Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Most Collectible PCs of All Time

MSN Tech & Gadgets has a slide show of what they consider the most collectible computers. I would say a lot of their choices I would agree with, but I still think others are missing from the list. Here is excerpt from the article: "personal computers have been around long enough that certain models -- mostly dating from the 1970s and early 1980s -- have gone from newfangled gadget to prized relic. We compiled this list after consulting with tech historians and collectors, including Bryan Blackburn, Digibarn's Bruce Damer, the Vintage Computer Festival's Sellam Ismail and Erik Klein of"

I am going to do my own version of this list for this blog. Hopefully I will complete it soon.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

eBay: Rare - Original Apple Lisa (w/Twiggy Drives)

Here is a very rare computer that I would buy if I had a spare $11,000. Its an original Apple Lisa (with Twiggy drives). Definitely a prize for any collection, and as the description states there are only 50 still around.

Normally if someone was asking $11,000 for a computer, I would say its way over priced. With the exception for a very few, and this is the exception. What makes it valuable and rare is that it has the 5.25" drives (known as Twiggy).
This system is an excellent example of Apple Computer's Second Rarest Computer, next to the original Apple-1 (1976). Less than 50 are known to exist in the world today. The Lisa was a landmark in computing history, being the first personal computer available with a mouse & GUI (Graphical User Interface). The release of this machine and the Lisa Office System to the public pre-dates Microsoft Windows 1.0 by almost 3 years!

The Apple Lisa was the programming platform for the Macintosh.
Apple offered Basic Plus, Pascal, and Cobol as programming environments for the lisa.
Mac OS 1.0 and most of the early Mac 128k programs were written with a Lisa.
The Lisa has 1mb RAM and a 5MB Hard Drive vs. 128k of RAM in the Macintosh.
Both machines use a Motorola 68000 CPU.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a buy-it-now listing, meaning there are no bidders or bidding process. Don't miss your chance to own a Lisa 1!

This Lisa turns on and passes all hardware tests. She boots up to Office System 1.2 (installed on the X/ProFile). A Lisa screen is hard to take a picture of, please be assured the screen is bright and crisp with no significant burn-in. I do not have any Twiggy floppy disks to test the Twiggy drives with, but they appear to be in very good shape.

As you can see by the photos, All plastic panels are clean. They have matching tone, and do not have any significant yellowing. No cracks or significant scratches present. The ProFile drive has some scratches on the top case, but is clean. This machine is in beautiful restored condition and appears to have seen little use during its lifetime.

*It did not ship until July 1983, and was discontinued in January 1984 (6 months)
*Its original cost in 1983 was $10,000 US (approx. $21,000 US in 2008 dollars) making it a hard sell to businesses
*Apple offered all Lisa 1 owners a FREE upgrade to a Lisa 2 in 1984. Almost everybody went for this upgrade
*Apple took back all Lisa 1 specific parts back from authorized service centers and had them destroyed/disposed of

*Apple Lisa 1 Computer (with TWIGGY floppy drives)
*Apple Lisa Keyboard with original pull-out cards (cleaned,tested, working)
*Apple Lisa Mouse
*5 MB Apple Profile Hard Drive - upgraded to a new X/ProFile with Compact Flash memory card
*Power & data cables
*Original silk Anti-Glare Screen
*Complete Office System 1.2 installed on external X/ProFile Drive.
*Programs installed: LisaWrite, LisaDraw, LisaGraph, LisaList, LisaCalc, LisaProject, and LisaTerminal

*The Twiggy drives included with this machine are very early examples, dated January 21st 1983.
*Lisa Office System 1.2 (included) is more rare than 1.0, as it only came with LisaTerminal (a required upgrade to operate LisaTerminal).
*CPU board ROM's are a rare "F" revision.

The new X/ProFile and Voltage Regulator boards have been produced in a joint effort by Sigma Seven Systems and Vintage Micros, and are still available today. It will not die on you like the almost 30 year old ProFile drives, causing you to lose all of your precious data. You can simply back-up or duplicate the CF (Compact Flash) memory card!

