I was selling computers at retail when I heard of Gary Kildall’s death. We had a few copies of Wordstar for Windows and someone asked about it. I said it was easier to remember the keyboard shortcuts in Wordstar than Wordperfect.
“You sound like a CP/M guy,” said someone who overheard me. “Did you hear that Gary Kildall died last month?”
I hadn’t, and he wasn’t surprised. I was curious, so I went to the library and found a whole lot of nothing. A month or two later, I found a mention in a computer magazine column that Kildall had died in a barroom fight but it gave no specifics.
Continue reading Gary Kildall’s death investigation
When I was 19 or 20, I paid a visit to my old grade school to do some computer repair. My fifth-grade teacher dropped in, saw me cleaning up the contacts on a circuit board, and asked why I wasn’t using Everclear. Cleaning electrical contacts with Everclear is, at least, a practice people talk about a lot.
Well, I couldn’t legally buy Everclear yet, for one thing. But let’s talk about why Everclear is good for cleaning electrical contacts but there are other things that can be better.
Continue reading Cleaning electrical contacts with Everclear
Many years ago, I wrote something titled Memory Buying Secrets. That post is lost to history, thanks to migrations in this site’s early years, but there are a number of things you need to know when you’re buying memory that can save you money and frustration, so I figured I would revisit that topic today. Here are my tips for buying computer memory, based on decades of experience. Continue reading Tips for buying computer memory
Before the Amiga was a computer, Amiga was a struggling independent company trying to stay in business so it would get its chance at changing the world. In order to make ends meet while they developed their multitasking computer, Amiga produced and sold joysticks for the game systems and computers that were already on the market.
These joysticks turn up on Ebay fairly frequently.
Continue reading The first (and maybe cheapest) Amiga product for Amigaholics like me
“Dad!” my sons approached me breathlessly. “Did you know they’re making an Angry Birds Transformers?”
“I’m not surprised. They’ll make Angry Birds anything. Angry Birds Do Taxes. Angry Birds This Old House. Angry Birds This Old Car.” And then, for the coup de grâce, I added, “Angry Birds Beavis and Butt-Head.”
Do I need to tell you my very young boys quickly lost all interest in Transformers and wanted to know everything about Beavis and Butt-Head? OK. They wanted to know everything–and I mean everything–about Beavis and Butt-Head. Especially Butt-Head. Continue reading My Angry Birds pals
I find little, if anything, to disagree with in this tough-love post from Mr. Money Mustache from February: Why the middle-class keeps giving itself the shaft.
I find several takeaways from it. Continue reading Some tough-love money advice I missed before
In a shocking turn of events, PCs are now outselling tablets. Last year it was the opposite. What’s going on?
Priorities, that’s all. It’s the cycle of events in electronics. It’s happened before and it’s going to happen again as the market matures. Continue reading PCs are dead! Tablets are hot! Tablets are dead! PCs are hot!
The famous story of Atari burying millions of dollars of unsold videogames, including the infamous E.T. cartridge, is no longer just a legend–it’s been confirmed.
How they got there was mostly a misunderstanding of the nascent business. Continue reading How thousands of Atari cartridges ended up in the desert
There was one other interesting quote in the Post-Dispatch’s Top 10 collectibles for value this week:
10. Boxes (yes, simple boxes!)
For a starter, wooden boxes of all types with and without locking mechanisms, souvenir boxes, tea boxes, cigar boxes, jewelry, knife boxes and the list goes on for value. If you can put something in it, somebody wants to give you money for it.
Don’t get too excited, but a box doesn’t have to be made of wood to be valuable. Even a cardboard box can have some value, depending on what came in it. But don’t get too excited. Continue reading The high-dollar cardboard box
There’s been a fairly spirited discussion lately in the always excellent Yahoo Marx Train group about the merits of Marx tin trains versus plastic ones. Some people like them all, some people prefer one or the other, and almost everyone with a preference is apologizing to the people who prefer the other.
That’s part of what makes that group great–the lack of elitism and looking down on others whose preferences differ–but in my mind, there’s no apology necessary because very few hobbyists have the time, space, or budget to collect everything. Continue reading You can’t collect everything