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PCBUILD  July 2001

PCBUILD July 2001

Subject:

Re: An oldie but a goodie

From:

Jack R Payton <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PCBUILD - Personal Computer Hardware discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 10 Jul 2001 22:06:30 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (175 lines)

On Tue, 10 Jul 2001 14:11:11 -0700 mike <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> Hi Jack,
> I appreciate your "no smoke" knowledge and "esteemed" or not, I would
like
> to have half of your experience. My experience goes back to the late
'40's &
> early 50's of radio and TV when a computer was a room room size box
filled
> with diode tubes.
>
> I presently have working three 486's--- All of which were thrown away.
> When my grandkids/adults visit, we install, uninstall software,
hardware,
> memory and anything that has to do with learning. Old equipment is
great for
> this.
>
> For example: you can create a problem and let others find and repair
it.
> They are great for keyboard and spread sheet practice and older games.
>
> Bottom line: If one wants to give the time, there are plenty of needy
kids
> who want to learn how computers work. Happiness is not measured in
> dollars although the majority of people don't know this.
> mike michel

Mike,
I'm glad my "experience" doesn't go back as far as yours, although I did
study electronics in the fifties. No computers until the early eighties.
(My present computer uses the "desktop" case from a custom-built 386DX/33
with a new PS which I had to disembowel and install into the old PS case.
It's had three or four mobo/CPU upgrades since its 386 days.The case is
built like a tank.)

I appreciate your ideas on using legacy compies (486s), though few folks
would take the time the way you do. But, remember, the original problem
concerned an AT/286, which really limits its usefulness.

Your thoughts on using such computers to teach computer use/skills, etc,
is gratifying. If we could get something started like that on a large
scale, maybe having a central non-profit recyclers accept (or charge for,
to help the cashflow) older compies and software, and distribute them at
nominal cost to schools, old folks homes (not "retirement villages"),
instead of fillilng up the landfills, we could see some use ffom them.

Jack Payton


> On Tue, 10 Jul 2001 Jack Payton wrote:
>
> >  Thanks, Eriq ( I think), as I have no clue to how I've become
> "The
> >  Esteemed...." unless this is like "My esteemed colleague..." My
> >  "find-a-use-for-it-before-it-clutters-up-the-junk-pile" attitude
> is
> >  pleased when *anyone* finds a productive use for an older
> computer.
> >  However, if this old user (I've been using - as a user, not a
> techie -
> >  computers going back to the CP/M days with either one or two
> 5.25" 320Kb
> >  floppies with no HD and 32K or 64K of RAM, to those *fancy*
> machines with
> >  a 5Mb or 10Mb HD and (320K or 640K of RAM) may make a couple
> points:
> >
> >  1) I believe the IBM-AT was either a precursor to or a rough
> equivalent
> >  of the *286* system (though we did a lot of things with that
> *advanced*
> >  machine when it came out; and), 2) most folks would become
> extremely
> >  impatient (except maybe kids playing games in a Dr's office
> waiting room
> >  - see, another PCBUILD thread) with the AT's comparative
> molasses-like
> >  speed.
> >
> >  My comment was made with the PC (politically correct) world in
> mind - at
> >  least, I suggested a use for the case. I'll apologize profusely
> if there
> >  were to become some concentrated effort to find productive uses
> for
> >  legacy machines. For example, it would be great if instead of
> spending
> >  billions on buying/providing *upscale* systems with modems &
> printers for
> >  "every poor kid/family in the nation and each school kid at
> his/her
> >  school desk, we could recycle outdated systems for such uses, as
> well as
> >  in classes to *train K-xx students in basic computer use.* {It's
> never
> >  been proven - & I doubt ever will - that computerized *education*
> (as
> >  compared to "training" in the use of computers) - is beneficial
> in
> >  providing the basics necessary to teach kids how to think, etc.
> [Garbage
> >  In, Garbage Out.]
> >
> >  It would be interesting & helpful if anyone has an idea how we on
> the
> >  List could promote the recycling of older systems for educational
> use,
> >  game playing in doctors' offices, etc, etc?
> >
> >  Note: save the memory sticks and any video or cache RAM.
> >
> >  [Fellow Lister Herbert Graf commented: Actually IIRC the AT uses
> a 286
> >  processor, no "normal" version of Linux will work with it, they
> all
> >  require at minimum a 386. However, there ARE a few Linux's out
> there that
> >  are built for 16 bit processors, not too common
> >  though. TTYL]
> >
> >  [Felow Lister Tom Turak found a *hobby* use for an old AT (see
> his post):
> >  a programmable remote for a 120 channel cable TV system, which
> lasted a
> >  month before reclaiming its garage space - some 12 years ago.
> Some of his
> >  thoughts:
> >
> >  a. It ran in DOS.
> >  b. ...hobby is the operative word, because whatever you build,
> you could
> >  have bought one cheaper.
> >  c. Use nothing less than a 486, and more probably a recently
> retired
> >  Celeron notebook, for two reasons: ...a true 32bit pc; the 286 by
> >  comparison, can really pull some watts if you run it unattended
> 24/7
> >  d. ...unreliable such an old pc might prove to be.]
> >
> >  As my "gathered" electrons have been almost discharged, I remain,
> >  The newly "Esteemed" Jack Payton
> >
> >  On Mon, 9 Jul 2001 11:41:39 -0700 Eric Maquiling <[log in to unmask]>
> writes:
> >  > Today, The Esteemed Jack R Payton gathered electrons and wrote:
> >  >
> >  > > > Maybe this group has some ideas/suggestions.
> >  > > >
> >  > > > Other than the obvious "Boat anchor", what use is an
> IBM-AT,
> >  > with a
> >  > > > 20 meg
> >  > > > HD?  Not sure of the vintage, it's been out in the garage
> too
> >  > > > long.  Probably about 4-8 Meg speed.
> >  >
> >  > I had one of those and I installed Linux on it just for fun.
> You
> >  > can do A
> >  > LOT with a 386 and LInux.  Like routing, email, etc.  Also a
> very
> >  > good
> >  > learning tool if you want to learn something like vi or how
> >  > networking
> >  > works etc, etc.
>
>
>
>
>

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