This Web page was created in 2007, last updated Oct 18 2011. In July 19 2020 I've "depreciated" the content. (C) copyright 2020 Herb Johnson
This Web page previously discussed hardware "replicas" of vintage computers of the 1970's. Some were "replica" or exact copies of boards or systems; some were updated or reduced-scale revisions. Some were "faux" copies, performing functions but using modern hardware including emulating the vintage processor. There were also modern redesigns, using vintage chip sets (microprocessors and support chips) with or without modern devices like solid-state storage.
When I first wrote this page, iIn the early 2000's, most of this work was expensive and hard to do. PC boards were expensive to produce, software to lay out PC boards was slow and not very cheap. And the people who did this, were advanced techies or already engineers and trained techs; or they paid such people to do this work.
Today in 2020, it's all changed. Thanks to cheap powerful microcontrollers and small PC boards, fast desktop computers, free design software, and PC board shows "in Asia" that crank out PC boards from Web-sent "Gerber files". NOw anyone can (and has) designed or just "sent the Gerbers" to produce, whatever sort of vintage computing technology they want to produce. Actual copies (or operate-like or operate-better) are not that much harder; cost comes down to the size of the board wanted.
I don't think much of exact copies of vintage computer boards. But in 2020 they are simply seen as cheaper and more available than the originals. And all the variations in vintage-computer-compatible boards, seems to support interest in originals; sometimes they bring down prices, sometimes they create demand. And there's no shortage of many more-common vintage computers.
I don't see any point in making any case about these various copies, tributes, and one-offs replicas of various vintage computers.
- Regards, Herb Johnson
This page is one of a series of Web pages which have a home page at this link. That page and linked Web pages collectively describe repairing, restoring or displaying computer hardware of the 1970's and earlier. They support why people should bother to do that. I suggest it's a valuable activity, and I discuss and show how restoration can be learned, organized and supported. All physical locations listed are in the United States unless noted.
I got interested in "replicas" when in the early 2000's, persons started producing copies of the MITS Altair 8800 computer boards. I say a little more about those copies and replicas and "tributes" on that Web page.
In 2010, I got involved with yet another version of the "COSMAC ELF", this time from Lee Hart. See my Web pages about the COSMAC 1802 RCA processor and Lee Hart's handheld ELF computer. Versions of this 1802 computer have been produced since the mid 1970's.
Of course my "retrotechnology.com" Web site provides general support for the restoration and preservation of old technology, such as the technologies I've mentioned here.
Copyright © 2020 Herb Johnson