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
- DECstation 3100
- DECstation 5000/200
- DECstation 5000/250
- Spark 5 clone (can’t remember which)
- Sun UltraSparc
- 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.