Welcome to my museum of microcomputing, present and past. This page is by no means an attempt at a complete, thorough account of the whole history of microcomputers. It is, rather, a glimpse at the various examples of those devices upon which I have happened. Unlike some 'collections', these machines all exist and are being maintained physically by myself personally. I believe that preservation of classic technology is essential, and that it entails, first and foremost, physical preservation thereof. Accumulation of all possible information relative thereto is another of my priorities. This page is due for some reorganization and expansion of its informational content...one of these days. :)
With some recent additions, this collection now includes specimens from all of the truly important micro manufacturers: Apple, Atari, Commodore, and Radio Shack (not necessarily in that order). :) Admittedly, that is from a USA-centric point of view (as we rarely hear of the likes of Acorn and Fujitsu micros).
My first computer. Z-80 CPU. 4 KB RAM (each with 16 KB expansion pack). Flat, membrane-type keyboard (a definite weakness: somewhat unpleasant to use, and both are now broken as well). Monochrome video to a TV set. Audio cassette data storage. This machine is nearly identical to the Sinclair ZX-81.
Texas Instruments TI-99/4A (6)
An interesting machine: ahead of its time in some respects; behind it in others. Nice color and sound for that era, but double-interpreted BASIC rather slow. Video chip capable of generating sprites. TMS9900 16-bit CPU. Nice keyboard. Audio cassette data storage (I never got the expansion box which allows floppy drives). Color video to TV set or composite monitor. Five of these machines are operational. One of these was my second micro (obtained approximately 15 years ago), and was responsible for quite a bit of my early computer experience.
RCA Cosmac VIP
A particularly interesting specimen from the earlier days of micros, around 1979. RCA Cosmac CDP1802 CMOS CPU. 2 KB static RAM, expandable to 4 KB. Membrane hex keyboard (digits 0-9 and A-F ONLY). Monochrome composite video output (very low resolution). RUN/RESET toggle switch. Audio cassette data storage. This machine can use a 'high-level' interpreted language called CHIP-8.
Commodore PET (2)
Commodore's early micro. Unique heavy-duty cabinet with integrated keyboard and monitor; looks like something out of Tom Baker-era Doctor Who. 6502 CPU. Actually, one is a PET and one is a CBM.
Commodore VIC 20
Commodore's first machine with a color display, based on the VIC chip (hence the machine's name). 6502 CPU.
Commodore 64 (7)
Perhaps the most popular home computer ever. 6510 CPU, 64 KB of RAM. Impressively capable, but not without quirks (quite severe in some cases). RF and composite/S-video outputs. A rather odd (and slow) serial bus interconnects the machine with peripherals such as printers and disk drives. The mating C= 1541 floppy drive contains its own 6502 CPU, RAM, and ROM. At present, only three of these machines are operational.
Commodore Plus/4 (2)
Commodore's attempt at an upgrade to the C64; put bluntly, the machine failed. Interesting idea of several applications in internal ROM. Many ports not even compatible with the C64, let alone anything 'standard'.
A real upgrade from the C64. This machine has a C64 mode to retain compatibility, but adds additional RAM and an additional Z-80 microprocessor to run CP/M. Separate video output circuitry for the two CPUs somewhat quirky.
Another interesting specimen. Z-80 CPU, runs CP/M. 64 KB RAM. Internal modem; presumably 300 baud. Internal 9" monochrome monitor and two 5.25" half-height floppy drives; detached keyboard.
TRS-80 Model 1 (3)
The classic 'Trash-80'. Z-80 CPU. Keyboard and CPU in one cabinet. External monitor (a stripped-down RCA 12" B+W TV set; the case even has holes for the VHF and UHF TV tuners!). External expansion box was used to allow additional RAM and floppy drives (I do not have the expansion unit). Probably the worst quirk of this machine is its use of identical 5-pin DIN jacks for power input, video output, and cassette I/O (an accident just waiting to happen!).
TRS-80 Model 3 (2)
Keyboard, CPU, and 12" mono monitor all in one case (similar to Commodore PET). Same case used for TRS-80 Model 4 and TRS-80 DT-1 dumb terminal. Z-80 CPU. Mine are the cassette versions, with no floppy drives.
TRS-80 Model 4 (2)
Later machine, similar to Model 3. Z-80 CPU. 64 KB RAM. Each has two full-height 5.25 disk drives.
TRS-80 Model 4P (2)
The 'portable' version of the Model 4, with two half-height floppy drives and a 9" internal VDU.
TRS-80 Model 100 (3) [#1: Static]
Such a cool machine, I devoted another page to it! 80C85 CPU. Capable of handling between 8 KB and 32 KB of battery-backed SRAM. One of the very first laptop computers.
Tandy's 'upgrade' to the Model 100. Thinner and lighter, incorporating surface-mounted components. Keyboard construction of inferior quality.
Radio Shack's second 'pocket computer'; it takes a rather sizeable pocket to carry it. ;) 8-bit (4-bit?) custom CMOS CPU clocked at 1.3 MHz; rather fast for the era. One of the few pocket computers to have an available RS-232 interface (though I do not have one). Approx. 2 KB of RAM. This machine is nearly identical to the Sharp PC-1500.
My first pocket computer. With only 544 BYTES of program RAM, it was easy to run out. Quite a fun little computer, actually.
TDP System 100 (3)*
TRS-80 Color Computer (9)*
TRS-80/Tandy Color Computer 2 (19)*
Tandy Color Computer 3 (3)*
Note: Machines marked with * are covered on my CoCo page. This is because the CoCo is my favorite 8-bit machine of all!
Another pocket computer; identical to the TRS-80 PC-1. Somewhere between the PC-2 and PC-4 in capability.
Quasar HHC (2)
The 'Hand Held Computer'. A rather peculiar machine indeed. Though rather small, it contains a full-size (40-pin DIP) 6502 CPU. One-line LCD display.
Identical to the Quasar HHC, except for its lighter color scheme (more silver than gray). This one came with the printer/cassette interface and some documentation. Insurance calculation software in EPROMs (these machines were apparently all sold for custom, dedicated applications).
A self-declared 'notebook' computer with a 4-line by 20-character LCD. Interesting internal microcassette data storage drive; internal paper-tape printer. About the same size as the Model 100.
Apple ][ plus
The earliest Apple in my collection to date. 6502 CPU, 48 KB RAM on motherboard, and 16 KB RAM expansion card.
Apple //e (2)
The real thing, and they even work. 6502/65C02 CPU. One has a working 5.25" SSDD floppy drive.
One of the later machines in the Apple ][ family. 128 KB RAM. Internal 5.25" half-height floppy drive.
The last machine in the Apple ][ family, and the most powerful. 1.25 MB RAM, ROM version 1, and a 65C816 16-bit CPU. This machine was a fairly successful attempt at bridging the Apple ][ line with the Macintosh. It has internal expansion slots compatible with the earlier Apple ][ machines, and the 65C816 CPU is capable of running 6502 code. On the other hand, it uses the same mini-DIN serial ports and ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) keyboard and mouse connections as are used by most Macs. It can run most earlier Apple ][ software, yet its GS/OS operating system is apparently quite similar to MacOS.
A questionable-quality Apple ][-compatible machine. Oddly enough, despite the horror stories, mine is functional. ;)
Franklin ACE 500
Another Apple ][ clone; some say it is actually better than the real Apples. 65C02 CPU, 256 KB RAM, and internal 5.25" floppy drive. This machine has a particularly nice keyboard.
A 6502-based machine, with the original box. A sticker on the box proclaims it to be the official home computer of the 1984 Olympics!
This machine is missing some keys, and its operational status is unknown.
Good physical condition, but also unknown operability. 6502 CPU.
