Sunday, May 21, 2017

Retro computers

The first IBM compatible PC that the family had back in the day was a Tandy 1000 SX, which we had upgraded to 640K and, eventually, a 2400 bps modem and 40 meg hardcard. Eventually, I inherited this machine and when it became long in the tooth, I replaced it and gave it away. Now that I'm old enough to really feel nostalgia, this is the one machine I regret getting rid of above all others.

My wife, being the wonderful person she is, picked up a Tandy 1000 SX off of eBay for a really good price, and it is on its way here. From the pictures, it has dual 360k floppies, a modem of some sort, a dual serial port card, and appears to have been upgraded to 640k. What it doesn't include is a CGA monitor or a keyboard. The monitor I can use an adapter for, but the keyboard isn't compatible with many other keyboards in existence. There is a new-old-stock Tandy 2000 keyboard up for auction, but while the keyboard appears physically the same, it uses the more common 5-pin DIN instead of the 8-pin DIN of the Tandy 1000. I don't know if they are the same aside from the cable or not. There is also a used Tandy 1000 SX keyboard available for a bit more. The 2000 keyboard is expensive enough that I'm not sure it's worth risking incompatibility once the correct cable is built. So, I'm likely picking up a keyboard for more than the computer cost. ;) There are some upgrades I plan for this to make it more usable, but I'll detail those in future posts.

A fairly recent addition to my collection is a 64k Tandy Color Computer 2. I have no storage device for this, but plan on using a Raspberry Pi to overcome this.

I also have a complete Apple IIe system and a Commodore 64 system in my collection. I plan to eventually add a Tandy CoCo 3, a TSr-80 model 4p, and and early IBM.... I'm keepimg my eye out for a deal on a 5150, 5160, or 5170. I'd also like to have a 486-class machine and an original Pentium-class machine. I'm happy enough with emulation for these two that they're nowhere near as high on my wish list, though.

Stay tuned for additions and upgrades, and a full report on the 1000SX once it gets here :)

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