My Computer History.

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09 Dec 2018, 16:27

The first computer I had, assuming you consider it worthy of that title, was a Sinclair ZX81 which didn't have a keyboard in any meaningful way.

That was followed by a ZX Spectrum +2 whose keyboard didn't leave a lasting impression, probably because I'd nothing to compare it to.

I didn't have that for very long before moving onto an XT clone with a DataComp keyboard. I considered this the best I'd ever used and kept it long after the computer was scrapped.
DataComp.jpg (158.42 KiB) Viewed 2817 times
DataComp Label.jpg
DataComp Label.jpg (105.1 KiB) Viewed 2817 times
It's demise was caused by its PSU failing at the time a mate was chucking an Amstrad PC1512 out so I acquired that. Its 'board long held the title of the worst I'd used. That said it was only finally de-commissioned in 2012.

My next computer, and first Windows one, arrived around 2004 and had an un-branded 105-key job that I never had an opinion on one was or the other.

This and the Amstrad were eventually replaced with an HP Pavilion. I bought this as a bare base unit so used my existing keyboard, mouse and VDU but later changed the keyboard for an IBM KB8926 that I'd picked-up somewhere.

A couple of months ago I was sorting some other stuff out and found a Hyundai-branded BTC board. I can't remember a thing about it's history and was surprised that it worked on my 'modern' computers as I never had an AT with a 5-pin DIN. I've obviously used it on an XT at some point as the + key on the numeric pad has been re-labelled ◄┘, which I used to do by hacking KEYB.COM.
BTC.jpg (157.81 KiB) Viewed 2817 times
BTC Label.jpg
BTC Label.jpg (98.77 KiB) Viewed 2817 times
It doesn't have an 88/286 switch so presumably it's capable of auto-selecting the correct protocol. It's also deprived the Amstrad of its Worst Keyboard award.

The DataComp also still works but my opinion of it has changed. I'm now so used to 105-key ones that the layout is confusing and I wouldn't rave about its Blue Alps switches; they don't seem any better than the domes I'm typing this on. The biggest shock was finding the noise annoying; it seems to be at a very irritating pitch to my ears. I suppose that when I was using it regularly that seemed normal and computing was generally more noisy with fans going at full-speed all the time, hard disks being louder, floppies grunting away and impact printers trying their best to deafen you.

It was while looking into these keyboards, and their possible value, that I came across this forum.

I've had plenty of other computers through my hands but have only mentioned the ones that stuck around for a while and were actually used. Most of the others were no better than what I'd got so they had any useful bits removed and were then ditched.

If anybody want's to use the attached photos for the Wiki feel free — I'm afraid that that is way beyond my understanding. Image

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09 Dec 2018, 16:37

Is the Hyundai foam-and foil?

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09 Dec 2018, 16:41

Indeed it is.

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09 Dec 2018, 20:30

The Amstrad (aka Schneider) PC1512 was my first PC, too. I liked it, but even then I wasn't very impressed by its key feel. Coming from an Amstrad CPC 464 - that's saying somthing. :lol:

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10 Dec 2018, 00:29

Same here. After our first few microcomputers, my first home PC looked much like this:


Ours had 2×5¼ inch drives. Not nearly as useful as this! Also, no Greek on the keyboard.

Cute, in its way. But not missed. I was a whole lot happier when we moved up to something with a hard drive!


10 Dec 2018, 11:04

I started out in the ARM world, with an Acorn A3010, it had a real graphical UI with proper multi tasking unlike all them crappy PCs and Macs of the day!


I then downgraded to PC with a 333mhtz celeron.

After that its all modern boring computers. But for fun lets list my CPUs :P

Celeron 333mhtz (Mendocino)
Athlon 800mhtz (Thunderbird 4)
Athlon 1400mhtz (Thunderbird 4)
Athlon XP 3200+ (Barton)
Some AMD Dual core i cannot remeber
Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (Deneb) ( this thing was bad ass)
i7 2600k (Sandy Bridge)
i7 5930k (Haswell E)
Threadripper 2950x (ZEN+ Colfax) (Still being built)

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12 Dec 2018, 16:36

AJM wrote: The Amstrad (aka Schneider) PC1512 was my first PC, too. I liked it, but even then I wasn't very impressed by its key feel. Coming from an Amstrad CPC 464 - that's saying somthing. :lol:
My neighbour had a CPC464 back in the day. I remember being astonished at how good it was: fair enough, the Z80 was a bit long in the tooth by that point but it had excellent graphics and sound, and Locomotive Basic could've been a reasonable competitor to BBC Basic: which until then was pretty much untouchable as the best version around. Also felt really solid and though the keyboard had a fairly damped feel which isn't always my first choice I recall it was very nice to use.

Of course Old Scrote was apparently livid that the developers hadn't got the message and had done "good" instead of "cheap". :D

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