Computer Nostalgia

I have been on a two plus week mission to get my garage cleaned out. In doing so I finally came across some old computers that I had forgotten about. This did not make my wife happy as the mission turned from cleaning the garage to seeing if this old stuff still works. My wife would love for me to throw these artifacts away, but I still like to look at them and wonder how the cave people who used these devices ever got anything done J

The first computer that I have is a Radio Shack TRS-80 4P.

These were manufactured from 1983 to 1985 and original asking price was $1799.00. The model number 4P meant that this hot little computer was a portable. Hopefully your job in 1983 was not being a road warrior because this portable weighs in at 26 lbs, not including any additional stuff like 5 inch floppies or power cords.

This device has no hard drive and only a small boot rom to boot to the floppies. It did have the optional 300 bps modem (Yes that is 300 bits per second) – but unless we go back to the 1983 internet, not likely to be usable in today’s world. But the good news is that it does still work.

Maybe a future project will be to crack the case and see what kind of hacking can be done on the hardware, but for now back to the garage for youJ

The next “portable” computer that I came across is my Macintosh Plus 1MB. This was introduced in 1986 for $2599 and shipped with 1MB ram but was expandable to 4MB.

The cool and slightly ironic thing about this portable is the fact that it boots to a Microsoft Works floppy.

While I know these old computers aren’t worth anything, nor can they even compete with today’s phones as far as processing power, memory or connectivity. I still think its neat to see how far the computer industry has come since the early 1980’s. In a mere 30 years we went from carrying floppies around to being connected instantly from virtually anywhere. Green screen terminals to measuring graphic processing power in teraflops. So as I ponder what to do with these old archaic devices, I can’t help but wonder what the next 30 years will bring…

If anybody has any ideas what to do with these old computers, leave a comment. Some ideas that I have.

  1. Gut the Mac – Find a small motherboard, add a hard drive, a power supply, fit a small lcd into the existing screen, load windows 8.1 into it and laugh…..
  2. Would like to figure a way the get the TSR-80 to loop the Matrix characters on the screen
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Posted in Hardware

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