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Vintage Computer Magazines

Byte December 1977 Front Cover
Byte December 1977 Front Cover - Space Gamma 6 Holographic Museum
of Ancient Technology

Computer magazines and brochures provide historical perspective and breathe life into classic computers now obsolete, dormant and sitting silent on museum shelves. Before easy access to bulletin boards and the World Wide Web, magazines were one of the best ways like-minded computer enthusiasts communicated with each other. These classic issues are packed with how-to columns illustrating hardware repair, answers common questions, code snippets, schematics, and user reports. Most magazines included fun programming projects, experiments, and games that could be typed in by hand. Photographs fill the pages showing the computers in action, attached to suggested peripherals and displaying software in use. Trade show reports describe the current computers in production and hint at upcoming products.

I have selected an assortment of articles, ads, and brochures. Look beyond the main idea of the articles for references to competing products, embedded ads, predictions of the future, editorials, extinct companies, and advertising styles. Not everyone has a room full of classic computers at their disposal, and for those who don't, classic computer magazines are the next best thing! I hope that this assortment will be as inspirational to the reader today as they were then. Hopefully you'll see something new too.

The first production 6502-based single board microcomputer - The Jolt
The first production 6502-based single board microcomputer - The Jolt pre-dates the MOS KIM. Byte December 1975 ad. PDF of JOLT ad.

Byte June 1976 Front Cover
Byte June 1976 Front Cover - The Game of Life Played in Color The computer program "Life" was originally written for the early DEC PDP minicomputers of the early 60's. It was quite a thrill for early microcomputer users to port this program to their Altair computers. If you'd like to learn the history of the program LIFE and how to write your own LIFE program, read the articles below:
Byte September 1975: Life Line pt. 1 and Byte October 1975: Life Line pt. 2
See also: Life Program Listing

MITS Altair Advertisement 8800 and 680b
Back cover of the June 1976 Byte. This image first appeared on the cover
of the premier issue of SCCS Interface, December 1975. Probably the most
beautiful computer ad ever.

Microtrek Aug 1976
The MOS KIM appears, plus the article "A Super Simple Cassette Interface" compares cassette storage mechanics with ASR 33 teletype papertape storage.

One of the first east coast USA computer shows August 1976, the PC Atlantic City
This is the August 1976 Microtek magazine back cover ad. PC 76 was one of the first East Coast USA computer shows. This was one of the first shows the likes of Apple, Processor Tech, Cromemco, etc. attended.

Cromemco Z-1 Brochure
Cromemco Z-1 Brochure - The Z-1 was one of the first Z-80 processor systems sold.

A Comprehensive Memory Test for the 8080 by Frank McCoy
Cover of Sept 1977 SCCS Interface including Frank McCoy's
A Comprehensive Memory Test for the 8080

Creative Computing Sept-Oct 1978

Creative Computing Nov-Dec 1978

Popular Electronics Nov 1979
Popular Electronics Nov 1979 Cover contains an interesting article titled
Choosing a Computer for a Very Small Business
A related article: What's Your Small Business Computing IQ? from Creative
Computing Sept-Oct 1978 (cover above).

Byte June 1980
I-O Expansion for TRS 80 People were still using their TRS 80 Model 1 computers in June 1980

Byte March 1981

Microcomputing March 1983
Commodore Launches a Winner The Commodore 64 write up from March 1983. This cover shows a variety of computers that were popular in 1983 including the Sinclair 1000, Atari 800, Kaypro II, Apple IIe, Vic 20, Northstar Advantage, TRS 80 Model II, and the IBM PC (with off-brand monitor).

Byte March 1981
A Simple 2708 EPROM Programmer for the Motorola D2 Kit

Vintage Computer Festival East 5

On Saturday, Sept. 13th and Sunday, Sept. 14th another fun-filled festival of the forgotten. As with the past two events this years convention was held in the InfoAge Science Center at Wall Township, New Jersey. Sponsored by MARCH and VintageTech.

VCFE 5 Degnan Exhibit
Here is my exhibit. Included was a Commodore SuperPET, Apple ///, Apple ][, and a Sage II computer. The focus of the exhibit was programming. I wrote a Waterloo Pascal trivia quiz program for the SuperPet, and a biorhythm program in Applesoft Basic for the Apple ][. Click image for larger version

More pictures including Mike Lowen's Sage exhibit, David Geeswin's PDP 8 exhibit, and the people that made this event possible.

