Hello, and welcome to another episode of the 8-Bit Guy. Today, I want to show you a rather unusual
line of portable computers known as the laser portable computers and these were manufactured
from the mid 1980s all the way up to the late 1990s. These were produced by V-tech, which is the
same company that produces most of the kids toy type electronics like this, and they also
produced the Laser 128 and XT which were portable clones of the Apple II and IBM PC. They also made some other interesting computers
of their own, which I will feature in a separate episode. So let’s start with the original model from
1985, the Laser 50 Personal Computer. According to the box, it’s the BASIC learning
tool that teaches you BASIC. So let’s take it out of the box and see
what it does. One thing I really like about this computer
is the manual. It’s extremely friendly and down to earth
and it really tries to teach you how to use BASIC. It reminds me of the Commodore VIC-20 users
manual. It also has a lot of example type in BASIC
programs in the back. On the bottom it has some extendable little
legs that will prop the keyboard and screen up slightly. This is a memory expansion socket. It can take up to 16K of RAM in here. Of course, this is the battery compartment
and it will run on 4 double-A batteries. On the rear there is a 6V power input and
a jack for connecting up a cassette recorder to load and save your programs. And this connector here is for a printer. it also has a little carry handle that you
could carry it around with. So let’s power it on and see how it works. So it doesn’t show much at first. It has seveal modes of operation if you look
over to the right of the screen. The two main modes are computer and calculator. And the way you switch is by pressing the
mode button and then a number like one or two. You can see a tiny text on the screen change
from comp to calc and so on. Typing in BASIC is somewhat of a challenge
as you have a 16 character by one line screen to work with . The screen will automatically
scroll over as you type. However, they give you these left-to-right
arrows to help you see the entire lines of BASIC. The BASIC dialect itself is a little different
from what I was used to and took me several tries to make programs work correctly without
syntax errors. In fact, some of the more common commands
in BASIC are actually missing on this machine. So here’s a little example program I made. It’s just 3 lines. It asks what your name is. Of course, if you want to see the whole sentence,
you have to scroll over. Anyway, then once you input your name, it
will tell you hello. I also wrote this little program that creates
random beeps. So let’s look at the keyboard.. I hate the placement of the SPACE key.. I keep hitting it when I mean to press SHIFT. But also, that’s just a really tacky place
for the SPACE. Also, when in calculator mode, many of the
keys shift around. For example, even when I hold down the shift
key, the paranthesis don’t work. I have to use the special calculator keys
for that. So if I want to see what the SINE of 32 is,
then I have to use these special parenthesis over here. Otherwise, it is a very capable scientific
calculator. So, a natural comparison to make with this
would be one of Radio Shack’s pocket computers. And, while the pocket computer is smaller,
I think the Laser50 is actually a better computer. Let’s open it up and have a look inside. It is surprisingly spartan inside. Being this was made in 1985 and that the specs
say it has a Z80 processor, I was expecting to see individual chips such as a CPU, ROM,
and RAM. However, it appears there are only 3 chips
in the thing, these two here appear to drive the LCD as well as the keyboard matrix.. and
one of them must contain the CPU as well. Down here there is a 2K static RAM chip, and
that’s all there is in this thing. Believe it or not, this is the actual screen
here. And along with it you have a polarizer and
this metal reflector that goes behind.. Oh, look at that, I have the polarizer on
backwards. So yeah, this is actually how LCD screens
can be inverted to be positive or negative, simply by changing the orientation of the
polarizer. Let’s look at this accessory sheet that
came with it. So you can see some of the available accessories
were a custom cassette recorder, a 4-color plotter, or alternatively a small thermal
printer. And don’t forget the 16K RAM expansion. And while I have not been able to find the
original price for this computer, the order sheet has some pricing for some of the accessories
and these were probably pretty cheap accessories for the time. So, considering this thing runs on the same
CPU core as a ZX81, or as we call it in the United States, the Timex Sinclair 1000, and
has about the same amount of memory as well, I would venture to say this computer probably
cost somewhere between $100 to $150. So, I am not entirely sure who the target
audience was. But, you know, I would have loved to have
something like this as a kid to take to Grandma’s house or on a road trip or something like
that to keep me entertained. However, admittedly, with a lack of 3rd party
software and with the tiny screen it’s kind of limited functionality as to what you could
really do with it, so it might have become boring after a while. On the other hand, this would have been great
for people in scientific or engineering fields, especially if you were working out in the
field and you had a very specific set of calculations you needed to run on a regular basis. This thing will store up to 10 BASIC programs
at a time. So you could setup specific BASIC programs
