Skip to content

Tag: Compact Flash

IBM Personal Computer XT

With Apple, Tandy, and Commodore’s early microcomputer success, the industry speculated how IBM would respond. The mainframe giant had dominated computing for decades, but its initial efforts to make a viable microcomputer had fallen flat. That changed when Bill Lowe and Dan Estridge set out to develop a micro outside the usual IBM bureaucracy. Just twelve months later, in August 1981, they unveiled the IBM Personal Computer (5150). The PC was made from off-the-shelf components with a custom IBM BIOS. Though it could run the popular CP/M operating system, it came packaged with BASIC and a new disk operating system from Microsoft. The early 5150s were a high-priced competitor to the 8-bit micros of the day, but IBM quickly iterated…

1 Comment

Compaq Presario 3060

Compaq succeeded in getting the better of IBM throughout the 1980s. First, reverse-engineering the PC’s BIOS when creating the trailblazing Compaq Portable. Then, introducing Intel’s 80386 processor in the Compaq DeskPro computer. Finally, spearheading industry opposition to IBM’s proprietary Micro Channel architecture and developing the competing EISA bus. Though Compaq soared through the ’80s, it suffered when PCs were commoditized in the early ’90s. Lagging sales in 1991 prompted Compaq’s chairman, Ben Rosen, to orchestrate the ouster of long-time CEO Rod Canion. Rosen and Canion disagreed on how Compaq should respond to the industry’s race to the bottom, with Canion favoring in-house technologies and Rosen wanting to purchase off-the-shelf components. In June 1992, under new CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer’s leadership, Compaq…

2 Comments

Apple iPod 3rd and 4th Gen

If you have more than one pocket, why not have more than 1,000 songs in each? After building confidence restoring the 6th and final version of the iPod Classic, I was ready to take on a dual restoration of a 3rd and a 4th generation iPod. The 3rd generation iPod belonged to a good friend who insisted on only including full albums from different genres and shuffling between them with abandon. The 4th generation iPod was my first. A gift from my wife given shortly after we were married. This iPod was my daily companion for many years, allowing me to enjoy custom playlists and introducing me to a steady rotation of podcasts. Apple’s 3rd generation iPod was the first…

2 Comments

Compaq Deskpro 386s

Compaq was a bold and innovative company, producing some of the best computers of the 1980s. Founded by a trio of former Texas Instrument employees, the company famously (and legally) reverse-engineered the IBM PC and created the first successful portable PC. After making a name for itself, Compaq pivoted to the desktop. The Deskpro line of computers was known for quality, speed, and a steep purchase price. In 1986, the Deskpro 386 was the first computer with Intel’s groundbreaking 80386 processor, ushering in the 32-bit revolution. The later Deskpro 386s, manufactured in 1988, had an updated form factor and another first–this time, Intel’s new 80386SX processor. I was visiting a friend’s house in the mid-80s when I was introduced to…

7 Comments

Dell Dimension V333c

Restoring vintage computers is certainly nostalgic, but it is also therapeutic. It feels good to clean something dirty, restore something old, and improve something so it lasts. I have a long history with this early Celeron computer, so awakening it from its long slumber was particularly satisfying. I bought this computer in December 1998 as a Christmas gift for my parents. It replaced the home-built 386 I assembled as a teenager. Now a college graduate with my first “real” job, I was proud to provide them a significant technology upgrade. When Dell created the Dimension V333c, it was a great value at an important time in PC history. The race between Intel, AMD, and Cyrix was neck and neck, and…

1 Comment
© 2023