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***Vintage PC Technology Mega Discussion Thread*** - page 4

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  1. hhhhmmmm never saw that. saw cassette tapes used but not vcr tapes. guess it is the same thing overall. seems funny to see them talking about GB's that long ago when hdd's were barely into MB's
    Reply to Math Geek
  2. USAFRet said:
    Does anyone remember the concept of using your VCR as a tape backup.
    I never did it, but it was out there.


    Not surprising, VCR tech (at least for TV companies) has been around for almost as long as cassette tapes. The technology is basically the same, & I would assume would actually have benefits, given the assumed higher bandwidth (wider tape in a VHS vs. in a cassette tape) & greater storage (VHS tapes could store anywhere from 120 to 360 minutes of video, depending on the quality setting, while cassette tapes were limited to 60, 90 or 120 minutes based on the length of tape inside them).

    And I don't know how realistic it was, but I seem to remember Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising having a scene where the E-3 AWACS had stored the data feed from their radar systems onto VHS tapes; after the live feeds were used to identify fuel truck convoys for air strikes, they "rewound" the data to locate the hidden fuel depots where the trucks had come from. Don't know if they were implying that the data itself was being stored on the tapes, or if they were just recording the visual displays from the radar screens, but I don't see why (with the proper hardware & connectors) you couldn't use a VHS to back up your hard drive. Which is only crazy given that the trend nowadays is to convert those old VHS "home" videos to DVD format (kind of like how people first converted their old 8mm & 16mm home movies onto VHS).
    Reply to spdragoo
  3. Up until at least the mid 90's, fighter jets captured the HUD screen on video tape. Not exactly VHS, but tape nonetheless.

    Yes, I had to review many of these during debrief.
    "Dude...you didn't do it right" (the tape don't lie)
    Reply to USAFRet
  4. What about Zip drives? I never owned one but it was a nice innovation for its time - 100MB in a cartridge the size of a 1.44MB diskette, and much faster. And there was the later 1GB Jazz drive. They didn't get a chance to become mainstream before being eclipsed by the CD. I've never liked optical discs - too fragile and too slow. Thank god for USB flash drives.
    Reply to Pimpom
  5. Zip drive chose the wrong transfer medium to be honest SCSI was on its way out by the time they started and by the time they switched to USB, the deal was off for most people and where already on CDROM and USB thumb-drives. I used one for a long time it wasn't fast to be honest but it was a good way to saved documents, and lots fo casettes became available on ebay :P

    know what I miss? a 16" carriage line printer, you know the one that zips back and forth, using pins to print? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz thunk zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz thunk and you did nifty ascii art with ...
    Reply to The Paladin
  6. spdragoo said:
    USAFRet said:
    Does anyone remember the concept of using your VCR as a tape backup.
    I never did it, but it was out there.


    Not surprising, VCR tech (at least for TV companies) has been around for almost as long as cassette tapes. The technology is basically the same, & I would assume would actually have benefits, given the assumed higher bandwidth (wider tape in a VHS vs. in a cassette tape) & greater storage (VHS tapes could store anywhere from 120 to 360 minutes of video, depending on the quality setting, while cassette tapes were limited to 60, 90 or 120 minutes based on the length of tape inside them).

    And I don't know how realistic it was, but I seem to remember Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising having a scene where the E-3 AWACS had stored the data feed from their radar systems onto VHS tapes; after the live feeds were used to identify fuel truck convoys for air strikes, they "rewound" the data to locate the hidden fuel depots where the trucks had come from. Don't know if they were implying that the data itself was being stored on the tapes, or if they were just recording the visual displays from the radar screens, but I don't see why (with the proper hardware & connectors) you couldn't use a VHS to back up your hard drive. Which is only crazy given that the trend nowadays is to convert those old VHS "home" videos to DVD format (kind of like how people first converted their old 8mm & 16mm home movies onto VHS).


    While on the subject I was watching an episode of Psych the other day. And it involved a character who was murdered by a weatherman. I think there was something about the technology in that episode that was off. So Shawn Spencer explains that there was footage from the green screen recording that was captured on computer and was transferred to tape, and part of the quality got lost in the process. That kind of threw me off there for a few minutes. Like I knew you could transfer something from a VHS tape to a computer, but could you record something from a computer onto a VHS tape? That is the part that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Although I was wondering when I saw the episode, it was recorded in 2013, when most credible TV stations would have ditched their VHS technology and moved to digital anyways, so it probably would have made the whole investigation worthless. :lol:
    Reply to g-unit1111
  7. I haven't seen the movie so I can't comment on whether there could be a plausible reason for transferring the recording to tape, or what tape technology was used. But technically, it should be possible to record the AV output from a computer onto analog tape.
    Reply to Pimpom
  8. Gunit111 said " it was recorded in 2013, when most credible TV stations would have ditched their VHS technology "

    actually almost no television studio used "VHS" Betamax was the standard because of the higher quality of video production. so I suspect the story is iffy at best.
    Reply to The Paladin
  9. There are many errors in movies. I remember reading in a forum several years ago about a movie in which an IP address was given with numbers much higher than 255.

    IMO Sci-Fi movies are the worst offenders. I've seen movies set 3000 years in the future in which they use today's standard PC keyboards! And CDs, cars, ....... And then there are post-apocalypse stories where organized society had broken down for years, yet there's always fuel for beat-up old cars to run around all day.
    Reply to Pimpom
  10. Who wants an Apple Powermac G5. I'm getting one this weekend
    Reply to Computernut
  11. The Paladin said:
    Gunit111 said " it was recorded in 2013, when most credible TV stations would have ditched their VHS technology "

    actually almost no television studio used "VHS" Betamax was the standard because of the higher quality of video production. so I suspect the story is iffy at best.


    Really I would have thought most TV stations would have switched to digital by now.

    Quote:
    There are many errors in movies. I remember reading in a forum several years ago about a movie in which an IP address was given with numbers much higher than 255.


    Yeah I notice that too. I love when CinemaSins calls this out as the "Internet of things". :lol:

    Quote:
    Who wants an Apple Powermac G5. I'm getting one this weekend


    Not me, I want an AMD R7-1800X.
    Reply to g-unit1111
  12. First Computer (one that I don't usually claim) TS1000. Returned within a couple days of ownership. (Issues reading and writing cassette)

    First Computer that I actually claim to own: Tandy Color Computer 2 w/16K and ECB. Used cassettes no issues. Later upgraded to 5.25" floppies and used OS-9 (Microware OS-9, which predates Apple's OS9 by quite a few years... and it multi-tasked on an 8-bit CPU) Later upgraded to the CoCo3.

    First Intel type based CPU was a 386SL (or was it a 286?)... and IIRC EGA graphics, eventually upgraded into 486 based CPUs. Used one or two systems that we VL-Bus based (IO and Graphics) (All Intel based was used parts until...)
    First NEW MoBo and CPU involved the AMD K6- 233 and a the S3 Verge 3D GPU... GPU died, got a Razer nVidia TNT.... later upgrades moved to An Athlon XP series... later a Sempron... then Phenom II X4 955BE... overclocked it to 3.7 on air and no voltage adjustment. Lastest build is Intel and has given me headaches. (many of these parts are boxed in a closet.)

    So, I've experienced 360K floppies (and 156K floppies on the CoCo) 720K floppies, 1.2M floppies and 1.44M floppies, but never 2.88M floppies. I've used Monochrome to Modern graphics too. I remember pre-internet too... using a modem to call a BBS, and later a modem to Alta Vista, or AOL. I've used modems as slow as 300 baud and up to 56k.

    I've got a Vic-20 with a broken keyboard, and had a TI-99/4A too. I still got a soft spot for my CoCo though. Oh yeah I got a Mac LC collecting dust and a couple other macs one with a G4, and one with a G5. I've also used original Mac 128s and 512s.

    Okay enough history for now.
    Reply to shrapnel_indie
  13. Yogi2367 said:
    Math Geek said:
    creative was huge back then with modems and sound cards. think most of my 56k were creative though i did have a few off brand ones i got over time.


    I always found the off-brand ones to suck big time. Pretty much stuck with U.S. Robotics. Do they even still exist ???