An interesting laptop with CP/M in ROM (but no magnetic drives). Several applications in ROM (including WordStar and a terminal program apparently capable of VT-100 emulation). 64 KB of ROM and 64 KB of battery-backed static RAM, 32K of which must be formatted (yes, with a format command) in order to act as a disk drive. It has a full-size, non-backlit flip-up LCD screen and an internal 300 bps modem.
A Z-80 machine with 16 KB of RAM and an internal high-speed cassette data drive. Unfortunately, I have only the console, with no keyboard or PSU.
Yes, the real thing! The machine that started this madness! The beginning of the juggernaut which has devastated the entire computing world! It has an Intel 8088 CPU at 4.77 MHz, 256 KB of RAM, BASIC in ROM, and a cassette port for data storage.
IBM Personal Computer XT
What is there to say about this machine? 4.77 MHz 8088, 640 KB RAM, 360 KB full-height floppy drive, 10 MB full-height hard drive, CGA video card, and Hayes 1200 bps modem card.
Generic XT clone
Just that...a true XT clone. 8088, 640 KB RAM, 32 MB RLL HD, 360 KB FD, mono video, and 1200 bps internal modem.
Generic XT compatible
One I assembled from parts. 4.77/9.56 MHz turbo V20 (enhanced 8088) CPU, 8-bit VGA card, 8-bit IDE card with BIOS, 40 MB IDE hard drive, 8-bit high-density floppy controller card with BIOS, 360 KB 5.25" and 1.44 MB 3.5" floppy drives, 14.4 Kbps internal modem, Microsoft bus mouse. This machine uses the most modern XT motherboard I've ever seen, with AMI 8088 BIOS, 640 KB of RAM in the form of five DIP DRAM chips, power LED, turbo switch, and reset button connectors, etc...not a bad machine at all.
IBM Portable Personal Computer
A 'luggable' machine which contains a standard XT motherboard, a 9" amber CGA monochrome VDU, and two half-height 360 KB floppy drives.
Talk about a weird machine...too bad this one is fried. The wireless IR keyboard is an interesting surprise.
IBM PS/2 Model 30
8086 CPU, 512 KB RAM, VGA. 8-bit ISA bus, unlike later PS/2 models with MCA (MicroChannel Architecture) slots.
A 'laptop', sort of. Actually, prolonged use on the lap would likely result in loss of circulation to the legs. It is portable, being able to operate from TEN 'C' batteries. NEC V-30 CPU (an enhanced version of the 8086). 640 KB RAM (an all-too-common amount of memory, only heard of on this platform). Flip-up LCD display, capable of CGA resolutions in two intensities. One particularly nice feature is the full-size, high-quality 101-key keyboard. Internal 2400-bps modem. Dual 3.5" 80-track DSDD ('720 KB') floppy drives.
A not-quite-standard 8088 box. 512 KB RAM. Currently has a 32 MB RLL hard drive and one 360 KB floppy drive, as well as CGA video. Actually works quite nicely, for what it is.
Identical to the Pitney Bowes except for color scheme.
Not really a complete machine, but nearly so. It is unique enough for me to classify it separately. I have duplicates of some components for it, and none of others. Basically, if complete, it would be a 4.77/8 MHz 8088 box with 640 KB RAM and CGA video.
I have yet to find a model number on this machine. It is also a unique specimen, with its own quirks. It has a backplane, rather than a motherboard. The 'motherboard' functions are actually performed by a CPU card. A second card provides a double-density floppy controller and serial port. A third card provides RAM and a parallel port. It presently has only 256 KB of RAM, and I have no documentation detailing how to upgrade it. Also not quite complete.
Another odd machine. 8088 CPU. 512 KB RAM. Serial and parallel ports, and CGA video. Keyboard connected by 6-wire modular (telephone-style) cable. Had attached monochrome monitor, but it was removed to allow use with an external color monitor.
