Home computers

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80s Home Computers

The 1980s were the period when computers started to become cheap enough for the general public to start buying them, initially mostly for games. In a manner resembling the expansion of new animal forms in the Cambrian period, large numbers of new machines of all types, including such exotica as the Forth-based Jupiter Ace appeared on the market, and disappeared again. A few types remained for much longer, some, such as the BBC Micro still having a devoted following, but by the end of the decade most were squeezed out between the IBM PC-compatibles and the newer generations of video game consoles.

Many of these computers were superficially similar, having a usually very cheap-to-manufacture keyboard integrated into the processor unit and displaying output on a home television. Many used audio compact cassette as a (notoriously unreliable) storage mechanism, floppy disk drives were very expensive at the time. Cheapness was the order of the day for most of these machines.