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A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

Way back when in 95, my first computer was one of these:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-RyvZxKufo

The IBM PC XT. It was built like (and weighed as much as) a tank. It rocked an 8088 processor at a blinding fast 4.77 megahertz. It "fell off the back of a truck" at my mom's work, after they upgraded to a 286 WITH MATH COPROCESSOR" for accounts payable/receivable.

My XT was PIMP (as we said back in the 90's). It had the full 640k of RAM, a clock card, a CGI graphics card, and a 20MB full-height hard drive in addition to the half-height double-sided double-density 5 1/4 inch floppy drive (360k per disk!). I can still remember the sounds it made when you started it up - first it would roar like a loving jet engine as the case fan and hard drive spun up, then it would check the 640k of RAM in 16k increments so slowly you could watch it count through on the screen, 16k at a time. Then the disk drive would grind, then the hard drive would start loading PC-DOS - but this hard drive would beep in two different tones, for some reason. It was always the same pattern of beeps, too. I wonder if it had something to do with the specific sectors/tracks that DOS was stored on on the hard disk.


One day, after reading a PC World article about the importance of backups, I calculated it would take 52 floppies to back up my XT's hard drive. I ended up just backing up the important stuff - like Quattro Pro and Professional Write, and the files I made in those programs.

My XT played games! In 4 colors! I had Reader Rabbit and DuckTales. I had Rescue Rangers and Mario Teaches Typing, too, but they didn't run right. We had long since lost the feelies for DuckTales that would let us get past the anti-piracy check, so me and my brother would have to just guess at the secret code for Scrooge's vault until we finally made it in. And once we did, the program was so slow it was kind of like playing a TAS!

But my XT also had a virus! The green caterpillar virus, to be exact. This was a memory-resident file virus that would interrupt your work by showing a green caterpillar made of ASCII graphics on screen exactly two months after infection. But since the battery on my XT's clock card had long since died, my XT always thought it was January 2, 1980, so the virus never triggered. Whoops! I would run Norton Antivirus over and over, but since I didn't understand what "memory resident virus infecting command.com" meant, it never went away.*

On my 13th birthday, my dad passed down to me his Packard Bell Pentium running Windows 3.11 (FOR WORKGROUPS). That was the end of my XT. I transferred all my files off of it via serial cable, but kept it around for a while out of nostalgia. One day my mom threw it away while I was visiting my grandma. RIP, my XT. You were da bomb diggety (as we said in the 90's).


* Later on, in junior high, I stuck a 3 1/2" disk with a file I'd transferred off the XT into the CNC machine control computer in my school's industrial tech lab. I never got to see if it activated, but my brother claimed that when he was in the CNC module 2 years later, one day there was a little green squiggle crawling across the screen when he was doing his work, and the teacher just told him it happened sometimes and to reboot until it went away. In retrospect it was a dick move, but it was hilarious to me at the time.

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A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

Jedit posted:

You've been using PCs for 20 years and you still don't know what a POST is?

I never said anything about the POST except it counted the memory really slowly. The beeping I'm talking about literally came from the hard drive anytime it was accessed.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

I have very distinct memories of it being an actual beep, but apparently it was just the sound old MFM hard drives made, because it sounded almost exactly like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYEkC7FBXa4

Hey, I was 10 at the time vv

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

Please don't tell me there are people on these forums who have never encountered a split-flap alarm clock before. My mom used to have one on her nightstand. I'm only 28, I'm not that old!

To contribute: Floptical disks. These came out in the late 90's just around the time the first CD-R drives were turning disks into coasters at 1x speeds. They used electromagnetic fluctuations like a floppy, but at such a tight density that they needed a laser to align the heads, like a CD-ROM (but not really). They were capable of holding a whole 21 megabytes!

I remember reading about these in PC World and marveling at the fact that just one of these could hold the entire hard drive from my first computer plus a couple extra floppies. It was the first time I knew what my parents felt like when they looked at a Nintendo.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice


Oh man, they're discontinuing FoxyTunes. It was a browser extension that would let you control your music player from in your browser. Not that it takes that long to switch programs on a modern computer, but it was convenient.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

Britain doesn't have schoolbuses?

Finally, an area where the US pulls ahead in education unless you live within 2 miles of the school, then your rear end is walkin

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

Mr. Flunchy posted:

Someone made a joke in a D&D thread about wanting a government run by a benevolent AI. Then someone linked PROJECT CYBERSYN:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Cybersyn

Just machines to make big decisions
Programmed by fellas with compassion and vision
We'll be clean when their work is done,
We'll be eternally free and eternally young

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sogYgHlNnqo

(I have this album on vinyl, the best obsolete technology)

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

Coupon dispensers are definitely still around. They're a lot smaller now, too, and they usually have a little plastic holder on top so when your kid pulls all the coupons out you can leave them behind for the next person. I think they're more common in smaller chains. I'll try to remember to take a pic next time I go shopping.

The coupons are always so crappy too. Save 45 cents off three boxes of Cheerios (55oz. or larger)! 25 cents off a $10 can of Folger's! Buy 2 Tide 150oz bottles, get 50 cents off a Tide to Go pen!

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

einTier posted:

Usually, when people talk about "chiclet" keyboards, they're talking about the original IBM PCjr.


Those keys sucked something terrible and were a nightmare to try to type on, especially for touch typists. Memories of them kept me from buying a newer MacBook for a long time.

Incidentally, do they even sell Chiclet gum anymore?

Damnit, I came here to post this.

You laptop users are babies. Imagine trying to type on a cheap Chinese calculator, or a remote control. THAT is a chiclet keyboard. What you have now is a perfectly good keyboard that just doesn't wake the dead with every keystroke.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

DrBouvenstein posted:

The flicker reminded me that no one ever had the refresh rate of their CRTs set properly!

