Famous & infamous computers of the 70's & 80's.

From: Hans Franke <Hans.Franke_at_mch20.sbs.de>
Date: Tue Dec 28 07:19:28 1999

> >> Computer with the best keyboard: (tie) Commodore 64(C), & TRS-80 Model 12.

> Sorry, can't agree there either - I've logged lotsa hours on both a C64 and
> my Tandy 200... my T200 whups it wholeheartedly. And my original IBM
> 101-key keyboards (found at a college "garage sale") are fantastic, and
> heavy enough to defend a small country with them! ;-)

If you like the big thingys, the old PC (not AT) Keyboard was quite
ok (I'm using some still today on Pentium class machines :), but the
best of all times on a PC/ desktop machine is still the Siemens PC-D
keyboard - same low profile design as the (now old) 97xx terminals,
and durable for centuries. Second award goes for the Xerox - I'm
still a big follower of the idea of special desktop keys.

> >> Computer with the coolest pitchman: William Shatner. (VIC-20)
> >Even though I hate IBM I thought the chaplinesque hobo was nice.
> Actually, re: Shatner's attitude, I'd rate him rather lower on the graph
> than others have... (IMHO, of course)

No opinion on this - Marketing over here was almost never done
via public faces.

> >> Computer with the coolest case design: TI-99/4A. (The case reminds me of a
> >> Delorean. Remember those?)
> >I liked the Atari 800, pop open expansion bay, four joystick ports (in the
> >front no less!)

The Atati is functional, but a good design ? I still think the most
inovative and most beautifull designs of home machines have been
made around the MSX systems. From strictly functional thingys like
some Phillips, over state of the art designs like Sony up to timeless
classics like the Yashica YC-64 (in my mind the most beautifull
homecomputer ever (Mine has been stolen last year :( )

> >Here are some more:
> >Most imfamous sales life: Mattell Aquarius and Coleco Adam.
> >Most famous Sales life: Commodore 64(c) estimated 17 million sold for one
> >model.
> Not to belittle the C64, but how about the Tandy CoCo1-2-3 series... Sold
> from 1979 to 1992 - 13 years active selling for an 8-bitter.

And not to forget the Atari 400/800/XL/XE series for almost the same
timeframe. But if we restrict this for a single modell - no changes,
the original 64 (no c, G or whatever) may win.
BTW: also the Apple ][ might earn some share here ...

> >Least Innovative initial release: IBM PC (only really new features were the
> >price tag and the logo)

Least innovative ? I'd still go for the C64 in this class. After the
V(I)C-20 a clear step back.

> >Most infamous bug-box: TRS-80 (earned the nickname Trash-80 for all the
> >service work needed)

> Erm... *which* TRS-80. There were *dozens* of different models...

I guess he is going for the Model One.

> Computer with the worst system architecture: TI-99/4A
> (doubly interpreted BASIC? c'mon TI!)

System architecture ? Hardware or System related Software ?
If it is about the system hardware, I go for the Apple ][
(Don't get me wrong, I'm still some kind of Apple maniac,
just Woz did pull it over the line to save some gates when
he did turn down continous screen memory in favour for some
saved gates). The TI was a quite good hardware.
In case of system related software I still think the IBM BIOS
is rules the field. And the C64 goes second here.

> Computer with the slowest disk drive: Commodore 64(C).

Do the Sinclair Microdrives count in here ? :)

> Heaviest laptop computer: Apple Macintosh Portable.

There have been several heavyer and lesser usable products
than the Mac Portable. It was a complete and not a reduced
system - no smaller keyboard etc. And as the namy may imply,
it was ment as a portable, so going in a class with the huge
Compaqs, and not necersary as a laptop.

But Apple may bet a worst in class for the //c - the mounted
handle is maybe the only sign of portability. If one needs at
least one big cardbox (or 5 hands) to carry all the needed
pices around, and 5 minutes (and a minimum of two plugs) to
set it up, it's not portable at all.

> Computer with the best sound hardware: (tie) TI-99/4A & Commodore 64(C).

Come on, I'm not an Amiga follower, but this one is superior.
But most systems could compete with an C64 - even all the
MSXes could hold up.

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Received on Tue Dec 28 1999 - 07:19:28 GMT

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