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The ADAM killed the ColecoVision

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More I think about the Adam computer, and the context back then when the market for personal computers at home really started, more I think that the decision of making a computer wasn't a bad idea. A computer version of a successful game system sounds attractive. Well, for example, even Bit Corp. did a computer compatible with ColecoVision cartridges. Of course, we know that the delays and issues killed the enthousiam and the market crashed gradually for Coleco Industries. The ADAM computer is not a bad computer; weird to see the giant box and the printer as a power supply, but overall the computer has potential, simply didn't had chance. If the super game module was released as expected, probably the game system will have been in direct competition with the NES.

The reliability problems early on didn't help, and the price was the killer, over $500, it really could have been a more practical system as a simple console form factor system (with separate accessories, and avoiding the data packs alltogether -in favor of conventional disks and casettes- would have been good). It was way more expensive than any 8-bitter on the market at the time (even including typical costs for accessories), the obvious exception would be the Apple II, but that was a different case alltogether.

 

The kind of stuff I was suggesting didn't change the hardware much at all, mainly the form factor, and excess (no need for the pack-in accessories). Given the information listed earlier in the thread, it seems that the Adam incurred a net loss for Coleco. The basic concept is farily sound 9though a bit late into the market), but the execution was poor.

 

Well, everybody is entitled to an opinion so, yes, it was a mistake indeed. The AY-3-8910 is a superior sound generator, was available in 1982 and was probably competitively priced, otherwise it wouldn't have been used in the Intellivision two years before the ColecoVision. And it had the advantage that it could handle the joystick ports with no need for extra chips. Have you seen how much space the joystick circuit takes on the CV board? It is almost 1/4 of the damn board! And with the AY you don't need to go the way Coleco went with the spinners, generating interruptions and such, that is the stupidest way ever to read a paddle.

The I/O funtionality is certianly a good use for the AY chip as well (of course there's the cut-down 28-pin DIP version with only 1 I/O port opposed to 2), the biggest advantage of the SN chip would seem to be size. (tiny 16-pin narrow DIP) I have no idea about actual cost. (but the package size would be a significant factor -in addition to the board space used by it)

 

Given that the Intellivision used the AY, it is a little odd that coleco chose to downgrade it. (perhaps TI gave them a deal on the PSG as well due to Coleco buying the TI VDPs)

 

One other thing about the AY/YM chip is that it had fully compatible (including I/O) enhanced successors, like the YM2203 and YM2608. (I think both require external DACs though)

 

Kind of odd that the Sierra Tandy/PC Jr port of thexder sounds better in some ways compared to teh MSX version, very subjective though and the MSX version does exhibit some of the superiority of the AY chip, but seems a bit more complex in general, and I'd have thought a Japanese conversion (albeit still a port of the original) would have been superior. Maybe it's just the presence of the PC speaker though, allowing full use of the 3 channels for music. I know the AY chip is generally superior (though I still tend to prefer the POKEY -one reason being variable duty cycle pulse wave support -there's also the triangle/saw-ish waves, but those thend to be somewhat poor and limited -plain pulse+square are plenty for most, and the variable pulse is what gives most NES games their disctinctive sound -saw and pulse can be pretty close in some cases too)

It seems a bit odd that it wasn't until 1987 that a common PC sound card was released, it would seem kind of obvious to use one of the common off the shelf PSGs (namely SN or AY chips) or a multiple ones, possibly even stereo, by 1985 at least, granted Tandy did use one SN derivative for their 1000 line, but why no 3rd party ISA card, in which cases a pair (or more) PSGs would make more sense for the effort/cost.(Creative did that with the CMS, albeit neither of the aove PSGs and did 12 square wave channels with stereo, but that came almost simultaneously with Adlib...) Sorry, way off topic there.

 

However, that does remind me of one thing, the CMS used another off the shelf PSG, the Phillips SAA1099, similar simple square wave generation to the SN chip I think, plus noise (no envelope control as with SSG), but it had 6 channels/voices, used a 18-pin DIP, and supported stereo. (inependent L/R volume control for each channel)

But I don't know if that was available in the early 80s, wiki's only mentioned usages are late 80s, the earliest beign the CMS. (1987)

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I think you didn't understand my point and I'm sorry to repeat myself here.

 

Saying it was a mistake is your opinion, a critic about what you think, you're making a judgement. It's like saying that buying a Mac rather than a PC is a mistake.

