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Coleco Adam

Owner: T. Carlson
Location: Williamsburg, VA

The Coleco ADAM came in two forms. You could buy the complete system, or, if you already owned a ColecoVision game system, you could buy an add-on for it. The system had some nice features, namely:

  • word processor built into ROM
  • full size keyboard, with special word processing keys
  • included a high speed tape for mass storage
  • included a daisy-wheel printer
  • could play Coleco Vision cartridge-based games

Mass storage devices cost extra for other systems of the time. Plus, the ADAM tape format actually kept a sort of directory in the middle of the tape, allowing for fairly quick retrieval of information. Printers were typically an extra cost as well. Of course, the system had it's bad points:

  • fairly basic word processor (although I haven't really explored it yet)
  • the power supply for the entire system was in the printer cabinet, thus the computer could not run without the printer being attached which isn't good if your printer breaks down (although there are ways to attach the power supply directly to the CPU unit)
  • the entire unit would generate a hefty magnetic surge on power-up, thus if a tape were left in the drive on power-up, it would be erased, pretty nasty since it booted from tape (although others have told me that this really doesn't happen)

So, overall, it's a pretty crankin' system.

The ADAM was only produced for 2 years. I had thought that it just disappeared after that, but I was wrong. There's a thriving ADAM cult. There is even an annual ADAM convention. The next one is July 15-18, 1999. See the Official ADAMCON Homepage on Bob Slopsema's Adam site for more details.

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