Core Memory: A Visual Survey of Vintage Computers by John Alderman

By John Alderman

An exceptional mix of computing device historical past and impressive pictures, Core Memory finds sleek technology's evolution during the world's most famed desktop assortment, the pc heritage Museum within the Silicon Valley. brilliant pictures seize those traditionally very important machines together with the Eniac, Crays 1 three, Apple I and II whereas authoritative textual content profiles every one, telling the tales in their concepts and peculiarities. Thirty-five machines are profiled in over a hundred impressive colour images, making Core Memory a stunning addition to the library of images creditors and the last word geek-chic reward.

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NAMEOSBORNE 1 YEAR CREATED1981 CREATOROSBORNE COMPUTER CORPORATION COST$1,795 MEMORY64K RAM PROCESSORZ80 OPERATING SYSTEMCP/M From giant machines that took up whole floors and weighed several tons, to something consumers could reasonably lug around, the thirty years between the UNIVAC and the Osborne 1 shrank commercial computing’s size to a level at which something interesting could begin to happen. Business users could do their work wherever they needed to be (within limits), and they could take that work to where it needed to be.

If the biblical allusions of the price and the image of temptation represented by an apple weren’t enough, many believed that “Apple” was a reference to the Beatles’ Apple Corps record label. All of these cultural markers conveyed that this computer, and the company that made it, was for cool people who were in on the joke and ready to take the reins of technological power — or at least have a bit more fun with it. The computer industry was beginning to make serious inroads into popular culture — or was it the reverse?

Built by Dick Shoup, this combination software-hardware video graphics system, which utilized an eight-bit-per-pixel frame buffer, was a product of the innovation vortex that was Xerox PARC in the 1970s. Most modern computer systems contain a fair a bit of DNA from SuperPaint—and it doesn’t usually take too long to find. The interface featured the now familiar concept of a palette of tools and colors to be picked by the user. If the user didn’t wish to use the palette of tools to draw, or “videopaint,” as Shoup called it, a video camera could be attached and used to import images directly.

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