1980s Vintage Computers


My main interest in old computers are old business microcomputers particular the Hewlett-Packard HP-85 and the IBM PC family.

Please follow the links on the left to enter the main sections.

Recent Updates

20/7/14 - Updated Celetronics Promicron page

18/2/13 - Added NEC PC-8001 page

1/12/12 - Added another chapter to Son of Hexadecimal Kid

21/11/12 - Added Microwriter MW4 page

12/1/12 - Added Comp PSI 80 page

29/6/11 - Added Larr's Ghost from Practical Computing, November 1980

5/11/08 - Added List of Machines in collection.

5/10/08 - Added Acorn BBC Computer pages

27/5/07 - Added Wireless World magazine.

9/5/07 - Added Cromemco Z-2D and NorthStar Advantage pages to the CP/M section.

17/1/07 - Added more Practical Computing magazine covers.

1/6/06 - Added Transam Tuscan page

23/5/06 - Updated HP-85 pages with Forth ROM info

16/4/06 - Added AES Superplus pages.

8/4/06 - Added HP-9915 pages, updated CP/M pages.

14/10/05 - Added PRM-85 section, and more Practical Computing covers.

22/6/05 - Added Transam Triton review to Practical Computing section.

16/5/05 - Added HP-85 for sale page.

15/5/05 - Added CP/M Computers page.

23/3/05 - Minor updates to HP-85 pages.

23/11/04 - Added more Practical Computing covers to December 1981 and added pictures to The Hexadecimal Kid stories.

15/11/04 - Added Practical Computing covers for Oct 78 to Dec 79. Updated HP-85 pages for links and tips.

22/4/04 - Added HP-85 Standard and Math Pacs, HP-87 Demo disk, Action Games and UCSD p-system disks to HP-85/87 software.

1/4/04 - Added HP-85 Service ROM to HP-85 / 87 ROMs, and full HP-85 Assembler disk to HP-85/87 software.

16/3/04 - Added HP-85 / 87 parts list, Ski game screen shot.

28/6/03 - Added The Hexadecimal Kid story in 16 parts from Practical Computing.

I would like to find more program listings for the Hewlett-Packard HP-85, which is an unusual 'all-in-one' machine that was a favorite of engineers such as myself.

Top machines:

Apple II Europlus
Commodore CBM 4032 and other Pets
HP 85 and HP 87 desktop computer

Other machines:

I have the obligatory BBC B, BBC B+ 128k, Master line-up. I also have the Z80 and 6502 additional processors, the Teletext adapter, and hope to run CP/M on a BBC B/Z80 set-up.

I have a few CP/M systems eg Pericom S-100 with twin 8" floppies, Transam Tuscan, Osbourne 1 portable, Merlin 2100 (a rebadged ICL DRS20), Cromemco Z2-D, Zenith Z-120 and NorthStar Advantage. Recently obtained a Research Machines 380Z and 480Z.

Portable systems are also of interest, I have a range going from the HP-110, Husky Hunter 2, Epson PX-4+ through to some DOS based Toshiba machines (from the early 1990s).

I have a few stand-alone systems too which don't really fit into the 'business machines' category, but are representative of the period. These include:

Sharp MZ-80K (built in screen and tape drive)
Nascom1, Nascom 2 (one working and one sadly in need of major repair), with disk drive and Imp printer
Tandy Color Computer 3
Atari 800XL & 512ST
Prinztronic Console

Lastly I have some microprocessor development type boards, in particular a Sinclair MK-14 and a Motorola MEK6800-D2.

I hope to add some info on other machines that I had an interest in:

UK101 (now sold)
Hitech 10

Apart from Practical Computing, I also have a set of 'Computer User Magazine' from the 1980s, which was aimed at home users but ran some interesting articles & interviews, and featured a detailed look (in colour) at a different machine each month.

I will update my links to other favourite computer collections on the web, but I would recommend a web search for vintage computer collections.

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Thanks to..

Matthew Saxby, who got me started with BBC Bs and an IBM AT; Graham Vine, for a wide range of machines and manuals; Bob Hahm, Oliver Williams, Gil Smith, Vassilis Prevelakis, Everett Kaser and many more HP collectors for their support and encouragement;  Jon Jennings,  Jon Shaw for donations; plus many more of you out there who have given advice in response to usenet and e-mail pleas for help.

About me

I am John Shadbolt and live in the UK, anything more and you will need to know me better first!

General links


The Mind Machine

Daves Old Computers

Digidome (sadly no more, this is link to the Internet Archive. I particularly like the use of plants in most of the photos)

e-mail me

This page was last revised on: 20/07/14