My first computer was an Osborne I 8-bit machine running the CP/M operating system, and was considered to be the first full featured portable computer. The computer weighed 24.5 pounds and was the size of a sewing machine. It featured  a Zilog Z80 @ 4.0 MHz, 64K of RAM, a 5″ built-in CRT monitor with 52×24 text field, two 5 1/4 inch floppy drives and serial, parallel, modem and IEEE-448 ports. The operating system was CP/M and the computer came with bundled software. My power supply capacitors blew, and although I replaced them there still were problems that needed troubleshooting. This beast still sits in the attic, with all intentions to pull it out, fix and fire it up.

Since the Osborne I, I have had various desktop and laptop computers and have ranged operating systems from Microsoft Basic through the present Windows 10. I currently am experimenting with Linux as an alternate and flexible operating system. Linux comes in various flavors, but Ubuntu is my standard at this time.

I am experimenting with various single board computers such as the Raspberry Pi family, the Omega Onion 2 family, and the ASUS Tinkerboard. These computers are inexpensive and there are a lot of operating systems and applications for them. Based on the size, these units provide a lot of flexibility and capability to support my ham radio and electronic projects such as my ADS-B aircraft tracking and reporting system.

Raspberry Pi Projects: