Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 9th Mar 2014 17:35 UTC

Not too many people will recall the short-lived era of the "MSX" initiative which was slated to pretty much take over the non-existent middle world where consumer electronics met personal computers. It was always believed, back then, that this is where the sweet spot of profits would emerge. What emerged was instead laughable MSX. It was one of Microsoft's greatest flops.

The MSX was one of the first computers I ever used. I did basic BASIC stuff on it when I was a kid.

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I worked the summer of 82 to buy my own Atari 400. I got the 32KB ram expansion (going from 16KB to 32KB), the A410 tape drive, and the crowning jewel for any A400 owner - the BKey full stroke keyboard for the A400. I wasn't about to use the stock membrane keyboard. The Atari cassette was actually pretty good, being about as fast as the floppy drive for the CBM line, and able to play sound off one track while the other was used for data (novel use of the stereo tracks on cassettes). The next summer, I got a Percom DD disk drive to replace the cassette, and the Mosaic 64KB ram expansion.

That was a great time for 8-bit home computers. I sold my first commercial program to one of the Atari magazines. I spent my time programming, or hacking the games I bought to remove copy protection and add things like infinite lives. Most of the schools I attended at the time all had the Trash-80, so I also learned the z80 as well. My dad eventually got a Trash-80 portable for himself, then got a 286 PC, passing the TRS-80 on to us kids. I still remember when he brought home a HUUUUUUUGE 20MB harddrive for his PC. ;)

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