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Dave Farquhar

Dave Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started out in desktop support in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator, and now specializes in vulnerability management. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and vintage computers.

Marx train set 4222

The Marx 4222 steam type electric freight train set was a hybrid set from the early 1950s with a plastic 400 locomotive and four wheel plastic tender paired up with 6 inch tin freight cars. At least four variations of this set exist. They all came with the same locomotive and tender and a New York Central 20102 caboose. The differences in the variations are in the type and number of freight cars.

This specific set illustrates the challenges of collecting Marx sets. Marx used the same catalog number on multiple variations in the same decade. It’s not something Marx did all the time, but someone at Marx must have liked the number 4222. One of the variations I found wasn’t in Robert Whitacre’s 1991 Greenberg’s Guide to Marx Trains Vol 3: Sets.

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Why the Atari Jaguar is so expensive

Atari’s final game console of the 20th century was a console called the Jaguar. It entered a crowded game console market when it was released in late 1993, and it left the market in 1996 with more of a whimper than a roar. Today, it is a prized collectors item. Here’s why the Atari Jaguar is so expensive.

Launched in November 1993 at a price of $249 and soon reduced to $199, and then to $159 and $99, the Jaguar is worth considerably more than that today.Read More »Why the Atari Jaguar is so expensive

IBM PC DOS 2000: An underrated DOS

What’s the ideal operating system to run on a retro PC? There are several names you hear over and over again. MS-DOS 6.22 is probably the most frequent option. MS-DOS 3.31 is one that comes up from time to time. I don’t think enough people talk about IBM PC DOS 2000. I think it’s an underrated choice.

IBM PC DOS 2000 was derived from the same code base as MS DOS 6.22, so it has a very high degree of compatibility with the most popular retro DOS. But it also has some advantages.

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Marx train set 761

The Marx 761 train set was a windup set headed by Marx M10005 diesel engines, one with a clockwork motor and one unpowered, along with freight cars. It allowed Marx to use up slow selling obsolete inventory. Marx sold it from 1951 to 1953, when presumably it had worked through its surplus of locomotives.

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Apple IIc

The Apple IIc was the 4th computer in the Apple II line, introduced in April 1984. It was a bit of a departure from the earlier Apple II machines.

The Apple II, II+, and IIe were strictly desktop computers. The system unit was a large box with an integrated keyboard and, importantly, expansion slots. The expansion slots went a long way toward ensuring the Apple II’s longevity. When you ran out of hardware capability, there were seven expansion slots to plug more hardware in to solve your problem.

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Hubbell Twist-Tite outlet

A friend bought an old house recently, and he came across an odd outlet. He asked me to look at it, wondering what it was, and if it was even AC. He thought it might be high voltage DC, a holdover from a very different time. It turned out what he had was a Harvey Hubbell Twist-Tite outlet.
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Why Jeff Kent isn’t in the Hall of Fame

Jeff Kent has an unusual Hall of Fame case. He has a reputation for being surly, not being the best teammate, and then there is that motorcycle incident, but if his career had looked a little bit different, I think everyone would have looked right past all of that.

I argue that Jeff Kent had an inverted career, and that inverted career made it more difficult for him to put up conventional Hall of Fame numbers.

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