Hackaday Retro Edition Roundup


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.

17 thoughts on “Hackaday Retro Edition Roundup

    1. I did, however, as it turns out, an electron microscope made from the magnifying glass on a swiss army knife, a pack of chewing gum, and a 9-volt battery fails miserably as an electron microscope!!! Doh!

    1. The retro subdomain isn’t really anything, thus the reason it hasn’t been updated in months. There isn’t any new content on the retro site, either. It’s just 5 or so random pages from the first 10,000 HaD posts.

      It’s just something cool I whipped up in a day. It gives all these retro computers somewhere to go on the Internet (when’s the last time you saw a pure HTML site without javascript or CSS or anything), and has the added bonus of these retro submissions.

      1. Yes. I’m worried about missing things because I don’t want to have to scour the internet to find the things I like… which is basically all of hackaday, I check 3 times a day.

  1. The apple blogger mentions that he has no way to make the 800kb system floppies as he only has 1.4mb floppies. I have used 1.4mb disks to boot a fatmac (512k) by taping over the HD hole to have it recognized as a 720kb floppy, and then using a performa to format it to 800kb and write the system files. Worked fine, though I’ve heard low quality discs can cause issues. The idea was based on the old trick of using a hole puncher in the corner of a LD disk to have it recognized by the drive as an HD disk saving some money on media back in the late 80s and early 90s, though there was a higher risk of data loss.

    TL;DR: mac disks are physically the same, and HD disks can be used as LD with tape.

    1. Memories,,,
      I remember stealing 3.5″ HD Floppies from my dad to use on my old Tandy 1000 TX. I only had a DD floppy drive and had to tape over the hole and reformat for 720kb. I didn’t have a HDD at the time so there was a lot of disk swapping when downloading shareware from my favorite BBS over my 2400bps modem. Z-Modem FTW!

    2. The coercivity of the oxide on DD and HD disks are different, so while it might work to use HD disks in DD drives, anything written to them may become unreadable faster than on native DD disks. Of course, if that’s all you have…

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