    USR still exists, and is still producing modems... and they're almost the only ones left doing it.
    Reply to shrapnel_indie
  14. Someone actually donated a Working Powermac G5 with the PowerPC architecture... The OS has no GUI, just the CLI, but it's still OSX
    Reply to XxD34THxX
  15. shrapnel_indie said:

    So, I've experienced 360K floppies (and 156K floppies on the CoCo) 720K floppies, 1.2M floppies and 1.44M floppies, but never 2.88M floppies. I've used Monochrome to Modern graphics too. I remember pre-internet too... using a modem to call a BBS, and later a modem to Alta Vista, or AOL. I've used modems as slow as 300 baud and up to 56k.


    Ha, I remember the late 90s when files were getting bigger but we still had 1.44MB floppy drives and magazines like PC Magazine were calling for larger removable disks, and the only thing they came up with was the ZIP drive which held 100MB, but those disks were about as useless and unreliable as the drives using them. The 64GB flash drive I have now runs circles around a zip disk. :lol:

    Quote:
    Someone actually donated a Working Powermac G5 with the PowerPC architecture... The OS has no GUI, just the CLI, but it's still OSX


    I miss the Power PC days. My old Powerbook G5 that I got back in like I want to say 2006 still works perfectly fine and has decent battery life. I fired it up the other day and it still works.
    Reply to g-unit1111
  16. in 1998 I worked at a small business networking company. We would carry a parallel port Zip drive with a lot of our clients software on it or use it to back up files when re-configuring a machine. It was so damn slow.
    Reply to Rogue Leader
  17. Rogue Leader said:
    in 1998 I worked at a small business networking company. We would carry a parallel port Zip drive with a lot of our clients software on it or use it to back up files when re-configuring a machine. It was so damn slow.


    Yeah I was taking graphic design classes at the time and it was required that we had Zip drives on our personal computers because the files were so large. I copied a 75MB Illustrator file to one and it literally took like an hour.
    Reply to g-unit1111
  18. we think of zip drives as slow now, but at the time, they were a wonderful thing to have if you needed the space.

    everything looks slow compared to usb 3.0 but consider how long it took to burn a cd with the first 1x burners. over an hour for that 700 mb and it had a 50/50 shot of failing on you. the zip disks were a step up.

    also consider how slow internet was back then. you could save directly to the drive as it downloaded since you were barely seeing 25 Kb/s even on a nice university T1 line.
    Reply to Math Geek
  19. Math Geek said:
    we think of zip drives as slow now, but at the time, they were a wonderful thing to have if you needed the space.

    everything looks slow compared to usb 3.0 but consider how long it took to burn a cd with the first 1x burners. over an hour for that 700 mb and it had a 50/50 shot of failing on you. the zip disks were a step up.

    also consider how slow internet was back then. you could save directly to the drive as it downloaded since you were barely seeing 25 Kb/s even on a nice university T1 line.


    The problem was they were slower than CDs, they were like floppy drive speed. So copying 100mb off a CD took a little bit, but copying it off a Zip disk took WAY longer. Think about how long it took to install a game off 1.44mb floppies, then just jack up the time and size.
    Reply to Rogue Leader
  20. Math Geek said:
    we think of zip drives as slow now, but at the time, they were a wonderful thing to have if you needed the space.

    everything looks slow compared to usb 3.0 but consider how long it took to burn a cd with the first 1x burners. over an hour for that 700 mb and it had a 50/50 shot of failing on you. the zip disks were a step up.

    also consider how slow internet was back then. you could save directly to the drive as it downloaded since you were barely seeing 25 Kb/s even on a nice university T1 line.


    It's funny I came across a purchase log for my dad's company from like 1992 and it was crazy how expensive computers were for what you got. I mean now we're used to $2500 getting you dual GTX 1080s and a 7700K or 6850K. But back then $2500 got you a black and white system with a 16MB hard drive and a 1.44MB floppy drive. Zip drives were nice to have back then but even when they first came out they were crazy expensive and unreliable.
    Reply to g-unit1111
  21. g-unit1111 said:
    Math Geek said:
    we think of zip drives as slow now, but at the time, they were a wonderful thing to have if you needed the space.

    everything looks slow compared to usb 3.0 but consider how long it took to burn a cd with the first 1x burners. over an hour for that 700 mb and it had a 50/50 shot of failing on you. the zip disks were a step up.

    also consider how slow internet was back then. you could save directly to the drive as it downloaded since you were barely seeing 25 Kb/s even on a nice university T1 line.


    It's funny I came across a purchase log for my dad's company from like 1992 and it was crazy how expensive computers were for what you got. I mean now we're used to $2500 getting you dual GTX 1080s and a 7700K or 6850K. But back then $2500 got you a black and white system with a 16MB hard drive and a 1.44MB floppy drive. Zip drives were nice to have back then but even when they first came out they were crazy expensive and unreliable.


    Reply to USAFRet
  22. Believe it or not, there are projects out there that bring a hardware replacement to some of these old computers:

    ZX Spectrum

    ... AND there is a closed group on FB called CoCo on a Chip that is dealing with an enhanced CoCo 3 (to the point of bumping the designation to 4)
    Reply to shrapnel_indie
  23. i love the "lightning fast 20 MHz" part of the description. that and all the OS's it says it will run. so much fun back then with all the different options before windows took over. OS/2 was interesting and tinkered with it back then but MS was the way to go even then with DOS.
    Reply to Math Geek
  24. Reply to shrapnel_indie
  25. Math Geek said:
    i love the "lightning fast 20 MHz" part of the description. that and all the OS's it says it will run. so much fun back then with all the different options before windows took over. OS/2 was interesting and tinkered with it back then but MS was the way to go even then with DOS.


    Still have options today.
    Windows, iOS if you work at it, 57 flavors of Linux, Android, etc, etc.

    And can run 5 different systems, simultaneously, in a single consumer grade PC box.
    Reply to USAFRet
  26. i got 4 running on my personal system right now. win 7, 10 plus Mac OS and Remix OS as well. been enjoying Remix OS as it's a pretty good adaptation of Android on PC. could see that easily being a daily driver for a simple machine with limited needs. maybe a streaming box or net surfing machine. and with the play store available, there is a whole world of casual gaming you could do on it.
    Reply to Math Geek
  27. USAFRet said:




    Ha! These days we laugh at people who want to spend $9,000 on a computer. :lol:
    Reply to g-unit1111
  28. I remember the days when 300 Mhz was top end. And here we got 20 haha
    Reply to Justiceinacan
  29. I was thinking about it and what we used to pay back then, and I had to look that Tandy up, because that price, I just never remember them being that expensive. It turns out the part where it says it had the IBM Microchannel 32 bit architecture is why the price was so nuts. ISA was 8 or 16 bit depending on the card which was what most cards at the time used. Microchannel cards obviously doubled that. This really was for professional applications.

    Meanwhile for us mere mortals $2500-3000 could have gotten you a decent 386 PC around that time. Still excessive don't get me wrong especially if you take inflation into account and today's prices. But in that respect whats funny is we are flabbergasted by $8500, but take inflation into account, its over $16,000. Heck $3000 in 2017 dollars is almost $6000!
    Reply to Rogue Leader
  30. I remember an editorial in PC Magazine, just as the 386's were coming out.
    I believe it was John Dvorak: "No one needs a 386 CPU unless you are in a server room" (or words to that effect)

    For that Tandy....16MB max RAM.
    Today, 1,000 times that amount is ~$100.
    Reply to USAFRet
  31. USAFRet said:
    I remember an editorial in PC Magazine, just as the 386's were coming out.
    I believe it was John Dvorak: "No one needs a 386 CPU unless you are in a server room" (or words to that effect)

    For that Tandy....16MB max RAM.
    Today, 1,000 times that amount is ~$100.


    Yes I remember upgrading from 4mb to 8mb in a system I had, I think it cost me like $200 to do at the time.

