Apricot Computers Ltd was originally called ACT - Applied Computer Technology, and didn't have THAT much to do with micros until they were approached by Chuck Peddle's post CBM enterprise Victor Technologies to distribute the Victor 9000 in the UK and Europe. It was marketed over here as the ACT Sirius 1, an outstanding machine for its day.
Apricot managed to hold their own against the soon-to-be mighty IBM 5150, aka the IBM PC, purely because IBM delayed launching it in Europe long enough for the Sirius 1 to gain a strong foothold on the market.
I used a Sirius at college - 128K of ram at a time when everyone else had 16K, twin high density floppy drives and hi-res graphics. Lovely keyboard too.
After that things went down a dual-pronged route. Apricot had used an external design company whose name escapes me to come up with their first batch of machines - the PC and the Xi, both of which contained possibly the first use outside Japan of Sony's brand new 3.5" floppy disk. The Xi also contained a 10mb hard drive. Apricot also formed their own design team so they ended up with 2 product lines - the PC line and what became known as the F series.
All the F series machines were designed in-house and featured revolutionary items such as a big LCD display (the FP) and infra-red keyboards (F1, F1e, FP and F10). Next was the Xen, which I think was the last line of non-IBM compatibles before they took the plunge with later Xen models, which is the time my interest in them stops.
First 2005 update comes courtesy of Gareth Randall who generously gave me his Sirius 1 - thanks mate :) Typically of machines this age it blew a capacitor on powerup but it's easily fixable. More pix soon.
Sirius 1, aka the Victor 9000 in the US FP - Basically a portable F1 with identical infra-red keyboard, in a carry case! XEN-i XD20 with funky
LCD display keyboard and monitor. Needs an external power brick. PC with monitor, all boxed complete in excellent conditionDonation from Richard Howells. Thanks!
Xi with 10mb HD, floppy, keyboard and monitor. DOS 2.10!