Latest additions – A 380Z and VT180

I’ve just had the greatest piece of luck in the form of two great reto-machines. The first is a DEC VT180, a spledid CP/M-80 machine, which was based on the famous VT100 terminal. The second is an RML 380Z, another CP/M-80 machine that has been on my wish list for so many years it’s not true.

Both machines have their issues and neither is working, yet, but I’m absolutely delighted.

I’ll add them to the Retro Tech section when I get some photos and some more news.

Toshiba T3100

6fd47f77257fcea0341953d444ca31ceThis is a bit of a mundane machine to me really. An AT class portable from Toshiba.

Not a laptop by some peoples rules as it needs a mains lead and cannot run from batteries.

I quite like the glow of the orange mono gas plasma display. Was this a dead end technology? Not sure… Isn’t this the same basic thing as the plasma TVs?


Wang Laptop

6b435e55d1efa322d29e755628f7b57eThis is a really unusual one.

Wang released their forray into the laptop market in 1985 and to be honest, it doesn’t seem to have made much of an impact. Just looking around for information on the ‘net doesn’t yield much and that must be saying something.


Technically it’s an x86 class machine with 640kb of RAM, and a mono LCD.


The unit is quite large, a goodly sized lap is needed here but for the period it’s quite good. Compaq’s sewing machine sized portable is not too far in the past and IBM’s PCAT is still in view.

The screen serves as the keyboard cover and opening it reveals a ful sized keyboard with nice keys full travel. It also reveals a thernal printer.

1de2a76c1adf95a3835bc0a7f62bcb6cInternally there is a hard disk drive but no floppy. An external drive is provided. I suppose that the logic was that you only plug in the floppy when you need it, the rest of the time you will be working from the hard disk.

Another unusual feature of this machine is the the external floppies (both 3.5″ and 5.25″ were available) are linked using SCSI. That’s very unusual. As this is before the advent of USB, SCSI was a sensible choice for removable devices as the connectors were tough and it could haul the distance without problems. Still and expensive and unusual choice. The first IBM PC floppy card could take two external drives and there just use the normal floppy bus.

Power is provided by a weighty external PSU and this “T”‘ off to power the floppy.