The Laptop Project
If you would like to donate to the project, send me a message on the Contact Page. Laptop Computers should be in good structural condition (for example, no broken hinges or cracked cases). I will also accept monetary donations to help purchase needed replacement parts.
The Computer Bug
Famous for being the first true multimedia computer, the Amiga displayed hundreds of thousands of colors out of the box, had speech synthesis, stereo sound and a true, pre-emptive, multitasking operating system. It also played great arcade games like the fiendishly difficult platform-puzzler Shadow Of The Beast by Psygnosis.3 In a famous moment of early computer PR, at the Amiga 1000's launch event, Commodore Business Machines got Andy Warhol to manipulate Deborah Harry's (yes, that Deborah Harry) image in real time with the first color paint program for a home computer.7 People were blown away at the demo. The Amiga also spawned the Demo Scene, a phenomenon in which groups of young coders would create multimedia demos, seeing how much impressive sound and video they could cram onto an 880 kilobyte floppy disk, competing for prizes and bragging rights in "DemoScene" competitions.
Between 1992 and 2002, the beloved A1200 was my sole computer for activities as diverse as writing (I even wrote a published Jewish history textbook on it), Internet, email and (of course) gaming. I was so deep into the Amiga scene that I used to attend an annual Amiga fair and trade show in St. Louis and wrote reviews for several Amiga magazines, including the Amiga Informer (USA) and AmigActive (UK). For a number of years, I was also President of CTACS, the Central Texas Amiga Computing Society (which still meets today).
Sadly, Commodore, Amiga's parent company, filed for bankruptcy in 1994. And yet, a robust cottage industry manufacturing all manner of add-ons and doodads for the entire Amiga line (many from Europe, where the Amiga was a bigger success than in the US) extended the life of the platform far beyond its designers wildest dreams. I hacked my A1200 into an Ateo Concepts (from France) tower case that included a graphics card, accelerated serial port, SCSI port, 50 MHz 68060 accelerator with 4 MB RAM, internal SCSI CD drive, internal 100 MB SCSI Zip Drive, display scan-doubler and Ethernet port. I still have that machine, although with the purchase of an iMac G44 in 2002, the Amiga became more of a hobby and my day to day work was done on the Mac.
Enter The Penguin
The "Adam Bomb"The Adam was an early personal computer sold by Coleco, an American toy manufacturer best known for its Cabbage Patch Dolls and a baseball simulation board game. The Adam included a computer, tape storage drive, game controllers and daisy wheel printer for only $750! But it was so poorly designed and crash-prone that Coleco stopped selling it within two years. An HUC classmate of mine who has gone on to a distinguished and scholarly career purchased a Coleco Adam upon which he began writing his Rabbinic Thesis. When the "Adam Bomb" crashed and took his thesis with it, he had to start over again from scratch.
The mighty Kaypro. I still have mine in a closet somewhere.
"3-Legged Asthmatic Dog"(No actual dogs were harmed in the making of this simile.)
- (My personal fave.)
Andy Warhol and Deborah Harry at the Amiga A1000 launch event.
Another HUC classmate of mine bought an Apple IIc, which looked impossibly cool in those days. Never could get it to talk to his Okidata printer, though...