[ Retro Scan ] The Original OSI Challenger

February 19th, 2018 by Benj Edwards

Ohio Scientific Instruments OSI Challenger 6502 Vintage PC personal computer Byte Magazine advertisement scan - 1977Simple beginnings

This ancient personal computer ad comes to us from February 1977 in Byte Magazine — before the launch of the Apple II.

Like the Apple II, Ohio Scientific Industries’ Challenger PC used a MOS 6502 CPU.

I don’t know too much about OSI, since I have never owned a machine they made, but I know that they were very important in the early PC industry. I found a really neat website about OSI boards if you want to learn more. You can also learn more about their complete systems, including those with Apple II-like built-in keyboards at this website.

[ From Byte Magazine, February 1977, p.65 ]

Discussion Topic: What’s the oldest computer you’ve ever used?

12 Responses to “[ Retro Scan ] The Original OSI Challenger”

  1. Jim Says:

    I think the oldest computer I used was an Apple ][e in grade school in the early 80’s.

  2. Don H Says:

    I got my start on an Apple ][+ with one of the first disk drives shipped from Apple. It would be almost another 5 years before I had a computer at home, but before that it was hard to make me come home from school.

    I’m currently going through the back catalog of Byte magazines, starting with issue 1 (on PDF). Fascinating read of what I was too young to appreciate back then. I’m currently in the summer of ’78, when the Disk II was just announced for the Apples. TRS-80’s and PETs were out, but didn’t get a lot of press (Byte did surprisingly little hardware reviews at that point, it was mostly projects and articles about programming). Lots of ads for Cromemco machines, Apple, and Heathkit.

  3. gene Says:

    I remember when a friend got a TRS-80 for Christmas. He had a game similar to Phaser Strike on the Microvision (Hey Benj! Why not write those up sometime?).

    That TRS-80 replaced his TI-59 with printer. I may still have the Christmas tree “Christmas card” he printed on the the PC-100A printer with it one year.

    MY first computer was the C64 with a 300 baud modem. Wow. lol. I had already owned these programmable calculators (SR-52, TI-58C and HP-41C) but this was the first computer. Replaced that C64 with a Mac as soon as I saw macpaint demoed in grad school. They drew a rectangle, clicked a button and it became a brick wall. Then clicked another and drew spray-painted graffiti on it. I was hooked.

  4. Dan B. Says:

    The oldest computer I have ever used was a Commodore PET 4032 but the first time I was exposed to a computer was around 1983 and it was a Commodore 64 (breadbin) computer that was in our 2nd grade classroom.

  5. Z Says:

    If you count brief usage at a VCF, then the original PDP-8 by way of an ASR-33 teletype. I played a lunar lander game… that didn’t end well.

    Useful tasks involving old computers have ranged from IRC on a C64, and learning to type on an Apple IIe in 2nd grade. Everything else was just messing around.

  6. BDD Says:

    The PET 4032 was also the oldest personal computer I’ve used. I learned BASIC on it when I was 10 years old. The oldest computing MACHINE that I’ve ever used was an old teletype with a modem that dialed remotely into the MECC mainframe (and other systems) and let high school students do career research, among other things. The “other things” got me into trouble at one time, when I dialed into MSU and played the original Adventure. I was banned from the teletype and the TRS-80s in the computer lab and library for a week as a result 🙂

  7. David Says:

    The earliest computer I’ve ever used was an Apple ][+. Also used a TRS-80 model 3 or 4, but not sure the age on that one. As far as the OSI Challenger goes, I own 4 of the C1P model, one having a plastic case instead of metal that the 3 other have.

  8. Geoff V. Says:

    Hoping you’ll be back this summer. Really missing your voice and perspective.

  9. Benj Edwards Says:

    Thanks, Geoff. I’ve been really busy setting up something neat which I can announce later. I’m also preparing to move, so that has taken up a lot of time. I’ll try to post more frequently.

  10. Geoff V. Says:

    Great news! Good luck with the move, they can be really stressful.

    Looking forward to your return!

  11. Daniel Says:

    The oldest computer I’ve ever used was a Commodore PET 4032. I also had a Commodore VIC-20 and an Atari VCS 2600 in my bedroom when I was a kid and then upgraded to a Commodore 64C. The Commodore 64 had some fantastic games.

  12. Joe Says:

    Ohio Scientific made a set of popular S-100 bus computers. We used quite a few of them at the Missouri University Research Reactor back in the early 80s.

    My first home computer was a Commodore PET 4016.

    The first computer I ever used was an IBM mainframe at Mizzou using IBM cards and JCL (Job Control Language).

    I took the Commodore side in the 8-bit computer wars so typing in the bot defender phrase hurt my feelings.

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