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What's with all this MODERN stuff?
mhrackin   9/22/2014 3:23:00 PM
I really get a kick out you young-uns talikng about "antiques" that your PARENTS had!  In my personal museum I have several items whose vintage brackets the advent of the IBM PC in 1981!  These are portable computers of a sort: the older one is an Epson unit with a 4x20 monochrone LCD screen and a digital microcassette drive that is a bit smaller than the Thinkpad 420 I'm using right now.  It still works (although its batteries are surely deceased by now, it still should work on external power). I "inherited" it from an old employer; we used these as portable field service computers, with a serial client program to allow connectinfg via RS232 to our products (energy management systems and PABX/Call center systems).  I also have a bunch of games for it on microcassettes!

The "new" tech item is also a good conversation piece: a Canon portable laptop PC-AT clone with a BUILT-IN inkjet printer!  I bought that one in 1993 (used) for $1900 for the consulting business I was a partner in. It weighs about 15 lb so it was not exactly a joy to "wear" running through FRA for a connecting flight!  I haven't fired that one up for a couple of years but I believe it's still functional, although the printer head may be clogged (and the cartridge dried out....).  It's in my home office closet next to the Panasonic 1624 printer (with several ribbons!) and my Mustek SCSI interface flat-bed scanner, both in its original box.

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MeasurementBlues   8/8/2014 10:17:55 AM
In the late 1980s and early 90s, I worked for Extech. The company sold the Psion Organiser and we were desinging printers and modems for it. Psion later came out with the Series 3 and then 3a. I had a 3a. Psion the hinges off the Casio. It was even programmable through a Basic-like language called OPL.

Psion did a magnificent job designing the cases, though my hinge did break after a few years. I found another one and used that for acuple of years, then bought an HP PDA. I still have it but don't use it. The WiFi was terrible.


rick merritt
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rick merritt   8/7/2014 10:42:05 AM
In the early 1990s the Palmtop PC was a huge fad and the Casio Dairy was one of the leaders of a market that never emerged as people hoped (The Sharp Wizard was another).

Everyone was pursuing the elusive PDA. Taiwan cranked out a ton of fairly clunky pocket-sized PCs. The Apple newton and General Magic pad dug a deep hole everyone ran away from. 

Jeff Hawkins' Palm emerged as one of the few winners. But the smartphone tsunami of the Apple iPhone made all that just an interesting footnote in mobile computing history.

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Was that a NEC CPU as well?
ffxx68   8/7/2014 8:41:20 AM
Casio didn't abandon this field until recently. Back in the '90s I was an enthusiastic owner and programmer of the Casio PV palm-sized PDA (here my web page about it, never touched since, I guess, ten years or so!) and I remember the excitement when they published the SDK for this NEC-Renesas SoC-based device. It wasn't an ARM CPU yet at that time, but the SoC brand experience (about releasing the SDK) later convinced me to purchase another Renesas-ARM tablet, which I enjoyed hacking the Kernal and Android AOSP as well: here my group. It's a real shame Renesas isn't in the game anymore...

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Childhood memories.
GeeKv2   8/7/2014 4:09:34 AM
This article brought back some of my childhood memories. My dad had one of these with a colour LCD. It was so futuristic. I played with it for a while to understand all the functions and helped my dad punch in all the contacts and taught him how to use it. In hindsight, maybe he was just trying to have quality time with me :)

It even had a screen saver like function that showed a cruise ship sailing by with a dolphin in the background. It was the most impressive thing I had seen.

The battery comment also reminded me how I used to carefully follow the instructions when I was changing them for him :) 

I had a similar one but not a Casio, some name starting with 'K' (Kaice or something I think). I never got to use it. After all how many phone numbers would a 12 year old need in the 90s ?

David Ashton
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Re: Cahoots
David Ashton   8/6/2014 9:25:25 PM
@Antedeluvian....well if mine works I could auction it off, or donate it for a prize for the caption competition :-)

I guess these days the watch would come with a bluetooth headset and keyboard and a projection screen, not to mention a 3g or wifi caonnection capability..... 

PS there's a service station near me that advertises Deisel fuel.   Must have been the same marketer :-)

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antedeluvian   8/6/2014 8:21:59 PM

Is this blog part of an integrated marketing effort? See this offer for a 1980s Databank Watch. Apparently a newer model is still available, so I am not sure if you are getting the antique!

I see that the 1980s spell checker though, is obsolete

Reigster for DoT This Week
for a Chance to Win a Casio Databank


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Re: HP95 add-ons
ssidman   8/6/2014 10:27:08 AM
Impressive! I did something similar with a PCMCIA SRAM card and my Toshhiba T1000. Acting as a hard disk, I loaded up WordStar, VP Planner spreadsheet, and Procomm for logging in to the work. It had a 10 MHz 8086, and had snappy performance. The battery lasted 2-21/2 hours, too. Finally, I even had a reasonable text to speech program that PWMed the speaker which produced good quality, understandable speech! These days, the splash screen for some apps is bigger than systems of some years ago that did real work. I did play around win an HP95, but only to put VI on it...

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Re: It took me a week to get my dad to scrap his...
Clive "Max" Maxfield   8/6/2014 9:39:04 AM
@OleAlexander: you can tell we're liberal eurotrash...

I'm Eurotrash too -- are you Northern Eurotrash or Southern Eurotrash? LOL

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Re: It took me a week to get my dad to scrap his...
Clive "Max" Maxfield   8/6/2014 9:36:15 AM
@OleAlexander: Lo and behold, within a week, I noticed the Casio on my fathers  desk... with a post-it on it. The post-it had an appointment scribbled down.


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