So I finally received my Adam computer from a gentleman in Canada, and it's in really great shape to my utmost relief. I promptly set about expanding it to a more usable configuration by adding a second tape drive and getting my hands on a VDD on Ebay.
First few thoughts:
- It's truly an under-appreciated machine that saw its demise way to prematurely. Yes, it has its quirks, but is really quite usable straight out of the box, at least for general home use and gaming.
- The keyboard is a good size and comfortable, but the keys are ridiculously spongy and unpleasant to type on. Coleco definitely cheapened out on that one...
- The printer is of very decent quality for the times, but the lack of a tractor feed is a major omission in my book, particularly for the programmer. Listing a program to the printer will be an exercise in frustration, although I suppose one could use fanfold paper and hope that the alignment stays true. But for regular correspondence, it fits the bill well.
- The digital data packs seem to work as advertised. A bit on the slow side, but at least better than regular audio tapes. For serious work though, a disk drive is a must. The VDD is a very nifty device by the way and light years better than a regular disk drive.
- RF video output is noisy but usable for games, but definitely not for typing or programming. The composite output is not the best either, and somebody please tell me that the 7-pin DIN aux connector is not just used for audio! That would be idiotic in the extreme as a simple audio plug would have sufficed. I'm going to need to make myself an audio cable and get a composite to VGA adapter. Can't wait for the new version of the F18A to come out.
- SmartBasic seems a bit sluggish to me. I'll have to do some tests and compare. I come from the TI 99/4A world, so I definitely know what a sluggish Basic looks like
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with that system and I hope to be able to come up with some projects for it. I am not a collector and I like to use my systems. CP/M is my main interest along with Turbo Pascal, but SmartBasic complemented with some assembly looks promising as well.
I do need a serial and parallel interface, and I understand that ANN has something along those lines along with an IDE card... Do I really need more than the stock 64K of RAM by the way?