Past Issues:

On the Work Bench Sept-Nov 2008

This month starts a newer twist for this section. I have programmed the page to display the latest 20 blog entries ensuring the latest material appears on the home page. This is a beta version of the program which I will refine when I have the chance...Check my Vintage Computer Blog to search for older articles, or post your questions.

Time to replace motherboard batteries

click image for larger version

Post from vintage-computer.com/ "...Anyone have experience cleaning up battery leakage, or should I just trash any system with battery problems? I dread the task of opening everything up that *could* have leaked, but I guess I have to do this asap. I have put aside a lot of 85-95 computers when I get them, they're not really in my area of interest, but at the same time I want to preserve them. I have 15 or so 386-486 systems, probably have 20+ bare motherboards from the e386-486 era, Amiga stuff, etc. All of this I have more or less ignored as "not vintage" - Maybe this is a mistake - whatever you call computers built before the ... read more

11/28/2008 13:55 - Total messages in this thread: 1

Archiving Apple II disks

Test subject: Apple II GS with 3.5 and 5 1/4" drives, ADT 1.21 and a bunch of diskettes.
Apple II GS Computer running ADT 1.21
I decided it was time to learn how to archive Apple II disks by copying them (somehow) to a modern computer. I chose an Apple II GS as the bridge system because it has a 3.5 and 5 1/4" disk drive, and it can read old Apple II diskettes. The question is how to take make disk images and save them to 3.5 disk, and then find a modern system to read the 3.5 disks. Finally I will need to be able to both run the disk images in an Apple II emulator, and also move disk images from other sources to the Apple II GS for e... read more

11/23/2008 23:40 - Total messages in this thread: 2 Last Post: Apple IIGS 3.6v MB Battery 11/28/2008

Items available.

The lists and pictures linked below are a sizable percentage of what I have available, and most of this stuff has been moved to my office in Wilmington, Delaware for easy access. Contact me if you have a specific request. Items Available Page More stuff: Toshiba T3200SX and T3100SX. $15 plus shipping. Follow this link for more info, neither work fully, but have good monitors, and the processors seem ok: http://vintagecomputer.net/browse_thread.cfm?id=114 Datasheet documentation/catalogs from most major manufacturers (Intel, Motorola, TI, Fairchild, MOS, etc)..Please specify manuf/year/type. $5 per PDF copy by email or post. Duplicate issue of Dr. Dobbs Journal and a lot more of various magazines of 70's and... read more

11/27/2008 12:58 - Total messages in this thread: 1

Altair BASIC on cassette

I bought some "Altair tapes" on Ebay. When the box arrived, I opened it to find that it contained most if not all of the Altair BASIC versions. More to come.... read more

06/23/2007 23:29 - Total messages in this thread: 2 Last Post: WTB Altair Tapes 11/26/2008

New Pictures

Timex 1000 / Sinclair ZX 81 Books and Manuals
My policy for collecting computer artifacts is to keep only working or serviceable systems and parts. I also avoid anything that I have no intention in actually using. Lastly, I have a finite space so for everything that comes in, something of lesser interest must go... Miscellaneous Grid Laptops Xerox 820-II Misc Micropolis Drives ICOM Dual 8" Drive Two IMSAI 8080's
read more

11/23/2008 14:42 - Total messages in this thread: 1

AT&T UNIX PC 3B1 vs. 7300

I received some AT&T UNIX PC parts this week from Mike Lee ( http://www.geekmuseum.org ) Specifically he sent me most of a UNIX PC "7300" model. I own a dead "3B1" model, which can be differentiated from the 7300 by it's raised monitor. I could not find any 3B1 images on the web, below is a link to my system's pics. There are plenty of the 7300's on the web. Anyway, I started into diagnosing what was wrong with my system, and his too. I was hoping to be able to merge my dead system with the parts from Mike's and create a working system. Almost... It turns out that the later model of the UNIX PC, the 3B1, has a different power supply than the older 7300 variants. Mike sent me a "middle version" 7300 with 1 MB onboard RAM. He sent me two good power supplies. Unfortunately... read more

06/28/2008 21:01 - Total messages in this thread: 3 Last Post: Hacking AT&T 3B1 11/22/2008

Apple Lisa 210 A6S0200

In preparation for class demonstration of the Apple Lisa 2/10 I took some new photographs. Minor repairs were needed. I had to take apart the keyboard because the space bar had dislodged from the little clips that hold it in place. I also replaced the MAC mouse with an original Lisa mouse. Note the new pictures have the original mouse.... read more

11/17/2008 21:51 - Total messages in this thread: 1

Items Wanted

This list is maintained regularly. Thread date is last update. Contact me Here. Commdore B Series hi-profile keyboard(s) Amiga A1200 internal disk drive. IBM 5155 power supply Osborne I disk drive (left) MacIntosh Plus 1MB chassis/monitor (working). Logic board and drive need not be working. NEC PC6011A Expansion Unit Compaq Deskpro 386/25 model Computer Data Systems "Versatile 2" s-100 computer 1977 (Newark, Delaware USA computer) Casio FX-9000P Cannon CX-1 or BX-3 BASIS 108 Acorn BBC Model A Eagle Computer Eagle II E Sord SM80X Oki 1F COM7 laptop Morrow Decision 1 Microvoice Nugen Compaq Portable (first model) motherboard and power supply. Macintosh OS disks 7.0 set (originals) PerSci 8" dual disk d... read more

11/17/2008 12:37 - Total messages in this thread: 1

IBM PC Parts Trade List / Inventory

Update date is thread date.
IBM-branded Tandon 100 2A drives
To follow is a partial inventory of IBM PC parts and peripherals on hand, and these are the kinds of things I am willing to trade or possibly sell. If you do not see what you're looking for here, please contact me IBM Pics and downloads - ranging from the 5150 through to the early 90's. QTY/MANUF/DESCR/MODEL PART NUM 4/IBM/1983 Fixed Disk Floppy Diskette"/61-031099-00 MV-X6D 2/IBM/6188162 XM/FLOPPY DISK CONTROLLER 1/DAK/COMPONENT VIDEO CARD/VG-100 REV 01 1988 1/IBM/BLACK & WHITE/PARALLEL/1501483 XM 1/IBM/BLACK & WHITE/PARALLEL/1501985 1/IBM/EGA VID CARD/6280539 XM/WITH EXPANSION DAUGHTER ... read more

11/16/2008 23:19 - Total messages in this thread: 1

IBM AT 5170

It had been a while since I ran my IBM AT model 5170. I opened it, and used the opportunity to test some new-to-me EGA cards and a couple of mid 80's hard drives. I also took a few pictures.... read more

11/16/2008 23:16 - Total messages in this thread: 1

TRS 80 Model II - restoration project

I had not used my model II for three years, and with this thread in mind I set up the old beast for a routine test. I try not to let any working system go too long before I re-run for a few hours to refresh the electronics. Anyway...I must have waited too long, she does not boot any more. The system powers up,but will not attempt to read the disk drive and there's nothing sent to the CRT. So far I have done little other than open the system and quickly inspect it. The CRT tube fires up (strong glow), so I assume that the issue lies with one of the four system cards (there is no motherboard). I have not done any further testing. If I have an update I'll post it.... read more

10/05/2008 09:09 - Total messages in this thread: 6 Last Post: TRS 80 Model II Pictures / more tests 11/16/2008

Raytheon VT302 Computer

Little is known about the Raytheon VT302 office computer. I was able to boot the communications disk that came with it. I also took it apart and took pictures. I was surprised to find that this is an 8085 CPU computer. Very rare. I have the manual to the earlier version of this system, with cassette storage. Note the interesting controls on the Raytheon display. What's next? I would like to image the one working diskette, and possibly recover what appears to be the system disk. Raytheon VT302 pictures... read more

11/16/2008 22:35 - Total messages in this thread: 1

Commodore Amiga A1200

Picked up a working Commodore Amiga A1200 from the Vintage Computer Festival East 5.0 Although the system came with an external disk drive, the internal drive needs to be replaced. I attempted to install the drive from a HD2000, but they're not the right size. Amiga A1200 with Commodore 1950 monitor... read more

11/16/2008 21:09 - Total messages in this thread: 1

Lear Siegler ADM 3A

Restoration project notes for Lear Siegler ADM 3A terminal S/N 21818 from late 1977. The bad news: I cannot communicate with a known-working computer, no response from keyboard although box prompt is present. The good news: The picture is in good shape. I cannot get the computer to respond locally either. I tried to jumper pins 2 and 3 (I believe those are the ones). Missing the dip switch cover. Updates to come. Pictures ADM3A... read more