    My 340mb hard drive was also so big I could "never fill it"
    Reply to Rogue Leader
  32. 386SX or DX?
    Reply to XxD34THxX
  33. my first laptop i bought probably back in 92/93 or so had an option to upgrade to 8 mb of ram from 2 mb i think it was. was a $2500 upgrade at the time. was an ibm thinkpad from back in the day. you remember those with the little red nipple sticking out of the keyboard that was the "mouse"

    man i hated that thing but after what i paid i had to use it for a number of years. thank goodness stuff was changing so fast i could justify an upgrade in only a short time. well short for such an expensive purchase anyway.
    Reply to Math Geek
  34. Math Geek said:
    my first laptop i bought probably back in 92/93 or so had an option to upgrade to 8 mb of ram from 2 mb i think it was. was a $2500 upgrade at the time. was an ibm thinkpad from back in the day. you remember those with the little red nipple sticking out of the keyboard that was the "mouse"

    man i hated that thing but after what i paid i had to use it for a number of years. thank goodness stuff was changing so fast i could justify an upgrade in only a short time. well short for such an expensive purchase anyway.


    Thinkpads (now Lenovo) still have that, as do HP, Dell, and others, except its not red anymore. I liked it at the time but these days I find its too imprecise. Worked fine when resolutions were low though.
    Reply to Rogue Leader
  35. not seen a laptop with one of those nipples on it in a long time. what type of systems have them as i don't see them when looking around local stores like best buy and others who have a bunch on display. ??

    or maybe i do see them and quickly push the memory away as it's just too painful.......
    Reply to Math Geek
  36. Math Geek said:
    not seen a laptop with one of those nipples on it in a long time. what type of systems have them as i don't see them when looking around local stores like best buy and others who have a bunch on display. ??

    or maybe i do see them and quickly push the memory away as it's just too painful.......


    My company issued Dell Ultrabook has it, its about a year old, my last one did as well. I would guess more office oriented machines have them.
    Reply to Rogue Leader
  37. A good old amiga and then an IBM can't even remeber the generation of processor from 1988
    Reply to FullmetalJacket
  38. I had a few old motherboards stored away but only two worked. However, I need a gfx card for one of them. The other was an old 98 board that had celeron and I had a few old HDDs laying around. Tried to get the sucker running last week only to have it smoke up on me when 98 started installing all the drivers on the board. I believe the voltage regulator chip short circuited. Why? I have no damn clue.

    Was disappointed though, wanted to run the old thing.
    Reply to tysonrss
  39. I have one of the original Apple/Macs (Mac 2 maybe?), Atari 2600, Super NES and a few other older systems. Think I have an older Compaq from around 1996 too.
    Reply to harrisjb78
  40. i did not keep any of my old pc's. as i upgraded i handed off the old ones to someone who needed it. all my old stuff found a home where it could be of use. since i upgrade more often than needed, what i gave away was still very much modern and quality systems.

    i only hold on to enough stuff to be useful to me in fixing pc's. some old parts for testing and cheap upgrades for some older systems, but after a while i purge the un-needed. finally started thinking about getting rid of the box of ddr 1/2 ram i have since i rarely come across systems needing it anymore that are worth doing anything with. finally got rid of my last AGP gpu as well. dropped it into an old system my sister used in her store as a cash register and inventory control. onboard video died so she got the last AGP card i had.

    hopefully i'll never need one again. everything i see now is pcie, even if it is pcie 1.0 slots.
    Reply to Math Geek
  41. Where do I begin... I have SEVERAL used systems, many are pre-PCIe age, and a large stack of HP Z640 workstations and another older workstation model with CORE 2 Quad Q9500s in all of them instead of 6core Xeons

    Right now I have a Pentium II, 2 Pentium III's, and I think 8 Pentium 4's with varying clock speeds. The only pre-dual core age CPU from AMD I have is the 3800+

