Coleco ADAM - Title Card

The NEW Coleco ADAM Video Podcast

Three and a half years ago, I made my first Retroist Video Podcast and it was on a subject I care very much about: The Coleco ADAM Computer. That particular computer was the first I have ever owned and like many firsts, I have fond memories of the device. The original Retroist audio podcast was published in 2011 and like all of the other episodes, it is very informative. If you have never heard of Coleco’s computer or you don’t know much about it, I would recommend you give it a listen. However, if audio isn’t your thing, then keep reading.
Coleco ADAM - Coleco ADAM setup

A few years back, the Retroist asked if I was interested in making video podcasts of the show and well, obviously I said yes. My original idea was to give the video podcasts a dated look so I went with the 4:3 aspect ratio. This would be great if you were watching these on an old CRT television set. Over time I realized I could take advantage of the increased screen real estate of modern televisions & monitors with a 16:9 aspect ratio. At some point (the A Christmas Story podcast may have been the first) I started making the video podcasts with the modern aspect ratio. Looking back at the video podcasts I have produced, it bothered me that the podcast I wanted to convert most was stuck in 4:3. Not anymore. I present the NEW Coleco ADAM Video Podcast in 16:9 and though the trend is 4K, I went with 1080. Hopefully I don’t regret that in a few years… With the exception of the commercials, I didn’t use much of the visuals from the original video podcast. Just about everything you see in this video podcast is new.

If you want to see the other Retroist Video Podcasts, click here.

The Rainbow 100 Computer was Dreamy!

I grew up in Queens Village, New York and I always went with my parents to Jamaica Savings Bank (now Capital One). This bank was interesting for several reasons; the lighting was warm because most of it came from their huge windows, the tellers were separated from the public with very thick bullet proof glass, and the most importantly, their computers.
Rainbow 100
That’s me on the side of Jamaica Savings Bank in September of 1989.

There were a few desks and on each was a DEC Rainbow 100 computer. Which consisted of a monitor and keyboard. I didn’t realize until years later that there was a console attached because it was always out of sight. Under the desk perhaps?
Rainbow 100
I loved the shape of the monitor – the angle at which you looked at it mesmerized me every time I walked into the bank. My curiosity would always get the best of me and I found myself drifting over to a desk that no one was working at. I would stare at the set-up, dreaming of having a Rainbow 100 for myself. Now that I collect computers, I think it’s just a matter of time before I get one in my collection.

If that computer looks familiar, there’s a good reason for it; it was in a lot of movies. Beverly Hills Cop, The Philadelphia Experiment, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and Ghostbusters.

The set up here is almost exactly what I saw in the bank minus the printer & console.

If you’re wondering about that wacky looking disk drive, well, this video will explain.

[Via] CelGenStudios

If you want to learn about the DEC Rainbow 100 computer, try here: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/computinghistory/rainbow.html