There's been a lot of computer systems and consoles, the great and the obscure, and everyone has an opinion on what they think had the best physical features, had the best impact. An attractive design will catch your eye, and though there's a lot to be said for first impressions, they are important. So, what machines particularly appealed to you over the years? And we'll avoid pc cases, as that's a whole other discussion. I'll start off with a list and find the best photographs that I can for each entry.Commodore B Series
The two computers in the foreground are the B series machines from Commodore, which didn't exactly hit the ground running. But they looked great, with those lovely flowing lines a sensible and beautiful evolution of Commodore's earlier efforts, like the PET and Educator 64.Commodore 64G
There were several iterations of the Commodore 64 hardware, and though it was really hard for me to choose between the C64C and the C64G, in the end the latter clinches it for me. Using the original "breadbin" casing but bringing the colouring in line with Commodore's revamp of the C64 and it's peripherals, such as the 1541-II drive.Amstrad CPC 6128 Plus
I've always liked this machine, though I've only ever seen one in person - everyone in my area had C64's, Spectrums or Amiga's back then. It had nice, colourful graphics, plenty of ram and it looked nice to boot. Nice, big keyboard, great chunky footprint. The sound chip wasn't a patch on the C64's, but that's no surprise.Atari 800XL
I've never seen this machine in the flesh, so to speak. In fact, I'd never even heard of it until I saw it on the 'net. Atari computers didn't exist in Ireland that I know of, apart from the 16-bit ST line. Atari to us mostly meant the 2600, and lamentably the 5200 and 7800. But I can't help but love the look of this machine - very sleek, very nice. I don't usually like brown and yellow on a computer, but it works well here, and the silver side buttons are very nice. Can't stand the fact that the return button is tiny and in the wrong place, though!Atari Jaguar
Yeah, this was a terrible machine, we all know it. Some truly awful decisions were made, and it was so underpowered as to be a joke. But I love the styling, it's very smooth and the logo is fantastic. People refer to the cd attachment as looking like a toilet, but I think the machine looked even better with it.Panasonic 3D0 FZ-1
Another non-starter in the early 32-bit years, but it was far more successful than the Jaguar, at least. Due to the open nature of the 3D0 corporation, if you had a license your company could make the console and choose whatever styling you wanted. Panasonic went the elegant route for their first version, the FZ-1. I love the pillars on each side, the rough feel on the top of the machine and the power and eject buttons. Somewhere down the line Panasonic changed the styling with a new iteration, the FZ-10, but it was ugly as sin. Goldstar also produced a version but it didn't hold a candle to the Panasonic original. We were all looking forward to the M2, but Matsushita, who purchased the technology, were terrified at the thought of having to compete with Sony and did nothing much with it. Shame. We got a lovely looking console, at least.Amiga 500
Oh, this was a tough one. It was a toss up between this and the Amiga 1200, which is another lovely looking machine. In the end I have to go for the original Amiga home computer. I love how it sweeps from front to back, with that nice big Amiga logo. Sweet looking thing, and a line of computers so far ahead of their time.Sharp X68000
Another machine I've never heard of until I came across it on the 'net. Very clean lines, and it has a handle so you can pick it up and take it with you! Class all the way for this powerful computer.Apple Macintosh Classic
Say what you will about Steve Jobs (I could say plenty), but the man knew design. The original is an absolute classic, and looks fantastic. I remember my first time being in the computer lab at secondary school at the age of thirteen, where they had a variety of different machines. For someone like me, it was like a wonderland. They had an Apple IIe and Apple III, a BBC Micro, an Amstrad 286 that nobody was allowed to touch, an Acorn RISC pc, a weird little Siemens-Nixdorf self-contained computer with a 12" orange monochrome screen, and one Macintosh. While I adored the variety, the Macintosh was always where the first person into the class headed - it was always a draw. As time went by, they replaced those wonderful machines and it became a Mac only environment - and the machine everyone gravitated towards was the only colour Mac for some time. I learned so much from these computers.Sinclair QL
The Sinclair QL, or Quantum Leap, was to be the next big thing from Sinclair, makers of the successful Spectrum line of early 8-bits. I always thought the Spectrums looked ugly, from the cheap plastic feel of the ZX-80 to the horrible, horrible keyboard of the ZX-81, down to the ugly as sin Spectrum 128K. But the QL caught everyone's attention for it's (then) futuristic look and much lauded abilities. It tanked, badly, which boded ill for Sinclair and for Sir Clive in particular, who would go on to design the laughable C5. The keyboard apparently was awful to type on, but it looked
amazing for it's day.
Probably some I've left out, but I can't think of any at the moment. What do you guys think? Agree? Disagree? Think I've missed out on some obvious entries? Then go ahead and post!
...and I thought of how all those people died, and what a good death that is. That nobody can blame you for it, because everyone else died along with you, and it is the fault of none, save those who did the killing.
Nothing's forgotten, nothing is ever forgotten