    Quite the pack rat here. I only use two systems ever at once (one Pentium 4 was in use up till not too long before, but the storage drive in there fried itself and the replacements I salveged from my late grandfather's house didn't work, so I gotta get something else up there soon) but I just can't bring myself to get rid of all this stuff lol
    Reply to Justiceinacan
  42. Here is a blast from the past:
    I was looking though Origin to find a new game to play and found something called "Ultima I" It was fee with my account and thought to give it a try, so I set it up to download.
    It was over a week later when I got back to the system and thought I would give it a shot. I hit the play button and was surprised to see it opening in an MS-DOS emulator! I then see a very pixalated picture of a castle and the option to press "a" or"b"! DOS? Really? I paid how much for a gaming system to play DOS games? I just thought it was funny and uninstalled it as I couldn't even figure out how to open it!
    Reply to wogfor
  43. wogfor said:
    Here is a blast from the past:
    I was looking though Origin to find a new game to play and found something called "Ultima I" It was fee with my account and thought to give it a try, so I set it up to download.
    It was over a week later when I got back to the system and thought I would give it a shot. I hit the play button and was surprised to see it opening in an MS-DOS emulator! I then see a very pixalated picture of a castle and the option to press "a" or"b"! DOS? Really? I paid how much for a gaming system to play DOS games? I just thought it was funny and uninstalled it as I couldn't even figure out how to open it!


    :lol: that was like the top PC RPG in its day...which was 1980. Its literally the game that started the Origin game company (well eventually by Ultima III), which eventually got bought up by EA and the name repurposed for its game service.
    Reply to Rogue Leader
  44. I have a Pentuim II deschutes (SL3F5) and a pentium 4 SL6HL on my shelf
    Reply to impsquared
  45. impsquared said:
    I have a Pentuim II deschutes (SL3F5) and a pentium 4 SL6HL on my shelf


    I think the first PC I ever owned was a Pentium II. It was manufactured by a company that doesn't exist anymore (Quantex) and I think I still have the mouse pad that came with it somewhere.
    Reply to g-unit1111
  46. http://imgur.com/a/y8jCe
    This counts as vintage.
    Someone found(and took) a 80286 as well.
    Reply to XxD34THxX
  47. Math Geek said:
    i learned basic on my TI-85 calculator. odd as i used it for years before but never fully understood it until i had to program my calc for college.

    we took a class on the calculator and had to learn to program it. many of my engineering/architecture classes required programs to answer the questions. now that was fun times :-)


    My first calculator was a GE Genius 70 ... I was one of the first kids in primary school to have a calculator ... 1975.
    Reply to Reynod
  48. now you're going way back :)

    i was born in 1974. first calc i needed was in HS for trig. never really used a graphing one for actual graphing. we learned by hand and got very good at it that way. same with arithmetic. did not have calcs, so we got real quick and basic computations.
    Reply to Math Geek
  49. Do you remember the ISA slot? 16 bits? That was the bee's knees in 1980. My first pc was a Pentium 2 with mmx technology. I think 500 mhz. It had an ancient Nvidia card, 256 mb hdd, and all of 20 something mb ram. It ran TIE Fighter ok! I cleaned out hardware closets where I did IT work at and found all kinds of gems! They had a P3 with slick ASUS board, customized to the moon... nic and 56k modem expansion cards on pci, ATI graphics with 16 mb of sdram, 1 GB (all ram slots used up) ram. Windows XP. They bought it that way I think it cost around $2100 back in 2000 and were still using it as a shipping machine in the warehouse 12 years later. Pc tech has come a long way since then.
    Reply to sirstinky
  50. sirstinky said:
    Do you remember the ISA slot? 16 bits? That was the bee's knees in 1980. My first pc was a Pentium 2 with mmx technology. I think 500 mhz. It had an ancient Nvidia card, 256 mb hdd, and all of 20 something mb ram. It ran TIE Fighter ok! I cleaned out hardware closets where I did IT work at and found all kinds of gems! They had a P3 with slick ASUS board, customized to the moon... nic and 56k modem expansion cards on pci, ATI graphics with 16 mb of sdram, 1 GB (all ram slots used up) ram. Windows XP. They bought it that way I think it cost around $2100 back in 2000 and were still using it as a shipping machine in the warehouse 12 years later. Pc tech has come a long way since then.




    16-bit ISA slot... cut off the "back half" and you had the original 8-bit ISA slot as it was on the original IBM PC. Add another connector behind that, and you had the VL-Bus.
    Reply to shrapnel_indie
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