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Video MARCH Presents: Apple I Reproduction In Action At HOPE 9 80

The name — MidAtlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists — might make you think this is a bunch of nerds who get together to enthuse over long-obsolete computer hardware and ASCII computer games. And that's exactly what it is. There are farmers who gush over antique tractors, drivers who love antique cars, and music lovers who dote on old phonographs. So why not old computers? Many people in the computer industry seem to have asked that question, so there are lots of computer museums around. MARCH was just the group Slashdot ran into at HOPE. Their website has lots of links that will help you connect with fellow antique computer buffs (assuming you are one), wherever you may be. See here a member showing off the MacGyveresque process that is booting BASIC and playing a game on a reproduction Apple I. Update: 08/01 15:20 GMT by U L : Evan Koblentz (the guy in the video) commented with a bit more information on MARCH (including info on the discussion list and computer museum).
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MARCH Presents: Apple I Reproduction In Action At HOPE 9

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  • by mister2au ( 1707664 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @08:45AM (#40841033)

    easy answer to that

    vintage cars will basically perform the same function often with more style ... let's say 1/2 the performance of modern as worst case ... same for vintage tractors

    old phonographs will again perform the same function with 60 dB of dynamic range compared to ... completely adequate for the 10-20 db for range in pop music

    computers on the other hand:
    Apple I = 6502 @ 1MHz
    Apple iPhone = A9 @ 800 MHz

    completely different functionality that should not be compared to cars, tractors & phonographs! or even things like vintage amplifiers

    however, there is a place for nostalgia - just recognise they will never have the cult following of vintage equipement that is functionality equivalent to modern stuff

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @09:09AM (#40841257) Homepage Journal

    vintage cars will basically perform the same function often with more style ... let's say 1/2 the performance of modern as worst case

    This depends very much on how you measure performance. My 1960 Dodge Dart Phoenix (2dr) with 318ci hemi (well, ambi-, but close enough) big block and carter 650cfm 4bbl got somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 mpg on the freeway if I drove it nicely, and with ~240hp and ~340ft-lb it was actually something of a monster. But it also weighed four grand or more, was 6.5 feet wide and 18.5 feet long, had four drum brakes and typical wheels/tires and could either brake poorly or lock 'em up and slide merrily along like the lead sled it was. But it also would have had nightmarishly bad emissions by modern standards and it could easily get only 10 mpg around town if you drove it, uh, spiritedly... and it was my first car. It had no safety features, which may not be performance but which is fairly critical if you want to exercise performance and not die, and it had no niceties whatsoever except a push-button automatic transmission.

    Despite the sepiatone view of history, better and better stuff has become available over the years. Diesel-hydraulic tractors, for example. Laser phonographs. Even modern tube amplifiers which benefit from superior supporting components! And of course, all-wheel-drive, turbocharged, direct-injected automobiles. Which do fall down in one category that you did mention, that being style. That and cost are the only potential reasons to maintain a vintage piece of equipment. The vintage computers pass the style test if you're into that sort of thing, but they fall down on the cost test. Building an Apple I kit will cost you hundreds all told. For fifty bucks I can get a far more useful computer from a yard sale or flea market. You can often get Pentium IVs for free (I have one right behind me that I should unload before no one will take it, it's huge.)

The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.