Switch to full style

Regular user of old computers

Introduce yourself. Tell people why you are interested in vintage computers and what (if anything) you've got.

Regular user of old computers

by AlexC » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:40 pm


I've been using computers since 1980, my first being a Sinclair ZX80. I worked as an IT journalist for many years from the early 90s onwards, so I saw - and bought - some interesting pieces of equipment during that time.

I kept some of those machines, though not all. Then a move from the UK to NZ forced me to sell my old kit, and I've been using only newer machines (2006 onwards) since then.

I still write for a living, and last year I started collecting a few older items of computing, partly for the brain-work involved in restoring them to working, useful configuration (i.e. as I would have used them when I'd owned them) and partly because there's real pleasure in writing on some of these old machines. Different keyboards, different screens, different software can often help with writer's block. I mostly use VDE and WP51 for writing, though I have other tools too.

Currently I have:
a Panasonic Portable Computer (aka Sr Partner) from 1983 (8088, 4.77MHz, 640KB, 10MB, CGA)
a Commodore PC10-III from 1989 (now NEC V20, 10MHz, 640KB, 32MB, Hercules)
a Veridata TL-110 laptop from 1989 (8088, 10MHz, DR-DOS in ROM, CGA LCD)
an AST Premium Exec 386/20 laptop (4MB RAM, apparently dead HDD controller)
a PC Direct 486 DX/33 (12MB, 512MB)
a no-name P166 to bind them all together
a couple of Commodore Amigas
a couple of Acorn Electrons
Various other bits and pieces including Alphasmart writing tools and old typewriters.
And an IBM 486 DX4/100 that I'll probably sell as it's surplus to requirements.

My rule was to only buy machines that I can comfortably write on, which I've broken with the Amigas and Electrons, but they were my favoured gaming machines once upon a time so that's kind of OK...

These machines are used regularly. They aren't museum pieces for me - they're part of my workflow. I look after them (complete strip-down, clean and rebuild for each one) and try to keep them all working perfectly.

It's not always possible, though. As mentioned in the 'Wanted' forum, I'm currently looking for a Hercules/MDA mono amber (or green) monitor, so get in touch if you can help.

Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:00 am

Re: Regular user of old computers

by tezza » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:03 pm

Hi Alex,

Welcome to the forums. Quite a few machines you have there. I see those Panasonic Senior Partners come up from time to time on Trade Me and I'm usually mildly tempted!
Tez (Terry Stewart) (Administrator)
Collection: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/co ... /index.htm
Projects and Articles: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/index.htm
Twitter: @classiccomputNZ | YouTube: Terry Stewart
Trade Me: tezza5
Site Admin
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 pm
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests