Retro (Vintage?) Computers

fyrwrxz

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Not the fridge, but these guys are from hard drive 'disabling' I did for my sister on the side of a toolbox in the garage. She got a couple of new computers years ago and asked me if I could destroy her hard drives, as they already wiped them with Norton, but wanted mechanical destruction. She said they drove the Camry over them a few times, but "they didn't look that bad."

For fun, I said 'sure, I can do that' and she mailed them to me (ironic. . . concerned about personal data, then mail to brother where 2-200 people were holding said personal data somewhere along the way. . .). I made a video of 'repairing' one of them and got her to download it. The response was that I was an 'intelligent gluteus maximus' (to keep it clean). I hammed it up during the video and it was almost funny enough to upload somewhere, but I did mention a lot of trade names, made some derogatory inflections to Southerners (which I am) and chose not to. I showed it to a few people and they thought it was 'funny' but not FUNNY, so I left it alone. Having said that, I watched it again because of this thread and I laughed to tears at times. I guess I have a weird sense of humor and think I'm funnier than I am. . .

The custom electrical warning triangle was for a buddy who though the spec skull didn't look evil enough. This one was a fail, the one he wanted had horns. . .

Sandy.
Oh, buddy, you have to post!
 

troj

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For the CoCo, the greatest modern day peripheral for it is the CoCo SDC. This is basically a replacement for the floppy drive, which uses an SD card for file storage. It completely emulates the disk drive and the Disk Extended Color Basic command set (and then some). It is possible to fit an incredible number of programs on the one SD card, especially since floppy disks of the day were so tiny (storage-wise).

For the non-Coco TRS-80s, one of the more common options is a FreHD, which is a hard drive emulator that uses an SD card. Someone recently released a device that replaces the floppy controller in the 3/4 and allows SD-card based floppy emulation on systems that don't have a controller.

It's amazing what people are releasing for these old machines!
 

fyrwrxz

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Who wants Amigas? Srsly, if I waste my time digging thru archeological layers of pre-cambrian rockets, I gonna get a reward. 1) more space, 2) possibly a bad acid trip reliving the history of nerds thru the ages and 3) like Troj says, giving them to somebody who may appreciate and cherish (maybe even use?) these relics and keeps them out of a landfill. Free. I might split shipping in the spirit of cooperation and community, but I'd have to save up for it unless you can find my house with a forklift. these puppies are heavy. Must be the fossilization process...
( I'm just checking now, haven't actually touched them, but I know exactly where they are. .It's hot outside ( and no, the shed is actually inside a carport, so it's relatively climate controlled to an extent. Getting there, tho', may entail training for a sub Sahara adventure replete with camels. If any bona fide interest, I will get pics. I Will charge if you want me to power up and demo hard/software. like the old scam artists in auto ads, " ran when parked" applies. Last thing I remember on the screen was a 3 d planform of an F4u Corsair.
 
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fyrwrxz

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You're just now figuring that out?!
Hey, I never said I was bright. I can barely feed myself, let alone understand what all you nerds are talking about. I wear slip-ons because knots are hard to understand. and some make sounds...
 

fyrwrxz

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Who here was in the white/yellow pages ( directory ) of the internet? I still remember the day I tossed it, stressed out during a forced move. Landlord gave the house I rented for a decade to his daughter as a wedding present, despite my repeated offers to buy. Way before the Steve Martin movie, we were all like "hey! I'm somebody! I'm in the book!" Surreal memory, but if you don't know, you weren't in it. Anybody?
 
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troj

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@fyrwrxz - if nobody on here takes you up on those Amigas, I can help you find people who'd take them off your hands. Possibly even folks in your neck of the woods, removing the need to deal with shipping.
 

Woody's Workshop

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Who here has ever made wind chimes from hard drive platters? Asking for a friend. and no don't drive by my house. I decided it's a private street for only people with wind chimes in their front yards. or hummingbird feeders, or a rack for drying parachutes. My property value is much less than surrounding houses.
But you're about the only one with a Great Big Shade Tree in the front yard! I would think (no matter what all the junk is bursting out of every window and door) your property would be worth twice anyone else's in that area. Just because of that great big tree.
Mind you, I've never been there...but have drove by using Google Earth.
BTW, what the heck was you doing in the back yard when the satellite went over and snapped the shot?
It looks mighty suspicious to me! 🕵️‍♂️
I'm thinking Google may have missed blurring your activities from the World.
 

