Computers Lost to Time

Curtis Franklin Jr., Executive Editor | 5/26/2014 | 41 comments

Curtis Franklin Jr.
Today is Memorial Day in the US, a day for remembering those who gave, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, "the last full measure of devotion" for their country and its citizens. It is a solomn day that is the start of the most frivolous season and it is generally observed with memorial services in the morning followed by revelry in the afternoon and evening. It is, in that regard, much like a huge national New Orleans funeral.

Here at Enterprise Efficiency we honor those who have given so much and join our fellow citizens in enjoying the lives we have with a bit of light-hearted fun. In this case, we're going to look at computer systems that have gone to the cosmic bit-bucket, leaving storied names and technological legacies for the industry to follow.

Take a look at our little gallery and then let us know which computers fill your memories. Click on our first image to get started. Then, we'll meet you in the comments for a bit of nostalgia for systems gone by.

Atari 800
The Atari 800 shipped in December 1978. It was a powerful system for its time, featuring 8k of RAM and four slots for cartridges that could hold games or applications. With a list price of $999 it wasn't cheap -- and the 170k floppy disk drives at $599 each didn't make it any more affordable. Nontheless, it was a successful system, introducing many individuals to the possibiity of a 'real' personal computer.
The Atari 800 shipped in December 1978. It was a powerful system for its time, featuring 8k of RAM and four slots for cartridges that could hold games or applications. With a list price of $999 it wasn't cheap -- and the 170k floppy disk drives at $599 each didn't make it any more affordable. Nontheless, it was a successful system, introducing many individuals to the possibiity of a "real" personal computer.

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Joe Stanganelli   Computers Lost to Time   6/1/2014 4:09:36 AM
Re: lost in my mind
I actually do miss payphones.  Sometimes I forget my cell phone after all -- and it would be nice to have that option in an emergency.

(Bostonians are not very fond of the idea of lending their cell phone to a desperate stranger, I have found.)

Now I walk by old payphone stalls with everything ripped out (perhaps a stray wire remains), and it's just sad.
Joe Stanganelli   Computers Lost to Time   6/1/2014 4:07:23 AM
Re: lost in my mind
@impactnow: XKCD just had a relevant comic on what to do with your dead smartphones -- and still stay ahead of the game tech-wise.
Joe Stanganelli   Computers Lost to Time   6/1/2014 4:05:47 AM
And those that aren't
And then at the other end of the spectrum, we have THIS amazing achievement.

(Of course, time will tell whether it works or not.)  ;)
tinym   Computers Lost to Time   5/31/2014 4:23:06 PM
Re: lost in my mind
@impactnow I don't think I ever owned a computer with two disk drives! You were on the forefront for sure :)
Anand   Computers Lost to Time   5/31/2014 2:06:30 PM
Re: Re : Computers Lost to Time
In deed, Time is the master of all things. It is in the computer hardware world that no sane person can ever say that they want to invest in and hold on to specific devices for a lifetime. It is so amazing that in as much as computer technology is the talk of the day, its promise to exist for ages unend with the same form of operation is unpredictable since new devices are manufactured daily and rapidly in the Information Technology industry and therefore, every one should be up their sleeves to have a feel of the once in a lifetime experiences of using the devices that pass with time. I can recall how my grand mother could buy lots of typewriters and computers and keep them in her office back in 2006. She only sold them recently at a throw away price after she realized they were obsolete! :)) SmilesJ. So donot hold onto things for too long, let them pass with time.
tekedge   Computers Lost to Time   5/30/2014 10:51:37 PM
Re: Re : Computers Lost to Time
@Hospice_Hoboungo Yeah I agree. I don't think many people saw the big digital tsunami coming back then. Anyway am glad it did
impactnow   Computers Lost to Time   5/30/2014 11:43:58 AM
Re: lost in my mind
I also had that brick phone battery life of like two minutes. I also thought I was on the technology forefront when my desktop had two disk drives.
Hospice_Houngbo   Computers Lost to Time   5/30/2014 10:32:17 AM
Re: Bulky Monitors and Hefty Keyboards

" Glad to read that some of the E2 community members have experienced all these development.   "

 It is indeed an honour to be part of this great E2 comminuty of very experienced and knowledgeable people. 
Hospice_Houngbo   Computers Lost to Time   5/30/2014 10:25:39 AM
Re: Re : Computers Lost to Time

""I can do math faster on my slide rule". "

Interesting story! Back then, most people didn't believe that computers would become more powerful and better at solving complex mathematical problems.
tinym   Computers Lost to Time   5/28/2014 4:57:24 PM
Re: lost in my mind
Ahh, the bulky moto brick... Fancy display you had.
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