[vcf-midatlantic] IBM PC near-compatibles

william degnan billdegnan at gmail.com
Mon Oct 23 18:13:12 EDT 2017

It's hard enough to see regular IBM PC/XT's for much, so yes I agree its at
best a niche market.  Plus they're likely heavy to ship.  The DEC Rainbow
and Tandy 2000 come to mind as "most valuable" not-quite IBM compatibles,
but there are dozens that would fit that category if you allow for those
who did not have an 8088 (Tandy 2000 was an 80186 and the Rainbow also had
a Z80 in addition to its 8088).  They have to work or it'd be really hard
to sell and ship.

The jersey of the losing team goes on sale first, but there are always fans
who stay loyal.


On Mon, Oct 23, 2017 at 5:26 PM, Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:

> As vintage interest increases in the early IBM PC era computers, and in
> 386/486 PC's, I have a question. Is there any current interest in the early
> semi-compatible PC's?
> I mean of course, the 8088/88 systems near and after the IBM PC of 1981,
> where a number of manufacturers made MS-DOS systems which had most of the
> IBM PC hardware, some PC functionality (or better!) but was not 100%
> hardware compatible.
> It took some years for the "market" to decide, IBM PC software HAD to use
> every hardware trick to gain performance, and it could only do that if
> EVERY "PC" had the same IBM PC hardware. And, hardware HAD to be IBM PC and
> ISA compatible so it would run with minimal grief in PC's of the day, and
> their software. Eventually, the "Tiawan clones" came out, which were 100%
> PC compatible, and cheaper, and thus "PC compatible" became a redundant
> phrase.
> I know there's some interest in say Compaqs, which at times led the way
> over IBM. But those were pretty compatible too.
> But that leaves a bunch of S-100 systems, some Heath/Zenith systems,
> brands like Victor and God-knows how many others, who produced those
> semi-compatible systems, which were soon abandoned.
> Now, S-100, I can deal with and those catch some people's interest. In
> fact there's a lot of 3rd party PC hardware for the Heath/zenith Z-100
> (Z-120 series). But Zenith 150-series systems, with five boards in some
> super-ISA backplane? Forgedabotit.
> I show some of the Zenith 151-s on my Web site, and of course Z-100's; so
> I get inquiries, like today, where someone has a Z-151 to offer. I tell
> them "sorry, no one cares". Comments?
> Herb Johnson
> --
> Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
> http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net

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