The History of Personal Computing

Hosted by Jeff Salzman and Todd George

The History of Personal Computing podcast is your biweekly virtual guide in both audio and on the web to the history and development of arguably the single most important technological advancement of the last forty years - the personal computer. But, just what is a personal computer these days, well, that’s just it, it continues to evolve. We’ll be going over the significant devices one by one.

60 Episodes

Technology
                        

Episode 1 – The NEW History of Personal Computing – Grundy NewBrain

     4/8/2019

Welcome back everybody! The History of Personal Computing podcast has been rebooted to continue educating everyone (including your hosts) about the who, what, when, where, why, and how of personal computing. In this new iteration, the ROM chip called David Greelish has been swapped with an FPGA configured replacement called Todd George. The other ROM […]


Episode 59 – Android

     3/5/2017

On today’s show, we’re looking at the smartphone after the iPhone, that changed everything… the Android phone. It, as well as the iPhone, define all smartphones to this day, as well as the third tier. This is the podcast where we take an informal look at personal computing history through the lens of eBay auctions. […]


Episode 58 – Apple iPhone

     2/17/2017

On today’s show, we’re looking at the smartphone that changed everything, the iPhone. Its influence went on to define all smartphones, as well as the third tier. This is the podcast where we take an informal look at personal computing history through the lens of eBay auctions. It’s sort of like Antiques Roadshow, but all […]


Episode 57 – Early Smartphones

     2/3/2017

On today’s show, we begin our look at the final evolution of the third tier of personal computing, the smartphone. Were there really smartphones before the iPhone and Android phones? Well… yes. This is the podcast where we take an informal look at personal computing history through the lens of eBay auctions. It’s sort of like Antiques Roadshow, but […]


Episode 56 – First Computers, Part 2

     1/22/2017

David and Jeff continue to look back on the earlier times of computer retail by relating their experiences with their own history of ownership of personal computers. Links mentioned in this episode: VIVA AMIGA – THE REVIEW The Amiga Years Jeff’s fifth computer: Toshiba T1000 (SE???) This old tech: The Toshiba T1000 was my first […]


Episode 55 – First Computers

     1/3/2017

For the new year, David and Jeff have decided to look back on the earlier times of computer retail by relating their experiences in getting their first computers. Links mentioned in this episode: SCSI2SD – SD to SCSI adapter for retro computing Human Computers: The Women of NASA Today in Apple history: Apple II gets its […]


Episode 54 – Sharp Wizard and Palm Pilot

     12/19/2016

On today’s show, we begin our look at the temporarily (at the time) humbled third tier of personal computing, the organizer. We’re covering the Sharp Wizard, Palm Pilot and other notables. This is the podcast where we take an informal look at personal computing history through the lens of eBay auctions. It’s sort of like Antiques Roadshow, but […]


Episode 53 – The IBM 5150

     12/7/2016

What… didn’t we already talk about the IBM 5150 in an eBay episode? Yes we did. But we left it off of the timeline during the original show format after the transition to the eBay only format. Since then, there was some behind the scenes work, Westworld style, to get a couple of “hosts” together […]


Episode 52 – Retro Computing Gift Ideas!

     12/5/2016

On today’s show we’re taking a special holiday detour by covering retrocomputing gift ideas. Perhaps something to give to a loved one, or just something you can gift yourself! Links mentioned in this episode: Creative Computing Magazine (December 1980) Volume 06 Number 12 folklore.org (the stories from the book, Revolution in the Valley) Gifts: Jeff: […]


Episode 51 – Casio Zoomer and Amstrad PenPad

     11/19/2016

Today we’ll be further covering the personal digital assistant or PDA, with the Apple Newton clones or “killers,” the Casio Zoomer and Amstrad PenPad. This is the podcast where we take an informal look at personal computing history through the lens of eBay auctions. It’s sort of like Antiques Roadshow, but all about antique personal computers. […]


Episode 50 – Apple Newton MessagePad and eMate

     11/2/2016

On today’s show, we continue our coverage of the first phase of handhelds. Specifically, we’ll be covering two more of the early handheld computers, the Apple Newton MessagePad and eMate. This is the podcast where we take an informal look at personal computing history through the lens of eBay auctions. It’s sort of like Antiques Roadshow, but […]


Episode 49 – Psion and AT&T EO Personal Communicator

     10/17/2016

This is the podcast where we take an informal look at personal computing history through the lens of eBay auctions. It’s sort of like Antiques Roadshow, but all about antique personal computers. On today’s show, we continue our coverage of the first phase of handhelds. Specifically, we’ll be covering two more of the early handheld […]


Episode 48 – HP 95LX and Zeos Pocket PC

     10/1/2016

This is the podcast where we take an informal look at personal computing history through the lens of eBay auctions. It’s sort of like Antiques Roadshow, but all about antique personal computers. On today’s show, we continue our coverage of the first phase of handhelds, the DOS handheld computers. Specifically, we’re looking at the Hewlett […]


Episode 47 – Atari Portfolio and Poqet PC

     9/15/2016

This is the podcast where we take an informal look at personal computing history through the lens of eBay auctions. It’s sort of like Antiques Roadshow, but all about antique personal computers. On today’s show we’ll be covering some of the earliest handheld computers, two of the first DOS handhelds specifically, the Atari Portfolio and […]


Episode 46 – Interview with Jason Compton of the ECCC/VCFMW

     8/29/2016

Welcome to a special interview segment of the History of Personal Computing podcast! In this episode, David and Jeff are speaking to Jason Compton, founder of the Emergency Chicagoland Commodore Convention (ECCC), and cofounder for the Vintage Computer Festival Midwest (VCFMW). Saturday & Sunday, September 10 & 11, 2016, Elk Grove Village, IL Links mentioned in this […]


Episode 45 – Interview with Jason Timmons of the VCFMW

     8/26/2016

Welcome to a special interview segment of the History of Personal Computing podcast! In this episode, David and Jeff are speaking to Jason Timmons, organizer of the Vintage Computer Festival Midwest 11 Saturday & Sunday, September 10 & 11, 2016, Elk Grove Village, IL Links mentioned in this episode: http://vcfmw.org/index.html http://starbase.globalpc.net/eccc/ http://vcfed.org/wp/festivals/


Episode 44 – The Asus Eee PC and Other Netbooks

     8/22/2016

This is the podcast where we take an informal look at personal computing history through the lens of eBay auctions. It’s sort of like Antiques Roadshow, but all about antique personal computers. On today’s show, we complete our coverage of the second phase of portables, laptops. We’re covering netbooks, arguably an innovation started by the […]


eBay Episode 17 – KansasFest & the ThinkPad

     8/6/2016

This is the podcast where we take an informal look at personal computing history through the lens of eBay auctions. It’s sort of like Antiques Roadshow, but all about antique personal computers. On today’s show, we continue our coverage of the second phase of portables with the laptop. We’re exclusively covering the IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad, since […]


eBay Episode 16 – Apple PowerBook

     7/4/2016

This is the podcast where we take an informal look at personal computing history through the lens of eBay auctions. It’s sort of like Antiques Roadshow, but all about antique personal computers. On today’s show, we continue our coverage of the second phase of portables, the laptop. Today we’re exclusively covering the Apple PowerBook, since […]


Special Episode: Interview with Sam Ammons, creator of Mini 681

     6/22/2016

Welcome to a special interview segment of the History of Personal Computing podcast! In this episode, David and Jeff are speaking to Sam Ammons, creator of the Mini681, a modern replica of the 1975 MITS Altair 680 microcomputer. Links mention in the show: Sam’s eBay link: MITS ALTAIR 680 CLONE, MINI 681 Sam’s Enigma Machine reproduction on […]


eBay Episode 15 – Cambridge Computer Z88 and Apple Macintosh Portable

     6/18/2016

This is the podcast where we take an informal look at personal computing history through the lens of eBay auctions. It’s sort of like Antiques Roadshow, but all about antique personal computers. On today’s show, we’re continuing our coverage of the second phase of portables, the earliest laptops. We’re covering the Cambridge Computer Z88 and […]


eBay Episode 14 – Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100, Toshiba T1100 and Data General One

     6/4/2016

This is the podcast where we take an informal look at personal computing history through the lens of eBay auctions. It’s sort of like Antiques Roadshow, but all about antique personal computers. On today’s show, we’re continuing our coverage of the second phase of portables, the earliest laptops. We’re covering the Radio Shack TRS-80 Model […]


eBay Episode 13 – Epson HX-20 and Grid Compass

     5/24/2016

On this show, we’re still covering the second phase of portables, the earliest laptops, continuing with the Epson HX-20 and the Grid Compass. Links mentioned in this episode: Book: When Computing Got Personal: A history of the desktop computer David’s recent eBay purchase: VINTAGE INTEGRATED COMPUTER SYSTEM MICROCOMPUTER TRAINING Microprocessor https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epson_HX-20 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_Compass Auctions Jeff EPSON […]


Special Episode: Interview with Bob Applegate, creator of SWTPC reproduction

     5/17/2016

Welcome to a special interview segment of the History of Personal Computing podcast! In this episode, David and Jeff are speaking to Bob Applegate from Corsham Technologies. Bob has designed and sells modern, compatible (to original hardware) reproductions of both the 6800 & 6809 versions of the SWTPC SS-50 microcomputer. He also sells custom upgrade boards for […]


eBay Episode 12 – Compaq Portable and Commodore SX-64

     5/8/2016

On this episode, we conclude our look at the first half of the second tier of personal computing… the luggables. We’re going to cover the Compaq Portable, the Commodore SX-64 and perhaps other misc. models. Links mentioned in this episode: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compaq_Portable https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_SX-64 Auctions Jeff COMMODORE SX-64 VINTAGE COMPUTER WORKING CONDITION COMPAQ PORTABLE II 2 COMPUTER […]


Special Episode: Coverage of Vintage Computer Festival East and Southeast

     4/23/2016

On today’s show, we talk about the Vintage Computer Festival shows of the last few weeks. Plus, VCF East is where David and Jeff actually met in person for the first time. Links mentioned in this show: David’s new job Pictures from VCF East XI 2016 VCF East XI Wrap-Up Sights and Sounds of the Vintage […]


Special Episode: Interview with Oscar Vermeulen, creator of PiDP-8/I

     3/21/2016

Welcome to a special interview segment of the History of Personal Computing podcast! In this episode, David and Jeff are speaking to Oscar Vermeulen from Obsolescence Guaranteed and creator of the PiDP-8/I, a modern replica of the 1968 PDP-8/I computer. On Oscar’s web page he explains: “Project goal: to create a faithful but low-cost replica of the […]


eBay Episode 11 – Osborne 1 and Otrona Attache

     3/18/2016

On today’s show, we begin our official look at the beginning of the second tier of personal computing… portable computers! We kick off by covering the first portables, the “luggables”, covering both the Osborne 1 and Otrona Attache. Links mention in this episode: Seven Microprocessors That Powered the PC Revolution Auctions picked for this episode: […]


eBay Episode 10 – NeXT Computer

     3/5/2016

On today’s show, we’re continuing and finalizing our coverage of the 32-bit GUI computers. On our last show, we covered the somewhat boring, beige Compaq Deskpro 386, other 386 based computers, and touched on the Windows/386 operating system. Today, we’re talking about the NeXT computer! Links mention in this episode: Slow down your Apple IIc […]


eBay Episode 9 – Compaq Deskpro 386

     2/21/2016

On today’s show, we’re continuing our coverage of the 32-bit GUI computers. We’ve covered some exciting and colorful 32-bit computing platforms. But in this episode, we go a little more boring and beige by covering the Compaq Deskpro 386, other 386 based computers, and touching on the Windows/386 operating system. Links mention in this episode: […]


Special Episode: Interview with Evan Koblentz of the Vintage Computer Federation

     2/12/2016

Have you ever been to a Vintage Computer Festival? Have you ever wanted to? Well, they’ve been around for a long time, starting with the first west coast VCF in 1997, then the VCF Europa in 2000, then the East in 2001 and many others. Our special guest in this episode will tell us more […]


eBay Episode 8 – Commodore Amiga

     2/5/2016

On today’s show, we’re continuing our coverage of the 32-bit GUI computers. We’ve covered the Apple Lisa, Macintosh, Atari ST, and now we move on to what some say was the ST’s bitter enemy, the Commodore Amiga. Wikipedia reports: “The Amiga 1000 was officially released in July 1985, but a series of production problems meant […]


eBay Episode 7 – Atari ST

     1/23/2016

On today’s show, we’re covering the Atari ST, a “GEM” of a computer that helped spark an interest in music and MIDI. From Wikipedia: “The Atari ST is a line of home computers from Atari Corporation and the successor to the Atari 8-bit family. The first ST model, the 520ST, was released in June 1985. […]


eBay Episode 6 – Apple Macintosh

     1/8/2016

On today’s show, we’re covering the Apple Macintosh, Steve Jobs’ publicly acknowledged attempt at delivering the Graphic User Interface to the general public. From the last show – Wikipedia: “Contrary to common belief, it was not the first personal computer to offer a graphical user interface in a machine aimed at individual business users. Development of […]


eBay Episode 5 – Apple Lisa

     12/26/2015

On today’s show, we’re covering the Apple Lisa, Steve Jobs’ attempt at pushing the Graphic User Interface to the public. From Wikipedia: “Contrary to common belief, it was not the first personal computer to offer a graphical user interface in a machine aimed at individual business users. Development of the Lisa began in 1978. The […]


eBay Episode 4 – Tatung Einstein and Amstrad

     12/12/2015

On today’s show, we’re covering the very obscure (at least for the US market) Tatung Einstein and what Amstrad products we can find. The Tatung Einstein was produced by Taiwanese corporation Tatung and designed in England in 1984. It was aimed primarily at small businesses. Amstrad is also both based in the UK and began […]


eBay Episode 3 – Coleco Adam and MSX

     11/28/2015

David and Jeff have just awakened from their Thanksgiving Day, tryptophan and carbohydrate induced comas and recorded the next edition of the History of Personal Computing, eBay edition. You may have discovered that this series a little more laid back than the original shows. It is certainly a fun way to discuss these vintage systems, […]


eBay Episode 2 – A Variety Package

     11/14/2015

David and (Cylon) Jeff made it back… again… on their revamped new format. You may have discovered that this series a little more laid back than the original shows. It is certainly a fun way to discuss these vintage systems, mixing together personal memories and an occasional wistfulness over many unobtainable varieties of personal computing […]


And… Were Back!

     10/30/2015

David and Jeff are back “on the air” with a new, revamped format for the regular series. After a Summer hiatus, David and Jeff have recorded the first in a series of “lightweight” regular episodes. These episodes focus more on the historical status of the vintage and collectible computing systems we all know and love. […]


Special Episode: VCF SE Combined Podcast with Floppy Days

     5/10/2015

History of Personal Computing and Floppy Days performed a live recording of podcast at Vintage Computer Festival SouthEast 3.0 outside of Atlanta, GA. Present were Randy Kindig of Floppy Days podcast, along with David Greelish and Jeff Salzman (from the remote HoPC offices in Pennsylvania). Without further ado, here is the podcast. Show notes will […]


TRS-80 Color Computer and Sinclair ZX Spectrum

     5/1/2015

Now that we’re firmly into the 1980’s, David and Jeff continue to cover computer systems that can be considered next-generation platforms, introducing color versions to existing model lines. We introduce to you Radio Shack’s first Color Computer, expanding the infamous original monochrome TRS-80 line of computers. Along with that, we hop over the great pond […]


Special Episode: VCF East 10.0

     4/24/2015

In this special episode, David and Jeff take a break from their respective work and event activities. The regularly scheduled podcast will continue next week. Meanwhile, David interviews Jeff on his experiences as an exhibitor attending the Vintage Computer Festival East 10.0 Links mentioned in this show include: Vintage Computer Festival East 10 Friday, April […]


Podcast Episode 15 – Part 2: Commodore 64

     4/11/2015

Are you keeping up with the Commodores? Well we are… and HOW! Join us on this, part two of Episode 15, where David discusses its next generation cousin, the Commodore 64, and we do our eBay finds. For your convenience (and maybe due to our laziness), we’ll put an identical set of shownote links in […]


Podcast Episode 15 – Part 1: Commodore VIC-20

     4/11/2015

Are you keeping up with the Commodores? Well we are… and HOW! Join us on this, part one of Episode 15, where Jeff waxes on about his very first computer, the Commodore VIC-20. For your convenience (and maybe due to our laziness), we’ll put an identical set of shownote links in each part. In this […]


TI-99/4A, Acorn Atom, and BBC Micro

     3/28/2015

In this episode, we cover two computers from two coasts. One is American, and though important, we wouldn’t really say groundbreaking, while the other (other two really) were British, and were in fact very groundbreaking in the English market. Today we are boldly, fully entering the 1980s with discussions of the TI-99/4A and the Acorn […]


Computer Magazines 1974-1980 – Part 2

     3/13/2015

Now that the paper cuts have healed from flipping through pages of magazines we covered in the previous episode, come back in time with David and Jeff as they discuss the popular passive resource for early home computing enthusiasts, the “computer magazine.” In this episode, they remark and reminisce about four more publications; ROM, The […]


