The Wonder Computer of the 1980's!


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Oh how far we’ve come in only 30ish years…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK9VU1aJvTI&NR=1&feature=endscreen



  • Wow.


  • '12

    That was my first computer!  Under 300 my ass!  First one we got was 400 plus 100 for a cassette drive.  In 1981, that was some serious dough.  It was an early production unit and the sound and video was terrible, poorly shielded RF cables.  We exchanged it for a different unit at a different store, $399.99 for both the computer and drive.

    3, 583 bytes free if I remember correctly.  Almost all computers have more than 3, 583 megabytes > a million times improvement.

    The CPU was a 8 bit 6502 running at 1 megahertz.  No multiply or divide on the chip and most machine code operations took 4-5 cycles so you would get about 200, 000 8 bit operations per second and would be lucky to do 2000 complex integer 32 bit multiplies and 64 floating point operations per second?  Well you code write a program to accomplish it and it would probably do a few per second compared to giga flops now available on a graphics card.

    One thing about the ad was true.  Since there were no games at the time available and exchanging pirate software was done with the sneaker net you really did have to learn to write your own games.  I was a paid published author of a computer program by the time I was 14.  I think I made just enough money all told to get an electric trolling motor for the family canoe!


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    That was excellent. Thank you Garg.
    My dad bought us the BBCb as our first PC(with my mum’s credit card).
    I thought £400 was so much money!
    My brother played on it all the time, hence he can type and I am a retard typist.
    I was happy with my books and coin collection.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Do you guys remember text based gaming? Back in the BBS (Bulletin Board System) days? Pre-internet?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    I cannot remember yesterday!



  • @Gargantua:

    Do you guys remember text based gaming? Back in the BBS (Bulletin Board System) days? Pre-internet?

    I played ZORK!!!

    uh, BBS was over the Internet…  Or do you mean ‘world wide web (WWW)’?


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    BBS was pre internet…  you would manual dial your computer in to other computers.  If anything, BBS became the internet after connections became worldwide and permanent.



  • @Gargantua:

    BBS was pre internet…  you would manual dial your computer in to other computers.  If anything, BBS became the internet after connections became worldwide and permanent.

    Thought you were talking about BBS on AOL in the late 80’s early 90’s.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    “This is divine inspiration, folks. It’s the best part of each one of us that anything is possible. Things like a computer that can fit into a single room and hold millions of pieces of information.”

    –Jim Lovell, Apollo 13


  • '12

    Garg, I remember using BBs services.  I thought my 300 baud modem was the cat’s azz!

    BJCard, point to point connections on the BBS were way way before the internet and TCP/IP protocols were used.  You could used packet forwarding services using a BBS system but it did not use TCP/IP so was not interent.  Internet and TCP/IP are pretty much one and the same and did not hit mainstream until late 80s.  I mean the first web browser did not exist in the early 90s and the WWW standard is about circa 1990 ish.

    I can remember my dad bringing home a PDP-8 from Inco to program.  32K of non-volatile magnetic core memory and that only cost the plant $50, 000.  Not for the computer but for the memory cabinet!


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    BBs on my 14400 is where file sharing began!



  • @MrMalachiCrunch:

    Garg, I remember using BBs services.  I thought my 300 baud modem was the cat’s azz!

    BJCard, point to point connections on the BBS were way way before the internet and TCP/IP protocols were used.  You could used packet forwarding services using a BBS system but it did not use TCP/IP so was not interent.  Internet and TCP/IP are pretty much one and the same and did not hit mainstream until late 80s.  I mean the first web browser did not exist in the early 90s and the WWW standard is about circa 1990 ish.

    I can remember my dad bringing home a PDP-8 from Inco to program.  32K of non-volatile magnetic core memory and that only cost the plant $50, 000.  Not for the computer but for the memory cabinet!

    I get ya- I remember using AOL in the early 90’s and we couldn’t get on the World Wide Web yet- just on AOL, which had chat rooms and BBS’s.  I had a 14400 baud modem.  BLAZING speed!


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    14.4 Baud AOL…. total crap.



  • @Imperious:

    14.4 Baud AOL…. total crap.

    Fact.  No disagreement here.



  • Yea, I remember those days too.  The best game out there was a text based Star Trek game called Space Wars because of possible copyright infringement.  It took about one minute to make a single move or fire a torpeedo.  If you warped into a sector with more than two Klingon ships, you’d better use phasers and knock them out in a single salvo or you may not get a second chance.

    When I went off to collage I got my first taste of computer-to-computer stuff with a 1200 Baud modem connection on a teletype machine.

    A few years later I bought my first PC with a 386SX processor (16MHz), 1 Meg of RAM and a 56k baud modem.  I thought I was in heaven compared to the 2MHz machines I was running a year earlier.  I remember that machine cost me over $1000, & I wouldn’t need to spend more than that now for a contemporary machine.  Heck, I wonder how powerful my cell phone is?


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Is that the one where E is Enterprise and K for Klingon?… on a grid?

    I remember you had to rearm and refuel at the starbase.


  • 2017 2016 2015 '12

    and every two turns or so another 10 Klingon ships came into play, lol. Great game, with all those long and short range sensor scans, but I think I never won 🙂

    I think I played Ancient Art of War more. And Nethack, now that was, and still is, great.



  • @Gargantua:

    Do you guys remember text based gaming? Back in the BBS (Bulletin Board System) days? Pre-internet?

    Here’s a Classic:

    Hunt the Wompus!

    http://jayisgames.com/archives/2006/08/hunt_the_wumpus.php



  • @dinosaur:

    Yea, I remember those days too.  The best game out there was a text based Star Trek game called Space Wars because of possible copyright infringement.  It took about one minute to make a single move or fire a torpeedo.  If you warped into a sector with more than two Klingon ships, you’d better use phasers and knock them out in a single salvo or you may not get a second chance.

    We had that game on our high school PDP-8 computer.  The key was to do a scan of the entire universe so you knew where the klingon’s were.  We had a grid made the represented that universive size, and could determine the number of units to warp to each occupied space.  Also used photon torpedos to pick off individual klingon ships instead of phasers that used lots of power.

    I believe we did clear the galaxy once, but it was a lot of work to do so!


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