Today in pulp I look back at New Zealand's home-grow microcomputer, the 1981 Poly-1!

Press any key to continue...
The Poly-1 was developed in 1980 by two electronics engineering teachers at Wellington Polytechnic, Neil Scott and Paul Bryant, who wanted to create a computer for use in New Zealand schools. Education Minister Merv Wellington liked the idea and gave it the green light.
Backed by government finances, and in partnership with Progeni Computers, Polycorp was formed in 1980 to began work on the prototype for the official Kiwi school computer.

It was an interesting approach...
Having an educational computer designed by an educational establishment was a novel idea: up to 50 engineers and students at Wellington Polytechnic took part in the Poly-1 development programme. The results were impressive.
The Poly-1 was high spec for 1981, with colour graphics and 64k of RAM neatly packaged in an all-in-one fiberglass case with carrying handles and integrated CRT monitor. It even came in different colours. It was the iMac of its day.
However the Government rowed back on its pledge to buy 1,000 units for NZ schools. Lobbying by business interests who wanted a free market in school computers also hamstrung the project. But at least the Australian Defence Force invested in it.
A Poly 2 and a Poly C (for the Chinese market) were later developed, but by then the IBM-PC had become dominant and the Poly was sadly discontinued in 1989.
The Poly Preservation Project proudly keeps the memory of the Poly-1 alive, as well as curating its history. Do take a look:…

So farewell Poly-1: you were indeed the future once...

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Pulp Librarian

Pulp Librarian Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @PulpLibrarian

18 May
Time for a pulp countdown now, and today it's my top 10 forgotten home microcomputers!

Let me just plug this tape recorder in and tune the TV set...
At #10: the 1982 Sharp X1! Possibly the most '80s looking 1980s computer ever created, it sold very well in Brazil. MSX really was the future once...
At #9: the 1982 Oric! rashed games more times than it loaded them and felt like typing on bubble wrap. Blakes 7 fans bought it because it sounded a bit like Orac...
Read 12 tweets
17 May
Many readers have asked me over the years what my definition of pulp is.

I've thought about it a lot, and the one I keep coming back to... well it may surprise you.

Let me try and set it out...
There are lots of definitions of pulp out there: in books, in academic papers and on the web. And most circle back to the same three points: the medium, the story type and the method of writing.
Pulp is of course a type of cheap, coarse paper stock. Its use in magazine production from the 1890s onwards led to it becoming a shorthand term for the kind of fiction found in low cost story magazines.
Read 29 tweets
16 May
Today in pulp I'm looking at some of the many illustrators who worked for Ladybird Books.

The following thread may bring back memories...
Ladybird Books began in 1914, but they really hit their stride from the 1940s onwards. Their distinctive hardback design with a bright, bold cover illustration made them hugely appealing to young readers.

Let's look at some of the people who helped make those iconic covers.
Angusine Jeanne (A.J.) Macgregor illustrated many of the early Ladybird titles. She was born in Birmingham in 1879, where she later studied art before becoming a children's book illustrator. She began working for Ladybird in 1940.
Read 21 tweets
15 May
No tweets today. I have some painting to be getting on with...
Wow, snortlings are the worst! Trying to get the greens not to merge into one...
My dry brushing is now approaching God Level.
Read 4 tweets
14 May
Today in pulp I try to decipher 1980s Japanese street style, with the help of Olive: The Magazine for Romantic Girls!

This may involve frills... Image
Street style is an ever changing mix of styles, brands, attitudes and poses with various influences. And you normally have to be in the right place at the right time to capture it. Image
Which is where magazines come in! Photograping, documenting and deconstructing fashion never goes out of style, and in the late 1970s Japanese youth had one key guide to help them: Popeye! Image
Read 14 tweets
12 May
Time for a pulp countdown, and as it's #InternationalNursesDay here's my top 10 strangest settings for nurse romance novels!

Seriously, did you think they were all set in hospitals?
At #10: nurse in society! Privilege and palliatives amongst the well-to-do and the well-to-dont..
At #9: nurse in a TV studio. Oh the heartache and danger of being an, er, erm, what do producers actually do again?
Read 12 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!