Do you remember? Fire up the Time Flux Capacitor…

eniac1Gadgeteers I need your help!!! 🙂

After some discussions about PalmPilot handhelds in the comments section I thought why don’t we do a weekly series about technology we used to use ?

This will allow us all to reminisce about technologies past , show the young’ uns what we had to put up with ( “Luxury,  I remember when I were a lad… ” )  and hopefully stimulate some nostalgic conversations. Lets face it, some of these were basically the ancestors of what we use today.

Some of the thoughts I had:

  • Ipaq H Series Ipaqs
  • IBM’s non-IBM compatible PS2 series
  • Cassette Tapes ( was going to do 8 track but I’m not that old 🙂 )
  • Nintendo NES
  • Laser Disc
  • Nintendo Game and Watch
  • IRC
  • Casio Databanks
  • Sony Walkman
  • The VHS/Beta War
  • BBSs

Looking for ideas of other things that we could post. I couldn’t afford all that technology, some wasn’t available in Australia, and my memory’s not as good as it used to be  so need your assistance.

Either message me or chuck in a comment, but in the comments don’t start reminiscing, leave that till your “Do You Remember” is posted. 🙂

32 thoughts on “Do you remember? Fire up the Time Flux Capacitor…”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. The phrasing of “IBM’s non-IBM compatible PS2 series” is a little misleading. As I recall, the PS/2 series was perfectly compatible with other x86 machines in terms of software. The only difference was the microchannel architecture, and the replacement of the bulky AT keyboard connector with the PS/2 connector that every other PC manufacturer adopted until it was phased out in favor of USB.

    Are you perhaps thinking of the PC Jr., which actually did have software compatibility issues?

  3. Intellivision, Colecovision, Atari, Commodore 64, Space Invaders, Asteroids, Casio Calculator Watch (Digital watches for that matter), Luggable Computers (Predecessor of the Laptop and weighing in at 13lbs+), Handheld Coleco Football (Was in the original Tron as well), Arcades at the Mall (Who could forget them and the quarters they sucked down), Dragon Quest, Mini Disc, lap belts in the back of the car – the way back in the wagon….Reel to Reel Tape recorders….Ok, that is enough from me!

  4. Timex data link watch syncs to your contacts via flashing codes on computer screen (was available in Australia)

    Atari game console (with the big cartridges)

    Sharp Wizard personal organizers

    Red LED digital watches

    Four function calculators for $100

  5. Apple Newton – I had an MP130. There were some things about the user interface that were very unique and that I still prefer over the palm pilot and blackberry. Now that I am thinking about it, there was a pop-up menu that iPhone Home screen reminds me of.

    I sold it in craigslist some time ago, otherwise I dig it up and compare to the iPhone. I believe there are other similarities, like the way multi-tasking is handled…

    It was cool device in it’s day.

  6. (edit of above comment) that should be:

    pop-up menu that the iPhone Home screen reminds me of.

    and before the grammar police pounce:

    It was cool device in its day.

  7. The “cassette tape” item give me an idea.

    There could be a “series within a series” on just different storage media over the years – both audio storage AND data storage.

  8. BBS “Bulletin Board System” precursor to the IRC …
    Use to run one, using Wildcat software, mine was a node, carriied Usenet, Fidonet, etc.
    well before http://www...

  9. You chaps are just not OLD enough… 🙂

    How about the slick, elegant punch-card transcription desks we used to write programs at for the IBM 360 in the 1970s ? Lovely old Fortran IV (and WatFiv ?) – not to mention PL/1 for the modern-minded programmer of those days.

    But the true “sound of the computing past” in my head is the unforgettable “chat-chat-chatter” of the dear old ASR33 Teletypes. Blasting along at the white-hot speed of a whole 110 bits/second (with a mechanical bit serialiser inside, can you imagine that ?), we used to use those for RJE – remote job entry – when working on another institution’s computers.

    And the 8080 ? On the day I left college, I remember a friend talking about what good value those early microprocessors were becoming.. he was gearing up to spend a whole £35 (about a month’s rent in London in 1976) on one..

    And the “Winchester Disc”. Anyone remember that ? and also why it was called a Winchester ? Because the very first ones (8″) had two 30 megabyte platters and in the USA, were called model 3030 .. which in the US is synonymous with the Winchester rifle.

  10. @andy – nah, was thinking of the PS2 series with their MCA architecture. Yes you are correct software wasn’t an issue but you couldn’t use an “IBM-Compatible” board in an IBM for a while. 🙂

    @ Mike – some of us are really showing their age 🙂 While not quite that…umm. “experienced” I remember upgrading a lab of NEC APCIVs with 10MB hard drives and my PalmPilot 1000 had 512KB of memory ( I upgraded from the 128KB module 🙂 )

    @ Everyone else….thanks for the suggestions guys. Some of them are US only products so might need to enlist some US side helpers….. I thought I’d get a few suggestion but wowsers !!!! 🙂

  11. IQ Voice Organizer, Velo 1, Nino, Sharp Wizard with software cartridges, Voice Pagers, Late 80’s cellular phones (30 minutes of talk time! and 28 ozs. I sold those and have a bunch of stories on early adopters), Nickle Cadmium, 8-Track bomb plungers, and who can forget the “Gnaw-thing”- the only technology available for most of us when we left the house in the mid-80’s, the first non-AT&T home phones of the early 80’s…

  12. Another little random bit of niche technology: the AT&T Unix PC, Unix for the desktop pre-Linux. I used one as a personal UUCP email node for a while in college, and still have it somewhere. I wonder if it still boots? I even have the relatively rare Ethernet card for it… who else remembers when Ethernet boards used a DB-connector and an external transceiver (probably connected via a spike tap to an inch-thick yellow coax in the ceiling)?

  13. A US Robotics Palm Pilot
    US Robotics Courier 2400 Modem, with the entire manual printed on the bottom of the case.

  14. Early desktops where specs always read “IBM Compatible,” (Zeos, Northgate, etc.), GWBasic, QuickBasic, cassette storage, 5.25″ floppies. BBS’s where I remember getting a call from our finance department at work asking why I had called Canada (I believe) for so long and so late at night (for an updated video driver). Then to the mobile world of Palm and eventually my beloved Dell Axim (and cursed ActiveSync) and PocketBreeze (which is now making an Android comeback).

  15. Heck, I’m only in my 50’s, but I remember FOUR track tapes!
    Worked in a tv shop in the 70’s…fondly remember the war between beta & vhs. Thought you were really with it if your car had an under the dashboard Pioneer KP-500 fm + 8 track, pumping a HEFTY FOUR WATTS of power into a pair of Jensen 6×9 coaxial speakers! I can still hear the distortion LOL.

  16. You know it is funny that you bring this up. I started a blog with 2 friends about this very topic. I collect the old stuff like PDAs. I even have a Palm Pilot Professional sitting on my desk at the moment. I don’t want to spam, but I am looking forward to this.

  17. Lets maybe throw some Sun action in there…. I didn’t know a computer goober in the day that didn’t long for a Sparc 10 or 20 to fiddle with. The old PDP series DECs …… maybe do a whole series of articles on the myriad TTY terminals. And we gotta at some point bring up Heatkit’s variety of TRUE DIY computer and other gadgety options.

  18. Amiga! Can’t believe no-one reminisces about those. One of the first popular home computers, major innovation re GUI’s etc, and a staple of the video industry…

    Psion organisers, especially the series3 was a must-have item.

    Even modems to a certain extent; the little tune they played when connecting at 9600baud. A second vote for BBDs and Fidonet 😉 The era when the internet wasn’t the only net!

  19. Vic 5 Computer (w/ cassette tape storage) and the Kaypro (64K memory and two 5″ floppies with 180K each) — even bought a 2nd one for my wife.

  20. My senior project in college was done on a 4004 micro programmed in machine language using a hexadecimal keypad for input and punched paper tape for storage.

    I remember and actually ran DOS 2.0

    I have some old 8 inch floppies (along with every other version of floppies).

    My first modem was 300 baud and plugged into a Commodore 64.

  21. I’ve got a mint condition TI 99 4A at the house if anyone’s interested.

    I figure one day it’ll be worth…something?

  22. Sinclair had in its time avanced computers.

    I worked on a model with (as in other computers then) the computer in the keyboard plus a tapedeck in the same housing.

    It could take up to 45 minutes to load a programme from a tape to the computer … and how many times did it go wrong … and you’d end up with doing it all again … AHHHHHH !

  23. Apple II+, 2 floppy drives (5.25″), 16k card, 128k card, 300 baud Hayes Micromodem, Printer Interface, 80 column card. used to lock up after a couple of hours of use due to overheating (7 of 8 slots filled)

    moved from that to the original Compaq suitcase (9″ green screen and a 20Mb Hard drive)

  24. I remember staying up till all hours of the night typing programs into our Commodore 64…..only to have a power glitch wipe the entire thing out… that was until we got the Commodore 1541 5 1/4 inch disk drive and were able to store the programs… After that, any time we wanted to see a ball bounce across the bottom of our TV screen, we could….

    AHHHHH!!!! The good old days!!!

  25. Donald Schoengold

    Some things were still easier to do in DOS than in Windows. Have you tried doing a selective directory list and then dumping it to a printer.

    It was easy in DOS.

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