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©Copyright 2011-2015 Eric Wrobbel



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Collecting vintage computers: Sony tried. You've got to give them credit for that. IBM chose a bland putty-beige for their first personal computer in 1981 and most others fell into lockstep with that, even Apple. But Sony dared to be different in 1984 when they released their stunning red HB-101 Hit Bit. Here's the box it came in. From 'Small Computers' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/computers.htm Collecting vintage computers: Sony tried. You've got to give them credit for that. IBM chose a bland putty-beige for their first personal computer in 1981 and most others fell into lockstep with that, even Apple. But Sony dared to be different in 1984 when they released their stunning red HB-101 Hit Bit. From 'Small Computers' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/computers.htm Collecting vintage computers: The 9-inch screen black & white Apple Macintosh shown at left looks like the first Mac from 1984 but this hot rod, the SE model from 1986, had 1 MB RAM and two floppy drives. The Macintosh Portable at right was $6,500 in 1989! It weighs over 16 pounds! 10-in screen. This is the first laptop Mac, predating the PowerBook. From 'Small Computers' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/computers.htm Collecting vintage computers: Radio Shack's 1980 TRS-80 (Japan) pocket computer with 'Printer Cassette Interface.' The computer itself measures just 6-7/8 by 2-3/4 by 5/8 inches. The printer writes to paper tape only 1-3/4 inches wide, like a calculator. From 'Small Computers' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/computers.htm Vintage computers: Timex Sinclair 2068 Personal Color Computer made in Korea. The black one is the Timex Sinclair 1000, made in Portugal. Yes, Portugal. The white Sinclair ZX80 from England (1980) was offered as a kit. These last two have 'membrane' keyboards, the same sort of annoying imitation push-buttons they put on your microwave oven. How could anyone type on that? From the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/computers.htm
The Family Computer by Nintendo (1983, this example 1988) occupied that overlapping gray area between computers and video games. Plans for an added keyboard, cassette data storage, and computer software cartridges were eventually scrapped in favor of gaming. We now know The Family Computer as the Nintendo Entertainment System. From 'Small Computers' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/computers.htm The boxes some early vintage computers came in: Sony HB-101 'Hit Bit,' Timex Sinclair 1000, made in Portugal (yes, Portugal), and the Timex Sinclair '2068 Personal Color Computer' made in Korea by Timex Computer Corporation. From 'Small Computers' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/computers.htm In the 1990s we entered the all-computers-have-to-be-black phase. One standout was this Hewlett-Packard OmniBook 300. It had a little mouse that came out the side on a tether. At its introduction in 1993, according to HP, this was the smallest and lightest PC on the market to feature a full-size keyboard and full VGA (9-inch monochrome) screen. From 'Small Computers' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/computers.htm

Sony tried. You’ve got to give them credit for that. IBM chose a bland putty-beige for their first personal computer in 1981 and most others fell into lockstep with that, even Apple. But Sony dared to be different in 1984 when they released their stunning red HB-101 Hit Bit.

The public, of course, armed with their so-called ‘good taste’ soundly rejected it. There is an aversion to color in our modern world that has grown to something like a phobia. In Los Angeles today, 83% of cars sold are monochromatic— some shade of white, silver-gray, or black. Check out a parking lot near you. Color is only for children, or so the drab would have us believe.

The 9-inch screen black & white Apple Macintosh shown at left looks like the very first Macintosh from 1984, but this hot rod, the SE model from 1986, came with 1 MB of RAM and two floppy drives.

Radio Shack’s 1980 TRS-80 (Japan) pocket computer with “Printer Cassette Interface” is shown above. The computer itself measures just 6-7/8 by 2-3/4 by 5/8 inches. The printer writes to paper tape only 1-3/4 inches wide, like a calculator.

The Apple Macintosh Portable at right sold new in 1989 for $6,500! It weighs over 16 pounds, mostly because it has a lead-acid battery (like your car!). Screen size is 10" diagonal. This is the first laptop Macintosh, predating the PowerBook.

Above left in silver is the Timex Sinclair “2068 Personal Color Computer” made in Korea by Timex Computer Corporation. The black one below it is the Timex Sinclair 1000, made in Portugal. Yes, Portugal. The white Sinclair ZX80 from England (1980) was offered as a kit. These last two employ so-called membrane keyboards, the same sort of annoying imitation push-buttons they put on your microwave oven to save money. How anyone could type on that is beyond me.

As we entered the all-computers-have-to-be-black phase, one standout is this Hewlett-Packard OmniBook 300. It has a little mouse that comes out the side on a tether. At the time of its introduction in 1993, according to HP, this was the smallest and lightest PC on the market to feature a full-size keyboard and full VGA (9-inch monochrome) screen.

The Family Computer by Nintendo (1983, this example 1988) occupied that overlapping gray area between computers and video games. Plans for an added keyboard, cassette data storage, and computer software cartridges were eventually scrapped in favor of gaming. We now know The Family Computer as the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Where’s the video display? As with the Timex Sinclairs and many other early computers, for video they had to be connected to a television set.