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Hardware Science

Amiga Community Collaborates On Restorative Gel To Brighten Your Old Plastic 225

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the also-addicts-you-to-heroin dept.
jamie pointed out an Amiga community that took a discovery of how to restore old computer plastic, super-charged it, and then opened the process to the public domain. Time to spruce up those old dusty TRS-80s in the basement. "All of the initial tests were done with a liquid and we realized that for large parts this was getting expensive, so the next stage was to make a paintable 'gel' version that could be brushed onto larger surfaces. This was tried in Arizona in the sun and the UK under a UV lamp and was found to be just as effective as the liquid. We have now released this to the public domain for anyone to use as we can't patent it and we coined the nickname 'Retr0brite' for it, as it summed up what we were actually doing with it."
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Amiga Community Collaborates On Restorative Gel To Brighten Your Old Plastic

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  • From the wiki (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FrameRotBlues (1082971) <framerotbluesNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday March 02, 2009 @05:55PM (#27045081) Homepage Journal

    However, a chance discovery was made in March 2008, by The CBM Museum at Wuppertal in Germany, that immersing parts in a solution of Hydrogen Peroxide could partially reverse the process.

    They accidentally immersed old plastic parts in Hydrogen Peroxide?

    Sounds like a "whoops" turned into a "cool!"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:11PM (#27045253)

    It's been lowering the IQ of brunettes for years.

    Obviously the submitter has no idea what the predominate color of a TRS-80 is.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:17PM (#27045319) Journal

    Better make it only in small batches. B-(

  • by duguk (589689) <.dug. .at. .frag.co.uk.> on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:20PM (#27045357) Homepage Journal

    "Fuck computers. We're going into gels."

    I think KY already has a product for that.

    But that's only for Apple users ;o) /joke

  • Amiga TRS-80? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shadow Wrought (586631) * <{shadow.wrought} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:20PM (#27045367) Homepage Journal
    Ah yes... the venerable Amiga TRS-80. As much as I appreciate the requisite throwaway jokes in summaries, you really couldn't think of any Commodore Amiga product? Even a C64 jab would have been better.
  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:21PM (#27045371)

    Back in the day, Ami was a real contender.

    Buy an A1000 and run some graphics demos on one. Then try to remember that it was made in 1985.

    I've always dreamed of what the world would be like if modern computing had gone this route. Imagine your OS as a bank of roms, and your PC as a fully integrated machine rather than a patchwork of PCI cards and third party drivers.

    Seriously, Amiga was an excellent design.

  • Re:From the wiki (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smellsofbikes (890263) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:41PM (#27045567) Journal

    Or they were trying to bleach it and clean off all the accumulated crap, and found that it did that *and* changed the surface chemistry as well.

    I used to restore old watches -- the mechanical ones. They're jammed with grease and wax that mechanics didn't put there and usually that's a large part of why they're not working. It's fairly routine to dunk something that looks like the Antikythera Mechanism into a cleaner just to get all the horribleness out.
    (A note to anyone considering doing this: avoid ammonia. Those are very delicate little bits of brass. Ammonia works spectacularly well. If you leave a watch movement in there for an hour rather than just a few minutes, you'll come back to find all the wax *and* all the metal completely gone except for the steel and a few of the large pivots.)

  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:53PM (#27045709) Journal

    I've always dreamed of what the world would be like if modern computing had gone this route. Imagine your OS as a bank of roms, and your PC as a fully integrated machine rather than a patchwork of PCI cards and third party drivers.

    But in many ways, I'd argue that modern computing has gone the Amiga way: consider how most motherboards now have everying on board, and it's only the graphics card that people might optionally have as an extra for performance. (Whilst drivers can be a pain, they have the advantage of allowing standardisation through an API - the Amiga was moving towards a driver model for graphics and so on, and I'd have thought it a great advantage for any modern machine taking advantage of 3D hardware, so chances are that a hypothetical modern Amiga would have drivers too. Chances are they would've dropped the ROMs too - AmigaOS 3.5 onwards came entirely on CD.)

    Consider: today I run a multitasking OS, with combined GUI and command line. The machine I use has dedicated graphics and sound chips, and everything's integrated on the motherboard. Finally, I'd argue that today's machines are modern Amigas. Compare that to the DOS based PCs, or single-tasking non-command-line and no-chipsets on the classic Macs. Looking back, it's laughable how people back then tried to justify their expensive primitive purchases (e.g., claiming that it was better not to have a GUI), when we see how computers are designed today. The Amiga was written off as a games machine, but what is it that now drives the 3D graphics industry, and arguably the personal computer industry as a whole? Yes, I like having a fast machine with decent graphics in front of me, rather than a boring command line operated piece of business furniture, or a black and white interface that doesn't let me do things the way I want it. The only thing stopping it being a modern Amiga is the trademark.

  • by Twinbee (767046) on Monday March 02, 2009 @07:37PM (#27046153) Homepage

    I'm guessing the 'patchwork' allows more competition for companies to one-up each other, and also allows for a more modular design. I loved the Amiga, but as long as decent interfaces and standards are used, it makes sense to modularize.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday March 02, 2009 @08:06PM (#27046435) Journal

    I agree. Today's PCs are not Amigas, but they are the result of copying the Amiga philosophy. Computer makers aren't stupid. They may have dismissed the Amiga as "just a gaming machine" like they did with the C=64, but they also saw that Amigas were being used by Disney to animate movies, by NBC and WB to create special effects, and by desktop publishers for integrating graphics into print media like magazines.

    It was only natural, rather than lose those users to Commodore, the computer makers adapted. They produced the Sound Blaster to create music. They produced graphics cards that did 16 colors than 256 colors than 65,000. It was a slow process that took around ten years time (1985-to-1995) but eventually PCs became "gaming machines" themselves. Except they wisely called it "multimedia" rather than "gaming".

    Oh well. The business people did what they are paid to do - dismiss the competition as non-relevant "gaming junk" while secretly copying those same ideas into their own machines, until they can co-opt the market for themselves. It's not personal; just business.

  • by schon (31600) on Monday March 02, 2009 @08:59PM (#27046853)

    What's really too bad is that it wasn't marketed by Commodore.

    There, fixed that for you. :)

  • by keeboo (724305) on Monday March 02, 2009 @11:19PM (#27047615)
    I never could understand Atari ST users.

    Choosing a ST over Amiga they saved, what, 100 USD and got a good processor, a OK display, a horrible sound output and a mediocre OS (the MIDI output was nice, but how many people actually used that?). Atari had some good software, let's be fair.
    But then they started that ridiculous holy war vs Amiga. If they were so frustrated, why didn't they buy an Amiga in the first place?

    Atari ST was an OK machine back then, but comparing to an Amiga was just ridiculous.
  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @09:02AM (#27049971) Journal

    Anyone who denies Apple was near-bankruptcy circa 1994 is in denial. I was there. I recall reading the news articles and wondering if Apple would make it, or if my Macintosh would soon become a paperweight like my Amiga had become.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @12:41PM (#27052463) Homepage Journal

    Let me make that perfectly clear: the amount of money involved in the deal was insignificant to BOTH parties, and Microsoft got what it paid for.

    If the money involved in the deal was insignificant to both parties, then why did money change hands, and why did Microsoft actually get something for it other than a big lump of stock? I call shenanigans.

    PS:It wasn't Jobs that was responsible for OS X. It was Amelio- he bought NEXT after BeOS stuck its thumb up at Apple and demanded a fortune. Jobs repaid the favor by manipulating the stock price and ousting Amelio.

    From where I was sitting it looked very much like Apple wanted Jobs back, and Jobs came with NeXT and no other way. But then, I wasn't an Apple fan at the time. I outgrew that when Apple was insulting us with 68040s.

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