to run whatever calculations you needed to run on a regular basis and you could even
print them out if you had the printer. Now, one thing I should mention though is
that you can’t type more than about 20 words per minute on this, or it starts either repeating
characters or just skipping characters. The keyboard matrix algorithms don’t seem
to be able to tolerate faster typing. So a few years later in 1988, they followed
this thing up with an entire series of portable computers for every budget. We’ll start by looking at the Laser Compumate
1. It’s hard to actually call this thing a
computer. It does have 8K of RAM and runs on a Z80 processor,
but it only does three functions, a spell checker, calculator, and telephone directory. One thing you may notice is that they tried
to stay with the same size keyboard as the Laser50, only this time you get a real space
bar, but they have removed the row of number keys from the top. However, I do consider that to be an improvement
for typing. If you want to press a number, you have to
use the virtual number pad here. So let’s pick one for spell check. So you can already see it suffers from the
same problem as the Laser50 when it comes to not being able to type quickly. Let’s try a little experiment. Ok, so I didn’t actually make any typing
mistakes there, but you can see it didn’t come out well. The calculator is really nothing to brag about
either. It doesn’t even have any advanced scientific
functions like the Laser50 did. And so let’s briefly take a look at the
phone book. It’s not very clear what is going on here,
I had to actually look at the manual to figure it out. Overall, this part of the system kind of stinks
too. It does have a 12V Dc port on the back, and
you can remove this door for RAM expansion, although I can’t imagine why 8K wouldn’t
be sufficient for this thing. And it does have a little reference guide
on the bottom here. And it runs on 4 AA batteries. So, moving along let’s take a look at the
Laser PC3. This one has a full keyboard, at least, with
a real space bar and number keys too. Powering it on, you can see it has 32K of
RAM and a much nicer 2-line display. And you can see it has 10 built-in applications. The one I find most fascinating is the word-processor. I had a hard time believing you could write
and edit documents on a 20 by 2 line LCD display. However, apparently you can. Its not exactly what I’d call fun, though. It also suffers from not being able to handle
fast typing, as you can see. However, if you try to keep your typing speed
down to about 20 words per minute, it seems to be able to keep up with that. The irony behind this is that one of the applications
on here is a typing tutor, designed to help you learn to type faster. I guess if you can only type 10 words a minute,
then great, it will help you get to 20. But don’t bother trying to go any faster
than 20. So, I guess you could take this to Starbucks
and write up your memoirs, school reports, or whatever it is people go there to do. But don’t expect it to be easy to transfer
the document off to your PC. It does have an alarm clock on here. I’m going to try setting the time, one of
the things I’m wondering about is how it will handle the year 2017 considering it defaults
to 1988. Well, it does take it, althoug we can easily
say it is not year-2000 compliant since it only uses 2 digits. You can also configure the way you want the
date and time to be displayed on screen, which is pretty cool. So let’s look at the back. So it has a communications port, which is
used for a printer or connecting to your home PC. It also has a cassette port so you can load
and save your documents to tape. So that’s pretty cool. I’d hate to fill up that 32K and not have
a backup somewhere. And, a standard 12V power port. On the bottom you’ve got the battery compartment,
and that same RAM expansion as the previous model. And here’s the cable it came with for connecting
up a standard Centronics style parallel printer. I say standard, that was standard at the time. I do not have the cable necessary to connect
this to your PC and transfer data. So, one of the menus it has is a communication
menu, and there seem to be a lot of things you can configure here about serial ports,
printer ports, connecting to your PC, etc. One interesting thing is it has an option
for dialing. And I did notice on the side that there were
little knock-out sections labelled for telephone jacks. So presumably this was available with a built-in
modem. So, I can only imagine the torture of dialing
into an online service using a 20×2 character LCD screen. But, you know, I guess in a pinch it’d be
better than nothing. So moving on to the high end unit, the PC4. This one has a larger screen and also the
nicest keyboard of all of the units. When powering this one on, you’ll see it
has 128K, quite a bit a RAM for a system like this. It has quite a few different applications
built in. Let’s start with the calculator. This one does at least give us the advanced
scientific functions. And the word processor is a little bit less
of a joke since you have a screen large enough to actually see what you are typing on. it also includes BASIC, so you can write your
own programs. That is what makes this computer significantly
better than the previous two, in my opinion. However, BASIC appears to be much of an afterthought
on this computer. In fact, this machine has a really thick manual,
but unlike the laser50 manual which was almost entirely devoted to teaching you BASIC. This little section of the manual here is
all that it has even mentioning BASIC. In fact, I find it interesting that it doesn’t
even mention all of the available commands. As an example, I didn’t even know this machine
had a sound command until I just tried it out of curiosity. It uses the same format as the old Laser50. Typing on this machine is really comfortable
as the keyboard has a really nice feel to it. However, it does suffer from the same problem
as the other machines in that about 20 words per minute is the maximum it will accept. It might be a natural thing to compare this
unit to the old Tandy portable series. And it has some significant advantages. For example, the built-in software that comes
on the Laser is so much better than the Tandy that words just can’t describe. And the Laser has 128K versus 24K in the Tandy. Also the contrast on the Laser is a litte
sharper and easier to read, but the Tandy has a bigger screen, plus the screen is capable
of doing graphics. And from a programming perspective, the BASIC
is better on the Tandy as well as you can do assembly language programs on this too. So, from a programming perspective, this is
the better machine. So let’s have a look at the bottom. So it uses the same 4 AA battery configuration. And it has this same port, but it turns out
this isn’t for memory expansion after all. According to the manual on this thing, it
is for additional program ROMs. So most likely that is what it was for on
the other machines too. of course, it has the same expansion port for printer and PC
interface, but it seems to be lacking the cassette connection, even though it is still
labelled on the back. And it has the same 12V power input. Also the manual shows that it uses a Z80 processor
running at 3.58 Mhz, which is interesting. So you might think a machine like this could
be a great machine for typing up documents in a more distraction free way since you can’t
be tempted to open Facebook or check your email. And, while that would almost be true, except
that it is such a pain to get the stuff you’ve written transferred over to a modern computer. As such, when I need distraction free writing,
I tend to grab one of my iBook G3 computers since it is too slow to really use the internet
these days, but at least it’s new enough that I can copy my finished document over
the wireless network or onto a USB stick. OK, so moving ahead, this is the last model
of Laser portable computer, which came out in the late 1990s. Now, this one has a much nicer bit-mapped
graphical screen. So let’s take a look at the word processor. Notice it has this really big 40-column font. But you can press the 40/80 key here and it
will alternate between 40 and 80 columns, I guess depending on how good your eyesight
is. But The 80 column by 8 line display is actually
quite adequate for word processing. The calculator is not bad, also retaining
the scientific functions. It has a homework calendar, suggesting this
product was marketed towards schools. And, It has a spreadsheet, but nothing notable
to really say about it. Now here’s where things get interesting
to me, anyway. On the rear you’ll notice it has the same
printer and data interface as the previous models, and it has a DC input. But it also has a video output. However, I can’t find anything about it. The users manual only mentions it one time
right here, just saying that you need an optional video converter. The bottom has that same expansion module
port. And the usual 4 AA batteries. But I was kind of interested to see what is
under here. The last model had a similar looking area. So I decided to investigate. So it turns out there is a flash memory chip,
probably containing the firmware. But also some really nasty corroded battery
cells. So, looking inside, you’ll see the screen
and keyboard here, and over here is the logic board. So you have the firmware and the system memory
here. But the more interesting bits are here. This is a somewhat modernized Z80 compatible
processor, along with the LCD video controller and the video RAM chip. I was hoping to uncover something about that
video output jack, but just didn’t come up with anything. So, that’s too bad about the video port. I think given time I could figure out if it
is some kind of composite or S-video signal in there. I could probably sort it out using some oscilloscope
or something like that. I really just don’t have the time for it. And it may actually require some additional
external circuitry, so it may be a lost cause. So, I’m just not going to worry about it. While I had it opened I did take the opportunity
to remove these corroded cells,since they are obviously dead. at least they won’t be leaking anymore. In fact, there is virtually no information
on any of these Laser portable computers. It’s really hard to find anything out about
them at all, both from a historical standpoint or from a technical standpoint. In fact, pretty much everything I’ve shown
you in this video is about all that’s known, at least publicly, about them. In fact, I’ve never even heard of this line
until Andrew Craner donated this PC4 to me late last year. Then I got kind of interested in it so I started
trying to collect the rest of the series so I ended up with these to go along with it. Now, interestingly enough, the Laser50 is
not hard to find. You can find these all over ebay and they
generally run $20, $30, $40 Dollars. So they’re not hard to find. The rest of these, particularly, the PC4,
PC5, and the PC6 are tough to find. They rarely show up on ebay. They’re not particularly valuable, they’re
just hard to find. So, anyway, thank you for watching and I hope
you found this interesting. And I hope you find what I have coming up
next interesting, so stick around for that and I’ll se you next time.

The Laser Portable Computers that ran BASIC.
Tagged on:                                                                                                     

100 thoughts on “The Laser Portable Computers that ran BASIC.

  • October 15, 2018 at 8:24 am
    Permalink

    Oh my god, I picked up one of these things (The 50 if I remember correctly) from a thrift store for next to nothing a while back and was interested to find out more about it, only to find next to nothing about it online at the time. It's nice to see someone actually discussing it! I actually know a bit more about this thing now!

    Reply
  • October 15, 2018 at 9:42 pm
    Permalink

    but can it run DOOM more rather… the music

    Reply
  • October 16, 2018 at 8:39 pm
    Permalink

    10:06

    Reply
  • October 16, 2018 at 8:42 pm
    Permalink

    13:16

    Reply
  • October 19, 2018 at 3:06 am
    Permalink

    I just found a PC3, quick question. HOW DO YOU TURN IT OFF!?!?!?!?!?

    Reply
  • October 19, 2018 at 6:23 am
    Permalink

    I have learned a lot from ur vids. It’s funny that even though I’m not experienced in hardware, i still enjoy ur vids!

    Reply
  • October 19, 2018 at 10:00 pm
    Permalink

    If only the Laser 50 manual was labelled "How To BASIC".

    Reply
  • October 22, 2018 at 12:13 am
    Permalink

    I honestly miss good ol' serial cables, hundreds of pci-boards laying around just about everywhere imaginable, not being able to find the right cable for one specific device or finding female to female adapters for whatever weird reason.

    Reply
  • October 22, 2018 at 10:33 pm
    Permalink

    Not so sure it would great for people in scientific and engineering world. If you had a specific set of calculations to run, you probably would have programmed them into your HP programmable calculator..

    Reply
  • October 24, 2018 at 3:23 am
    Permalink

    I have some 16k 6116 SRAM chips. I wonder how hard it would be to make an adapter for one of them to fit in this thing. Assuming it used SRAM.

    Reply
  • October 24, 2018 at 6:53 am
    Permalink

    I have the laser pc4 in pretty good condition, it seems to work well and cosmetically looks good.

    Reply
  • October 25, 2018 at 10:46 am
    Permalink

    I would not need third party software if I owned the Laser 50 as a kid. I would be writing code on it every day, every chance I got, and I would have a rad notebook of my programs, or some gnarly tapes, dude.

    Reply
  • October 31, 2018 at 10:21 pm
    Permalink

    Can the laser 50 run windows 1.0, Probably not

    Reply
  • November 12, 2018 at 7:06 am
    Permalink

    (Illinois citizens add 7% tax)

    you are forgetting

    Indiana citizens add 7% tax

    Reply
  • November 18, 2018 at 8:20 am
    Permalink

    i picked up a laser 50 new in box at goodwill for 2 bucks

    Reply
  • November 19, 2018 at 6:17 am
    Permalink

    My middle school did actually give me a similar computer called the forte to type down notes in class. I eventually got a ThinkPad because the forte broke

    Reply
  • November 21, 2018 at 12:50 pm
    Permalink

    I love it already, a computer that doesn't allow typing faster than me.

    Reply
  • December 2, 2018 at 9:58 pm
    Permalink

    Computers that couldn't output to a monitor were pretty useless even back in the day. If it were in a watch or small calculator form-factor maybe, but not with a fullsize keyboard.

    Reply
  • December 6, 2018 at 3:43 am
    Permalink

    Oh, what a nice video. I already do want some coffee and TIS-100 (whose user manual is not that fascinating).

    Reply
  • December 6, 2018 at 3:48 am
    Permalink

    These machines remind me of the times when both customers and manufacturers weren't actually expecting what comes tomorrow. Like they don't expect it today; at least, they stopped carving prices in stone.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2018 at 6:40 am
    Permalink

    When he said it was Spartan inside i was afraid kratos wad gonna jump out

    Reply
  • December 24, 2018 at 9:15 pm
    Permalink

    almost every old conputer is hard to find in singapore. only macintoshes and older apple hardware can be found here 🙁

    Reply
  • January 4, 2019 at 4:29 pm
    Permalink

    Much better than the history channel !!!

    Reply
  • January 9, 2019 at 9:21 am
    Permalink

    Seems like a TI-83 would have been a better value as a portable BASIC computer / calculator…

    Reply
  • January 10, 2019 at 11:00 am
    Permalink

    Cool basic tool

    Reply
  • January 13, 2019 at 10:46 pm
    Permalink

    Gonna buy a one.

    Reply
  • January 14, 2019 at 6:55 am
    Permalink

    We had a few of the PC6s at my old elementary school back in the late 90s/early 00s for people with disabilities pertaining to handwriting. As long as they could still type their homework, they could use these computers.

    Reply
  • January 23, 2019 at 12:35 am
    Permalink

    It looks like a sega genesis av adapter might work on on the pc6?

    Reply
  • January 24, 2019 at 11:17 am
    Permalink

    I was born in 97 and I remember my brother had one of those Laser PC6's for word processing stuff. Don't ever remember the display being a thing, though (or many other details for that matter, since I was so young), so sorry for not being able to give any details on that!

    Reply
  • January 26, 2019 at 10:13 pm
    Permalink

    … I kind of want to get a pc6 now.

    Reply
  • February 2, 2019 at 5:41 pm
    Permalink

    A guy at work gave me a Laser 50 and the printer. I can't wait to go home and try them out!

    Reply
  • February 7, 2019 at 10:41 pm
    Permalink

    Whatever happened to that Laser 2000 and Laser XT documentary you mentioned when you fixed up that Laser XT? Make any headway on that, or just put it on the shelf?

    Reply
  • February 17, 2019 at 7:43 pm
    Permalink

    Why aren't they making larger display for it like 25×40 characters at least so we could use it like laptop. Even with passive lcd it would still be usefull I think. We might be able to make ascii games for it. Eh, Im still 20 so I don't really know the situation at the time but, it makes me wondering…

    Honestly Im trying to find large passive lcd display. Might be good for arduino projects. I bet it's really power efficient.

    Reply
  • February 17, 2019 at 10:56 pm
    Permalink

    David's attention to detail is really revealed by calling the little black box with the Chiclet keys a Z (zed) X 81, like a proper person. Of course ironic that I called the keys 'Chiclet' keys as Chiclets aren't widely sold in the UK…

    Reply
  • February 23, 2019 at 1:21 am
    Permalink

    The video connector looks exactly the same as a Sega Genesis 2 RGB connector

    Reply
  • February 26, 2019 at 5:07 pm
    Permalink

    Have you ever heard of the pencil II? I had one when I was a kid and have not seen or heard of it since. Was it a dream?

    Reply
  • March 12, 2019 at 9:04 am
    Permalink

    They didn't half make a load of junk for kids in the 80s…and 90s…. and 00s… and 10s…

    Reply
  • March 19, 2019 at 7:44 pm
    Permalink

    a computer that cannot type. WTF.

    Reply
  • March 19, 2019 at 7:46 pm
    Permalink

    with a buitin motor. for rotary dialing.

    Reply
  • March 28, 2019 at 12:16 am
    Permalink

    Wow… this is close to being my dream computer I would wish for – type everywhere, have a TV output and save text to your other machines or backup drives… 🙂

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 2:34 pm
    Permalink

    I go to you when I wake up in a cold sweat due to nightmares. You calm me down.

    Reply
  • April 8, 2019 at 4:14 pm
    Permalink

    Kids these days, with their Androids, LG, Samsungs, etc ! 🙂
    They don't know how good they have it.

    Reply
  • April 10, 2019 at 3:31 am
    Permalink

    I had a laptop years ago that had a CD eject mechanism they split the keyboard open in the middle and that’s where the disk came out. Anyone remember that model. I’d like to find one but I don’t remember the model.

    Reply
  • April 19, 2019 at 7:01 pm
    Permalink

    Very good video.

    Reply
  • April 19, 2019 at 7:01 pm
    Permalink

    I really liked it.

    Reply
  • April 22, 2019 at 10:43 am
    Permalink

    It's like Texas-Instruments graphing calculators with built-in software and really bad gaming graphics.

    Reply
  • May 5, 2019 at 10:11 am
    Permalink

    i bought one of these off of ebay to use as a word processor/possible basic computer, i cant wait! I just realized, unless i missed it, he doesn't have a pc5 in here

    Reply
  • May 7, 2019 at 11:00 pm
    Permalink

    You say you're going to do episodes on stuff at a later time a lot and never ever do

    Reply
  • May 18, 2019 at 3:42 am
    Permalink

    You have an amazing collection. That Laser 128 brings back bad memories of an Apple lab I inherited as a new tech director at a school. Luckily, we replaced it 6 months after I arrived with Macs in 1992. Bunch of A2's, A2e's and a couple Laser 128s.

    Reply
  • May 19, 2019 at 10:24 am
    Permalink

    Interesting! And really surprised these units didn't offer any video out capability like the Timex/Sinclair line. Would it been that hard to incorporate? The last unit looks like S video for sure. But also amazed how lame the manuals got over the features. Oh well, with a little more ingenuity and integrity invested – these really could've been awesome units!

    Reply
  • June 5, 2019 at 9:04 am
    Permalink

    This is the only video I could find on the tandex laser pc6.

    Reply
  • June 10, 2019 at 6:38 am
    Permalink

    Endlessly interesting.

    Reply
  • June 10, 2019 at 11:41 am
    Permalink

    Mini???????

    Reply
  • June 17, 2019 at 12:54 am
    Permalink

    I had an old v tech gaming system for kids

    Reply
  • June 24, 2019 at 7:16 am
    Permalink

    Hi David, a brilliant video as always.
    A couple of these models were sold in Israel in the early 90s by a local company named “Top Technologies” (״טופ טכנולוגיות״). I had the Laser PC3 when I went to grammar school. It had what I guess was a specialised firmware, was marketed as an English-Hebrew (and vice-versa) dictionary and went under the name “Targumon” (״תרגומון״, a twist on “translation”). All other “apps” were included as well. The PC4, however, was marketed as a business-oriented portable computer, was locally marketed as TC4 (Top Computer 4), and it too had a bilingual firmware.

