eBay’s Fee Structure – An Unattractive Option for Casual Sellers

ebay-1

On April 30, 2004, I officially joined the growing number of users on eBay. Initially the first few years my account wasn’t particularly active, and it was only to purchase random cheap stuff. At the age of 19, priorities certainly weren’t on purchasing old computer bits and pieces.

This decade though the account has been more active, both for buying and selling. The buying experience has generally been positive, with only the occasional hiccup along the way. There was a time I successfully bid on some enterprise level software, including an early version of Microsoft Exchange for the lowly amount of $1. The software was never received and the seller was not responding – I guess they felt it wasn’t worth it.

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Designing Windows 95’s User Interface

win95uidesignThree years ago I came across an interesting paper written up by a Microsoft employee, Kent Sullivan, on the process and findings of designing the new user interface for Windows 95. The web page has since been taken down – one reason why I’m a bit of a digital hoarder.

It specified some of the common issues experienced from Windows 3.1’s Program Manager shell and looked at the potential of developing a separate shell for ‘beginners’. Admittedly my inclination was that this was possibly inspired by Apple’s At Ease program that was reasonably popular during the System 7 days. I remember At Ease well during my primary school years, so kids couldn’t mess with the hard disk in Finder.

So here’s what Kent had to say verbatim in his paper titled “The Windows 95 User Interface: A Case Study in Usability Engineering” so it’s not lost altogether.

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eBay Purchase #13 – Adaptec 2906 SCSI Card

adaptec2906eBay Purchase Price: $25 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: New Old Stock

In the way Creative Labs were a major player with sound cards, Adaptec were the equivalent in regards to SCSI cards. Here I picked up Adaptec’s 2906 still in shrink wrap.

SCSI (pronounced “scuzzy”, and meaning Small Computer System Interface) was the interface of choice for devices where faster data transfer speeds were of benefit. This typically meant hard disks, CD-ROM drives, scanners, and Zip drives, as an alternative to the slower IDE and parallel cable options available.

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eBay Purchase #12 – Honeywell 101WN AT Keyboard

honeywellkb-1eBay Purchase Price: $20 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Excellent

Lately I haven’t been trawling through eBay until only just a few days ago. When I did this keyboard was found, known as a Honeywell 101WN.

In more recent times of owning 486 and early Pentium PCs, I didn’t find much in the way of keyboards. IBM mechanical keyboards have the reputation as being the best, with ones in excellent condition easily going for $200 or so, sometimes more. Alternatively I took the approach of picking up a couple of new Microsoft PS/2 keyboards, as they were cheaper and easier to find. These would then be plugged into an adapter to convert PS/2 to the old 5-pin DIN connector on the motherboard.

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Setting Up a 386DX with Windows 95 using PCem 12

pcem-386win95Not along after posting about using PCem 11, version 12 was available for downloading literally a few days later. Due to this, I’ll briefly go over the changes before delving into setting up a virtual 386 PC with Windows 95.

Why a 386? Windows 95 required as a minimum a 386DX to run. Back in the day when a 386 was rather common, I’d only see them with 4 or 8 MB of RAM running Windows 3.1. However, in more recent times I did see someone who had a highly-spec’d multimedia 386 build with 64 MB of RAM on YouTube, and the performance of Windows 95 wasn’t that bad considering the hardware involved. This is an attempt to mimic that virtually.

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10 Games Growing Up in the 1990s

As someone born in 1985, much of my pre-teen years were spent playing various games designed for DOS or Windows 95. With little pocket money, most games acquired came in the form of someone else purchasing a used PC and using several floppy disks to copy them, or demonstration versions enclosed with a magazine. Normally it wouldn’t be until Christmas or my birthday that I could go out and purchase a new game, though in hindsight really should have spent the money upgrading the hardware.

Here’s my ten games that I enjoyed and spent a large amount of time playing during the decade in no particular order.

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