Twitter on a ZX Spectrum
And other wonders from the Vintage Computing Fair
Photo Diary Britain's first Vintage Computing Festival took place over the weekend at Bletchley Park, which was the perfect excuse to visit the National Museum of Computing, a recent addition to the Park site. All three are a tribute to the passion of volunteers – the state has only very recently saw fit to give any money to the historic site, and the Museum is a private venture.
First the Fair.
I hadn't visited Bletchley Park for almost a decade, and it's now almost unrecognisable. Computer enthusiasts always had a weekend presence there, making it a natural focus for something more formal – hence the Museum.
But the spirit of hacking old kit is alive and well. Here's a new use for a ZX Spectrum:
I've obscured the next screenshot, but if you're of a certain age, you'll be able to recognise it right away:
And if you find your fingers involuntarily tapping out C Scramble:... then you'll not need the next picture:
More here if you're feeling nostalgic.
Not all micros were successful. I believe this was a relative of the TRS-80, but never a hit here. The box captures it all, though:
Computers for hobbyists go way back, pre-dating digital. Here's HeathKit's Educational Analog Computer:
Most of the 8-bits I saw were cleverly modded, many had SD card expansion added:
Back then, the disk drive cost a lot more than the computer, and the printer even more:
But around the Xmas 1980, here's what we thought the 21st Century would look like, quite fabulous:
Next page: Forgotten but not gone
Fear the wrath of the Welsh Dragon!
Fancy not recognising the Dragon 32 - one of Wales' biggest high-tech exports in c.1984! How old is the reporter? They were only EVER "over here"!
BTW it's based on the Tandy Color Computer (CoCo) featuring the rather nice 6809 CPU.
Re: real hard to guess
The sub-editor responsible has been taken out and shot.
(Not really. But we have tied his shoelaces together)
Articles like this on El Reg always make me want to break out the old computers from back in the days when the instruction manual was 500 pages long and was to be read under the covers at night with a torch.
The photo of the old magazine ad made me feel old - it doesn't seem so long ago that we called them 'discettes'. Nowadays, my spell-check insists giving it a red squiggly underline.
Where's the "nostalgia alert" icon?
One thing that amazed me was......
.....the fact that a lot of the 'modders' there were'nt even born when this kit was in the shops.
I'm gald I was 12 years old in 1983 and could enjoy that wonderful 8bit period of UK microcomputing. It burnt so brightly but fizzled out just as quick.
The memories will last forever.
Ex Dragon Owner.
I still have a Dragon 64 Boxed Up with it's OS9 Drive and Discs (I upgraded from a 32 to 64), eventually however I moved to a spectrum then to an Atari 520 ST/FM before finally entering the wonderful world of PC's on a DX2/66 processor. My prize computing possession is a boxed up ZX81 1k :)
I feel old after going through that list.