Hardware of Yore

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dstrauss, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 Editor-in-Chief of TechAndTiny Senior Member

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    Some may disagree and some may agree but this is a very interesting perspective on what has been allegedly the most underhanded monopoly in the PC hardware to date. AMD and Intel's very closely intertwined history may surprise you, especially the number of close calls AMD narrowly escaped after decades of drawn out lawsuits:
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
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  2. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    This is one of the COOLEST notebooks I ever owned - and was an extremely clever solution for the shrinking keyboards on ultrabooks:

     
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  3. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member

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    yeah, I miss the innovation that one used to get --- now it's much all just more of the same (save for some standouts such as the Lenovo Yoga Book (which if it'd allowed use of the active stylus on-screen I'd've not been able to resist), or the Acer 7 (nifty kickstand design)) --- apparently someone is going to bring the Palm Pilot brand back from the dead.
     
  4. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Incremental improvement is now all the rage, and Apple has been mastering that since the original MacBook Air. But then again, what would real innovation look like anymore?
     
  5. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    Acer is innovating with their liquid-cooling system. Lenovo tried (and frankly, failed) to innovate with the Yoga Book. Built-in kickstands, despite not being so great, are an innovation - tablets didn't used to have them. There was a short while manufacturers were trying dual displays.

    The lack of innovation is mainly because the tablet and laptop form factors are just so good. I hope the Surface Book and Porsche Book One form factor becomes the norm soon, powerful tablet with a small battery and a large battery-keyboard-dock seems ideal to me, even if neither the Surface nor the Porsche nailed the design.

    I can honestly say my current laptop is the best I've ever owned. It's only missing a wide-gamut 10-bpc display, which incidentally the Inspiron 15 7000 is going to have (wide-gamut at least, not sure about 10-bpc).

    Hate to be unimaginative but these incremental improvements are finally paying off. I've been waiting for a laptop like this since my 320x200 Toshiba laptop.
     
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  6. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    It's natural to have innovation in leaps and bounds when an industry is as young as the PC and Mobile PC industry was in the early 1990s. I remember the Thinkpad Butterfly keyboard but the price of the 701 was beyond that of a struggling young lawyer. I used my Z181 monochromatic notebook throughout the early 1990s. The Zenith was a real innovation from the early luggable portable PC's with 9" orange monochromatic displays (I think the one in my school's computer lab was a Compaq). My first thinkpad was the 570 docked to an ultrabase. It was a vast improvement over anything that had come before. If I recall, the weight was under 5lbs. If you think about it, innovation slowed quite a bit from that device to my beloved X301 which shrunk to under 3lbs.
     
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  7. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    My pride and joy even in 2009 - the Thinkpad X61s - an ultrabook with IBM chops:

    [​IMG]

    What was really cool was the user upgradeable HDD, which eventually became a "faster than lightning" 100GB 2.5" SSD (wow, that cost a fortune - around $400 - now you can get a 400GB MICRO SDXC card for $249).
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
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  8. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Wanted to like my ThinkPad X61t --- but Vista spoiled it for me. Guess I should try again to put Linux on it --- really wish I'd gotten the 1400x1050 display, and had managed to get Mac OS X to use the stylus.
     
  9. Shizaru

    Shizaru Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I just posted this on another thread but it's probably more appropriate here so at the risk rapped knuckles for repeat posting here it is again...although slightly augmented.

    I had a couple of Toshiba T1200's and then I got a T1600 286 with a whooping 20Mb hard drive which was amazing at the time. Prior to that I had a couple of Zenith Super Sports if I remember correctly and they were really well made as well. I moved to PC's from BBC B's and Commodore 64's and 128's. My one and only Apple product was an Apple IIE. I used to sell Yamaha MSX's and Atari ST's but never owned either. They were the poor mans Apple back in the day for Musicians. I doubt many people remember the old MSX machines but they were actually pretty good and possibly a head of their time in some respects. The Yamaha hardware was very nicely built and they came in Black which was very cool amidst a sea of beige, even so they were a major fail sales wise in the UK. Atari ST's were killing it at the time within the music industry and gaming scene. I didn't get into the Amega either as PC's were the machine of choice for business purposes at least.

    Here's a blast or two from the past:



    I really like the Zenith machines I had. Those viewing angles were something else though.



    I hope you're admiring the refresh rate and the not so many shades of blue. :eek:

    and another



    I think I found the the one I had, which was a 386 things really felt like they had really moved on from 8086 and 8088's. I seem to remember AMD were really starting to make some great Athlon processors around this time, which I used in desktop builds.



    I was a Toshiba fan boy back in the day, but that was the last Tosh I had, apart from a brief spell with a Portage a couple of years back. The T3000's were way over priced if memory serves, due to the Plasma screens so I jumped ship.

    In the early 2000's I mostly owned Dell's, Fujitsu and HP's. From around 2010 my portables have been Samsung mostly plus one MSI and one Asus.

    I found a little gold mine of vintage hardcore hardware pr0n while looking up my old machines, here's a link http://www.mashpedia.com/t1200xe?pagetype=search&tab=1&pagecode=CDwQAA&xn=61 enjoy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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  10. Shizaru

    Shizaru Scribbler - Standard Member

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    For the Muso's out there...





    If you had deep pockets and I mean very deep you may have been a rare owner of one of these...



    My memory is fuzzy but I think a full Fairlight rig came in at around £30,000 (you could easily buy a two or three bed flat on the outskirts of London for £30K in 1980, you could probably have brought a small house for that in the outer suburbs). Most owners rented time on their machine and themselves as programmers in order to fund their purchase. I only had two clients that owned Fairlights and they were making good money from their investments.



    The Fairlight III was crazy money something like £60K iirc, most people of a certain age will probably recognise some of the sounds, especially the electronic bass. One example would be Frankie Goes to Hollywood's 'Relax', although at that time Fairlight was being used everywhere from pop to entire film scores. There were lots of complaints among pro musicians because it was killing top session work for drummers and bass players especially, even orchestras were taking a hit when Fairlights took on whole scores.

    The other complaint was the over commercialisation of the pop sound, which brought us the likes of Kylie Minogue, who was a product of the Stock Aitken Waterman stable/label, with their formulaic approach to sound, musical style and use of new technology.

    This was the time when the dominance of sequenced sampled music really took root and marked a massive change in the studio recording industry, leading to many closures among small studios. Which was a direct result of computer sequencing, drum machines and the emergence of low cost analogue multi-track recorders. The Fostex X15 home studio was a four track cassette based device with a built in mixer selling for £199 iirc. I sold hundreds of them and couldn't get them quick enough. Shortly after that we closed our 16 track 2" studio down, because the writing was on the wall. Our studio clients were using the studio and then purchasing an X15 from us in the afternoon from our retail business. It was obvious that the demand for demo studios was destined to decline - which it certainly did and real fast. Armed with an Atari ST an X15 and some creative track bouncing, making multi track demos from your living room became a reality virtually over night. The Tascam 144 and 246 and other variants quickly followed and combined with the power of midi and smpte/synchronisation they completely changed the recording industry.



    Unlike many musicians computers don't get p1ssed and they keep better time. There's probably a moral in there somewhere?
     
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