 

Sure, the sound chips are differents, one also gives more, but saying that the one in the ColecoVision is a mistake... it's an opinion. But saying it's different is simply a fact.

 

Maybe I'm wrong about what I'll say here but if I remember correctly the ColecoVision game system project itself started before the AY sound chip was available. And even if the sound chip you're talking about was available at that time they take the final decision, it doesn't mean that the choice they did back then for the ColecoVision game system was a mistake, it simply meams it was their choice.

 

And my melodramatic speech is relative to the subject because it refers to my passion for the ColecoVision game system. But, somehow, the way you're talking about ColecoVision ruins the magic, making this affirmation "ColecoVision was a great console" a mistake. So, I persist to say that using words like "corrected" is negative... it gives a bad impression.

 

I hope you get my point... or I can repeat again.

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More I think about the Adam computer, and the context back then when the market for personal computers at home really started, more I think that the decision of making a computer wasn't a bad idea. A computer version of a successful game system sounds attractive. Well, for example, even Bit Corp. did a computer compatible with ColecoVision cartridges. Of course, we know that the delays and issues killed the enthousiam and the market crashed gradually for Coleco Industries. The ADAM computer is not a bad computer; weird to see the giant box and the printer as a power supply, but overall the computer has potential, simply didn't had chance. If the super game module was released as expected, probably the game system will have been in direct competition with the NES.

The reliability problems early on didn't help, and the price was the killer, over $500, it really could have been a more practical system as a simple console form factor system (with separate accessories, and avoiding the data packs alltogether -in favor of conventional disks and casettes- would have been good). It was way more expensive than any 8-bitter on the market at the time (even including typical costs for accessories), the obvious exception would be the Apple II, but that was a different case alltogether.

 

The kind of stuff I was suggesting didn't change the hardware much at all, mainly the form factor, and excess (no need for the pack-in accessories). Given the information listed earlier in the thread, it seems that the Adam incurred a net loss for Coleco. The basic concept is farily sound 9though a bit late into the market), but the execution was poor.

Yes, the cost was a big issue too. But, if we consider only the decision of making a computer, when the market for personal computers was really started to grow, it wasn't a bad decision. After the facts, yes we can consider it was a bad decision. They tried, and they didn't get the success they wanted for their computer. And the computer as we know now did have support, different softwares and hardwares, even homebrew hardwares and softwares, and a compatibility with ColecoVision games; a potential but no chance. That's what I was saying.

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I think you didn't understand my point and I'm sorry to repeat myself here.

Is this in response to opcode or to me?

 

Saying it was a mistake is your opinion, a critic about what you think, you're making a judgement. It's like saying that buying a Mac rather than a PC is a mistake.

 

Sure, the sound chips are differents, one also gives more, but saying that the one in the ColecoVision is a mistake... it's an opinion. But saying it's different is simply a fact.

I wouldn't say it was a mistake per se, and there must have been a reason others selected the SN76489 (and derivatives) over the AY-10-xxx family (or others, but those were the 2 major offf the shelf PSGs available in the late 70s/early 80s). The SN chip may very well have been significantly cheaper, pin count is a significant contributor to chip cost (and consumption of board space would aslo be a const concern, albeit both differences are reduced comparing the cut-down 28-pin version, still a lot bigger than th e16-pin narrow DIP SN chip, the latter also beign slightly simpler and lacking the I/O hardware)

 

If the cost difference was indeed neglidgable, it may have been an unfortunate decision, but that might not have been the case. (and again, having both producted made by TI could have come into play for bulk order discounts) There must have been a reason the later Sega SG-1000 chose to use a similar configuration (that being released about a month after the MSX standard was finalized and publicized) Not to mention Tandy and IBM must have had soem reason for using SN derivatives int eh PC Jr/Tandy-1000 over the AY chip family.

 

And the advantages of the AY chip aren't really earth shattering, they're noticable (probably less so for the average joe compared to the general variety of video game sounds), but really it's not an extreme difference. The AY is still limited enough to be considered a primitive choice for the Atari ST (by comparison to the preceding POKEY, let alone contemporary 16-bit home computers -namely Amiga, granted PC was quite weak still, the best being the PC Jr and Tandy-1000 clones)

 

it was also primitive enough to merit uprades for the MSX fairly soon (albeit it seems to have taken a long time before such upgrades were integrated).

