Commodore SX 64

Commodore SX 64

Over the course of its 12 years on the market, Commodore released a number of Commodore 64 models. The computer’s capability changed very little over time, but the technology did. The world changed a lot between 1982 and 1994, and that gave Commodore some opportunities to lower costs, chase other market segments, or both. The Commodore SX 64 was an example of this.

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1980s technology

1980s technology

Although 1980s technology is recognizable today, by modern standards, it was very primitive. Yet I can’t think of another decade that was so obsessed with technology. Growing up in the 80s probably is what made me a technologist, and I know I’m not alone in that. Many of my peers went the same direction I did for the same reasons. So let’s take a look at 80s technology and how it shaped the world to come.

Subsequent decades railed against the 1980s in many ways, but you have to learn how to walk before you learn to run. It’s clear that the 1980s was, if nothing else, that turning point. While 1989 technology is primitive compared to 30 years later, elements of modern technology were present in 1989 that weren’t visible at all in 1980.

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Video card vs graphics card

Video card vs graphics card

Occasionally someone comes on a hardware forum and asks for help with the terms video card vs graphics card, and apologizes for possibly asking a n00b question. The thing is, it’s not a bad question at all. While there’s technically no difference between them today, in retro computing, there was a difference. And even in modern times, the two words certainly imply different things. So let’s dig in.

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How to connect a NES to a modern TV

How to connect a NES to a modern TV

TVs have changed a bit since 1986, and memories have faded a bit too. So just in case you’ve lost some cables, or just need a refresher, here’s how to connect a NES to a modern TV so you can get a Zelda or Mario fix.

Keep in mind your vintage 8-bit Nintendo NES will work just fine with a modern LCD or LED TV, but the light gun won’t work right with newer TVs. The light gun requires a CRT to operate. Also, while it is possible to modify an NES to output something resembling a modern digital video format, I’m assuming you’re not looking to go to that kind of trouble, and just want to connect an unmodified Nintendo console to an unmodified TV.

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Cyrix processor chips: In memoriam

Cyrix processor chips: In memoriam

Cyrix was a scrappy, up and coming CPU manufacturer in the 1990s. They never had Intel’s name recognition, but for a few years they made life more difficult for its larger rivals, Intel and AMD. For a while, Cyrix processor chips were a popular choice for value-conscious PC buyers.

Cyrix contributed a lot of confusing alphabet soup to the 1990s CPU market, and their chips usually weren’t the highest-performing chips available. But they usually did provide good value for the money, even though Cyrix never was a premium brand.

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