Hardware of Yore

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

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  1. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    I had a variant of the Radio Shack TRS-80, Model 100, the NEC 8201a. I loved that machine and, despite its limitations, used it throughout law school and clung to it even after I had purchased a Zenith Z181 Laptop. I probably used it into the late 1980s, even though it was obsolete. Battery life was virtually forever on 8 AA's. I used it for all of my portable writing and note taking. When I got hired by a large firm, they told me to put it away and use the Dictaphone like the other lawyers.

    The 8201 had a few advantages over the TRS-80. For one, it had a pluggable external floppy disk controller so you could back up your work on disk. Its internal modem was a blazingly fast 19,500 baud, not 300 like the Tandy.

    [​IMG]

    I didn't bother with portable devices for a few years after that, but when the Palms and Pocket PC's came out, I gravitated toward Palm at first and Pocket PC's for awhile. They were the first devices I owned that had a stylus. I had a Palm V as well as a Compaq Aero and Ipaq. I still have the Pocket PCs. Have no idea what happened to the Palm.

    The Compaq Aero was my first Pocket PC. It has a stylus and replaceable batteries. It was really ugly and hard to hold because of its angular shape (the world had not yet been introduced to rounded corners yet after all).

    [​IMG]

    It didn't replace my Palm which, like the NEC 8201a, had battery life that lasted for weeks. I still preferred Grafitti, and all of the palm organizer functions like contact lists. I brought the Aero along on trips to use for videos and as a reader. Then Compaq introduced the IPAQ. I loved my IPAQ too. I used it much more than the Aero. I got a folding keyboard for it that permitted me to type small documents with the Windows CE and later Pocket PC software. Still, the Palm was best for organizer functions.

    [​IMG]

    I had the IPAQ case modified to hold an SD Card. You can see it in this side view. You can also see the folding keyboard behind the IPAQ. With this folding keyboard, I could usually leave my notebook (which was probably a gigantic Dell Latitude or Early IBM Thinkpad) at home. Productivity significantly improved on the road without toting along an extra shoulder bag with the notebook inside.

    [​IMG]

    Compaq got a lot right with the IPAQ. I kept mine for quite some time. At work, they were issuing Blackberrys. I stayed with my Blackberry. The IPAQ stayed around for awhile but the Palm went into a drawer, since the BB was a far better organizer. Note taking started to migrate to larger tablets like the Thinkpad X220T.

    With the Note 5, Samsung has largely gotten it right. Here it is next to my IPAQ.

    [​IMG]

    You have to wonder why Windows Pocket PC's didn't lead to a host of Microsoft devices with active pens like the GN5. They were quite close over a decade ago.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    OMG - ALL law firms are the same (stupid) after all!!!!!

    Your observation about Windows Mobile (Pocket PC) is 1000% on target - they had a HUGE head start on the Samsung's of the world, and they p!$$@# it away...
     
  3. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    If memory serves the Palm Pilot series also had the best foldable keyboard ever made, Go Keyboard or something similar to that. Not until Microsoft released the Foldable Universal Bluetooth Keyboard had anything come close.

    Twitter is to communications as haiku is to literature.
     
  4. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    The company that made them - ThinkOutside - did make a bluetooth model foldable that I still use with my phones and small tablets (the iGO)>>>
    [​IMG]
     
  5. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    A lot of time has passed since I drew this sequence (on paper!); I still didn't really know what the character was all about and my art/writing skills have seasoned a lot since then, so it makes me cringe a bit, but I was super happy to be able to feature some 80's tech. Time travel stories, doncha know!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  6. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    Absolutely love this.
     
  7. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    "Operating systems are set to revolutionize the world."

    EXCELLENT!
    [​IMG]
     
  8. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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  9. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    No, I'm a guy who just wants to get some work done --- as quickly and as efficiently as possible --- it would be nice if the tool for that work would live up to the promise of Niven & Pournelle's The Mote in God's Eye (which featured one of the first representations of a stylus computer, and also presaged their disposability), but all I want is:

    • to be able to draw, efficiently (nothing was quite as good for that as Futurewave Smartsketch, the Freehand and Flash come close)
    • to annotate documents --- for a while, the tools in Adobe Acrobat for doing this were kind of nice
    • to write rather than type --- the Windows XP Tablet PC edition options for this were quite nice, and I miss them, and their configurability
    • to use the machine outdoors, in the sunlight, w/o doing the hipster contortion dance of seeking just the right shade and angle

    I'd still be using my Fujitsu Stylistic ST4121 with its transflective display which I despair of replacing, if it weren't for the web being so flooded w/ JavaScript it couldn't be used to surf, and Windows XP being so exploitable that doing so wasn't safe.
     
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  10. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Were I as disciplined as you Will. I guess it is my only true remaining hobby. But, as a non-artist, I want Wacom for my note taking - I just don't think any AES (in near term) will ever match it.
     
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