There are times, usually on a lazy Sunday afternoon, when my mind drifts and begins to think about what could have been. Usually the thoughts revolve around my time in boxing… After that, I think about something more trivial and not so personal. I like to think about my first computer; the ADAM.
Coleco brought a lot of excitement to video gamers when they introduced the ColecoVision. Here you had a personal video game console with arcade quality graphics for about $175. It blew away the Atari 2600/VCS in game quality. While things were looking good for Coleco, the company decided to jump on board the personal computer market and introduced the ADAM, the ColecoVision Family Computer System , in 1983. Problem is, about 50 percent of them were defective. The ADAM would generate a large electro-static charge at start up which would erase the data on the digital data packs. Most ADAMs were returned. Coleco did fix the bugs in the next wave of computers in 1984, but it was too late. Public opinion of the ADAM was quite negative.
For those that had ADAMs that worked, like I did, what we had was a complete computer. For a quick run down, go to my first entry. Many of those who had an ADAM and ColecoVision knew that Coleco can make some good hardware AND software.
I imagined what a Coleco computer would be like today if the company was still around. The design would be simple and elegant. It would be an all-in-one system with a 19 inch touch screen monitor, CD-rom/dvd/blu-ray drive, SD card reader, a 3.4 GHz multi-core processor, wireless keyboard, and a wireless touch screen joystick which doubles as the mouse/keypad when connected to the keyboard. The operating system would be called SmartOS 8.
Odds are, Coleco would have been just as innovative, if not more so, than Apple, but more popular on the home user market. Remember, this is just my opinion, take it with a grain of salt.