Have fun building these papercraft models of vintage computers

Rocky Bergen says: "Construct the computer from your childhood or build an entire computer museum at home with these paper models, free to download and share. Print, Cut, Score, Fold and Glue." Read the rest

Commodore PET 4032 vintage computer restoration project before and after photos

Here's a pretty incredible vintage computer restoration project from IMGURian and classic computing aficionado Skottyboy. The finished product is amazing, so's the crusty old “before” snapshot! Read the rest

Watch: the evolution of desktop computer motherboards since the early 1990s

I recently discovered Christopher Barnatt's YouTube channel, ExplainingComputers, and I highly recommend it. Barnatt is the author of 13 books about computers and has taught for 25 years at the University of Nottingham. He explains digital technology very clearly, and many of his videos contain tests and demonstrations. In his latest video, he presents the evolution of computer motherboards since 1990, starting with the Intel 386 that ran at 20Mhz (no fan or heat sink needed!). It's amazing to see how things have changed in a few decades. Read the rest

How to send an email, 1984 edition

Attention crackers - his Micronet password is 1234. Read the rest

A farmhouse shrine to obsolete computers

York University's Jim Austin, a teacher of neural computing, has accumulated some 1,000 machines across 30 years of collecting obsolete computers. He keeps them in four sheds at the top of of a hill behind his farmhouse in Yorkshire.

The London Review of Books visited Austin and learned some fascinating things about hardware depreciation:

‘This IBM mainframe was $8.7 million in 1983,’ he told me when I went to see them. ‘Which in today’s money is $24 million. I mean, that’s astronomical. And they’re scrapped after four years. That’s it. Scrap.’ He points to another. ‘The Fujitsu supercomputer, I think it depreciated at £16,000 a week for three years. Then it was zero.’ Behind the IBM and the Fujitsu are more machines: DECs, Wangs. ‘I just take them all home. I preserve them. I just collect them, because I like them. And I’ve got the sheds, so I just put them in.’

The visit to Austin's shrines to obsolescence makes for almost poetic reading -- especially the story of 2005's 64th-fastest machine in the world, whose former owner traded away half its processor boards for chocolate bars. Read the rest

Altair 8800 clone

The Altair 8800 computer cost $621 when it was introduced in 1976. The Altair 8800 Clone is also $621, but it comes with 64k of static memory for free (in 1976, 1k of static memory for the Altair 8800 was $139). (Via Andy Baio) Read the rest