Fwd: Featured Offer of the Month: Free FD100 Terminal!

Chuck Guzis 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
> them.

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 
transfer.

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 
whatnot.

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 
operation.

Cheers,
Chuck






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