Most people my age will remember Research Machines as being the providers
of possibly the first computer they used at school, in my case it was a pair of 380Zs which were modular
Z80 powered machines with monochrome graphics and a cassette or disk interface. They were a massive
upgrade from the ZX80 I had at home though - a REAL KEYBOARD! Proper VDU! BASIC loaded from tape! Oh. Happy days
of putting a BASIC tape in the cassette player, pressing Play and hitting 'L' to load. Kind of like home.
However, the disk based machine was special to us kids. So special in fact I was the only
one allowed to type on it because thanks to years of messing with a manual typewriter at home I could
touch type, quite a skill at 13 or 14 :) This was my first introduction to CP/M and I'd code on it in
spare moments when the computer lab was empty.
Research Machines are still going and still providing computers for schools, the two original
founders Mike Fischer and Michael O'Regan are still on the board. Not bad for a company originally founded in 1973.
380Z - dual disk version called Hilda. Came with a massive box of UNIX disks, oddly.
Link 480Z - successful followup to the 380Z, an all-in-one unit with TV out and a host of interfaces.