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?
March 30th, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Apple, Apple II, Jef Raskin, Steve Wozniak, Woz, SwyftCard, Information Appliance, advertisement, Personal Computing, 1986
Paid for by SwyftCard Veterans for Truth
From the land of exotic Apple II accessories comes the Information Appliance SwyftCard, a plug-in peripheral card that gave the Apple IIe a built-in suite of ROM-based productivity tools, all unified around a novel scroll-based [PDF] user environment called SWYFT.
SWYFT was the brainchild of former Apple employee Jef Raskin, who originally spearheaded the Macintosh project. After disagreements with Steve Jobs over the direction of that project, Raskin left Apple and founded Information Appliance, Inc. (consequently, Jobs took the Mac project in a completely new direction).
The SwyftCard originated as an Apple IIe-based prototype for a dedicated machine centered around Raskin's SWYFT environment, but it proved so effective and compelling that it became its own product. The dedicated concept would later emerge as the Canon Cat in 1987.
SwyftCards are very rare (I've never seen one in person over 20 years of collecting Apple II hardware), so Apple enthusiast Mike Willegal has provided instructions for building your own. Pretty neat!
P.S. I emailed this ad to Steve Wozniak (who is featured in the ad) and he said, "Cool reminder!"
[ From Personal Computing, March 1986, p.163 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: Jef Raskin vs. Steve Jobs: Who do you identify with the most?
March 23rd, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Apple, Atari, Apple II, Atari 800, Hi-Res Adventure, Bob Davis, Ken Williams, Ulysses, Sierra, graphical adventures, adventure games, computer games, advertisement, Compute, 1982
HI-RES ADVENTURE #4
[ From Compute!, June 1982, p.15 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your favorite static-screen graphical adventure game of all time?
March 16th, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Artecon Lynx, Artecon, SCSI, external drive, storage, WWW, Internet, Internet World, advertisement, 1996
"Web storage needs getting a little out of hand?"
[ From Internet World, February 1996, p.41 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: Total up all your personal computer storage you have in use, right now, in gigabytes (local site only, not cloud). How much data storage do you currently use at home?
February 23rd, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Axiom, EX-801, EX-820, Printer Card, TRS-80, PET, Apple II, BYTE, advertisement, 1979
* Feathered hair not included
Ah, the good ole days when you had to pay $535 (that's $1,744 in today's dollars) for the privilege of merely being able to hook a printer to your home computer. What can I say — it was a useful feature.
My first computer, an Apple II+, came equipped with a Grappler+ printer card (from the previous owner), although I can't recall ever using it. Instead, I printed school reports by that time from whichever family MS-DOS machines we had at the time, each of which included a built-in parallel port for printer use.
What a great day it was when I switched from a noisy dot matrix printer to the that awesome Canon Bubblejet we had. Silent printing! And the day we got our first full-color photo capable HP inkjet printer around 1996. It was pretty low resolution, but still amazing.
Today, I don't print much. I have a color laser copier in service to reproduce scanned documents (in lieu of a copy machine) in case I need a hard copy of something — usually a form or contract — to mail.
[ From BYTE Magazine - November 1979, p.162 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: Do you regularly print anything from your computer these days? What do you print?