Unknown (Skeleton Catching E-Mail from Grave), c.1990/2013
This is a re-creation of my favorite early-internet GIF.
If you have any information on it, I’d love to hear about it.
This comic is about how there are two sides to every story.
It astonishes me that this comic is still going around. I am still quite proud of the colours in it, though.
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The Coleco Adam, released in October of 1983, is what we would call a big, steaming mess. With a 3.58MHz Z80A CPU, 80KB of RAM, and twin cassette drives, this home computer package also came with a complete dot-matrix printer, allowing the user to simply buy the set and have a complete system out of the box, in comparison to having to purchase a more expensive printer separately for a Commodore 64. It was more featureful than the IBM PCjr at a lower cost.
But you get what you pay for, and the Adam was not very quality gear. Let me list the ways in which this system failed:
- When you turned the computer on, it emitted an electromagnetic pulse. This was enough to completely erase any tapes in the system.
- The manual told you to put the tapes into the computer before turning it on.
- The power supply was part of the printer. If the printer died or went missing, the computer became a worthless paperweight.
- There was no ROM BASIC, unlike every other home microcomputer. Instead, BASIC came on a tape, and the ROM software was a word processor.
- To get out of word processor mode, you have to reboot the system.
- The tape drives actually used proprietary, high-density tapes that could hold 256KB, but were unreliable. Eventually a 160KB 5.25” floppy drive was released as an addon.
- The software developer license agreement. You were forbidden to say anything negative about Coleco or the computer, Coleco could force you to modify your product, and if Coleco ever pulled the license out from under you, you had to destroy all your stock of the software.
Coleco thought that they could pull a Tandy and go from being a leather company to a computer behemoth, but they were wrong. This console was completely marred by technical and engineering incompetence, along with a very greedy legal team. It was canned in January of 1985 and Coleco never bothered with the home computer market ever since. Though, for some reason, there are actually fans of this computer, and they created new hardware to upgrade it to make it more modern.