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Old 04-25-2005, 05:53 AM   #1
floppywhopper
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Blazing System Specs


Yes absolutely
from the pages of "Electronics Australia" - December 1982

Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
includes :-
Typewriter Keyboard - 48 keys
16 Kb RAM
expandable to 52 Kb RAM
Processor TMS9900 ( 16 bit )
Display : 16 colours 24 lines by 28 characters
32 x 24 dot resolution

for only $ 499 inc sales tax

wooohooo
or if that doesnt set you on fire

The Sorceror
for $ 440
or for an extra $ 995
you can have 2 floppy disk drives
( was $ 1290 )

or how about
The Dick Smith System 80
Z80 Microprocessor
16 Kb RAM ( expandable to 48 Kb )
52 key keyboard
built-in speakers
built-in cassette tape drive
built-in TV modulator

only $ 699 ( down from $ 750 )

but wait theres more
system 80 dual floppy disk drive - only $ 495

Or for the budget conscious

Commodore VIC-20
32 Kb RAM
4 sound generators
16 colours
connects to any TV set

for only $ 299

Yes I vaguely remember those days
only $ 299 : that was nearly two weeks wages for me then in 1982
my how things have changed in the last 23 years

floppy
 
Old 04-25-2005, 03:52 PM   #2
bigjohn
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Well apart from the nostalgia injection, and the object lesson in how much hardware costs have reduced in real terms, wouldn't the "pages of Electronics Australia - Dec 1982" be better suited to the recycling bin at the local dump???

regards

John
 
Old 04-26-2005, 05:22 AM   #3
floppywhopper
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LOL
to answer your question - No

I've always been more interested in electronics and radio than computers. A computer to me is just a tool just like a drill or a chainsaw is.

One thing however, in the same magazine are kitset computers where the hobbyist can actually build their motherboard etc, I wonder if kitsets like that exist anymore. Yes I know you can buy kitsets for embedded stuff, but I mean a functioning pentium type desktop.

If you are into radio you can still build one from scratch, wind your own coils, make your own PCB etc.... you learn a lot that way. But you can't really do that with computers. When I was a kid we used to go to the local dump and "liberate" discarded TVs and Radios for parts and make all sorts of things. Now you're not allowed to even go to the dump - let alone "liberate" discards.
Fear of litigation and all that stuff.

end of rant, part II.

floppy
 
Old 04-26-2005, 03:04 PM   #4
williamwbishop
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Quote:
Originally posted by floppywhopper
LOL
to answer your question - No

I've always been more interested in electronics and radio than computers. A computer to me is just a tool just like a drill or a chainsaw is.

One thing however, in the same magazine are kitset computers where the hobbyist can actually build their motherboard etc, I wonder if kitsets like that exist anymore. Yes I know you can buy kitsets for embedded stuff, but I mean a functioning pentium type desktop.

If you are into radio you can still build one from scratch, wind your own coils, make your own PCB etc.... you learn a lot that way. But you can't really do that with computers. When I was a kid we used to go to the local dump and "liberate" discarded TVs and Radios for parts and make all sorts of things. Now you're not allowed to even go to the dump - let alone "liberate" discards.
Fear of litigation and all that stuff.

end of rant, part II.

floppy
I remember those days...I owned the first cassette player on the block. A couple of 10 inch speakers with magnets the size of basketballs out of a console TV along with several speakers from different dead radios found at the dump. It had parts from three or four different stereo systems and I had pieced together a stereo with an 8 track, casette tape, weather radio, 4 dial equalizer, FM and AM, all in one large pile. It got awesome reception, and the sound quality was beautiful. Of course that was when I didn't have two pennies to rub together, living with dead beat parents out in the trashy side of town. I'm sure it didn't sound nearly as good as I remember it, but I tend to be nostalgic. Now when I turn on all the gadgets in my house the city lights dim ....but I still miss that pile of junk radio.
 
Old 04-26-2005, 07:44 PM   #5
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally posted by floppywhopper
LOL
to answer your question - No

I've always been more interested in electronics and radio than computers. A computer to me is just a tool just like a drill or a chainsaw is.

One thing however, in the same magazine are kitset computers where the hobbyist can actually build their motherboard etc, I wonder if kitsets like that exist anymore. Yes I know you can buy kitsets for embedded stuff, but I mean a functioning pentium type desktop.

If you are into radio you can still build one from scratch, wind your own coils, make your own PCB etc.... you learn a lot that way. But you can't really do that with computers. When I was a kid we used to go to the local dump and "liberate" discarded TVs and Radios for parts and make all sorts of things. Now you're not allowed to even go to the dump - let alone "liberate" discards.
Fear of litigation and all that stuff.

end of rant, part II.

floppy
Ah! yeeeeessssssss. Radio!

di dah di dah dit

John
 
Old 04-26-2005, 07:52 PM   #6
floppywhopper
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Nope you can leave the doo doo dahs out of it, thats why I never got an amateur radio licence. Just cant see the point of it - what did it prove - nothing. Another brand of elitism IMHO.

However I do like listening to shortwave, its nice to listen to someone elses propaganda for a change.

floppy
 
Old 04-27-2005, 05:27 AM   #7
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally posted by floppywhopper
Nope you can leave the doo doo dahs out of it, thats why I never got an amateur radio licence. Just cant see the point of it - what did it prove - nothing. Another brand of elitism IMHO.

However I do like listening to shortwave, its nice to listen to someone elses propaganda for a change.

floppy
Actually floppy, I was of the same opinion when I "took the test" (that's required in the UK) for a class B licence (30mhz up), but then I took the extreme route to learn morse, I joined the RN as a communicator (I was a "sparker" rather than "bunting"). Both sides of the job had to learn morse, though the "bunts" only to 6 wpm audio, then 10 wpm visual. Whereas we sparks, required a minimum of 12 wpm audio. It wasn't until I was headed "down south", and called MPA (another story) on a portable back pack @ 10 watts peak, in the middle of the day (no pissing about with skip freqs etc) with a 6 ft flexy whip antennae, they answered first call. It was a distance of about 3000 miles.

Pure magic. Thats when I started to "get it". It was about 15 years ago, even then, in the early days of radio based data comms, there was something enjoyable about being able to "talk" with such basic equipment, over such distances. Which, compared to this medium (which is good), certainly doesn't give me the same buzz.

The only downside, was that at 18/19, I used to visit the local radio club once a month, and while the magic for me, was talking or keying into a piece of kit, with the sig going down a wire, into a box full of "white mans magic", out of another wire, up the twig and off into the atmosphere, the club was full (unfortunately) of "Oh, I've just fitted a 10 picofarad smoothing cap to the dynamic output stage of my mike, it makes the voice freq output, really really smoooooooth and clear". AAAAAaaaaaaarrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh! F**k off!

Trainspotters with microphones and too much money (Jap off the shelf boxes etc).

So that was me out!

Only good thing, is that now, "they've" relaxed the regs on licencing, so I don't need a morse certificate for a "class A" now, so I've been thinking of putting in for a new licence and maybe getting the soldering iron back out and stringing a few wires across the garden - but I suspect that I'll keep well away from the local club(s)!

regards

John

p.s. I'm only a communicators son, but me dah dah didit and didit and didit (yeah, ok I know its a crap joke)!!!!!
 
Old 04-27-2005, 06:39 AM   #8
floppywhopper
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LOL
yes it makes you wonder why people go through all the bother of sitting for their amateur exams just to get a peice of glorified CB equipment.

CB here is unlicenced, mind you so is Radio & TV reception unlike NZ and I presume the UK - still ???

There is something satisfying about "rolling yer own".

When I was in the "State Emergency Service" here, I used to specialise in radio's, and while we mostly used UHF we also had HF - good stuff. Satisfying to know that with a bit of practice one could call up any one in the country under most conditions. Unfortunately the bureaucrats in head orrifice didnt see it that way and want everything UHF or mobile phones.

floppy
 
Old 04-29-2005, 05:03 PM   #9
bigjohn
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Well it isn't just nuclear explosions that can cause damage with an "EMP" is it!

Though you may have to wait sometime for the conditions that will prove you right!

regards

John

p.s. Oh and yes I can see your arguement about HF being "glorified CB", but the test (theory) isn't just about how to work the kit, but also to keep it within prescribed freqs/bandwidths/emissions etc etc, so it is "quite" technical.

Afterall, that nice new shiney japanese "black box" might be perfectly accurate when it's brand new, but after a few years who knows - if you don't know how to check its function or accuracy of function, you're not really "doing your bit" to prevent someone elses kit (tv's, radio, etc etc) getting "sprogged" by the umpteenth harmonic, or if the bandwidth filter or two are dieing, then how do you prevent your set sprogging the local emergency services etc etc - well thats the logic behind it anyway).

regards

John
 
  


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