
Michael Smythe Promising Polycorp Pipped PRODESIGN 86, Dec 2006 /Jan 2007, p.86.
Michael has given permission for us to publish this verison of his article on this website (thanks Michael). There is some discussion
on the aritcle on the KIWI NUGGETS web site
Poly came in many colours including: Yellow (1, 2)
Two Poly 1 in an office (1, 2) notice numeric keypad
Two children using a Poly 1 (Alternate) notice the numeric keypad (and alternate label)
Screen Shots: Game, Music Composer, Game Tree
Poly 1 New Zealand's Number One Poly Rosette
B/W Two children using a Poly 1
B/W Two children carying a Poly 1
B/W Poly "Workstation"
B/W Poly 1 front-on is that a "Polywog" lable on the left?
Network of Poly being used by Australian Army
Poly Password Cracker
POLYSYS allows the user to password protect a file. When a user logs on it askes for the
user's initials and password. Each of these is encrypted into a single byte (one for initials one for password)
these are then stored in the directory entry of the file (in "reserved" locations). The encryption
algorithm is explicit in prot.cmd. Given the encrypted bytes this program generates an "initials" and a "password"
that can be used to access the files.
Poly-1 Computer Technical Manual
The technical manual (with circuit diagrams) this manual describes the memory maps, the peripherals, the components
and so on
Poly System Specification Issue 2.1
This document describes the origins of Polycorp, the purpose of the Poly, and how it migh tbe used in the classroom
Poly System Field Service Guide
Sparse (at best) details on how to open a Poly and test it.
Turning on and Turning Off (1:82)
It is not clear what these document fragments are from, but they might be parts of the Poly System Operating Manual prior to February 1982)
Poly System Operating Manual Issue 1.3 (February 1982)
Poly System Operating Manual Issue 3 (May 1983)
This manual describes the hardware, how to connect it together and how to switch it on and off
This looks like a preliminary note on the DOS utilities, and it contains similar text to the PolySys Utilities Manual (it might be an early excerpt)
PolySys Utilities Manual Version 1 (1982)
PolySys Utilities Manual Version 2 (May 1983)
PolySys Utilities Manual Version 2.3 (December 1984)
This is the Poly systems administrators manual that describes the how to use the tools on the
boot disk, how to format disks, and so on.
PolyBasic Manual Version 2 (May 1983)
PolyBasic Manual Version 3.0 (November 1984)
This is the PolyBasic programming language that describes the language for both the standalone
and networked (extended) version of the Poly BASIC programming Lanaguage.
Pascal On Poly (1982)
Pascal On Poly Version 2 (May 1983)
Pascal On Poly Version 2.21 (August 1984)
Supplemental manual to the OmegaSoft Pascal manual that explains the Poly specific stuff
Omegasoft 6809 Pascal Version 2 Language Handbook
Exactly as it sounds, this is the Pascal language handbook explaining how to program in OmegaSoft Pascal.
OmegaSoft 6809 Relocatable Assembler and Linking Loader
Exactly as it sounds, this is the assembler and linker manual for OmegaSoft Pascal.
Dynamite 6809/6800 Disassembler User's Manual
This manual came with some other Poly manuals but the software did not come with it.
6809 Debug Package
This manual came with some other Poly manuals but the software did not come with it.
Graphic Screen Layout Sheet
Graph paper ruled to match the Poly graphics screen.
New Products for 1982
Product description and price list for 1982
Polybasic V3.1 - 11 February 1982
Short note outlining bugs in version 3.1 of Polybasic!
This letter indicated that the operating system will shortly be upgraded to version 2.0 and that it is incompatible with version 1.8.
Poly System User Notice 1/83
Notification of the "great" features seen in version 2.0 of the operating system.
The update request for version 2.0.
The appendixes of a manual describing new features of version 2.0 and how to use them.
Progeni Internal Documents
Specifications for Polywog Operating Systems (25 February 1981)
The Poly's design name was Polywog. This is an internal design document that describes the graphics,
networking and keyboard interfaces. It is preliminary (i.e. before the Poly was released) and is, in some
cases, inacurate to the machine as it was released.
Poly Macros Used in Development
Source Code of Macros
Various Macros used internally by developers - it looks like some of the BASIC interpreter and ROM entry points were
not generally exposed and these macros were used to by developers to expose them.
Poly File Handeling, Graphics, and Memory
A near-tutorial on how to use sequential and random access files; the Poly memory manger, and the Graphics.
Quite a few source code print outs are included.
Digitizer Assembly and Digitizer BASIC
Programs that appear to do something to do with digitizing images
SerXFer.pas (8 March 1984)
Program by B. Schroder to transfer files to and from the Proteus using the Proteus Serial Port
Mike Lee's notes on fixing and configuring Poly and Proteus
Notes on Disks and Drives
Mike Lee's notes on disks, disk formats, and how to attach a 3.5" disk to a Proteus
Circuit Modifications and Floppy Disk Drive Controller
A couple of changes to the motherboard to prevent overheating and a FDC "card" as seen in the development
Poly with 5.25" external floppy disk drives
Hand-written note on how to format a disk (unclear who wrote it)
Poly Network Boot Disk
A Poly network boot disk. It has the Poly and the Drive unit verisons of FLEX. For some reason
the login program does not exist on this disk, it is a dump of an original from PolyCorp.
