23 Years of Computer Geekery in One Place


We’ve written several pieces about computer technology of the 80s and early 90s before and clearly struck a nostalgic chord with many readers of a certain age (and those with a historical curiosity.) With that in mind, we’ve found a site that you are sure to love.

The Obsolete Technology Website at oldcomputers.net includes a comprehensive timeline of machines from 1970 through 1993. Sadly not every listing has an accompanying article, though fortunately a quick online search proves there was indeed a Wang 2200.

Among the more notable machines listed include the IMSAI 8080, which you may recognize from War Games. It’s almost a little disappointing to learn that David Lightman was using a seven-year-old computer!

There’s also the VideoBrain Family Computer which, while not a games console, did allow users to load programs from commercially sold cartridges, surely the inspiration for the BBC’s Chockablock.

Then there’s the Apple Lisa, billed as the first successful commercial computer to use a graphical user interface, and all for just $9,995. There’s the Tomy Tutor, surely an attempt to capitalize on the well-established “but mum, it will help with my homework” market. And don’t forget the Atari Stacy, an incredible chunky “laptop” that weighed in at 15 pounds.

The site also includes an entertaining collection of advertisements for old computers, including the QDP-300 that gives peace of mind with its optional 15MB hard drive and a switchable voltage supply so you can use it on trans-continental trips. And there’s a great list of 25 facts including the fact that the Apple II was available in black, albeit only through a schools licensing program.

(Picture credit: Obsolete Technology Website)

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10 Responses to 23 Years of Computer Geekery in One Place

  1. …and there's the Atari STBook – the MacBook Air of the early 90's.  They also had a tablet in the works at the time…too bad they refocused on the Jaguar.  If they hadn't, perhaps we'd have a more open commercial alternative to Apple (note Linux is awesome, but not as commercial…and Windows is commercial, but not ideal).

  2. …and there’s the Atari STBook – the MacBook Air of the early 90’s.  They also had a tablet in the works at the time…too bad they refocused on the Jaguar.  If they hadn’t, perhaps we’d have a more open commercial alternative to Apple (note Linux is awesome, but not as commercial…and Windows is commercial, but not ideal).