Category Archives: retrocomputer

Gigatron Hack Chat

Join us on Wednesday, June 24 at noon Pacific for the Gigatron Hack Chat with Walter Belgers!

There was a time when if you wanted a computer, you had to build it. And not by ordering parts from Amazon and plugging everything together in a case — you had to …read more

Continue reading

Posted in 7400-series, diy, gigatron, Hack Chat, Hackaday Columns, kit, retrocomputer, ttl | Leave a comment

An 8085 Retrocomputer From The Heart

The world of 8-bit retrocomputing splits easily into tribes classified by their choice of processor. There are 6809 enthusiasts, 6502 diehards, and Z80 lovers, each sharing a bond to their particular platform that often threads back through time to whatever was the first microcomputer they worked with. Here it’s the …read more

Continue reading

Posted in 8085, retrocomputer, retrocomputing, single board computer | Leave a comment

A Z80 Computer At The Next Level

At the close of the 8-bit home computer era there were some machines produced that attempted to bridge the gap between the 8- and 16-bit worlds, either by providing a 16-bit device with a backwards compatibility mode, or an 8-bit one with enhanced capabilities to compete with its newer rivals. …read more

Continue reading

Posted in eZ80, retrocomputer, retrocomputing, z80, zilog | Leave a comment

Teardown: VTech PreComputer 1000 is an Iconic PC in a Toy Wrapper

Back in the days before kids could be placated with a $50 Android burner phone, many a youngster was gifted a so-called “educational computer” to keep them occupied. Invariably looking like a fever dream version of the real computer their parents didn’t want to let them use, these gadgets offered …read more

Continue reading

Posted in 8-bit computers, Featured, Interest, PreComputer, retrocomputer, retrocomputing, teardown, toy computer, toy hacks, VTech, z80, Zilog Z80 | Leave a comment

The Book Of Dreams Brings Back All Your Memories

The retro-facing side of British social media has been abuzz for the last few days with a very neat piece of marketing form the catalogue retailer Argos: they’ve digitised all their catalogues since 1975 and put them online. While this contains a cross-section of over four decades’ styles, fads, and …read more

Continue reading

Posted in console, retrocomputer, retrocomputing, retrotechnology, shop | Leave a comment

Vintage Speech Synthesizer Croons the Oldies

If you listened to the National Weather Service Weather Radio in the US about 25 years ago, you’ll no doubt remember [Perfect Paul], one of the synthesized voices used to read current conditions and weather forecasts. The voice came from a DECtalk DTC01, a not inexpensive voice synthesizer first made …read more

Continue reading

Posted in DECtalk, musical hacks, phoneme, retrocomputer, retrocomputing, rs-232, serial, speech synthesis, TRS-80 model 100 | Leave a comment

Programmable Ruler Keeps 1970’s Computing Alive

A ruler seems like a pretty simple device; just a nice straight piece of material with some marks on it. There are some improvements out there to the basic design, like making it out of something flexible or printing a few useful crib notes and formulas on it so you …read more

Continue reading

Posted in altair, blinkenlight, Microcontrollers, PIC18F43K20, retrocomputer, retrocomputing, ruler, tool hacks | Leave a comment

The TRS80 Model 100 Gets A Brain Transplant

We’ll forgive you if you were busy in the ’80s, and missed the TRS80 Model 100. It was a portable version of the original, ran on four AA batteries, and even had an integrated acoustic coupler which proved handy for workers on the go. However, time is rarely kind, and [Trammell] had come across a non-functional example for just $20. It was time to bring this relic screaming into the modern age.

The motherboard was toast, so [Trammell] decided to wire up a Teensy++ directly to the Hitachi HD44102 display driver chips. Being an older LCD, the display needed a …read more

Continue reading

Posted in retrocomputer, retrocomputing, TRS, trs-80, TRS-80 model 100 | Leave a comment

Bus Raider Allows Classic Micro Emulation On An RC2014

If you were lucky enough to own one of the crop of 1980s 8-bit computers, did you ever pause to consider how its graphics worked? Maybe the really expensive ones had dedicated CRT controller subsystems akin to the graphics cards you’d have found on a PC a few years later, but most of the affordable models would have stopped what they were doing every TV line interval period to allow access to their memory for their graphical output to be created.

The RC2014 retrocomputer dodges all this, by using a serial port as an interface and expecting your serial terminal …read more

Continue reading

Posted in classic hacks, retrocomputer, trs-80, z80, ZX Spectrum | Leave a comment

From Cop Car Data Terminal, To Retro Computer

It is possible that you will have lived your life without ever coming into contact with a Motorola MDT9100-T. The data terminal of choice for use in police cars across the globe was a computer with a full-sized QWERTY keyboard, a small CRT display, a mainboard sporting an Intel 386SX processor, and a custom version of Windows 3.1. [Trammell Hudson] and some friends from NYC Resistor scored some MDT9100s in an online auction and found them to be just too good an opportunity not to crack them open and see what could be done.

The custom Windows install could be …read more

Continue reading

Posted in Motorola MDT9100, retrocomputer | Leave a comment