Laser 128 computer

Laser 128 computer

The Laser 128 computer was an Apple II-compatible home computer manufactured by Video Technologies Ltd in Hong Kong and sold in the 1980s. It was available via mail order and in some retail stores like Sears. In spite of the name, there wasn’t anything optical about it. The name “laser” just sounded like high technology in the 1980s.

Other Apple II clones usually violated Apple’s copyrights, but the Laser 128 did not. It blended some of the features of both the Apple IIe and IIc computers.

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RAM Doubler remembered

RAM Doubler remembered

RAM Doubler was a fairly popular product for Macintosh computers in the 1990s. But you can’t buy it today, and if it seems like it’s been a while since you’ve seen or heard of it, there’s a reason for it. Ironically, it was a competing product that didn’t work that brought it down. Here’s what happened to RAM Doubler.

RAM Doubling products worked by setting aside an area of memory and compressing it, then decompressing it when you needed it. It was a form of virtual memory, theoretically faster than traditional virtual memory that used disk space, but less stable.

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Bill Gates: Hero or Villain?

Bill Gates: Hero or Villain?

Is Bill Gates a hero or villain? Is he good or bad? It’s complicated. The most complicated thing about it is the people who answered the question one way five years ago say the opposite now.

Like many aging tycoons, Bill Gates changed as he aged and started thinking about his legacy. That’s why people who used to think of him as a villain to think of him as a hero today, and people who once idolized him to think of him as a villain today.

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Atari 2600 voltage regulator troubleshooting and replacement

Atari 2600 voltage regulator troubleshooting and replacement

There’s not much that goes wrong with an Atari 2600. Virtually every problem I’ve ever found with them has to do with the electrical path. That means the power supply, the power switch, or the voltage regulator. Outside of those three parts, I’ve never seen a problem with one. Let’s talk about the Atari 2600 voltage regulator and troubleshooting the rest of the internal electrical path.

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NEC V20 CPU: A bit of pep for an XT

NEC V20 CPU: A bit of pep for an XT

The NEC V20 was an Intel 8088 compatible CPU that ran slightly faster. It was a niche CPU in the 1980s and 1990s but was a popular cheap upgrade for power users, especially in instances where motherboard swaps were impractical. It retains a following with retro computing enthusiasts today.

The NEC V20 was pin-compatible with the Intel 8088 but included some unique forward and backward compatibility features. It included the 80186 instruction set and could also emulate the Intel 8080, in addition to being faster than the 8088.

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Timex Sinclair 2068: the ZX Spectrum’s ill-fated brother

Timex Sinclair 2068: the ZX Spectrum’s ill-fated brother

The Timex Sinclair 2068 was the US version of the much more popular Sinclair ZX Spectrum, one of the most successful home computers of the 1980s in the UK. The 2068 unfortunately didn’t match its British brother’s success.

Timex withrew from the US computer market in February 1984, soon after the release of the Timex Sinclair 2068, one of the early casualties of the home computer wars. The 2068 proved to be the last of Timex’s home computers.

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What is a phreaker in hacking or IT terms?

What is a phreaker in hacking or IT terms?

What is a phreaker in hacking or IT terms? Phreaking is largely obsolete and doesn’t happen much anymore, but it’s an important historical concept in computer security. While phreaking wasn’t the first form of hacking, it’s probably the first example of hacking in a modern sense.

Phreaking was hacking the phone system, usually to make long distance calls for free. Some people phreaked for the thrill of it, but many of them did it because they made more long distance calls than they could afford. Two famous phreakers from the 1970s were Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the co-founders of Apple.

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How to disassemble an Atari 2600 VCS

How to disassemble an Atari 2600 VCS

Whether you’re looking to clean it or service it, sometimes it’s necessary to take apart an Atari 2600 console. The iconic older models can be a little tricky to take apart and put back together, but they aren’t super difficult. Here’s how to disassemble an Atari 2600 VCS.

An Atari 2600 or VCS is held together by 4-6 screws on the underside. The two screws at the front of the console sit at a conventional 90-degree angle, while the rear screws sit at a tricky 60-degree angle.

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