The NorMill Personal Computer Museum
(opening date of the physical manifestation still a few years off)
A Partial List of my Vintage Systems
-- arranged roughly in chronological order --
Radio-Electronics magazine (article by Don Lancaster) Not a computer but a system for writing messages on your TV. Later modified for use as a dumb terminal to converse with my D-1. Since the kit consisted only of bare printed circuit boards, it took me months to get all the parts, assemble it, and get it working.
Honeywell Honeywell's answer to the PDP-8. Wire-wrapped backplane, and flat-pack DTL integrated circuits. Incandescent indicator lights and toggle-switches on front panel. 4K x 12-bit magnetic core memory.
Model S
Morrow Micro-STUFF If you don't like the idea of entering ones and zeros via front-panel switches (a la Altair), this 8080 CPU card with its hexadecimal keypad can plug into the end slot of an S-100 bus, and make machine-language programming a LOT easier.
Micro PDP-11/73
Digital Equipment Corp. 22 bit. Harvard architecture (separate instruction and data space). Unixable! Supposedly in working condition.
Digital Equipment Corp. From a Norpac system. All in pieces, and no documentation how to put it together. ( HELP!!)
Evaluation Kit
Motorola A single-board microcomputer with a 6800 CPU and less than 256 bytes of RAM. Required a dumb terminal, and a homebrew cassette interface (e.g., Don Lancaster's "Bit Boffer") for data storage. Programmed only in hand-assembled machine code.
Southwest Technical Products Company SWTPC's answer to the Altair and Imsai, replacing the latters' 8080 CPU's with the Motorola 6800. Complete with dual cassette interface and 300-baud serial card. The latter provides a link to a dumb terminal.
Processor Technology 8080 CPU. One of the first personal computers with an integral keyboard. Oiled mahogany side panels makes it fancy, but an old-style power supply makes it weigh a ton. If you type "TERM" at the initial prompt, the system becomes a dumb terminal, just in case you'd really rather talk to some other computer.
Evaluation Kit 
Motorola  Two-circuit boards, connected by a ribbon cable. One board provided an LED hexidecimal readout and a cassette interface. The other contained the 6800 CPU and RAM. Like the D-1 above, it had to be programmed in hand-assembled machine code.
S-100 system
CPU, RAM, and 8 in. floppy disk controller boards all by SDS, of Dallas, Texas. In '79, I soldered up an S-100 mother-board, and plugged ready-made cards (e.g., Z-80A CPU) of various function into it. The system is filled out by a Volker-Craig VC-404 terminal and dual 8 in. floppy drives. Runs the CP/M operating system, a hobbyist standard for years. 
Apple II+
Apple, Inc. 6502 CPU. One of the first broadly integrated systems, with keyboard, game-paddles, Applesoft Basic in ROM, and 16-colour graphics (hi- or lo-res) all standard features. Eight slots for expansion goodies, including a controller card for two external 5.25 in. floppy drives, 128k of expanded RAM, and a 9-voice sound card. Or roll your own custom interfaces!
Commodore With cassette tape storage unit and external RF modulator. The latter allowed you to use your TV as a read-out device. 6502 CPU.
Sinclair Possibly the first "palm-top". Z-80 CPU.
With RAM and printer add-on modules.
Texas Instruments The first personal computer with a 16-bit CPU! I have two... one is silver and black; the other, beige. Both are marked 'Model# PHC004A'. Applications came as plug-in ROM cartridges, called "Command Modules". User-generated data and programs are stored on on cassette tape. 
Osborne Z-80 CPU. Integral 5.25 in. floppy drives and amber monochrome monitor. Still works after its case was destroyed in a fire.
Commodore The Volkswagon of the early personal computer industry. 6502 CPU and rudimentary colour graphics. With external disk drive, Model# 1541.
Apple, Inc Series 2, I believe. 68000 CPU. Steve Jobs' "no compromise system", with an orignal pricetag of $9,995! Unfortunately, the integral 10 Meg hard drive is presently in need of repair. 
Model II/16
Radio Shack (Tandy) Z-80 CPU, integral monochome monitor, and external 8 Meg Hard Drive. (The latter alone measures 18" x 19" x 5".) With only 64k of RAM, it somehow runs the Xenix operating system while having memory left for programs!
Kaypro II Non-Linear Systems An early Z-80 based portable. Built like a tank, with an all-steel chassis. The keyboard becomes the bottom during storage. Integral 9-in. monochrome monitor, and dual 5.25 in. floppy disk drives. Inside is a single-board computer and a switching power supply. "Luggable" is perhaps more apt a term than "portable".
Sanyo 8088 CPU (3.6 MHz no-wait). 128K RAM expandable to 256K. Dual integral disk drives, using a non-standard double-density 5.25 in. format. All computing electronics on a single board, and no slots for expansion.
Amiga 500
Commodore 68000 CPU, integral 3.5 in. disk drive, and Commodore colour (RGB) monitor. A legion of Amiga fanatics graduated from graphic-intensive games to hacking on machines such as this.
Apple IIe
Apple Computer, Inc Last of the sublime Apple II's. This model features upper/lower case, numeric keypad, and 128K memory as standard features. 
Iris 2400 Turbo
Silicon Graphics More a "workstation" than a personal computer, the 2400 is now out-performed by a '486/33. This one features a hard drive, a backup tape-drive, and a huge 19 in. RGB colour monitor. The video subsystem (advanced for 1986) incorporates a hardware-based 3D greyscale shader with solid color support. Runs under the UNIX multi-user operating system.
Adam Coleco Billed as a "family computer", the Adam had one of the first programs to store and organize recipes. The power supply for the computer is built into the printer!
IBM Portable International Business Machines A portable (luggable) machine which seems to have followed in the footsteps of the Kaypro in the way it fits together for storage. Integral monochrome monitor and dual 5.25 in. floppy disk drives.
286 Portable Compaq Another luggable. Again, the keyboard is stowed at the bottom of the case, making it susceptible to even minor floods. This one looks like it's been through one... but it still works! Integral 9-in. green monochrome monitor, 80286 CPU, 128K RAM, and a 5.25 in. floppy disk drive.
IBM-XT 286
International Business Machines (I know it sounds funny to put XT and 286 together, but that's what it says on the label!) Complete with 40 Meg MFM hard drive, and IBM green-monochrome monitor. All in mint condition!
M15 [1987] Olivetti An early lap-top. Dual 3.5 in. (720K) drives and monochrome LCD screen. External 5.25 in. floppy drive. It's best ergonomic feature is a removable keyboard.
AT Plus ? A 20-MB MFM hard-drive and CGA Monitor are all it needs to run Windows 3.0! In 1986, a hot graphics machine with its 8 Meg Memory expansion card, '287 math co-processor chip, and Targa16 colour graphics card.
IBM '386 Compatible ? 80386/40 MHz CPU, 3.5 in. floppy drive, and Western Digital 210 Meg hard-drive. Loaded with DOS 6.2 and Windows 3.1, it was a classic in its day, which wasn't that long ago.
Mac Quadra 650
Apple Computer, Inc. M68040/33 MHz CPU, 3 NuBus slots, "SuperDrive" floppy. Introduced in October '93, it was no longer produced after September '94!

  • I also have a pretty good library of old electronic/computer hobbyist magazines:

    Donations to my museum are almost always welcome.
    Right now, I'm searching for the following in particular:

    Thanks to the following people for their advice and generous donations: It turns out there are lots of other people with the same obsession.
    For starters, check out: