More books for the library

From: Sam Ismail <>
Date: Fri Feb 6 12:25:05 1998

I added another 37 volumes to my vintage computer library yesterday.

By far the most valuable from a historical standpoint is the book
_Computer Power for the Small Business_ from 1979. It is a buyer's guide
for microcomputers of the mid- to late -0's era. Talk about a treasure.
This book has pictures and decriptions of many computers I've never even
heard of.

It contains information on systems we know much of, such as the Atari's,
Apple, PETs, Radio Shack, etc. But it also has blurbs on systems that
I've not seen mentioned anywhere else (at least not in a way that is
looking back on these systems with a historical perspective) like the RCA
Cosmac VIP, the Sol-20, Exidy Sorcerer, Heathkit H-8 and H-11, Intecolor

The best part is the descriptions of systems I've never knew about before.
Has anyone ever heard of an Outpost computer? Its a fully integrated
package with keyboard, display and 5.25" drive, but its almost three feet
wide, with the two 5.25" drive bays to the side of the display! How about
the PeCos One from APF Electronics. I have a pong machine made by APF but
who would've thought they once made computers? How about The Renaissance
Machine (aka Compucolor II)? There's also mention of the Teal SHC-8000,
which is sort of like a pet with display, keyboard and cassette player in
one unit.

It then has a listing with about 40 different system descriptions,
including CPU, memory, external storage, input (ie. keyboard, lightpen),
output (ie. display, printer) and basic cost. There's also the company
address which is extremely valuable for research.

Here's an interesting tidbit. Apparently Data General made a line of
computers dubbed "The Digital Group". According to this entry in the
table, they were systems based on the Z-80, 8080A, 9080A, 6800 and 6502
processors; they had 2K of main memory; they used cassettes for storage.
Can anyone verify this?

I also got another similar book entitled _The Peter McWilliams Personal
Computer Buying Guide_ circa 1985. I haven't had a chance to go through
it in much detail but it is basically more nice descriptions of early- to
mid-80's computers, again some of which I've never heard of. I'll do a
review later.

In my travels I also picked up a Victor 800 electric adding machine. I
don't collect adding machines and only rare grab them for specific
reasons. In this case, this is the same Victor as the Victor 9000
computer. I knew right away because the 'o' in the "Victor" emblem was
that striped-circle that is telling of a Victor product (plus it had a
Scott's Valley, CA address on the back).

Sam Alternate e-mail:
Computer Historian, Programmer, Musician, Philosopher, Athlete, Writer, Jackass

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Received on Fri Feb 06 1998 - 12:25:05 GMT

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