Image Map Image Map
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Thread: Most common clones of the 1980s?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Chicagoland, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    4,691
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Most common clones of the 1980s?

    I'm thinking of putting together a VCFMW exhibit showcasing some of the most common (ie. best-selling) desktop clones of the IBM PC. Some models are obvious, such as The Tandy 1000 series, and the Leading Edge Model D. Some had very high concentrations in specific geographical areas, like the AT&T PC 6300 (AT&T employees were given a steep discount, so you used to see a lot of these in "AT&T headquarters" states like New Jersey, Illinois, and California).

    I'd like to know what the community feels are the best-selling PC clones of the 1980s, as there are holes in my knowledge and experience. Sales numbers are incredibly hard to research for individual clones; most data I was able to find just combined all IBM and non-IBM PCs into the same group, compared against the 8-bit and 16-bit systems of the decade. What obvious best-selling clones am I missing? For those outside the USA, what were the best-selling models on your side of the pond? (I'm guessing the Amstrad 1512/1640; were there others?)

    (I suppose "generic no-name taiwanese clone" counts, and I may have one of those in the exhibit to induce spontaneous yawning, but I'm mostly looking for any common or recognizable brands.)
    Offering a bounty for:
    - Documentation and original distribution disks for: Panasonic Sr. Partner, Zenith Z-160 series
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)
    - Any very old/ugly IBM joystick (such as the Franklin JS-123)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    25,572
    Blog Entries
    20

    Default

    Those ERSO-sponsored XT clones were everywhere. I suspect that, as a group, they outsold all of the other XT clones.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Walled Lake, MI
    Posts
    2,975
    Blog Entries
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    I'm thinking of putting together a VCFMW exhibit showcasing some of the most common (ie. best-selling) desktop clones of the IBM PC. Some models are obvious, such as The Tandy 1000 series, and the Leading Edge Model D. Some had very high concentrations in specific geographical areas, like the AT&T PC 6300 (AT&T employees were given a steep discount, so you used to see a lot of these in "AT&T headquarters" states like New Jersey, Illinois, and California).

    I'd like to know what the community feels are the best-selling PC clones of the 1980s, as there are holes in my knowledge and experience. Sales numbers are incredibly hard to research for individual clones; most data I was able to find just combined all IBM and non-IBM PCs into the same group, compared against the 8-bit and 16-bit systems of the decade. What obvious best-selling clones am I missing? For those outside the USA, what were the best-selling models on your side of the pond? (I'm guessing the Amstrad 1512/1640; were there others?)

    (I suppose "generic no-name taiwanese clone" counts, and I may have one of those in the exhibit to induce spontaneous yawning, but I'm mostly looking for any common or recognizable brands.)
    For my 2 cents it would be Compaq. Hard to classify Compaq as a clone but they were the flip side of IBM. Compaq had an excellent reputation back in the day. If one couldn't afford IBM Compaq was a great option.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Morro Bay, CA
    Posts
    478
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Well this may not be popular but in the mid 80's I bet I sold several 100 XT clones. I worked with a supplier in southern California and assembled them with ST-225's and 640K ram. They were less than half the cost of name brand machines and usually out performed them. I went strictly by word-of-mouth and sold them as fast as I could put them together. Most of them had DOS 6.2 and later into the windows 3.1.
    Yes piracy was rampant back then but I always sold them with legitimate legal operating systems. I even got caught up in the bootleg DOS scandal. My supplier made them all good thank heaven.

  5. #5

    Default

    Poland: generic no-name taiwanese clone, definitely. It was the Cold War era, with COCOM restrictions on export of 16-bit (or better) computers to the Eastern Block. Taiwan (and most of the Far East) wasn't a member of COCOM, and their components were cheaper, so almost all of the 80s PC market here were clones locally-assembled from far-eastern components. PCs made (mostly) of Polish components also did exist, but in very low numbers, so not really worth mentioning here.

    UK: Amstrad PC1512/PC1640 seem ubiquitous.

    Germany and surroundings: Commodore PC-10/PC-20 seem ubiquitous. Amstrad PCs were also popular, usually sold by Schneider under their own brand. Schneider EuroPC series is also worth mentioning - a rare case of stuffing a PC system unit under the keyboard, just like all those "home computers".

  6. #6

    Default

    In South Australia we had the following:

    - Olivetti M24 - quite popular with businesses, but too expensive for the general home user. Really wish I held onto one.....
    - Sanyo MBC550 - these rubbish computers housed inside a VCR case (google an image) were also popular for a time, but then died out due to their incompatibility.
    - Laser XT/Turbo XT/XT3 (made by Vtech) - I had probably 4 or 5 of these. Good value, 100% compatible and good durable build quality. Introduced in the mid-late 80's.
    - No namer machines with those 'golden board' or 'erso' motherboards. Never had a badge on the front at all, but they all worked like a dream.

    Genuine 5160's were also around the place as Australia had a local IBM assembly plant. Can't say I saw a lot of them though as they were mega expensive at the time.

    Also worth noting I never saw any of the now ubiquitous names (Acer, Dell, Compaq, HP) in any sort of quantity until the 90's. Seems like they didn't break into the market here until quite late.
    System 80 Expansion Interface located! Thanks to all who helped out and the good people in the NZ vintage computer forums!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    25,572
    Blog Entries
    20

    Default

    HP was a bit unusual in the 80s and 90s. While the clones went the direction of IBM, HP plotted their own course. The HP150, for example, is an 8088 machine that's nothing like an XT in appearance. Later 90s HPs kept with HPs own case and board schemes. I still have an HP Vecta box that uses the vertical motherboard with horizontal riser. Eventually, HP went to a standard ATX layout using other manufacturers' motherboards. Their high end workstations remained their own, however.

    We won't talk about the Carly years.

  8. #8

    Default

    In the 80s, I seem to recall an awful lot of Zeniths, but have no idea how representative that would be.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    2,396
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    I'm a generation too young to remember XT sales in the 1980s here, however I think that here one of the biggest brands was probably "Miscellaneous".

    The most common I come across when collecting are the shop-built clones, most seem to be based around parts manufactured by DTK. ("Golden Board" popular too)
    All different brands on the case (Concept, Magnum etc), and the BIOS varied (direct copies of 5160, ERSO, un-named), but generally all built from DTK parts (video, FDD card, HDD cards, motherboard etc).

    Growing up that's how I always knew PCs to be outside of enterprise markets. But then I'm not in the US.
    WTB: IBM RT Ethernet and/or Graphics Adapters
    Twitter / YouTube

  10. #10

    Default

    HP wasn't terribly common, but was there. They had the Vectras (80286,8088/86). I actually had a non Vectra - I'm trying to remember this correctly, a system 9000 PC 305 or some such which had an 8088 or 8086, can't recall. It had a true motherboard, or passive backplane, and a cpu card, crt controller (CGA or CGA enhanced). Whatever else. I chucked it like a fool, had some cosmetic issues. Don't even think I saved the cards. IINM mistaken there was an equivalent Vectra desktop model. This one was intended to control some of their instrumentation, must have had an HP-IB interface or the option. So stupid. An ultra rare item that just gets the ol' heave ho.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •