Geoff Macdonald's Computer Museum





My interest in computers started in 1978 when I was introduced to a Commodore PET at High School.  I learned how to program in BASIC and then 6502 machine code on a Tangerine Microtan 65 which I had persuaded my parents to buy for the following Christmas.  The Microtan kept me amused until 1986, when I bought a Commodore 128.  This was a great machine, which had 128k RAM and 6502 and a Z80.  It also had a Commodore 64 compatible mode which could be used for playing all the games that were around at the time.  Sadly, I no longer have this machine as I sold it to fund buying an Atari ST in 1989.

My Microtan 65 and
Commodore 128

The 1980's were an exciting time for computers.  There were a huge number of manufacturers, many bringing out a new machine every year or so.  Every machine was different; a problem for the software developers, but that's what makes it interesting!  At one stage, there was enough going on to fill the pages of at least one weekly computer magazine.  There were monthly magazines dedicated to each of the major manufacturers, such as Sinclair, Commodore and Amstrad, as well as user groups and computer clubs.

In the end, the market polarised into the two main groups we have today, the IBM PC compatible and the Apple Macintosh.  Computers are still changing at an accelerating pace, but it seems that now all we get is an increase in speed and memory, with the occasional excitement of a new operating system release.  This does make today's computers much easier to use, of course.

I started collecting vintage computers around 1992.  The computers section of the museum shows my collection of computers.  It is by no means a complete record of all the computers that were available, but I'm working on it!  There's a photograph of all the computers, a brief specification and some personal notes.  I've put in the facts as I understand them - if you know any different, please correct me!

The articles are taken from the many magazines that were available at the time.  I have chosen articles that show some of the major events of the time, as well as some that are relevant to events happening today. There are only a few articles at the moment, but I've got a huge pile of magazines still to wade through.

The links section will take you to other sites that may be of interest.

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Copyright (C) 1999-2002 by Geoff Macdonald

Last updated 03/09/2002