Computer Magazines 1974-1980 – Part 1

     2/28/2015

Put on your reading glasses folks and come back in time with David and Jeff as they discuss the popular passive resource for early home computing enthusiasts, the “computer magazine.” In this episode, they remark and reminisce about four specific publications; Creative Computing, Byte, Kilobaud and Interface Age. Learn a bit about the creation, content, […]


Atari 400/800

     2/13/2015

After a last minute scramble by me, Jeff, to get a solid Internet connection established for my part of the recording, we were able to bring Episode 11 to you on time. David did his usual outstanding job with editing to maintain continuity of the show and working around my technical mishaps. Joining us this […]


Sharp MZ-80K and Sinclair ZX80

     1/30/2015

After a small hiccup in our release schedule, we are back on track to tell you about two different computers, one that will make a great prop in a 1970’s style Sci-Fi movie remake, and another that would do well to hold open that door that keeps swinging shut on its own. We are talking […]


Commodore PET

     1/9/2015

It’s 2015, and here is the first installment of the History of Personal Computing podcast for the year! This is show nine, and we complete the coverage of the “Personal Computer Trifecta”, or “Holy Trinity”, depending on which host you ask. Or you can just fast forward to the end and hear some news about […]


Special Episode – BONUS MATERIAL: Holiday Memories

     12/26/2014

The holiday bounty is PLENTIFUL!!! We have so much to give to you that we had to edit some extra audio out of the first show to save time. So, we put it in this BONUS EPISODE. Please enjoy what may have been some cutting room floor audio from the Holiday Memories special podcast. Additional […]


Special Episode: Holiday Memories

     12/25/2014

Just about everyone has that special memory of gifts received during the holiday season. In this episode, we present to you a collection of self described experiences detailing such holiday memories. Included in the mix are memories from our listeners, along with memories from fellow podcasters. The following people have made a contribution to this […]


TRS-80 Model I

     12/12/2014

Hello again and welcome to another installment of the History of Personal Computing podcast! This is show eight and it’s going to be your last regular show of 2014. In only twelve more days, on the 24th, we will be releasing a special Christmas and Holiday Season show of collected stories about computer and gaming […]


Apple II

     11/27/2014

Listen along during your tryptophan coma from that large turkey feast as David Greelish and Jeff Salzman present our first Thanksgiving Day podcast episode, focused on the Apple II computer.


Vector Graphic, Inc. Vector 1 and NorthStar Horizon

     11/14/2014

Listen along as David Greelish and Jeff Salzman, our "roving reporter", discuss the Vector Graphic, Inc. Vector 1 and NorthStar Horizon computers.


Cromemco Z-1 and Heathkit H8

     10/31/2014

Listen along as David Greelish and Jeff Salzman discuss the Cromemco Z-1 and Heathkit H8 computers. We would like to thank Theo Karagiris and Mike Perigo for their detailed input and information.


Single Board Computers

     10/17/2014

Listen along as David Greelish and Jeff Salzman discuss several of the early single board computers, including the Nascom 1, OSI Superboard, MOS Technology KIM-1, and the COSMAC ELF. All of the above single board computers don’t easily fit into the History of Personal Computing’s “Tier” philosophy, so this special podcast episode was produced.


IMSAI 8080 and Processor Technology Sol

     10/3/2014

Listen along as David Greelish and Jeff Salzman discuss the history of the IMSAI 8080 and Processor Technology Sol computers. The IMSAI 8080 is a Tier One computer presented as the first Altair clone computer. As such, it was chosen to be the first computer we choose in a follow up podcast after the Altair. […]


Altair 8800 and Kaypro

     9/19/2014

Listen along as David Greelish and Jeff Salzman discuss the history of the Altair 8800 and Kaypro computer. Well… at least listen to David’s clear, quality audio, along with Jeff’s misconfigured source microphone that sounds like he’s talking from a mile away! 🙂 The Altair 8800 is a Tier One computer presented as the first […]


Premiere Episode of the History of Personal Computing Podcast

     9/5/2014

Welcome to the first episode of the History of Personal Computing podcast! In this episode, Jeff Salzman plays host, along with David Greelish, in the premiere episode of your bi-weekly guide to the history and development of arguably the single most important technological advancement of the last forty years, the personal computer! Links mentioned in […]


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