USING classic machines

From: A.R. Duell <>
Date: Fri Jun 27 08:59:06 1997

> I do use my old machines now and then, but if anyone here has never ran a
> modern MAC or PC, they have NO idea what is bieng missed. web pages in full
> photo quality color, realistic games, PPP connections, Realaudio etc. I am

I have used 'modern' PC's (well, at least pentiums with 16 MBytes RAM,
SVGA card, etc), and I know I'm not missing _anything_ by sticking to
classic computers. Let's go through your points.

'Web pages in full photo quality colour'. Well, I access the web to get
information, not look at pretty pictures. Most of the information I want
is _text_, or at least monochrome graphics (things like IC data sheets).
So I don't need 'photo quality colour'. And if I did, I could easily find
a classic system that could display them. Evans and Sutherland, Grinnell,
Ramtek, I2S, PPL, etc all made high-res colour displays that make most
PC's look like toys. And you can pick one up second-hand for less than an
SVGA card + monitor.

'Realistic games'. I don't play many games, but I'll agree that modern
games running on modern hardware do _look_ a lot more realistic than the
text+block graphics we had on home computers 15 years ago. The problem is
that IMHO (and YMMV) the old games are just more fun to play. That's a
personal judgement, though.

'PPP connections' Oh come on. I've run a PPP client on an _XT_. No problem
at all. I'll happily believe they're available for other old machines as

'Realaudio' I assume that's some audio standard for modern machines. But
we had good quality audio on PDP11's (thanks to a little board from 3RCC)
in 1976. It's not exactly hard to add a DAC and a DMA engine or even a DSP
to a lot of classic computers (and classic computer != cheap home micro so
there's easily enough RAM space for a reasonable length sample).

What I'd be missing by going to a modern machine would be :
Documentation. Since I don't just run prepackaged software and plug in
prebuilt hardware, I need good technical manuals. They just don't exist
for most modern machines
Repairability. I can fix classic computers with no problem at all. Just
try getting a custom chip for a PC motherboard. And don't tell me to
replace the motherboard - if the PC is a few years old I'd probably have
to replace the CPU and memory as well.

The gates in my computer are AND,OR and NOT, not Bill
Received on Fri Jun 27 1997 - 08:59:06 BST

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