Archive for July, 2013

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Supra 28.8 Kbps Modem

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Supra Modem Ad - 1996Glowing Modem

In my early BBS days, I started using a 2400 bps external modem hooked to the serial port of a PC clone. A few years later, I switched to an external Intel 14,400 bps modem. Then I believe I got a Creative Labs Modem Blaster kit with an internal 28,800 bps modem on an ISA card. After that I moved up to 33,600 with some generic Winmodem, then 56,000 bps.

In 2000, I signed up for my first cable modem service…and the rest is history.

[ From Internet World, February 1996, p.9 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What speed was your first modem?

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Tengen Game Gear Games

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Tengen Sega Game Gear Games Group Ad - 1993The Klax guy has too many arms.

[ From Electronic Gaming Monthly, June 1993, p.87 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Of the games listed in the ad above, which is your favorite? (Feel free to consider versions of the games for any platform, not just Game Gear.)

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Bill Cosby Loves the TI CC-40

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Texas Instruments TI CC-40 Compact Computer 40 Bill Cosby Ad - 1983"Try new metal puddin' pops!"

When looking at the Texas Instruments CC-40′s capabilities, one wonders why companies even bothered in making tiny portable machines like this one (see also the Epson HX-20, HP-75C, and TRS-80 Pocket Computer, among others) in the early 1980s.

Sure, each one came equipped with a gee-whiz wow factor, but most of these diminutive PCs proved impractical to actually use. Limited memory, restrictive and unreliable data storage, and tiny LCDs capable of displaying either one or a few lines of text almost ensured that these products would remain technological novelties.

(As an aside, the only computer of this circa-1983 portable class that I find to be practical and truly useful was the TRS-80 Model 100, which many journalists relied on for decades)

After giving the question considerable thought, I recently realized why they did it. Companies like TI spent untold millions upon millions of dollars on R&D, design, tooling, and production, distribution, and marketing so that collectors of vintage computers, like me, would one day have more and varied specimens to collect.

To those companies, I say this: Thank you for wasting your money to make my hobby more fun.

See Also: Bill Cosby Fondles a TI-99/4A (Retro Scan, 2006)

[ From Popular Computing, June 1983, p.129 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What's the smallest vintage computer you've ever used?

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Nintendo Triple Play

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Nintendo Triple Play Game Boy NES SNES Nintendo Power Ad - 1992Oh my god, it's full of stars

[ From Nintendo Power, February 1992, rear cover ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Which system has the best game library: NES or SNES?

Douglas C. Engelbart (1925-2013)

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Doug Engelbart RIPIn Memoriam: Douglas C. Engelbart (1925-2013)
Inventor of the Computer Mouse, Computer Pioneer

[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Amdek Color-I Monitor

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Atari Commodore Apple II Amdek Color-I Monitor Ad - 1983Tracking the shadow people on an Apple II has never been more fun.

[ From Personal Computing, November 1983, inside rear cover ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Do you own any composite video monitors? Which model/brand is your favorite?