Retro Computing

Computers and the way we use them has changed tremendously over the years. Our retro computing section revisits computers and computer related topics from the past.

The TRS-80 PC-2 Pocket Computer

Tandy sold eight different models of Pocket Computers from 1980 to 1987. This included the PC-1 (1980), PC-2 (1982), PC-3 (1983), PC-4 (1983), PC-5 (1985), PC-6 (1986), PC-7 (1986) and PC-8 (1987). Despite being only the second model released, the PC-2 was by far the most powerful (and the largest) of the TRS-80 pocket computers. […]

The Commodore Vic-20 Computer

Commodore’s Vic-20 was the first personal computer to sell one million units. It was officially launched in the middle of 1980 at $299. The price of a new Vic-20 would eventually drop to as little as $99. This was extraordinarily inexpensive for a color computer at that time. During it’s production life (of approximately 4 years) the Vic-20 would go on to sell more than 2.5 million units in total. At one point they were being produced at a rate of more than 9,000 computers per day.

The Atari 1200XL Computer

A favourite among Atari hackers and collectors, the Atari 1200XL was the first of the XL line of 8 bit computers that followed the Atari 400 and Atari 800 computers. While there is much to appreciate about the 1200XL, it was generally not well received when initially launched in 1982.

Creating an Atari ST or Amiga Picture with the GIMP

This tutorial will demonstrate how to convert a modern 24 bit color image file into a 16 color Atari ST or 32 color Amiga picture using the GIMP. This will result in images which use the correct matching colors of these classic rival 16 bit computers.

8 Bit Character Editor

Today we have the luxury of beautifully anti-aliased fonts on high resolution displays. Several years ago computers had blocky fonts whose characters were defined by a handful of bytes. It was often easier to build these characters using an editor like this one than the alternative approach : graph paper.

The Atari 600XL Computer

Arguably one of the nicest 16 KB computers ever released, the 8 bit Atari 600XL arrived in 1983. It was intended to be Atari’s new entry level model. It replaced the previous entry level Atari 400 Computer. The Atari 400, Atari 600XL and the Atari 5200 Game Console were all 16 KB systems.