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Vintage Computing Rocks...

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:31 am
by plaing
Hi All,

My names Pete, now that I've arranged to give away my remaining NZ collection to people who will appreciate it, time for an introduction.

Wish I had thought of this sooner, had a 286, Wang PC's, 486 DX/4-100 VLB and modems etc. Ended up lugging some of that stuff back to the States and giving away the PC's.

My collection in the states consists of:
Atari 800
Atari 600 XL
Atari 130 XE
Atari 520 ST
OSI C1P (first home computer) before that I used to do the same as many here - ride my bike to electronics stores like dick smiths and oogle the insanely expensive Atari's, write code on spectrums etc, and oogling Arcade Game graphics like Galaxian :-)

Being the mischievous kid I was, I used to write programs on the spectrum along the lines of :

10 pause 500
20 for i=0 to 255
30 tone i,1
40 next i
50 ink, paper blah blah (flashing screen)
60 goto 20

Then wander off and surreptitiously wait for the timer to count down and watch the sales guys come running in a mad panic. It was even better if there was more than one machine :-)

We got the OSI about 1981, Dad was a radio ham so RFI was important to him. It had 8 K of RAM, and a casette deck. We built a data separator and disk interface for it, added 24K more ram, stuck OS 65D on it, and I dad got an old Leir Siegler ADM-1 (Not 3!) terminal I had hooked to it, along with a big LA-36 Decwriter II. On the OSI you could redirect all the I/O over serial, so I used to program that thing for hours.

The OSI stuff was really cool - I they had machines that boggled the mind compared to typical NZ PC's like Spectrums. I used to read the adverts for the big systems with 74 MB HDD's (in the late 70's/early 80's)...

After the OSI I got a couple of Hitachi Peach MB 6890's 6809 based boxes with dual floppies. They were awesome machines but did terribly in the market. I also picked up my first Atari, the 800XL and eventually an 810 disk drive to finally get to play with decent graphics.

Then I joined the dark-side for studying software engineering at CIT and got a 286-16. I still remember recoding my 3D Black hole code I'd written and tweaked for max speed on the atari in Turbo Pascal on the 286 with SVGA. It could draw the entire plot (without an FPU) in about 2 seconds at 800x600x256 colors.

My friends had Amiga 500's and I really wanted one of those. I always thought the Atari ST was kinda crappy, and anyone who ever coded on the Atari 8 bits could totally see the Amiga was the successor philosophically - but I went the PC route.

Nowadays I spend my time as a systems architect for an online advertising company in NYC - figuring out how to process many terabytes of data efficiently.

If anyone has any questions about OSI stuff or Atari stuff, or even Hitachi Peaches I can still remember a fair bit so feel free to PM me.

Re: Vintage Computing Rocks...

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:56 am
by tezza
Great intro. Pete,

Just on the Atari 800XL, over the past few months I've been making short videos of the machines in my collection. By coincidence I'm just finishing off an Atari 800XL one now, which will probably go up towards the end of the week. (-: I never played with an 800XL until 2008 or so, but when I did I was impressed with the ease of use and the overall design for the time.

Of course, what I really want though is the original Atari 800 :)

Just on the Hatachi Peach. I've never seen one but I do remember it from Micro-80. This was an Aussie magazine that supported the TRS-80/System 80. As those systems fell away in popularity they diversified by supporting one or two other machines. One of these was the Peach. Probably a bad decision commercially in hindsight, but I always wondered what the machines were like. They are Uber-rare now I'm sure

I'm looking forward to working through the OSI stuff and getting that 4P going :D. Many thanks for donating it, and gear to other members here.