 

Maybe I'm wrong about what I'll say here but if I remember correctly the ColecoVision game system project itself started before the AY sound chip was available. And even if the sound chip you're talking about was available at that time they take the final decision, it doesn't mean that the choice they did back then for the ColecoVision game system was a mistake, it simply meams it was their choice.

The AY chip is old though, remember the Intellivision used it, so it was around in the late 70s already, there must have been other factors driving the choice. (I can't think of anything besides the PCJr/Tandy-1000 which used the SN sound chip and didn't use the TMS VDP, Speccy and CPC both used AY, as did Vectrex, it's possible that soem arcade games may have used the SN chip rather than the AY one, I'm not sure though -and any company involved with Yamaha would probably opt for their YM2149 AY drivative -the one also used in the ST)

 

Yes, the cost was a big issue too. But, if we consider only the decision of making a computer, when the market for personal computers was really started to grow, it wasn't a bad decision. After the facts, yes we can consider it was a bad decision. They tried, and they didn't get the success they wanted for their computer. And the computer as we know now did have support, different softwares and hardwares, even homebrew hardwares and softwares, and a compatibility with ColecoVision games; a potential but no chance. That's what I was saying.

I agree, going with a home computer derived from the CV (even relatively late in the game) wasn't bad in itsself, the execution was just very unfortunate. The way it was packaged and the price point was neither here nor there, the base hardware was rather like average home computers of the early 80s, but th eform factor was more like a PC (more buisness like, a bit odd for something based on a games machine) and price considerably more than most home computers (Apple II being th emajor exception). I don't see why it wouldn't have been reasonable to use a form factor as that of common home computers (inegrated keyboard console) and in similar packaging (just the console, accessories separate), but most importantly aim at a reasonably price point similar to such contemporaries. (at least reasonably competitive with the C64, Atari 8-bit, or CoCo, Europe competition would be a bit different as well, and they probably wouldn't be near as low the price as the Speccy -if they pushed for that market)

 

My other point (oppinion really) was that not attempting any home computer at all, and stickign with video games alone would have been better than what happened with the Adam. (not better than a more reasonable, simple home computer mind you)

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My other point (oppinion really) was that not attempting any home computer at all, and stickign with video games alone would have been better than what happened with the Adam. (not better than a more reasonable, simple home computer mind you)

And I agree with you. Absolutely!

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Only in the short-term. The crash was still inevitable due to the flawed business model that everyone was using...and there was really no surviving consoles in the U.S. Had they jumped into the market a bit sooner to become well-established at the peak of console sales, the subsequent profit might have helped them weather the storm. The relative faithfulness of arcade hits caused them to peak pretty quick tho...so that point is also arguable. In the end, what 1st-parties might have saved from not pursuing the home computer market was no match to the revenue lost from investors either way IMO (ones that had no interest in that market dropped out even quicker).

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My point was that, based on those articles, Atari's market share stayed ahead of Sega in the late 80s (prior to Genesis), though that didn't show a breakdown of the 7800 specifically, so it may have been below the SMS in terms of share (though probably not massively).

 

That was sales overall, 7800 and 2600 included.

 

Sega was struggling rather like Atari in spite of their larger advertizing budget (or actually, it would have been Tonka, not Sega at that point I think), Nintendo blasted past bot of them obviosuly.

 

Tonka was hired as the distributor in the US I believe. It was still Sega of America running it.

 

Ah, OK, that's interesting to know. It's weird that I was thinking that might have been the case even though I hadn't actually read it anywhere I can recall. (maybe I just got that kind of impression from what I've read about Bushnell as well as his and Dabney's relationship -the latter also seems to have some parallels with Steve Jobs' and Wozniak's relationship)

 

Actually, that's not far fetched to realize that Jobs got some of his business sense from Nolan during the two periods he worked there. Nolan's relationships with others have always been a Jobs/Wozniak type. Whether it's Dabney, Alcorn, Cyan, any of the companies under Catalyst....

Basically taking the actual engineer's work and taking credit for it.

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I'll chime in with more non-facts to add to the subjective debate. :)

 

I think Coleco WAS on to something. While the future from a 1982/83 perspective may not have panned out as quickly as expected, it did pan out. There is, as industry analysts predicted, a PC in a solid majority of homes in the US today (73.6% of homes as of 2006-- I'd say it's safe to assume than number has gone up). Coleco wanted a piece of that pie.

