Vintage Computing

Over the years I’ve owned a lot of personal computers, starting with a KIM-1 in 1978.  My interest in computer started after reading a series published in QST about building and programming microcomputers.

A partial list of machines over the years, without much focus on PC clones (they’re all pretty boring anyway):

  • KIM-1 (1978)
  • OSI Superboard (1980)
  • Atari 800 (1981)
  • Apple ][+
  • Franklin ACE-100
  • Franklin Red Lightning (prototype… only one known to exist)
  • Franklin BoGUS – one of about 10 ever made
  • Frankin ACE-1000
  • Ferguson Big Board
  • Another Atari 800 (traded someone the Apple for it)
  • PC clone – 8088 based
  • 80386 clone
  • 80486 (first machine I ever paid $4000 for)
  • IBM System 3
  • PDP-11/03
  • PDP-11/23
  • PDP-11/24
  • DECstation 3100
  • DECstation 5000/200
  • DECstation 5000/250
  • Spark 5 clone (can’t remember which)
  • Sun UltraSparc
  • AIM-65
  • SYM-1
  • Franklin ACE-2100
  • Franklin ACE-2200
  • Atari ST-520
  • S-100 system; lots of cards from different vendors.  Runs CP/M 2.2
  • Many single board computers
  • Heathkit Hero Jr robot. Rescued from a trash can
  • Apple iMac, 2.4 GHz (2008)
  • Apple iMac, 1 GHz G4 (for the kids to use)
  • Apple iMac, 2.7 Ghz, i5, 27” (2011)
  • Several Mac Airs


Like most people, I’ve got a collection of PCs in the house running various incarnations of Windows, FreeBSD and Linux. My main computers for everyday use are Intel iMac.

The $4000 PC deserves a mention. There used to be a well-know rule that “the computer you really want costs $4000.” I never spent that kind of money, but never actually bought the super machine I wanted. When I started my first consulting company in the early 1990s, I went out and bought a huge 486 based machine. The final price was $4017, proving the old adage was accurate.

I continue to look for vintage computers that interest me.  This is my list of things I’m especially looking for, but other 6502 machines are of interest too…

  • Saturn 128K memory expansion card for the Apple ][
  • Franklin expansion cards
  • Franklin X-10 hard drive
  • Pretty much any Franklin parts, motherboards, cases, etc.
  • KIM-4 motherboard – highly desired!
  • KIM expansion boards, such as those made by MTU
  • Any Perkin-Elmer minicomputers, parts, software or manuals
  • SWTPC equipment
  • KIM-1 expansion boards from MTU

If you have any of those that you’d like to part with, please email me.