fyrwrxz

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But you're about the only one with a Great Big Shade Tree in the front yard! I would think (no matter what all the junk is bursting out of every window and door) your property would be worth twice anyone else's in that area. Just because of that great big tree.
Mind you, I've never been there...but have drove by using Google Earth.
BTW, what the heck was you doing in the back yard when the satellite went over and snapped the shot?
It looks mighty suspicious to me! 🕵️‍♂️
I'm thinking Google may have missed blurring your activities from the World.
Those weren't fireworks, they were adult entertainment sound and light emitting devices. The sound in the background was a miniature clothes dryer I gave the squirrels to do laundry in. Every once in while, I would fill it with lead balls and tenderize my sneakers if they got too stiff from sweat. Sometimes I would set the lint on fire using a stop watch to see if they were dry enough. I also made rabbit food that had to dry in the sun. Maybe you saw that, eh? I have stories about the squirrels....
(oh, btw way, the big tree is so I can legitimately get a discount at the local auto parts store. It's required.)
 

fyrwrxz

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@fyrwrxz - if nobody on here takes you up on those Amigas, I can help you find people who'd take them off your hands. Possibly even folks in your neck of the woods, removing the need to deal with shipping.
? Can I wait a bit to find if there is any interest? Kinda busy during the build season on rockets, but if it cools down a bit ( fat chance), I can go out and sweat to the oldies and then shoot you pics. Richard Simmons got nothin on my scrawny ass.
 

Marc_G

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I miss my old Atari 800, which I sold at the time to help pay to upgrade to an Atari ST. Ah, those were the days... Eventually sold that to buy a Mac which wasn't as powerful but did have compatibility with my lab's computers, needed to work on my thesis.
 

troj

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? Can I wait a bit to find if there is any interest? Kinda busy during the build season on rockets, but if it cools down a bit ( fat chance), I can go out and sweat to the oldies and then shoot you pics. Richard Simmons got nothin on my scrawny ass.

It's your stuff, it happens on your timeline.
 

Sandy H.

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Oh, buddy, you have to post!
The video in its current state is 3.5gb. I could either try to compress it or upload to youtube as a private video. PM me your thoughts, as I could just put it on my personal FTP and send you a link if you have the desire to download 3.5gb of stuff, funny or not.

Sandy.
 

Rory Gin

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My brothers and I could never agree on anything. I started off with a Pong machine in '75, then later a Atari 2600. One brother had a Vic-20, the other an Atari 400, I had the CoCo 2 & 3. I borrowed my brother's Atari to type in a speaker design program from Radio Shack back in 1981 but Atari had a different and much more limited version of Basic so it never did work properly.

I actually cut my teeth on a shared PDP-11 with teletype. Friends had the Atari 800, C-64, Amigas, Apple II, IIe, Pet, Timex-Sinclair, and TRS-80s. One friend was a very talented self-taught programmer and wrote his own version of Lotus 1-2-3 in TRS-80 assembly. One by one we all turned from these early computers to become IBM-PC and Apple Mac gurus or even Sun Microsystems. Yeah I took a few university courses (Forth, C++, Java) but really only AutoLisp caught on with me since I was mastering AutoCad. I was tempted to learn Cobol in advance of Y2K.
 

AllDigital

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For all those Tandy / TRS-80 fans, if you haven't seen the official Radio Shack twitter handle in the past few days you are missing some hilarious misconduct. Apparently, what's left of Rat Shack is pivoting to crypto and they let some intern go crazy with the Twitter.

Enjoy: https://twitter.com/RadioShack
 

Cape Byron

The BAR formerly known as Skippy-2
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I still have my first 'laptop', a Cambridge Z88 designed by Clive Sinclair. Bought new in 1988 it got me through my first uni degree (BAppSci). Mine's in a box somewhere, but this is the one. The same footprint as an A4 sheet of paper.

1280px-CambridgeZ88.jpg
 

jsdemar

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For old home computer fans, here's a website called VintNerd:
https://thevintnerd.com/index.html
He also has youtube videos:
https://www.youtube.com/thevintnerd

The host, Steve, used to work for me around 1984, not as a programmer but in production. He's been collecting mostly Atari stuff (including my old products). I wouldn't have found his site if it weren't for this thread! 👍
 

dlb

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My 1st computer wasn't even really a computer it was called a micro sequence program controller.
It was called Mike.
4004 CPU, with 256 bytes of ram, Machine code only.
Next was a IMSA/Northstar S100, with a 8008 micro, with a wopping 1k ram.programmed it with toggle switches.
Dam I feel really old now.
Then a Apple 1, IBM XT, C64, Sinclair Z80, LNW( TRS80 knockoff In color), And so on and so on and so on.
 

cls

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was a IMSA/Northstar S100, with a 8008 micro, with a wopping 1k ram.programmed it with toggle switches.

I doubt that.

IMSAI had a front panel and 8080A, not 8008. My Northstar had a Z80 and no front panel. They were 3 years apart, a long time in those days.
 

dlb

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I doubt that.

IMSAI had a front panel and 8080A, not 8008. My Northstar had a Z80 and no front panel. They were 3 years apart, a long time in those days.

I worked with what I had. Z80 was added later, with a
Dazzler video board.
I love one Of the Z80 instructions: LDIR, Great for block moves.
 

Steve Shannon

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I still have my first 'laptop', a Cambridge Z88 designed by Clive Sinclair. Bought new in 1988 it got me through my first uni degree (BAppSci). Mine's in a box somewhere, but this is the one. The same footprint as an A4 sheet of paper.

View attachment 525070
Reporter: “Clive, why did you use a 4-bit processor?”
Clive Sinclair: “I couldn’t find a 2-bit one I really liked.”
 

caveduck

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I used a lot of early stuff but didn't keep too much of it - big, heavy and I didn't have anything rare. My 128K rom toaster Mac incinerated itself via the famous flyback transformer; it put smudgy smoke onto the ceiling that didn't go away until we had the 1981 popcorn ceiling removed. I do have a few interesting smaller items - a circa 1972 Casio 4-banger calculator, an HP-45, and a scarce first-gen Palm Pilot developer edition with the clear case. I had an HP-11 but lost it and have been angry ever since.

Back in high school I got to work on an IMSAI that we used to control a model train exhibit at the Des Moines Science Center (with the then-huge 8K memory card and multiple discrete I/O boards). Later in college a few of us physics students built up a PDP-8 clone kit - a 12-bit computer.

Last year in a fit of throwback frenzy I bought the IMSAI 8080 replica from thehighnibble.com and built it - it's a thing of beauty and the ESP32 emulation works at prototypical speeds. Here was the unboxing; somehow I don't yet have a photo of the completed computer.D20211019_002556.jpg
 

WillMarchant

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I used a lot of early stuff but didn't keep too much of it - big, heavy and I didn't have anything rare. My 128K rom toaster Mac incinerated itself via the famous flyback transformer; it put smudgy smoke onto the ceiling that didn't go away until we had the 1981 popcorn ceiling removed. I do have a few interesting smaller items - a circa 1972 Casio 4-banger calculator, an HP-45, and a scarce first-gen Palm Pilot developer edition with the clear case. I had an HP-11 but lost it and have been angry ever since.

Back in high school I got to work on an IMSAI that we used to control a model train exhibit at the Des Moines Science Center (with the then-huge 8K memory card and multiple discrete I/O boards). Later in college a few of us physics students built up a PDP-8 clone kit - a 12-bit computer.

Last year in a fit of throwback frenzy I bought the IMSAI 8080 replica from thehighnibble.com and built it - it's a thing of beauty and the ESP32 emulation works at prototypical speeds. Here was the unboxing; somehow I don't yet have a photo of the completed computer.View attachment 525256
OK, that’s very cool!

The first digital computer I used was a PDP-8e in high school.

But I fell in with an IMSAI crowd in the SF Bay Area in the 80s and ended up acquiring an 8085 version of that front panel machine. The processor box and dual 8” floppy box probably weighed 50 pounds.

I have a soft spot for the 8085 as the first flight software I worked on was for a network of nine 8085s controlling the telescopes on NASA’s EUVE satellite.
 

fyrwrxz

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OK, that’s very cool!

The first digital computer I used was a PDP-8e in high school.

But I fell in with an IMSAI crowd in the SF Bay Area in the 80s and ended up acquiring an 8085 version of that front panel machine. The processor box and dual 8” floppy box probably weighed 50 pounds.

I have a soft spot for the 8085 as the first flight software I worked on was for a network of nine 8085s controlling the telescopes on NASA’s EUVE satellite.
OMG! I might have part 1 of 2 parts of that shipping container! Damn! Now I goota get dressed and run out to the garage and look. I had to integrate a few to fly on the Atlas after the Shuttle was taken down. Took it back on the Lear from the Cape and just kinda wound up with it. Legally. It was trash as far as my boss was concerned. I thot I wanted it to store rocket goodies. Dam thing is still empty. I'm the great procastinator. And a fine pack rat, thank you! Was that a sun monitor or something.? Can't dredge up that mission profile in my head yet. Still in bed and no coffee yet. Coffee, slippers, pith helmet and elephant gun in that order for the treacherous journey into the back yard. Told you I procrastinate...
 
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fyrwrxz

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Nope! It's from the AIRS project. Oh well, carry on.( great, now I gotta unload and clean the rust off the elephant gun. Been a while since I braved the back yard...)
 
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