Hackaday Retro Edition: Retro Roundup


We’ve rebooted the Hackaday Retro Edition and again we’re getting a few submissions for retro successes – old computers that somehow managed to load our crappy, pure-HTML, no-javascript edition.

Inspired by the Palm Lifedrive in the previous retro roundup, [Bobby] dug out his Palm TX and loaded up the retro edition with the Blazer browser. Given this device has WiFi and a browser, it’s not much, but [Bobby] did run in to a bit of a problem: Palm never released WPA2 for personal use, and this device’s WPA abilities are buried away in a server somewhere. Interesting that a device that’s relatively young could run into problems so easily.

How about another Palm? [nezb]’s first smartphone, back in 2003, was a Treo 600. He dug it out, got it activated (no WiFi), and was able to load the retro edition. Even the Palm-optimized edition of Slashdot works!

How about some Xenix action? [Lorenzo] had an Olivetti 386 box with 4MB of RAM with Xenix – Microsoft Unix – as the operating system. The connection was over Ethernet using a thinnet card. Here’s a video of it booting.

[Eugenio] sent in a twofer. The first is a Thinkpad 600, a neat little laptop that would make for a great portable DOS gaming rig. It’s running Mandrake Linux 9, his very first Linux. Next up is the venerable Mac SE/30 with a Kinetics Etherport network card. It’s using a telnet client to talk to a Debian box.

Here’s one that was cool enough for its own post: [Hudson] over at NYC Resistor salvaged an old Mac SE with a BeagleBone Black connected to the CRT. This effectively turns the SE into a modern (if low powered) ARM Linux box. Emulators are always an option, though, as is loading our retro edition in xterm.

Links to the pics below, and you’re always welcome to dust off your old boxxen, fire it up, and load up the retro edition. It’s new and improved! Every half hour or so, five classic hacks from the first 10,000 Hackaday posts are converted to pure HTML. Take a pic and send it in.

28 thoughts on “Hackaday Retro Edition: Retro Roundup

  1. My Palm T|X has no problem with WPA-PSK and uses my Apple Airport Extreme through WPA-2 without any issues. Always has.
    The Palm T|X may be “retro” but it’s still a viable device even today. :)

      1. I’m old too. We share a common collection of old stuff I bet :)
        If you like, I will find that update and tell you where to get it. I really do still use my T|X for stuff and prefer it over devices that are dependent on the Internet and cell services for simple things like calenders and personal lists of telephone numbers.
        Heck, I still use a Palm Treo 680 as my only and daily-carry cell phone :)

        1. I think something was lost in translation. I did use the WPA update, but that isn’t the same as WPA2 which my network uses and WPA is limited to TKIP and not AES. WPA2 on T|X requires the extra radius authentication often found on corporate networks, i.e. not worth the effort when you can setup a guest wifi network for WPA/TKIP with device isolation as added protection. I pointed out in my submission that this was so much a hack as just a longer setup time than usual.

    1. Nah, you could write a renderer in BASIC for the simple stuff. There’s no graphics, so you don’t have to worry about italics or bold. Tables might take some thinking, but they wouldn’t fit on the screen anyway. Unless you were using pseudo-hires, and that’s a brain-twister anyway.

  2. My Thinkpad 600 has Windows 98 on it and a built-in 56k modem… on top of that (and I’ll have to dig it out to verify) I have a Xircom PCMCIA ethernet card loaded in it. Either way, it was fully-able to go online when it was new.

  3. My Thinkpad 600 loads up regular (not retro) hackaday over wifi and it takes just a few seconds.
    (btw. when I did it first time, the styling was messed up and I thought it was the old laptop, but just a few hours later it said on hackaday that it was their fault and one day later the site looked normal on the antique laptop)
    I also have a ThinkPad 350 and 360PE and I bet I can load regular hackaday on these. Oh wait the 350 has only 4 MB RAM and uses hard-to-find 3.3V SIMMs…

    1. It does change. Every hour or half-hour or so. It posts five random posts from the first 10,000 Hackaday posts.

      As for why we’re not just stripping the tags from front page posts, we… uh… we kinda need people to see ads. You’re free to use Adblock on Hackaday (although it would be awesome if you didn’t), but using front page posts for the stripped-down, HTML-only edition might affect the bottom line.

      You may now comment as to why making money and paying for servers is evil.

          1. There’s a link to ‘sucesses’ on the header of the page. That only goes to “web 2.0” HaD posts tagged as a retro edition post, though.

            I had the successes go to this page, but realized I was just duplicating everything in a terrible format (that’s also a pain to update).

            If you have any ideas, I’m all ears.

          2. Right now I have a script running on the server that pulls the HTML from five of 10k files and reassembles it into the index.html file.

            I suppose I could put something in that script that reads all the posts associated with a wordpress tag, scrapes them, gets rid of all the HTML cruft, keeps track of them, and inserts them into the collection of 10k posts. It’s not *hard*, and that’s just one step away from doing the retro site properly: generating the retro site from every Hackaday post, ever. It would be a good afternoon project

            If people complain, I’ll do something like that. In fact, if I ever need to kill an hour or two when I’m at the Overlord’s office, I’ll do that.

  4. The Thinkpad 600 really isn’t that impressive, it can run Win 2k, run a wifi card and load the normal website, if you really want to impress you should use something older, like maybe an abacus.

    1. You’ll get minus points from me, but that’s just the jealousy. Can you play Civ on that thing? What about Railroad Tycoon? I’d love a tiny thing that can play the old DOS games.

      1. Oh, I also have a HP200LX (no hinge crack!). You can play anything that doesn’t use protected mode or 386+ instructions (it has most of 286 instructions).
        You can play Elite, Prince of Persia, Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, Neuromancer… Sadly, Monkey Island runs slowly. I tried to run Civ, but I think it hang and I had to restart the thing. Railroad tycoon probably doesn’t run. It seems not to run Arctic adventure :-(
        However, it’s great for learning how to program – you can run Borland Pascal, Borland C, Sphinx C–, Microsoft BASIC etc. This thing teaches you optimizing and assembly (8 MHz 80186, remember).
        Sadly, I don’t have a PCMCIA network card nor the ability to use Ethernet over RS-232.

  5. I loaded the site up on my phone wristwatch. Chinese one, watch did it all by itself, not linked up to anything. I’ve got a photo somewhere if you like. It’s not retro, but it IS crappy!

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