expansion differences (was Re: Micro$oft Biz'droid Lusers)

From: Ben Franchuk <bfranchuk_at_jetnet.ab.ca>
Date: Fri Apr 26 11:54:57 2002

Richard Erlacher wrote:

> The Apple][ didn't really need a lot of plugging. It was designed to be a
> computer, though its predecessor, the Apple I had signal names on its
> schematic that clearly indicated it was intended as a video device more than
> as a general purpose computer. That was probably reasonable since everything
> had to be slaved to the video refresh timing. The TRS-80 was in the stores
> nearly a year before the expansion interface, disk drives, and OS were
> available. I don't know what the story on the PET was, as there were no
> outlets for them here in the Denver area that kept 'em in stock. They
> certainly didn't have an OS or anything of the sort until well after their
> market window in the U.S. had closed. AFAIK, their successes were mainly in
> the European market. I remember seeing their ads in mags brought back from
> Europe, but in the entire time I was looking ad commercial systems, the only
> PET I ever saw, in private hands or in the hands of a merchant, was the
> original 4K PET with the toy (Chiclet?) keyboard. The C64 doesn't fit in the
> same generation with these early machines.

Well Cassette I/O and TV video out and a cheap keyboard with BASIC
is what I call a 'Toy/Games' computer. Any computer with less than 48k
memory I consider a control computer from that era of computing.
Note the price of game consoles have stayed about the same $299-$399
and real computers $899-$1299. (Canadian)

> The serial printers of the time seemed to work fine at low baud rates since
> they were most often the daisywheel types. Those cost WAY more than a person
> wishing to save money on a $399 CoCo would have wanted to pay.
The only printers for the coco really was the RS ones and really crappy
at that too!

> It IS the most important part of the computer, since it's what you saw. The
> user interface seems, still, to be the primary issue in deciding on one system
> over another for home use. It's like the speakers in your sound system. I
> normally tell people to spend at least half their home stereo budget on
> speakers, half the remainder on their receiver/amplifier, and the remainder on
> signal sources.

What no $$$ for the tubes ???
Good way to buy a sound system.

> True, not to mention that, back then, (1980) they were the only computer maker
> with a world-wide retail/service/distribution network.
Often the only store that sold computerrs in a small town!

> That's something I wasn't aware of, though I still maintain that RS really
> didn't intend for it to be used for 3rd party hardware. They certainly didn't
> provide paths, in general, by means of which one could expand a system beyond
> their own designs, which other mfg.'s often (possibly unintentionally) did.
That is true of 99% of all the computer systems. With the PC it really
only took
off once the clones came in. In hindsight nobody other than OS/9 systems
produced a good computer system in the 1980's.

Ben Franchuk - Dawn * 12/24 bit cpu *
Received on Fri Apr 26 2002 - 11:54:57 BST

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