Archive
Computers
Sinclair ZX81: The $149.95 personal computer (May, 1982)

The $149.95 personal computer.

Introducing the Sinclair ZX81 If you’re ever going to buy a personal computer, now is the time to do it.

The new Sinclair ZX81 is the most powerful, yet easy-to-use computer ever offered for anywhere near-the price: only $149.95* completely assembled.

Don’t let the price fool you. The ZX81 has just about everything you could ask for in a personal computer.

A breakthrough in personal computers The ZX81 is a major advance over the original Sinclair ZX80—the world’s largest selling personal computer and the first for under $200.

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The only complete document proofreading system: GRAMMATiK + PROOF READER = NO ERRORS (May, 1982)

Spell check your document in under four minutes!

The only complete document proofreading system: GRAMMATiK + PROOF READER = NO ERRORS

GRAMMATiK – Beyond Spelling Checking
PROOF READER – The Aspen Software Company Spelling Checker

For CP/M®, TRS-80®, and 8086/8088 Word Processors.

Don’t settle for a partial proofreading program. There are other spelling checkers available, but only Aspen Software offers a complete document proofreading system.

The Aspen Software Company spelling checker is Proofreader. We’ve been improving Proofreader since it was first released in early 1981. The newest version is fully menu driven, and so simple to use thai you probably won’t even need the comprehensive user’s manual that’s included.

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Univac at General Electric (Appliance Park) (Aug, 1956)

Univac at General Electric (Appliance Park)

Offering the unique advantage of electronic speed coupled with unrivalled accuracy, it’s no wonder that the General Electric Company installed the Remington Rand Univac at their modern Appliance Park, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Univac makes possible new insight into all phases of G-E’s major appliance operations. Management decisions can be made with a degree of precision never before obtainable.

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Programmable calculator / Scientific calculator (Feb, 1980)

Programmable calculator features accessory ports

A new hand-held calculator I’ve been trying has features—plug-in peripheral slots, scrolling alphanumeric display, “musical” beep-boop sounds— that are familiar to users of typewriter-size personal computers [PS, Nov. '79]. But in a pocket programmable, Hewlett-Packard’s new 41C, these features and others add up to exceptional versatility.

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How do you decide who gets priority on your computer? (Apr, 1965)

The CDC 6000 series was designed by Seymour Cray.

How do you decide who gets priority on your computer?

new 6000 SERIES Systems make “priority” a thing of the past

YOU CAN MAKE EVERYBODY “FIRST IN LINE” — because the new CONTROL DATA® Series 6000 Systems do things differently than any other computers available today. Their massive memory and incredible speed allow simultaneous access by a number of different users with different programs.

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Computer system speaks plain English (Feb, 1980)

Computer system speaks plain English

Computers may be storehouses of information, but to release it they must be addressed in a special language. Now Philips in Holland has devised a system that understands questions in English, so more people have access to the data bank. This gives an organization’s computer far wider use, and points to exciting future developments for home units.

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Steve Jobs was Always Steve Jobs (Nov, 1982)

In 1982 Martin Amis, yes that one, wrote a book about video game culture called “Invasion of The Space Invaders”. In it he included a Steve Jobs quote from when he was still an Atari employee. It is classic Jobs:

“The computer,” says Atari’s Steve Jobs, “is one of the pinnacles of Western rational thought. They bring together physics, electronics, chemistry and mathematics; they bring logic, and philosophy, information theory, all that. And the people working on these computers possess a passion about the discovery and creation of something. It’s a passion that I have only seen matched in people pursuing what they consider to be the truth of their existence. It’s the same purity of spirit I have experienced in monks.”

Also check out his thoughts in this interview with Byte Magazine done when the Macintosh was introduced.

The hip young heroes of Atari, for instance, are convinced that they stand on the very brink of evolutionary breakthrough. The development of the video games is seen as roughly equivalent to mankind’s slow crawl from the primal broth of creation. Any day now, it seems, homo sapiens will once more be toweling himself down on the fresh dunes of tomorrow. “The computer,” says Atari’s Steve Jobs, “is one of the pinnacles of Western rational thought. They bring together physics, electronics, chemistry and mathematics; they bring logic, and philosophy, information theory, all that. And the people working on these computers possess a passion about the discovery and creation of something. It’s a passion that I have only seen matched in people pursuing what they consider to be the truth of their existence. It’s the same purity of spirit I have experienced in monks.” So perhaps the foul-mouthed, grimacing youths of the arcades aren’t just improving their geometrical and spatial awareness: what they’re really doing is searching for the meaning of life.

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HEATHKIT H8 (Jul, 1978)

HEATHKIT H8

This 8-bit machine, by itself is as versatile as a lot of systems that include peripherals

Skeptical? For starters, because of its unique design the H8 is the only machine in its price class that offers full system integration yet, with just 4K of optional memory and using only its “intelligent” front panel for I/O, may be operated completely without peripherals! In addition, by using the features of its built-in Pam-8 ROM panel control program, the H8 actually allows you to dig in and examine machine level circuitry.

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VIC-20 – Commodore’s Entry in the Small Computer Arena (May, 1982)

VIC-20 – Commodore’s Entry in the Small Computer Arena

by David D. Busch

If first impressions stick, the Vic-20 microcomputer by Commodore (King of Prussia, PA) will lodge itself in the mind of any potential purchaser. The 6502 microprocessor-based computer just doesn’t look like a $299 machine.

In fact, when I demonstrate the unit to those unfamiliar with it, I always save the price for last. This ploy is especially effective if the potential user already has some familiarity with other microcomputers and their prices.

First, I demonstrate the full-stroke, typewriter-style keyboard, which features four special function keys and a control key. The Pet Basic is identical to that used in higher-priced Commodore machines and comparable to Applesoft or Radio Shack’s model III Basic.

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Fast and Smart – Designers race to build the supercomputers of the future (Mar, 1988)

When reading this, keep in mind that a single AMD 6990 Graphics Card which is available for $700 is capable of over 5 teraFlOPS.

Also, Philip Elmer-De Witt still writes about technology.

And apparently Seymour Cray was so bad-ass he played Minecraft for real.

Fast and Smart – Designers race to build the supercomputers of the future

The computer at the University of Illinois is simulating something that no one saw: the evolution of the universe in the aftermath of the Big Bang. Re-creating conditions that may have prevailed billions of years ago, the computer reveals on a remote screen how massive clouds of subatomic particles, tugged by their own gravity, might have coalesced into filaments and flattened disks. The vivid reds, greens and blues of the shapes are not merely decorative but represent the various densities of the first large structures as they emerged from primordial chaos in the near vacuum of space.

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