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Bob in New Mexico

Feb 1, 2024
After years of reading your forums, I finally signed up.

My computer history began in the late '70s when I joined the USAF. There I learned to operate, repair, and program the T.I. 980B minicomputer and all of its' accessories, including the 733 KSR and ASR terminals, Kennedy and Pertec 9-track tape drives, and a washer-sized 1MB disk drive (Control Data, I think). It was at this time that I bought my first personal computer, an Apple ][ with a whopping 16K RAM, and attended AppleSAC meetings (do they still exist?). I was also a frequent customer of Halted Specialties in Sacramento, and still have the T.I. 960A that I bought from them in maybe 1980. That sucker sure weighed down the back of my 1972 American Ambassador on the drive from Sacramento to Albuquerque.

In Albuquerque I was a contractor for the USGS maintaining seismic stations around the world. I think I was only home for 1-2mos/yr. The seismic stations used Data General Nova 1200 computers, 9-track tape drives, Silent 700 terminals w/ 20mA interfaces... the usual stuff. I frequently repaired the Novas to the component level, and once even swapped out a core module. That was some rough desoldering/soldering. Some of our ancient pure analog seismic stations were upgraded in the early-mid '80s to Intel (and NEC) Multibus SBCs.

After that I became a DoD contractor at WSMR and other test facilities. There we always had the newest computer gear as it came out. I remember the long parade of x86, Novel Netware, Windoze, IRIX, SunOS, Linux, beastie Compaqs, Bernoulli's, Zip/Jazz, MFM/RLL/SCSI/IDE...it was just a blur. In my free time I built and upgraded home computer systems. This is when I really got into collecting old computer gear. Anything that was upgraded and headed for the trash, I just kept it. 20+ years, and 5 10x20 storage units later, here we are.

I'll attach a picture below of a portion of my collection that is in my home 'Apple Room'. A few choice items you may notice...a couple of Heath terminals, a NorthStar Horizon, A SWTPC TVT II, HP-86B (matching monitor thanks to 'Panhandle Bob'/Roberttx), and a 99/4A in box. I've had Apple ][s for many decades, but in recent years began expanding, especially my IIGS collection (could have been the greatest home computer ever made, but crippled by a certain someone). Not a MAC fan though, but I do buy dead ones, especially the IIci model, to repair and resell.

Probably enough for now, so we'll let that settle.



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Wow, nice! Albuquerque is home of Altair, did you managed to save a few? I remembered one time I was told there were a big surplus of Altair at Surplus City. By the time I got there, the entire crate was sold to a local collector. I missed out by a day or two.
I worked for a while in a warehouse near the airport that supposedly belonged to MITS back in the day, but no evidence of that remained.

When was that Surplus City hoard? What a shame. I did pick up a bare, never assembled Altair CPU board a couple of years ago. Maybe it came from that.

Are you familiar with the Retro Computer Club in Albuquerque?
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That's just what I have at the house. Probably 3-6 more platinums in storage. Why so many? That's what the GFU (GirlFriend Unit) keeps asking. :rolleyes:
Welcome! That's a nice stash. I have a room that looks very much like that but not with the same cool stuff. I see the N* Horizon under that TVT II. I wish I still had my Horizon. I didn't know I would miss it when I got rid of it. I kept my Advantage though. My stash is mostly old PC's and compatibles from about 1984 to now. I do also have a few Apple II items and some MAC stuff. My favorite MAC is a clone from Power Computing.

When was that Surplus City hoard? What a shame. I did pick up a bare, never assembled Altair CPU board a couple of years ago. Maybe it came from that.

Are you familiar with the Retro Computer Club in Albuquerque?
I was still working when I heard of the hoard, so that must’ve been 15 years ago. How time flies! I’m not at all familiar with Retro Computer Club in Albuquerque. Tell me more. I’ll google it, right now.
Next meet is Mar 23 at the Quelab makerspace. They have also reserved a booth for VCFSW.

Well, looks like I can't post a link to their facebook page since I don't have a facebook account.
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Hello Bob. Welcome to the forums!
The Apple II GS is a very interesting and successful computer, two apples in one computer.
I would like to know about this model.