Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Oddball Micros: Commodore Plus/4

Plus/4

Commodore was one of the most prolific microcomputer design companies of the 1980s. They’re famous for the VIC-20 and Commodore 64, but designed literally dozens of machines. Their oddball that intrigues me the most is the Plus/4 -- it just doesn't make sense.

The Plus/4 was built around Commodore's new TED single-chip computer concept. TED was originally envisioned as a way to profitably produce extremely cheap computers, although the Plus/4 was at the high end of the product line. The Plus/4 was intended as a follow-up to the C64 and VIC-20, but used a different microprocessor and system architecture (making it incompatible). It had a better built-in BASIC programming language and could display more colors, but did away with the sound generator and hardware-based graphic sprites that made the Commodore 64 so successful. Oh, and included a suite of low-quality built-in applications.

Regrettably, there was only so much fun to be had with a home machine that was focused on word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and a drawing program. One can only imagine the boardroom politics that resulted in this disaster making it to production.

Luckily, Commodore was to have future success with the Amiga.

Erik Klein's Vintage Computers

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