    Reply
  • July 8, 2019 at 4:17 am
    Permalink

    This might be my favourite episode now. Not because of the subject because it's not my favourite part of retro computing BUT it's because of the sound track since Crystal Starlight and Falling in Love with You are two of my favourite songs by Anders Enger Jensen (read as Yensen!) 🙂

    Reply
  • July 10, 2019 at 11:08 pm
    Permalink

    would be nice similar computer this with python compiler for education education

    Reply
  • July 15, 2019 at 7:23 am
    Permalink

    I miss my Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100. One of the best keyboards I've owned.

    Reply
  • July 17, 2019 at 1:12 am
    Permalink

    I wonder if someone would build/design a raspberry pi variant in this format
    (secretly wishing for a pi4 in either this or netbook form factor)

    Reply
  • July 19, 2019 at 11:01 pm
    Permalink

    This is one more reason why I don't understand why Americans tend to hate the ZX81. It was cheaper, could be connected to a TV and had much better Basic.
    I know that it had worse keyboard, but a lot of people (here at least) made their own mechanical ones still for a less cost than any of these computers.

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 11:26 pm
    Permalink

    Hey could it just be that the keyboard on your compumate isn't working well? Maybe you need to clean it.

    Reply
  • August 3, 2019 at 8:23 pm
    Permalink

    Steve Jobs screwed Laser.

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 6:34 am
    Permalink

    3:24 lol!

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 6:34 am
    Permalink

    3:24 lol!

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 6:37 am
    Permalink

    0:01 Typing

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 6:37 am
    Permalink

    0:01 Typing

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 6:37 am
    Permalink

    0:01 Typing

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 5:59 pm
    Permalink

    2:53

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 1:53 am
    Permalink

    When I was little I had a Vtech Smart start Elite. My dad got it for me and my sister when he came back from a trip. I wish I still had it now; but that was my first computer.

    Reply
  • August 13, 2019 at 10:15 am
    Permalink

    The Chinese subtitle is very funny and on point at the same time.

    Reply
  • August 15, 2019 at 6:32 am
    Permalink

    Ram goes from 16k to 16mb 16gb to 1.5 tb

    Reply
  • August 17, 2019 at 11:25 pm
    Permalink

    Programmable calculators were a thing. HP had their own systems already in the early 70's. Check this out if you don't know HP65 already: https://www.rskey.org/hp65
    In the 80's they made also a BASIC programmable one. I think these were an extension of that idea.

    Reply
  • August 19, 2019 at 8:18 am
    Permalink

    The definition of Vtech is Smile

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:56 am
    Permalink

    There is (or there was) one of these "portable computers" that let you run x86 assembler programs?

    Reply
  • August 28, 2019 at 4:32 pm
    Permalink

    Maybe the phone book would function to call for you. 🤷🏻‍♂️

    Reply
  • September 1, 2019 at 2:51 am
    Permalink

    I'm doing nothen to Dan snowboy Paul lul are my neighbors 8bit guy.

    Reply
  • September 5, 2019 at 11:03 pm
    Permalink

    2:52 New ringtone

    Reply
  • September 6, 2019 at 5:54 pm
    Permalink

    When the V-tech kicks in:

    V R O O M V R O O M

    Reply
  • September 12, 2019 at 6:18 am
    Permalink

    WHAT… IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?

    Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 10:54 am
    Permalink

    I still have a computer like that I got when I was a kid, a Vtech pre-computer 1000 and 2000. I'd gladly send them to you if you want them.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2019 at 4:37 pm
    Permalink

    These remind me of the later AlphaSmart and the AlphaSmart 2000. You seen them? They were great. They're like 15 bucks on ebay. And much better than the AlphaSmart Neo, which tried to do too much.

    And the AlphaSmart 2000 can upload text to any PC.

    I wrote part of 3 books on an AlphaSmart.