 

There are a few basic things to look at here I think, if you approach it from an at-the-time view and not hindsight. There was room in the market for those who didn't want to be nickle-and-dimed to death by accessories and peripherals- Coleco addressed that market with an all-in-one package. Today, most people have all the things Coleco gave us in 1983: A CPU, Storage, and a printing device. I also don't feel the system was overpriced if you piecemeal the items that were included at market prices from the time. It may not have been the deal of the century, but it was fairly priced for the package.

 

While I'll admit to being somewhat of a fanboy, I like to consider myself more of a realist. Coleco had *something* on their hands with Adam, and it was something that had potential to be a game changer. History tells us it failed. But the truth is, with anything in life, if you never fail, then you've never reached your potential.

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Only in the short-term. The crash was still inevitable due to the flawed business model that everyone was using...and there was really no surviving consoles in the U.S. Had they jumped into the market a bit sooner to become well-established at the peak of console sales, the subsequent profit might have helped them weather the storm. The relative faithfulness of arcade hits caused them to peak pretty quick tho...so that point is also arguable. In the end, what 1st-parties might have saved from not pursuing the home computer market was no match to the revenue lost from investors either way IMO (ones that had no interest in that market dropped out even quicker).

Even if some of the smaller major players (ie Coleco and Mattel) had been using corrected/improved buisness models, with Atati having the problems it did, and owning the market share that it did, would still have dragged the rest of the industry down (in combination of cheap, comperable, home computers displacing game consoles around that time). Well, maybe Mettel/Coleco could have managed to lessen this with some kind of differentiation, but that would have been difficult to acheive, if possilbe, and still would likely have limited impact by comparison to the home computers displacing consoles at the same time. (from what I understand that was strongest in the US durring '83 and '84, snd still significant in '85)

 

It also seems that all 3 (mattel, Atari, Coleco) screwed themselves with the way they handeled their home computers at the time, Atari had a decent market established already (albeit with Warner management tying Atari down to some extent), but they really screwed up with the transition to XL in '82, and then the unfortunate decision to temporarily halt things across the board in late 1983. (understandable given Morgan's situation and need to assess the mess Atari was in, but if anything, keeping the 8-bit computers going while halting the rest could have been significant; otherwise leaving that portion of the market wide open for Commodore the 1983 holiday season)

 

Actually, that's not far fetched to realize that Jobs got some of his business sense from Nolan during the two periods he worked there. Nolan's relationships with others have always been a Jobs/Wozniak type. Whether it's Dabney, Alcorn, Cyan, any of the companies under Catalyst....

Basically taking the actual engineer's work and taking credit for it.

Wow, yeah, kind of ironic (in a dark humer kind of way) how Tramiel is often demonized over "runining" Atari and Bushnell is often looked back on in a romantisized light.

 

Sega was struggling rather like Atari in spite of their larger advertizing budget (or actually, it would have been Tonka, not Sega at that point I think), Nintendo blasted past bot of them obviosuly.

 

Tonka was hired as the distributor in the US I believe. It was still Sega of America running it.

I think Sega initially marketed it, passing it off to Tonka ~1988. (many articles discribe Tonka in a bad light, but it seems that Tonka pumped a lot into advertizing, and indeed their ads seem better than th earlier Sega ones) Sega took the rights back in 1990 as I understand it, after the Genesis was gaining momentum. (then released the SMS II to little fanfare) What I'm not sure of is if Tonka was also involved with UK/EU marketing at the time, as SoA tended to have significant influnce of SoE in general. (from online articles, it seems Tonka was limited to North American SMS marketing though)

 

 

 

I think Coleco WAS on to something. While the future from a 1982/83 perspective may not have panned out as quickly as expected, it did pan out. There is, as industry analysts predicted, a PC in a solid majority of homes in the US today (73.6% of homes as of 2006-- I'd say it's safe to assume than number has gone up). Coleco wanted a piece of that pie.

A coupel things though, the PC started out in a different market in general, it was a buisness macine first and foremost, a high end, expensive peice of hardware, marketed as such. (regardless of a number of technical inferiorities like graphics and sound capabilities)

Home computers were different, and that market was what Coleco seemed to be aiming at (or should have, as the Adam seems to be an odd hybrid of more buisnsess like form factor and obviously consumer based hardware -derived from a dedicated game console). The Apple II was sort of like that too, it fit int eh "home computer" category, but in some ways was more in line with the professional market (lacking onboard TV output and having a high price tag).