Due to age and extreme rarity, this computer is sold "as-is" with no warranty or returns. I guarantee that this computer will be working as described when shipped. I am willing to demonstrate the Lisa 1 working, if picked up in person by the winning bidder. For shipping the Lisa, everything will be wrapped with extreme care so that it arrives safely. I do not charge for Packing materials or handling! Actual shipping cost only (please inquire).

eBay: Atari Stacy Vintage Portible Computer -

Here is a eBay auction for an Atari Stacy laptop computer that was up for sale. These are pretty rare and they are not worth much. I consider it an interesting artifact for those who like to collect these types of computers.

Tech of Yesteryear: Where Old Computers Find Their Final Resting Place

CIO magazine reports: "Max Burnet has turned his home in the leafy suburbs of Sydney into arguably Australia’s largest private computer museum. Since retiring as director of Digital Equipment Corporation a decade ago, Burnet has converted his interest in the computing industry into an invaluable snapshot of computer history. Every available space from his basement to the top floor of his two-storey home is covered with relics from the past. His collection is vast, from a 1920s Julius Totalisator, the first UNIX PDP-7, a classic DEC PDP-8, the original IBM PC, Apple’s Lisa, MITS Altair 8800, numerous punch cards and over 6000 computer reference books. And more. He happily opened his doors for CIO to take a look."

Max Burnet has a pretty amazing collection of vintage computer artifacts you may have never seen before. There are lots DEC, IBM personal computer and mainframe parts in his collection, plus several miscellaneous items you may have never seen before.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Decade of Internet Superstars: Where Are They Now?

MSN Tech & Gadgets reports: "Whatever happened to the Evolution of Dance guy or that kid who loved Britney Spears so much he cried for her under his sheet? We'll fill you in on what happened to them and other Web celebrities when their 15 minutes of fame ended."

I thought this was an interesting article.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

eBay - HeathKit Educational Systems Hero 2000 Robot

I am always watching eBay for interesting vintage technology. Here is a vintage robot that I have never seen before. Its the HeathKit Educational Systems Hero 2000 Robot. Below is an except from the auction: "The unit is in good cosmetic condition with some wear present from previous use but overall looks structurally sound. The unit is in unknown working condition as we do not have the means here to test it. Also some of the wires are cut on the top of the unit are cut."

Here is some more information on this robot.

Know Your Meme: All Your Base

Rocketboom does a great job in explaining the history behind the phrase "All Your Base Are Belong To Us". For those of you who don't know what a Meme is, here's an article from Wikipedia.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Commodore 64 Orchestra

The C64 orchestra is reviving, in classical form, the music from classic Commodore 64games from the 1980's.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The World’s First MP3 Player (c. 1998)

Team Teabag! reports: "Today we all take MP3 players for granted. iPods are ubiquitous, mobile phones can play the format, even most new car stereos support MP3 right off the showroom floor. But it wasn’t always like this - Back in 1998, highly illegal sites like Audiofind were giving away artist’s songs quite openly and completely for free in pretty poor-sounding 112 and 128KBps MP3 format, and we were downloading them with our 56K modems - often taking up to half an hour a time."

This is not the first article that I have read that states MPMan was the first MP3 player. Although the first hard drive based MP3 player was invented by Compaq (according to this article).

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Gaming Historian - The Video Game Crash of 1983

Also known as The Video Game Crash of 1984 (or The North American Video Game Crash), this event severely impacted the video game industry. The Gaming Historian covers the major reasons for the crash and the damage it caused.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Forgotten PC history: The true origins of the personal computer

computerworld reports: "But the full story was not that simple. For one thing, the x86's lineage can be traced back four additional years, to 1968, and it was born at a now-defunct firm in San Antonio. The x86 was originally conceived by an all-but-forgotten engineer, Austin O. 'Gus' Roche, who was obsessed with making a personal computer. For another thing, Intel got involved reluctantly, and the 8008 was not actually derived from the 4004 -- they were separate projects."

Here is some history that I didn't know. Read the whole article for more information.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Famous Persons Triva Quiz

Triviaplaza presents: "Do you really know all the famous persons that obtained their fame by doing of having done something with computers? Do you know who Steve Case is? Or why are David Filo & Jerry Yang famous? And do names like Doug Englebart, Tim Berners-Lee and Shawn Fanning ring a bell?"

See how many of these questions that you can answer.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Talks George Dyson: The birth of the computer

Historian George Dyson tells stories from the birth of the modern computer -- from its 16th-century origins to the hilarious notebooks of some early computer engineers.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Auction: KIM-1 Computer

Here is a rare auction on eBay, its a KIM-1 computer. This is a very early home computer, with a simple keypad and an LED displays.

Here is an text excerpt from the auction: "At auction here is a very nice, rare, KIM-1 Micro computer. This computer was originally released by MOS Technologies in 1976 as a way to demonstrate the power and flexibility of their new 6502 chip to engineers. It quickly found a following among computer hobbyists, and is widely considered the first commercially successful 'home' computer.

This computer cost $245 when released. It consists of a 6502 microprocessor running at 1Mhz, 1024 bytes of RAM, a 6 digit LED display, on-board data entry through a hex keypad, 30 digital I/O lines, cassette recorder interface, and a small operating system in ROM.

This computer is an ORIGINAL MOS Technologies board, before that company was bought by Commodore, making this item rarer still."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dinosaur Sighting: Microsoft Bob (1995)

See TechRepublic's Photo Gallery of screen shots of Microsoft Bob, which was an early attempt to make computers easier for new users.

The interesting thing is that some of Bob's features survived into later products (such as Office 2003 and Windows XP).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Vintage 1961 Minivac 601 Computer

Here was a very rare item up for sale on eBay, it's Minivac 601 Computer from 1961. Here is excerpt from the acution text: "Up for auction is a nice 1961 vintage Minivac 601 computer. The really neat thing about these is that when running a program the relays are clicking, and the lights are blinking, etc. A real conversation piece. This unit is tested and fully functional, but due to it's age I'm selling it as-is."

Then you find some of the problems with it: "Let's talk about the problems that I have attempted to highlight in the photos, there are a few stains on the base paint, the frames of the relays have oxidized, and the most serious is a crack in the top panel that was difficult to photograph. It would be extremely simple to reinforce the crack if it's of great concern. None of these flaws affect operation in any way. One last item, the unit originally had 6 rubber feet, and now it has 5. Quite frankly, the method that was used to secure the feet on these should have been an embarassment to the company, but it is what it is and I'm not responsible."

Hint: When you buy vintage technology, I would always set your expectation low about the equipment working properly. In generally electronics will break down after a few decades, for example capacitors are notorious for going bad.

Monday, June 30, 2008

MITS Altair 680 For Sale on eBay

Here is something you don't see to often a MITS Altair 680 For Sale on eBay. This is not worth as much a MITS Altair 8800, but its worth a look. Here is an excerpt from the auction: "here is a neat vintage computer up for auction. you dont see many of these for sale and its in pretty nice condition too! this was from an estate and i am almost positive he was the original owner. i have powered it up and it seems to work (i was told that it did). all i have is the computer itself - i didnt get any documentation or software with it, sorry, but there is a lot of information about these on the net if you google it. you can get all the documentation and schematics and user manuals on the net. i got this with an mits imsai which i am going to auction later too. this thing has been sitting in a box put away for ages so i am unsure of its electrical condition, so it is sold as is, but i did have it powered up for quite awhile. winning bidder pays shipping cost and please be in touch within three days. please ask any questions if you like. and thank you for looking."

Apple Lisa 1 Restoration Project

This guy had an prototype Apple Lisa 1 with Twiggy drives (5.25" floppy drives, known for being unreliable) donated to him. This computer would be the prize for any computer collection. Check out the photos on this site, they're pretty detailed.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

eBay Sale: IMSAI 8080 Computer

eBay had a very complete IMSAI Computer system available for about $2000. It really was one of the most complete systems I have seen there for a long time. I would check out this eBay page before its gets cleared off the system.

Here is an excerpt from the auction: "This IMSAI Computer system was purchased and constructed in the late 1970’s. It was used in the office of a small company to handle bookkeeping and inventory.

This system was used daily right up to the day that more advanced computers came available, that our office eventually purchased. This system has been carefully stored for almost 30 years and I hope the pictures reflect that. All items have the basic wear of items with this much age behind them. There are no dents – bangs – or deep scratches on the hardware - the manuals and floppy disks were stored in dry location with no water or mold damage."

