Category: hardware

EPA ENERGY STAR 5 POWER SAVINGS

As the number of personal computers grew in the early 1980s the EPA stepped in with some initiatives to help reduce the need for additional expensive power plants. Acid rain was the main motivator as coal was still the primary source of power in the late 1970s. Originally in the 1980s the CRT VGA monitor …

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THE PCI SLOT

The PCI slot was originally introduced in 1992 but it took few years for Intel to developed chipsets in addition to other logic needed to integrated the new slot into motherboards, Originally the slots were designed for 5V operation but later versions added 3.3V. The slot was changed to prevent using 5V cards. Eventually universal …

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SOLID STATE FLASH DRIVES

15-36tb_ssd_02

Solid state drives (SSD) have become very popular with laptop machines. For many years laptop users, struggling with slow hard disks, bought SSD replacements by the millions. Back in the early 1990s SanDisk was offering solid state flash based storage. 20MB was $1000. Fast forward to 2016 and now you can get 2TB for $1000. …

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PCMCIA

Pcmcia-type-ii-and-iii

PCMCIA is based on the EIDE architecture found in desktop personal computers. By using a smaller connector with power and other signals, it allowed the use of solid state storage other other peripherals to be attached. In Japan the JEIDA standard competed with PCMCIA so in 1991 after some pressure from industry the standards were …

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COMPAQ 386/20

Back in late 1988 we bought the Compaq DeskPro 386/20. This machine was $3,500 new in 1988. The desktop design is rather common in the CRT era as monitors were generally placed on top the machine. SPECIFICATIONS Intel 80386 20 MHz OEM motherboard 2MB EDO DRAM 3½” floppy 720MB Seagate ST251 40MB hard disk 100W …

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REFURBISHING MACHINES

ICUTE 640 CHASSIS

We have often refurbished old machines for impoverished persons who can then use the machine at little cost. Unfortunately many who discard old machines with BIOS passwords etc set that makes it more costly to refurbish. Desktop machines can be repaired for much less cost than a notebook machine. Desktop machines also are dramatically more …

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THERMAL INTERFACE MATERIAL

The CPU and GPU both are high power components in the typical gaming PC. CPU coolers generally use a fan and heatsink assembly that is clipped or screwed into place. Gaming graphics cards use double slot coolers to support a thicker heatsink and cooler. Video cards can exceed 450W of power so excess heat has …

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IBM PS/2 MODEL 80

The IBM PS/2 Model is the flagship of the original launch on June 1987. The machine reviewed is the Model 80-111 which cost $10,995 in Q4 1987.. MCA slots ISA slots 80386 20 MHz 2MB RAM supplied 16MB Maximum 128kB BIOS 1.44MB floppy drive VGA, EGA, MCGA graphics 11t5MB hard disk 230MB maximum disk capacity …

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HARDCARD

hardcard

The IBC PC usually had a single floppy drive. Quantum realized some machines could used an expansion card to add storage. The original Quantim 10MB hard card was $1095. The earlier Xebec Owl 10MB disk was released in August 1984 with a 5¾” disk and a SASI controller on a card. Quantum introduced the hardcard with …

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RAM CARDS

384KB AST Six Pak

In the early days of the PC, memory was installed on cards to be placed into expansion  slots. This is due to the relatively limited capacity of the system board. The S100 platform offered many more slots than the IBM PC or PC-AT could offer. improved density made it more practical to have fewer slots. …

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RODIME RO352

RODIME RO352

The Rodime RO352 is he first hard disk available in the 3½” format. This disk cost $1,895 when new in 1983. 11MB ST506 interface 306 cylinders 4 heads 17 sectors 306 landing zone type 02 3600rpm The Rodime RO0352  is a ST506 MFM hard disk in the 3½” format . There are two models in the series, RO351 …

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HARD DISK ERRORS

mfm hard disk

Occasionally hard disks run out of spare sectors. Often those errors arise after a few years of use. It is best to format the disk and then check the media to be sure all of the bad sectors are mapped. This way Windows can continue to use the disk for general use. FORMAT Generally format …

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HERCULES GRAPHICS CARD

Hercules_MDA

The Hercules graphics card was released late in 1982. The card is compatible with the IBM MDA card but it offers an additional LPT port saving on a slot and the expense of a printer card. The Hercules card sold for $499 which was typical for a video card in 1982. The card immediately was …

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OUR VIDEO CARDS

IBM MDA

The original PC offered 2 different video cards. The monochrome display adapter (MDA) and the color display adapter (CGA). Soon after that came the enhanced graphics adapter (EGA) and then the video graphics adapter (VGA) became the design standard that sill is in widespread use today. While we have divested of numerous graphics cards, we are …

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HARD DISK CAPACITY

Vendors use a decimal system on top of a binary one. They do this to make their products look bigger. Most disks present data using the binary system, sectors are 512 bytes however modern high capacity disks are now using 4096 byte sectors driven in part by the master boot record limitations and also to …

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