Hackaday Retro Edition And Retro Roundup

Retro-Roundup

About a year and a half ago, We launched the Hackaday retro edition, a small off-shoot of the main edition that is written in pure HTML, with no Javascript or any other Web 2.0 cruft. It’s designed so you can load this edition on any computer, from an Apple Newton to a Commodore 64. And people have done just that.

After a long period of neglect, we’re re-launching the retro edition with a new feature: every hour or so, five random Hackaday pages, going all the way back to the very first post will show up on the retro site. Yes, this was a feature we originally planned for the retro site, but now Hackaday has awesome devs working behind the scenes. I mean, they can set up a cron job! It’s amazing!

As always, you’re more than welcome to load our retro site with any vintage hardware, take a picture, and send it in. Odds are, we’ll plaster it up in one of these semi-frequent retro roundup posts.

No retro roundup post would be complete without a few examples of people loading the retro edition on old hardware. You can check a few out after the break.

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Hackaday Links: August 11, 2013

While we’re not much for fashion hacks, we’re reasonably impressed with [Karolina]‘s faux Chanel bag made of chips. Apparently a grid of black squares is one of Chanel’s trademark looks, and a thousand or so QFP chips makes for a reasonable substitution.

News of the death of our retro edition has been greatly exaggerated. [Brandon] got an old Apple IIe up on the Internet and loaded up our retro edition, so we’re sort of obliged to mention him. He’s using a Super Serial Card connected to an OS X box running lynx. With getty running, he can shoot the output of lynx over to the Apple. Awesome.

Take an old Yamaha organ, convert the keyboard to MIDI, throw in a few Arduinos, thousands of LEDs, and a handful of bubble machines. What you end up with is the bubble organ, as seen at the Bass Coast Festival last weekend. If you want a hands on, you can also check it out at the Rifflandia festival in BC, Canada this September.

Some guy over on reddit created the smallest Arduino in the world. We’re looking at a rank amateur here, though. I’ve been working on this little guy for the last 18 months and have even created an open source cloud based github design for the production model. It’s less than half the size of a Digispark, and also Internet of Things 3D interactive education buzzword buzzword.

[Moogle] found an old Super 8 camera at an estate sale. No big deal right? Well, this one is clear, and it uses light-sensitive film. Your guess is as good as ours on this one, but if you know what’s up, drop a note in the comments.

One day [John] decided he would put a PC inside an old G3 iMac. After a year, it’s finally done. He took out the CRT and replaced it with a 15″ Dell monitor. The G3 was discarded for an AMD, and the internal speakers and slot-load CD drive still work. It’s a really, really cool piece of work.

Hackaday retro edition roundup

Retro

The Hackaday retro edition hasn’t been updated in a while, and for that I am very sorry. Still, digging through my email reveals quite a lot of very cool retro computers that were able to load the retro edition over the Internet, and it would be a terrible shame to let these awesome submissions die in my inbox. Without further adieu, here are the best retro computers that have been sent in over the last few months:

[Scott] got his Mac SE to load up the retro edition. This was a chore; after getting a serial connection from his SE to the outside world, [Scott] realized he didn’t have a browser on his retro mac. 800k drives are a pain, it seems. He eventually got everything running in a terminal session, and the retro edition loaded beautifully.

How about another Mac? This one is [Raymond]‘s Mac II, the first not-all-in-one Macintosh. NuBus Ethernet card, Netscape 2.02, and 26 years of history behind this machine.

Here’s a weird one: it’s a Siemens interactive display originally used for a building management display. It has a 10 inch touch screen display at 640×480 resolution and runs Windows CE 5.0. After fiddling with some files, [Nick] managed to get the networking running on this machine and tried to load Google. Anyone who has played around with the class of machines we seen for retro submissions knows what happened next (nothing), but luckily [Nick] remembered Hackaday has a retro site. The rest is history.

[Kyle] has a really cool box on his hands. It’s a Compaq 486SX overclocked from 25MHz to 33MHz. 20 Megabytes of RAM, network card, and a Soundblaster 16 make this computer from 1993 a very respectable box for old DOS gaming. It can also browse the web with Arachne.

Finally, [cnlohr], the guy who made his own electron microscope  never mind, he’s still awesome and can manufacture glass PCBs at home, found an old green screen CRT while cleaning out a friend’s place. He hooked it up to one of his glass PCB AVR microcontroller things and did the usual text terminal fare; ASCII Star Wars with telnet and using lynx to load up the retro site. It’s only a 48-column display, but the retro edition is surprisingly readable. Very cool.

Hackaday Retro edition: The Macintosh SE/30

In 1988, Apple introduced the Macintosh IIx, an upgrade of the Mac II that included a Motorola 68030 CPU. The IIcx – a compact version of the IIx, also with a 68030 – was introduced in 1989. That same year, product designers at Apple created a more powerful version of the all-in-one Macintosh SE using the same CPU found in the IIx and IIcx. Unfortunately, the naming convention didn’t hold but the Macintosh SE/30 is still the greatest computer Apple will ever build.

Earlier this month, [Greg] sent in a submission for our retro edition successes. A huge mac fan, [Greg] connected his Powerbook Duo to an Ethernet adapter and loaded up our retro edition. [Greg] is back again, this time with an SE/30.

In the three pictures [Greg] sent us (in the gallery after the break), you can see his extremely clean SE/30 booting into System 7 and loading up our retro site. In the third picture, you can see [Greg] playing Bolo, one of the first network-enabled games ever made, and still a very fun waste of time today.

