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Were there any other Computers like the Tandy 1000 EX/HX?


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#1 Compumater OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:36 PM

   I was looking to get an older PC/XT clone or if it was the right machine, something all the way up to a P1 233mhz.

 

 I started off looking at the Tandy EX a sort of all in one with built in keyboard and floppy and that got me thinking...

 

 

  Were there any other manufacturers that made a similar product?  I'd love something in the 286-486 range that is compact and includes the same and feel of the 1000 HX,  but also features a hard drive and at least 1 or better yet 2 isa card slots.

 

 I could swear at some point in my life I saw a Compaq all in one that included a monitor, but I'll be danged if I can find any info on it.

 

 

  So ????



#2 JamesD ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:48 PM

Other than Amigas and Atari STs, it wasn't that popular of a case style for some reason.  Not professional looking I suppose.

I know I've seen a couple other PCs like that besides Tandys, but I can only remember one of them.
The Sinclair PC200

I don't think any of them had above an 8086 cpu.
 



#3 mr_me ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:35 PM

Compaq was making portable computers from the beginning. The earliest ones had CRTs then gas plasma displays. Maybe you'd like the Toshiba T3200 portable, with a gas plasma display, 80286, hard disk drive, two isa slots.

#4 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:52 AM

The Schneider Euro PC, maybe?



#5 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:34 AM

Some of those already mentioned:

 

Sinclair PC-200 (black), also sold as Amstrad PC-20 (white) minus the RF connector IIRC

Amstrad PPC 512 and PPC 640, although those are more like portables than all-in-ones

Schneider Euro PC, also sold as Dual Data in France

Olivetti PC-1 Prodest, not sure if it was sold under a different name

(VTech) Laser Compact XT

 

Note that while Amstrad's 8-bit CPC range also was sold by Schneider under their own name, apparenty Schneider decided to make their own PC compatibles instead of carrying on with the Amstrad models.

 

There may have been others, but combined with the Tandy models you're already aware of, that is at least 5-6 individually different all-in-one PCs from the same era, not counting those Compaqs that rather combine computer + monitor in one (like a Macintosh) than combining computer + keyboard in one. Of course if you combine all three you get a portable or a laptop computer but that is a different type of computer.

 

All tend to be 8088 compatibles, sometimes up to NEC V40. The lack of easily accessible expansion options and the potential customer base likely didn't make it worthwhile to carry on with the form factor in the era of 286 and in particular 386 systems. Although Atari kept the form factor until the Falcon 030 and Commodore released the Amiga 1200 in that form factor, I think the PC world had moved to desktops, towers and laptops instead of all-in-ones.


Edited by carlsson, Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:38 AM.


#6 JamesD ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:10 PM

The store I worked for sold the Amstrad PPCs.  Neat computer but the screen was difficult to read.
I can't say I'd recommend it for just that reason.  For that matter, I couldn't recommend any of the early systems with built in LCD displays.

I think there's one more system in the Tandy EX style, but I can't remember who made it.  I just have an image of it in my mind.
Maybe I'm just thinking of the Acorn Archimedes which is ARM based.

The all in one Compaqs Presarios with built in color monitors are kinda neat, but they take up a lot of space.
 



#7 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:18 PM

There is at least one all-in-one that takes 5.25" disks. Is that one of the Tandys, or perhaps the Laser? It was present in some floppy disk advertisement.

 

Edit: It seems both Tandy 1000EX and Laser Compact XT take 5.25" disks. I wonder if there is yet one more brand built in that way. The others are 3.5" based as far as I know.


Edited by carlsson, Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:20 PM.


#8 JamesD ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:40 PM

There is at least one all-in-one that takes 5.25" disks. Is that one of the Tandys, or perhaps the Laser? It was present in some floppy disk advertisement.

 

Edit: It seems both Tandy 1000EX and Laser Compact XT take 5.25" disks. I wonder if there is yet one more brand built in that way. The others are 3.5" based as far as I know.

Yeah, I was thinking the other system had a 5 1/4" drive when I first pictured it, but after looking at photos... I can't be sure.

The Franklin Ace 500 (Apple II clone) was the same style btw, but I don't think that's what I'm remembering.
 



#9 davidcalgary29 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:51 PM

X500 case for a project?

 

https://www.kickstar...e?ref=discovery



#10 R.Cade OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:03 PM

They make new ones like this- generally low-power Bay Trail (at the moment) with 2G RAM.  All over eBay for $100-120.

 

They are not fast enough to be satisfyingly useful...


Edited by R.Cade, Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:04 PM.

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#11 zzip ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:31 AM

   I was looking to get an older PC/XT clone or if it was the right machine, something all the way up to a P1 233mhz.

 

 I started off looking at the Tandy EX a sort of all in one with built in keyboard and floppy and that got me thinking...

 

 

  Were there any other manufacturers that made a similar product?  I'd love something in the 286-486 range that is compact and includes the same and feel of the 1000 HX,  but also features a hard drive and at least 1 or better yet 2 isa card slots.

 

 I could swear at some point in my life I saw a Compaq all in one that included a monitor, but I'll be danged if I can find any info on it.

 

 

  So ????

 

My friend had a Tandy EX BITD, compatibility sucked. 



#12 R.Cade OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:40 AM

I have seen a 286-based all-in-one with the keyboard and drive like this in the last couple of years. Someone brought one to an AHCS meeting in Atlanta. I don't recall what brand it was... it was likely some kind of point-of-sale PC.



#13 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:17 PM

It would be very interesting to know which brand it was, or perhaps someone had managed to upgrade an XT class board to take a 286 or better? It is a little difficult to use Google and find relevant hits beyond that models already discussed in the thread. I browsed Old-Computers.com which has a number of models listed, but even that site failed to mention any more computers.

 

For that matter, Atari did a series of PCs, but none of them seem to have been an all-in-one like the ST series.



#14 JamesD ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:50 PM

It would be very interesting to know which brand it was, or perhaps someone had managed to upgrade an XT class board to take a 286 or better? It is a little difficult to use Google and find relevant hits beyond that models already discussed in the thread. I browsed Old-Computers.com which has a number of models listed, but even that site failed to mention any more computers.

 

For that matter, Atari did a series of PCs, but none of them seem to have been an all-in-one like the ST series.

The first place I checked was old computers.  I looked at a long list of DOS machines, but none that aren't already listed here.
I also checked several other sites to no avail.



#15 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:07 AM

It occurs to me that the design and manufacturing costs would be reasonably high for an all-in-one so the most extreme noname companies probably wouldn't bother and instead put out desktop boxes that required much less work and might apply to larger customer groups. I don't know the early PC market well enough, but I get the feeling as CPUs became faster, people also expected to get more expansion options in extra RAM, video cards, hard drive controllers, sound cards, various ports and so on. That range of expansions tends to rule out the all-in-ones unless they're built in order to accept standard ISA cards, at least a few slots. I don't know if the Tandy 1000 EX/HX were tall enough to take such cards, most of the other ones I've seen in real life require you to partly disassemble the computer in order to put in a regular sized expansion card if it even has a proper ISA bus. For instance the Olivetti has a side expansion bus that doesn't quite carry all the signals of the ISA so while you could have a sidecar connected to it, only some cards would work. I think the Amstrad/Sinclair and Schneiders had similar issues with this. Simply put, it was meant as an entry level machine or something you could bring around, not a power house.

 

Sure a manufacturer could design the motherboard to have onboard SIMM slots, VGA out, some kind of sound, perhaps even a MFM/RLL/IDE interface (or the 26-pin one used on early portables) without the computer getting too expensive and incompetitive, but I haven't really seen one of those from that era. Even the modern computers as pointed to in this thread tend to be low spec systems for HTPC use rather than high spec laptops minus the screen, as the latter would be too expensive to be possible to sell. 


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#16 mr_me ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:48 AM

The early PC market was the IBM OEMs selling parts to clone/system makers. And that meant IBM specs and a separate keyboard. There was a market for portable computers (some designs were all in one) but they were more expensive and had fewer and smaller expansion slots and bays. Back then everything needed a slot including serial and parallel ports, hdd/fdd controllers. Peripherals often came with their own card and sometimes they were full length expansion cards, those were huge.

#17 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:54 AM

Several people on the Vintage Computer Federation forum have been mentioning the HIDE-16 which was a 286 design, possibly related to the EarthStation 1.

 

http://www.vcfed.org...r-(interesting)

 

The eBay listing from June 2014 is still there, but it seems all the auction photos are lost.

 

For those of you who have a login to that forum can witness the photos of the EarthStation 1 uploaded by Codeman. However that one looks to be a diskless thin client rather than a full fledge all-in-one computer, as it requires a Novell or similar network to boot from. I didn't think about thin clients but depending on what you require in a computer to make it a computer (most of the 8-bits we otherwise discuss on this forum are diskless too unless you plug in a 810, 1050, 1541, Disk ][ etc), I suppose those should count.