Parts of Pascal Disk
This is a user's work disk with parts of the Poly Pascal compiler on it. At present I can't
read the entire Poly Pascal distribution disk so expect this to be replaced in due course.
This is the Poly BIOS. It was stored "encrypted" in the ROMS. This is the decrypted version.
Poly-1 BIOS Dissassembly
Commented dissassembly of the Poly-1 BIOS. The commenting is not complete (and not always
accurate). In order to build the emulator it was necessary to dissassemble the BIOS in order
to work out what it did and where in the address space the peripherals were located. This
should serve to answer some questions about the hardware. Many websites detailing the
Poly hardware are wrong.
Poly Disk Boot Sector
This is the boot-sector from a poly disk. It's a straight binary dump
Poly Disk Boot Sector Dissassembly
So what, exactly, was the architecture of the Poly Disk Unit? It was a 6809
with a WD controler located at E014-E01B. The poly ran an adapted verison of FLEX on
the disk unit. The Poly boot sector was almost identical to the SWTPc boot sector
given in the FLEX manuals.
Poly FLEX Dissassembley (for the Poly-1)
This is the part of FLEX that ran on the Poly-1 unit itself. The communications with the server
is via the FLEX FCB mechanism, the Poly replaces the FCB next-file chain with the serial number
of the Poly, transmits it down the network and waits for a reply.
The commenting is incomplete and not always correct.
Poly FLEX Dissassembley (for the Network Drive Unit)
This part of FLEX ran on the PROTEUS (and presumably the POLYDRIVE) disk unit. It recieves
FCB commands from the network, services then and transmits the results back down the network.
The commenting is incomplete and not always correct.
Poly FLEX PROT command
This was disassembled in order to understand how the username, password, and file protection
code worked. It appears to use "reserved" FCB fields and "reserved" system calls to do it.
This is probably why there were reserved.
The Learning Support System That's a Bold New Breakthrough
High quality of final page
This is a scan of the Poly 1 advertising "banner".
Advertising brochure for PROFORMA, POLYTAS, POLYPAINT, POLYWRITE, POLYMENU
A Real Eye-Opener for Educators...
I've never seen the original of this, but it looks like a multi-page bochure that included a small version (or fold-out?) of the banner.
Eyewitness News Haylen Political Poll (2 February 1985)
Haylen political analysis
Program Source Code (4 August 1984 and later)
Annotated source of a program used to generate the graphics for TVNZ
Cardboard Poll Graphic (28 May unknown year)
Teleprompt about corporal punishment (2 May 1985)
Coordinated teleprompt / Poly instructions that generate graphics for TVNZ
Proteus Computer Technical Manual Issue 1 (08/12/82)
Proteus Computer Technical Manual Issue 3 (11/2/85)
The Proteus was the dual 8" floppy system that controlled the network. This manual includes the details
of peripherals, memory, and how it switched between 6809 and Z80 (yes, it was Dual CPU and ran CM/P or FLEX)
Proteus Operating Notes
Notes on Installing and running software under CP/M on the Proteus.
Notice on how to clean the drive heads
Proteus ROM BIOS
This is the Proteus BIOS. It was stored "encrypted" in the ROMS. This is the decrypted version.
Proteus ROM BIOS dissassembly
Dissassembley of the Proteus ROM
Proteus CP/M Boot sector dissassembly
Dissassembley of the Proteus CP/M Boot Sector. It shows how the Proteus bootstraps between the 6809 and the Z80
Poly 2 Learning System Resources
Progeni released a Poly 2, essentially a Poly 1 with a seperate manual.
Breaking Barriers, Poly 2 Learning System
An 8 page glossy with photos and details of the macine
A series of one-page advertising spec sheets stating the capabilities of the Poly 2. Of
particular note is the sheet outlining the CP/M operating system running on a single
Poly 2 with a Proteus and a printer!
Poly 1 and Poly 2 Comparison
A 3 page letter outlining the differences between the Poly 1 and the Poly 2.
Price List for Poly 2 (October 1984)
Price list (3 pages) including cost of Proteus, CP/M, Speach Synthesiser, and so on.
Poly C Learning Systems Resources
Progeni also released a Poly C. This was for the Chinese market. It was based on a 68030 and had a graphics processor
that did Chinese characters. Not many were made as it was released towards the end of Progeni.
Poly Learning Systems
This is a scan of the front cover of a brochure advertising the Poly C. Unfortunately the borchure no
longer exists, only this scan remains.
