The one Megahertz 8080 CPU was fast, but I wanted better performance for my number-crunching, so I built an after-market CPU upgrade kit to allow me to use a Z-80 processor, which I then clock-doubled to TWO megahertz. Man, was that fast! I still have all the accessories for this beauty. While my classmates were buying cars and tricking them out, I built computers and poured money into upgrades. (So what's new?) The only accessory I do not have, but always wanted, was the paper-tape reader/punch. Not that I needed it - cassette was cheaper and faster - but paper tape was cool.
Here's a photo of the H8 computer today, as it sits in my office.
I eventually added an H-19 terminal, which supported both upper AND lower-case letters. This was a vast productivity improvement over the Hex keypad and LED display. Eventually, when I could afford it, I added a and a 5x7 dot-matrix printer and dual 5.25" floppy disk drives. (I upgraded from H-DOS on cassette tape -- I was tired of waiting 20 minutes just to boot!) The media was expensive: $10-$20 per 180K floppy disk! I eventually added dual 8" 128K floppy drives for additional storage.
A few times, I brought my H8 to the college data center, but it was a hassle to haul everything. Still, it was great to make my classmates jealous by getting my assignments done faster than they could using the IBM 360/178 mainframe via the IBM 029 card punch machines or Teletype stations. Once I could afford the $1200 for a 300 baud DC Hayes SmartModem, however, I "found ways" to access the college data center remotely so that I did not drive in to submit jobs.
The Answer to Walter's question:
Yes, Walter, I still have the factory install diskettes -- all of them. In those days, every vendor included the floppy disks! I have my Digital Research CP/M on two 360K 5.25" Floppy diskettes and Microsoft BASIC-80, FORTRAN-80, and COBOL-80. I even have all of my original Microsoft 3-ring manuals.
Yes, I used all of these, once upon a time.