Chronicles Revisited Podcast 7 — Two Plane Crashes That Changed PC History
Zenith Data Systems (ZDS) was a company often featured on ‘Computer Chronicles’ for its innovative PC compatibles. ZDS was never a major presence in retail, but it enjoyed great success in the government, business, and educational computing sectors throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. But after closing its doors in 1996, the Zenith name effectively disappeared from the American computer landscape and faded into history.
Yet there’s another name–Heathkit–that is still fondly remembered today for its DIY electronic kits dating back to the 1950s. Heathkit was actually the progenitor of Zenith Data Systems. And the story of a how the Heath Company traced its own history back to a pair of airplane crashes that occurred 23 years apart provides an interesting look at how the modern PC industry was shaped by human events that had nothing to do with microprocessors.
- Computer Chronicles Revisited, Part 81 – The TRS-80 Model 102, NEC Multispeed, Zenith Z-181, Toshiba T3100, and the Dynamac
- Computer Chronicles Revisited, Part 8 – The Hero-1 and the TeachMover
- Computer Chronicles #422 – Portable Computers (1987)
- Chronicles Revisited Podcast 3 – Quotations From Chairman Morrow (March 2023)
- The History of the Heath Companies and Heathkits: 1909 to 2019 (Erich E. Brueschke and Michael Mack)
- Heathkit H8 (Steve’s Old Computer Museum)
- Podcast Music: “Scenic Detour” by Melody Ayres-Griffiths