11/16/2008 21:02 - Total messages in this thread: 1

Some new Apple MACs

Recently I was given two working Apple MAC computers. The first is an MAC SE30, appears to be fully functional. Pictures The second is an admittedly not-yet-vintage Apple Powerbook 520C, with Colorwriter 2200 and a Visioneer Paperport scanner. circa 1994. The computer still works. Pictures... read more

11/16/2008 19:14 - Total messages in this thread: 1

Commodore BX-256-80 - 8088 Co-processor

The other day I saw some rare Commodore CBM 256-80 computers for sale and despite the lack of keyboards I bought them. Turned out to be a great deal!
CBM 256-80 with 8088 co-processor Upon inspection of the insides, I was surprised to find that both were actually the BX models. This is truly a rare find, indeed. The 256-80 BX is also known as the CBMX256-80 and the BX256-80. In the US the CBM 256 "BX" model with the 8088 co-processor was not officially sold by Commodore. The few 8088 cards that were produced in test/prototype batches were given to the Chicago B Series User Group for free. I have a copy of the release letter to prove it. Bruce Faierson, the 2nd president of CBUG and owner of Northwest Mus... read more

11/10/2008 23:17 - Total messages in this thread: 1

Commodore SuperPET (CBM SP9000)

I am writing a Pascal program on a CBM SuperPet running Waterloo Pascal. This version of pascal is similar to the pUCSD version. Pictures... read more

07/08/2008 00:10 - Total messages in this thread: 2 Last Post: Output to a printer using a SuperPET 11/10/2008

IBM 5155 Restoration Project

For now, just the pictures... IBM 5155 Restoration Pics UPDATE I have completed the project. IBM 5155 with carry bag, Hardware Maintenance & Service (for) Portable Personal Computer vol 1, Advanced Diagnostics 2.10. More to come.... read more

11/08/2008 23:10 - Total messages in this thread: 1

Vintage Computer Festival East 5

Vintage Computer Festival East 5.0 Saturday, Sept. 13th and Sunday, Sept. 14th InfoAge Science Center at Wall Township, New Jersey. Sponsored by MARCH and VintageTech Pictures of the event... read more

11/07/2008 14:00 - Total messages in this thread: 1

the "SacState" 8008 Machine 1972-73

Passing along an interesting story about a microcomputer produced by a guy named Bill Pentz at the California State University, Sacramento. According to the Digibarn's Bruce Dalmer this is "..the World's First Fully Functional Microcomputer (with peripherals).." http://www.digibarn.com/stories/bill-pentz-story/index.html ... read more

10/22/2008 07:40 - Total messages in this thread: 1

More Blog Posts

Classic Computing Items for Sale:

CBM Commodore B Series Software
(B-128 / CBM 700)
Superscript II Word Processor$29.99
Superbase Database Manager$29.99
Commodore Advanced Business Systems (CABS) Acccounting Suite: Accounts Payable, Order Entry, Accounts Receivable, General Ledger (4 binders)$29.99
More CBM Commodore Items
Commodore B-128/700 Programmer's Reference Guide - Protecto - Everything you need to know about the B line!SOLD OUT
B Series Commodore Users Guide - View Image$39.99
Commodore Users Guide Series 8000$39.99
Commodore BASIC Users Refence Manual Version 4.0SOLD OUT
Commodore CBM Expansion Memory Board 64K Expansion Kit for PET 8032 (NOS)SOLD OUT
Commodore PET Keyboard (NOS) for 2001 -N, 3000, 4000 SeriesSOLD OUT
Other Commodore CBM Power supplies, software, parts, etc.Contact Me
Tandy Items
Aeoromp Double Density Controller for TRS 80 Model 1 Expansion Unit (NOS)- detailsSOLD OUT
Model III / Model 4 (non-gate array only) RS-232 KITS detailsSOLD OUT
Model III / Model 4 (non-gate array only) RS-232 boards onlySOLD OUT
Model III Aerocomp Diskdrive controller$39.99 (free US Ship)
Looking for Something Else?
Please check here first with special requests for Commodore, IBM, Tandy, Atari, TI, Apple computers, parts, components, and software. I have systems plus zounds of miscellaneous items for sale or trade.

History of Commodore Computers Poster $19.99
History of Commodore Computers Poster C64 C128 B128 Plus/4 PET KIM and more.

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