history of the museum

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       Below is the museum set up in my workshop. This represents only a small portion of the actual number of  computers and accessories in the museum. But space limitations force me to box and store the rest. There are actually 260+ total computers in the collection.  Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture, with titles.  Click here to read the history of the museum.

 

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THE HISTORY OF THE MUSEUM:

 

         Back in 1982 I bought my first computer. It was a ZX-81 in kit form. I have always been interested in electronics and after I finished technical school I decided I was going to build my own computer. In the summer of 1982, I was going through a Radio Electronics Magazine and came across an ad for a computer kit for the ZX-81. It was only $79.95! 

           So I bought the ZX-81 and put it together. At the time I knew very little about the computer revolution that had been going on in the previous years nor was I aware of the great computer format war that was being waged for the home computer market. But it was to have a great impact on me in the following years as I'm sure it did on a great number of beginning computer enthusiasts. The price wars of 1981 and 1982, which led to the great shakeout of 1983 were the determining factors for myself and I would venture to say a majority of consumers as to which format we bought and stayed with.

          That is why I chose the VIC-20 as my second computer. This was in the fall of 1982. The Commodore Computer Company was in a price war with Texas Instruments and its TI99/4A. I was unaware of this at the time but benefited from the price reduction on the VIC-20 which was lowered to $199.95.The VIC-20 was a vast improvement on my ZX-81, it offered color, sound, and a real keyboard. But, I really wanted the C64, which had been released earlier that year, but the cost was too high ($595.95). So I settled for the lower priced VIC-20 figuring that the peripherals that I bought for it would be compatible with the C64 if and when the price on it would drop to a more affordable level. The great shakeout of 1983 brought a new round of price cuts, and by the fall of 1983 the C64's price fell below $200. It was irresistible. I bought one!

         By now I had the bug and there was no turning back. For the next several years I went through a few different flavors of 64's and added a great deal of peripherals to it. Before I was forced to switched to the PC, I probably stretched my C64 to the limits of my capabilities. And I had accumulated a vast library of software and books for it. You'll see a lot of it in the museum. I pretty much stayed with the C64 until 1990 when I bought my first PC, an AT 286 clone (Packard Bell Legend I). After going through four generations of Wintel X86 systems I have finally ended up with a computer that I built from scratch (isn't that where I started? :)), a 400MHz PII. I have kept most of my original Commodore stuff and have added to it with things that I have picked up at flea markets and thrift shops over the years. I have also branched into other computer formats to explore the computers that I used to read about in the early magazines.

         I have created this museum to preserve that history and to display them through pictures. As this is a work in progress I will be continuously updating this site and would appreciate any input to help with it's growth. I have included a lot of pictures of my computers and peripherals because as the saying goes 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. Besides, I like to show off my collection. All the pictures in this museum are of the actual machines in my collection, taken mostly in my workshop. I have tried to give as much information on each individual computer in my museum as I can find. I will only display the computers that I actually have, so my museum will be incomplete but it will be as accurate in descriptions and the history of the piece as I can make it. If I made any errors or have any omissions, please feel free to email me and I will correct it. So go browse and enjoy the walk down memory lane.