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Tony Duell ard at
Thu Mar 8 17:33:38 CST 2007

> > I have a CBM 8032 that's probably the start of all my vintage madness ;-)
> Have we ever had a "what got you started" thread?

We have now :-)

> Probably :-)

I think i've posted my story before, but for the benefit of people who 
joined the list after I last posted it, here goes...

21 years ago (Eeek, was it really that long ago), I was building a 
homebrew computer. Building as in from chips, not from PCBs... And I 
needed a keyboard. This was before the days of cheap PC clone keyboards, 
at .least in the UK, bit I saw an advert in 'Wireless World' magazine for 
a sale of electronic equipment and listed were 'ASCII encoded keyboards' 
for, I think, \pounds 4.00 each. Even better, it was in Cambridge where I 
was studying at the time.

So I went a long. And bought a keyboard. But also there was a Philips 
P850 minicomputer, priced at the scrap metal value (or close to it) -- 
\pounds 25.00. Well, it looked beautiful with a nice lights-and-switches 
panel, and even had a service manual with it. So I bought it, and somehow 
got it back to my room.

After playing with it a bit, and talking to some eccentric friends, we 
realised that unless somebody did something then 20 years or more of 
computer history was going to vanish. At that time old computers were not 
collectible, and museums only bothered with things like bits of the 
Babbage engines (important, sure, but not the whole story). So we did 
something. And I've been colelcting bits of computers ever since...


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