Computers for hackers/enthusiasts (was Re: [OT] USB KVM switches)

From: Tony Duell <>
Date: Thu Feb 3 19:55:47 2005

> Tom wrote:
> > No one ever built commercial computer gear for the likes of us.
> Ethan wrote:
> > Not as an intended audience... no.
> Wasn't the Apple II "commercial computer gear"? What about the
> original IBM PC? Both were sold commercially, but both were designed
> and documented for people to hack on.

Also, what about machines with so-called 'user ports' (I can think of the
Commodore PET, VIC 20, C64, C128 ; The BBC Micro ; The Tatung Einstein ;
withot even trying. The last 2 of those had ADC ports too). Those were
surely designed for linking to homebrew hardware.

Going back further, the Philips P851/854 minicomputers had a 'prototyping
card' available. It had the basic bus interface logic and address decoder
built on a PCB with a wire-wrap area for your own circuitry. Of course
the bus was fully documented too.

DEC, of course, made wire-wrap cards, interface 'chipkits', etc

For a short time Tandy in the UK sold prototyping boards and housings to
fit the CoCo cartridge slot. I am not sure if those were ever sold in the
States, but I built a few interfaces using them.

Received on Thu Feb 03 2005 - 19:55:47 GMT

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