Regardless, the home computer market, while very strong in the early to mid 80s (in the US) was declining by the late 80s and died by the early 90s. (or earlier, depending on if the Amiga or ST are to be considdered "home computers") In Europe it was a different story, though still, it didn't last too much longer (though it remained strong long after the US market had greatly declined), and my the mid 90s home computers were off the market there as well.

 

Looking at the MSX, it didn't survive any later either, as a major, current platform at least. (although, unlike many contemporary home computers, it had many successful upgrades, genuine successors with backwards compatibility, etc -albeit it was stuck with the same slow CPU for a long time) I beleive the MSX was the longest lived home computer, and also the last 8-bit home computer to be discontinued, so that is certianly the best case scenario from a historical standpoint. (and it was strong in a different market entirely) Of course, in the hypothetical sense, the colecovision is close enough to merit consideration on the possibility of involving Coleco in creation of the MSX standard.

 

There are a few basic things to look at here I think, if you approach it from an at-the-time view and not hindsight. There was room in the market for those who didn't want to be nickle-and-dimed to death by accessories and peripherals- Coleco addressed that market with an all-in-one package. Today, most people have all the things Coleco gave us in 1983: A CPU, Storage, and a printing device. I also don't feel the system was overpriced if you piecemeal the items that were included at market prices from the time. It may not have been the deal of the century, but it was fairly priced for the package.

The all in one pcakage was costly, unfortunate technically (in the printer anf data drives they chose), awakward (PSU in printer), and generally inefficient. They could haev offered a lwo end model and a higher end package including such accessories, but one reason to avoid initially offering accessories in general would be cost and choice of technology. They could have focused on presenting a streamlined, effecient base unit initially, with accessories to follow (alogn with bundles, possible built-in drives later on). That would have likely elliminated the reliability problems and made it much more price competitive, while also givne them more time to think things out, probably going with a standard casette interface initially, followed by a printer and disk drives later on. (most likely a dot matrix printer as well)

 

While I'll admit to being somewhat of a fanboy, I like to consider myself more of a realist. Coleco had *something* on their hands with Adam, and it was something that had potential to be a game changer. History tells us it failed. But the truth is, with anything in life, if you never fail, then you've never reached your potential.

But as it was, that something was a money pit which provided no net benefit for Coleco. (monetary or otherwise)

Never failing and not trying are different things, and making mastakes which can be learned from are different than complete failure. (the latter prividing a useful message to others moreso than the one experiencing the failure, unless it;s a massive company in question, and even then, failure or massive mistaks will be highly significant, like the ones IBM mase which ended up leadign to them getting pushed to the side of the PC market)

 

In the case of the Adam, Coleco would have been better off not trying at all than doing what they did.

Edited by kool kitty89

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In the case of the Adam, Coleco would have been better off not trying at all than doing what they did.

I'm forced to agree with that statement. A simpler add-on module, with a printer sold separately, would have made more sense.

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I beleive the MSX was the longest lived home computer, and also the last 8-bit home computer to be discontinued,

 

I would say it is the C64.

 

AFAIK , it has been produced from 1982 to 1993 (or 94) . Last commercials games have been sold in 1994.

 

I think the 8bits MSX production started in 1983 and stopped around 90 . (the MSX Turbo R being a 16 bits)

 

In addition, the C64 stayed the same (evolution was just on the shape and modification to cut the production cost) , the MSX hardware has evolved.

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In the case of the Adam, Coleco would have been better off not trying at all than doing what they did.

I'm forced to agree with that statement. A simpler add-on module, with a printer sold separately, would have made more sense.

Well, I guess their logic was to make the Coleco Adam computer an elaborate typewriter with computer capabilities so they needed the printing device by default. And if we power up a Coleco Adam computer, it became a typewriter by default and you can even type a letter without the need for a tv screen (I guess). My question is : Why ? It sounds silly to add a computer-typewriter to a game system, but of course it's a computer, not a typewriter. Maybe they was thinking too much like "what makes a computer different compared to a game system? the need for a printer of course." And there is all the other questions like why the printer turns out to be also the power supply?

 

All this text to simply say : I agree too. it sounds more reasonable to offer a printer sold separately.