Yet another not-quite-standard machine. 8088 CPU. 640 KB RAM. 360 KB floppy, and a whopping 10 MB hard drive. Not quite stable...it locks up occasionally. The Tandy 1000 series is reportedly based on the IBM PCjr, supporting several graphics modes not present in the CGA, etc. 'standards'.
8088, 640 KB RAM, and two 360 KB floppies. Just like the 1000HD, but without the hard drive.
Tandy 1000HX (2)
Non-standard doesn't do these machines justice; severely weird perhaps? 8088 CPU, 256 KB RAM, internal CGA video, 720 KB 3.5" FD.
Wyse PC (6)
And another! 8088 CPU, 256 (or 512) KB RAM, one 360 KB floppy, 10 MB HD, and mono video (CGA optional). Very strange 10-pin keyboard connector; similar to a DIN plug, but larger. Note that some Wyse (including Tandy-labelled) dumb terminals use the same keyboard interface. Unfortunately, the terminal-style keyboard lacks the keys necessary to perform a three-fingered salute (reboot) when used on this machine. :( Impressively sturdy, low-profile case (2.75" high!).
Oh no, not another one?!?! CPU, drives, and 9" green (mono CGA) CRT in one case, with detached keyboard. 8088, 640K RAM, 2 360 KB floppies, and a backplane. Keyboard uses a cable terminated by two 5-pin DIN plugs.
Tandy 1400HD (2) [#1: Armageddon]
One of Radio Shack's earlier M$-DOS laptops. 4.77/8 MHz NEC V-20 (an enhanced 8088), 768 KB RAM, one 720 KB floppy, and a 20 MB hard drive. Very nice, backlit CGA-compatible LCD and internal 1200 or 2400 bps modem.
Toshiba T1000XE [Pestilence]
A pretty cool XT-class laptop. 4.77/9.54 MHz 80C86-2 CPU, backlit CGA LCD, 20 MB 2.5" IDE HD. Toshiba MS-DOS 3.3 and LapLink in ROM. An interesting surprise was the presence of the machine's user and DOS reference manuals on the hard drive, in hypertext format...not bad for the 1990 era.
Note: Commentary on the PC architecture may be found on my PeeCee Problems Page.
OK, here it is: the absolute epitome of weird pseudo-PC-compatibles. This machine has an 80186 CPU and two 720 KB 5.25" floppy drives!
This machine really only fits here due to its microprocessor: an 80186. It is a server (presumably running some form of UNIX) with 512 KB of RAM, and is set up to connect to eight serial terminals. It has no provisions for a local keyboard or VDU.
IBM Personal Computer XT Model 286
Looking like an XT, but acting a bit more like an AT, this machine was an obscure sort of bridge between the two lines. It has an 80286 CPU and some 16-bit ISA slots. An odd machine, indeed.
IBM Personal Computer AT (2)
'Advanced Technology' is what IBM claimed these machines represented. The original AT used a 6 MHz 80286 CPU and offered 512 KB of RAM on the motherboard. One of these machines has an 80386 accelerator card plugged into the 80286 socket. The AT 'pioneered' the use of high-density (1.2 MB 5.25") floppy drives, as well as the use of CMOS battery-backed RAM to hold setup information. The original AT (and some of its clones) requires the use of a setup program on floppy disk; only later was a setup program included in ROM along with the machine's BIOS. The accelerated AT in my collection actually includes a third-party BIOS with a setup program.
NCR 80286-10 desktop [Beast]
One of the most solid machines I've ever seen, it is basically an AT clone. It uses a passive backplane, with the 'motherboard' on one card. Another card contains: MFM HD controller, HD floppy controller, a serial port, a parallel port, and an EGA daughtercard! Now containing a 40-meg MFM drive and connected to a Zenith EGA monitor, this machine runs Minix 2.0.0 (and looks the part of a UNIX machine as well).
IBM Personal Computer XT
Why is this machine listed here? Because it contains, strange as it may sound, an Intel 80386SX16 accelerator card. The accelerator is plugged into an ISA slot, and connects to the motherboard's 8088 socket by way of a 40-conductor ribbon cable and header (which replaces the 8088). Preliminary tests show it to be not much faster than an 8088-based machine.