Monday, June 23, 2008

One tonne 'Baby' marks its birth

BBC NEWS reports: "Sixty years ago the 'modern computer' was born in a lab in Manchester.

The Small Scale Experimental Machine, or 'Baby', was the first to contain memory which could store a program.

The room-sized computer's ability to carry out different tasks - without having to be rebuilt - has led some to describe it as the 'first modern PC'."

You might say we have come a long way. Check out the video on the page to see how far.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Charles Babbage's Difference Engine

The Difference Engine was an accurate mechanical calculator designed by Charles Babbage in the 1840s, but was never built in its inventor's lifetime. Here, its modern builder explains how it works.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Come Work At Bell Labs (Recruiting Video)

The video contains every example of why you should higher engineers to do your recruiting videos. They just make you want to come to work at Bell Labs (all being said sarcastically).

I am assuming the video is from the late 70's early 80's because of the R2D2 reference.

Friday, May 30, 2008

WarGames W.O.P.R. For Sale

A replica of the original W.O.P.R. from the movie WarGames that was commissioned for an AT&T commercial was for sale on eBay. Here is an except from the eBay auction: "The W.O.P.R unit is big! Nine feet long, five feet deep and five foot two and a half inches high. All systems are fully operational and there is a removable access panel to gain entry to the electronics inside. Has been found in storage in a Hollywood wharehouse where it has been since it was recreated for a 2006"

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Grand Theft Auto for the NES

The most violent game on the original Nintendo, besides Duck Hunt. (This is a Parody)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

AT&T E4540 Terminal

Sales tape for the E4540 line of mainframe terminals from AT&T.

The UNIX Connection - AT&T Executive Account Briefing

AT&T UNIX PC Model 7300 "The UNIX Connection" Account Executive Briefing 1985 AT&T Information Systems --- Salesman's companion video to the "UNIX Connection" customer video. A Sam Spade type of character takes you around the 3B1 (Model 7300) UNIX PC, taking it real slow, introducing the mouse, the windows, the pointer, the modem port, etc.

AT&T's The Unix Connection

AT&T Promotional video for the Model 7300 aka 3B1 aka UNIX PC. Silly fictionalized format with Sam Spade type of detective character trying to get to the bottom of this crazy new UNIX thing. Lots of good shots of old PCs and good, pure AT&T UNIX!

Commodore - Creativity in the Classroom

Promotional video for the Commodore Amiga.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Heathkit HERO JR Robot Original and UNBUILT Heath Kit - eBay (item 300224452068 end time May-17-08 18:08:51 PDT)

Below is an excerpt from an eBay auction for an interesting piece of technology history (background): "Up for auction is a Heathkit HERO JR robot kit - straight out of 1984 and amazingly unbuilt. I recently picked this up with the intention of building it myself and turning the HERO JR into my personal servant; however, I definitely don't have the time it requires to assemble, program, and troubleshoot. So, I offer this kit up to you. Here's the deal. The gentleman I got this from purchased it new in 1984, poked around some of the boxes and components, started a little work on it, then packed it up nicely not to be seen again until 2008. He had no reason to believe that anything was missing and, while I can't be 110% sure, I've been through the package several times and everything seems to be in order."
Note: These posts are not meant as recommendations of the items, or seller. If you choose to bid on the item do so at your own risk.


Below is an excerpt from an eBay auction for an interesting piece of technology history (background): "A 1999 first generation AIBO ERS-110 robot dog! This is an incredibly rare model of the highly sought after AIBO dog. In fact, this is the VERY first model of the AIBO robot dog. Not very many of these were ever produced making them VERY difficult to come by. It is metallic grey and retailed for $2500."
Note: These posts are not meant as recommendations of the items, or seller. If you choose to bid on the item do so at your own risk.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Atari Stacy Laptop computer Stacy4 ST (Rare)

Below is an excerpt from an eBay auction for an interesting piece of technology history (background): "This auction is for a Atari Stacy 4 or Stacy4 Laptop computer. Based on the specifications it has 4 megs of ram. It may or may not have a hard drive. I don't know how to check."
Note: These posts are not meant as recommendations of the items, or seller. If you choose to bid on the item do so at your own risk.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Vintage Apple Macintosh II IIfx Computer

Below is an excerpt from an eBay auction for an interesting piece of technology history (background): "You are bidding on this machine for parts, but please note that it does work. Here’s the scoop: At first the machine was dead, so I tested the power supply fuses for continuity (both were good). I then tested the mainboard batteries. One was reading 3.67v, the other was dead. I then installed a fresh battery, and the machine booted. Please note that I can’t supply that second battery (I need it for another machine; the one you need is a 3.6v 1/2 AA, but if you’re looking at this, you probably know that already!). When it booted, all I got was a picture of a floppy with a question mark (I assume that the hard drive is either stuck or has nothing on it, but it seemed to be making the usual spinning noises). Also, the video was cutting in and out (floppy icon, then black screen, then icon, etc), but I was using an adapter with dip switches to hook it up to my flat panel Viewsonic. I have no idea as to the proper dip switch settings (all were on), so that may have been the issue."
Note: These posts are not meant as recommendations of the items, or seller. If you choose to bid on the item do so at your own risk.

Model 1 Computer System Complete Drives Printer TRS-80

Below is an excerpt from an eBay auction for an interesting piece of technology history (background): "TRS-80 computer system with keyboard/CPU, expansion interface, monitor, two 1/2 height 5 1/4 disk drives in a single enclosure, TRS-DOS manual, level II basic manual, expansion interface manual, RS-232 option manual, TRS-80 IB modem (untested, no land line), printer and all of the cables. All components except the modem are guaranteed to be working well. The memory is at the maximum size of 48K. The disk drives are double sided double density (supported by some third party DOSs, compatible with single side TRSDOS). Does not have the double density disk controller option. The disk drive enclosure and drives are third-party parts. The Okidata Microline 80 printer is compatible with the Model 1 character and graphics set and includes 4 ribbons. The new ribbons are not tested and could be dry by now. Software disks includes TRSDOS, Newdos 80 for the model 1, a games disk and a utility disk with assorted programs."
Note: These posts are not meant as recommendations of the items, or seller. If you choose to bid on the item do so at your own risk.

Vintage Digital DEC Rainbow Computer Model PC 100 - B

Part of a new feature for this site, I am going to start to post links to interesting items that I find on eBay. I will try to post only unique items or ones with interesting history.

Below is an excerpt from an eBay auction for an interesting piece of technology history (background): "Vintage Digital Equipment Corporation Rainbow Computer. Model PC 100 - B. It is clean with no musty or bad odors. The top is discolored - you can see the outline of books that sat on top of it. It's very heavy, about 32 or 33 pounds. I have no idea if it still works, so I'm selling it 'as is'. If you need me to take a close up picture of any part, I would be happy to. Buyer pays actual shipping. I accept PayPal, money order or check. Thank you for looking!"
Note: These posts are not meant as recommendations of the items, or seller. If you choose to bid on the item do so at your own risk.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Microsoft says it's time to kill Smart Watches

BetaNews reports: "While SPOT devices were released to great fanfare four years ago, the company says it will stop selling new watches.

Smart watches with the MSN Direct service have sold out, and the company has no intentions of producing new models. It says however, that it would continue to seek out new channels for the SPOT technology."

If you are looking for new vintage technologies to collect, this is a new item that you can add to your collection.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Milliways: Infocom's Unreleased Sequel to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reports: "Milliways: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, the unreleased sequel to Infocom's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. For the first time, here's the full story: with never-before-seen design documents, internal emails, and two playable prototypes. Sit back, this might take a while."

Are you a fan of the old text adventure games like Zork, or the Leather Goddesses of Phobos (although I never played it, but I did know about it)? According to this site you can now play an unreleased sequel to Infocom's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Windows 95 Promotional Video

Promotional tape for several early Windows 95 applications. This was sent to retailers for the Windows 95 launch.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Think Were a Clone Now

This video was shot in front of Apple's head quarter by Apple employees. The Apple CEO then, Michael Spindler decided to license the Macintosh technology to computer manufactures to create authorized Mac clones.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dinosaur Sighting: The Atari 2600 Video Computer System

TechRepublic reports: "Video games are a multi-million dollar business these days. But this booming industry owes much of its current success to a simple little console first sold in October 1977 called the Atari 2600 Video Computer System. By today's standards, Atari games are not much to look at, but their simple game play is still addictive, especially when nostalgia for this dinosaur gaming console kicks in."

Here is another TechRepublic Photo Gallery, and this time they're covering the Atari 2600. This was the first game console I ever owned.

By todays standards, wrist watches are more powerful then this device.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

ATARI Games (commercial)

Monkey Dust - The internet is expanding!

Behind the scenes of a typical ISP.

Interview: Gordon E. Moore

SEMI (the semiconductor manufacturing equipment trade group) reports: "Gordon Moore is the retired chairman and CEO of Intel Corporation, which he co-founded in 1968. He became president and CEO of Intel in 1975 and held that post until elected chairman and CEO in 1979. Moore remained CEO until 1987 and was named chairman emeritus in 1997. Prior to Intel, Moore co-founded of Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and had started his career in the semiconductor industry at Shockley Labs in 1956. Moore is widely known for “Moore’s Law,” a 1965 prediction that the number of components on a computer chip would double every year. Moore earned a bachelor’s in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1950 and a Ph.D. in chemistry and physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1954. He received the National Medal of Technology in 1990 and the Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, from George W. Bush in 2002."

This interview is part of an on-going oral history project at SEMI. If you would like to learn about early semiconductor history, you might enjoy reading this.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008

Featured Vintage Collector's Video

Jeremy Mehrle has turned the basement of his St. Louis home into one of the best private Apple Macintosh computer collections that I am aware of. All of these machines are fully-functional so you can see how the old operating systems worked. Some of the highlights of his collection are an Apple Lisa, a 20th Anniversary Macintosh, and a NeXT computer.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Video: The Colossus WWII codebreaking machine reports: "Bletchley Park was the secret home to Britain's top codebreakers during World War II. The base is now home to the fledgling National Museum of Computing, which features a rebuild of the world's first electronic codebreaking computer - Colossus."

This is the best information I have seen on Colossus computer. I have new respect for this machine. Watch the video.

Dinosaur sightings: The Osborne 1 and the TRS-80 huggable luggables

TechRepublic reports: "When it comes to dinosaur computers in the luggable category the first name that should always be mentioned is the Osborne 1. We can talk about innovation with the Air, but we should first consider a PC that was truly revolutionary back in 1981. The Osborne 1 was the first completely self-contained portable computer.

Coming along a few years later was the Radio Shack TRS80 Model 4P, which refined the concepts laid out by the Osborne 1 and made lugging a computer from here to there a common every day reality for many."

I have a Osborne 1 in my personal collection, but I never heard of a Radio Shack TRS80 Model 4P. I like the TRS80 Model 4P keyboard design, it was much better then the Osborne.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 - Play Nintendo 8-bit Games Online lets you play classic 8-bit Nintendo video games online, and no software downloads are required. The site is pretty slow, but if you're patient it will load.

The games do require that you have Java installed on your computer in order to run them.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Interview wtih Jonathan Ive (Apple's Famous Product Designer)

A rare interview with Jonathan Ive. The main designer behind Apple's most famous products from the early iMac to the iPod.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ten years old: the world's first MP3 player

Register Hardware reports: "The MP3 player is ten years old this month. The first commercially released personal music player capable of handling MP3 files was the MPMan F10, manufactured by Korea's Saehan Information Systems and launched in March 1998."

Here is a history of some of the very first MP3 players.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Arcade Games Make A Comeback reports "Yes, the Xbox is more high-tech. But a new wave of game players is bringing home something even more special -- old-style arcade games.

When David Ellis was in high school, he, like millions of other teenagers, became mesmerized by video games. That was back in the 1980s, however, when the most popular place to play a video game was in an arcade."

Every few months I read more and more articles discussing the popularity of collecting vintage technology. So you want to finish collecting what you want while you still can...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Cracking Open the classic Motorola StarTAC flip phone

TechRepublic reports: "Remember the legendary Motorola StarTAC? Released in 1996, it was the smallest cell phone available, and the first to feature the now-ubiquitous clamshell design. It was also the first mobile to sport the vibrate option. In addition, in 2005 it was number six on PCWorld's 'Top 50 Gadgets of the last 50 years.' Not too shabby. Naturally, we had to crack one open."

Want to see the inside of a Motorola StarTAC flip phone? Now is your chance.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Jeff Bezos: After the gold rush, there's innovation ahead

The dot-com boom-and-bust is often compared to the 1849 Gold Rush, and founder Jeff Bezos offers historical evidence showing how similar they were: from the riches made by pioneers to the media hype that attracted luckless speculators. But a better analogy can be found in the early days of the electric industry, he shows us. His conclusion in 2003: "I believe there's more innovation ahead of us than behind us."

Filmed Feb 2003

Remington-Rand Present the UNIVAC

UNIVAC is one of the earliest commercial computers and was easily the most famous computer of the 1950s. This film, produced between 1950 and 1952, shows how the UNIVAC computer was used in business, defense and by the census. The film shows several of the important portions of the UNIVAC system at work, including the high-speed printer, the UNISERVO tape drive, the UNITYPER, card readers and the mercury delay line tanks that served as main memory. The programming process is fully discussed and a business problem is demonstrated. These films served a promotional film as well as a way to demystify computers to the average person.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cracking open the Commodore 64

TechRepublic reports: "For many of us, the first computer we can remember having was the Commodore 64. For me the Commodore 64 replaced an Intellivision console and I was intrigued by the ability to not only play games but to also connect to an online community via a 300 baud modem. The Commodore 64 was extremely powerful in its day and we can still marvel at the beauty of its simple design in this TechRepublic Cracking Open."

If you have never seen inside a Commodore 64 then, the article provides a fairly closeup view of the devices inner-workings.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Dinosaur sightings: The Commodore 64

TechRepublic reports: "For many of us in the baby-boom generation, the first computer we can remember having in our homes was the famous Commodore 64. In the early 1980s, this was a very successful home personal computer. It was the first computer I had that not only played games but also had word processing and a modem for downloading free and shareware applications. In many ways, the Commodore 64 was the pioneer of everything we take for granted in a personal computer world today. After soaking in some nostalgia, we plan to Crack Open this C64 to see what makes it tick."

Here is another golden oldie from the 80's.

Dinosaur sightings: The Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer (CoCo)

TechRepublic reports: "Before Microsoft and Bill Gates took control of the personal computer market, personal computers such as the Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer (aka CoCo) were all the rage. The Model 3134 TRS-80 shown in this TechRepublic Photo Gallery, came with a whopping 16K or RAM memory. Our TRS-80 CoCo is slated for a Cracking Open Gallery in the near future."

Meet the Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer (aka CoCo). I still remember when Radio Shack was selling these in their stores.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

: Retro Arcade Gaming Fan Heaven Is Worth Infinite Quarters

Game Valhalla reports: "Peter Hirschberg has just finished his stunning retro-gaming heaven, a Valhalla for the best arcade video games ever. His Luna City Arcade has 57 fully-restored arcade classics, which span from Asteroids to Zaxxon, plus a whole load of pinballs. Amazingly enough, he does all this on his own dime, for the love of it. This personal museum is open now to the public by invitation only, and the best thing: entrance and quarters are completely free for his guests. Check the video, huge gallery and the interview with Peter after the jump."

Very impressive collection of video games...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Evolution of TV

See the TV model trends of the last century. It has a pretty interesting evolutionary path.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Micro-T (Modern Retro Cell Phone)

If you like vintage technology, but don't want to give up all the inconveniences of modern cell phone(such as SMS, web browsing, and more). The Micro-T is modeled after an older Motorola 3200/3300 brick cell phones with a lot of modern bells and whistles.

RETROBRICK is offering the: "Micro-T phone which is identical to the Motorola 3200 and 3300 but has the advantage of using the latest brand new modern circuitry. So essentially this is a retro phone which can be used everyday with all the features of a modern phone."

Software:Altair 32 Emulator

Have you ever wanted to play with your Altair 8800 computer? Now you can virtually play with or program Altair 8800 using this software emulator for Windows.

Intellivision Ad: BurgerTime

1983 Commercial for BurgerTime on the Intellivision video game system.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Apple Switch Ad (Ellen Feiss)

This ad was part of Apple's 2002 'Switch' campaign that got a great deal of attention because the actress Ellen Feiss appeared to be stoned. She eventually revealed that she was tired and taking Benadryl. She still became an Internet phenomena for a little while.

Apple's 1984 Commercial

This commercial is a master piece in my mind, it's one of the best I have ever seen.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Wonderful World of Early Computing

Neatorama reports: "The history of computing spans thousands of years - from the primitive notched bones found in Africa, to the invention of abacus in 2400 BC, to Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine in 1883, to the rise of the popularity of Personal Computers (PCs) in the 1970s. For the most part, this timeline is marked by devices that bear little or no resemblance to present-day machines both in form and capabilities."

If you would like to learn about some of the earliest computing machines check out this article.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Magnavox Odyssey TV Commercial (February 1973)

A commercial from The Carol Burnett Show aired 2/10/73 for the the Magnavox Odyssey, the first home video game console system.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Macintosh Marketing Story: Fact and Fiction, 20 Years Later

It was the autumn of 1983. Business Week magazine had an IBM personal computer on its cover, with the ominous words, And the winner is...IBM. Apple Computer was in a world of hurt. The Apple II had lost its competitive edge. The Apple III was a sales disappointment and the Lisa, introduced in January 1983, was a financial failure. Great expectations were being placed on the Macintosh, scheduled to launch on January 24, 1984. Yet there was skepticism both in and outside the company. There was no hard disk support. The screen was too small and it wasn't in color. There was limited software. The engineers knew it. The software guys knew it. And Steve Jobs knew it. The challenge for the Mac Marketing Team was simple: They had to establish and hold a beachhead. Or else they and the product would die. The introduction of the Macintosh computer launched a comprehensive and integrated approach to high-tech marketing. Much of what was highly innovative in 1984 is now standard fare for all product introductions. Join us as six key members of the Macintosh launch team tell the inside stories behind one of the most insanely great product launches of all times.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

We Are Apple (Leading The Way)

This was a corporate song that was used during the Macintosh rollout in January, 1984. It was played in Manhattan, before Steve Jobs took the stage to introduce the Macintosh and the new line of Lisa computer systems.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Featured Vintage Collector's Video

Peek and Poke retro computer club/museum on Croatian national television. The video is not in English, but the collection is pretty impressive.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

10 Incredible Old Computer Ads

Just like the title say, there are 10 really old computer ads. I found the first ad to be most interesting, but not to discount the other ads. It was from a company called System Industries, offering 80MB for $12K, and 300MB for $20K.

Side note: I did work for System Industries before they went out business in the early 90s.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Rarest and Most Valuable N64 Games reports: "Do you have a bunch of old game sitting in your closet that you’d like to trade in for a stack of cash? Or are you on the hunt for the most desirable games for your collection? In stark contrast to the Cheapest Games series, This new series will round up the rarest and most valuable games for a given console or handheld so you’ll know what to look for whether you are buying or selling."

Make money off your old games if you have them...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Featured Vintage Collector's Video

Vintage Apple Computers

The 50 Greatest Arcade Cabinets In Video Game History! reports: "Seeing classic arcade game machines lined up next to each other is an easy way to have a wave of nostalgia smack you in the face harder than a hurled barrel compliments of Donkey Kong himself. It brings you back to a time when games were simple, fun, and fairly cheap to play for the most part. Whether it was laughing at how all the enemies bullets traveled 75% slower than your own or enjoying the cheesy digitized voices, there's no denying the classic games had something special."

I remember playing some of these machines when I was a kid. Although, some of them I have never seen before.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Images: 10 most important games of all time

CNET reports: "Video games, like movies, are worth preserving and studying as cultural artifacts. So says Henry Lowood, curator of the History of Science and Technology Collections at Stanford University, who together with game designers Warren Spector and Steve Meretzky; academic researcher Matteo Bittanti; and game journalist Christopher Grant came up with a list of the 10 most important video games of all time. Lowood presented the list at the Game Developers Conference in early March."

Interesting trip down the video game memory lane.