HP Touchpad tablet

HP Touchpad tablet

The HP Touchpad tablet was, dare I say it, the biggest technological flop of the 2010s. It was HP’s attempt to compete head to head with Apple with a premium-priced tablet that didn’t run Android and, of course, didn’t run Apple’s iOS. Instead it ran WebOS, an operating system it acquired from Palm, Inc.

HP didn’t meet expectations with the Touchpad, and discontinued it after just 50 days on the market. But there are lessons to learn from HP’s experience with its tablet, even if it’s largely forgotten today. Read more

CRT burn in

CRT burn in

CRT burn in is a phenomenon where an image becomes permanently etched into a monitor’s phosphors. This causes the outline of the image to remain visible, even when the monitor is off. It’s a problem that we frequently find on vintage CRT monitors today.

Burn in is most frequently associated with CRTs, though it can happen with other display types. Modern technology usually mitigates burn in on newer displays, so burn in rarely happens with modern displays, such as LCD or LED displays.

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How many Atari 2600 games are there?

How many Atari 2600 games are there?

The Atari 2600 had the largest game library of its generation, and it wasn’t close. Other systems surpassed it, but in its time, the 2600 was king. But how many Atari 2600 games are there? Like many questions, it depends.

It’s really two questions, since some titles were released under multiple names, even though they were the same title. There were about 450 unique Atari 2600 games, but the number of variations of those games pushes the total number of cartridges much higher, around 900 by some counts.

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Commodore 1084 monitor

Commodore 1084 monitor

The Commodore 1084 monitor was Commodore’s flagship monitor, a monitor that worked with everything they produced in the late 1980s, including the C-64, the C-128 in 40 and 80 column modes, the Amiga line, and Commodore’s CGA-equipped PC clones like the Commodore Colt. Its versatility makes it popular with retro computer enthusiasts today. Not only does it work with almost any Commodore computer, it also works with a lot of non-Commodore computers.

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Baking computer chips: Fixing chips in an oven

Baking computer chips: Fixing chips in an oven

Does baking computer chips fix them when they’re broken? Can you fix computer chips in an oven? The answer is sometimes. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to know when it will help, and when it does, we may not know why. But, when faced with a broken chip, we don’t exactly have anything to lose, either.

Baking computer chips does seem to fix them, at least sometimes. Whether it works depends entirely on why the chip failed in the first place, which isn’t always possible to know.

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Jonard EX-2 review: The best chip puller

Jonard EX-2 review: The best chip puller

If you’re looking for the best chip puller or IC extraction tool, I don’t think anyone will argue with my assertion it’s the Jonard EX-2. I finally picked one up this fall after watching various retro Youtubers use them for more than a year. The videos aren’t exaggerating. This chip puller makes life with retro machines much easier. This is my Jonard EX-2 review.

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MOS 6522 replacement

MOS 6522 replacement

One question that comes up pretty frequently among vintage computer enthusiasts is what to use as a MOS 6522 replacement. Commodore used this chip extensively, but so did others. There are suitable replacements in the form of second-source 65c22 chips, but not all of them work. Here’s what to use.

Commodore went out of business in 1994, and started winding down its chip production as early as 1992. But some of its designs were available through second sources, and the 6522 was one of them.

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