Archive for the 'Computer Labs' Category

Computer Labs, 1980 – 1982: The TRS-80

Computer Lab 1980

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 1980

Computer Lab 1982

Saint Mary’s Academy, 1982. (Photo: Nancy Leigh Williams)

That’s the TRS-80 model I in the first shot, released in 1977. The kids in the second shot are working on a model III, released in 1980.

(First image via UWEC Archives/Flickr)

Only Nerds GOTO Computer Camp (1979)

Computers 1979

Computer 1979

Computers 1979-5

Computers 1979-7

Computers 1979-2

Computers 1979-6

Computers 1979-3

A computer day camp in Chicago, December, 1979. PCs on display include the Apple II, the TRS-80, and the TI-99/4. The latter was brand new at the time. There’s another one I can’t identify to the right of the kid raising his hand. It looks a little like a Commodore PET.

Note the Garfield notebook in the first shot, and the BASIC code in the second. The kid typing the code (you can read all of it starting with line 95) is wearing an Izod sweater.

Terrific all-around coverage of an early lab and the kids who got to use it.

(Photos via eBay seller Historical Images)

British Kids Using Computers, 1980 – 1981

Mirror-2 1981

Slatyford Comprehensive School, 1981. Photo: The Mirror

All of the photos shown here are from The Mirror/Daily Mirror archives and collected by Us Vs Th3m. Click the link to see more.

The first one shows the lads on a Video Genie, known as the Dick Smith (of Dick Smith Electronics) System 80 in Australia and New Zealand, where it was important as an alternative to the scarce and largely unaffordable TRS-80. It appeared briefly in North America as the PMC-80.

Mirror-3 1981

Longbenton High School, Newcastle, 1981. Photo: The Mirror

The Research Machines 380Z was developed and produced in Oxford for the education market starting in 1977. It was succeeded in 1981 by the Link 480Z, although the 380Z continued to be produced until 1985.

Mirror-4 1980

Benfield Road High School, 1980. Photo: The Mirror

Another 380Z (the CPU is under the TV). The aloof pose of the young lady on the right reminds me of the young lady in this photo. Not everyone found the new technology thrilling, or even interesting.

Mirror-1 1980

Space Invaders World Championship, 1981. Photo: The Mirror

Okay, so the kids aren’t really “computing,” but it’s a beautiful shot. The description identifies the scene as the “National Space Invaders Championship” of 1981, but that event, probably the most famous video game tournament in history, took place in late 1980, and it was exclusive to the U.S. (The Golden Age Arcade Historian talks about it here.) The Space Invaders World Championship was held in 1981.

Computer Labs, 1982: The Commodore VIC-20

Commodore VIC-20 1982

May 19, 1982. (Photo: Dave Buresh/Denver Post)

Commodore VIC-20 1982-2

December 6, 1982. (Photo: Denver Post)

(Photos via Lexibell/eBay)

Computer Lab, 1980: The Commodore PET

computer lab 1980

Pacific Science Center, Seattle, Washington, 1980. (Photo: Unknown)

Original caption:

The Pacific Science Center’s PET Computer Lab helps introduce the public to the capabilities and limitations of computers. The Lab features 16 PET microcomputers which are available to Science Center visitors on weekends and weekdays for limited times. Programs run from games to simulations to educational in nature. The Lab is also used for teacher workshops and School for Science classes, as shown in this picture.

What we have here is the Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor), Commodore’s first true PC, released in 1977. The original model (2001) came with 4K RAM, a built-in tape deck, and a “chiclet keyboard,” as seen below.

commodore pet 2001

In 1979 the 2001-N was released. 8K, 16K, and 32K models were offered. The tape deck was removed, and a full-sized keyboard was added.

commodore PET 2001

The 2001-N is what the folks are using in the first photo.

(Images via Seattle Washington Archive and

Computer Labs (1982, 1985): The Atari 800

computer lab 1982

North Beach Elementary School, Miami, Florida, 1982. (Photo: The Miami Herald)

computer lab 1985

1985 (Photo: The Miami Herald)

There’s some masking tape on the computer in the first photo. I can make out “Do Not,” but that’s it.

Lots more Atari 800’s in the second photo. Yes, kids, those were our monitors. We have the hernias to prove it.

(Images via Vintage Photos 2012)

Computer Labs in the ’80s

Both of these shots are from a Marquette University photo gallery.

The first one is circa 1984 and shows a journalism student working on an acid rain story. (Remember playing let’s-scream-as-if-the-rain-were-burning-our-skin-off on the playground?)

The second one shows the computer lab in 1988 with some original-line Macs. Dig that carpet.

Computer Lab, 1987

Shoreline College, August 25, 1987. (Eric Draper/Seattle Times)

Some of us were excited about computers. Some of us just wanted a Twinkie.

(Source: Seattle Times Archive)

Computer Labs in the ’80s

August 19, 1982. (Bruce McKim/Seattle Times)

The horses, the horses, the horses are on the track…

(Source: The Seattle Times Archive)

Computer Lab, Circa 1982: The Commodore 64

Greensville Public School, Ontario, Canada. From the history section of the school’s website:

In 1982, the Wentworth County Board of Education decided to purchase three Commodore 64’s for each school. Greensville’s P.T.O. matched this with three more machines. The three board machines worked with five and a quarter inch disks and the other three with data sets which were basically tape recorders. The tape drives were always losing material and it was very frustrating. Fortunately, they were replaced by more disk drives the following year.

In June 1982, the first computer lab was set up in the old principal’s office. This entailed putting in a wall and extra electric wiring. During September and October, the computer room was out of bounds until everything was checked. This meant the computers had to be disassembled each night and stored in the computer room and then reassembled the next morning in the classroom next to the computer room.

What are they playing?




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