Beige Did Not Show Dust. Curse the Dopes Who Forced Black on Us
"...take a more agile approach."
Please stop using the hipster, body-shop marketing term "agile": The stink of it distracts from your writing.
"...take a faster approach."
Ah, much better.
I remember my foremost home-computer choices at the time:
1. The TRS-80 Model III (Like the very first IBM PC, the still-selling TRS-80 Model I relied on a cassette recorder rather than floppies, and the Model II was an 8-inch-floppied monster priced for businesses.)
2. The Apple II (Akin to the above, the mostly ignored Apple I did not offer a floppy drive.)
3. The IBM PC (Matching the TRS-80 Model III, it offered two floppy drives. Also, it was the corporate rage.)
At the time, the Commodore 64 was viewed by most as a cheap toy for game-players. The Atari and Amiga entries, while very interesting, seemed pricey and niche. For me, having support from a lot of print publications and home-computer user groups (remember local computer clubs?) was an important consideration.
So, I decided:
1. Buy. A serious-looking home computer, the TRS-80 Model III simply offered more for the money than the other two. Radio Shack's beautiful, well-designed, free catalogs presented clearly all of the options and prices, and monthly flyers offered frequent sales. Local stores were well-supplied and wonderful to shop. How I miss Radio Shack!
2. The Apple II's color was enticing, but only 40 columns of screen text -- versus 64 on the TRS-80 Model III and 80 on the IBM PC -- was absurd for word-processing. The premium price and nose-in-the-air attitude for a junky-looking chassis and separate floppy box did not woo me. You were paying for the logo.
3. The holy-grail IBM PC was priced for corporate wallets. The clone market was not out there, yet (and when it finally exploded years later, I bought one as a step up from my trusty TRS-80 Model III). What did the smart engineer I knew buy for his home? The TRS-80 Model III.
Today cannot recapture the exhilaration of hardware (and software) diversity (sorry, that word is as nauseating as "agile") present in those early home-computer years. Monopoly Windows or woefully-still-abstruse Yuck-ux on your boring motherboard: Where is the excitement in that?
No more Soylent Green, please. I am ready for the thanatorium. I request Radio Shack catalogs for reception and all of the aforementioned home computers ("PCs" is another overused contrivance) at my disposal for a few hours before you inject me.