Sunday, July 31, 2011

Old Laptop From Liquor Store

Not too long ago, I was at the liquor store and noticed in the back corner a box full of older computer parts. I asked the store owner about it and he said that's his old equipment on the way out. I offered him $20 for the lot and he accepted. At this point, I could no longer buy the vodka I wanted but oh well. The most noteworthy item in the box was a Dell Latitude CPx laptop in great shape. This computer has a 500mhz Pentium III, WinXP Pro, 256mb PC100 SDRAM, 14" screen and an 8mb ATI video chipset. It's a nifty computer but, unfortunately, it's a little slow on the internet. It's somewhat funny. I once used a similar Dell but with a Pentium II (Latitude CPi) when it was brand new in late 1999 and thought it was absolutely great. Use a faster model ten years later and it almost feels primitive. It's funny how computers go like that. They age like us. It's brand new and great at first and you never actually notice it getting older and tarnished, it's something you just one day see. Just as businesses in the computer industry seem to move faster than any other businesses (they come and go so fast, change focus so often and must continue to find something new by the day whereas most other businesses can go quite some time simply building one reliable product), computers demonstrate the same aging we go through but on a much faster and more visible scale.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Modded my Vaio Z

I recently upgraded my Vaio Z to 8GB DDR3, and put a carbon-style skin to it.

It worked pretty nicely.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The time of Newton.

Well, long before iPhones came out, Apple had Sir Isaac Newton. ehem. not really, it was a PDA called Newton.

Check out the video for what it looked like.

video selected by Mikey Pizano posted by Tsubasa Kato

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Macintosh Portable

Here is a segment from Computer Chronicles on the Macintosh Portable from 1989, the year I was born.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Casio Cassiopeia E-700WE

Casio Cassiopeia E-700WE is the first PDA I bought back in 2001 or 2002. It runs Pocket PC 2000, has MIPS 150Mhz CPU, and 32MB RAM.

I used to play lots of music on this device, and used it when I cycled about 40km in Tokyo. I used to have an external charger I made, having 2500mAh of battery. E-700WE is probably the best PDA I will ever have, and is a treasure.

The Cassiopeia E-700WE is a limited color edition, the regular ones were named E-700.

The E-700WE does not make you think it runs on a mere 150Mhz CPU.

Get a English version of E-700 dubbed EM-500 from the link below!

Some old DAPs by Rio

DAP, the original name for "iPods" as most people call everything anymore. Digital Audio Players... They didn't do anything more then that folks! These are my 2 old Rio units. The first is a Rio Cali 256MB with a SD slot. It uses a single AAA battery. The second is a Rio 500, which is the first one that had USB! It also uses a plain off the shelf battery, AA in this case. It has 64MB of memory and a Smart Media slot for a total of 192MB! Wow I bet I will NEVER have that much music!

New Toy

Check this computer out, it's interesting... Last week, I saved from being thrown out a circa 2002 Fujitsu B2160 Lifebook. It's a little worn and has scuffs all over so it's not pretty anymore. Considering it was made in 2002 and was owned by a large sales firm, that's not surprising. Anyways, this sucker has a 30gb hard drive, 256mb ram, Windows XP SP3, 800mhz Tualatin core Pentium III and, coolest of all, a 1024x768 10" LCD touch screen. I love the small size and light weight but the touch screen is what really makes this thing nifty to me. Since most of what I do with computers is pretty light, this machine actually works well for me. Check out the photo posted; despite being almost a decade old this machine looks quite modern.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Trends, Failures and Spotlight on HP 95LX

It's amazing how much money, time and brain power goes into making computers right. In the late 90s and early 2000s, everybody had to have a PDA of some sort. However, we're still yet to get things right. However, now that Apple and Microsoft are losing their temporary shared monopoly, we're seeing more innovation which brings us closer to perfection though Apple and Microsoft do deserve credit as they can afford to put more effort into R&D and take more risks than most independent players. The PDA popular in the late 90s failed as did Microsoft's attempt to make tablets popular in the early 2000s. For a few years in the late 2000s, netbooks were the craze. Last year, everybody just had to have an iPad.

We see something new and amazing each year and must have it. Certain things, like the iPod, become a classic hit and stay with us. Other items, like Microsoft's attempt at popularizing Windows tablets in the early 2000s, fade to obscurity. However, the customers who must be part of a new trend serve a very important purpose. They don't just fund liability, development and research. They also are the first to be able to tell designers what's done wrong on a product. After so many years of this in repeat, we're able to see computers take a larger role in our personal lives than anyone imagined possible ten years ago. Maybe a concept doesn't truely fail but instead, it morphs or gets assimilated into another, refined concept. PDAs getting absorbed into smartphones or the rounding out of basic netbooks and tablets into the iPad and various Android devices. Who knows what we will see introduced to us next year.

Now, let's take a gander at an early attempt at truely mobile computing. In my last post, I mentioned a second computer was visible in the photo of my Macintosh Performa and here it is. A circa 1991 Hewlett Packard 95LX. This has an NEC V20, 512kb memory, runs MS-DOS 3.2 and is powered by a pair of AA batteries. It literally puts a PC in your pocket and is, more or less, just like running an original circa 1981 IBM PC. It also has a powerful business/graphic calculator and Lotus 123 (in the 80s and early 90s, 123 was THE spreadsheet software for PC) embedded into rom. Devices like this mostly served a niche purpose but paved the way to handheld devices we know and love now.

Clie NX70

Here is a picture of my Clie NX70. This is the limited edition gunmetal color. It has 16MB of RAM, OS 5.0, and a 200mhz CPU. The screen is a large 320x480 resolution, the same as the iPhone had, and this came out in 2002.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cardboard PC Case!

Okay, I found something interesting, maybe something one can do with all those PC cardboard boxes in the attic.

A PC case made from cardboard. Well, you've got to give it a try, after all, it's eco-friendly!

Image from Engadget

via Engadget

An Introduction and Spotlight On My Old Macintosh

Hello, I'm James Khoury, fellow nerd and retro enthusiast. The 1990s is my main focus as, being a growing kid back then, that's when computers happened to seem most exciting to me.

For my first post, I'll let everyone here have a gander at an ongoing project I started earlier this year. It's a circa 1994/1995 Macintosh Performa 630CD. It packs a powerful 33mhz Motorola 680LC040 cpu (68040 without an FPU), 36mb memory, 720mb hard drive and runs Mac OS 7.6.1. Since getting it, hard drive has been replaced as has the original cooling fan which was too loud for it's own good (definitely a nasty noise will spoil such a pretty machine). I use it for various documents as well as MIDI files and old games. However, my main reason for keeping it around is pure nostalgia. This computer is very similar to the LC575 systems that were in most classrooms of my elementary school.

Also, in the photo of this machine, there's another computer visible. It's black. Props to whoever spots and accurately identifies it before my next post.

8080 is Still Alive

It looks like this 8080 is Still Alive and singing a happy little song!

My Interesting Experience at a Shop in Akihabara

I'm going to share a short story about my experience at a shop in Akihabara.

The shop, with the sign that says "2nd Cheapest Shop in Akihabara", is a place where they sell computer parts in an underground floor. The first floor sells laptops, outlet digital cameras, and all sort of peripherals.

In the underground computer parts area, a person had a HP200LX and started typing all the memory prices into the device! And this was in 2010 or 2009!

I was really shocked!

Word Cloud Part #2

So I decided to make a Word Cloud again with all the words used in Classical Computing.

Made from tool found here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Super Monkey Kong - 8 x 8 LED game

Super Monkey Kong - 8 x 8 LED game, which I found today. Although it was made in 2009, it's still interesting.

Here's the video

Seems like 3000 lines of code was necessary for this game. Wow!

Well, I can't really tell which is the character just by looking at this picture, but you can sort of guess when you see the video on the above link.

via Engadget Japanese

Read The Manual

I found this and thought I would post a picture.

More coming soon!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Old Meets New: iPad and Mac Classic

Old Meets New: iPad and Mac Classic

Well, when old meets new, sometimes, it's a perfect harmony.

This might be the case with iPad and Mac Classic. No pun intended. lol

Friday, July 8, 2011

Commodore VIC-20

Commodore VIC-20 Ad with Captain Kirk.

I like how he comes into the scene.

selected for you by Mikey Pizano

posted by Tsubasa Kato

Classical PDA Usage

Last time I asked what use a classical computer might have to you, and I would like to add some more uses that I have for my old PDAs. You see I am that guy who has a cellphone that only gets used to actually call people. I have gone as far as having texting blocked off my phone because of all the spam I had been getting. I do not text and that means that a texting plan is a major rip off for me.

To say that I don't have a smartphone is sort of a lie really though. I have a few old Palm Treo devices after all. I have a Treo 600, a Treo 650, another Treo 650 with a broken screen and a Treo 680 that is now longer in one piece. I use these as a normal PDA. I have no reason to use them as a phone even though the two that I actually use are on Verizon network. I would find them much more useful if they had WiFi though.

The reason I like to use the old Treo devices is mainly for the fact that they have a good keyboard on them. In fact, I have typed this all up Treo 650. I do some minor work on the netbook after I get the main stuff typed up when I ready to post them. I use the netbook to spell check everything and make sure all the editing that may be required is finished up. Plus when you use the netbook, you have a much better spell checker, and you also have a grammar checker which can be very useful when doing something like this.

Another reason that I use the old Palm devices is for playing games. Even my oldest Palm, the Pilot Pro can play some games like Hard Ball, which is a breakout style game. I can also play basic card games such as Black Jack and Video Poker. While these games may not be as fun as say Fallout New Vegas, which is one of my favorite games, but they can pass the time very well when you need something to do.

Some of the newer ones that I have, such as my Palm M500 or Handspring Visor Pro can even play some better games despite the fact that are still not in color. I can play a very good solitaire game on them for example. Acid Solitaire is in my opinion the best solitaire game for Palm OS. I can even play some games like Bejeweled that have an older monochrome version floating around online.

The better of my Palm devices as far as games go would be the Treo 650 since it has a high resolution screen, Palm OS 5.4 and a 2GB SD card. I can play a lot of games on the Treo 650 and you can still find a lot of good software for the old Palm devices. You can easily find software for OS 3 and 4 on sites like as well.

The main usage for my old Palm devices has to be for reading EBooks though. The older of mine, such as the Visor, make for great EBook readers since they have monochrome screens. The Visor has to be the best though since it also uses AAA batteries. This means that it gets great battery life, even when using the backlight, with simple NIMH batteries. I can easily keep a set of spares charged up as well.

One of the other uses for them is that I have a full size keyboard for almost all of them. I have one for my Visor, Clie, and Palm universal connector. I also have two Bluetooth keyboards as well as one IR keyboard that only works on Palm OS 5 and Windows Mobile.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fishy Computing

Here is an old commercial with John Cleese for a Compaq Portable 2.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Google's old logo to new logo

How many of you remember seeing the old logo of Google?

Well, to tell you the truth, I don't really remember. I might have seen it in 1998, but I didn't use internet as much as I do now.

It's interesting how a logo represents a lot of things, and evolve over time.

Logo source credit:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Windows 95 - Revival !

This video made me really nostalgic. The HDD sound (emulated perhaps) brings me back to the days...

Also, the welcome sound that the Windows 95 produces is pretty cool now that you hear it. lol.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Retro Game That Makes You Nostalgic

I remember playing this Star Wars game called Dark Forces on my friend's old Mac about 8 years ago. It was only a demo, but at that time, I didn't really have any console games or a PC that was powerful enough to play games nicely, it was an unforgettable experience.

I really like the music, it makes it so retro when you listen to it now.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Classical Computer Usage

I want to start off by asking a question. What do you use old computers for? Why do you own a "classic" computer? Many people would probably say that they really have no idea why they have one. Maybe you found the laptop you had 10 years ago for school or work and thought that you could play around with it again for a bit. Maybe you have no need for anything newer and rather not spend money to replace something that still works fine for your needs.

There is another reason though that I am sure many people would say. There are people like me who collect older computers and electronics. Perhaps, like me, you were too young to really remember that 486 you had back in 1993. Perhaps you got rid of that old computer. I still have my first Packard Bell 486 somewhere in my attic and I am hoping that I can find it one of these days and set it up again.

Sometimes, it is funny to look back at what was once considered the bleeding edge of technology. Just look at how far we have come in the past 20 years or so now. What was once considered a huge amount of space is no longer even good enough for a digital camera let alone a computer. We now live in an age where our cell phones can hold 64GB of data. We used to think that a 250MB hard drive was something that we would NEVER fill. Well look at how the times change.

Who would have thought that in 20 years we would have music collections that can fill even the most spacious iPod or other MP3 players. I remember when I had my first PDA, a Sony Clie SJ33. I had 2 memory sticks that held 128MB. Back in 2003, those cards cost me 50 dollars each and they were not even Sony branded.

But the point is this post isn't really to talk about how we can need a 500GB hard drive on a netbook, but to talk about what use an older computer can be. What would we call a classic? A classic car usually is 25 years old or so depending on who you ask. We need to remember that computers get older a LOT faster than a car. We could consider a PowerPC G5 Macintosh a classic now even though it could run OS X 10.5 Leopard with ease.

Why would we consider this a classic? It is getting harder to find software, like Office or Photoshop, or even the official Mac version of Firefox that still support the aging PowerPC architecture. I have an old Power Macintosh G4 Quicksilver 2002. Even with a 933MHz G4 processor and 1.5GB of RAM and OS X 10.5 Leopard, I cannot watch flash videos on it without stuttering.

So to most people, a computer like this old Mac would be considered trash. I don't think so at all. I embrace it because it is old. I can still run Office 2004, iTunes 10, Thunderbird 3, a PowerPC build of Firefox, and even the software for syncing up my Palm PDAs. This computer is far from useless, and it is far from being my oldest computer for sure.

I have an old ThinkPad A20M that I was given by a friend. It has some minor issues like a fan problem. The fan can only work if I use software to control it. The battery is also 100% shot. It turns off if you even bump the power for a second. Why do I keep this? It has a great keyboard. That is one of the things I will use an older computer for.

I have been working on a novel on and off. I like to have a distraction free computer sometimes so I can have better focus on my ideas. I also have been typing up recipes from books for a while so I can have them stored on my computer for easier use.

Sure, I may have a nice netbook, and my desktop though 5 years old now still works great for everything I need, I can't say that I wouldn't mind a newer one. The thing is, for me, I see no real reason to need more then what I have right now.

The point I want to make is that if something can run even the simplest of text editors and I have a way to get files on the device and take them off, it can be useful to me. I often try and track down a keyboard for my old PDAs that I collect for this very purpose.

Old Powerbook Ad

Selected Specially for you by Mikey Pizano
posted by Tsubasa Kato

Selected Sites You should Visit. Part 1

Not necessarily all "classical", but here are some sites I selected which might interest you.

The 8515 – The Compact, Vehicle Mount Computer

Psion EP10

Mikey's 4MB Memory Stick

Japanese Site (Model K)