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About Compumater

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  1. I always loved the Colecovision. The games were miles ahead of the 2600 and 5200 versions, and I was excited to see the Adam when it hit the stores. On paper it looked great, and I can't help but wonder if they had managed to get that thing to market without all the issues, do you think it would have done well? It seems to me to be slightly better than the C64, and that continued to sell well all the way into the 90's so I do wonder. I bought a never used setup for $10.00 in 1988 and used it as my main computer all the way to 1993. I had to write everything for it in applesoft basic, and that was a pain as I could never find programs for it. Years later when eBay became a thing I realized it wasn't just me! There just wasn't a lot of stuff made for it. I used the heck out of that printer though! So let's say in another world, the bugs were not there, would it have mattered to the market? Would the Adam have become a major player?
  2. DosShell on my dos 5.0 disk was a game changer when paired with a mouse. I had never used a GUI with my IBM machines, and it saved me so much time. Going back farther. The GEOS 128 2.0 "OS" was a huge leap forward from the standard Basic environment found on C64/128 systems. Loved using it and did so for far far too long.
  3. Sort of a failure, but still a cool unit? The Commodore REU. I had such high hopes, but other than GEOS, I really can't remember anything that really used it. Don't get me wrong. A 512K REU with GEOS 2.0 rocks and makes a very nice 90's mac alternative especially with the 128 version, but again. I can't think of anything that used it. I was hoping for massive games, faster load times, and so on, but none of it happened.
  4. I had a great late 486 motherboard back in the day. It was the UMB VIP-486. It had 4 72 pin slots so you could stuff 128 meg of ram into it, and it came with VLB,ISA, and PCI slots. (hence the name VIP) It also had a 256K write back ram setup so it was really speed for it's time. I had the 5X86 133mhz over clocked to 160mhz and it was pretty stable. I rounded out that system with 2 pci cards, one was a Sound blaster, and the other a high end ATI All In wonder PCI car that I actually used to video converting and editing. It could record from VHS tapes and was state of the art for it's time. That was a great setup and I hope yours is just as much fun.
  5. I've owned a few of these over the years, and while I never found it to be an impressive game machine I did like it enough to collect for it for a bit in the 90's. I always wondered why they never came out with a basic programming cart for it. It was the only system at it's time to include a full keyboard, so it would have seemed like a no brainer, but I never found one. Did they ever intend to flesh this thing out and add a basic cart and maybe a tape interface?
  6. I tried to tell you back on page one, but this isn't going to work. I tried a CF card solution and bought many many CF cards of various sizes to try and trick the bois into formatting one. Nope. I tried a more modern HDD controller card. Nope. won't work with any HDD card but the original. You must find a very old IDE to play with it. Not even a modern IDE of a larger size would work. Really sucks.
  7. I've been down this road. What a pain I found a set of Compaq setup disks and was ready to upgrade to a CF card. There are 42 options. None worked. So I tried another card, and then 5 others. Never got it to work. Thought it maybe the IDE controller that comes with the unit so I swapped it out for a generic. That one won't even let the computer post. Apparently the stock IDE board is the only one that works with these computers due to the custom bios in ram thing. The one I have still has a noisy but working 32meg HD and it looks like I'm stuck with it forever as I can't get ANY IDE drives or CF adapted drives to work in it's place. I'll be following to see if you have better luck than I did as it was a LONG month of trying. It takes over an hour to boot and reboot for every HD option per drive. 10 years ago i had a dedicated computer with an old 360K floppy for writing disks, These days I have nothing that will play well with that type of drive, and the Compaq won't do 3 1/4 drives. 1.2 meg or 360K 5 1/2 is the only working format. When i got mine I figured as soon as I had Dos 6.22, Dosshell, and a Comm program loaded onto the HD, I'd just telnet the rest of the files to it, but I never even got that far. Such a shame too as it's a really nice looking computer.
