Lee rambles about old computers and other stuff

edited 2013-09-28 01:55:46 in General
Or: "Stuff I find interesting that doesn't really fit in 'Photos of mundane things' or the logos thread, and that I don't want to see lost in the main thread".

First up:

Someone finally did it: A homebrew SCSI-to-IDE adapter for old machines. It's meant for really, really old stuff like the 68k Macs (it uses a 53C80 and thus can't do Fast SCSI), but then, I happen to have a Mac Classic with an old 1.2 GB Quantum HDD in it that could use something a bit newer.

And if you look further down the thread, someone did an even smaller version using a PIC32 microcontroller instead of a Z80 (it's meant to use USB mass storage), and a smaller still version that plugs directly into a 50-pin SCSI header (it's meant to use SD).
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  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    That reminds me, I recently downloaded Digital: a Love Story.

    And I promptly got stuck in it.
  • That reminds me, I recently downloaded Digital: a Love Story.

    And I promptly got stuck in it.

    See?

    Never download something if you don't know what effects it could have.
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    My OS/2 Warp disc arrived! And I have it running on VirtualBox, and boy is it fast on a modern CPU. Even on ye olde IBM Pentium 75, it was pretty snappy.
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    Ooh, sounds interesting! What's it like?
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    It's...interesting. It's kind of like someone took NEXTSTEP and Windows 3.1 and mixed them together.
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    HAY CA: Check this out:

    image
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    Hee hee, I love little connections like that
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    Aaaaand it turns out that plain OS/2 Warp 3.0 doesn't support networking. :P

    You either need the Internet Access Kit from the BonusPak (which will get you dialup, at least), or OS/2 Warp Connect 3.0 (which is to regular Warp what Windows for Workgroups is to WIndows 3.1). I have neither of those things, and they don't seem to be available on the Internet except by Perfectly Legal Means (tm). 

    So I either have to spend more money for a Warp Connect CD, or settle for using Zmodem over a serial link. God dammit. :P
  • Y'all's suckas.  This here is the future:


    image
  • edited 2013-10-06 06:37:36
    THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    I think I'll go with the Steaky Steaky 6, thanks. :D

    Interesting article, but check the comments. There's a butthurt "YOU'RE BIASED" rant in the comments that looks like something Myr would link to. :o

    Also, there's a minor mistake at the end. The Model M came out in 1986-1987, around the time of the XT 286 and the first PS/2s, but the firmware in the keyboard dates back to the orginial 84-key AT keyboard from 1984. It also doesn't mention that IBM replaced the original PCjr keyboard with a new model (that had real keys on it) late in its life.
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    I'm reading ToastyTech's GUI museum pages again, and is it just me, or has he gotten even more cranky? Several things he's said (his reactions to Windows 8, complaining about fullscreen monitors being hard to come by, the entirety of the "I HATE IE" section) makes me wonder if he's permanently stuck in 1999. :P

    I'm not crazy about Metro, either, but I don't hate it enough to go on for pages and pages.
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    I noticed that too. He seems sorta fixated on the same mindset he had ten years ago, honestly.
  • edited 2013-10-10 19:01:07
    THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    Seeing all those old GUIs is nice, but I really, really don't like it when people put their OS or application bigotry on display. Part of the reason no one takes the Amiga seriously anymore is that many of the platform's advocates started hating people who liked anything else, and I tend to get annoyed when anyone else shows similar behavior.
  • “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”
    lee4hmz said:

    I think I'll go with the Steaky Steaky 6, thanks. :D


    Interesting article, but check the comments. There's a butthurt "YOU'RE BIASED" rant in the comments that looks like something Myr would link to. :o
    It's really astounding how bad some of those keyboards are. It really makes me happy that I have the keyboard that I do...


    lee4hmz said:

    Also, there's a minor mistake at the end. The Model M came out in 1986-1987, around the time of the XT 286 and the first PS/2s, but the firmware in the keyboard dates back to the orginial 84-key AT keyboard from 1984. It also doesn't mention that IBM replaced the original PCjr keyboard with a new model (that had real keys on it) late in its life.
    According to Wikipedia, the Model M was first put into production in 1985, although it was developed in '84. So you're both wrong! :D
  • “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”
    Actually, looking at it now, my current keyboard is a mid-2000s Mac variant on the Model M layout! It is really a great design, very ergonomic and easy to use.
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    I managed to get a copy of the old Coleco ADAM SmartBASIC manual off of eBay, and it's amazing just how much this BASIC is like Applesoft on the IIe under DOS 3.2/3.3. Something that's really cool is that HGR on the ADAM supports 16 colors...you needs double-hi-res on an Apple to do that, and as far as I know, Applesoft never actually supported it (though that didn't stop people from issuing the right POKEs to get it working).
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    I was just reading about how cousins removed work, and it reminded me of how I wondered a while back what NT's relation to OS/2 would be. From what I can tell, NT's literally a bastard stepchild, a product of MS "cheating" on IBM with DEC. I'm not sure how Windows 1.x-3.1 would fit into this, though, without stretching the metaphor badly.
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    The other day, I was poking around tech blogs (mainly following the trail of fake iPhone chargers), and I found this TI Datamath emulator...written in JavaScript and using the original TI source code! Even better, the geniuses at Sinclair took the same chip and made a rudimentary scientific calculator out of it.

    I've always been interested in calculators and BCD math in general, and this is just awesome. Now, if only these calculators had square root...
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    Since this kind of got lost in the other thread:

    The Sinclair Executive was seriously hot stuff for 1972. I've always liked 1970s/1980s British industrial design, and this is a great example...only 9 mm thick (about the height of a laptop HDD) when a lot of calculators were 1.5" or worse. 
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    dat led display

    You can tell I'm relatively young because electronics from before LCDs were common are still a novelty to me
  • edited 2013-10-27 00:22:04
    THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    Even when I was little, in the 1980s, they were becoming rare...LCDs and VFDs were in, and LEDs were out except for extremely specific applications (clock radios to this day typically use LED panels, since they're cheap, bright, and more durable than a VFD).

    My biological father had an original TI-30 with an LED screen much like that Sinclair...yeah, I ended up tearing it apart to see how it worked. :P He wouldn't let me touch its replacement (a TI-35 Galaxy Solar), likely because he was afraid it'd suffer the same fate. 

    I eventually started getting my own calculators as presents (first a cheap no-name gold calculator from the store, then a Radio Shack EC-4014 (which was actually a Casio, apparently an fx-85m), then a TI-55-III which I'd begged for for years).
  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    Don't LEDs generally shine more brightly and/or use less electricity than equivalent incandescent or halogen bulbs?
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    They do, but when your power source is a 9-volt battery (which isn't very powerful), every little bit helps. Since LCDs are electrostatic and don't have to generate any light, they can run on tiny amounts of power; this is what made solar calculators possible. 

    Now, for replacing light bulbs, they're a very good idea, though still expensive at this point.

  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    I've been reading some of ToastyTech's more recent pages, for some reason, and I gotta say, I find Lineback's hangup on 12-hour time vs. 24-hour time kind of irritating.

    Now, it's not that I have a strong preference for one over the other (if anything, I lean a bit towards 12-hour), and I can see why it would be irritating if a desktop didn't let you choose one or the other. But his seeming insistence that desktops should default to 12-hour annoys me. I guess everyone outside America can go fuck themselves?
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    I found that annoying, too. It's not that hard to change it if it's not to your liking; hey, at least you have the choice these days!
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    I'm pondering the XP-dämmerung, and the possible effect of running such a popular OS unpatched. I actually kind if wish ReactOS was in better shape, since it seems like we're going to need a drop-in replacement for it that's also free software sooner than later.

    I also totally wrote this post so I could say "XP-dämmerung". XD
  • Is Windows 7 still purchaseable?
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    I believe so, yeah, though I'm thinking of all those pirated copies of XP out there that people are still attached to, apparently. I read it someplace.
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    The attachment to XP always amuses me because many of those people are the same people who bitched about XP when it came out. "It's too bloated!" "Because it's not a dull grey, it looks childish!", etc.
  • edited 2013-11-06 22:41:16
    THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    Just thought of something....

    The processor in my old IBM P75 was an A80502. For years, I've been wondering why that number sounded so familiar to me, aside from the obvious. It turns out that 80502 is also a valid ZIP code—for Longmont, CO.

    Longmont is where MiniScribe was based (and Seagate actually still has a large R&D facility there). I almost certainly saw 80501 or 80502 in TheRef or on the 8425 we got in 1992 (and couldn't use).
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Longmont: I know it because we used to get milk delivered by the Longmont Dairy Company and because the Telemundo station here, KDEN, is licensed there...
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    Oh, cool!
  • The attachment to XP always amuses me because many of those people are the same people who bitched about XP when it came out. "It's too bloated!" "Because it's not a dull grey, it looks childish!", etc.

    I remember having Windows 2000, which had most of the important features of pre-Service Pack XP, so I looked down on XP for the longest time.
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    My mom was running a Perfectly Legal copy of 2000 for a long time, since we couldn't afford to upgrade to XP for a while (and even when we did, that copy was Perfectly Legal as well...those pre-SP2 copies with the dodgy leaked VL key).These days, she's running Windows 7 Home Premium x64 that I bought from Newegg.
  • Well, my copy was from dad's work.
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    Mine was from work as well, since we have MSDN there. Technically, you're not supposed to use MSDN copies for anything but testing and development, but until recently, Microsoft turned a blind eye to the rampant rule-bending. (They've since limited keys to 3 each. MSDN keys for Windows 7 and up are like VL keys in that they need to be activated, but can be activated again and again on totally different hardware, so the thinking is you don't need more than 3.)
  • yeah it might have been msdn rulebending
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    Funny story: When I accidentally wiped the hard drive on this laptop a while back, I had no way to reinstall Windows because the recovery partition was gone and those fuckers at Asus didn't include any sort of installation DVD.

    So I said "screw it", torrented a copy of the MSDN ISO (making sure to check the checksum to make sure it was a legit, unaltered copy) and reinstalled it from that. I figure I'm in the clear morally, if not legally, because as someone who paid for a copy of Windows 8 with this laptop, I'm entitled to use it.
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    Shockingly few machines come with recovery discs these days. It's been going on since at least the mid-1990s; the IBM I had in 1995 didn't come with a recovery disc, either. Back then, CD-R wasn't really an option—you had to put the software installers on floppies. At a time when 3.5" HD diskettes were still about $1 apiece. 

    Needless to say, I never did that. I ended up paying for it later, when my HDD died and I had to reload it from a recovery disc my uncle bought for me.
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    Recovery partitions irritate me. It's bad enough that they can use the binary/decimal discrepancy to inflate hard drive sizes to begin with, but then they go and eat up 10 or 20 gigs of your space with stuff that could have easily gone on DVDs instead.

    Windows 8 is especially insidious about it in that, if you do a fresh install from the recovery partition, it will also take the liberty of re-installing all the manufacturer's bloatware instead of leaving you with a fresh Windows install. >:(
  • I can all but hear the chimes
    They are long and loud and slow

    Recovery partitions irritate me. It's bad enough that they can use the binary/decimal discrepancy to inflate hard drive sizes to begin with, but then they go and eat up 10 or 20 gigs of your space with stuff that could have easily gone on DVDs instead.


    Windows 8 is especially insidious about it in that, if you do a fresh install from the recovery partition, it will also take the liberty of re-installing all the manufacturer's bloatware instead of leaving you with a fresh Windows install. >:(
    eeyup

    my computer, instead of coming with backup DVDs, made you make them yourself before doing anything

    and like they have windows 8 + bloatware yeeeee
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    I hate the bloatware. Especially the useless antivirus trials; we have paid-up AVG Business at work, and Mom's machines have Microsoft Security Essentials on them. No, I do not want to pay for Norton or McAfee or Trend, or whichever other antivirus the PC vendor is kissing up to this week. :P
  • I can all but hear the chimes
    They are long and loud and slow
    Microsoft has, (maybe had?) this thing called Windows Signature which was literally just Windows without bloatware.
  • I can all but hear the chimes
    They are long and loud and slow
    see look

    i couldn't make up shit this good if i tried
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    At least Windows bloatware can be uninstalled, unlike all that Android bloatware that you can't remove unless you're willing to root your phone or tablet.
  • At least Windows bloatware can be uninstalled, unlike all that Android bloatware that you can't remove unless you're willing to root your phone or tablet.
    I learned my lesson and went Nexus for my tablet.
  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    This is encouraging me to like Google less.
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl

    This is encouraging me to like Google less.

    Google's actually one of the better Android device vendors, at least with the Nexus series

    It's Samsung you gotta watch out for
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