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Apple 1

Apple 1

The story of the development of the Apple I is well known and has become a “legend”.

Steve Wozniak, who was working for Hewlett-Packard at the time, wanted to build his own computer. He couldn’t afford the Intel 8080 CPU, which was very popular, as it was used in the Altair 8800 and IMSAI 8080, but was very expensive. He would have used the Motorola 6800 but it was also much too expensive. Finally he decided to build his computer around the MOS 6502 CPU, which was pretty compatible with the Motorola 6800.

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ZX-81

ZX-81

The ZX81 is a home computer that was produced by Sinclair Research and manufactured in Dundee, Scotland by Timex Corporation. It was launched in the United Kingdom in March 1981 as the successor to Sinclair’s ZX80 and was designed to be a low-cost introduction to home computing for the general public. It was hugely successful, and more than 1.5 million units were sold before it was discontinued. The ZX81 found commercial success in many other countries, notably the United States where it was initially sold as the ZX-81. Timex manufactured and distributed it under licence and enjoyed a substantial but brief boom in sales. Timex later produced its own versions of the ZX81 for the US market: the Timex Sinclair 1000 and Timex Sinclair 1500. Unauthorized clones of the ZX81 were produced in several countries.

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TRS-80 Model 1

TRS-80 Model 1

The Tandy TRS 80 model 1 was the first member of one of the most famous computer family. It was one of the first home computer and was launched at the same time as famous computers like the Apple II or the Commodore PET. Beside, Tandy competitors nicknamed was “Trash-80”.

The TRS-80 was developed was developed within the Radio Shack engineering group, based upon several processor chips, SC/MP, PACE, 8008, 8080 and finally the Z80.

It used a black & white TV set, made by RCA, without tuner as monitor. The earlier models use a poor basic called Basic Level 1 (the Basic and the OS fit in the 4 KB ROM!). It was replaced later with the Basic Level 2 which needed a 12 KB ROM.

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Commodore 64

Commodore 64

The Commodore 64 is an 8-bit home computer introduced by Commodore International in January 1982. Volume production started in the spring of 1982, with machines being released on to the market in August at a price of US $595.Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore MAX Machine, the C64 features 64KB (65,536 bytes) of memory with sound and graphics performance that were superior to IBM-compatible computers of that time. It is commonly known as the C64 or C=64 (after the graphic logo on the case) and occasionally as the CBM 64 (for Commodore Business Machines), or VIC-64. It has also been affectionately nicknamed the “breadbox” and “bullnose” due to the shape and color of the first version of its casing.

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Amstrad PCW8256

Amstrad PCW8256

The PCW 8256 was launched in September 1985, and had 256 KB of RAM and one floppy disk drive. Launched a few months later, the PCW 8512 had 512 KB of RAM and two floppy disk drives. Both systems consisted of three units: a printer; a keyboard; and a monochrome CRT monitor whose casing included the processor, memory, motherboard, one or two floppy disk drives, the power supply for all the units and the connectors for the printer and keyboard. The monitor displayed green characters on a black background. It measured 12 inches (30 cm) diagonally, and showed 32 lines of 90 characters each. The designers preferred this to the usual personal computer display of 25 80-character lines, as the larger size would be more convenient for displaying a whole letter. The monitor could also display graphics well enough for the bundled graphics program and for some games.

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Kaypro II

Kaypro II

The Kaypro II was the first computer released by Non-Linear Systems, in 1982. Non-Linear Systems was founded by Andy Kay in 1952. But they didn’t make computers back then, they made digital multimeters. You see, Andy Kay is the inventor of the digital multimeter

The Kaypro II is unusual because the entire case is made out of metal. Kaypro’s computers were an extension of their test instrument design philosophy: rugged, reliable, reasonably priced, looking more like instruments than the creative, communications (and business) tools that they heavy.

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SGS NBZ80-B Nanocomputer

SGS NBZ80-B Nanocomputer

SGS NBZ80 Nanocomputer

This unit is the NBZ80-B: Nanocomputer base board with 2K ROM, Input Hex keypad device and power supply. Doc and Nanobook 1. Basically, the S without the experiment card NEZ-80.

