My collection of computing devices over the last 40 years

I have always had an interest in computing devices, from my Casio flip-top time function calculator to the iPad.  My most
prized computer was the Apple ][+ my folks bought for me back in 1980.  However, when I moved away after college, they donated it to a local school.  No doubt it went right into the dumpster.  I did reciprocate by salvaging a number of Apple IIs and an Apple III from the local elementary school.

My engineering courses at Purdue required heavy duty calculating, which is where my HP-11C came to my rescue.  I still have this device and had to change it’s original battery just recently! 

Programmable handheld computers have been one of my weaknesses when it comes to spending money.  I purchased my first handheld computer, the TRS-80 PC-2, in high school.  This was the Cray of handhelds, and is still quite fast for basic calculations.  When the PalmPilot came out, I bough
t the second model that had a huge 1 MB of RAM.  The equivalent of a Macintosh SE in your hand!

While waiting for my son to be born, I had some idle time to fill so I found a project to combine two of my favorite computers - handhelds and Apple IIs.  I discovered a preliminary project trying to port an Apple II emulator to the PalmPilot.  Intrigued, I joined the developer and started to learn more.  Soon, I had rewritten almost the entire emulator and had an Apple II in the palm of my hand running close to the same speed as a real Apple II.

I have also gone back to my first love, the Apple II, to develop software that would have seemed impossible back in the day.  Having 25 years of software development experience gives one a new perspective on what these machines are capable of.  And I’m not the only one.  Many people have gone back to these computers to relive simpler days or enjoy what these computers always had to offer:  a lot of entertainment and mental stimulation.

Please visit my pages showing off my retro-computing projects and collections.

Apple I, II, and III Projects

FORTH for Apple I

PLASMA for Apple II

Vintage Apple Collection

Vintage Handheld Collection