Rare Computers of the 1990s

April 19th, 2011 by Benj Edwards

15 Amazing Computing Rarities of the 1990s

I have a secret: computer history didn’t stop at the end of the 1980s.

This fact may seem obvious to long-time VC&G readers, because this site’s working definition of “vintage” in the computer and video game realm is 10 years old or older.

But many vintage computer sites you’ll find out there don’t bother to cover PCs made in the 1990s — that era of utter and almost absolute IBM PC-clone dominance — mostly out of disgust for the bland uniformity of that decade’s computer offerings.

Well, It’s time to look beyond that self-imposed glass wall and peer into a decade that was not nearly as devoid of interesting alternative machines as some people think.

My most recent slideshow on Technologizer, “15 Amazing Computing Rarities of the 1990s,” is dedicated to that task. It takes a good look at 15 rare and unusual machines that the 1990s made. I hope you enjoy it.

9 Responses to “Rare Computers of the 1990s”

  1. BRIK Says:

    Awesome slideshow. I’ve never really thought much about 90’s computers, I really want that Mega Drive one!

  2. Benj Edwards Says:

    Thanks, BRIK. I’m glad you liked it. I think out of my most recent slideshows, this is one of my favorites. The subject is fascinating enough that I think I’ll go read through it again. Imagine: reading your own articles to learn things. 🙂

  3. Adam Vandenberg Says:

    What game is being shown on that Sega PC?

  4. Jim U. Says:

    My old boss had a Gateway Destination HTPC. I got to know it fairly well when I had to reinstall Windows 95 after the hard drive died. Windows 95 just wasn’t up to the task of being a HTPC OS. It was a pretty interesting computer for the time with some fun features. My guess is that half of its $4000 price came from the monitor since a new 36″ TV at the time cost over $1000.

  5. MrD Says:

    “because this site’s working definition of “vintage” in the computer and video game realm is 10 years old or older.”

    I have a 2001 Pentium 4.

  6. Andrew Fisher Says:

    It seems those PC TV combinations were well ahead of their time…

  7. Chris Says:

    The HP Omnibook. I got it and I just can’t get myself to throw it away. even though I never use it.
    I want to keep it as an example: look at this! No need for cooling, runs on 4 AA batteries, instant sleep/wakeup, the OS on ROM/Flash. A wonderfully engineered and designed system.

  8. Benj Edwards Says:

    Here’s something else to consider about our 10-year vintage definition, MrD: the PlayStation 2 came out March 2000 in Japan. Halo for the Xbox came out in November 2001. Crazy, eh? It may be a few years yet before I start talking about “vintage” PS2 games, but the 10 year minimum is still handy because that time frame was ages ago in terms of technological progress — and it recognizes that things get old whether we like it or not.

  9. Daniel Says:

    The Sega PC was a cool idea though kind of obsolete today since you can just install a Sega Genesis/Megadrive emulator and run it on any PC.

    I had a Compaq CDTV520 ‘all-in-one type’ system that had a tv tuner in it that ran on Windows 3.1 and actually allowed screen captures from the tuner. It was pretty cool for a computer from 1993.

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