Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dinosaur Sightings: Computers from the 1970s

During the disco days of the 1970s, personal computers moved out of the electronic hobbyist's garage or basement and into the office, classroom, and family den. This gallery showcases several 1970-era machines from Steven Stengel's vintage computer collection. Steven has graciously allowed us to republish his photos and descriptions. 

You can find a much more detailed description of each machine and additional photos of Steven's collection on his Web site oldcomputers.net.

MSAI 8080
Built by IMS Associates, Inc. of San Leandro, California, the IMSAI 8080 is one of the first consumer computers available.

Following the success of their Heathkit H8 computer from 1977, Heathkit released the Heathkit H89 "all-in-one" computer in late 1979.?

Atari 400
The Atari 400 and 800 were both announced in December 1978, though they didn't actually start shipping until late in 1979.

Atari 800
Designed to look like a friendly typewriter, the Atari 800 is an expandable system with two easily accessible cartridge ports under a front cover, and a removable top with four expansion slots inside.

Texas Instruments TI-99/4
For $1,150 you received the TI-99/4 console and one of the largest computer monitors ever released. The console has polished metal trim, giving it a quality appearance. The monitor is really a 13-inch Zenith color TV modified slightly to look and act like a computer monitor.

Apple II
The Apple II, or Apple ][, became one of the most popular computers ever. Although it is a vast improvement over the Apple I, it contains the same processor and runs at the same speed.?

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