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Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

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  • Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

    Did anyone own a less common 8 or 16 bit computer? Basically anything but the following:

    1. PC compatibles
    2. Sinclair Spectrum
    3. Commodore 64
    4. Commodore Amiga
    5. Amstrad CPC
    6. Amstrad PCW
    7. BBC B and Master
    8. Acorn Archimedes
    9. Apple Mac
    10. Atari ST

  • #2
    Re: Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

    Can't believe there has been no replies to this one. ..
    I had a few. ..
    Martell Aquarius with its Spectrum like blue keys but a measly 4k memory.
    Sinclair zx81 started me off with computers.
    Dragon 32...loved Cuthbert in the jungle, a pitfall clone.
    Spent many a happy hour typing code in from magazines.

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    • #3
      Re: Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

      I did read somewhere the Dragons were based on the TRS 80.
      The Trickster On The Roof

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      • #4
        Re: Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

        I started with the ZX81, then had a Spectrum....then a PC....which I'm still using ( not the same one obviously ).

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        • #5
          Re: Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

          Maybe nobody has the courage to admit that they owned a Commodore 16 or an Oric Atmos! I was expecting a few owners of Dragon and MSX computers to come forwards. They were far less common than the leading 'quartet' in the 8 bit sector but they were around. Does anybody remember the Enterprise 64 / 128 with its inbuilt joystick and custom graphics and sound chips called Nick and Dave? That was a very classy 8 bit but sadly failed commercially.

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          • #6
            Re: Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

            I think an Enterprise was a top prize on a BBC childrens show, or at least a computer with a keyboard & joystick built in.

            The quiz was to solve a mystery from various clues, with characters with puns in their names, like the local MP being called Polly Ticion.

            Does that ring a bell with anyone?
            The Trickster On The Roof

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            • #7
              Re: Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

              Always wanted a Dragon 32......but there wasn't much software available....nice looking machine tho.

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              • #8
                Re: Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

                I remember one of my Brother's friends had an Apple II when they were quite rare. Never saw it being used though.

                Some schools over here bought them because they had been popular in American schools & had lots of educational software written for them.

                I had an Acorn Electron, basically a simplified BBC Micro. I've still not forgiven my parents for getting rid of it without warning! At least with my Aunt's CBM 128 they talked me into selling that on eBay.
                The Trickster On The Roof

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                • #9
                  Re: Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

                  My 1st computer was a Commodore VIC20, with its massive 3.5K memory. I added a 16K RAM pack to take it up to a massive 19.5K!! Most games were on plug-in ROM cartridges or if you could afford it, you could buy the tape player which would only work with the VIC20.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

                    I didn't realise the VIC20 was that low of memory!

                    I had thought a lot of the accessories were also used on the CBM64 & even the older PET.
                    The Trickster On The Roof

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                    • #11
                      Re: Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

                      Originally posted by fynger View Post
                      Always wanted a Dragon 32......but there wasn't much software available....nice looking machine tho.
                      Dragon Data was the largest Welsh company for a couple of years in the 1980s! Were Dragon 32 / 64 computers more popular in Wales than in other parts of the UK?

                      Originally posted by Richard1978 View Post
                      I remember one of my Brother's friends had an Apple II when they were quite rare. Never saw it being used though.

                      Some schools over here bought them because they had been popular in American schools & had lots of educational software written for them.
                      The Apple II was a computer that everybody in Britain in the 1980s had heard of but very few people had actually used one or even seen one in real life.

                      Originally posted by philfrommancs View Post
                      Martell Aquarius with its Spectrum like blue keys but a measly 4k memory.
                      The Mattel Aquarius was very rare - only about 20,000 were manufactured. It was a commercial failure and from a technical perspective one of the worst 8 bit home computers. I have wondered who bought them and why.

                      Has anybody encountered the Tomy / Grandstand Tutor?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

                        Many of the Usborne books used to have a program listing at the back with adaptions for different computers, often obscure ones.
                        The Trickster On The Roof

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                        • #13
                          Re: Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

                          My school library had some books in the computing section for lesser known computers.

                          I remember advanced user guides for the Oric 1 & Lynx, not to be mistaken for the Atari handheld.

                          There was a website profiling lesser known computers, including the Lynx, which it mentioned was hard to program for graphics but could store & play back very low level sound samples.

                          I might still have this write-up on a disc as a text file.

                          Here's the Wikipedia profile of the Lynx: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camputers_Lynx
                          The Trickster On The Roof

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                          • #14
                            Re: Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

                            I can't recall any books at school for computers other than the PC, Archimedes, and BBC. There were a few 'generic' computer books from the 1980s but they didn't have any program listings in them. There weren't even any BBC computers at primary school. Just Archimedes and PCs. There was an odd few in the science labs at secondary school for connecting up to laboratory equipment and data loggers.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Less common vintage 8 and 16 bit computers

                              sheesh.....when I was at school ..."if" there was such a thing as a computer book it would have been written by Charles Babbage.....lol

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