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Found While browsing: The Terak

I followed a a stray through while browsing on the internet and re-found the Terak.

The Terak was the Micro Computer I used in my first college programming
class – CS302 Honors Intro to Computer Programming (using Pascal). While I had done some programming with BASIC on Apple 2s and a Dec PDP11, this was my first “real” programming class.

Found at the informative http://www.threedee.com/jcm/terak/ :

It is an early personal computer made by the Terak Corporation of Scottsdale, Arizona. It was sold from about 1979 until 1985.

One of the first models was the Terak 8510/a shown above. It was based on the popular PDP-11/03 processor, a 16-bit CPU. The Terak 8510 could have as much as 128K of RAM with the PDP-11/23 option. For storage, it has big eight-inch floppy drives that go klunk-klunk, in IBM 3740 format, holding roughly 256K, 512K or 1 meg each. Hard disks of five to forty megs were available. The Terak featured both RS-232 and 20 milliamp current loop serial connections, so you could connect to the printers and teletypes of the time. The keyboard included a numeric keypad and arrow keys arranged in a vertical column.

The Terak was advertised as a “Graphic Computer System.” It featured a monochrome 320 x 240 square-dot display and relatively advanced video features such as a purely bitmapped display, allowing a customizable character set, the mixing text and graphics on the same screen, and raster operations like continuous smooth panning and scrolling. The system included a twelve-inch composite video monitor. It even had programmable sound and a two-inch speaker. The main system box was robust metal, weighing about forty pounds.

Wait, WTF?

The Terak was popular for teaching Pascal to college kids. As such, all the oldsters who were in college then and used this computer have a great affection for it, meaning they can no longer remember how slow they were.

Oldsters? F*cking whippersnapper.

Anyways, I like how the author of the above got his:

I have several Terak 8510/a and hundreds of floppies. I bought the first one in 1990 for about $25 at a University of Wisconsin–Madison Surplus equipment sale. At one time, the UW had about a dozen Teraks in the computer science and math departments, including about eight that were available to students in entry-level programming classes.

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