    Reply
  • September 28, 2019 at 3:53 am
    Permalink

    If you're looking for a distraction free writing machine, I would actually recommend the AlphaSmart. As to how to get the documents off it? If you get one of the newer models, it has an option where it will emulate a USB keyboard and "type" your entire document into whatever program is available to handle it. Which – while that's still not futureproof, it is pretty future-resistant as these things go.

    Reply
  • October 3, 2019 at 12:37 pm
    Permalink

    On the PC6, I perused the datasheets for the Hitachi CPU and OKI video chip, and neither have provisions for analog video output signals. However the OKI graphics chip is quite versatile with logic level (data) signals. Without a board in front of me, I'd wager the "Video Out" is a serial output containing only graphics data. It being in a 8pin mini-Din would follow it likely being a serial type, albeit proprietary implementation. In that case, it would require a serial/parallel interfaced video renderer attached to be any use on a NTSC/PAL TV though.
    Just a theory….

    Reply
  • October 8, 2019 at 3:23 am
    Permalink

    2:50 this sounds like entry number 17 from UNdertale

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 3:03 pm
    Permalink

    when they did something I felt that

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 3:04 pm
    Permalink

    bruh

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 3:04 pm
    Permalink

    creeper

    Reply
  • October 9, 2019 at 3:04 pm
    Permalink

    cweeper

    Reply
  • October 12, 2019 at 6:36 am
    Permalink

    I'm watching The 8 Bit Guy on an 8 byte (64 bit) computer. COINCIDENCE? I THINK NOT.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2019 at 3:24 am
    Permalink

    2:52 truly music to my ears. get this Laser 50 to America's Got Talent, i dare you.

    10:19 my TI-84 Plus CE can't take on this, might as well buy one from ebay lol

    Reply
  • October 20, 2019 at 10:03 am
    Permalink

    I used to own one of these things. I could program on the go for longer than a half hour back in 1995, I loved it. Sure it was laughable even then, but it was cool

    Reply
  • October 26, 2019 at 1:59 pm
    Permalink

    I know the video out ,its s video and rgb

    Reply
  • October 27, 2019 at 10:59 am
    Permalink

    Im having an anxiety attack just looking at these. They are not proper computers they are fancy calculators.

    Reply
  • October 30, 2019 at 4:49 am
    Permalink

    8 bit keys

    Reply
  • October 30, 2019 at 5:26 am
    Permalink

    I remember that blue one from my public school, it had a IR port so you could transfer documents and information to other units. Especially good for texting eachother in classes (no kids had mobiles back then)

    Reply
  • November 10, 2019 at 12:45 am
    Permalink

    What about the Laser 128 an Apple Ii compatible I paid under 400USD

    Reply
  • November 10, 2019 at 8:50 pm
    Permalink

    My middle school had some form of small portable computers… I actually used one for a few minutes (long enough to realize I had no clue what I was doing) It looked pretty similar to some of those laser models… I have no clue of the brand. I have no clue what the school actually used them for (I am guessing they might have been bought with some type of technology type grant or something)

    Reply
  • November 11, 2019 at 8:50 pm
    Permalink

    This makes me realize how fortunate I was to learn BASIC on an Epson PX-8 with an 80 character by 8 line screen. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epson_PX-8_Geneva

    Reply
  • November 14, 2019 at 9:02 pm
    Permalink

    how about Sharp Pocket Computer PC-1247? https://www.flickr.com/photos/e-coli/2875574615/in/photolist-Sw8pTH-5o759F

    Reply
  • November 16, 2019 at 9:00 am
    Permalink

    I used a similar computer in the eighties, an Amstrad with 64k of Ram, Z80Proc, and with a bit better "graphics"! and a bigger display (it is like your Laser6) – with several programs built in, wordprocessor, calc, complete calendar with alarms and reminders, built in Basic, dont remember witch version, – still have it! tucked away somewhere in the closet! – and fully working! – thanks for the video, greets, Levi in sweden

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *