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Tue, Sep. 28th, 2010, 02:42 pm
_earthshine_: More Free Gear To Good Home

As is my habit, i picked up some free gear awhile back, but never got around to getting it running.

As is not usual for me, i've accepted that i'm never going to get around to it. :)

So i have the following up for grabs:

HP ScanJet 4p
  • color flatbed scanner
  • takes up to legal size (8½"x14") paper
  • looks in good condition but never tested -- got it at a freecycle swap and never got cables to test it

Apple Personal LaserWriter
  • greyscale laser printer
  • got from a friend at a small business a few years back
  • should be in working order, but never got the SCSI or AppleTalk (!) converters necessary to play with it

So, yes, i have no idea if they're running as of now, but someone with the right cables and skills at least has a fair shot at it. I sadly don't have the time to play with 'em.

Location is greater Baltimore/DC area. If anyone wants me to ship, i'm willing to work something out.

I'll give it a couple of weeks on here before i blast it on freecycle/craigslist. Thanks!

Wed, Sep. 22nd, 2010, 12:53 am
loganberrybunny: Steve Meretzky interview on the BBC

This is from five years ago, but it's interesting: the transcript of an interview Steve Meretzky of (among other things) Infocom gave to BBC Radio 4 about the creation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy adventure game. I had this game many years ago on the Amstrad PCW, and even today I can still recall the feeling of utter elation when (with, I admit, a magazine hint or two) I finally managed to get hold of the Babel Fish...

Sat, Sep. 4th, 2010, 11:27 pm
loganberrybunny: Now that is a bit harsh!

You often got no second chances, continue countdowns, explore modes or other concessions in the 8-bit days... this is from a BBC Micro adventure game called The Warlord:

No enlargement possible

Wed, Aug. 25th, 2010, 05:34 pm
loganberrybunny: BBC Micros used in retro programming class


The BBC website has this fun article, including a short video (which should work worldwide) about A-level computing students using the BBC Micros at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park. The point is apparently to make them think about efficient coding and to allow them to see the way the computers work, given that the Beebs are (by comparison with modern PCs) so slow.

Sigh. I feel old now. I can remember when BBC Micros were considered blazingly fast! As for the students' BBC BASIC skills: not bad, but I don't think much of their "Game over" screen! And why do the bombs stay on the screen when they've hit the water? That would be pretty trivial to fix. Nice to see the original BBC User Guide given a brief showing, though.

Sun, Apr. 25th, 2010, 03:32 pm
rottenrainbow: I already have one in my collection

So im having my friend auction off a I Ching Decision Science Computer. Works and comes with a battery.

This is a very rare piece of fortune telling computer hardware originally retailing for nearly $30.
It uses a "double ion implant P-Channel MOS integrated microprocessor type circuit" to generate a pattern of 3 lights each with 3 color combination to divine the answer to your questions.

Check out the original add!

and Ebay auction, here! http://cgi.ebay.com/VIntage1970s-Ching-Decision-Science-Computer-W-Case-/290428928108?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item439ee9c06c

Sun, Mar. 14th, 2010, 12:51 am
loganberrybunny: Psion 5

I've just snapped up a Psion 5 (the original version, not the faster but still much more expensive 5mx) for £20 on eBay. I used to covet these when they were current - and the best part of £400! - but I thought that at £20 one would be worth a go even now. And it is. Mine needs a clean (as the photo probably shows) but it all works, backlight included, and for the most part I'm very impressed. Only the rather dingy screen really lets it down.

Just in case a late-1990s computer is not quite old enough for this community, I've taken the trouble of installing XTM, which emulates an 80186 with MCGA. It's very slow on the 5 (roughly comparable to an original XT in text applications; slower still with graphics) but it does work. The picture shows QBasic running under MS-DOS 6.22.

Sat, Mar. 6th, 2010, 10:38 am
baron_waste: It Computes!

Click for Larger Image

Thu, Dec. 17th, 2009, 02:55 pm
mopalia: How much does software weigh?

Some of you seriously vintage folks might enjoy a story that goes back to the unit record days - this is a favorite around our IBM 1401 Restoration Lab. "An official and an engineer were reviewing a manifest for a computing system to be shipped via air transport. The official asked: 'What is the weight of the item labeled "software?"' The engineer's reply was plain but beguiling: 'Why, the software weighs nothing at all!' The official was unconvinced. Several days later, the skeptical official returned demanding to see the software for himself. The engineer led him to several boxes of punched cards, whereupon the disgruntled official complained, 'You misled me! You said that software weighed nothing.' In response, the engineer reached into one of the boxes, pulled out a punched card, held it up to the light, and countered: 'See, the software is the holes!' " (After a retelling by Robert G.) This has resulted in the observation that "Since information is added to cards or paper tape by punching holes in them, and, a card hole is bigger than a paper tape hole, thus adding the same information to a card record results in a larger decrease in mass than the same information being added to paper tape. Therefore: as the amount of total information recorded goes to infinity, the mass of the cards required to hold the information goes to zero at a rate faster than that of the mass of paper tape." (Bob F.) Good times at the aging geek center. Somewhat cross posted to my blog.

Wed, Nov. 25th, 2009, 04:28 pm
marivs: XT-IDE

Any early PC lovers here? If so, there's something you might be interested in: XT-IDE - an 8-bit ISA IDE (PATA) controller card - is about to be released. This means you can easily attach a modern HDD to IBM PC/XT or clone. Also, the price is expected to be very moderate.
More details here:
If you're interested, make sure you vote in the poll to get counted...

Sun, Nov. 22nd, 2009, 07:54 pm
baron_waste: PDP 11

A “mini-computer.”

Click for Larger Image

Happy sigh.

Image courtesy retro_futurism

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