eBay Purchase #19 – Onkyo DX1015A4 Netbook

onkyonetbook-2eBay Purchase Price: $143.77 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Very Good

Although not the first time small form-factor laptops have come about, the years between 2007 through to about 2012 became prime time for netbooks. Touted as being ultra portable and inexpensive, most netbooks were rather much alike with their specifications and offered little point of difference. In the end, there lacklustre performance contributed to their demise, and were largely replaced with tablets.

This is where the Onkyo gets more interesting, released only for the Japanese market originally for a fairly pricey sum of over 70,000 yen (~$650 USD, ~$850 AUD). Many netbooks were only half that price. It is effectively a re-badged Kojinsha DZ.

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Windows Home Server

winhomeserver-2In 2007, Microsoft announced and later released Windows Home Server as a way to improve data management around the home. Whilst the 1990s was a time when households may have purchased their first computer, the following decade saw an increase in multiple computers potentially leading to having your data all over the place, such as on USB memory sticks.

By 2010, I decided to have a home server. It was driven by storing internet downloads mostly, and so I built a rather modest Intel i3-based (1st-gen Westmere) PC for this task. My logic was that it would be a more useful and neater solution than purchasing several external USB hard disks over time. Among the parts to piece this PC together, was a copy of Windows Home Server purchased for under $100 AUD.

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eBay Purchase #18 – Microsoft Word for Windows 1.1a

mswinword11-7eBay Purchase Price: Unknown

Country of Origin: Australia & United States

Condition: Good & Brand New (2 x copies, Academic & Retail)

Word processing software has been with us since the earliest days of the PC. Electric Pencil and WordStar were such pioneers before Microsoft Word came about. Microsoft jumped in with Word 1.0 for MS-DOS in 1983, followed by the Macintosh in 1985. Windows and OS/2 releases didn’t materialise until 1989. The original Windows version was designed for Windows 2.x. As Windows 3.0 hit the store shelves in 1990, Word 1.1 soon followed as a maintenance release.

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eBay Purchase #17 – Macintosh System 7.5

macsystem75-8eBay Purchase Price: $100 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Excellent

The mid 1990s was a challenging period for Apple. Steve Jobs had long been absent, a fragmented Macintosh product line existed (e.g. Performa, Quadra, Centris, and Power Macintosh), Windows 95 grabbing the attention of the media, and the difficulties pursuing the Copland project.

Obviously Steve was far from pleased.

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My ‘Ultimate’ 486 Build Revisited


Back in 2014 I began a project to build myself a 486 PC. It proved to be slow going, not just to get the right components, but also spending time troubleshooting. Two years later I finally had it all functioning. Initially the aim was just to have a usable 486 without getting too fussy over the hardware. Maybe with a DX/2 66 processor, 8 MB of RAM, an entry-level ESS sound card, and so forth. However, as things accumulated over time it proved to be better than I had imagined. ‘Ultimate’ can be subjective – no doubt some other enthusiast has one with more RAM and thrown in a TNT 3D video card, but my aim was to keep it fairly period correct.

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eBay Purchase #16 – Apple Macintosh LC II

maclc2-1eBay Purchase Price: $200 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Good

It’s been years since owning a beige Macintosh, and I had an itch to own one again. A little while ago I picked up this Macintosh LC II off eBay, from the state of Queensland. Getting a Mac from the LC series wasn’t my first choice, having preferred finding a Quadra or Performa instead. Between price, condition, and the models out there to choose from it’s hard pickings. Nevertheless there was some sentimental value towards this model – it was the model I experienced using a Macintosh for the very first time.

The LC family began with the original Macintosh LC released in October 1990, and the  series continued up until 1997 with the Power Macintosh 5200/75 LC in an all-in-one form factor. The earlier LC models were commonly referred to as pizza boxes, given their slim design, and in hindsight could be seen as the then Mac Mini. I’m not fully certain on officially what the LC represented, whether it was “low cost”, “low cost colour”, or from the name of Project Elsie in which the objective was to build a more affordable Macintosh with a colour screen. Whichever it may be, the LC was aimed for families and the education market as a lower cost alternative to the Macintosh II.

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File Manager Returns

filemanager-largeiconThis isn’t something I’d expect from Microsoft, and it must have been a bit of a flashback for Ian Ellison-Taylor.

File Manager, once the default file management tool during the heyday of Windows 3.x and NT has come back to life for Windows 10. Now available in open source under a MIT license, two variations of the source code have been published on GitHub. The only dependency is for the Visual Studio 2015 C++ runtime to be installed on your PC.

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