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Overlooked?

jdreesen

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
325
Location
Switzerland
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
 

Slob

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Messages
172
Location
Kentucky USA
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.
 

ClausB

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
177
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.
 

Slob

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Messages
172
Location
Kentucky USA
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.
 

Slob

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Messages
172
Location
Kentucky USA
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.
 

ClausB

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
177
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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