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AFAIK , it has been produced from 1982 to 1993 (or 94) . Last commercials games have been sold in 1994.

I think the 8bits MSX production started in 1983 and stopped around 90 . (the MSX Turbo R being a 16 bits)

 

Actually the last MSX was produced in 1994, when Panasonic stopped producing the Turbo R to start producing 3DOs...

C64 was produced from 1982 until 1994.

Ataris (8-bit) were also produced for a long time, from 1979 to 1992, so I suspect they were the champions in longevity.

 

However, as you said, MSX was the only architecture that evolved significantly, and were also the champion in number of different models, almost 100. The C64 was the best selling 8-bits, with the MSX sharing the 2nd spot with the Apple II (and ahead the A8).

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They were throwing around the phrase "word processing capability" from the get-go. The main objective I think was to try to avoid the "just a game machine" trap that console leader Atari fell into with their computer division (virtually throughout it's lifetime).

 

The printer housing the power supply has a couple advantages from a marketing standpoint...first, it keeps everything out of the main box - reducing it's "footprint" on a user's desk, and multiple "wall warts" a non-issue. More importantly (I think) it makes using 3rd-party printers that much more difficult or undesirable to implement ;)

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I'll chime in with more non-facts to add to the subjective debate. :)

 

I think Coleco WAS on to something. While the future from a 1982/83 perspective may not have panned out as quickly as expected, it did pan out. There is, as industry analysts predicted, a PC in a solid majority of homes in the US today (73.6% of homes as of 2006-- I'd say it's safe to assume than number has gone up). Coleco wanted a piece of that pie.

 

There are a few basic things to look at here I think, if you approach it from an at-the-time view and not hindsight. There was room in the market for those who didn't want to be nickle-and-dimed to death by accessories and peripherals- Coleco addressed that market with an all-in-one package. Today, most people have all the things Coleco gave us in 1983: A CPU, Storage, and a printing device. I also don't feel the system was overpriced if you piecemeal the items that were included at market prices from the time. It may not have been the deal of the century, but it was fairly priced for the package.

 

While I'll admit to being somewhat of a fanboy, I like to consider myself more of a realist. Coleco had *something* on their hands with Adam, and it was something that had potential to be a game changer. History tells us it failed. But the truth is, with anything in life, if you never fail, then you've never reached your potential.

Sadly the item(being) Adam had to actually work, which regardless of generall opinion of users here, the general public did not think it did, In concept they like the idea or never would have purchased one.

That said nearly everyone we sold came back to us as a defective.

Also what the heck were the thinking with that GIANT design and box? it's a two man job just to carry the boxed unit!

Also, power supply in the printer was crazy stupid. Forced you to buy the whole system. Many people already had a printer and did not want it,but coleco made it a requirement. It was gear only to people who had nevr owned a computer before.

Even a little external power brick would have been better. Disk drive technology had become fairly cheap off the shelf. Should have shipped with and external disk drive.

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AFAIK , it has been produced from 1982 to 1993 (or 94) . Last commercials games have been sold in 1994.

I think the 8bits MSX production started in 1983 and stopped around 90 . (the MSX Turbo R being a 16 bits)

 

Actually the last MSX was produced in 1994, when Panasonic stopped producing the Turbo R to start producing 3DOs...

C64 was produced from 1982 until 1994.

Ataris (8-bit) were also produced for a long time, from 1979 to 1992, so I suspect they were the champions in longevity.

 

However, as you said, MSX was the only architecture that evolved significantly, and were also the champion in number of different models, almost 100. The C64 was the best selling 8-bits, with the MSX sharing the 2nd spot with the Apple II (and ahead the A8).

not to state the obvious but MSX was a non player here in the USA. Heck hardly anyone owned a Tandy,another odd one mentioned here.

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AFAIK , it has been produced from 1982 to 1993 (or 94) . Last commercials games have been sold in 1994.

I think the 8bits MSX production started in 1983 and stopped around 90 . (the MSX Turbo R being a 16 bits)

 

Actually the last MSX was produced in 1994, when Panasonic stopped producing the Turbo R to start producing 3DOs...

C64 was produced from 1982 until 1994.

Ataris (8-bit) were also produced for a long time, from 1979 to 1992, so I suspect they were the champions in longevity.