  8. I wouldn't have been able to afford one, but think about what our lives are like right now. Computers run everything and make our lives so much easier. I think we forget how even simple book keeping, spreadsheets, writing a 5 page letter, and other simple day to day tasks would have been without one of these. To do the same work on paper or with a early calculator or worse yet, no calculator at all would have taken days vs. hours. It wouldn't take long even in 1981 to pay for one of these if you were using it for a small company. The savings in time and the reduction in mathematical errors alone would pay for it. As for a personal person getting one? If you were an early "Computer Nerd" I'd bet the purchase of one of these would have given you many many hours of use so broken down to hours per dollar it may have been a thing that could be rationalized. One thing I can say for sure. It was a great time to be alive and way more fun than today's computer climate.
  9. The last great piece of hardware I bought for these tiny little computers was the incredible ZXpand from overseas. Since then I've kind of fallen off the vintage computer train. There was some talk about a wifi module for it, and I was wondering if it ever happend. The thought of surfing the net in slow mode with a whopping 2K is killer!
  10. Just having a flash back to my first dip into the internet and finding a genuine C64 emulator. It was C64S (version 2.5 I think). Dude... I must have spend a year with that thing! I ordered the 2 CD set "High Voltage" from overseas and it had a HUGE pile of C64 programs and files. I Still have the disks, but have since moved onto windows based C64 emulators. Still, that and a Atari 2600 emulator called PACE were my first window into the internet and my first solid trip back into the world of computers and games I actually wanted to play. I wonder what happened to C64s2.5.
  11. Wow, I had no idea. I too read, studied, and played many of the programs Tim wrote. He was truly an expert in the era when it came to the zx81. So young to pass, and such a loss.
  12. I don't know If I consider myself an expert but I've built, modded, written for and most importantly owned Timex Sinclair 1000's since 1985.
  13. I don't know how "Vintage" it is, but my panasonic Toughbook CF-29 (Win-XP, P3-1200mhz, 1.5 gig ram, and 15 gig HD) works full time as a shoutcast streaming device working as a server to a 20 peer station. It's also hooked to a Part 15 AM radio transmitter that simulcasts the station to AM 1670. Its old but sometimes when I'm tweaking the system I still use it to hop on the net from to transfer music files, update the system, and perform other random stuff. I wouldn't call it a speed demon but it works wonderful for my web station/radio station. This unit replaced a P233 / 64meg setup that was used for the same task but ran Windows 98se and had a smaller 6.5 gig HD. A battery leak killed the Motherboard after nearly 10 years of continuous operation. That system was limited to 8 simultaneous listeners, but i doubt it ever reached that capacity.
  14. Dude, you are in luck. There is a add-on for the zx-81 and Timex/Sinclair 1000 called the ZXpand. With out getting to far into it, it has an SD port and a menu operated OS. Plug it into your zx, and wow! I have every .P file ever uploaded to the net on a 32meg SD card and all of them are instant load. No more custom cables to load wav files from your PC, or worse yet hooking up the old tape deck. Its freaking GREAT! It also has a 9 pin joystick port, optional sound board, and I understand the latest units may come with a com port. Its a few $$ but I've had my for 6 years now and love it. It makes the timex 1000 a totally fun computer again.
  15. I've been stuck inside for a few days from all the snow we've had, and during my bout of cabin fever I've been visiting many of the old school BBS's that are still hanging on out there on the Web via Telnet. If you haven't been on one of these since the end of the BBS era (1997ish) you owe it to yourself to download syncterm and give them a try. So many fond memories of dialing up late night BBS's to get the latest shareware release of Doom, Duke 3d, wolf 3d, Raptor... The list goes on and on. Stopping by my favorite message BBS (Millways) run on a bone stock 2 floppy drive Apple 2c even in late 96! Or heading over to "The Cave" that ran my favorite BBS software WWIV 4.24a Those were the days, and I'm glad to say that some of these old systems are still kicking. Fido net is still sort of active. Dove-net is rocking, heck WWIV-net is back! Love it. Anyway That's it, just thought I'd point out that these BBS's are still going...well, maybe not strong, but still going anyway in 2018! /s
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