Old electronics mags are a great source of computer info

Anything to do with New Zealand Classic or Vintage Computing not covered in the other forums

Old electronics mags are a great source of computer info

Postby YetiSeti on Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:21 pm

It's taking a good number of months, but I'm in the process of documenting my collection. Amongst all the old personal computer magazines are a bunch of Electronics Australia and Electronics Today International (ETI) magazines from the mid seventies to mid eighties. I have been thumbing through them and found them to be a treasure trove of info on computers.

For these types of magazines I am recording cover words and table of contents entries relating to computing, and also pages computer ads. The process is slowing down somewhat because the ETI mags are full of computer ads.

This afternoon I got to an ad for a CompuColor II and I realised that a keyboard (well, parts, it's missing quite a few keys) I pulled out from under the family house last year happens to be the one from our old CompuColor! Sadly no actual computer/monitor will be found to go with it.

If anyone is after any old or obscure computer info that might not be googleable, I can can have a look. Some of the ads are interesting and there are computer reviews for ones as they came out. PM me and I can send you a link (my software list and half the book collection are in there too), otherwise, it's possible, just possible, to find the doc hidden away in a devilishly hard to find place on the interweb, hidden behind layers of 8-bit encryption, firewalls, ciphers and linux systems, further obfuscated by bad site design and poor grammar.
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Re: Old electronics mags are a great source of computer info

Postby tezza on Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:40 pm

Compucolor. Now there is a blast from the past. This machine is on my wanted list. I remember seeing one back in 1979/80 in the Massey University Psychology department. The first colour computer I'd ever seen.

Clinton, did these Compucolor machines have 8 inch drives? I have a vague memory that the disks seemed huge.
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Re: Old electronics mags are a great source of computer info

Postby YetiSeti on Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:54 pm

Clinton, did these Compucolor machines have 8 inch drives? I have a vague memory that the disks seemed huge.

No, it was just a 5.25 in the small 12-14" screen. I still have two originals orphan disks for it - Star Trek, and a demo disk.

Curse that Amiga, then 386. They were the cause of all the old computers falling out of use.

Dad always turned up the obscure computers and consoles, but with limited software(games) libraries they were never to compete with the Speccy, CPC, OR C64. I do remember the CompuColor didn't get a lot of use. It's quite interesting to think that the computers that are very rare now were probably quite rare back then also. So many choices other than just PC or Mac.
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Re: Old electronics mags are a great source of computer info

Postby tezza on Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:51 am

Yes, lots of choice alright.

Just for fun a few months ago I decided to skim through every issue of the weekly US mag Infoworld (held on Goggle Books). The sheer variety of makes and models (as seen in the ads) from 1977 - 1983 was amazing! All sorts of weird and wonderful machines. Most from tiny companies which flashed briefly never to be seen again.
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Re: Old electronics mags are a great source of computer info

Postby andyg on Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:10 am

Sorry to dredge up an old thread.

I recall in the early 80's a workmate at DSIR PEL had a compucolor, and I used to hang out with him when he would visit the some guys in Wellington who had a stack of them, I think they might have been importing them. Unfortunately the memory is a bit fuzzy.
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Re: Old electronics mags are a great source of computer info

Postby takintosh on Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:14 am

I guess it makes sense because what can help you learn about old computers? Well . . . old computer magazines :) The issue is finding them. I've heard people having luck with them on eBay and even craigslist but you definitely need to dig deeper.
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Re: Old electronics mags are a great source of computer info

Postby tezza on Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:23 pm

A few of them are archived online. I've thrown a few issues of New Zealand Bits and Bytes on the web here:
http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/bit ... /index.htm
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Re: Old electronics mags are a great source of computer info

Postby SpidersWeb on Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:12 pm

Also surprisingly they don't seem to sell well. I guess it's a different era, but I picked up almost every edition of NZ PC World for $1.
Honestly I felt bad when I handed over the dollar, he was just like "oh keep it" lol
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