 

However, as you said, MSX was the only architecture that evolved significantly, and were also the champion in number of different models, almost 100. The C64 was the best selling 8-bits, with the MSX sharing the 2nd spot with the Apple II (and ahead the A8).

not to state the obvious but MSX was a non player here in the USA. Heck hardly anyone owned a Tandy,another odd one mentioned here.

 

I am still trying to figure out what exactly you are trying to mean with those "MSX was a non player in the USA" and "another odd one" comments, I mean, what is the relevance of such comments on a supposedly worldwide public forum? I would say that the Atari 800 was a non player in Brazil, but how good would that be?

Please enlighten me...

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At $600, the ADAM wasn't expensive. It came with a letter-quality printer (most were around $400-500) and data storage (another added cost of $149-800 with other systems).

 

Where I lived, the C64 was still $300-400 without disk drives or printers. The Atari computers started at $400-500, again without disk drives or printers. The Apple IIc was $1200 without a printer.

 

Local stores and catalog/mail order were the only options for buying things. We didn't have the competitive consumer options that the web offers today. In NY people may have been able to buy a C64 or Atari 800 cheaper, but the rest of us were stuck paying much higher prices.

 

$600 for the ADAM was not that expensive for what was included. No one gave a flying rats ass about how the power supply was in the printer, that's complete hindsight-20-20. The first time I heard that design flaw mentioned was the late 90s when I worked in a computer science department. It was a obvious flaw in 1999, but it was NOT part of the average consumer's checklist when making their computer purchases in 1984.

 

People didn't complain about the power supply being in the printer -- they complained about everything else. Incompatibility with Apple BASIC, tape drive problems, printer problems, word processor bugs, etc., all conspired to kill off consumer interest.

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People didn't complain about the power supply being in the printer -- they complained about everything else. Incompatibility with Apple BASIC, tape drive problems, printer problems, word processor bugs, etc., all conspired to kill off consumer interest.

 

Agreed. Bugs are really what killed the ADAM. People will tolerate a bug or two in a game. But bugs in something like a word processor are totally unacceptable. The possibility of losing an important term paper or thesis that you poured your blood, sweat, and tears in to will scare people off fast (for good reason). Coleco failed to understand this difference....

 

P.S. Though I do remember people complaining about the power supply being in the printer back then too.

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AFAIK , it has been produced from 1982 to 1993 (or 94) . Last commercials games have been sold in 1994.

I think the 8bits MSX production started in 1983 and stopped around 90 . (the MSX Turbo R being a 16 bits)

 

Actually the last MSX was produced in 1994, when Panasonic stopped producing the Turbo R to start producing 3DOs...

C64 was produced from 1982 until 1994.

Ataris (8-bit) were also produced for a long time, from 1979 to 1992, so I suspect they were the champions in longevity.

 

However, as you said, MSX was the only architecture that evolved significantly, and were also the champion in number of different models, almost 100. The C64 was the best selling 8-bits, with the MSX sharing the 2nd spot with the Apple II (and ahead the A8).

not to state the obvious but MSX was a non player here in the USA. Heck hardly anyone owned a Tandy,another odd one mentioned here.

 

I am still trying to figure out what exactly you are trying to mean with those "MSX was a non player in the USA" and "another odd one" comments, I mean, what is the relevance of such comments on a supposedly worldwide public forum? I would say that the Atari 800 was a non player in Brazil, but how good would that be?

Please enlighten me...

Well, not sure how you are missing it, the main market for things of that sort especially at that time was and is the US market. To compare brazil (no insult) is just silly. MSX basically did not exist here therefore was a general non player,especially by numbers.

In a "worldwide forum" it is generally known that the USA is the main marketplace generating the most world numbers. Did you not get the memo about markets post wwII?

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At $600, the ADAM wasn't expensive. It came with a letter-quality printer (most were around $400-500) and data storage (another added cost of $149-800 with other systems).

 

Where I lived, the C64 was still $300-400 without disk drives or printers. The Atari computers started at $400-500, again without disk drives or printers. The Apple IIc was $1200 without a printer.

 

Local stores and catalog/mail order were the only options for buying things. We didn't have the competitive consumer options that the web offers today. In NY people may have been able to buy a C64 or Atari 800 cheaper, but the rest of us were stuck paying much higher prices.