Oh, the default 45 Hz Windows 98 sets it to? Yeah, I'm sure that's fine. Even a poo poo graphics card and monitor combo could do at least 60! The worst was when I'd point it out to someone, up it to 75 HZ or more if I could, and they 'd respond with,
"I don't notice a difference."

WHAT?! Are you blind!?

Having to choose between 640x480 at 75hz or 800x600 at 60hz was Sophie's loving Choice.

Although I'm pretty sure no monitor ever defaulted to 45hz, even in Windows 3.1 days.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

Zonekeeper posted:

If I'm not mistaken you could pick up the audio from television broadcasts on AM. I distinctly remember discovering this and played the audio for ABC's saturday morning out of the TV and Radio simultaneously once.

Edit: I'm probably wrong, VHF and AM frequencies are very different. I guess that means my local station broadcasted the audio simultaneously on AM.

You could listen to channel 6 if you had a FM radio that would tune low enough:

Wikipedia posted:

The analog audio for TV channel 6 is broadcast at 87.75 MHz (adjustable down to 87.74). [...] As a result, FM radio receivers such as those found in automobiles which are designed to tune into this frequency range could receive the audio for analog-mode programming on the local TV channel 6 while in North America.

Of course, that was before the DTV transition.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

Ensign Expendable posted:

Might want to edit out the pictures you quoted so he doesn't go to jail.

Yeah, because the page of replies saying "take those pictures down, that gun you have in your possession there will send you to jail for a long time" are in no way incriminating and cannot be used as evidence

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

Phanatic posted:

The BATF at one point issued a ruling that copper wool scouring pads are, legally, regulated as firearms and subject to a $200 transfer tax, and at another point issued a ruling that a 14" length of shoestring is a machine-gun.

Yeah, gonna have to ask for a citation on this.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

So "solely and exclusively" are just meaningless words over in TFR-land?

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

DrBouvenstein posted:

So did Nintendo just agree to do that as some sort of last-ditch middle finger to Sony after their planned "BFF" console from the mid 90's fell through?

"Oh, you didn't want to partner with us and made a kick-rear end console? Well, we found someone else who will partner with us to take our already mediocre console and turn it into a mediocre DVD player! Take THAT!"

No, that was the CD-i.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

Tuxedo Ted posted:

I could see it used at hospitals and clinics and such to keep patient data away from folks who'd misuse it. They take that stuff pretty seriously and already use those special screen filters on monitors to make it a blurry mess to anyone not standing directly in front of it.

Honestly my satisfaction with my doctor would improve 100% if she whipped out a pair of badass aviators every time she looked at my chart.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

Okay. Mr. Clam, *puts on shades* IT LOOKS LIKE YOU'VE ENTERED THE DANGER ZONE.... for type II diabetes, you should consider exercising more.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

I used to have one of these:


The IBM Workpad z50. It was like a small laptop that ran Windows CE. Think a larger version of the HP Jornada. No hard drive, just internal memory and a compact flash slot. No USB or Ethernet, you connected it to your computer via serial cable and transferred files that way. It came with a cord you could use to hook the serial port to your cell phone and use the internet at outrageous cost (this was back in like 2001, before I got a cell phone, so I never tried it myself). I wrote a ton of papers on this thing.

The biggest problem with it was there was no good way to not use it for a while. You could suspend it, but it'd still draw from the battery, and after a week or so the battery would die. And for some reason the internal storage was dynamic memory, so after the battery died, well, hope you had your files backed up...

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

MA-Horus posted:

This fuckin' bad boy here.



The Compaq Portable II. The sheer gall of calling this goddamn thing Portable, it weighs a bloody ton and cost my father's company $3500. Mine has the orange/black plasma display.

I literally have one of these. If anyone wants it, pm me and I'll see if it works.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

JediTalentAgent posted:

Actually, that seems sort of cool if a sim would randomly throw you a major error that may or may not be a no-win and you got graded/rated on your handling of it.

That's literally what they do to train pilots in flight sims.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

If anyone is interested in owning some obsolete and failed technology themselves, someone in YOSPOS got a job selling stuff sent to electronics recycling and started a thread about it. Caveat: requires reading YOSPOS.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

GOTTA STAY FAI posted:


GE's consumer electronics arm--the one responsible for the lovely discmans and TV's that quit working after six days--has gone to poo poo, though. They likely just hire Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers to poo poo out cheap-rear end stuff and slap their logo on it so they can sell it at a huge markup.
Wow, no way this will ever come back and bite them!

GE Money also handles the ahitty credit cards they try to sell you when you check out at walmart. 25 dollars cash back y'all!

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

Yeah the fdiv bug was really insignificant to like 99% of users. And nobody ever talks about the F00F bug.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

I remember being so geeked about OS/2. It ran Windows 3.1 programs... and DOS programs... andos/2 programs! What could be the downside?!

Myu only actual interaction with OS/2 was with my college's IBM-sponsored mainframe program, which still had a PIII OS/2 box controlling the DASD. I changed the theme on the windows 3.1 session to hotdog stand, and no one noticed because no one ever touched it.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

I used to use PFS: Professional Write on my XT; it was the poo poo. I loved it so much I refused to stop using it until I upgraded to Win95 and gave in to the siren call of long filenames.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

the best star trek movie was galaxy quest

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

quote:

Doary said the decision will result in one employee layoff.

Clearly business was booming!

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

DoctorWhat posted:

How the hell did THAT happen?

All the banking websites use ActiveX. I think they just passed a law allowing banks to modernize in the last week or so.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

Faxes are also recognized by the law in a way scans and emails are not.

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A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

Krispy Wafer posted:

That's part of the reason why Tesla is so disruptive

lol

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