Ralph's Personal Computing Museum

Welcome to my Personal Computing Museum, a private collection of personcal computer artifacts. Yes, I'm from the "old days" or personal computing. I hand-wired my first computer using wire wrap! These early years of personal computing are nostalgic for me, and I've collected other small computers of that time. The advent of the IBM PC marked the end of this early era of bizarre and unique personal computers.

What do I do now? Java. It's the closest thing in my mind to the good old days of having fun writing clever programs and sharing them with people. Java is a virtual computing platform that runs on nearly all modern computers. Implementations are free, and the language is fully modern. Your programs written in Java have a better chance of being useful and runnable in the future since the Java environment insulates you completely from the computer it runs on. I enjoy it and write all of my software in it now.

Museum Exhibits

logo System Orion - A Homebrew 8080, non-standard bus
I started building this machine in 1974 in high school based on my own reworking and simplification of schematics in Popular Electronics. I built the machine with a bus of my own design and a strange modem-like audio tape cassette data storage setup. 1K RAM. 2Mhz 8080 CPU. Also used a resistor ladder D/A converter pair to drive the X-Y deflection of an oscilloscope. In its later designs, included a 6845 video controller, designed from scratch. The characters came from an EPROM and eventually I burned a ROM with ASCII and APL character sets, allowing the use of this system as an APL terminal to a mainframe.
logo Zorion - A Homebrew Z80, S-100, CP/M
A "next-generation" machine. 4 Mhz Z80A, 64K dynamic RAM, S-100 bus. Used the Orion system as a serial terminal. Handwritten BIOS to boot and execute CP/M from 8-inch floppies.
logo TIMEX Sinclair 1000 - as minimal as possible, this design uses a very low cost membrane keyboard and the CPU is roped into supporting the video generation.
logo Apple IIe - A 6502 1Mhz system from Apple, and one of the most common in the Apple II line.
logo CoCo - Radio Shack Color Computer - A 6809 based computer.
Under Analysis Commodore 64 - We have 2 now along with some expansion components.
Not yet shown. Texas Instruments 99/4
Not yet shown. Radio Shack TRS 80 model III
General Info Amigas: 500, 2000, 1200 - 68000 based computers.
logo Ralph's Operating System History


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