Show: Retro Computers

AaronE

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Not my photo but it is my late father in 1968 at work on a very retro computer.
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Joined
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Fairfax Iowa
Someone mentioned slide rules in passing. While they are not computers per se, they are part of the chain of inventions that led to real computers. I collect them and I’d like to use this thread as an opportunity to show them. I hope no one minds. It is interesting that historically before there were digital computers it was the people who did the scientific calculations and they were actually called computers. It was their job title. In my photo, the rule in the lower left (above the tie tack) is my oldest one. Made in England in the 1870’s out of ivory, it was used by customs inspectors to calculate import taxes on alcoholic beverages. The large yellow Pickett I purchased in 1972 from a university bookstore. I used it at work for a few years until digital calculators became cheap enough for working stiffs to buy.

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BDR-529

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Jun 27, 2020
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My old 1999 Psion 5mx (next to my E-PL7 for scale).

Up to that time I used an old HP 200LX running Dos - and I came back with it from Africa where it proved to be great, but the screen was starting to go really dim - so I upgraded to this tiny thing. I suspect that if I found proper replacement batteries, it would fire right up.
Of course it will fire up and it only needs two AA-batteries. I still have a mint copy of Ericsson MC218 (aka Psion Series 5mx with IrDA) which didn't find much use back in year 2000.

Connectivity is a problem and I can't show you how to browse mu-43.com on the screen because I can't even remember the last year mobile phones came with IrDA. I have seen a USB-IrDA dongle being sold on ebay but they were so expensive that I didn't bother. I believe it came with a serial cable which I have lost but then again, can't remember the last time I had a PC with a serial port either.

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BDR-529

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There was already one PDA on this thread but my Cassiopeia still works despite still having it's original rechargeable battery. I can't show you how to browse this site on colour either because my AOL account might have expired...

In reality M$ is responsible for this as well.. Docking station in picture has USB connector and Pocket PC devices like Cassiopeia used to connect with Windows 7 and 8 but not with Windows 10 anymore. It seems to be possible though, but I don't want to start installing all sorts of archaic drivers just for the fun of it.

I can still play solitaire and Cassiopeia has amazingly good mp3 player given the fact that large 16MB (note MB, not GB) CF card for the time period can hold up to four (4) mp3 titles at the same time!

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BosseBe

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Stockholm, Sweden
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Bo
Of course it will fire up and it only needs two AA-batteries. I still have a mint copy of Ericsson MC218 (aka Psion Series 5mx with IrDA) which didn't find much use back in year 2000.

Connectivity is a problem and I can't show you how to browse mu-43.com on the screen because I can't even remember the last year mobile phones came with IrDA. I have seen a USB-IrDA dongle being sold on ebay but they were so expensive that I didn't bother. I believe it came with a serial cable which I have lost but then again, can't remember the last time I had a PC with a serial port either.

View attachment 851531
I have no sense of the size of that, but since the newer phones tend to be bigger and bigger maybe it isn't huge?
How does it compare to a new BIG phone?
 

BDR-529

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Jun 27, 2020
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307
I have no sense of the size of that, but since the newer phones tend to be bigger and bigger maybe it isn't huge?
How does it compare to a new BIG phone?
It's thick but otherwise no larger than something like Galaxy Fold 2. Thanks to it's clever folding keypad mechanism, it has a true fully functional keyboard. With this thing it's possible to actually write more than few sentences and display is enormous compared to mobile phones of the day. I would really buy this today if it was sold with modern smatphone engine and OLED display.

For reference, Logitech mouse and smartphone with 6,2 inch screen.
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relic

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Oct 21, 2010
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1,586
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North Carolina, USA
Someone mentioned slide rules in passing. While they are not computers per se, they are part of the chain of inventions that led to real computers. I collect them and I’d like to use this thread as an opportunity to show them. I hope no one minds. It is interesting that historically before there were digital computers it was the people who did the scientific calculations and they were actually called computers. It was their job title. In my photo, the rule in the lower left (above the tie tack) is my oldest one. Made in England in the 1870’s out of ivory, it was used by customs inspectors to calculate import taxes on alcoholic beverages. The large yellow Pickett I purchased in 1972 from a university bookstore. I used it at work for a few years until digital calculators became cheap enough for working stiffs to buy.

View attachment 851492
Along the same lines:

_A087781_DxOdcLL.jpg
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AJ68

Mu-43 Regular
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Jun 3, 2020
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26
Location
Sweden
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #110
As a juxtaposition to the Ericsson MC-218/Psion mx5 which really had magnificent keyboards I give you the 3Com Palm III and the Compaq 2000C with no physical keyboard and a weird chiclet keyboard with round keys respectivly! The one saving grace of the Compaq 2000C is that the screen is color... but that is about it! Both work but I couldn't find the powerbricks for either for this photoshoot! Maybe later... 😂

2020-10-09 14.18.14.jpg
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AJ68

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Jun 3, 2020
Messages
26
Location
Sweden
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #111
If you've got a quote for the shipping from the land by the Trump Wall, I'm sure @AJ68 would consider it seriously.... 😂
That is, if he's not too busy with all the old Amiga crap I'm forcing upon him...
I am actually in the process of going through my old Macintosh stuff and trying to decide what to keep and what to let go... Older Apple stuff and the likes will always be of interest though... 😬
 

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