The Ancient Computer Thread!

ITT we talk about ancient computers.

Not just a powerbook G4, no I’m looking at 50’s to mid 80’s. Take the IBM 1401 example above, at least thats what I am interested in at the moment.

If you find anything really cool? Please!! Share!

to new people in the thread, literally just post cool shit IDC what year

if someone releases a processor accelerator for the nokia ngage post that shit


If you have cool mods for a powermac, post it, if you have some cool video you found on some weird old computer from 1992, post. This is more like an “ancient computer formats, frameworks, and workflows” thread, but thats a bit of a long title.


One of the guys who works on that 1401, Ken Shirriff, has an interesting blog,, where he details the specifics of keeping that machine running. He also puts various decapped ICs under microscopes and analyzes the interesting transistors layouts.




IBM 1401:

(slightly NSFW?)

I stumbled onto this yesterday. It’s great. I need to watch more of this!


Point of the thread!

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I still have a working atari lynx (II) - the lynx came out in 1989 IIRC? :smiley:

Shadow of the Beast and Desert Strike still work just fine.

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I think the rule here will be 1991 cpu wise. Mostly because I wanna share this picture of a 1990 amiga A500 next to my 1987 Amiga A2000.

“Late night at the office honey, I promise!”


The oldest computer I own is a Toshiba T1000

One of the earliest computers with a battery. It ran DOS 3.11 off of internal flash memory (Extermely high tech back then) and gave you a floppy drive for your other programs. Other portable units at the time would lack the internal battery that the T1000 has and would include two floppy drives (one for booting DOS) as they would also lack the EEPROM to store the OS on.


Have you seen the various documentaries on the birth of the Amiga, it’s successes and ultimate failure? Well worth watching if you haven’t and find it an interesting system. For me it’s where proper computing started, although I did have a spectrum and C64 before that.

I remember my first proper IT job in 2000 at the Blockbuster Video International HQ. For data restores from late 1980’s (some sort of legal dispute) we had to learn how to use a reel to reel backup tape on the AS400’s. Only the IT director know how to use it :grinning:


I know so much about the amiga I could probably tell you what David Pleasent had for lunch on the release of the 1200.

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Thats super modern in comparison to my amiga 2000 x3

Interestingly, they were released the same year


Really? Interesting. I think of old laptops like that to be 89 or 90. I guess I should google more.

Also, portable, thats pretty modern.

you’d be surprised how many people there are that have no idea what that it or how to use one :rofl:
core mathematics that people have been complaining about is based on the abacus!
the first mainframe I ever worked on was punch-card programmed (Boy what a beast)!
I remember there was a site where you can get a working replica of the computer that put a man on the moon! Ill try to find it again and post it.

heres one on ebay

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My grid laptop is mid 80s and had a battery originally, swapped out now of course for a regular power supply


Given the 68k was designed in the late 70s (released in 79)… anything 68k should be fine?

I had an amiga too.

I currently have two 68k based Sega Megadrive (Genesis)

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Have you got your Amiga’s upgraded to Kickstart/Workbench 3.1.4 yet?

I’ve just created a fresh image and started mucking about under FS-UAE.

…It’s amazing that companies are still working on what is pretty much a dead platform, trying to make some money out of it and still fighting lawsuits… the last one is ridiculous!

EDIT: and I got this for Christmas - no mention of his lunch though :stuck_out_tongue:


I’ve been looking for a minimig (an amiga FPGA hardware clone) for ages, should have bought one when they were around. Anyone know if there’s an alternative or where i can source.

Searching for minimig now just tends to bring up mig welding gear :smiley:

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No, they seem to be as rare as hens teeth. Every now and then there are reports of new Amiga ‘things’ but they are generally created in limited batches or very expensive (depending on what you want).

I sold an A1200 and CD32 a few years back and wished I had kept them - not because I used them (emulation is so good now) but because the later stuff is now going for silly money on ebay if it’s in good condition. I am tempted to get an A500, A600 or Atari STE to tidy up and fit with a Gotek or similar. have HC533 accelerators for the A500 in stock and the price is not crazy.

Failing that I might build a dedicated Rasp Pi with amibian or maybe one of the AROS derived OS’s (assuming there is one that is Pi compatible).

EDIT - I was wrong about the HC533, looks like they are now out of stock… I blame all the retro gaming you-tubers getting people back into the 16-bit scene :smiley: