|Reynolds & Reynolds VimNet|
Devices included in this entry:
|Synertek Systems Corp. SYM-1|
The SYM-1 is a single-board computer originally developed as a 6502 microprocessor evaluation board. The SYM-1 is an enhanced clone of the official MOS KIM-1 evaluation board, adding true RS232 and other improvements. The SYM-1 also shares the same I/O connectors as the Rockwell AIM-65, another 6502 evaluation system.
|Apple Macintosh Plus|
The Macintosh Plus was released in 1986, shortly after Steve Jobs , one of the founders of Apple Computer, was exiled from the company due to 'questionable design views'. Steve Jobs had saddled the original Macintosh 128 with a tiny amount of ram and no hard drive; he felt that the sound of a hard drive spinning would detract from the overall ascetics of the machine. As an end result, the original Macintosh, while quite attractive in appearance compared to it's competitors, was not very useful as a computer. The Plus was a stopgap attempt to rectify the situation, it had one megabyte of ram, compared to the original Macintosh's 128 kilobytes of ram; a huge amount of memory for the time. In fact, the Plus was one of the few computers of the era that had more ram than mass storage; the Plus still had no hard drive, only a single 800K floppy drive was available for secondary storage. Despite this, it was the first Mac that was actually usable, and vast quantities of them were made and sold.
|Apple Macintosh SE|
The Apple Macintosh SE was released in March of 1987 as a successor to the Macintosh Plus. Like the Plus, the SE comes stock with one megabyte of RAM, but could be expanded up to a maximum of four megabytes by replacing some or all of the 256K SIMM modules with 1 megabyte SIMM's. The memory upgrade system was particularly painful, RAM could only be upgraded to four configurations, 1 megabyte, 2 megabytes, 2.5 megabytes, and 4 megabytes. To select which memory configuration you have installed, a resistor must be desoldered from the motherboard and moved to another location. The SE does a passable job of eliminating the Mac Plus's greatest flaw, the lack of secondary storage. Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple at the time of the original Macintoshes release, forbade the inclusion of an internal hard drive because he did not like the noise that the spinning drive platters made. The SE was the first Macintosh to break this decree, and for the first time Macintosh users could actually get a hard drive inside their computer instead of resorting to a clunky add-on like the HD 20. The SE also brought another welcome addition to the Macintosh world, expansion card slots. Unlike the Plus, the SE has a single PDS slot that allows the user to install useful addons like a network card or an interface for an external monitor.
Unlike the Plus, the SE does not use rare and pricey 4 pin keyboards. The SE was the first compact Mac to include an ADB, the Apple communication standard that was used for keyboard and mouse connections from 1987 to 1998. In fact, the SE is arguably the first Mac ever to include an ADB port, the only other contender for that title is the Mac II, which was also released in March of 1987. The Mac II has a gestalt ID of 6, which is one digit higher than the SE's gestalt ID of 5, suggesting that the SE is the earlier machine. Regardless, the inclusion of ADB on the SE is nothing but a good thing for those who wish to actually use the computer. Unlike the hard to find 4 pin keyboard, ADB keyboards were manufactured in great numbers, and as such can still be bought in huge quantities for very reasonable prices.
|GRiD PalmPAD 2351|
The GRiD PalmPAD 2351 is a very early tablet computer that was designed for use by nurses and other people that needed to have a computer strapped to their arm at all times. The PalmPAD 2351 was manufactured in 1991, a full two years before the Apple Newton was released. The 2351 has no hard drive; a modified version of DOS is stored on a ROM, which permits it to boot without any configuration. The 2351 also has 2.5MB of battery-backed RAM, and a PC card slot allows the addition of hard drive space by means of flash memory PC cards.
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