July 27th, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Vector Graphic, Vector 1, S-100, Intel, Zilog, 8080, Z80, CPU, Altair 8800, Bob Harp, Lore Harp, Carole Ely, Byte, freelance work, FastCompany, advertisement, 1977
NOW AVAILABLE IN RUST
The Vector 1 (1977) was the first complete computer system sold by Vector Graphic, Inc., a California-based firm founded by Lore Harp (now McGovern), Carole Ely, and Bob Harp in August 1976.
The Vector 1 included an Intel 8080A or Zilog Z80 CPU, and it utilized the S-100 bus introduced by the Altair 8800. In an unusual nod to aesthetics, the Vector 1 shipped in two case color options: green or "rust," which was Vector's name for orange. It retailed for for $849 fully assembled (about $3,288 today when adjusted for inflation) or $619 as a kit.
It just so happens that I wrote an article about the history of Vector Graphic for FastCompany recently. You may enjoy it.
[ From Byte Magazine, February 1977, p.61]
Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever owned an S-100 based computer? Tell us about it.
July 20th, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Bubble Bobble, Taito, Rainbow Islands, PlayStation, PS1, MS-DOS, Sony, re-release, arcade, GamePro, advertisement, 1996
"100% Rendered Black Void" — I like the humor in this ad
In the mid-1990s, much to my delight, game publishers began remaking and re-releasing classic games of the 1970s and 1980s in collections on Mac, PC, and consoles. You remember — I'm talking about titles such as Microsoft Arcade (1993), Atari 2600 Action Pack (1995), the Namco Museum series (1995-1998), Arcade Classic No. 1: Asteroids / Missile Command (1995), Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits (1996). Even Super Mario All-Stars (1993) counts to some extent.
That happened to be around the same time I started collecting old video game and computer systems, roughly in 1993, so I was happy that the industry seemed to be rediscovering these "forgotten" classics.
The awkwardly titled Bubble Bubble Also Featuring Rainbow Islands falls into the same category, being a re-release of the arcade version of Bubble Bobble and its sequel Rainbow Islands on PlayStation 1 and MS-DOS.
[ From GamePro, October 1996, p.5]
Discussion Topic of the Week: In your opinion, what are some of the best executed game retro remakes and re-releases?
July 13th, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, APF, Imagination Machine, APF-M1000, console expansions, advertisement, BYTE, 1980
I'm not sure I'm ready to take such a big step, APF.
I once did a slideshow of game console-to-computer upgrades, and the APF Imagination Machine figured prominently in the list. That's because it was a combination of the APF-M1000 home video game system and the "IM-1," which was a large keyboard/speaker dock with a built-in cassette tape player (for program storage and retrieval).
What an odd machine. To my knowledge, the M1000 was the only video game system based on the Motorola 6800 CPU, which is one of the grand-daddies in the microprocessor world (first released in 1974).
While neither the console nor the computer fared well commercially, this distinctive advertisement leaves a positive impression. It was brilliantly playful and colorful for a computer ad of the time (1979; this particular scan of the ad comes from 1980).
[ From BYTE Magazine, July 1980, p.43]
Discussion Topic of the Week: Best console add-on of all time?
July 6th, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Atari, Atari ST, Paladin, Omnitrend Software, ST Log, advertisement, 1988
Few people know this, but that's actually strawberry jelly
[ From ST Log, December 1988, back cover]
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's the best Atari ST-exclusive game you can think of?
June 29th, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, IBM, Instruments Computer System, System 9000, modular, scientific, Byte, advertisement, 1983
The IBM Instruments Computer System
What a strange machine. The IBM Instruments Comptuer System was a completely modular 68000-based PC with its own custom OS (CSOS, according to Wikipedia, which stood for "Computer System Operating System" — ???). It also utilized Motorola's rarely-seen Versabus bus architecture. The ICS was aimed at scientific and engineering use, and it launched in 1982 — the year following the launch of the IBM PC 5150.
Has anyone used or seen one of these? This is an oddity of oddities. Thank goodness the IBM PC didn't end up like this.
[ From BYTE Magazine, February 1983, p.116-117]
Discussion Topic of the Week: What was the first IBM brand computer you ever owned (even when collecting)?
June 22nd, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Boxing, sports, George Foreman, NES, SNES, Genesis, Game Gear, Game Boy, VGCE, advertisement, 1992
It's not a grill, but it'll do.
[ From VG&CE, November 1992, p.29]
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your favorite boxing video game of all time?
June 15th, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Sierra, Epyx, Battle Bugs, insects, PC games, IBM PC, advertisement, 1994
"This is it, boys. Over the anthill."
[ From Wired, November 1994, p.33]
Discussion Topic of the Week: How many insect-themed computer or video games can you name off the top of your head?
June 8th, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, XCOMP, The Toaster, removable hard disk, removable media, lightning, advertisement, Byte, 1983
It burns your disks
I know nothing about this dual removable hard disk device — called "The Toaster" — by XCOMP. The only time I've ever seen it is in this ad. But judging by the lightning, it was completely awesome.
It was also completely expensive — about US $6,639.50 when adjusted for inflation.
[ From Byte, February 1983, p.60]
Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever used a removable hard disk system?
April 27th, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Datachem, Sexu-cation, educational software, sex, IBM, IBM PC, advertisement, Family and Home Office Computing, 1987
Outsource your sex educations needs to Datachem
"Mommy, where do babies come from?"
"Well, after a wild night of CTRL-ALT-DELETE, your father hit my CTRL-C then pressed CTRL-V, and nine months later, you came out from LPT1."
[ From Family and Home Office Computing, November 1987, p.92]
Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever played any sex-related computer games? (Or heck, even educational software.)
April 6th, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, MicroProse, Gunship, flight simulators, helicopters, Commodore, Commodore 64, Commodore 128, advertisement, Compute, 1988
The Ultimate Helicopter Eclipse Simulator
[ From Compute's Gazette for Commodore, December 1988, p.7 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: Other than Civilization, what is the best MicroProse title of the 1980s and 1990s?