If you’re wondering what makes the SE/30 so great, consider this: the SE/30 is able to address up to 128 MB of RAM. Keep in mind this computer is from an era when one or two Megabytes of RAM would be more than enough to get just about any job done. The SE/30 also made a fabulous server. Even today it would be a capable home media server if it weren’t for its relatively slow networking capabilities and 2 Gigabyte file size (not volume size) limit.

[Greg] has a very cool machine on his hands here, and we’re pleased as punch his SE/30 could make its way over to our retro site.

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Hackaday retro edition roundup

It’s time for another update chronicling the adventures and misadventures of getting really old computers to load our retro edition!

First up is [Andrew Hull] and his brilliant use of a Raspberry Pi to get an old Psion 5mx PDA on the Internet. The Raspi served as a wireless bridge, taking in Internet from a WiFi dongle and sending it back out via a serial port. Here’s a great guide for enabling PPPD on the Raspi, and giving just about anything with a serial port an Internet connection.

It may push the limits of being a retro submission, but [Glen]‘s use of a modem to get on the Internet calls to us like a siren song.

Did you know Corel made computers? Well, [Victor] has one, and it’s actually a pretty interesting machine. ARM processor, an actual hard drive, and dual Ethernet ports. It was built in the late 90s and the hard drive has since died, but [Victor] booted it into Red Hat over his network and loaded up our retro site.

Finally, we come to [Greg]‘s submission. He could have sent in a Mac SE/30 submission, but figured that was old hat (do you see one on there, [Greg]. No. And it’s the best computer Apple will ever make). Instead, he had an old Powerbook Duo 2300c with a Duo 230 screen lying around.

Powerbook Duos are pretty weird; they only had two ports – a single DIN-8 serial port and a dock connector. [Greg] had a Powerbook Duo dock that surprisingly had an Ethernet port. Third-party peripherals to the rescue, it seems. After plugging his Duo to his network and launching iCab, [Greg] was able to browse both the retro and main Hackaday editions. Picture Not bad for the smallest laptop Apple made before the Air.

Oh, [Greg] was also cool enough to write a tutorial for getting just about every Macintosh on the Internet. We’ve put that up on the retrocomputing guide portion of our retro site, and we’re always looking for new submissions.

You can check out the pics from all these submissions in a Web 2.0 WordPress gallery after the break, or head on over to the retro site and view them the way the gods of HTML intended.

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Hackaday retro roundup, this time with a PowerPC and a PET

Thought we forgot about this, didn’t you? Well, the Hackaday Retro Edition is still going strong, and this time we have a few more retro successes that were able to load our retro site with ancient hardware.

First up is a submission by [rusbus]. He had a Power Macintosh 6100/60 lying around – the first Macintosh with a PowerPC processor instead of the Motorola 68k – and loaded up our retro site. There are some weird quirks about the 6100, notably the AAUI Ethernet tranceiver connected to a 10BASE-T network.

Although some browsers are available for the 6100, notably iCab (it’s not great, but it also works on 68k machines), [rusbus] had to settle for Internet Explorer 3.01. He eventually got it working and has a picture to prove it.

On the subject of finding a proper web browser, [azog] loaded up the retro site with a Commodore PET. There aren’t any web browsers for a PET, you say? Well, [azog] had to make one.

The network adapter is a Retroswitch Flyer Internet Modem, and after finding some network-aware projects on the Retroswitch site such as an IRC and Telnet client, [azog] put together an extremely crude web browser. In BASIC. Old BASIC. We’re impressed.

With [azog]‘s browser, the PET opens up a channel to a URL, reads the text coming in, and processes it. There’s only 1kb of video RAM and 32kb of system RAM, so small luxuries like scrolling are nearly impossible. An amazing piece of work, really.

Finally, [Bob] from Portugal sent in a neat Flickr gallery of a Schneider euro XT he found in his basement. It’s based on the IBM PC/XT running an Intel 8088 processor, but is enclosed in a ‘the keyboard is the computer’ form factor reminiscent of a C64 or TRS-80. He hasn’t gotten it on the Internet yet, but it’s still a cool piece of kit.

Hackaday retro edition roundup

In case you’ve forgotten about it, we still have a retro edition of Hackaday. It’s our simple, hand-coded HTML site featuring a few random hacks from Hackaday’s 8-year history. There’s also a retro successes page where our readers can log on with their old boxxen and claim their prize as a master of retrocomputing. Here’s a few retro successes that came in over the past month or so:

Our second OS/2 Warp submission comes from [Chris]. He got an HP Omnibook 800CT running OS/2 Warp 4 to load up our retro site.

A few of you may be wondering what the upper bound of what we consider a retro computer is. [Witek] used a Wyse thin client from the year 2000 to pull up our retro edition. These terrible computers used a Compact Flash card plugged directly into an IDE port to load up Windows CE. Yeah, it’s technically a SSD. [Witek] put the GRUB bootloader on one and loaded up our retro edition with Debian Squeeze. We have too many bad memories of these thin clients, and we’ve got to commend [Witek] for putting the effort into doing something useful with one.

[leadacid] is on a roll. He gave us our first OS/2 Warp submission and has since moved onto an IBM RS/6000. Previously, he got a Macintosh 8100 and a Quadra 840AV to pull up the retro site. Nice job.

Those are all the retro submissions for now, but if you have an old computer lying around, try pulling up our retro site and send it in.