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My Classic Computer Collection

I collect many computers that pre-date the '90s, and some early laptops as well. I am interested in nearly everything from that era. This includes the MITS Altair, IBM clones, Atari 8-bit computers and video game systems, Radio Shack TRS-80 systems, Commodore computers, and much, much more. I like to hoard these old machines and pretend that I have space for them. I find that it is actually very informative for a modern programmer to experience the inner-workings of lower-level systems.

What machines do I have?

Below is a list of the systems I currently own. As I obtain more I will add them to this list and document as much information about them as I can. Select a system from the list to read more about it, what I've managed to do with it, and all of the problems with it that I've felt were necessary to rant about. Only some of the pages are completed at this time.
1977 Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 1
1978 Atari VCS (2600) Rev. A
1979 Apple ][ Plus
1979 Atari 400
1980 Atari VCS (2600) Rev. B
1980 Commodore VIC-20
1980 Radio Shack TRS-80 PC-1
1981 Texas Instruments 99/4A
1981 Osborne 1
1981 Heathkit/Zenith Z90
1982 Northstar Advantage
1982 Commodore 64
1982 Atari 5200
1983 Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 4
1983 Atari 800XL
1986 USG Super Duper Casino
1986 American XT5050
1991 Apple Powerbook 140

These are more than enough to keep me busy for a while, but I'm always looking for good deals. Along with these computers I have a pretty large pile of peripherals to mess with. I have a broken Atari 1050 5.25" floppy disk drive, which I could have fixed had I discovered that it had the wrong capacitors before they destroyed a few chips. I also have a Zenith Data Systems green monochrome monitor. The shrill noise it produces is really a deal-breaker for anyone with sensitive hearing like myself.

My Wish List

I would love a decently priced Commodore PET, Altair 8800, or anything by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) such as the PDP series computers (wishful thinking, I know). Also high on my wish-list is the original TI 99/4, Commodore 64c, and TRS-80 Color Computer. Unfortunately, my collection may suffer due to how little I am willing to spend on it. I have ended up with unusually rare systems like the TRS-80 long before I even came across a C64. I hope to find more great deals like this in the future. I have everything you see here because the price was right.

The TI99/4A is one of my favorite systems. The computer was ahead of its time in computing power and graphics. It sports a 16-bit microprocessor and outputs beautiful color for a 1981 system. More recent events aside, who wouldn't have wanted a computer marketed by Bill Cosby? They paid him a million dollars a year to be their spokesperson.[1] Some other great systems on my wish list include the rest of the TRS-80 systems, Apple Lisa, and Apple Macintosh. At least one Sinclair and Commodore Amiga system would be nice to have around. Considering the addition of an IBM clone to my collection, it would be nice to have a real IBM 5150 to accompany it. I would like to have at least one working luggable computer such as a Kaypro, Osborne Executive, or SX-64.

Conclusions

For more information about my collection and classic computer interests, please click the systems listed above or check for recent classic computer articles. Those which are not hyperlinked do not yet have articles written about them.
Written By: Erik Greif
Published: 05/06/2014 18:30PST
Modified: 01/20/2017 20:27PST
Article Title: My Classic Computer Collection
Article URL: http://bitfracture.com/?page=techarticles/retro_my_collection!techarticles
Website Title: Bit Fracture Online
Website URL: http://www.bitfracture.com
Media Type: Blog Post/Personal Article
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References

[1] http://oldcomputers.net/ti994a.html

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