 

$600 for the ADAM was not that expensive for what was included. No one gave a flying rats ass about how the power supply was in the printer, that's complete hindsight-20-20. The first time I heard that design flaw mentioned was the late 90s when I worked in a computer science department. It was a obvious flaw in 1999, but it was NOT part of the average consumer's checklist when making their computer purchases in 1984.

 

People didn't complain about the power supply being in the printer -- they complained about everything else. Incompatibility with Apple BASIC, tape drive problems, printer problems, word processor bugs, etc., all conspired to kill off consumer interest.

Just my perspective as a dealer. We sold them they mostly came back due to the tape drive issue. Complaints about the printer and power unit were mostly from those who already had a computer and might have bought this had it not been for those issues. this was probab;y the market we had most potential with,not new customers. This made it somewhat of a limited market for us. I know the intention was and not a bad idea at that ,to sell a complete package to a new user. $600 was considered very high at the time and really you mostly saw ADAM in any quantity in 85,though for newbies wanting a nearly complete package it had some appeal. by 85 we were selling 800xl's for nearly $99,clout color monitors for $119, printers for $49 and disk drives under $99, also on a system with thousands of titles and worked right. Sadly it was almost entirely from my experience newbies who bought ADAM and could not deal with the multitude of issues with it.

There was alot of excitement about it's release it seemed but it all quickly died.

Cost me a butt load to send bad systems back!

For what it's worth I just sold a boxed unit that I had kept for many years, complete with docs, and software. I never set it up as it was really huge, my personal main objection was the power supply in the printer.

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I beleive the MSX was the longest lived home computer, and also the last 8-bit home computer to be discontinued,

 

I would say it is the C64.

 

AFAIK , it has been produced from 1982 to 1993 (or 94) . Last commercials games have been sold in 1994.

 

I think the 8bits MSX production started in 1983 and stopped around 90 . (the MSX Turbo R being a 16 bits)

 

In addition, the C64 stayed the same (evolution was just on the shape and modification to cut the production cost) , the MSX hardware has evolved.

Are you sure? I was pretty sure that distinction was the Atari 800 series. Thought production had stopped 2 years prior to bankruptcy , Commodore declared bankruptcy on April 29, 1994. So sometime in early 92 was what I think I remember.

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Well, not sure how you are missing it, the main market for things of that sort especially at that time was and is the US market. To compare brazil (no insult) is just silly. MSX basically did not exist here therefore was a general non player,especially by numbers.

In a "worldwide forum" it is generally known that the USA is the main marketplace generating the most world numbers. Did you not get the memo about markets post wwII?

 

You come to a thread full of Canadians, people from Europe and at least a Brazilian to say that the US is the only country that matters?!! That a machine that sold millions in Japan is less important than another the sold less in the US?! Gosh, I cannot believe this kind of mentality still exist.

Yes, I take that as an insult and I think any moderator in their good mind should moderate this immediately.

BTW, next time you should start country names with capital letters, just like the rest of us do with USA. It is Brazil FYI.

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You come to a thread full of Canadians, people from Europe and at least a Brazilian to say that the US is the only country that matters?!! That a machine that sold millions in Japan is less important than another the sold less in the US?! Gosh, I cannot believe this kind of mentality still exist.

I cannot believe it either.

 

It could be only a misunderstanding. Maybe he wanted to point out that in his reality of living in USA his main concern is about the videogame market in USA, without ignoring that, of course, the world is composed of more than one country.

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I beleive the MSX was the longest lived home computer, and also the last 8-bit home computer to be discontinued,

 

I would say it is the C64.

 

AFAIK , it has been produced from 1982 to 1993 (or 94) . Last commercials games have been sold in 1994.

 

I think the 8bits MSX production started in 1983 and stopped around 90 . (the MSX Turbo R being a 16 bits)

 

In addition, the C64 stayed the same (evolution was just on the shape and modification to cut the production cost) , the MSX hardware has evolved.

Are you sure? I was pretty sure that distinction was the Atari 800 series. Thought production had stopped 2 years prior to bankruptcy , Commodore declared bankruptcy on April 29, 1994. So sometime in early 92 was what I think I remember.

 

If we give it to a series, then it has to be the Apple II, since that began in 1977 and ended around 1994. However, if we're talking a single computer specification, then it has to be the Commodore 64. You could buy a C-64 in 1982 and still run 99% of the software released until the day it was officially discontinued. The Atari 8-bit series doesn't qualify because it went through many different revisions between the first 400/800's and the 130XE.

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