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Pictures of 1970's computers - before PCJR

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:56 am
by southernbob
http://content.techrepublic.com.com/234 ... ag=nl.e103

I didn't own any of these, PCJR was my first computer.
Do you remember these?

Re: Pictures of 1970's computers - before PCJR

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:30 pm
by jmetal88
I got a TI-99/4a free in the same lot of stuff that my PCjr came in. :)

Re: Pictures of 1970's computers - before PCJR

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:29 pm
by Vorticon
I got my first computer in 1981, a TI 99/4A, which was all I could afford at the time. I remember seeing the HeathKit computers in their catalogs, and wished I could get my hands on one, but they were far too expensive even as kits. I was too young in the 70's to have enjoyed the glory of the early days of personal computing, so I relate most with the Apples, Commodores and Atari's of the world in the early 80's. The good news now is that there are several sources online that sell replicas in kit form of early computers, including the Apple I, Altair and Kim-1. If you are interested, you should check Briel Computers. There is also a CP/M single board computer called the P112 available from another source, which I built and installed inside my TI Peripheral Expansion Box. Once connected to the TI 99/4A via RS232. I was able to use a simple terminal program on the TI to program and use the P112 directly. It's kind of weird to run Turbo Pascal or Microsoft Basic on a TI that way, but it works :)

Re: Pictures of 1970's computers - before PCJR

PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:13 am
by jmetal88
I was born in '88, so my vintage computing experiences all came late.

First machine

PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:49 am
by Brutman
My first machine that remotely resembled a computer was the Timex Sinclair 1000. With the 16K RAM pack, thermal printer, shoebox style cassette recorder and a 19" black and white TV it was a sight to behold. Oh, how little I knew back then. My father had a mainframe background so he obviously saw it as a curiosity compared to a real computer, but he was kind enough to not let that leak out.

The Timex was a nasty little critter. The connection to the 16K RAM pack was poor, so if you didn't wedge something underneath it you lost your work spontaneously. Saving and loading from cassette tapes was awful. The membrane keyboard with a gazillion multiple shift states was a nightmare too. (Only 40 'keys' for everything.) But yet, it was a Z80 under the hood. Poor thing ...

The PCjr was next. That's when things really got serious. :-)

Re: Pictures of 1970's computers - before PCJR

PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:20 pm
by monzamess
Hey, that sounds familiar.

My first computer was also a TImex/Sinclair 1000 and it was as crappy as you said. But, not a 1970s computer. :)

A friend's dad built a Heathkit computer with the 8" floppy drive--we had to type in the bootstrap code every it was hard reset or power cycled. I had an Apple II, TI 99/4a, and a bunch of Atari 8-bits through my school years (in addition to many 80s machines including the jr). I got into computers in the early-mid 80s so some of those 70s machines (used and beat up) were affordable for a kid. :)