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Thread: Oddball Microcomputers

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    Great Puma (Level 12) Steve W's Avatar
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    Default Oddball Microcomputers

    http://www.retrothing.com/2006/05/oddball_microco.html

    I came across this article earlier, and it seems that I have four of these computers already, and gave a fifth one away a year or two ago. I've got a 3COM Audrey, an Atari Portfolio (currently loaned out), a Commodore Plus/4, and a TI CC-40. I had a boxed and well worn Timex Sinclair 1500, but gave it to a friend on another forum some time back.

    Anyone have any of these, or do you have computers that you think should be listed in that article? I've got a Tandy/Radio Shack Videotex computer, which was the precursor to the Color Computer line, and was built for online access for farmers in 1979-1980. I've also bought and given away a Commodore Colt and a Radio Shack PC-2 handheld. I even have an Apple eMate 300, the ruggedized laptop version of the Newton PDA that was made for the educational market.

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    ServBot (Level 11) tom's Avatar
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    The Portfolio an oddball? Doubt it.
    Here's one, the C64 Web-it:


    As for contributing, looks like nothing been posted since 2008, looks a defunkt website.

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    Oh sure, I've got a bunch of oddballs. From the article, I've got the plus/4, portfolio, CC-40, TI-74, T/S 1500, and MC-10. Also a Colt (just a PC-clone, so not very interesting), all four of the Radio Shack Pocket Computers, a Zorba (Osborne clone), HP85, TI-99/4 (NOT the very common 99/4A), a Heathkit something-or-other, a couple weird Oregon Scientific handhelds, and probably a bunch more I'm forgetting. I grab these things whenever I see them.

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    Crono (Level 14) Pantechnicon's Avatar
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    I've got the Commodore plus/4 and the Tandy MC-10. The plus/4 was a Goodwill find. The MC-10 I've had since I was 16, along with a printer and 16K memory expansion. My dad traded his early model VCR (circa 1980) for it back in 1986. Even by the standards of the day it wasn't a great trade, but I thought it was nice he wanted to get me an "upgrade" for my TS-1000.

    The MC-10 and the TS-1000 (or ZX-81) have a weird relationship. I've got memory expansions and printers for both of these computers, and despite their different architecture the peripherals for both devices are virtually identical. About the only difference between the two is color: Sinclair Black versus Tandy White. I really need to upload some pictures one day of this.

    Other oddballs off the top of my head that I've got include a Commodore Colt, a Commodore PC-10, a Tandy PC-6, and a Tandy Model 102. Actually the Commodores aren't so weird imo only because they're just Commodore-branded Intels.

    On that note, @Tom: Could you please tell us a little more about that Web-It thing? I mean, it looks like every other WebTV kind of device from the late 90's, but the Commodore 64 logo on the box is blowing my mind

    EDIT - Some Commodore Web-it info. Flash-embedded Windows CE or 3.1 and a C-64 emulator? I totally want one!
    Last edited by Pantechnicon; 04-09-2010 at 05:40 PM.

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    I'm surprised the SX-64 didn't make the list. I always felt it was an odd machine... but I guess with the Kaypro and Osbourne machines, it's not quite so unique after all.

    --Zero

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    Great Puma (Level 12) Steve W's Avatar
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    I guess the Tandy Model 100 series would be considered an oddball computer, just from it's design, but it was pretty popular with writers long before laptops came into the market. So I don't think it fits. I've got one, a model 102. The problem is that it's got a few dead rows of pixels. It's still a nice little machine. I remember seeing a woman selling one out at the local flea market years back, and it was attached to a handheld bar code scanner. I regret not buying that one, I'd love to see what it was capable of. Maybe I could have my entire DVD, CD, and video game collection scanned into it by now.

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