A colleague at work discovered some pretty archaic computer kit in the bottom of one of his desk draws today with stuff from as far back as the late 1970’s (well before I was even born!). It’s amazing to see how things have moved on since then and just how clunky things were. The classic example of this was the ‘acoustic modem’ which was a box with two speakers on to which you pressed the telephone handset so that it could dial-up and transfer data. For its day this was cutting edge and even considered portable but wasn’t particularly reliable (so I hear).
Connected to this is a ‘Tandy 400 Portable Computer’ with a 9″ mono screen and about as much computing power as an average wrist watch has today. Incredibly when it was plugged in it all started up fine – it was only when the smell of burning electronics was detected that we realised that the power adapter being used was the incorrect voltage and it was switched off pretty quick! Another piece of computing history that was discovered was a boxed copy of Windows v1, straight from the early beginnings of the Microsoft Empire. The graphics may not have been as fancy as they are today but you can defiantly still see the similarities.
If all this nostalgia has sparked your interest take a look this site about the history of computers.