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Re: [midatlanticretro] [Fwd: Re: MIT want to make $12 Apple II clone (fwd)]

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  • Christian Liendo
    I have my Timex Sinclair that my dad bought me when I was 10yo.. I also have the 16k brick/heat sink. ... From: Timothy J Fagan Subject:
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 6 7:26 PM
      I have my Timex Sinclair that my dad bought me when I was 10yo.. I also have the 16k brick/heat sink.



      --- On Wed, 8/6/08, Timothy J Fagan <tfagan@...> wrote:
      From: Timothy J Fagan <tfagan@...>
      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] [Fwd: Re: MIT want to make $12 Apple II clone (fwd)]
      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Wednesday, August 6, 2008, 6:48 PM

      Herb,
       
      I'm with Christian - if you have a source for Sinclair ZX-80s for $12, please do share!!! Smile emoticon
       
      Christian - if you are looking for a ZX-81 much cheaper than Zebra's ($200?!?!?! Yikes!), let me know. I have a few extra.
       
      --Timster--
       
       

      Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 1:26 PM
      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] [Fwd: Re: MIT want to make $12 Apple II clone (fwd)]

      The Sinclair ZX81 is $200, I can't find a Sinclair ZX80

      http://www.zebrasys tems.com/ zebrasystems/ zx81/index. html

      They could make a $100 computer (not a laptop), problem is it wont make money
      Thats the real issue.

      --- On Wed, 8/6/08, Herb Johnson <herbjohnson@ comcast.net> wrote:
      From: Herb Johnson <herbjohnson@ comcast.net>
      Subject: [midatlanticretro] [Fwd: Re: MIT want to make $12 Apple II clone (fwd)]
      To: midatlanticretro@ yahoogroups. com
      Date: Wednesday, August 6, 2008, 1:05 PM

      "Timothy J Fagan" <tfagan@...> wrote:
      >
      > Ok - I'm officially sick. I want one of these things! LOL.
      >
      Brian posted:

      > > Why do they not use a Commodore 64 instead? It has already been
      > > reduced to a single chip by Jeri Ellsworth and it has enhanced
      > > graphics that are better then what the original C64 had.

      A quick read of the article is informative. There is already a $12
      "clone" of something like the Apple II, made in India. The MIT
      wiz-kids say in the article they want to move past 1970's technology,
      and make something that can access the Internet.

      So, in effect they want to undercut a local/national computer
      producer, and provide a computer that presumes all the infrastructure
      is there to support INternet Web services. wonderful (yawn).

      Other people have already produced single-chip C64 devices. Those were
      those little joystick widgets that played classic Commodore video
      games. Jeri told THAT story herself at the 2007 VCF-East show.

      In my rash opinion, a $12 Internet computer - if possible - would
      require much more than that in supporting infrastructure. The
      so-called OLPC "$100" computer became more like $200, for all the
      things it needed to do, and to be, to support themselves in a network
      of networks, in a village with no electrical power. Chips may be cheap
      to free, but plastics and chemicals and circuit boards and video
      screens DON'T scale down, they have costs per square inch and a
      one-inch video screen won't cut it.

      Besides, here in a vintage computer dicussion, why would anyone
      support a 21st century "upgrade" design, anyway? ;) LEt's produce a
      $12 Z80 machine - oops, too late, it's called a Sinclair ZX80....

      Herb Johnson
      8 bits is enough
      ok, maybe 12...
      retrotechnology. com



    • Herb Johnson
      ... $12, please do share!!! OK fellows...let s focus...focus... My apologies, I meant the Timex Sinclair computers, whatever models which are cheap today. Ebay
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 7 2:38 PM
        "Timothy J Fagan" <tfagan@...> wrote:
        >
        > Herb,
        >
        > I'm with Christian - if you have a source for Sinclair ZX-80s for
        $12, please do share!!!

        OK fellows...let's focus...focus...

        My apologies, I meant the Timex Sinclair computers, whatever models
        which are cheap today. Ebay tells me the T/S 1000's are going for
        $10-$20 and up, plus shipping. Close enough to make my point.

        The point being that a $12, or $20, or $30 computer is likely going to
        NOT have an included display, or very much of a keyboard, or offer
        much performance, or provide much networking capability. So, in fact,
        it's going to be very much like the Apple II or Sinclair computers of
        the 70's and early 80's. The features which would make them "21st
        century" are materials-costly and energy-intensive and will raise the
        price: just as the price of the produced OLPC machines was over $200,
        not the $100 target. One may as well use 1980's technology, period,
        and take advantage of software of that time.

        Again, that is apparently what that Indian company is doing. Now
        *that* is the computer I'd like to see more about. Let's see what Ms.
        Google can tell me...."india computer apple II $12" gives me:

        http://www.teleread.org/blog/2008/08/05/for-india-a-12-apple-ii-desktop/
        http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9111759
        http://www.us2guntur.com/us2guntur/servlet/DisplayServ1?category_id=10017&subcatid=15&choice=ok


        ..and as usual, the press screws up the old-tech/new-tech story. But
        don't take MY word for it, like they say on Reading Rainbow
        (PBS)....If you don't want to follow the links, you can buy the Victor
        90 "Super 8 bit TV Game Graphics" system, a knockoff of the Nintendo
        NES or Famicom, for $23 plus shipping when ordered from an Indian Web
        site (us2guntur.com). I did not register to check for shipping to the
        USA, or if they DO ship to the USA.

        Hey, how many people wanna order this thing for $30-$40 each, guessing
        at shipping costs? Maybe pick them up at VCF East? Let me know.

        Ms. Google led me to a very slick and oh-so-21st-century Web site of
        that "design for development" group referenced in the article, which
        (my error) is only *visiting* MIT for a "design summit".

        http://design4dev.wetpaint.com/page/Problem+Definition?t=anon

        They say they "are exploring the possibility of using 8-bit computers
        as a platform for locally-relevant, effective educational software for
        middle income families, particularly in developing economies."

        Um, I'm only a old-guy retired engineer from Ohio. But, like, why
        don't they design an Internet cartridge for the Victor 90? Why should
        a bunch of international PhD computerists go toe-to-toe and compete
        with some NES knockoff producer (probably China? Malasia?) for
        building a "better" computer? And who will they GET to produce their
        better machine, and distribute it? The very same people they are
        competing with!

        But this "design4dev" Web site is a facinating read! They go on and on
        about this Victor/Nitendo machine. Is it legally right to clone a
        clone? Does Nintendo have a say, a legal issue? Can a game "teach"
        somebody something? "games as cognitive tools"! "how to hack a Nintendo".

        OMG! Let's see what they say about "the history of home computing":

        http://design4dev.wetpaint.com/page/History+of+Home+Computing

        "The TRS80 was the first computer for Daphne Koller, Stanford AI
        researcher, and MacArthur Genius grantee. NYT Article
        (http://oldcomputers.net/trs80pc1.html)

        "Pursuing the Next Level of Artificial Intelligence", NYT By JOHN
        MARKOFF, Published: May 3, 2008

        ..it's another great read of do-do, with a thesaurus-full of hot
        computer phrases: "creating a set of computational tools for
        artificial intelligence that can be used by scientists and engineers
        to do things like predict traffic jams, improve machine vision and
        understand the way cancer spreads. Ms. Koller's work, building on an
        18th-century theorem about probability..."

        Oh, yeah, probability was first discussed in the 1800's. That doesn't
        make shooting craps a PhD project.

        I'm afraid the rest of this description could have been used any time
        in the last, oh, *thirty years* to describe AI work. "She's on the
        bleeding edge of the leading edge" said one of her associates.
        Actually, that's a term from Adam Osborne - yeah, the Osborne computer
        guy - but he meant it as something to *avoid*. Oh, and her link to
        home computing history? The story says she used a TRS-80 when she was
        twelve. I guess the design4dev folks Googled "genius personal
        computer" and found that story.

        My friends, *this* is why it's important to get personal computing
        history *right*. Otherwise anyone looking to make a fast buck from
        some "new new thing" will use Google and justify their work on the
        basis of irrelevant fragments of past personal computing failures or
        successes. It doesn't hurt them to also say: "it's for the
        children....". The British have a good term for this kind of scam:
        "blind them with science".

        Herb Johnson
        still livin' in the 1970's
        retrotechnology.com
      • Christian Liendo
        I guess you saw my post on classiccmp Why I like the idea.. How many people would like to get a computer for their kid (younger than 18) but wont let them
        Message 3 of 12 , Aug 7 3:02 PM
          I guess you saw my post on classiccmp

          Why I like the idea..

          How many people would like to get a computer for their kid (younger than 18) but wont let them touch theirs because they will know the kid will break it.

          If there was a computer (real computer) for $25 that you can hook to a TV and it was full of educational apps and you can hook to a printer, would you buy it?

          I know people who gave their old C64s to kids because they didnt want them touching their PCs and they could easily get software for it. Now it's a bit harder to get the C64s.



