Right. If you’ve managed to make it this far in my oh so dramatic and suspenseful [sic] story of my history with computers, then you’ve got more patience than what is probably good for you, honestly. But be that as it may, the next episode, which I will be writing when I can find the motivation to so so, will be about the most wholly remarkable, certainly one of the most influential computers of the 80’s: The Commodore Amiga 500.
Can’t wait? Oh well, I can, so if you can’t, then I suggest you google somebody else’s story.
The stalwart Columbia portable was soon replaced by a newer and more wonderful machine. Or not so much actually. Sure, it was newer, had a larger monochrome monitor, and it was in desktop form factor. Oh, and it had a mouse, as much as it could be called that. Unfortunately it didn’t really run any games or software more interesting than what the Columbia had, partly because of lacking access to software (or more importantly games), but also because this system was also sadly lacking a HDD. The bigger screen was a bonus, but there really wasn’t anything more in it for me at the time. At this point I owned a Nintendo Entertainment System, which had games much, much better than what this PC could deliver. It would’ve been an interesting system today though, purely from a collector’s point of view, but back then, it wasn’t really delivering. It wasn’t until the next system that things really started getting interesting…
The first PC I had, or rather, ‘had access to’, was a Columbia VP portable computer.
When I say ‘portable’, it really means luggable, because it was about the size of a suitcase,
and weighed about the same as a current day desktop PC. It was portable in the same way the first mobile phones were ‘mobile’. It had no battery of course, so it had to be plugged in to run. It had a miniscule green on black ‘greyscale’ monitor, and had a ridiculously slow CPU, an Intel 8088, that was crawling along at a horribly low 4.77MHz and as for storage, that was limited to two five and a quarter inch floppy drives. You know, back when floppy disks really were floppy.
Even though this PC was quite old by the time my brother and I got it, it was still capable of
running some games. And oh what games they were. Classics like ‘Space Commanders’ (clone of the arcade game ‘Space Invaders’), Zaxxon and Paratroopers were among the gems I got to play on this system. Extremely primitive by modern standards, they did make an impression on me back then, and they heavily contributed to me being into computers and gaming today.