Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is primarily about a certain class of personal computers from the late 1970s computer engineers (except software engineers and designers) mid-1980s.
Most home computers, such as this Tandy Color Computer 3, featured a version of the BASIC programming language. The sometimes-sprawling nature of the well-outfitted home computer system is very much in evidence. No more than a few expansion options were practical with this type of arrangement. There were, however, commercial kits like the Sinclair ZX80 which were both home and home-built computers since the purchaser could assemble the unit from a kit. By contrast, advertisements in the specialty computer press often simply listed specifications.
The line between ‘business’ and ‘home’ computer market segments blurred or vanished completely once IBM PC compatibles became commonly used in the home, since now both categories of computers typically use the same processor architectures, peripherals, operating systems, and applications. Often the only difference may be the sales outlet through which they are purchased. In 1969, the Honeywell Kitchen Computer was marketed as a luxury gift item, and would have inaugurated the era of home computing, but none were sold. Computers became affordable for the general public in the 1970s due to the mass production of the microprocessor starting in 1971. To save the cost of a dedicated monitor, the home computer would often connect through an RF modulator to the family TV set, which served as both video display and sound system. Almost universally, home computers had a BASIC interpreter combined with a line editor in permanent read-only memory which one could use to type in BASIC programs and execute them immediately or save them to tape or disk. Still, home computers competed in the same market as the consoles.
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A home computer was often seen as simply as a higher end purchase than a console, adding abilities and productivity potential to what would still be mainly a gaming device. Some game consoles offered “programming packs” consisting of a version of BASIC in a ROM cartridge. Atari’s BASIC Programming for the Atari 2600 was one of these. Books of type-in program listings like BASIC Computer Games were available dedicated for the BASICs of most models of computer with titles along the lines of 64 Amazing BASIC Games for the Commodore 64.
To avoid the tedious process of typing in a program listing from a book, these books would sometimes include a mail-in offer from the author to obtain the programs on disk or cassette for a few dollars. During the peak years of the home computer market, scores of models were produced, usually as individual design projects with little or no thought given to compatibility between different manufacturers or even within product lines of the same manufacturer. M as the standard platform used in business. Although the Apple II and Atari computers are functionally similar, Atari’s home-oriented marketing resulted in a game-heavy library with much less business software. A Commodore 64 system, showing the basic layout of a typical home computer system of the era. Many systems also had a dot matrix printer for producing paper output. Eastern Bloc computers were often significantly different in appearance from western computers.
3 with its keyboard placed on top, by VEB Mikroelektronik Mühlhausen released in 1986 and based on an East German Zilog Z80 clone. Many home computers were superficially similar. Sometimes they were equipped with a cheap membrane or chiclet keyboard in the early days, although full-travel keyboards quickly became universal due to overwhelming consumer preference. 40 column text output on a home television. This “peripherals sold separately” approach is another defining characteristic of the home computer era. RAM capacity, graphics abilities and storage options had a more perceivable effect on performance than CPU speed. Initially, many home computers used the then-ubiquitous compact audio cassette as a storage mechanism.
A rough analogy to how this worked would be to place a recorder on the phone line as a file was uploaded by modem to “save” it, and playing the recording back through the modem to “load”. 25″ drives resulted in lower prices, and after about 1984 they pushed cassette drives out of the US home computer market. 25″ floppy disk drives would remain standard until the end of the 8-bit era. 5″ drives were made available for home computer systems toward the latter part of the 1980s, almost all software sold for 8-bit home computers remained on 5. 5″ drives were used for data storage.