Could the STC Executel possibly have had any games available ?

It had a very small inbuilt CRT screen on the right side.

It looked somehow impressive with how it displayed things on the screen, a very small inbuilt CRT which did somehow display everything like a full size CRT. Maybe the small size of the CRT screen merely gave the illusion of high capability (by displaying everything like a full size CRT).

So, I was wondering if there was any possibility that there may have been any games somehow available for this machine, since it would be interesting to see it's graphics capabilities.

I doubt there would have been any games, and since not even the specs of the machine(s) are available, I doubt any games would be found.

  • 2
    Mind to add what hotel, or at least what country you're talking about?
    – Raffzahn
    Jul 26, 2020 at 1:21
  • There's a video on Youtube that shows this system in action. Its functionality was pretty much like that found on a PDA. Jul 27, 2020 at 5:23

1 Answer 1


Looking at the specs from your link,

CPU: AMD 8085
RAM: 32K
ROM: 32K
GPU: Plessey MR9735-02 (Viewdata processor)
  with 1K page memory RAM
Modem: Philips SAA5070 "LUCY"
Monitor: 5" integrated
Keyboard: integrated

that's plenty to run games.

Still, I doubt that games did exist, because

they built 10,000 but only sold 5000

so the volume was too low, and if they didn't have documentation about the system like for other homecomputers at that time, nobody would sit down and write some.

On the other hand, it had Prestel access, and Prestel offered on-line games.

So maybe that counts.

since it would be interesting to see it's graphics capabilities

I can give you some more information about the graphics capabilities. The 9735 is a typical chip used for the Videotex variants (of which the UK Prestel system is one). The datasheet can be found here. Summary:

24 row x 40 character
96 alphanumeric characters
64 graphics shapes, contigous or separated
7 colors + black
double height characters
special graphics (one bit for each 6 dots in line of char)
  6x18 for each char
half page operation
cursor in 8th bit of page store

So any game would use the alphanumeric characters and the graphics shapes. While one can display arbitrary graphics, 1K RAM is not enough to make use of that for larger parts of the display.

Which means games would have a blocky style, but animations (in the sense of "moving" characters) should still be possible. It's not clear how quickly the 1K page memory RAM can be accessed from the main CPU, so there may be restrictions on how fast the screen can be updated.

  • Other micros got surprisingly playable ports of arcade games despite chunk graphics. The monochrome TRS-80s had 128x48. The ZX81 had 64x48. The latter also came with as little as 1K RAM, but I don't know if there were any graphical games for that version as there were only 256 bytes of non-display memory. There was a chess game available for it though! Jul 27, 2020 at 11:31
  • 1
    @hippietrail I completely agree that you can go a long way with chunk graphics. However, Videotex has a funny encoding ("alphamosaic" characters interspersed with control codes that toggle color etc.), and 24*40 already takes yup 960 bytes, so you are limited on the control codes, and you may have to shift the whole thing to get enough control codes in. If the 1K page memory is difficult to access from the main CPU, that could make things unpleasant.
    – dirkt
    Jul 27, 2020 at 12:34

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