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Reply 100 of 129, by realnc

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The market was different back then. People who wanted a computer were few and far between. But lots of families had kids that wanted a "computer" (in reality they wanted something to play games on.) I couldn't go to my parents and say "yeah, so, can I get that $3000 computer over there?" Not gonna happen. But a $600 computer? Much more likely.

In fact, my friends all had Amigas or Ataris. But VERY few of their parents had one.

Reply 101 of 129, by ZMacZ Furreh

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😊

Mah concept..http://www.sciforums.com/threads/zmacz-cloud- … ge-v1-0.145882/

Too bad it died before it was born..
While thinking about it I quickly came to the conclusion that it was impossible to make
it precise enough to cover the wanted/needed distance and thus limit it's storage capacity
to well beyond cost effectiveness..

But enough about my flight of fancy... 😁

I'm not sure if it's appropriate, but...

You guys that made DOSBox...you are AWESOME !!!

It's never been easier to play DOS games, not even DOS itself...
(used to have a DOS machine with W98, old Athlon 800 (slot) for playing DOS games)
(most games would work on a well oiled and configurated W98 Dos..)

Anyways, thanx for the hard work, I enjoy it's abilities to the fullest.
If you ever make a WinXP emulator for standalones imma boot off the old XP and use urs instead..
Same environment every time...

See you laterz...

- goes back to playing gog and other old games (that are still guuuud ! )
(whatever is on the market today is mostly copies of copies, with boosted graphics and less
ingenuity than most old games..graphics are for show, but game mechanics are for play..)

Reply 102 of 129, by shamino

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Sometime back around 10-15 years ago, there was a card slot on the back of new TVs. You were supposed to plug a standardized card into that slot which would be given to you by your cable provider. The card would authorize what channels you were paying for.
This eliminated the need for an external tuner box from the cable company, allowing you to actually use the tuner that's **already built into every TV**. Imagine that. Madness.
When you buy a TV with a tuning interface that you like, now you can actually use it.
It also mean that you could actually use the picture-in-picture feature, tuning 2 channels at once. Finally you might be able to use this feature in real life.
Some TVs had an integrated TV Guide menu. This would now be usable.
Some TVs can be optionally controlled through a serial port. This of course includes changing channels, and now it would work.

The TV finally would have the power to tune it's own channels, enabling the seamless use of whatever features your TVs level of fanciness wanted to provide. The interface will be the interface that you bought when you bought the TV.
All controlled with the one true full featured remote that came with and was designed for your TV. You aren't stuck with the generic interface/features forced on you by that nasty box from the cable company.

[edit]Did it flop? Everybody I know still has those stupid external boxes.
But I just remembered the name of these cards (CableCard) and searched it, and supposedly it's still an active standard. I also don't think I've seen any more TVs with that slot ever since the one time I saw it on a TV built about 10 years ago.

Reply 103 of 129, by Azarien

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Did it flop? Everybody I know still has those stupid external boxes.

It all depends on where you live, what standards are used, and what kind of tuner(s) are built into your TV.

Long time ago my parents had a cable that didn't require any external boxes. And there were no cards. Channels you didn't pay for were filtered out in the wiring. Imagine that. It just worked.

Now I don't watch much TV, but when I do, it's DVB-T (digital terrestrial) and doesn't require any box either (provided you have a compatible TV).

Reply 104 of 129, by Zup

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That kind of interfaces are (almost) standard on EU, but they don't act exactly as you said.

In my country (Spain) there were some pay per view channels using DVB-T. If you want to see them, you must acquire some kind of "decoder" card and plug it in on the interface slot. The channel was received via DVB-T, the data was transferred to that card (or the card had the decryption keys, I don't know too much about the details), and the decrypted data was shown on screen.

What could go wrong? One little thing went wrong. At about the same data that Spain moved from standard TV to DVB-T, internet was reaching speeds that allowed full video streaming and most operators were offering TV contents via internet. Why anyone would pay for ONE channel (at least in Spain there was only one coded DVB-T channel) when they could pay to see much more content and channels?

Today, there are no coded DVB-T channels in Spain (don't know about other countries). The interface is standard and shipped with most TVs, but I don't know anybody that uses or have used it. Maybe it has more functions, but it's about the same as AMR slots... it's everywhere but nobody uses it.

About TV Guide: my TVs have it, and in my country most channels show their programs there. My Samsung TV has a function that allows you to pre-select a program, and when this program starts the TV automatically changes channel to see it (only if it's turned on). The only downside is that it only shows the next programs for a week (i.e.: on Sunday you can see what programs will be shown on Saturday, but you won't see what programs will be shown next Sunday). I guess a PVR can use it to record programs.

I did mention earlier but... anybody has seen anyone using an AMR card? I even haven't seen an AMR card, only the slots on mainboards. Were those cards cheaper than buying a full slot soundcard?

And on the same vein... do you consider a flop PCI modems (a.k.a. winmodems). They were unstable to say the least (dropped connections without reason) and most winmodem cards I've seen were on it's way to recycle bin because they were blown. In my country they were only used at home, because anyone on an office or anyone that had some knowledge didn't rely on them and ended buying serial modems.

I have traveled across the universe and through the years to find Her.
Sometimes going all the way is just a start...

I'm selling some stuff!

Reply 105 of 129, by JayCeeBee64

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I recall seeing AMR cards a couple of times, they came with Amptron motherboards (aka PCChips) and were winmodems. The owners eventually dumped them; never saw any AMR card being sold by itself.

My uncle once had a USRobotics 56k winmodem, never worked quite right (would either connect at 28.8k or not at all); he finally got tired of it and trashed it in 2003.

(Edit to correct spelling of AMR - sorry about that 😅 ).

Last edited by JayCeeBee64 on 2016-02-28, 20:36. Edited 1 time in total.

Ooohh, the pain......

Reply 107 of 129, by Azarien

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And on the same vein... do you consider a flop PCI modems (a.k.a. winmodems). They were unstable to say the least (dropped connections without reason) and most winmodem cards I've seen were on it's way to recycle bin because they were blown.

I do have a Pentagram Diablo winmodem. Last time used some 10 years ago to send a fax...
It worked fine in 56k. The only thing that sucked was no Linux support.

Reply 110 of 129, by shamino

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Zup wrote:

I did mention earlier but... anybody has seen anyone using an AMR card? I even haven't seen an AMR card, only the slots on mainboards. Were those cards cheaper than buying a full slot soundcard?

I once bought a P4 machine from a thrift store that had an AMR modem in it. The Windows install had some branding from the small PC store that apparently built it. Other than being an Intel P4, it was a pretty cheaply equipped computer all around, including an SiS chipset and a featherweight power supply. The AMR dialup modem completed the package. Or maybe it was CNR, either way same difference.

Other than that, never saw them. I guess they saved so little money that nobody wanted to bother with them.

And on the same vein... do you consider a flop PCI modems (a.k.a. winmodems). They were unstable to say the least (dropped connections without reason) and most winmodem cards I've seen were on it's way to recycle bin because they were blown. In my country they were only used at home, because anyone on an office or anyone that had some knowledge didn't rely on them and ended buying serial modems.

Winmodems didn't flop, they were very successful. They suck, but I'm pretty sure they were the most common type of modem sold in the latter years of modems. Full hardware modems ended up being more of a niche for the people who knew about the difference and cared enough to be willing to pay more for them.

Reply 111 of 129, by kanecvr

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shamino wrote:
Sometime back around 10-15 years ago, there was a card slot on the back of new TVs. You were supposed to plug a standardized ca […]
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Sometime back around 10-15 years ago, there was a card slot on the back of new TVs. You were supposed to plug a standardized card into that slot which would be given to you by your cable provider. The card would authorize what channels you were paying for.
This eliminated the need for an external tuner box from the cable company, allowing you to actually use the tuner that's **already built into every TV**. Imagine that. Madness.
When you buy a TV with a tuning interface that you like, now you can actually use it.
It also mean that you could actually use the picture-in-picture feature, tuning 2 channels at once. Finally you might be able to use this feature in real life.
Some TVs had an integrated TV Guide menu. This would now be usable.
Some TVs can be optionally controlled through a serial port. This of course includes changing channels, and now it would work.

The TV finally would have the power to tune it's own channels, enabling the seamless use of whatever features your TVs level of fanciness wanted to provide. The interface will be the interface that you bought when you bought the TV.
All controlled with the one true full featured remote that came with and was designed for your TV. You aren't stuck with the generic interface/features forced on you by that nasty box from the cable company.

[edit]Did it flop? Everybody I know still has those stupid external boxes.
But I just remembered the name of these cards (CableCard) and searched it, and supposedly it's still an active standard. I also don't think I've seen any more TVs with that slot ever since the one time I saw it on a TV built about 10 years ago.

Believe it or not my parent's cable provider offered card readers instead of cable boxes and all but one TV supports them (one of the supporting TV sets is a 6-7 year old Sony 720p LCD TV!), so now they have 3 TVs w/o tv boxes and one with. The slot in the TV's looks like a PCMCIA slot, and you could swear the devices are PCMCIA sim card readers (a full size sim-like card / credit card like thing goes in the device). The cable provider calls them cable card readers.

Reply 112 of 129, by Scali

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kanecvr wrote:
shamino wrote:

Sometime back around 10-15 years ago, there was a card slot on the back of new TVs. You were supposed to plug a standardized card into that slot which would be given to you by your cable provider. The card would authorize what channels you were paying for.
...
Believe it or not my parent's cable provider offered card readers instead of cable boxes and all but one TV supports them (one of the supporting TV sets is a 6-7 year old Sony 720p LCD TV!), so now they have 3 TVs w/o tv boxes and one with. The slot in the TV's looks like a PCMCIA slot, and you could swear the devices are PCMCIA sim card readers (a full size sim-like card / credit card like thing goes in the device). The cable provider calls them cable card readers.

Yes, we use them here as well. The PCMCIA card reader is known as a Common Interface Module or CI-module (CI+ for a newer, more advanced standard).
There is actually a certification program in place from our provider. So when you go into a store, TVs that are known to work have a sticker on them. These days I think all TVs are supported, but in the early days some may have had buggy implementations, which may or may not work with all cards/channels/encodings.
Officially only CI+-modules are supported, and available from the provider. But for older TVs that only support CI-modules, it was common to unofficially use the "AlphaCrypt" module, which was known to work. My brother uses a Terratec digital TV tuner card in his PC with an AlphaCrypt module, and it works fine (afaik there are no CI+-compatible TV tuners on the market for PCs, only CI-compatible ones).

http://scalibq.wordpress.com/just-keeping-it- … ro-programming/

Reply 113 of 129, by sf78

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Scali wrote:
That didn't matter. Firstly, as I mentioned before, a lot of people could buy their old office PC from work (or even get it for […]
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sf78 wrote:

Usually low-end PC's without a soundcard cost double that of basic Amiga/Atari models.

That didn't matter.
Firstly, as I mentioned before, a lot of people could buy their old office PC from work (or even get it for free), when they were replaced with newer PCs.
Secondly, a lot of people wanted a PC at home, so they could also work from home (they needed PC compatibility), and the higher prices was not that much of an issue. In fact, in various cases, part of the machine was paid for by the company or even the state (in NL we had what was known as the "PC-Privé" project).

Yeah, I know. My mom got a "free" IBM 386sx from her work place to use at home and they paid the whole damn thing. It came with DOS 3.3, WP 5.1, Win 3.1 etc. The thing is, you could've had 3 Amigas for the cost of this one computer that wasn't good at gaming (no sound card), or much of anything really, except some light office work. People that went with Amiga/Atari got a computer that was ready (out of the box) to play games, make music, draw etc. without any extra effort.

I can't complain though, I had both A500 and (my moms) PC to play with, but there was no question Amiga was superior in all but the most demanding simulators when you compared it to you average PC. Not to mention numerous Demo's that where the shit back then! MOD music, Deluxe Paint....things that PC gamers could only dream about. Using a home computer back then was so much more than just showing of your latest hardware. If you DIDN'T own an A500 in the early 90's you were nothing, a sad PC speaker listening loser still playing Alley Cat. Even up to '94 it was still the best platform for music and demo's. as was painfully clear at ASM'94 when it came down to seeing if a Doom crunching 486's could spin a donut. 😘

I'm sure there were many countries where Amiga wasn't a huge success, but calling it a flop is just plain nuts.

Reply 114 of 129, by Errius

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gdjacobs wrote:
Errius wrote:

Were all PCI modems Winmodems?

Nope. Just the shitty ones.

How do you tell them apart? They don't work in Linux?

“I like to dissect PCs. Don't you know I'm utterly insane?"

Reply 115 of 129, by gdjacobs

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They also don't work in DOS.

Winmodems performed large portions of the transformation pipeline in the device driver where proper modems had an embedded UART and full modem chipset to do the same. Winmodem circuit boards are therefore very anemic.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 116 of 129, by jesolo

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I'm going to take a chance here and say the Apple Lisa.
Although this computer came out long before I knew anything about computers, after reading up on it a bit, I would say that it was quite advanced for its time (I think to such an extent that most people weren't interested in what it had to offer, not to mention the extremely high price for the computer).

Reply 117 of 129, by brostenen

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True.... Amiga's were HUGE in western European countries, between 1987 (release of A500) and circa 1994 (when Commodore failed and closed down). These years, were like if you had no Amiga, then you were nothing. All games were released on Amiga first, possible a C64 version. And then 1 or 2 months later, games were released for PC. If released at all. Typically released as a version that were sub amiga quality. All things started to change in the small, with better performing PC's. I remember that games such as Civilization and Settlers were some of the first few games that had the same quality or slightly better quality to them. Pinball dreams/fanatsies were still way better on an amiga.

If it was not for bad mistakes by Commodore, we would still be playing games on Amiga's today. Or those who are all into apple-only, would be using Amiga's today, instead of Apple machines.

- They killed off the Amiga 3000+.
- They never ever finished the Hombre (AAA) Chipset.
- They released the A500+ instead of just waiting and releasing the A600.
- They forgot to pay taxes on Bahamas, resulting in the seize of nearly all CD32
- They simply just could not decide what to build/create instead of just sticking to the plan.

It was not the Amiga that failed, it was Commodore that failed big time. It is a bit the same with Apple.
Too many ideas at the same time, and if Commodore have had a man like Jobs, stepping in, they would have made it.
Looking at Amiga's and looking at Apple machines today, makes Apple machines look dull and plain.
Yes... They still produce Amiga machines that are true to the past. Machines that are "wierd" and different.
Though it is not Commodore anymore. The new Commodore is only a shadow just like Atari is today.
Keep in mind, that Commodore and Amiga is two different brands/companies today.
Commodore as a name was bought up, and they are producing stuff like USB sticks and MP3 players.

EDIT:
If... And this is pure speculations... If Commodore had made it without problems to around 1997/98.
If Steve Jobs had given Apple the finger, when they asked him to step in, because they sacked him.
And he had stepped in to save Commodore instead. Then I guess we would have seen the end to Microsoft.
Apple would have been done too, and we would have seen Steve batteling with Linux instead of Ballmer.

Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk
My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/brostenen

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

Reply 118 of 129, by jheronimus

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Psion handhelds.

Series-BoB.jpg

When I was a kid I was lucky enough that my parents got me an HP iPAQ 2210 and later an iPAQ hx2790 (if I remember it correctly) — it was a cool gadget that I had at me at all times and used to read almost all of Douglas Adams and Frank Herbert (oh, and those books they made us read at school, too) and play a lot of XCOM — there used to be a decent port of UFO Defense for Windows Mobile. So, I kinda jumped over Psion and Palm in their glory days. But I remember a Russian gaming magazine running a series of articles on Morrowind in 2001. The author seemed to be so obsessed with the game that he made his own programs for Psion 5 to track quests, alchemy recipes and stats. He also praised that device a whole lot for its functionality and awesome keyboard.

2.jpg

Fast forward to 2008. Asus introduced its first netbook, a Eee PC 701. It was a tiny little machine with a 7 inch screen, cramped keyboard and a dumbed-down Linux installed. Later versions came with Windows XP, and suffice to say, neither really worked on such a tiny screen. I was really intrigued by an idea of a full-featured laptop that weighed around 1 kg, was as big as a book and didn't cost a kidney. Naturally, everyone recalled Psion, because they had an actual device called Netbook back in 1999.

3e6169b684ad4b66da6b636f3cec6fa5.jpg

I became fascinated with those machines and got myself an actual second-hand 3c and a 5mx. Naturally, by that time I couldn't really use them for school — they didn't play nice with Office, didn't support Wi-Fi or even USB. But they were small, ran off 2 AA batteries for 30 or 50 hours (don't remember exactly, but an iPAQ would only work for 5-7 hours and netbooks worked for less than 4) and 5mx had an awesome keyboard. It felt a lot better than a netbook — it only needed about 50 keys and so they were much larger and had a really nice travel. I kind of became obsessed with keyboards — collected typewriters for a while. Still have this one from those days:

kolibri.jpg

Also, fell in love with the concept of WYSIWYM and specifically, Markdown. Although it would be years until I wouldn't need to deal with Office files and could just write everything in Markdown. At the time I wondered if it were somehow possible to make a mobile productivity device that wouldn't need to support all legacy software and formats and could use a low-powered ARM CPU, didn't need a large screen, a huge HDD or a heavy battery. Basically, I dreamt of an iPad, only with a Psion-like keyboard. Alas, it wan't meant to be. All netbooks eventually switched to Windows XP (and then Windows 7). So, another "year of desktop Linux" failed. Netbooks didn't pan out to be awesome low-cost mobile PCs — they became just cheap crappy laptops. No one tried to make a Psion-like keyboard, too, since it wouldn't work with Windows. Eventually, mobile devices went the way of iPad, and good small keyboards became an accessory rather than the norm.

Reply 119 of 129, by Snayperskaya

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JayCeeBee64 wrote:

I recall seeing AMR cards a couple of times, they came with Amptron motherboards (aka PCChips) and were winmodems. The owners eventually dumped them; never saw any AMR card being sold by itself.

My uncle once had a USRobotics 56k winmodem, never worked quite right (would either connect at 28.8k or not at all); he finally got tired of it and trashed it in 2003.

(Edit to correct spelling of AMR - sorry about that 😅 ).

I think this goes to CNR and DAA slots too (even though DAA wasn't a slot per se). I think they filled their purpose on being winmodem-only interfaces.