[vcf-midatlantic] IBM PC near-compatibles

william degnan billdegnan at gmail.com
Mon Oct 23 18:14:30 EDT 2017


Here's a Z120 that did pretty well.

On Mon, Oct 23, 2017 at 6:13 PM, william degnan <billdegnan at gmail.com>

> 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.
> Bill
> 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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