Digital Retro: The Evolution and Design of the Personal Computer

Digital Retro: The Evolution and Design of the Personal Computer
Author: Gordon Laing
Language English
Pages: 192
ISBN10: 078214330X
Genre: Computer Science
Goodreads Rating: 4.18
ISBN13: 9780782143300
Published: September 21st 2004 by Sybex

The late Seventies to the early Nineties was a completely unique period in the history of computing. Long before Microsoft and Intel ruled the PC world, a disparate variety of home computers, from an unlikely array of suppliers, were engaging in a battle that would shape the industry for years to come. Products from established electronics giants clashed with machines which often appeared to have been (or actually were) assembled in a backyard shed by an eccentric inventor. University professors were competing head to head with students in their parents' garages. Compatibility? Forget it! Each of these computers was its own machine and had no intention of talking to anything else. The same could be said of their owners, in fact, who passionately defended their machines with a belief that verged on the religious. This book tells the story behind 40 classic home computers of an infamous decade, from the dreams and inspiration, through passionate inventors and corporate power struggles, to their final inevitable demise.

It takes a detailed look at every important computer from the start of the home computer revolution with the MITS Altair, to the NeXT cube, pehaps the last serious challenger in the personal computer marketplace. In the thirteen years between the launch of those systems, there has never been a more frenetic period of technical advance, refinement, and marketing, and this book covers all the important steps made on both sides of the Atlantic. Whether it's the miniaturization of the Sinclair machines, the gaming prowess of the Amiga, or the fermenting war between Apple Computer, "Big Blue," and "the cloners," we've got it covered. Digital Retro is an essential read for anyone who owned a home computer in the Eighties.