A shot of nostalgia

I’m an avid appreciator of old (antique?) (vintage?) computers, and there’s nothing like the nostalgia that I get from occasionally stumbling upon an ancient computer (say, somebody’s old Commodore 64), and remembering a 10-year-old me learning to program in BASIC. That’s why, whenever I come across a really old computer, I’m compelled to tinker with it, and even try to turn in on, and see if it still functions.

So, you can imagine my excitement when a friend of mine presented me with something that was lying around in his attic: an original Compaq Portable Plus!

Now I know how Jean-Luc Picard must have felt when he was presented with a Kurlan Naiskos. But nothing could have prepared me for what happened when I flipped the power switch after dusting it off: the computer booted up successfully without any hiccups, and landed me at the MS-DOS (2.0) prompt, in all its green-screen glory.

Let me mention just a few of the features that make this computer a must-have companion for the modern business professional (of 1983):

  • At an unbeatable price of $3,600, it’s affordable for any tech-savvy business pro, and will easily pay for itself in terms of the productivity boost you’ll get from using it.
  • Weighing in at just under 30 pounds, it’s perfect for all your on-the-go computing needs.
  • The generous built-in 9-inch monochrome CRT display keeps you focused on the task at hand, and the integrated CGA adapter allows you to connect to an external display, with an astounding resolution of 640×200, with 16 colors!
  • Powered by an Intel 8088 processor, at a whopping 4.77 MHz, this beast will blaze through any modern game or office application, making you the envy of all your friends and colleagues.
  • With 256KB of RAM (expandable to 640KB), it will handle all your most memory-intensive applications, and should be enough for anybody.
  • The built-in Parallel and Serial ports, as well as the versatile ISA expansion bus, allow you to connect your computer to all your essential peripherals. Why not splurge on a 1200-baud modem for calling up your favorite BBS while you’re on the go?
  • It goes without saying that the computer comes with a 5-1/4” floppy drive, compatible with single- and double-sided disks.
  • Best of all, the computer comes with a built-in 10MB hard drive, giving you an unprecedented amount of storage for all your files, without the fuss of floppy disks!

The verdict: an all-around winner!

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