Posted 16 May 2003 - 01:23 AM
I didn't think that anyone else ever had a ELF II besides me. I bought mine for Christmas in 1977. I got the one with 256 bytes of memory, hex keypad and display and that was it. Later on I got the I/O card that had a parallel interface and more importantly, the cassette interface. I also added on the 4K memory card. I ran most software in machine language, but did some in the CHIP-8 language and Tiny BASIC. That was a lot of fun, but it took a lot of time soldering everything together. I also used the parallel port to hook up another hex keypad that I made from the first calculator that I ever had (a Wards 4-function, was about $100.00) so we could play games against each other using two controllers. I still have it out in the shed. Maybe I'll set it back up and see if it still works.The first computer I ever got to use was a Harris /7 sytem that was at the local college (Serial number 3 - I think it was the last one made). This was through an Explorer Scout troop in 1975. It had a couple of DecWriters attached to it, if you could get to them. If you couldn't, then it was punch cards. I remember later on, they added a video terminal, but most of the students didn't know how to use it since it didn't have a RETURN key. We figured out how to use it, so most of the time it was all ours to use.The next computer I got was an Apple ][+ in 1980 or 1981. 48K memory, tape storage, no floppy and I used an old B/W TV with an RF modulator for a screen. Later on I finally had enough money for a 5.25" floppy disk drive. 135K unformatted capacity for $625.00. I thought that it was the greatest thing that ever came out, it was so much faster and easier to use than the cassette tapes. Later on I bought a C.Itoh ProWriter dot matrix printer and a parallel card, a second floppy drive, and a 16K memory card to expand it to 64K, A MicroSoft Softcard so I could run CP/M - I had WordStar, MultiPlan, dBase and a ton of other software for it, a Copy II+ card to copy 'copy protected' software, A Super Serial Card, and finally some 3.5" floppy disk drives. A friend of mine actually had a 5MEG hard disk drive for his. This thing was about 14" wide, 12" tall and 24" deep and cost about $2500.00. The whole drive looked like a bunch of 135K floppy drives to the computer. I guess that's an early version of partitioning.I have also owned a Monroe CP/M system (I forget the model number), An Apple Macintosh SE, An Apple //e, a Timex Sinclair 1000, An Apollo DN460 UNIX workstation (dimmed the lights every time it started it up), a NorthStar Advantage, and then came the PC. I've had a 286-16, 486DX2-66-later a 486DX4-100, Cyrix P150+ (That was a mistake), Celeron 300A (OC'd to 450), Athlon 900 and now an Athlon 1700+. Every PC system has been homebuilt with parts from all over the place. I keep ripping old stuff out and replacing it with newer and better.When I go to garage sales, I will usually pick up an old computer if it's cheap. I'd love to find an Apple I for about $25-$100.00 that someone didn't know what it was. Thanks for the thread, it brought back a lot of memories.