[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Compucolor II

August 10th, 2009 by Benj Edwards

Compucolor II Ad - 1979Finally. A respectable computer. Took long enough.

The Compucolor II was one of the world’s first personal computers with color display capabilities. It’s now quite rare. Does anybody out there have one that they don’t want?

[ From BYTE, July 1979 ]

Discussion topic of the week: Have you ever regularly used a computer without a color display? If so, tell us about it.

15 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Compucolor II”

  1. XCALIBR8 Says:

    I did regularly use my schools apple classic and apple IIe. I used to love playing Number/Word Munchers and Oregon Trail.

  2. Fessic Says:

    My memory’s pretty fuzzy on this but I remember owning a “Color Computer” from Radio Shack. Funny enough the monitor only supported a single color – orange I think. I had a spreadsheet app, word processor (no printer) and Tetris…the only thing I used regularly : )

  3. Chris Says:

    Computers I used w/out a color display: TRS 80 Model 1, TRS 80 Model 100, Apple IIe, Apple IIc, Sun Workstation (forgot which), the original Fat Mac, some generic XT with an amber screen (perfect for bouts of Test Drive), a Zenith 286 “Laptop”. I also had a summer job once where I had some 286 with an amber monitor for CAD work. And at uni I had the joy of learning C and C++ on Sun Sparcstations.

  4. arlandi Says:

    Apple IIe clone and few years later, a generic XT with 640 KB of ram with two 5 1/4″ floppy drives. That XT really became my first entry to PC gaming.

  5. Geoff V. Says:

    Happy Birthday Steve Wozniak!

  6. Squeem Says:

    I used a 13 inch black and white TV (that I got in 1969) with my Color Computer 2. I later got a 12 inch amber monitor for it. Still have them.

  7. Matt Says:

    We had an early Apple IIe (Mom was a teacher), and I had a VIC-20. Does using an original Gameboy regularly still count? 🙂

  8. Jeremy Bosco Says:

    I owned an IBM XT that had an orange monochrome monitor, as well as a Commodore 16 (!) that had a green monochrome monitor. I self-taught myself most of what I knew back then (I’ve forgotten about 98% of what I knew back then :P) about BASIC and DOS on the IBM, and used the Commodore 16 to play games on tape. Also, back then, our schools had Apple ][e’s, and that’s where I applied much of my self-taught knowledge to get all A’s in my computer classes, doing mostly programming and playing Oregon Trail.

  9. Matt Knudson Says:

    I used a Compucolor II computer back in high school, circa 1978, in my vocational electronics class. I loved it. I remember writing a program that would draw a random colored line that would move across the screen, similar to the game QIX. I thought I was da bomb! Later I got an Atari 800 and I was king of the world! I would hook up to bulletin boards around town (pre-internet) with my 300-baud modem. Those were the days.

  10. Chris Says:

    It reminds me of the keyboards on an ancient IC layout workstation that a previous employer of mine used.

  11. Cody Says:

    Only 8K of memory? What are you supposed to do with that?!

  12. Michael Says:

    I got a compucolor in extremely good condition, packed away in 88 when my dad updated his computer, still with software, mainly games. Want to sell now he has passed away. You know someone I could sell to? I live in australia but could ship anywhere in the world.




  13. Steve Says:

    I have used Apple ][+ and IIe computers with monochrome monitors. My Coleco ADAM used a B&W TV. I have both an 8086 and an 8088 PC and I am told they use monochrome monitors. My ex-gf had an IBM Portable with an amber monitor. Loved playing a pinball game on that thing!

  14. John Says:

    I have a CompuColor II, but not the classic 1978 model. I have the “3621” model that is in an all-in-one case. Still the same logic board and CRT, just stuffed into a really classy case. It doesn’t work, and I have been advised to replace all the capacitors because evidently they fail with age. There is a great web site that covers the CompuColor II and has a lot of scans of old ads and manuals. The best part is they have a CompuColor II emulator (written in JavaScript) that can run all the old software, which they just happen to have in their library! Star Trek, Swarms, Lunar Lander are just some of the old games that I can play again on their site. I even found the image editor program I submitted to the Rochester NY CompuColor User’s Group and ran that!

  15. Mike Says:

    I am looking for an compucolor II, if any one Is selling one, please let me know.

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