#18 JamesD ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:05 AM

Several people on the Vintage Computer Federation forum have been mentioning the HIDE-16 which was a 286 design, possibly related to the EarthStation 1.

 

http://www.vcfed.org...r-(interesting)

 

...

I checked out the link.  They also bring up the Headstart Explorer which I'd forgotten about.
It was actually an interesting "portable" design.
But it's only an XT and it seems to me Headstart machines weren't that great.
 



#19 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:57 AM

Yes, the Headstart Explorer has yet another form factor with its keyboard that can be folded into the case. More like a portable minus the screen, than an Amiga type design.

http://www.obsoletec...um.org/explode/

 

We're quickly collecting a number of designs that all are different but with some common factors, mainly having CPU and keyboard in the same unit. As the OP would even consider discussing those Compaqs that combine CPU and drives with the monitor, but have a separate keyboard unit, I suppose anything that isn't a portable/laptop but has at least two of the components keyboard, CPU and monitor combined are valid to bring up here.

 

While this is a traditional desktop system from Vendex Headstart, it has an interesting array of users:


Edited by carlsson, Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:01 AM.


#20 JamesD ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:32 PM

Yes, the Headstart Explorer has yet another form factor with its keyboard that can be folded into the case. More like a portable minus the screen, than an Amiga type design.

http://www.obsoletec...um.org/explode/

 

We're quickly collecting a number of designs that all are different but with some common factors, mainly having CPU and keyboard in the same unit. As the OP would even consider discussing those Compaqs that combine CPU and drives with the monitor, but have a separate keyboard unit, I suppose anything that isn't a portable/laptop but has at least two of the components keyboard, CPU and monitor combined are valid to bring up here.

 

While this is a traditional desktop system from Vendex Headstart, it has an interesting array of users:

The actual Explorer ad:

 



#21 digdugnate ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:20 AM

There is at least one all-in-one that takes 5.25" disks. Is that one of the Tandys, or perhaps the Laser? It was present in some floppy disk advertisement.

 

Edit: It seems both Tandy 1000EX and Laser Compact XT take 5.25" disks. I wonder if there is yet one more brand built in that way. The others are 3.5" based as far as I know.

The Tandy 1000EX took 5.25, the HX took 3.5.  

 

My dad had both of these computers when i was in high school- i was always baffled at Tandy's insistence for their really expensive expansion pieces.  It seems that to upgrade the ram you had to buy this crazy expansion board (but my memory is pretty vague on this).



#22 Turbo-Torch ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 1, 2017 12:16 PM

 

My friend had a Tandy EX BITD, compatibility sucked. 

 

With what?  I bought an EX brand new, had thousands of downloads from Rusty n Edies BBS and NEVER a compatibility issue.

Only Tandy line back then that had compatibility issues was the Model 2000.



#23 Turbo-Torch ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 1, 2017 1:11 PM

I remember when Sears had the Franklin line of computers.  I distinctly remember two versions that resembled the EX.  One of course was the Apple version and I can swear there was another that looked nearly identical that was IBM compatible.  I also recall the IBM version being exactly $100 more.  Only real difference was the keyboard layout.

I cannot find this IBM version in a Google search!  Was it something other than a Franklin?  It was one piece with the keyboard and floppy drive, so not the 5000 series.  This was in the mid to late 80s and definitely at Sears.



#24 JamesD ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 1, 2017 2:16 PM

I remember when Sears had the Franklin line of computers.  I distinctly remember two versions that resembled the EX.  One of course was the Apple version and I can swear there was another that looked nearly identical that was IBM compatible.  I also recall the IBM version being exactly $100 more.  Only real difference was the keyboard layout.

I cannot find this IBM version in a Google search!  Was it something other than a Franklin?  It was one piece with the keyboard and floppy drive, so not the 5000 series.  This was in the mid to late 80s and definitely at Sears.

I didn't know they had an IBM compatible.
I thought they ditched the computer market for handheld stuff.



#25 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 1, 2017 3:14 PM

Wikipedia and Old-Computers both refer to PC-6000 and PC-8000 but all three IBM compatibles from Franklin Ace seem to be desktop models in the same form factor as the 5000, not all in ones.

 

What are the odds that Sears would've rebranded one of the other models already mentioned in this thread? Obviously not the Tandy's as you would have recognized that one, but perhaps a rebranded Amstrad or VTech Laser.






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