Help jog my childhood memory

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Help jog my childhood memory

Postby crb on Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:55 am

There are two computers from my childhood that I'm trying to find information on.

First, was a portable, BASIC driven computer that my father (a technician for Telecom South in Timaru) had in his company car around 1988. All he remembers today is it might have been an NEC? I'm not sure what he ever used it for, but I remember playing with it and its accompanying printer as a child.

I recall it being a flat all-in-one (LCD screen above the keyboard) with perhaps a 40x8-ish character display? The closest possible match I can find is the TRS-80 Model 100, but I have a vague recollection that what I had was bigger - perhaps about the size of two Commodore 64s sitting in front of one another? About the same size as a portable typewriter, and perhaps even with a carry handle.

Maybe someone out there remembers what was on the market (or even better, what Telecom used) around then.

Next up, and with even less information, is a game machine which we had from my earliest childhood (early 1980s) until we sold it in a garage sale in Christchurch in the late 1980s. I recall it being yellow (or maybe just yellowed with age) and having at least a Pong game of some sort, which suggests it might have been one of those multi-sports TV consoles from that era.

I suspect I'd identify either of these from a photo, if anyone might think they know what they are?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Help jog my childhood memory

Postby tezza on Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:47 am

crb wrote:First, was a portable, BASIC driven computer that my father (a technician for Telecom South in Timaru) had in his company car around 1988. All he remembers today is it might have been an NEC? I'm not sure what he ever used it for, but I remember playing with it and its accompanying printer as a child.


I'm wondering if this could be the NEC 8201a. The bottom machine in the photo in the article under the URL? Very similar to the Tandy Model 100, but the NEC model was more common in New Zealand than the former.
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Re: Help jog my childhood memory

Postby crb on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:11 am

Thanks Terry - I had come across your page already in my search. That's my best guess so far, but it doesn't seem 100% familiar. For example, I think it was a dark grey, rather than white or beige.
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Re: Help jog my childhood memory

Postby tezza on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:30 am

Not an Amstrad PPC-512 ? It has a carry handle and is a grey colour?
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Re: Help jog my childhood memory

Postby Gibsaw on Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:51 am

My pick from the description would be the Cambridge Z88.

It meets all the elements you've mentioned, except not being physically large.
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Re: Help jog my childhood memory

Postby crb on Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:56 pm

Gibsaw wrote:It meets all the elements you've mentioned, except not being physically large.


That one seems more likely. I was much smaller then. ;) I can't even remember what I used to use it for. I believe I had a Commodore 64 at the time (if not, we had a VIC-20 before) so I probably was more a tinkerer than a programmer or a game player.

Any guesses on the game console?
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Re: Help jog my childhood memory

Postby ZL2AOX on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:37 am

How about this one?
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Re: Help jog my childhood memory

Postby crb on Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:26 am

ZL2AOX wrote:How about this one?


Wow, that's probably it right there. I'll send it past my Dad and see if he remembers anything. Thanks so much!
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Re: Help jog my childhood memory

Postby crb on Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:02 am

Dads are very talkative...
I don’t think we ever had a Cambridge Z88, but the Trademe one looks like something we had


So, thanks very much for identifying it! I still think the Z88 is the best lead. I'll bug him about it next time I'm in NZ.
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