The most original use of an apple since Adam!?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Retrostarscream, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. Retrostarscream macrumors member

    Retrostarscream

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    #1
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    There's a number of vintage computer ad sites on the net, some more mac focused, others for the IBM PC and come generic old sites

    Brings back memories when these were cutting edge
     
  3. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #3
    We were recently talking about prices at work:

    My first 5MB personal hard drive cost me $800.

    At that price per MB, a 1 TB drive would've cost $160 million (!!)

    Amazing.

    Fifteen years ago I was designing some of the first Settop Box APIs. We had a realtime MPEG encoder that cost over $100,000. We also were messing with Video On Demand, and had a tall cabinet with an array of drives totalling something like 1GB. It also cost over $100,000.
     
  4. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #4
    Which computer is this? I've seen it in someone's collection before. It's a pretty ugly thing!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    That's probably not a computer itself, but just a "dumb terminal" (aka "green screen") used for text-based input and output.

    Most terminals had a 80x24 (or 25 line) alphanumeric display, and were controlled by sending an escape sequence to it telling where to place the cursor and then sending the character(s) to place starting there.

    They usually were hooked to a computer via an RS232 port running at 19.2kbps.

    Almost all personal computers included a similar terminal mode for years.

    More pics and some info in this visual article about computing's early years.

    In the early days of personal computing, it was a sign of cool to own a dumb terminal of your own. I had a surplus ADM3A (similar to the one pictured, but without the numerical keypad) I got from Duke for about $100 back around 1980. They originally sold for $1000 built or slightly cheaper as a kit in 1977.

    Most people here probably remember dumb terminals from the scenes in the 1983 movie "War Games" with Matthew Broderick.
     
  6. R94N macrumors 68020

    R94N

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    #6
    The past 10 years or so have seen more innovation in technology than there's ever been. It's amazing.
     
  7. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

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    #7
    A favorite of mine:

    [​IMG]

    I had a pretty good set up including zaxxon on cassette tape
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    Here's my first computer ever and it still holds a place in my hear
    [​IMG]
     
  9. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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  10. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    Ah, a CoCo. That explains your good taste in tech :)

    Ever run OS-9 on it?
     
  11. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #11
    In the 1970s I worked on 256k (36bit core memory) mainframe memory that cost 200k. On the same machine the 6 board 4 kbyte cache option cost 100k. But I'll say this... you could put 500 timesharing users on those machines with pretty decent performance... and a lot of colleges did.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    I also remember playing adventure on my second computer - the IBM PC. I remember seeing
    and thinking this is the height of hi tech gaming - a rich, large immersive game :)

    Thanks to a member posting a link here ar MR, I can experience this hi tech game once again.
     
  13. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    This is an example of the machine I used to work on as a technician back in the 70s. I probably signed my name on the back of 200 of them before they left the factory. A system like this could run you well over a million dollars. The memory maxed out at 4meg of 36 bit words or about 34 mbytes of memory. The power cords on these things were thicker than your wrist and when you powered one on it made a loud boom sound.

    http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/cudec20.html

    If you take a look at the floor plan note the star coupler, hsc50, ra81. I joined engineering in the early 80s and was part of the design team that worked on the 'klipa' project aka CI20. This was first demonstrated at the 1985 decus in Cinncinati. It was the beginning of VAXClusters a very successful product for Digital Equipment Corp.
     
  14. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #14
    Reminds me of the Pulitzer Prize winning book "Soul of a New Machine" (which hopefully every geek here has read).

    You want BIG computers, though? Back when I was in Military Intelligence, I visited one of the last working SAGE anti-aircraft control sites. What an anachronism! 55,000 tubes in each 1/2 acre-sized machine, and there were TWO of those computers at each site, with its own generator floor to power them.

    I remember seeing racks of spare tubes at the end of each module row, so techs could swap them on the fly.

    (SAGE was our main line of defense from Soviet bombers from the 1950s to the 1980s. Operators could point and click a light gun on a giant scope to choose fighter-intercepters to send after each bomber. Talk about early "touch" computing games.)

    I think the movie WarGames actually helped doom SAGE, as the fake NORAD setup in the movie was so far advanced beyond real life, the USAF was embarrassed.
     
  15. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #15
    It's also interesting to look at old websites on archive.org
    Here's Apple's website in 1997.

    I liked that part at the bottom of the page.
     
  16. Mal67 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    My first computer was the vic 20 with its huge 5k of memory. Luckily we got the 16k expansion cartridge not long after.......Are you keeping up with the commodore coz the commodore is keeping up with you...:)
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #17
    Of course, I had a dual floppy disk set up
     
  18. steve2112 macrumors 68040

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    #18
    I prefer Zork. It had grues in it. :)

     
  19. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #19
    We played (1979 - 1982 or so) these games on the DECSystem 20 (running TOPS20)

    Dungeon.exe (this was really zork but they couldn't call it that for some reason)
    Adventure.exe
    Haunt.exe (I've never found this again)
    Startrek - this was a realtime shooter with 4 klingon vessels and 4 federation vessels in 3d space circa 1982 running on TOPS20. Eight humans could play in real time. Basically you were sitting in the captains chair looking at the viewing window (just like the original startrek tv show from the 60s. When your ship took a hit... the whole screen flashed and shook. The graphics and game play were way ahead of their time in this very cool game.

    You needed to have a graphics terminal. I had a vt125.
     
  20. cimbom macrumors newbie

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    Nov 19, 2010
    #20
    I remember most of them
    How expensive they were;)
     

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