Generic 80386SX16 desktop
A solid machine. I built it in an IBM 3270 PC case, which looks exactly like a PC or XT case, but it is black.
Generic 80386DX25 minitower [Doomsday]
A decent machine (in 1992, anyway...), which I assembled from parts. 5 MB RAM, 360 KB and 1.44 MB floppies, 40 and 85 MB IDE HDs, 1 MB SVGA video card, 8-bit SoundBlaster. This machine runs 32-bit Minix 2.0.0 (with the recently-released PPP support), or M$-DOS/Windoze 3.1.
Generic 80486DX33 full tower [Sluggy]
A rather slick machine, at least for this architecture. ;) 8 MB RAM, 1 MB VESA local-bus video card, 400 MB IBM industrial SCSI hard drive, Sanyo 2X SCSI CD-ROM drive, 360 KB 5.25" and 1.44 MB 3.5" floppy drives, 8-bit SoundBlaster, and Zenith ZCM-1490 FTM (Flat Tension Mask) VGA monitor (if you've never seen an FTM CRT, you do NOT know what you've been missing!). Another one I built, in an incredibly formidable tower case. This machine would be running Linux, if Linux would bother to recognize its SCSI card. How can one be expected to take an operating system seriously, when it cannot even do what MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 do flawlessly? UPDATE: I finally got around that problem, by acquiring the next several machines. ;)
Generic 80486DX2-66 full tower [Matrix]
My first Linux machine. 48 MB RAM, 2 MB video RAM (on a VLB TV tuner/video capture video card), 820 MB SCSI HD, IDE CD-ROM, Pro Audio Spectrum 16 clone sound card with proprietary Sony CD-ROM, 1.44 MB and 1.2 MB floppy drives, floppy-port tape drive, and Seiko 14" Trinitron monitor. It runs Red Hat Linux 5.1 (2.2.10 kernel).
Generic 80486DX4-100 minitower [Humphrey]
A nice machine indeed. 32 MB RAM, 4.3 GB IDE HD, 4X IDE CD-ROM, authentic SoundBlaster 16, ATI MACH 64 PCI video card with 2 MB video RAM, NE2000 clone Ethernet card. This machine triple-boots M$-DOS 6.2/Windoze 3.1, Windoze 95, and Red Hat Linux 5.1 (2.2.10 kernel).
Hyundai Neuron 80486SLC33 notebook [Neuron]
Pretty cool, actually. 4 MB RAM. 512 KB video RAM. Dual-scan color display. 540 MB Western Digital 2.5" IDE hard drive. This machine now dual-boots M$-DOS/Windoze 3.1 and Linux.
Note: Commentary on the Wintel platform may be found of my PeeCee Problems Page.
Amiga 2000 (2)** [#1: Millennium]
Amiga 1200** [Apocalypse]
Note: Machines marked with ** are covered on my Amiga page. This is because the Amiga is the best, most powerful computer ever designed.
One of the earliest Mac models; the first to include a SCSI interface. 8 MHz MC68000 CPU, 1 MB RAM (expandable to 4 MB), internal 9" mono monitor, 800 KB floppy drive. The keyboard connects to the CPU box with a modular cable, and the mouse uses a DB-9 (what, no ADB?).
Apple Macintosh II
68020 CPU, 5 MB RAM, 40 MB SCSI HD, 512 KB VRAM video card, 800 KB floppy drive.
Apple Macintosh IIfx (2) [#1: Desmond]
The most powerful of the Mac II series; a decent machine, actually. 40 MHz 68030 and 40 MHz FPU. The IIfx uses proprietary RAM in the form of 64-pin SIMMs, which must be installed in sets of four (eight sockets total). #1: 32 MB RAM, 160 MB SCSI HD, 4 MB VRAM video card, 3Com EtherLink NB Ethernet card, and two high-density floppy drives. #2: 8 MB RAM, dual high-density floppy drives, and no HD at the moment.
