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Ask Slashdot: Old Technology Coexisting With New?

timothy posted about a year ago | from the revisiting-the-unary-days dept.

Hardware 338

New submitter thereitis writes "Looking over my home computing setup, I see equipment ranging from 20 years old to several months old. What sorts of old and new equipment have you seen coexisting, and in what type of environment?" I regularly use keyboards from the mid 1980s, sometimes with stacked adapters to go from ATX to PS/2, and PS/2 to USB, and I'm sure that's not too unusual.

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338 comments

A few items (4, Interesting)

alphatel (1450715) | about a year ago | (#42207363)

Here's all the components I can think of using in the 80's, and what their function or lack thereof would be today:
3.5" floppy - still used for some driver diskettes
5.25" floppy ?? have not used one of these since 1995
Keyboards - usable with adapters
Mouse - same as above
LPT Printers - DB-25 still shows up on many new motherboards
Serial DB9 - I can still make these by hand! Definitely useful for many console RS232 equipment ports
IDE Hard Drives - useable if you really had to, but why?
IDE CDROM - same as above
10Base-t Ethernet - 10 MB back in the day, but still compatible (although they might be only half-duplex)
Cat3 Cable - good for phones, digital or analog, or 10base-t
Cat5 Cable - Good for home PC or connecting internet-facing equipment
Modems (v21/v22) - Doomsday is sure to come, always have a tinfoil hat, and dialup number at the ready

Re:A few items (1)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#42207643)

Why is Slashdot showing this as an archived discussion already?

Anyway, I've got quite a lot of old equipment because I'm a packrat and tend not to get rid of anything that's still working. My Keyboard is from 1995 (although I had to upgrade my mouse last year when my old one died), my PC is from 2006 and is probably going to need an upgrade reasonably soon, as games are finally starting to ask for more than it can give. My previous monitor was from 1998, but it died last year as well and I had to replace it. Old hard drives are somewhat pointless to use as daily disks, but make for decent mass storage devices. A 100GB drive probably isn't worth the power it consumes anymore for daily use, but it's a heck of a lot more convenient for long term storage than a stack of 22 DVDRs when you have one of those little USB/IDE dongles. Probably more reliable too given the track record on old CDRs.

I also keep an old PC around (Athlon 1700) that is used for various tasks, like automated DVD ripping for the media center or TiVo drive cloning, or messing around with really old versions of Linux or anything else. It's useful sometimes, even if it is powered off most days.

Re:A few items (5, Funny)

mr1911 (1942298) | about a year ago | (#42207689)

Why is Slashdot showing this as an archived discussion already?

Because you are replying to a post about ancient hardware.

Re:A few items (4, Funny)

Ashenkase (2008188) | about a year ago | (#42207777)

5.25" floppy ?? have not used one of these since 1995

You would have gotten extra points if you mentioned Double Sided 5.25 Floppy.

I wonder if sales in the Single Holed Punch tanked after 5.25s went out of style.

Re:A few items (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42208321)

I still use those to submit assignments to professors I don't like.

Re:A few items (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42208037)

It's really impressive if you think about it, that telecos have established such a track record of reliability that people just assume dial-up modems will be useful in the doomsday. There's not even a question in their minds. Almost like the Telephony version of the Postal Service's, "Rain, Sleet, Snow, or Doomsday" (Did I get that right?)

Re:A few items (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#42208051)

Modems (v21/v22) - Doomsday is sure to come, always have a tinfoil hat, and dialup number at the ready

Sounds more like a motivation to get some nice Packet Radio hardware. ;-)

Re:A few items (2)

tringstad (168599) | about a year ago | (#42208113)

Where were you that you were using 10baseT ethernet in the 80s?

Although it technically existed, the standard wasn't published until 1990. I personally didn't have any interaction with it until around 1992.

I have never seen with my own eyes anyone using 10baseT over Cat 3 cabling. I've heard rumors, but never seen it. In my experience, prior to the introduction of Cat 5 most people who were using 10baseT were doing so over coaxial cable.

Cat 5 cabling wasn't introduced until 1991 or 1992, and wasn't widely available for commercial use until sometime in the mid 90s.

-Tommy

HD interchange (1)

erice (13380) | about a year ago | (#42208227)

IDE Hard Drives - useable if you really had to, but why?

IDE CDROM - same as above

Why not? They still work and provide enough storage to be useful especially for backup purposes (backing up to the same spindle is less useful) The PATA -> SATA transition is still pretty recent. I upgraded motherboards recently and kept everything else except for the video card (AGP), memory, and cpu. The pair of SATA disks that were connected via a PCI adapter I connected directly. The IDE devices that were connected directly, I attached to PCI adapters. Especially the IDE DVD burner. Why replace that?

Going the other way, I recently picked up Tivo Series 2 with a lifetime subscription. I put in a SATA disk with a PATA adapter.

One item. (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year ago | (#42207445)

I have a power deck that I got in a garage sale that might be from the 80s but everything else is from the last five years.

My equipment is getting older (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42207447)

but college girls' equipment stays the same age.

It's AT to PS/2.. ATX standard used PS/2 (2, Informative)

TrashyMG (2738973) | about a year ago | (#42207455)

It's AT to PS/2.. ATX standard used PS/2... Just needed to state that..

Re:It's AT to PS/2.. ATX standard used PS/2 (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#42208253)

It's AT to PS/2.. ATX standard used PS/2...
Just needed to state that..

On the topic, AT and PS/2 only differ mechanically. XT didn't differ mechanically from AT; but was logically incompatible.

Coexisting for Perspective (5, Funny)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year ago | (#42207469)

I have a few old devices I keep by my modern equipment for perspective. You know, a sundial, a vcr, and an iphone 4.

Re:Coexisting for Perspective (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about a year ago | (#42208057)

I have a few old devices I keep by my modern equipment for perspective. You know, a sundial, a vcr, and an iphone 4.

God, an iPhone 4 - that's SO OLD!

Keyboards no, $750 RAID cards yes (4, Interesting)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#42207477)

I can get a new keyboard at Big Lots for $8, so no need to keep them for decades. I do use older top-of-the-line enterprise equipment, though. Raid cards that were $750 new can be found for $35, old IP KVMs that were $1200 new are actually BETTER than current models because don't require proprietary software. The other day I used a serial cable to transfer files from an Win98 laptop that didn't have USB mass storage drivers.

Microsoft Natural Keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42207657)

This is a fairly old keyboard with a PS/2 plug in it. It still has a big fan-base.

Re:Keyboards no, $750 RAID cards yes (2)

noc007 (633443) | about a year ago | (#42208075)

Which IP KVMs are you referring to? The cheap ones I'm finding still require a dedicated KVM switch or proprietary software to be licensed. I'm looking for one that's browser based and hopefully can remotely mount an ISO and do the keyboard power button command. $200+ for the ones I'm finding isn't worth the cost to me for a home server. There's an optional remote management card for my server, but the web interface sucks and it uses up a whole expansion card slot when there's only two slots total.

Re:Keyboards no, $750 RAID cards yes (4, Interesting)

pjwhite (18503) | about a year ago | (#42208095)

I have been using the same keyboard layout since 1989, when I first got a Northgate keyboard, and I refuse to switch. The function keys are in two vertical columns to the left of the main keyboard and on the left-hand side of the main keyboard I have, from bottom to top, "Alt", "Shift", "Ctrl" "Tab" and "Esc". (Caps Lock is safely out of reach just to the left of the space bar). There is a full numeric pad on the right as well as a cursor control group just to the left of the numeric pad.
I find this layout much more efficient ergonomically than more modern keyboard layouts, which sacrificed good layout for compactness.

One of my main computers that I use almost every day is a Pentium 3 Win98 machine, with four different parallel port devices (attached through a switch to the single parallel port on the computer) -- an HP LaserJet Series II printer (still making clean prints), an EPROM programmer, a security dongle and a JTAG adapter. I also have (and use regularly) a Houston Instruments plotter connected to this computer via RS-232.

GIVE THAT OLD SHIT AWAY MAN !! GIVE IT AWAY !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42207479)

Give it away, give it away, give it away, man !!

Salvation Army may take it, but that's some old shit !! You may have to pay them to kart than krap away, man !!

And don't fool yourself into thinking 20 fucking year old shit is "working" cuz it ain't working !!

Re:GIVE THAT OLD SHIT AWAY MAN !! GIVE IT AWAY !! (2)

TrashyMG (2738973) | about a year ago | (#42207503)

Well my 26 year old IBM Model M keyboards I use everyday beg to differ.

Re:GIVE THAT OLD SHIT AWAY MAN !! GIVE IT AWAY !! (5, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#42207537)

Well my 26 year old IBM Model M keyboards I use everyday beg to differ.

Plus it can quickly be converted into a rather effective cudgel, all the better for bludgeoning AC's with no appreciation of history.

Re:GIVE THAT OLD SHIT AWAY MAN !! GIVE IT AWAY !! (1)

Megane (129182) | about a year ago | (#42208125)

When the zombie apocalypse comes, a Model M will be second only to a shotgun as a means of self-defense.

Re:GIVE THAT OLD SHIT AWAY MAN !! GIVE IT AWAY !! (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#42208303)

When the zombie apocalypse comes, a Model M will be second only to a shotgun as a means of self-defense.

Second to a shotgun?? Haven't you learned anything from zombie flicks?

Type M's don't run out of ammo :)

Re:GIVE THAT OLD SHIT AWAY MAN !! GIVE IT AWAY !! (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year ago | (#42207599)

Oh, those were sweet. I still have mine. Original box, too. Although, I can't say, "Mint in Box"

Re:GIVE THAT OLD SHIT AWAY MAN !! GIVE IT AWAY !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42207681)

1. It ain't USB
2. It got no Win key
3. It noisy as hell
4. Heavy-use keys (Esc, BS) are worn out spring like old man dick using old keyboard
5. It IBM, evil empire don't kid yourself it is

Amen! (2)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | about a year ago | (#42207915)

Mine is of the very oldest vintage too. The local recycle place put out a BOX of them a few years ago. I snapped up the whole box for like $10. Still got 3 of these beasties and they're the best peripheral ever made if you ask me. Takes a bit of a stack of adapters to get to USB with the thing, but I got there...

And for you who haven't experienced the Zen of it all the lack of the 'windows' key and such crud is a blessing ;) I can do 120 WPM with this baby.

Re:GIVE THAT OLD SHIT AWAY MAN !! GIVE IT AWAY !! (2)

mr1911 (1942298) | about a year ago | (#42207733)

And don't fool yourself into thinking 20 fucking year old shit is "working" cuz it ain't working !!

Neither are you, outside of fast food.

Big fat DIN to mini DIN to USB (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#42207501)

I'm glad I'm not the only person doing that.

Actually the keyboard's not that great. And being so old I hate to thing about what crap is in it. I do it partly out of stubbornness and pride: it's the first PC keyboard I owned (from 1996). Then I can be smug at youngsters on forums telling them I'm typing on a keyboard older than they are.

I'd like to think I'm trying to be funny, but it's actually true.

Re:Big fat DIN to mini DIN to USB (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about a year ago | (#42208025)

When I can find a replacement for my Model M keyboards that cost $10-20, let me know... Have my original and 2 spares in the garage...

Re:Big fat DIN to mini DIN to USB (1)

noc007 (633443) | about a year ago | (#42208183)

I have a few Model M keyboards from 1984 that I still use (banging away on one right now). All of them are older than my wife. The nice thing about the earlier Model Ms is one can change out the cord for PS/2. I still get asked if I'm using an adapter for this tank, but I just point to the one cord going to the docking station without any adapters.HP has yet to drop them from the docking stations for the Elitebooks and Probooks.

The Telephone Network (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42207519)

Today's telephone networks are a random mix of old and new technology. The modern phone backbone is fiberoptic digital, but when wired to your house, it's made to emulate good old Bell. You can plug in an 80 year old phone rotary phone, and when someone calls you, it'll ring, and you can answer it! You can have one of these ancient devices right next to your DSL modem on opposite ends of that filter the phone/internet company gives you. In some area, pulse dialing will still work! And touch-tone phones is also an old technology. When you call on your cellphone, the numbers you dial don't get sent as tones. But in a call, when you call up one of those annoying phone robots, your cell phone will send tones, emulating the old signaling technology of the 70's or 80's or whenever the tones were invented. Plus, add in VOIP and the IP phones I use at work, and it becomes apparent that the modern telephone network is a continuum of technological anachronisms.

Speakers (1)

bobthesungeek76036 (2697689) | about a year ago | (#42207539)

Speakers are the only thing in my computer setup that would be considered old. Then my Sun Type-6 keyboard is next oldest. Everything has been modernized.

Apple ][+ (5, Interesting)

Lord Byron II (671689) | about a year ago | (#42207559)

I have an Apple II+ that I program on at least once a week. It's a fun exercise to see what I can get the old machine to do. I don't have any disk drives, so I use the cassette interface. But I don't have a cassette deck either, so I use my brand new laptop as the storage by plugging the Apple into its audio ports. So I have 33 year old tech not just co-existing, but working in tandem with, brand new equipment.

Re:Apple ][+ (2)

idontgno (624372) | about a year ago | (#42208045)

I wondered how long this would take to come up.

"This" being "I use modern technology as a peripheral for really old technology."

Case in point: I use my early 2000s white box PC (Athlon XP 1800+) running CentOS Linux as a household server... and as an RS-232 serial terminal for a 1983 NorthStar Horizon (Z80 CPU, 64K memory, dual 5.25" floppies, running CP/M 2.2). And sometimes I use my 2012 Motorola Droid 4 smartphone as a wireless SSH terminal to get to the server, to run miniterm to access CP/M on this ancient piece of retro coolness [wikipedia.org] . Because I'm stupid like that.

Re:Apple ][+ (2)

greg1104 (461138) | about a year ago | (#42208053)

I used the same trick when trying to write an Atari 2600 game, with the Starpath Supercharger [wikipedia.org] . That lets you load a new cartridge via the cassette interface. But rather than plug a real player in, you can compile your code into a WAV file that uses the same format as those cassettes. Play that sound on the laptop, audio output plugged into the Supercharger, and you can test the game on real hardware.

This is extremely useful, as emulators only go so far. I had my demo display loop working fine on the 2600 emulator [sourceforge.net] . Didn't work right on the real hardware though, the vertical sync time was off and it rolled instead of being stable.

Re:Apple ][+ (1)

Black Sabbath (118110) | about a year ago | (#42208343)

> But I don't have a cassette deck either, so I use my brand new laptop as the storage by plugging the Apple into its audio ports.

Well done! Hats off to you sir.

A 14.4 external modem (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year ago | (#42207565)

Actually, I don't even know if it still works, but it there it sits...

Oh. Books. Lots and lots of books.

Re:A 14.4 external modem (2)

rk (6314) | about a year ago | (#42207981)

I still have my BASIC and assembler programming books for my TRS-80 Coco. For that matter, I still have a TRS-80 CoCo somewhere. I should dig it out and see if it still works. You never forget your first. :-)

Re:A 14.4 external modem (1)

Eristone (146133) | about a year ago | (#42208111)

So do I - (Books and Coco) - I need to clean out the garage this week - let's see if I can get the beasty to talk to the flat screen TV... (I can see the wife now just shaking her head and mumbling)

Ask Slashdot: is Slashdot dead? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42207579)

The medium is the message.

8-bit to 64 (3, Interesting)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about a year ago | (#42207601)

Working, an old C64 (original, still working with modifications made circa 1988) with Amiga monitor, 2 1541 hooked up. (similar setup on my TV)

There's a 160 Mhz 486 (5x86 all ISA & VLB, no PCI) with an Ensoniq Soundscape Elite soundcard running under DOS 6.22/Win 3.11 .
Right next to it a 800Mhz PIII with 98SE. Powermac G4 400Mhz with OS9 / Leopard. (those are using a CRT)

There's a 2Ghz G5 iMac hooked up to my home theater (iTunes), my Media Center (XP MCE) and the *newest* machine, a Core2 duo (Win 7 x64 about to go back to x86).

What's saddening is the older stuff works as it is, but I had to recap the iMac, the Media Center, my AV receiver (2003) needed a new relay and caps on the Core2 are starting to bulge (that one is probably 2006)

Re:8-bit to 64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42207829)

Pffft it's 1571 or nothing. Flipping disks is for losers ;)

Re:8-bit to 64 (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about a year ago | (#42208367)

Nah... next project is gonna be 64HDD on that old 486. beats flipping disks. at 164K each you can cram a whole bunch of .d64 images on a 20 GB HDD :)

Even better would be a Hard drive

http://www.ide64.org/ [ide64.org]

Re:8-bit to 64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42208375)

Sadly enough the 1571 in my C128D broke a couple of years ago, glad I got a spare 1541 many many moons ago.

Re:8-bit to 64 (1)

na1led (1030470) | about a year ago | (#42208023)

I thought Amiga Monitors use RGB inputs, how do you connect it to a c64? Also, a 160Mhz 486? Fastest 486 I know of was 100 Mhz.

Re:8-bit to 64 (1)

sa666_666 (924613) | about a year ago | (#42208219)

They also have Luma/Chroma inputs, which is also what the C64/C128 can output. And those two signals together are basically an S-video connector. The C64 did it before S-video was even a standard. I'm actually looking for such an Amiga monitor for my C128-D, to use L/C in 40-column mode, and the digital RGB in 128 80-column mode. Yes, I probably need another hobby :)

Re:8-bit to 64 (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about a year ago | (#42208283)

the 1084 has composite inputs. The 486 is an AMD 5x86 running at 4*40.

On a side note, many 64s have s-video compatible outputs, that's how the other one is hooked up to my TV

Re:8-bit to 64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42208305)

He's talking about a Pentium most likely.

Power usage. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42207641)

I've had a lot of old hardware running alongside newer stuff, hobby, nothing serious, but I always tried to get rid of relics. It's not their age, performance, looks or anything like that; the power usage was simply too high, reducing the power costs actually made it easier to buy more new hardware.

And call me sentimental, but I stil have an 486, a p266 and other things, all perfectly functional, in the back of the closet, things I have a hard time parting with.

Re:Power usage. (1)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#42207687)

I finally got rid of the PII-400 (well, disassembled it, the parts are still in boxes in the closet) but only because my AthlonXP 1700+ finally "retired" and became the beater box instead.

80386... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42207651)

I have the worlds only 80386DX connected to the internet. I have an IBM Model 80 with an Ethernet card and a 9Gb Full height SCSI hard drive running OS/2 Warp 4 Fixpack 5 and Mozilla Firefox version 3. It works for most sites that don't require Flash.

Nathan

Re:80386... (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about a year ago | (#42207789)

That's it, I'm connecting my 286.

What does it have to do to be considered "connected to the internet"? Just be physically connected and have working NIC drivers or does it have to run a server or some browser?

Re:80386... (1)

neurojab (15737) | about a year ago | (#42208225)

I used to use Net tamer (a combination PPP client, e-mail client, and web browser) on my 80286 over a 2400 baud modem. This was in 1996... ah the anguish. Seriously though if you want credit for having the least powerful online machine, you have to be able to do something useful with something less powerful than an 80286. Turns out you can browse the web with a Comodore 64. http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/classic-tech/surf-the-web-on-your-commodore-64/182 [techrepublic.com]

Re:80386... (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about a year ago | (#42208395)

I used Arachne on my 286. It worked, but was rather slow. I did not want to set up a modem emulation so I just used ethernet. Still it's fun trying to figure out what you can do with such an old computer. I tried using a web browser on Windows (3.10) but with the Ethernet drivers there is too little RAM left for the browser. The computer has 1MB and I don't know if it is possible to upgrade (it uses DIP chips for RAM and I don't know if there are any compatible higher capacity ones).

Unfortunetly, the 286 is the oldest (working) computer I have.

My Model M keyboards (1)

BabaChazz (917957) | about a year ago | (#42207701)

Of course, some of us love the old Model M keyboard. I do, and I have four of them in reasonably heavy use.

I also have a computer with an Intel motherboard that uses RIMM memory. That's being a web server, so I can't nuke it yet; but when the next power supply fails (I have two that I've been swapping and repairing -- the RIMM motherboards used a funky 6-pin connector where the modern ATX uses the PCI-4 or PCI-8 connector) it will be time to start looking for a replacement. The machine I used until just recently for my home development, though, is even older -- a Pentium IV 1.6GHz without even hyperthreading.

I do have a Windows 98 machine with a SCSI card that I'm putting back on line so that I can play Riven from the deck of five CDs... SCSI lets me have four external CD drives.

And there's no point putting a perfectly good 100Base-T switch on the raw output from my "broadband" connection, as it peaks at 2.5Mbps; while I had to retire the 80's era 10BaseT hub that I used for that when its fans failed, I am using a 90's era 8-port 10BaseT hub for that now.

Re:My Model M keyboards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42207987)

Here, here! I have three Model M's through a USB adapter at work and a Unicomp EnduraPro USB at home.

Clickety-clack forever!!!!

Lots of places. (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year ago | (#42207715)

Any where there is an industry that needs to be computerised, but isn't one where massive gains in computing power would improve the bottome line: any kind of insurance, Retail POS systems, Accounting systems, ect. In some places you'll have web front end connected to a back end java system that queues and proxies the request back to the mainframe which runs a virtualized instance of an older mainframe that sends a file to a different older mainframe system that generates a print out in a back office where some guy takes it and manually faxes it to a different branch for processing.

Ooh, thanks for reminding me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42207739)

I've been meaning to google around for HDMI adapters for my Wii and Atari 2600...

Not much anymore (1)

gelfling (6534) | about a year ago | (#42207741)

I only have one non laptop now. I just tossed my last USB attached floppy drive. Used to have a parallel port tape drive, tossed that too. Tossed a Com1 Serial port Acom digitizer tablet. I haven't used a CDROM or DVDROM in years, read or write. I haven't owned a modem in years. Only my desktop has LPT or COM ports. I tossed every extra PS/2 mouse and keyboard and have a single spare USB keyboard. The desktop uses my sole remaining PS/2 keyboard and the Logi marble mouse is connected by a USB-PS/2 dongle. I tossed out my last 2 SCSI2 adapters one of which was used for an ancient but entirely functional HP ScanJet II. I still have 3 or 4 PCI 802.11g adapters laying around. My single desktop is the only device that's still ethernet wired to the router. Everything else including my MF printer is wireless. The desktop is an old eMachines minitower with a replacement Mbit Mobo, AMD CPU and new RAM and a brand new power supply. The monitor is an ancient 19" SUN LCD flatscreen (back in the day when SUN flatscreens were 2" thick and still weighed several pounds). The router is an old Cisco Linksys WRT110 connected to a Vonage VIOP box behind a brand new shitty Time Warner Ubee cable modem. The Atlanta Scientific - Cisco DVR from Time Warner is also a piece of shit as is the Netflix app on my Wii. All the other machines in the house are a mixture of Toshiba, Lenovo and Asus laptops, Android and iPhones.

Let's See... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#42207779)

Save the musical gear, most of this stuff lives in my workshop:

An Apple II (gonna play Oregon Trail, gotta do it right!)

I've got a serial mouse that I bust out occasionally, though not often...

mid-1990's laptop, kept alive for the serial port and working 3.5" floppy drive.

I've also got a couple decade-and-a-half-old P2 and P3 machines running firewalls, NMS, DHCP, etc.

Several old flatbed scanners I haven't taken apart (yet)

STACKS of non-working floppy drives, CD-ROM drives, other old electromechanicals (good for parts),

Yes, I even have a functioning 21" CRT from about 1992, I think.

Of course, as a musician, I tend to keep a lot of vintage audio gear around, but since I do most of my actual recording on my '08 Macbook4.1, I think it's fair to add that stuff to the list:

A 1960's vintage DAK Mark III CB with my radio stuff, that's pretty vintage...

1990's turntable, 1970's Marshall Valvestate 8080, 1930's microphone (2 of them, actually, 1 of which is mic-ing a 1920's piano)...

My personal favorite: A 1973 TEAC 3300 reel-to-reel tape recorder, complete with about 20 tapes of some crazy firebrand preacher's radio show from 30 years ago (my buddies in metal bands are constantly asking for clips they can incorporate into their own tracks).



Ah, nostalgia...

Keyboards from the mid 1980s are a health concern (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42207783)

Mmmmmarmelade, crumbs, pubic hair, nails, goo

Great grandfather's tools built this desk (2)

fantomas (94850) | about a year ago | (#42207785)

Stable technology (and the desk! :-) ) - Using the hand tools my dad gave me, some of them were his grandfather's (e.g. the chisels), to build the desk I work on with my laptop. Can't see me passing down any of my electronic equipment to grandkids for them to use day-to-day. Nice to be using tools that have worked for generations.

Old and Stuck (1)

RedHat Rocky (94208) | about a year ago | (#42207853)

I'm sure lots of folks are like me: stuck using an old piece of equipment because "mainstream" went a different way.

Good example: 3 button mouse
No, not a damn wheel for a third "button", rather a good old Logitech Mouse Man. Wide, with three buttons. I'm stuck on this mouse for the simple middle button, as I use the thing all the time; opening links in new tabs, cutting and pasting text in linux xterms, etc. I can't stand the wheel as clicking with it typically moves the target, gah! Any new mice right now like this old thing? Nope.

Repeat for various schools of devices: keyboards, monitors, etc etc.

Re:Old and Stuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42208245)

i use an apple magic mouse with magicprefs (an os x preference pane add-on) for middle-clicking. it's absolutely wonderful. takes a little while to get used to clicking in the right spots on the mouse ", but once you do, it's so much better than using a mouse with multiple hardware buttons.

before anyone jumps on me, no, of course it's not good for games. but magicprefs turns it into a really awesome little mouse that you can customize the hell out of, such as two finger swipe for exposé. never got why some prefer the magic trackpad when the magic mouse can do just as much ... and is also a mouse.

Some old hardware is still the best (1)

na1led (1030470) | about a year ago | (#42207875)

I have a MS sidewinder forcefeedback joystick. Best joystick I've ever used, but it requires a gameport. I wish someone would make a USB-Gameport adapter that would work, but sadly I have to use a Soundblaster Live card on my new PC. I also prefer using a quality ball mouse for FPS games.

not today but... (4, Interesting)

readin (838620) | about a year ago | (#42207967)

My parents got a color TV in 1976. They kept that thing for 29 years. It worked with one of the early Pong games. It worked with an Atari 2600. It worked with an Atari 800. Later it was connected to cable TV (with remote control that was connected by wire to a box on top of the TV). It worked with VCRs and DVD players. Near the end of its life it was using satellite TV. That old thing went through a lot. Halfway through its life the channel changers on it were largely forgotten. That was a good television.

When I bought my first VCR I bought the same brand assuming that they made good stuff. I had to replace it within a couple months and ended up buying a Japanese brand :P

Re:not today but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42208297)

you typed up all that yet couldn't be bothered to share which brands?

I use new(ish) to control old(ish) (2)

Dmritard96 (1268918) | about a year ago | (#42208059)

A project of mine (https://github.com/dandroid88/webmote) attempts to serve as a bridge for some less connected, older technologies to be controlled by newer things like my smartphone. For instance, my home entertainment system, a hodge podge of new and old responds to IR (each with their own remote). My project allows one to control any of these devices from any device with internet connectivity and a browser so that I can turn off Glee (my fiance's fav) from the bathroom, lol. Its a plugin architecture that also supports some X10 so that I can turn lights on and off etc. On the newer end, it supports newer things like XBMC control and a few other soon to be uploaded additions. If you are looking to bridge the new and the old and have a rasbpi or server you can run it on I welcome you to try it out. It requires some simple arduino construction but that shouldn't be too difficult.

MS Wheel Mouse Optical 1.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42208063)

Does anyone miss the old optical Mouse from Microsoft (MS Wheel Mouse Optical 1.0)

The Successor has a flimsy cable and is a few centimeters Smaller.

(Does anyone hate the Mini-Laptop-Mice-Generation?)

Burn out before you fade away... (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#42208067)

I have a ton of old computers that still run. C64's, C128, Atari 1040ST, TRS-80 4p, Amiga's, Mac's.

One of them currently has a CF board for it (Apple II's).

Rest of them are getting some sort of modern interface improvement. Also, I use a MacSE to network the Apple IIgs. Only thing the MacSE does, connects 2 networks together.

Now the Amiga's aren't that hard to get networked (remember PARnet?) or modern storage adaptors. Oh, one of the Amiga's in an Amiga 1000.

While Commodore computers have had the parallel port adaptors for years, there is a lot of other great hardware improvements for them. I can't afford them unfortunately, but as luck would have it, i have a ton of disks that are still good. Holds me till i get around to building my own.

I have 3 working Commodore monitors and a Sony EGA monitor. You can have one of my Commodore monitors after you kill me, because I won't give one up otherwise. I'm sure I don't have to explain why.

On top of the computers, I have working video game consoles that are 20+ years old and working. Think I have an alarm clock that is probably that old also.
Too bad the video game consoles of pre-HD looks horrible on my 1080p TV, but that's why I have so many Commodore monitors.

Only thing that is over 20 years old that gets used regularly is one of the Commodore monitors. I have my Wii hooked up to it for emulators. Did have my PS2 hooked up, but it burnt another harddrive out so I'm going to have to get a new network/harddrive adaptor for it. My Dreamcast would be hooked up to it, but i can't seem to find the video cord for it. But anyways, my Commodore 1902 monitor is currently getting used 3-5 times a week, for a few hours at a time. All my other stuff is just whenever i feel like doing something.

WTF do you people do with this stuff? (0)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42208071)

I dumped all my old crap years ago

a lot of the old games are on iOS/Android these days. cheaper to buy them than pay the electricity costs for the old crap

do some of you people get hard ons from watching cryptic text on a screen in your off time?

Re:WTF do you people do with this stuff? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a year ago | (#42208289)

do some of you people get hard ons from watching cryptic text on a screen in your off time?

Yes, because obviously the only positive things in life are of sexual nature.

Old hardware + New Software - NO MICROSOFT = happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42208089)

Running happily with Fedora 17 Libre Office and Gnome 3 fallback on a 30GB Thinkpad from 1998 just needed the extra RAM to complete the install and even have Podcasts and VLC and best of all reduced my power consumption from over $300/mon to under $100.

I guess I'm the oddball here (1)

captainstormy (1107081) | about a year ago | (#42208151)

I don't really keep anything that old. I built the current desktop I'm using about 4 years ago or so. Aside from some of the CAT cables, I don't think I really have any hardware sitting around that's older than that.

One foot in both worlds (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about a year ago | (#42208181)

I always keep every piece of old technology. It's not hoarding per se, because I will throw it in the recycling or give it away when it either no longer functions, I have no use, or it helps me financially towards a new game. In fact, what I do as a hobby is Digital Archeology. That is the search through the junk, files, and resources to find old games of the past. This is how I found out about Atari, a ton of games I have never heard of, but want to play, and learned neat little tricks for games I have.

However, I don't keep my foot only in the past. if I had the money, I would get some of the newer toys like a HD TV and blu ray player. I have nothing against most of the new tech, but it seems that it's getting to the point where there's a machine to wipe your ass for you. I love technology, but I stop at where my DVR records for me. I don't need a 3D TV. I have no desire for a freezer/stove combination. I believe that it's better to have a mix of the old and the new because a reliance to the old makes you incompatible with today's society, yet relying on the new turns you into a blob of jelly like in the movie Wall-E.

Sun Equipment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42208215)

I've got a pair of old Sun E450s.

They perform excellently, holding up the large countertop which I use as a secondary desk. Also add a nice 90s ambiance with their muted grey/blue/purple color scheme.

NeXT (1)

laffer1 (701823) | about a year ago | (#42208229)

I've got a nextstation that still works. It's got 10baseT ethernet and I've had it on the network. I've found ssh binaries for it and even installed bash on it. It's grayscale, but it's still fun to poke around on lynx or world wide web on it just to see what things looked like in the old days. In many ways, it still acts like it's modern counterpart OS X.

I've also got two sun netra servers in the basement that work. I threw BSD on them and they're actually pretty decent for their age. Power draw is terrible though.. my electric bill is scary if its on all the time. I've also got some old dell socket 604 xeon 1u servers that work. They run well, but from a CPU perspective, I can replace 3-4 of those with one ivy bridge intel box and be done with it.

My wife's got an original iBook G3 300Mhz 32MB RAM with OpenBSD and a PowerMac G4 Dual 867 that works too. That's nice for old games.

I wish I still had my first computer. I had given it to my mother after I upgraded and it was lost in a flood a few years ago.

D'oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42208285)

Got my Raspberry Pi's a few days ago and discovered that every keyboard in my house has a PS/2 connector... Guess I need to quit buying good quality keyboards that just last and last.

It's almost like they're designed to work together (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#42208317)

A 1950's double oven, A 1970's microwave, a pinball table, 1980's - 90's computers and game consoles... All running on knob and tube electrical wires from the 1930's, yes they're safe and up to code for existing residences. I have an Osborne-1's parallel port hooked to a custom made IR board, and serial port connected to a GNU/Linux Media Center Edition box. I get a warm and fuzzy feeling when I press "movie mode" button on my Android phone (wireless / local web interface to "Remote" app on Debian Server), and instantly hear those familiar 5 1/4" disk access sounds loading new IR code tables to configure my home entertainment system.

Am I surprised they work together? Hardly, I designed and build their interfaces to do just that. Eventually the Osborne-1 will become unserviceable, and I'll switch over to using LIRC (and compiling my own Kernels, again) instead of my custom "record & playback IR" setup on CP/M. For now it chugs away on a nice table in the back of the room, near a few framed panels of core memory, as a nice and functional conversation piece.

Bitch Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42208357)

root@magneto:~# dmesg | grep Floppy
[ 2.826323] Floppy drive(s): fd0 is 720k, fd1 is 360K PC

fd0 is to write out Atari ST disk images. fd1 is used to write out Atari 8-bit disk images.

My old stuff broke. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42208383)

Two years ago the average age of my electronics used to be ~15 years, now its about 3. My computer had a network card from the mid 80s (isa coax baby) as well as an 1980s 5 1/4 drive all powered by a relatively modern 1.1 ghz athlon. A weakling compared to my 2.5 ghz core 2 duo powered laptop, but it got the job done. My stereo receiver was 1975 kenwood, pushing speakers from 80s. My 10 year old 14 inch crt was all the screen my sega genesis and wii needed. I had my old coleco vision in a box ready for action at a moments notice. My car was a 1993 Chrysler. I had an alarm clock from 1981, a VCR that got nearly daily use.

Mind you I'm not old (27) nor a hipster, just a thrifty country boy with geeky interests.

But one by one my gadgets started to fail, first it was the old computer, then it was the stereo, Then the coleco, sega, and tv got killed by a faulty power strip. The car died 60 miles from home in the middle of nowhere. Now I am lost in a sea of modernity, I have no 1980s electronics, no old game systems, no old beater car, no flipy numbers on the clock, no vcr. Just new stuff...

I gotta tell you this forum makes me really want to go to pawn shop or thrift store. Maybe I'll just scope out some junk on ebay.

Ethernet over serial anyone? (1)

Sedennial (182739) | about a year ago | (#42208397)

Ethernet over 9600 baud RS232 via a T1 TDM microwave channel. If you follow this entire path end-to-end you would traverse CWDM fiber and a DS3 SONET ring, all the way down to a hand-built addressable serial bridge. Also running 2400 baud serial over ethernet (yes the reverse) using a cell phone at the remote location as the modem.

Ditto (1)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#42208405)

stacked adapters to go from ATX to PS/2, and PS/2 to USB

Ditto. My PS/2 to USB adapter comes with connectors for the keyboard and mouse. The connector for the mouse dangles un-used. I prefer my laptop's trackpad to a map. The keyboard is a vintage Acer with a "fat" enter key and NO WINDOWS KEYS, which I never liked. I understand there are some shortcuts that might be nice with proprietary metakeys, but I never learned them, don't miss them, and get royally peeved when I hit them by accident.

As an added bonus, one of the keyboards has Asian characters along side Roman characters on the key caps. I like the way that looks. I bought a few of these from some guy in Oregon who had old keyboards. It's nice to keep this stuff going instead of just tossing it.

Whippersnappers! (1)

zaft (597194) | about a year ago | (#42208407)

It's kinda sad that so few people know how to use anything that's not x86 anymore. I've got several Suns (Ultra 5 and 10, IPX, Sparcstation 20), a DECstation, 2 VAXstations, and a MicroVAX 3800. And a couple of HP ZX2000s... then rackmounted I've got another Sun, another HP Itanium box and a number of x86 architecture boxen.
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