Building a PC - then & now

Dave Wade dave.g4ugm at
Thu Jan 14 04:09:14 CST 2016

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Raymond
> Wiker
> Sent: 14 January 2016 06:52
> To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
> <cctalk at>
> Subject: Re: Building a PC - then & now
> On Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 11:29 PM, Murray McCullough <
> c.murray.mccullough at> wrote:
> > I was reading in a dated magazine article on the "freedom to build(a
> > PC)": Well you can't build phone; can't build a car; can't build a
> > refrigerator; can't build a TV. Do we have the freedom to build a
> > computer? We did in the earliest days of the PC- the 8-bit era. Heck,
> > that's all one could do! It was limited and is to this day. AMD vs
> > INTEL control what we can do. Has anything really changed?
> >
> I'd say that we still have the freedom to build a computer; in fact, it's
> probably easier than it ever was. True, it may not be feasible to build a high-
> performance computer based on current generation x86 chips, but there are
> so many alternatives: some of the 8-bit favourites are still being made (6502,
> z80); then there's the AVR, PIC, TI 430, the Propeller, various ARM chips.
> There are free or low-cost CAD packages, and having small series of PCBs
> made is almost ridiculously cheap. You can get logic analyzers for $150 or so,
> and if you want to experiment with FPGAs, you can get useful development
> systems for well below $100.

I would say we have more freedom now than ever before. Perhaps Ghz mother boards are beyond most people, but other than that there are folks building every sort of computer, other than perhaps valve machines.

>From transistor based CPUs, through TTL based CPU's , Microprocessor machines up to FPGA based CPU's...


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