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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Maybrick, James

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Old 04-16-2018, 11:23 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Default Acquiring A 20th Century Word Processor

I think we might have waited forever for the invoice for Mike Barrett's Amstrad word processor purchase to be produced, so I'm doing it myself (below).

What does it tell us?

Well, it confirms that the purchase of an Amstrad 8256 was made from Dixons in Liverpool on 3 April 1986 with the purchase price being £458.85.

Advertisements at the time tell us that this model was being sold for £399 plus VAT. With VAT at 15% (or £59.85 of £399) this shows us that Mike bought the Amstrad at full price and it was thus a brand new item.

Consequently the claim posted in this forum in August last year (based on information from Mike) that "it was purchased second hand" turns out not to be correct.

The money for the purchase of the word processor supposedly came from Anne's father. Thus, according to Shirley Harrison:

"...Michael had bought himself an Amstrad word processor with money lent by Anne’s father, Billy Graham..."

In this respect, it may be noted that Mike Barrett claimed in in his January 1995 affidavit that Anne's father gave him the £50 which he used to purchase the guardbook.

Why did Mike want to pay £400 for a word processor in 1986? My theory is that it was wanted for his new career as a freelance journalist but it should be noted that, according to Inside Story, the word processor was supposed to have been purchased to enable Mike to type up his research notes relating to the Maybrick Diary. Thus:

"He claims to have bought the word processor second-hand to input the notes, Anne showing him how to use the keyboard and correcting his spelling."

While it clearly isn't true that Mike bought the word processor in 1986 for the purpose of typing up his research notes in 1992, it is curious that he claimed that Anne only showed him how to use the word processor in 1992, some six years after its purchase. Was that true or a lie by Mike? If it was a lie, why did he lie? Why did he need to hide the fact that he could use the word processor?

Did he also deliberately mislead researchers in the early days into thinking it was only bought to type up his research notes? If so, why? For what reason did he want to cover up the fact that he had owned a word processor for years?
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:59 AM
rjpalmer rjpalmer is offline
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Hi David. Nice one. Thanks for posting it. Barrett's signature seems remarkably fluent. No sign of uPpeR and LoWEr CaseD leTTers, either. Now, strike me down with a feather, but Barrett couldn't have been codding the dear old boss with his childisH sick NoTes could He?
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:13 PM
DJA DJA is offline
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Simply attempting to help.
That machine was a PC sold with bundled software aimed at word processors,etc.
A second hand one with a color monitor aimed at the gaming market might have been purchased.
Salesperson showing that for the price of the mono monitor model,a more expensive bundle was sold.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:47 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJA View Post
Simply attempting to help.
That machine was a PC sold with bundled software aimed at word processors,etc.
A second hand one with a color monitor aimed at the gaming market might have been purchased.
Salesperson showing that for the price of the mono monitor model,a more expensive bundle was sold.
Don't be ridiculous DJA. What you are suggesting wasn't possible. The disk drive of the 8256 was integrated within the monitor. You couldn't just switch monitors. And the 8256 didn't have a colour monitor.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:49 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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It might be helpful if I re-post the advert for the Amstrad 8256 from 1986:
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:12 PM
DJA DJA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
Don't be ridiculous DJA. What you are suggesting wasn't possible. The disk drive of the 8256 was integrated within the monitor. You couldn't just switch monitors. And the 8256 didn't have a colour monitor.
You simply removed the module.

That is the point,it wasn't sold with a color monitor.

In fact one could also use a separate module to run a color TV as a monitor.

The earlier CPC646 was supplied with a mono or color monitor. You could not purchase the color monitor separately.

Meh,I actually sold the things.

Apart from Amstrad users groups they were very popular at HMAS Cerberus.

http://www.navy.gov.au/establishments/hmas-cerberus

Again,I was simply attempting to be of assistance.
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:26 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJA View Post
You simply removed the module.

That is the point,it wasn't sold with a color monitor.

In fact one could also use a separate module to run a color TV as a monitor.

The earlier CPC646 was supplied with a mono or color monitor. You could not purchase the color monitor separately.

Meh,I actually sold the things.
I have no idea what you are saying you sold, but are you seriously suggesting that Dixons would, in 1986, have sold some kind of second hand unofficial adaption of an Amstrad word processor, described on its invoice as an "8256", for the exact same retail price of an actual brand new 8256?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJA View Post
Again,I was simply attempting to be of assistance.
I have to say it doesn't look like it. It just seems like a bizarre attempt to muddy the waters in circumstances where what Dixons sold to Mike Barrett in April 1986 was quite clearly a brand new Amstrad 8256 for £399 plus VAT.
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:43 PM
DJA DJA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
I have no idea what you are saying you sold, but are you seriously suggesting that Dixons would, in 1986, have sold some kind of second hand unofficial adaption of an Amstrad word processor, described on its invoice as an "8256", for the exact same retail price of an actual brand new 8256?
Yep.

What is your expertise in Amstrad sales during the mid 1980s?
Rhetorical question.

What I am getting at is a second hand gaming rig was possibly invoiced as a PCW8256 in order for the salesman to display value ..... nudge,nudge we won't tell the manager.
It could still be used as a word processor.

If you can come up with a better alternative,why are you wasting my time!
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:56 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJA View Post
Yep.

What is your expertise in Amstrad sales during the mid 1980s?
Rhetorical question.

What I am getting at is a second hand gaming rig was possibly invoiced as a PCW8256 in order for the salesman to display value ..... nudge,nudge we won't tell the manager.
It could still be used as a word processor.

If you can come up with a better alternative,why are you wasting my time!
But if we don't accept what is stated on the invoice, and call it a scam, it could have been absolutely anything sold for £399 couldn't it?

Do you have any actual experience of Dixons ever selling a second hand gaming rig but named on the invoice as a PCW8256?

Because if not, what you are saying is just a pure fantasy isn't it?

The fact of the matter is that Mike Barrett is known to have owned an Amstrad 8256, not a gaming rig, and what I posted is the invoice for that machine.
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:15 PM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJA View Post
What I am getting at is a second hand gaming rig was possibly invoiced as a PCW8256 in order for the salesman to display value ..... nudge,nudge we won't tell the manager.
Dixons was a popular, but rather boring, British company that sold electrical goods of all kinds. As far as I can recall they only sold new goods, never second hand stuff.

I don't think that "gaming rigs" were even heard of back then, incidentally. The nearest I got was playing Manic Miner and Chuckie Egg on a ZX Spectrum.
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