Poly C Screen
Another picture of the heart, this time with Chinese writing
Poly C Forge
Poly C running the Forge 4th generation language
Poly C Forge Screenshot
A closeup for the screen of the Poly C running Forge
Inside of a Poly C
A shot of the insides of a Poly C showing motherboard and plug-in cards
Servicing of Poly Equipment
Servicing a Poly, note the Poly 2 keyboards and Proteus in the foreground
Poly Service Room
Poly Service Room, note the Poly C by the door
The China signing (Alternate)
Progeni signed a deal to sell Poly C to china, this is a photograph of the signing. It was given to
Auckland University by Perce Harpham, who passed a scan on to us.
Is that David Lange in the background? Can anyone confirm whether of not Zhao Ziyang is in the picture?
Polycorp Computer Awareness Materials
Computer Awareness Teachers Guide (March 1983)
Computers And People (August 1983)
Uses For Computer Technology (1983)
Projectile Motion 6th Form Physics Student Notes (1983)
Salvation Army Computer Assissted Learning Program (CALP)
Choose The Word (August 1986)
Computer Competency Certificate
Driving License (November 1985)
Grafix (February 1986)
Grafix Command Card
Teach Yourself Grafix
Job Costing (October 1985)
Match The Word (May 1985)
My Budget (October 1986)
Personal Record (March 1985)
Phone Orders (March 1985)
Predict The Word (August 1986)
Stock Taking (October 1985)
Polycorp and Progeni People
This is a list of the Polycorp and Progeni people we have contacted who support this project.
As we contact more the list will, no doubt, grow. Thanks everyone!
Perce Harpham (Managing Director of Progeni)
Neil Scott (Designer of the Poly)
Alec Utting (Progeni Systems Development Manager)
Mike Lee (Progeni Service Technician)
Creating the ultimate information environments for people... Progeni solution proven software
PolyComputers Inc Resources
Donated by Marlyn Kempenich, on behalf of the Estate of Alfred E. Kempenich, Jr.
Warrent(s) to Purchase Shares of Common Stock.
Common Stock Certificate.
People who contributed to this project
Keith Whitehead (Massey University)
Keith supplied the original 2 Poly's used for this project (thanks).
John Wark (Logan Park High School)
"Mr Wark" had a network of Poly at Logan Park High School. He donated all that remained (some manuals and
disks, there was no remaining hardware) to this project (thanks).
Ian Welch (Victoria University of Wellington)
Ian sourced a Poly from the New Zealand File Archive (Poly only, no drive or other materials)
Paul Andrew MacDiarmid
Paul was a microwave technician turned fibreglass laminator with a passion for old things including cars, radios, and computers.
His estate donated a Poly 1, several Poly 2, and many disks (thanks). Paul did not have a disk drive.
Marcus recognised the significance of Paul's collection of Poly to our project. We worked with Marcus to secure the equipment
from Paul's estate (see above). Thanks.
Samantha Cortez (MOTAT)
MOTAT have at least one Poly and probably nothing else (no drive). It is in unknown working
order and has been described as "not in exhibition condition".
The "Computers that Count" exhibit at MOTAT was put together by John who has an interest
in antique computers.
Malcolm Mills (1977-2006, University of Otago)
The late Malcolm Mills (rip) took an interest in the Poly project, fixed the broken legs on the
ROMs and built and addapter for the EPROM programmer so that we could read them (thanks Malcolm).
Bob Doran (University of Auckland)
Bob provided the scan of the Poly 1 and Poly C brochure covers and the photos of Perce Harpham. He
has no hardware or software.
Alec Utting (Ex. Progeni)
Alec proided a number of internal documents from Progeni.
Darrin Scott (Neil Scott's Son)
Darrin provided the technial manuals, some circuit mods, photos, and some 5.25" floppies. He also donated the Scott family Poly-1 as well as one of the "wooden box" prototypes.
Michael Smythe (Author)
Michael supplied various photos and his article from PRODESIGN magazine
Mike Lee (Ex. Progeni Service Technician)
Mike provided photos of the Poly C as well as Proteus documenation and disk dumps. He later supplied ROMs, Proteus, Disks, and more!
Roland Ebbing (Poly owner)
Roland provided the photos of the yello Poly-1 (before selling it on TradeMe in Novermber 2012)
Grant Dickson (Poly programmer)
Grant (and others) executed an April Fool's joke involved in the Poly, and made it available through YouTube. Grant was
also involved in software development at C.A.L.P..
Marlyn Kempenich, on behalf of the Estate of Alfred E. Kempenich, Jr
Marlyn dontated the PolyComputers Inc Warrant and Stock Certificates that are in the name of Alfred E. Kempenich, Jr.
Terry supplied a number of disks including a set of 9 CALP disk (with manuals) of software developed by The Salvation Army (Otago) Employment Programmes.
If you're looking for this page, in all likelihood you used one of the following keywords:
Poly, Poly-1, Poly-2, Proteus, Progeni, PolyCorp, New Zealand, Computer
Site compiled by Andrew Trotman