Apple Power Macintosh 6100/60 [Revelation]
A more recent Mac, and my first RISC computer. 60 MHz PPC601 PowerPC CPU, 40 MB RAM, 1 GB Fujitsu SCSI HD, 4X external SCSI CD drive, and a SupraFAXModem 288 (flashed for 33.6K; the very best modems ever built!).
An amazingly capable little palmtop computer from a most impressive UK manufacturer. 7.68 MHz NEC V30H processor, 2 MB of battery-backed RAM, 480x160 LCD, RS-232C and IrDA ports, 8-bit audio with internal speaker and condenser microphone. Capable of operating for up to 80 hours on two 'AA' cells. Multitasking OS (EPOC16) and numerous built-in applications in 2 MB ROM. I've created a Psion Page, dedicated to these great little machines.
Sharp ZR-3000 Zaurus
A decent (though abandoned) PDA with a 320x240 non-backlit LCD (touch-sensitive with a stylus), 1 megabyte of RAM, a custom CMOS CPU, and serial and infrared (IrDA and Sharp ASK compatible) interfaces. Unlike many pen-based PDAs, it features a landscape mode display and also has a 'full' QWERTY keyboard (though it is only a calculator type, not good for much serious typing). The Zaurus includes several applications in ROM, including a word processor and terminal emulator. This machine was intended more as a portable extension of a desktop Windoze PC than as a computer in its own right (unlike the Psion machines).
Apple Newton MessagePad 130
Another interesting abandoned PDA. The MP130 features the Newton 2.0 operating system, a 20 MHz ARM 610 RISC processor, 8 megabytes of ROM and 2.5 megabytes of RAM, a 320x240 touch-sensitive LCD with stylus, switchable EL backlight and switchable portrait or landscape mode, a PCMCIA Type II port, a serial port (Mac-type mini-DIN; RS-232 and Localtalk compatible), and an infrared port (Newton OS compatible only). Pen-based only, the MP130 has no keyboard (though an external keyboard was available as an option). It is much larger and heavier than more recent PDAs, making it much less convenient for go-everywhere use. Unlike the Psion Series 3c and Sharp Zaurus, it does not include a terminal emulator in ROM.
Atari's attempted counterpart to the Amiga. Motorola MC68000 CPU, 512 KB RAM.
A VERY unusual machine. Unique multiprocessor design uses both an 8 MHz MC68000 AND a 4 MHz Z-80. The '6000 is a multi-user, multitasking business computer that runs XENIX. Unfortunately, mine is incomplete. Eventually, I would like to gather the parts necessary to fire it up.
TRS-80 DT-1 (2)
Not exactly a micro in the usual sense, but deserving of a place here nevertheless. The DT-1 is a dumb terminal primarily intended for use with the TRS-80 Model II/12/16/Tandy 6000 series of multiuser business computers. Based on an 8051 microcontroller, the DT-1 emulates four different terminal types (though none resembling a VT-100, unfortunately). It supports RS-232 data rates up to 19.2 Kbps and features all-in-one construction, including a 12" mono CRT (like the TRS-80 Model 3 and 4).
Atari 2600 (2)
One of the classic game consoles (my personal all-time favorite). This machine brings back fond memories of playing 2600 games long ago. (You know, like WAY back in the 80s!)
Tele-Games Video Arcade
An Atari 2600 (with cosmetic changes) sold by Sears.
A video game console; extremely unlike the 2600. Somewhat quirky in some areas. I find the use of the television video lead also to carry power to the unit to be quite odd.
A Magnavox video game console. It has two hard-wired joysticks and an alphanumeric membrane keyboard. Its CPU is an Intel 8048 microcontroller.
The Computer History Association of California has the largest collection of links to other computer (as well as calculator) collections I have ever seen!
Watch this space for more info, pics, etc. :)
Last updated: 21 February Y2K
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