We've been in Johnson City about a year now....


Although I reported for work at the Johnson City Texas Instruments plant Jan 1984, Lori finished school in Silver Bay before she and Joyce moved down around Memorial Day.  When it was time to pick a school for next fall, we considered schools both in Johnson City, and Carter County (Happy Valley) but the Elizabethton was the choice because of the reputation of its band program and directors (Rick Simerly for Junior High, and Bill Scott for High School.) Lori is in the 8th grade this Spring.

Lori's Confirmation - Group Photo


The Elizabethton Junior High Marching Band

TI Scrap Sale - About once a month on a Saturday morning, the TI computer club would organize a sale of scrap items from the manufacturing facility.  Disk drives, small parts, power supplies, monitors, VPU-200 PLC programming terminals, etc.  Grab bags of capacitors, resistors, connectors for 50 cents. $5 for a 5-1/4 disk drive! This was a real bonanza for radio ham's and computer hobbyists.

Almost everyone who participated gutted one of the old VPU-200 programming terminals, added a Zerox-820 "single board computer" board ($75 on the surplus market) re-installed the VPU 9" Black & White monitor and the floppy disk drive, added a special boot-up EPROM that allowed loading the CP/M operating system from floppy disk.... and voilą! ... you had your own home-made personal computer. (This of course is 1985, about the time that the IBM Personal Computer and Microsoft's MS-DOS was poised to change the world. And of course, "Windows" were only things you put in the wall of a house to see outside - they had nothing to do with computers.....)

Dave and I built at least two of these CP/M machines.  More I think.   The one shown here looks like it still needs interconnection wiring.  

There was an enthusiastic Ham Radio club at TI also.  1985 Field Day Photos here.


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