In the academic year 2001-2002 CUCPS held the following talks, in the Hopkinson lecture theatre on the New Museums Site.
For many people around the world, the computers of their youth represent their most formative years, the most fun they ever derived from computing and quite often a major factor in their chosen career path later in life. For the majority of the current undergraduate and postgraduate population, this means the 8 bit computers by firms such as Sinclair, Commodore, Amstrad and Acorn.
Many of these computers continue to be enjoyed in so-called "scenes", where new programming techniques and hardware tricks continue to be found today. However, there were many other firms also selling 8 bit home computers across the globe in the 1980s; this talk attempts to summarise as many of them as possible, give an idea of what the current state of the art in the "scene" is like and provide helpful pointers for those wishing to find out more.
Manufacturers to be covered include the above four firms well known in England, plus Atari, MSX, Tangerine (Oric), Dragon Data / Tandy Radio Shack, Texas Instruments, Robotron (from the DDR) and the Japanese console manufacturers Sega and Nintendo, who also made home computers.
There will also be a display of hardware from around the world, subject to the availability of transport, including some MSX2 machines belonging to the speaker. CUCPS would like to gauge interest in this area of computing, for possible further talk topics.
At the talk, Adrian Godwin took some photographs, mostly of the machines present; by his permission, they appear here:
In the 1970s and 80s, HP were well known for producing some of the finest calculators in the world. And it wasn't long before some users started wondering about the insides. Today these classic HP calcuators are still used for real work, and a knowledge of the internals is essential not only to use them more efficiently, but also should you ever have to repair one.
In this talk, I intend to describe the hardware of several types of HP handheld calculator, starting with the HP35, their very first model, and continuing up until the earliest Saturn based models (a processor which is still used in current HP machines).
Along the way we'll meet processors with 56 bit data registers, tiny magnetic card readers, thermal printers, machines assembled with almost no soldered connections, and other features that you find (almost) nowhere else.
Dr Duell has kindly permitted us to distribute his notes for this talk. Adrian Godwin took some photographs of the calculators at the talk; by his permission, they appear here:
The Fido BBS QL has the following spec:
Minutes of the AGM of 5 March 2002, which took just one minute and fifty-five seconds (but was inquorate), are also available.
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