The ’84 Table

We pulled out the 1984 card table today. Bought in 1984 for less than twenty dollars, this is one of the oldest things we own. Black, we bought it to use as a work space for our first computer and printer. We stuck the table in a corner in the bedroom – we had only one – and loaded the computer up. That computer was a Kaypro IV which, with a dot-matrix printer that used fan-folded paper, cost eighteen hundred dollars.

We’d just returned from a four year assignment to Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan. Now stationed at Shaw AFB in SC, the computer revolution was pulling us in. The Kaypro was the answer. Running at 4.87 MHz and running dual five and quarter inch floppies, the Kaypro had a nine-inch green screen. We used it for games and wordprocessing. It ran on CPM and used the Perfect series of software. I also used it to learn Basic and a few Basic variations.

The Kaypro was abandoned when we reached Germany in 1985. We bought a Zenith 150 with a color monitor. Still running 4.87, MS-DOS was the operating system. We had 128 KB of RAM and still had two five and a quarter-inch floppies, but I expanded the system, adding CPUs, hard drives, fans, RAM, and eventually a three and a half-inch floppy.

That puppy is gone as well, replaced since by multiple laptops, notebooks, and towers.

We still have that table, though. Pulled it out of its storage in the garage for a picnic. It’s a little worn but that thing hasn’t needed an upgrade yet. It’s been augmented, but never replaced.


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