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Old computers

Jhopesstrawberry

𝒜𝒾𝓃𝓉 𝑒𝓋𝒶 𝒷𝑒𝑒𝓃 𝒶𝓃𝑜𝓉𝒽𝒶 𝒷𝓇𝑒𝑒𝒹😜
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(ignore my weird title)
So I've been forming this addiction to old computers/ laptops. They just look so nice even. I would rather a old computer than a new one. The problem im finding is if some of the computers will still work with the internet now adays and just buying one in general. So many people are just selling old whatever the heck these things are called:
1620961832621.png

Anyways 99 percent of the time thery are expensive. NEC computers, Macintosh computers or the just beautiful aesthetic computers in general are nowhere to be found, but I could by an 2006 MacBook for 30 something dollars.
Screenshot_20210513-220335_eBay.jpg

I'll find you someday 😢 my precious
1620962001403.png

Does anybody know any way that could help me and maybe some things I should know before buying old computers?
 

mdchachi

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That first one is called a "desktop" computer. Or "desktop tower."
Realistically if they are too old, they are not suited to modern computing tasks. Both the hardware itself and whatever old OS it may be running.
But it could be a learning experience for you to try to get them running. Repair them or whatever.
Often people throw these things out or are just trying to get rid of them, so I'd keep on eye on Facebook Marketplace to see what pops up in your area.
Or you could even post on nextdoor about how you just need an old computer temporarily to get you through the school year.
And people will feel good for helping you out and finally getting rid of that old computer sitting around that they didn't need but didn't want to throw out.
 

Uncle Frank

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This was the first computer I used in the Navy in 1970. It was about 5 feet tall and 2 feet wide. It was made by Bunker Ramo company and only had about 8MB of memory. It crashed a lot and you had to reboot it by flicking toggle switches on and off. Once it came up you ran a paper tape to reprogram it.
brc.jpg brc2.jpg
 

Uncle Frank

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dek.jpg ptr.jpg


Data entry was done with a keyboard and paper readout , no monitor screen at all. The punched tape had the computer's program on it and you ran it through a tape reader like the one shown. My nickname was "Flash" because I could type 120WPM on this old junker , LOL.
 

Petaris

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This was the first computer I used in the Navy in 1970. It was about 5 feet tall and 2 feet wide. It was made by Bunker Ramo company and only had about 8MB of memory. It crashed a lot and you had to reboot it by flicking toggle switches on and off. Once it came up you ran a paper tape to reprogram it.
View attachment 42230 View attachment 42231

8MB of memory meaning storage or RAM? It seems pretty high for RAM which, is what I would consider memory, for that time period. Or did you mean 8KB of memory?
 

Uncle Frank

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You're right more like 4 to 8 KB , LOL. There was a ton of equipment hooked to it and about 8 other stations in the net with Hawaii being the net controller . This is just some of the HFDF equipment hooked into it. I sat in a room like this for 2 years tracking Russian & Chinese targets. hfdf.jpg
 

Jhopesstrawberry

𝒜𝒾𝓃𝓉 𝑒𝓋𝒶 𝒷𝑒𝑒𝓃 𝒶𝓃𝑜𝓉𝒽𝒶 𝒷𝓇𝑒𝑒𝒹😜
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You're right more like 4 to 8 KB , LOL. There was a ton of equipment hooked to it and about 8 other stations in the net with Hawaii being the net controller . This is just some of the HFDF equipment hooked into it. I sat in a room like this for 2 years tracking Russian & Chinese targets. View attachment 42234
Wow... that looks more futuristic than some of our computers
 

Uncle Frank

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The big Bunker Ramo gave off a ton of heat. In the winter time we had a cot behind it to take naps on the midnight shift. It only took 3 guys to run the room and we usually had 5 on duty. It gave us a lot of goof off time. The building had a giant AC unit , but all the electronics running kept it pretty warm most of the time. The first year , we trained with M-16's to protect the building in case of attack , LOL. We always wondered , attack by who? The second year , they bought in hundreds of thermite bombs to place on top of all the equipment , to melt it and destroy it in case of attack. In a building with no windows and only one door out , not a great plan , LOL. After the capture of the spy ship Pueblo in 1968 by the North Koreans , the Navy got real paranoid about secret gear and paperwork being captured.
 

johnnyG

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I have a mac mini from 2009 or so, dual drive server version. I've upgraded it to 16GB RAM and one of the discs is now SSD (boot disc) so it runs really snappy. That drive is 480GB, the other, an actual hard disc, is 500.

But I don't use it much as a computer, and may try to set it up as a media center one of these days.
 

Jhopesstrawberry

𝒜𝒾𝓃𝓉 𝑒𝓋𝒶 𝒷𝑒𝑒𝓃 𝒶𝓃𝑜𝓉𝒽𝒶 𝒷𝓇𝑒𝑒𝒹😜
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I heard of that! I wonder how that worked. I'm guessing if other people used the phone that would stop you from being able to use the computer? If you got it today would you still have to use a telephone line?
 

Uncle Frank

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I'm not sure if any of the real old computers could handle hooking to the internet?? Pretty sure the use of WI-FI would be out though. Using a cassette player to download programs was strange also. Writing a simple program for it was a nightmare , one little typo would screw it all up. The phone sounds when you hooked it on line were really strange sounds. The real old phone lines often had a party line and that did not work well. I remember our first phone was a party line and when you picked up the phone to use it , you had to listen to make sure the other family was not on it talking. Building a computer was real easy , everything could only go one way so it was hard to make a mistake when building it. The one giant worry when building your own was static electricity that could burn a chip out like a lightning strike. I used to have a big anti-static mat to build on and a metallic strap I wore on my wrist , wired to a water pipe and static free clothes. Felt a bit like a mad scientist when building. I did 4 builds but never had one last more than 3 years , for some reason , the motherboard always burned out.
 

Jhopesstrawberry

𝒜𝒾𝓃𝓉 𝑒𝓋𝒶 𝒷𝑒𝑒𝓃 𝒶𝓃𝑜𝓉𝒽𝒶 𝒷𝓇𝑒𝑒𝒹😜
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Oof... i genuinely just fell in love with them because of their looks the same with cassette's in general. But could you still turn it on? Of all the old computers, which one do you think was the best and would probably do the best during this day and age? Im sorry i have so many questions. Downloading programs from casette players? It just seems like a whole new world. I hate how simple everything is now i love archiving old sites and such cuz it makes me feel smart😂😂😂
 

mdchachi

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The worse part was needing the telephone line to hook to the internet.
It wasn't really the Internet at that time. I'm surprised you had anything to connect to. I guess some sort of chat or BBS?

I heard of that! I wonder how that worked. I'm guessing if other people used the phone that would stop you from being able to use the computer? If you got it today would you still have to use a telephone line?
Yep, you either had to get a dedicated line for your computer or occupy the line which nobody could use while you were on. If you picked it up you could hear a bunch of static-like noise that was actually data going through the telephone system. Only Neo from the Matrix could understand it. And if you wanted to download dirty pictures you'd have to wait a long time to download grainy photos that may or may not be any good. You wouldn't know until after the file had been downloaded and you could then open it. Or so I've heard.
 

Lothor

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I heard of that! I wonder how that worked. I'm guessing if other people used the phone that would stop you from being able to use the computer? If you got it today would you still have to use a telephone line?
Commodore 64 computers precede the common use of the internet by a decade. But you're right about the phone. In the 1990s, as well as having to unplug the internet connection to use the phone, when you used the internet nobody could phone you.
 

Uncle Frank

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So long ago , but I think it was a Commodore club I connected to. Seems it was around 2000 that AOL and CompuServe were popular . I remember having hundreds of AOL discs I used for target practice. I love the new computers where everything is in the monitor so only my keyboard and trackball on my desk. I do remember having a few different phone modems back then.
 
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