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Thread: Overlooked?

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    115

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    Some more contenders :

    Datapoint 2200 (1971) and Cogar C4 (1973), later known as ICL1501.

    Both have dual magnetic storage, CRT screens, full size keyboards, up to 16K of memory and high level languages ( Basic / Cobol, besides some propriatary languages)
    Both could be extended with printers, harddisk units. Datapoint had networking in 1977 !

    I own one of each, and am slowly putting them back in order.

    Jos

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Kentucky USA
    Posts
    115

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    I think that people lose sight of how _very_ expensive computing stuff was in the early era. Having a pre-built computer powerful enough to do something in a language that I would understand was flat impossible for a high school or college student in the 70's UNLESS you built it yourself and did serious scrounging. My S-100 machine was a Morrow front panel built from a kit(a beautiful item), a used 4-slot MITS motherboard, a homemade power supply, and two 4K static RAM boards I bought blank from a guy at our club; I populated it with bargain-basement no-marking mail-order 2102's (incredibly, in ceramic/gold) that actually worked well and tested 100% on memory tests. My grandfather made the case.

    Even in the early 80's at the start of my career an IBM PC was a fantasy, even a strippo cassette tape version. My first PC, built before there were common storebought clones (83-84?),was a DTC(?) blank motherboard soldered by me, a CGA w/NTSC output, an old B/W Viatron monitor head and a case again built by my grandfather. A homemade LINEAR power supply (this was perhaps the only PC clone ever built with a linear power supply) powered it.

    The things I couldn't scrounge were VERY expensive; two TEAC DS drives, $160 each, a (really crappy) keyboard $180. Eventually I got a printer. The parallel cable was $50 and the parallel port card (that's all it did) was $75! I remember these prices because they REALLY hurt.

  3. Default

    What sort of terminal did you use for the S100 machine?

    I was tempted in high school by a MITS 680 kit, but could not afford a terminal. Got a TI SR-56 instead.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Kentucky USA
    Posts
    115

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    The computers were expensive. The peripherals were even more expensive. This was solved with using TV’s as monitors, although going through RF on 70’s TV degraded the quality/resolution even further. Using tape recorders as mass storage was better than nothing.

    I really didn’t appreciate how good the RCA COSMAC/VIP boards were in terms of bang/buck for the hobby/engineer market until decades later.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Kentucky USA
    Posts
    115

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClausB View Post
    What sort of terminal did you use for the S100 machine?

    I was tempted in high school by a MITS 680 kit, but could not afford a terminal. Got a TI SR-56 instead.
    I built a TV Typewriter II but I never got the two hooked together.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slob View Post
    I really didn’t appreciate how good the RCA COSMAC/VIP boards were in terms of bang/buck for the hobby/engineer market until decades later.
    Yes. I see those ads now in my old BYTEs and wonder why I didn't get one then.

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