November 6th, 2015 by Benj Edwards
Tags: This Old Tech, PC World, freelance work, Toshiba, Toshiba T1000, MS-DOS, news, announcements, personal stories, laptops, column
Today, PCWorld published the inaugural entry of my new column, This Old Tech. In the column, I will be writing about vintage gadgets, games, and computers — pretty much the same stuff I talk about on Vintage Computing and Gaming. So far, the plan is to publish a new piece every Friday.
For the first column, I talk about the first MS-DOS computer I ever learned to use, the Toshiba T1000 laptop. I still have the same machine from all those years ago, so aside from just waxing nostalgic, I also attempt to get it working again.
So spread the word — I am looking forward to exploring my personal tech history in this new column. I hope you enjoy it.
February 4th, 2013 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Apple, PowerBook, PowerBook 100, laptops, Smithsonian, Black History, African American, demographics, 1992
One big happy family — and a PowerBook (click to see entire ad)
It's Black History Month once again in the US, so I thought it would be timely to share this Apple PowerBook advertisement from 1992.
The ad appeared in the February issue of Smithsonian Magazine; I don't think it is a coincidence that it prominently featured people of African descent. It also prominently featured the PowerBook 100, which had just been introduced a few months prior in October 1991.
The obvious racial focus of this ad brings to my mind a couple of interesting, if racially-charged questions: What percentage of black Americans, historically, have used Apple products versus other computer brands? Do African Americans, like other demographic groups, have their computer or tech brands of choice?
Today, Apple is such a mainstream company that the answer to the first question is most certainly larger than it likely was in the pre-iPod era. It would be interesting from a cultural standpoint to peek back into private demographic customer studies that Apple no doubt commissioned at various points in its history.
As for an answer to the second question, I have no idea. But I would love to hear from African American computer users to find out.
[ From Smithsonian Magazine, February 1992, p.10-11 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your favorite PowerBook model?