        • Stan Brewer
          With all the porn, kid stalkers, and viruses out there, it would be good that the machine could not get on the internet! (My $.02 for Free) Stan
          Message 4 of 12 , Aug 7 6:12 PM
            With all the porn, kid stalkers, and viruses out there, it would be good that the machine could not get on the internet!  (My $.02 for Free)

                                          Stan

            Christian Liendo wrote:

            I guess you saw my post on classiccmp

            Why I like the idea..

            How many people would like to get a computer for their kid (younger than 18) but wont let them touch theirs because they will know the kid will break it.

            If there was a computer (real computer) for $25 that you can hook to a TV and it was full of educational apps and you can hook to a printer, would you buy it?

            I know people who gave their old C64s to kids because they didnt want them touching their PCs and they could easily get software for it. Now it's a bit harder to get the C64s.



          • Bryan Pope
            ... Actually, the C64 can already get directly on the internet (with its own IP address) and it is pretty much immune to the viruses out there... As for the
            Message 5 of 12 , Aug 7 6:30 PM
              Stan Brewer wrote:
              > With all the porn, kid stalkers, and viruses out there, it would be
              > good that the machine could not get on the internet! (My $.02 for Free)
              Actually, the C64 can already get directly on the internet (with its own
              IP address) and it is pretty much immune to the viruses out there...
              As for the other two, they were already there long before the internet
              came into being.

              Cheers,

              Bryan

              >
              > Stan
              >
              > Christian Liendo wrote:
              >>
              >> I guess you saw my post on classiccmp
              >>
              >> Why I like the idea..
              >>
              >> How many people would like to get a computer for their kid (younger
              >> than 18) but wont let them touch theirs because they will know the
              >> kid will break it.
              >>
              >> If there was a computer (real computer) for $25 that you can hook to
              >> a TV and it was full of educational apps and you can hook to a
              >> printer, would you buy it?
              >>
              >> I know people who gave their old C64s to kids because they didnt want
              >> them touching their PCs and they could easily get software for it.
              >> Now it's a bit harder to get the C64s.
              >>
              >>
            • Stan Brewer
              I was the DEC Systems Manager at a major manufacturer in S.C. when our Windows Servers were brought to their knees by a Virus. The Windows Systems Manger was
              Message 6 of 12 , Aug 7 6:54 PM
                I was the DEC Systems Manager at a major manufacturer in S.C. when our Windows Servers were brought to their knees by a Virus.  The Windows Systems Manger was pulling his hair out.  I asked him if he had one of the infected files located.  He said, "Yes".  I asked him if he would e-mail it to me to my VMS account.  I will not repeat what he said.  : )

                                                       Stan

                Bryan Pope wrote:

                Stan Brewer wrote:
                > With all the porn, kid stalkers, and viruses out there, it would be
                > good that the machine could not get on the internet! (My $.02 for Free)
                Actually, the C64 can already get directly on the internet (with its own
                IP address) and it is pretty much immune to the viruses out there...
                As for the other two, they were already there long before the internet
                came into being.

                Cheers,

                Bryan

                >
                > Stan
                >
                > Christian Liendo wrote:
                >>
                >> I guess you saw my post on classiccmp
                >>
                >> Why I like the idea..
                >>
                >> How many people would like to get a computer for their kid (younger
                >> than 18) but wont let them touch theirs because they will know the
                >> kid will break it.
                >>
                >> If there was a computer (real computer) for $25 that you can hook to
                >> a TV and it was full of educational apps and you can hook to a
                >> printer, would you buy it?
                >>
                >> I know people who gave their old C64s to kids because they didnt want
                >> them touching their PCs and they could easily get software for it.
                >> Now it's a bit harder to get the C64s.
                >>
                >>

              • mejeep_ferret
                ... Wow, that s still 10% of their initial cost, not too bad compared, to, say, Commodore 64s :-) The joke s on me: I have one kinda new-in-box, and I ll bring
                Message 7 of 12 , Aug 8 7:46 AM
                  > My apologies, I meant the Timex Sinclair computers, whatever models
                  > which are cheap today. Ebay tells me the T/S 1000's are going for
                  > $10-$20 and up, plus shipping. Close enough to make my point.

                  Wow, that's still 10% of their initial cost, not too bad compared, to,
                  say, Commodore 64s :-)

                  The joke's on me: I have one kinda new-in-box, and I'll bring it to
                  VCF for my z80 exhibit. No, I'm not giving it away as a booby-prize.
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