The Poly was home/educational computer platform developed in New Zealand in the early 1980s. It was marketed to schools, but because it was prohibitively expensive and somewhat idiosyncratic, the main customers seem to have been the Australian Army and somebody in China.

Perhaps its most remarkable feature was its ability for networking, which seems to have used a protocol all of its own. For a year or two it may have been the most networkable home computer in the world, before 3Com thought to make ethernet cards for Apple IIs.

It was named after Wellington Polytechnic, where it was developed.

In 1983, Apple dropped the price of the Apple II for schools from $4800 to $1200, and although Customs forced them to raise it again to $2020, the Poly was left a long way above the market price, at $8090. Polycorp (as the manufacturers were called), were quite peeved, but still managed to sell the computer in China until the late 80s.

There is scarcely any information about the Poly available. Bits and Bytes vol. 1, No. 1 has a feature article on the Poly vs Apple controvesy, roughly summarised by Douglas Bagnall. There is another article elsewhere, but apart from that the web knows nothing of the Poly.

The stuff website has an article from April 2006 celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Poly.

Andrew Trotman at the University of Otago has been working on building an emulator for the Poly-1. Old Manuals, dumps of the ROMs, and varuious dissassemblies can be found here: