Acorn 8-bit Computers

One of the early “home computers” was hardly known outside of the United Kingdom, but in its home country, Acorn owned the education market. Launched by Cambridge Processor Unit Ltd. (CPU) in January 1979, a little over a year after the Apple II, Commodore PET, and Radio Shack TRS-80 came to market, the Acorn System […]

The Early Days of Computer Retailing

Some of you may remember seeing one of the first personal computers at a Radio Shack store in the latter part of 1977. Although there were three competing “home computer” systems on the market, only the TRS-80 was widely available – it was on display at 3,500 Radio Shack stores throughout the United States!

CPUs: Motorola 6800 and 6809

The personal computing revolution started in 1974 with the 2 MHz Intel 8080, Intel’s first 8-bit CPU capable of addressing 64 KB of memory. (The earlier 8008 from 1972 could only address 16 KB.) But there was a parallel path, a new CPU family that Motorola launched in 1974.

Timeline of Home Computers

Personal computing never would have gotten started if not for the invention of microprocessors, which puts a computer’s CPU (central processing unit) on a single chip – sometimes with companion chips. Intel released the first commercial CPU in 1971, and the first 8-bit “home computers” arrived just a few years later.

Apple IIc and IIc Plus: Compact Apples with Internal Floppy Drives

The Apple II family was known for its expansion options – eight slots for adding capabilities. Inevitably one held a floppy controller, typically one held a parallel printer card, and another might have a serial card for a modem or printer. Some bought Microsoft’s Z-80 SoftCard to run CP/M. But for most users, most slots remained empty.

2 Apple Failures: Apple III and Lisa

Realizing that the Apple II would not sustain Apple forever, the Sara project began. The main idea of Sara was to create a more powerful and capable Apple II. It would include 128 KB of RAM, an integrated floppy drive, and a high resolution display – 80 columns wide instead of the Apple II’s 40.