Its manufacturer, SGS (Societa Generale Semiconduttore) is from Olivetti and Telettra, created in 1950. In 1960, the inevitable American founder Fairchild created in partnership with the Italian state SGS-Fairchild.
In 1971, SGS and Ates were merged by decree of the Italian Government, following the withdrawal of Fairchild in 1968 and the poor health of SGS.
After an agreement with Zilog in 1979 to create a second source for the Z80 and Z8000, it was finally the Mostek smelter that was bought in 1981.
In 1987, Thomson bought SGS to create SGS-Thomson Microelectronics.asically, the S without the experiment card NEZ-80.

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Commodore VIC 20

Commodore VIC 20

The VIC-20 was intended to be more economical than the PET computer. It was equipped with 5 KB of static RAM and used the same MOS 6502 CPU as the PET. The VIC-20’s video chip, the MOS Technology VIC, was a general-purpose color video chip designed by Al Charpentier in 1977 and intended for use in inexpensive display terminals and game consoles, but Commodore could not find a market for the chip.

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Mac Color Classic

Mac Color Classic

The Macintosh Color Classic was the first color compact Apple Macintosh computer. It was essentially a Macintosh LC II with an integrated 10″ Sony Trinitron color display with the same 512×384 pixel resolution as an LC II with the Macintosh 12″ RGB monitor. This integrated unit resembled the original Mac series, albeit slightly expanded, (see Macintosh Plus for an example), hence “Classic.” In Japan, Canada[2] and some other markets – but not the US – Apple later released the Color Classic II which was essentially the same case but with the LC 550 logicboard that doubled both RAM and speed. The Color Classic was also sold to consumers in the United States as the Performa 250, and the Color Classic II as Performa 275. The Color Classic was the final model of the original “compact” Macintosh family of computers.

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Mac SE

Mac SE

The Macintosh SE was a personal computer manufactured by Apple. This computer marked a significant improvement on the Macintosh Plus design and was introduced by Apple at the same time as the Macintosh II. It had a similar case to the original Macintosh computer, but with slight differences in colour and styling.

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Mac Plus

Mac Plus

The Macintosh Plus computer was the third model in the Macintosh line, introduced on January 16, 1986, two years after the original Macintosh and a little more than a year after the Macintosh 512K, with a price tag of 2599 USD. As an evolutionary improvement over the 512K, it introduced RAM expansion from 1 MB to 4 MB, and the SCSI peripheral bus, among smaller improvements. It originally had the same generally beige-colored case as the original Macintosh (“Pantone 453”), but in 1987, the case color was changed to the long-lived, warm gray “Platinum” color.

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Atari ST520fm

Atari ST520fm

The 520ST was an all-in-one unit, similar to earlier home computers like the Commodore 64. By the time the 520ST reached the market, however, consumers demanded a keyboard with cursor keys and a numeric keypad. For this reason, the 520ST was a fairly large and awkward computer console.

Adding to this problem was the number of large cables needed to connect to the peripherals. This problem was addressed to some degree in the follow-on models which included a built-in floppy disk, though this addition resulted in the awkward placement of the mouse and joystick ports to a cramped niche underneath the keyboard.

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Sharp MZ-700

Sharp MZ-700

The MZ-700 was launched in Japan in October 1982. lt was the first Sharp home Computer with colour, but it came without a built-in display unit; instead, sockets were provided for a colour TV or an RGB Monitor; or a B/W TV set or a Mono Monitor. lt also had a built-in printer I/F with a switch which allowed you to run the MZ-1P01 4-pen plotter-printer or a more standard MZ-80P5( K ) dot-matrix printer.

Thus, with its clock speed of 3.5MHz, the MZ-700 seemed to meet many of the criticisms levelled at the MZ-80A when it was launched in June 1982. But it was still only a halfway-house – the printer I/F only suited Sharp printers, the screen was only 40 columns, and to run disk drives you needed an extra interface of some kind.

