[vcf-midatlantic] Happy Birthday IBM-PC
rich.cini at gmail.com
Fri Aug 13 16:11:30 UTC 2021
Great story. I built my own 5-connector expansion chassis (wire-wrapped connectors and made my own cartridge insert with ribbon cables -- all RadioShack stuff), a machine language monitor cartridge based on the one from Jim Butterfield (as published in Compute!), and a speech synthesizer with the SP0256-AL2 chip. I had no EPROM programmer, so a friend of mine used his father's programmer to burn it.
I made my own PCBs back then. My mom hated it because I used one of her Pyrex meatloaf pans (which of course became my meatloaf pan). Still have all of that stuff in the basement.
On 8/13/21, 11:13 AM, "vcf-midatlantic on behalf of Chris Fala via vcf-midatlantic" <vcf-midatlantic-bounces at lists.vcfed.org on behalf of vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
I had a VIC back then. (I know I told this story before, but here it is
again.) It was a gift from my sister who worked at Commodore at the time
(she worked in sales under Kit Spencer, and often worked with Mike Tomczyk
and Jack Tramiel). I used to think she got my computer with her employee
discount, but it was more like the
employee-walk-out-the-door-with-whatever-you-want discount (Bil Herd
recently confirmed this was a thing that was done with approval). I only
had a tape drive and maybe one cartridge (no floppy drive). I wrote several
games in BASIC, plus other programs to do useful things. A few years ago, I
found many of my programs on an old cassette tape, and yes, I transferred
them to floppy. One game I am currently re-developing for the C64. I spent
many hours programming on my VIC. I also built a couple simple circuits to
interface with it. The 22 column screen was a challenge, but it forced you
to be creative. Plus I didn't have a RAM expansion, so working within 3.5k
was another challenge, a barrier that I slammed up against on one
particular program. It was fun learning all the memory optimization
techniques. I was spoiled in school in 8th, 9th, and 12th grades where I
got to use TRS-80 Models 1 and III (taught myself BASIN on them before I
got the VIC), but the VIC was all mine, and that made it better!
On Fri, Aug 13, 2021 at 9:34 AM Alexander Pierson via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> February '81, eh? Did anyone else have a VIC-20 when it was relatively
> new? What was your experience like?
> Contrasting that, is there anyone here who actually got their hands on an
> IBM 5150 within that first year?
> I find the VIC gets a bit of an unfair shake these days, seen as an
> underpowered toy/game system. However, I see it as the little machine that
> could. The VIC-20 is my favorite vintage computer, hands down. Don't
> believe me? http://commodorez.com/img/vicportrait1000.jpg
> -Alexander 'Z' Pierson
> On Thursday, August 12, 2021, 4:56:59 PM EDT, Richard Cini <
> rich.cini at gmail.com> wrote:
> I got my VIC in February 1981 (9th grade). Upgraded to a Fat Mac in 1985.
> I didn’t get anything PC-ish until I was half-way through college (a
> DeskPro 386/16 with 5 MB of RAM and a 42mb hard drive; still have that
> machine too). My point was more that 40 years is a long time.
> On Thu, Aug 12, 2021 at 4:50 PM Alexander Pierson via vcf-midatlantic <
> vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> >I think I was still using my VIC-20 then.
> You make it sound like it was old in '81, however: Happy 40th birthday
> Commodore VIC-20 too. Yes, technically it was released in Japan in '80,
> but nobody here lived in Japan/had a VIC-1001. I've never heard a
> concrete, verifiable answer on what month it was released in the US. Just
> vaguely mid-summer.
> -Alexander 'Z' Pierson
> On Thursday, August 12, 2021, 7:45:02 AM EDT, Richard Cini via
> vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> August 12, 1981 at a news conference in NY, IBM introduced the PC. 40
> years ago. Holy cow. I think I was still using my VIC-20 then.
> Long Island S100 User’s Group
> Get Outlook<https://aka.ms/qtex0l> for iOS
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