Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Proxima Desktop Projector 2400

I like old video projectors. They've been around in some form since the dawn of television -- the old CRT-based ones were technically the same as televisions with the brightness cranked so that they'd throw an image onto a screen. These evolved into huge three-tube monstrosities that you can now get for the price of a hernia.

But when the LCD display came along things got more interesting. In the late 80s someone started manufacturing little units that sat on top of a classroom-standard overhead projector. IBM's Thinkpad 755CDV laptop from 1995 could have the back of its display stripped off so that it could be similarly used to project an image.

By the end of the 1990s digital projectors had taken a familiar shape and dropped massively in both weight and price... but in the meantime there were some weird species in circulation. I already wrote about one (see the end of the article). Here's another. Excluse the blurry photography.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Worst Computer Of All Time

I've slagged a few computers here for being knock-offs or badly designed -- and I got called out by a commenter on that last one, who basically said "hey, I used one and it wasn't that terrible." And I can't disagree with the guy. Our old cadaver powered up dutifully, dead hard drive notwithstanding, and I don't doubt it would run reliably for another quarter-century.

On the other hand, there have been lots of computers sold with much more serious problems -- laptops with exploding batteries, untrustworthy hard drives, defective motherboard capacitors, computers that had to be dropped periodically, and awful quality drivers, not to mention this infamous scam.

All of this makes the maligned Zenith Eazy PC look pretty good. But this got me thinking: what is the worst computer of all time? Everyone loves a good train wreck -- so if you disagree, please submit your own. But my money is on the IBM PCJr.

Cropped from Marcin Wichary's photo (Some Rights Reserved)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Advertising Fantasy vs. Reality

The Fantasy:

If you buy our laptop (and it would be nice if you bought our camera too), you will be transformed into a glamourous, Photoshop-perfect blonde with an exciting career that allows for copious time spent lounging on the white sands of a seaside paradise in revealing clothing.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vacuum Tube Hacks

Hi all,

Here's a collection of mini-hacks I've been collecting for a while. The theme: vacuum tubes.

Q: Alec, why are vacuum tubes awesome?
A: Get out. I refuse to answer stupid questions.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Field Trip: Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin

 Hi all,

I took a side trip to the German Museum of Technology,, and hereby declare it to be Nerd Heaven.