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I recently saw an TV old advert (1983) from an Italian company, called SAGA, that sells a so-called SAG computer. It looks like a microcomputer for SMB, with bundled software.

Does anyone know what kind of system this is?

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    What sort of answer to "what kind of system" are you looking for? Could it be just another PC clone? Do you suspect it's a rebadged product from some other company? – another-dave Dec 1 '20 at 16:52
  • Yes exactly, a rebadged system of some sort. – apetrelli Dec 2 '20 at 9:29
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SAGA or Sistemi Avanzati Gestione Aziendale was (?) an Italian software companiy based in Rome. The name may be translated as "Advanced Business Management Systems" (Literally Systems Advanced Management Corporate). I'm not sure if they ever sold just computers (or made them at all), as their business was about company software like bookkeeping, taxes, stock management etc.

SAG is Sistem Avanzat Gestione ("Advanced Management System") and marks a bundle a bundle of a SAGAFOX computer and the SAGA software package. Their business model were turn key solutions, selling hardware and service as well, so customers didn't have to care about how it works.

The machine shown was called SAGAFOX plus a number depending on disk space (FD or FD/HD). It is essentially a Z80 based CP/M system wit dual FD and high resolution B&W graphics (*1). The case looks quite similar to a MAEL 1000/2000. They as well sold the package bundled with generic CP/M boxed called BIP (plus a number) for a lower price.

Snips-n-snails found a quite informative Youtube video (in Italian) about the system. F80 marks the dual floppy system with 800 KiB (2 x 400 KiB).

SAGA are related to MAEL computer of Milano which is well known for their POS system. Around 1980 next to every post office and railways station had MAEL systems - and of course every news stand offering Totocalcio (football bet pools). MAEL was bought by Olivetti in the mid 1980s.

SAGA developed (and sold) their software first for MAEL mini computers (System 5000), and sold them as integrated solutions.


P.S.: Nice find. Italy had, much like Germany, a rather diverse landscape for business systems before everything converted to PC in the 90s. Much less visible than home computers and other systems directed at a general public - though, way more fun to find and deciffer.


*1 - I've once be told (and the video repeats this) it would be similar to an Intertec Superbrain, as it as well features a slave Z80 for I/O, but there are too many dissimilarities, not at least a different disk format, for me to stay sceptic.

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  • Wow I thought it was something like a rebadged computer, this is a nice surprise. Thanks for your thorough explanation! – apetrelli Dec 2 '20 at 9:33
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    A quick googling let me know that it probably is part of the Zucchetti group now: magistersaga.it – apetrelli Dec 2 '20 at 9:37
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    @apetrelli Well, it still could be, but I never seen that case except with the SAGAFOX- then again, cases are the easy part. Also, while not exceptional, it does have an Italian touch. The answer is lengthy on purpose, as there is not much about SAG(A) on the net (and even less not in English) so it may educate others as well. – Raffzahn Dec 2 '20 at 11:55

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