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I visited the computer museum at RE/PC recently and took a walk down memory lane. Since I played “Wizardry” for about three years from the age of 10-12, old computers make me feel all soft, fuzzy, and nostalgic. What old computers do you have fond memories of? Photoset link.


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  1. bbum says:

    Oh, man.  Wizardy. Yeah, I played wizardry.  Let’s see…. wwwwwwwdwawwwwwwww[elevator]?
    :-)

  2. paxswill says:

    Mac IIci. It was my first commputer that I had all to myself. I had one of those old SCSI CD drives that took the cds in caddies. It was great for playing Reader Rabbit and Munchies

  3. Fredex says:

    My first computer was a 6502 based Ohio Scientific Superboard II that I bought about 1980 for less than $300. It was a large, open circuit board with the keyboard built in at the front. The lack of a case presented an invitation to make something out of it, so I did.

    The Superboard had a forty pin connecter just sitting there in plain sight. It had a full set of address, data, power, and control lines. I found out much later this was intended to bridge to a backplane that used cards from the their Challenger computer. Manufacturers intent is only a guideline anyway, right?

    The Challenger was a proper backplane and card system offered as a business computer. They sold bare boards for the Challenger so, I bought a bare memory board and hacked it into a memory expansion for my Superboard using a ribbon cable and that forty pin connector. Twenty four K of 2114 static ram added to the eight K on board gave me a total thirty two K of memory.

    I wrote up that project for the hobby computer magazine Micro 80 (which became plain Micro?). Unfortunately, I had hit the end of Ohio Scientific’s hobbyist support days. They decided to concentrate on being a business computer company and dropped support for hobbyists rather abruptly, which included selling bare boards.

    Ohio Scientific struggled into oblivion over the next few years in the shadow of Apple. I lost the Superboard in a house fire in 1985. So it goes.

  4. Oracle1729 says:

    I’ve been to Re/PC. The computer museum section is quite interesting.

    I don’t know how the store stays in business though. They sell 2-3 year old computer equipment at higher prices than it cost 2-3 years ago and much higher than newer stuff costs today.

  5. NateMC says:

    Oracle,

    I think it has more to do with their repair department and surplus gear that they get for near free which of course gives them a huge profit margin. I am not sure but I think they also get grants or benefits from the state because they are part of the Take It Back network, but I am not entirely sure about that.

    I used to frequent REPC when I was a mac geek but for PC gear there is way cheaper and easier places to get to all around the puget sound, but no where else can you get your own little build it yourself VW paper bus.

    The AS-IS section is the best, you can find tons of stuff there to play with. The downtown store is by far better than the Tukwila store, at least the last time I was in them.

    -Nate MC

  6. c0redump says:

    My first computer was a 6502-based Compukit UK101, a UK clone of the Ohio Scientific. I built it from a kit in 1980, and subsequently added many extra features, like an AY-3-8910 sound chip, more memory, an analog I/O circuit and a colour video output.

    I also re-wrote the monitor ROM (what we’d nowadays call the BIOS), replacing it with an EPROM programmed in a home-built EPROM programmer. Most of that code was done almost directly in hex! I still occasionally make improvements to that software, although I use an assembler running on a Linux machine.

    http://www.gifford.co.uk/~coredump/uk101.htm

  7. mwproductions says:

    Wow, seeing that picture brings back memories. In fact, just last night I had a dream about floppy drives just like that one. Damn, I’m such a geek.

  8. diluded000 says:

    I used to work at a computer store, and repair those with a chip puller and a soldering iron for the keyswitches.

    There is a really good collection of vintage computer equipment on display at the American History (I think) building of the Smithsonian.

    - James B

  9. dkgoodman says:

    When I was in high school we had an ASR-33 Teletype connected to the HP3000 at the school district. We used to save our programs (HP Basic) by punching them to paper tape. I still have some of those rolls of paper tape (and a bottle of chad). Good times. :)

  10. PinkoTommy says:

    Re: There is a really good collection of vintage computer equipment on display at the American History (I think) building of the Smithsonian.

    It is the American History building. But that exhibit is mostly closed for renovation. (Can still see the computers, though.) The entire building will close in early September for renovation.

    While the computers there are nice, the descriptive materials contained errors.

  11. dkgoodman says:

    In high school we used an ASR-33 Teletype that connected to the school district’s HP3000 downtown. We saved our programs (in HP Basic) on paper tape. I still have some games on paper tape (and a bottle of chad). Good times. :)

  12. Oracle1729 says:

    NateMC, I’ve only been to the downtown location, not Tukwila.

    The only thing I bought from them was in the as-is section actually. It was a broken HP Laserjet IIIP printer. The mirror motor in mine had burnt out so I bought the junk one for $5 to get a replacement part.

    Even their surplus gear is several years out of date and priced comparable to a brand new, much more powerful machine.

    As far as repairs, I think most people who would appreciate a store like that can repair our own computers. A user who would need a repair would be turned off by how filthy the place is and all the junk lying around (the stock).

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