Bondwell 12

My very first computer. A Bondwell 12. This beauty. O, God seeing it again opens my heart and lets the 5 1/4 floppy disks in.

Isn’t she beautiful?

It was in the mid 1980, 1984, 1985 when I had my first real portable computer. With a Z80 microprocessor with a clockfrequency of 4 MHz, 64K RAM Memory, 4K ROM, Two floppy disk drives (one for your program disk, another for your data and a 24 lines 80 character set display, yellow on black. It run on CP/M 2.2.

It was a portable PC, but a real, real heavy one. I could not find how much it weighed, but I can tell you, it was quite a bit.


What is now all click-and-go was in the time of two big floppy disks not as easy as all that. First you had to learn all the commands. For instance to copy a file from disk A: to disk B: you had to:

To copy the remaining files from disk 1 of 2, enter the
following PIP command.
A>PIP B:=A:*.*
This PIP command copies all the files in your disk directory to drive B from drive A. PIP displays the message COPYING followed by each filename as the copy operation proceeds. When PIP finishes copying, CP/M 2.2 displays the system prompt.
As easy as all that. The DOS generation (the next generation of operating systems) worked with similar commands. You recognize old people that have worked with DOS because they all know these weird * ? .not more than 8 letters before point.three letters behind point filenames. The flexible 5 and a quarter inch floppy disks were expensive, and fragile. You wanted to keep your hands away from the hole where the disk was visible and the computer heads read the data on the disk.


Now everybody uses Word, well, a lot of us anyway, but in those days Wordstar was THE PROGRAM. By May 1983 BYTE magazine called WordStar “without a doubt the best-known and probably the most widely used personal computer word-processing program”. And it was. Everbody who had a computer knew Wordstar. And Wordstar came with my Bondwell 12 computer.

To move the cursor to the left you pressed the control key and typed S. Your cursor went over the text one character to the left. Magic! Control pressed and A and you went over to the next word!!! It is a revolution. And there is that menu screen that helped you typing. OK, it reduced your screen to 15 lines or so, but it was a small price to pay. 
Wordstar, Ah, seeing the screen brings back a lot of memories. That’s right, control J is the Help. MicroPro’s Wordstar was without a doubt the world leader in Word Processing software.


With my Bondwell (along with Calcstar a pre-pre-pre Excel version of a spreadsheet program) came Datastar. And I fell in love with Datastar. I fell hard for it. I thought it was the greatest program ever written. Datastar was – due to the file limit restrictions – divided in three small programs:
Formgen -> to make your database layout
Datastar -> if your layout was ready you could fill in the data
Reportstar -> to make all kind of reports of the database.

It was so great. The power Formgen gave you to force the user to type a certain type of character into each letter-field of your input screen. It was a dataorgasm. Really it was. Ah, I wish I had still that program. I loved it. Who needs a woman when you have Datastar? 
And so computing came to be my hobby in the eighties. I have so many wonderful memories of my first Bondwell. I only had it for two years,after that I bought an IBM PC XT. A real one, not a clone. But more about that later. 
Those were the days.

14 thoughts on “Bondwell 12

  1. The first computer that I ever used in school was a Commodore 64 when I was in grade 4. The only game that we played on it was Lemonade Stand. Of course, it had to be an educational one. Perhaps that game is one reason why I like anything with lemons in it.

    My post on my Tandy 1000 SX is up. Thanks for inspiring me to write about my first computer.


  2. Memories of old people, Appy. Boring to the smartphone generation, but wonderful for those who have seen (and in my case felt a little bit) the changes step by step to what a smartphone is today.

    In the Shell coffee shop at tank stations they have now Wifi as well!!



  3. The first computer I worked on was in our travel agency. It was a Daisy, with a A6 format screen, a printer that only could print capitals and digits, four 8 inch floppy discs and 64 K RAM.
    Computers were rather simple.
    Yet I could do the bookkeeping of 2 shops and the total administration of the travel agency.

    Later I got a desktop computer with 5,25 inch drives. And Wordstar, Calcstar etc. Wonderful, effective programs.

    Memories huh, Han.


  4. LOL, Mona Lisa. I do not expect you to see the beauty of this screen. But know it was a small wonder in those days, magic.
    And some of that magic still lingers on…

    Isn't she beautiful Mona Lisa, the Bondwell 12? Heavy, but beautiful none the less.

    Wonderful of you to comment,


  5. A Tandy huh, a Radio Shack thing. My friends owned a Commodore 64 with many, many maybe not so legal games. I loved the racing games for some reason.

    I'm looking forward to your post, girl with the naughty name, I knew you would like this one.

    Delightful comment,


  6. What You See Is What You Get, Leigh. It was a wonderful time. Remember Lotus 123. You must add 123 after Lotus. Ah, Leigh, I will make a new post about WordPerfect.

    Wonderful comment,


  7. Those were the days Cat. CP/M was worse than DOS. I too still switch to DOS and feel at home…. LOL LOL LOL

    We are Blood brothers, Cat, well brother and sister…



  8. I have been missing you, Blonde, I hope you are alright. Don't worry about the posts, you haven't missed much, I think. Of course you were very young then, you still are 🙂

    Pong was Commodore 64 game, right?
    Wonderful to have you back,


  9. I love your nerdiness, Han! I can complete relate to how you feel about your first computer. WordStar… wow! I used that briefly in junior high school at the library. Ah, what fond memories!

    My first computer was a Tandy 1000 SX. I loved it so much. It had a 5.25″ floppy disk drive. My friends loved coming over to play games on it. Ah, memories!

    Okay, you are now inspiring me to write about my first computer. =)


  10. I remember going through DOS to save and copy files. Word Perfect was my first word program, and LOTUS preceded Excel. I remember how excited I was learning WSIWIG.

    Thanks for the memories.


  11. Oh wow Han…have you brought back memories…Wordstar was the first word processing program I learned and sometimes I still drop into DOS for some tasks. I never had a “portable” computer but some of my friends did and those suckers were not only heavy but awkward! Thanks for reviving some of those fun memories.

    Hugs and blessings…Cat


  12. Han, I have missed reading your posts but time has kept me away from enjoying blog land. I went back through a bunch of them and I am sorry that I didn't get to read them all.
    I was in high school when I first worked on a computer and played pong


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