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Olivetti M24

The Olivetti M24 is a computer that was sold by Olivetti in 1983 using the Intel 8086 CPU. The system was sold in the United States under its original name by Docutel/Olivetti of Dallas. AT&T and Xerox bought rights to rebadge the system as the AT&T PC 6300 and the Xerox 6060 series, respectively

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BBC Model B

BBC Model B

Acorn BBC model B. The Model B had the same features but had 32 KB RAM (expandable to 64K).

The “Tube” was an expansion port which was designed to connect other processors to the BBC (6502, Z80, 68000 or ARM 1 RISC). An interface card was specially designed for the tube. It used another 6502 and a Z80.

One of its most popular peripherals was the “Torch” floppy disk unit, a 5.25″ floppy disk drive with a Z80 which allowed the BBC to use CP/M software.

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Bondwell Model 2

Bondwell Model 2

This machine was produced by the Bondwell Holding Company, LLC, of Hong Kong, and came out in 1985. It arrived an interesting juncture of the death of CP/M and the birth of laptop computers. While there are earlier laptops and even earlier CP/M laptops, the Bondwell Model 2 came late enough that there was good enough LCD resolution (640×200) to support an 80×25 line display; CMOS chips were advanced enough to allow long battery life (up to eight hours), and 3.5 inch floppies were already commonplace. The only technology lacking from today’s perspective is that this machine used two heavy 6V sealed lead acid batteries for its power source.

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Panasonic RL-H7000W

Panasonic RL-H7000W

Panasonic Model RL-H7000W

This is a luggable IBM-PC compatible system. It tends to offer an all-in-one solution for the perfect 80’s business man. Back in 1983 it was the first Japanese computer completely IBM-PC compatible (hardware & software).

It has a built-in thermal printer (80/132 columns, 8.5” wide) using paper-rolls. This was quite useful where you were on the move, but the weight of the whole system is also quite impressive. It is maybe transportable but surely not portable !
It was also possible to connect a more sophisticated printer through the Parallel port.
There is a 9” CRT green display built-in along with a brightness control.

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PET 4016

PET 4016

The PET 4032 was released three years after the original PET 2001. Although it has the same CPU running at the same speed, improved circuitry allows the 4032 to run substantially faster. Other improvements include more memory and a better keyboard.

4032 refers to 40 character display, with 32K RAM memory.

The 4032 has four ports to the outside world. An eight-bit parallel port, a port for a cassette recorder, a port that brings out the system bus, and an IEEE-488 port. Still in use today, the IEEE-488 bus is relatively complex, allowing up to 15 devices on the bus, but is mostly used for laboratory and scientific instruments.

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Apple II

Apple II

Apple II was the successor to the Apple 1, on which it was largely based. It was the very first commercial success of the Apple Computer Company. Because Steve Wozniak wanted to demonstrate his Breakout game with the new Apple II, he decided to add color, sound and minimum paddle support to the Apple 1 heir.

Apple II came with 4 KB RAM, but it was possible to add 4 KB or 16 KB RAM chips. Thus, the system could have memory in the following sizes: 4K, 8K, 12K,16K, 20K, 24K, 32K, 36K, or a full 48K. This was one of the strong points of the Apple II: from the beginning, it was designed with expansion in mind. The 8 expansion slots were further proof of that – users could expand their system easily, just by plugging cards into the slots.

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TRS-80 Model 100

TRS-80 Model 100

The Tandy 100 was actually a computer made in Japan by Kyocera. All the ROM programs were written by Microsoft, and even a few of them were written by Bill Gates (!) himself! These programs include a text editor, a telecommunication program, which uses the built-in modem (300 baud), and a rather good version of BASIC (no big surprise there).

Kyocera made this computer for three main companies: Tandy, Olivetti

(Olivetti M10) and NEC (PC 8201), these computers are the same except the case and some little differences in the programs and a few physical differences.

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