Fwd: Featured Offer of the Month: Free FD100 Terminal!
cclist at sydex.com
Wed Mar 14 11:55:00 CDT 2007
On 14 Mar 2007 at 11:19, Brian L. Stuart wrote:
> Personally, I think this is exactly why they aren't very interesting.
> Because they are so much like a general-purpose system, they
> don't have a particularly interesting hardware design, almost
> by definition. Their software is usually not particularly interesting
> either. But you are captive in that software. You can't really do
> anything interesting with them, except type letters. And for the
> most part, they didn't have much influence on the rest of computing.
> So, there's not much to draw me, or I suspect a lot of others, to
That's mostly a matter of will. There were several interesting
applications (such as VEDIT) ported to the Displaywriter. Many WP
packages have spreadsheet and database software available. As far as
architecture, an old AES 800 WP is about as exciting as architecture
of the time gets--a custom ECL CPU supported by several 8080's doing
the peripheral I/O. I'd love to own one of those.
Even an early Brother or Smith-Corona box has its charm. I suspect
that internals are hard to come by mostly because they were viewed as
"trade secrets", but they're not hard to ferret out. But the SCM
boxes often provided a terminal emulator as well as XMODEM data
And let's not forget that "computers" like the QX-10 weren't all that
far from being word processors, what with integrated Valdocs and
Some of the old CPT systems had what must have almost certainly been
Beehive or Microdata terminals on them, given the "page edit" mode of
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