Sunday, July 22, 2007

My Computer Museum (Update 2)

Main table (left to right)
(1) Sun SparcStation 5, NEC 21" VGA Monitor
(2) Commodore 128D, Commodore 1901 Color Monitor
(3) Commodore Amiga 500, Commodore 1085S Color Monitor
(4) Atari 1040ST, Atari SM124 Monochrome Monitor, Atari SC1224 Color Monitor
(5) Apple Macintosh LC, Apple Monochrome Monitor
(6) Commodore 64, Commodore 1541 Floppy Drive, Commodore 1081 Color Monitor

Back cross table (left to right)
(1) Commodore CBM8032
(2) Apple IIc, Apple II Green Composite Monitor
(3) Sinclair ZX81, B+W TV Set

Middle cross table (left to right)
(1) Atari 2600
(2) Magnavox Odyssey 2
(3) Atari PONG
(4) Magnavox Odyssey 1

Front cross table (left to right)
(1) Apple Macintosh Plus
(2) IBM PC 5150, IBM 5151 Green Composite Monitor

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Parkinson's Law

In project management, individual tasks with end dates rarely finish early because the people doing the work expand the work to finish approximately at the end date. Coupled with deferment or avoidance of an action or task to a later time, individual tasks are nearly guaranteed to be late.

From: Parkinson's Law

Very true, especially for software projects.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Vintage Computer / Video Console Purchases On Ebay

My latest vintage computer / video console purchases on Ebay include:

There were other auctions on rare products, e.g. an Apple Lisa (went away for USD 700) and a NeXTStation (sold for USD 200 - man, I should have bought it!).

I am kind of running out of table space in my cellar, that's why I cannot provide any actual images yet of the entire collection, so for the meantime there is this photo of a previous state.

Friday, July 13, 2007

My IBM 5150 Is Booting

The DOS 2.10 disks - which by the way I purchased in Australia - arrived today, so I tried to convince my IBM 5150 to boot. Unfortunately it did not recognize the disk at first, and continued to jump to the built-in Basic interpreter. I had no possibility to check the disk on any other system. What to do next? I mean this thing doesn't even have a BIOS, it has... DIP switches on the motherboard! I should note that my IBM did not come with the two standard 5.25" floppy drives, but one floppy drive and one 10MB hard drive, so I figured there might be some misconfiguration. Luckily I still found documentation on the 5150 DIP switch settings, and after flipping one switch I was able to boot.

Current date is Tue 1-01-1980
Enter new date:
Current time is 0:00:12.89
Enter new time:
The IBM Personal Computer DOS Version 2.10
(C)Copyright IBM Corp 1981, 1982, 1983

A> _

Next steps: Backup the only DOS 2.10 disk I have, and try to install DOS on the hard disk. Hard disks were supported from DOS 2.0 on - so this should work as well. Oh yeah, DOS 2.0 also introduced subdirectories...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hosting .NET Winforms Applications In MSIE

I built a little .NET 2.0 Winforms frontend for my brute-force Sudoku Solver, and played around with hosting it inside MSIE. In case you are using MSIE and have .NET Framework 2.0 installed, you can give it a try here.

This is how it looks like:

Weird, isn't it? What is that, the Black and White Look & Feel? When running as a standalone application (download link), of course everything is just fine:

I have seen the same effect on other sites as well. Maybe that's Microsoft's way of visually marking MSIE-hosted .NET applications. Won't be too beneficial to the success of that approach I am afraid.

BTW, the Sudoku puzzle you see here is somehow famous for its problem depth. I compared the 62ms it took the algorithm on my old 2.4GHz Athlon to find the solution with other brute force Sudoku solvers, and it came off quite well in comparison.

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