Computers and all that stuff!

In 1982 I was a young man with a young family?? my fascination with electronics and the like told me I had to take note of the home computer boom!! so I saved and brought a Commodore Vic-20. A 6502 processor based machine(TOY) with 3.5Kb of memory and programs loaded via a cassette tape deck. As you may guess I soon grow tired of this.

I then built something called a UK101 this as its name suggest was a BRITISH copy of a US superboard, another 6502 based machine, but more memory 16K at least, I added a sound chip the AY-3-8910 from General Instuments.This chip also included 2 indirectly addressed 8 bit I/O ports, so I added joysticks too. The system clock was run from a simple NE555 timer chip, the frequency changed has the machine warmed up (the mains transformer was inside the case, as was the keyboard, etc) so a tape program that loaded earlier did'ent always do so next time...

At this time the photographic retailer I worked for (and still do) decided to get into computers, being the only one there that know one end from the other I got the job of selling them. So I went on courses for BBC's Atari's Commodore 64's and sold more Spectrums than I care to remember! and the Prism 1200Bd modem that went with it. It was bulletting boards then the very slow forerunner of the Internet..

But I still needed something else, the most popular proccessor was the Z80 from Zilog this was used in Spectrums, Lynx's Sharp's MZ80A/K, Nascoms and many more. It also supported the CP/M disk operating system (a DOS to you).

My next machine
The Interak would take me about a year to build and cost a fortune! (720Kb 3.5" floppy drives at 80 each). The one big plus was that each part of the computer was on its own plug-in card (Yes just like a PC, except now most PC's have most of it on the motherboard)The cards just slid into the rack, front brackets carried connectors for printers, serial, Tape, etc
Visit the website of Alan Paton an Interak user - Pictures and information about the Interak and Z80