Making things!


You can get them dead cheap on amazon, since they’re basically just a couple of free-spinning hardened steel star-wheels in a handle. Just make sure you get a dressing wheel and not a dressing tool - the dressing tools are basically just a bit of box-tube with diamond dust glued on, and don’t work nearly as well, as well as being harder to use. A dressing wheel, if you do managed to wear through your wheels, you can replace them cheap as chips, since they’re basically just some hardened steel sheet. Mine set me back about fifteen bucks, it’s violently orange, I use it maybe twice a year at most, but it makes my grinder so much more pleasant to use.

Just make sure you wear some goggles and have the vacuum or dustpan ready, because as I’m sure you can imagine, it produces a LOT of stone dust, since it’s basically just pulverizing a thin top layer of stone as well as knocking loose all the loaded-on metal.

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I actually did something today:


Made my brother a thing for Christmas, and he finally brought it back over to fit the barrels:

It is designed to hold a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ (or similar SBC) so it will be able to run the original Red Alert!


I revived a mid 80s text terminal. What should I do with it now?


Digital library catalog?


Yellow text? Shouldn’t it be green?


Leave a message on it as if were the last thing you did before you died, then wait for a vault dweller to come across it.

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All the best displays were orange-yellow.

Also Oregon Trail!


Orange was pretty common too, when I was a little little kid the local library still had orange screens for the card catalog.


IIRC from years ago when this was still taught in the A+ cert (gotten in highschool before ya’ll get on me for getting a cert) it has to do with the phosperous used in the CRT. There were 3 major types, green, amber and, white. In that order too, that’s the order they were discovered/brought to market.


My first laptop had an orange phosphor display. It was a 386 the size of a modern HTPC.

I used it at IBM, since it was the only way I could do packet captures from the Token Ring network in prod.


Find a Linux box (or any other favorite Unix box) and use it as a serial terminal. Vim runs great on an orange and black screen!

Oh, and supposedly orange/amber was actually easier on the eyes under fluorescent lighting.


We had a Heathkit terminal in college. Ended up running a serial cable to a linux box and ran getty. Worked well enough. IIRC a few of the keys were in a weirder places, but it wasn’t too bad if you were happy with a command line.


When I took systems programming at RIT we had to do all of our work in a lab with orange on black terminals attached to the serial port on Solaris boxes. I don’t remember the exact model of terminal.


The EEPROM burner was the weirdest, oldest computer hardware I had to deal with in college.


I’d say this is probably the oldest, weirdest computer hardware I had to deal with in college. Still, it was fun to program 68000 assembly on the thing (although we had to actually assemble the code on a Windows 95 machine and then transfer it via serial connection to this puppy):


At RIT, the oldest nonsense I dealt with was:

  • Plain telnet to access my email
  • Vampire clamps for 10-Base-5 Ethernet

At IBM, the oldest nonsense I dealt with was:

  • Token Ring and MAUs
  • SNMP to configure (not just monitor)
  • SNA
  • Token Bus networks
  • OS/2 Warp
  • Wine (I was the resident WINE expert)

For contrast, I own tools that are older than the internet.

In fact, I’m not totally sure, but I’m pretty sure that I own (albeit only a few) tools that are older than computers in general.

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  • Kerberized telnet, until replaced by ssh
  • MH, until POP was replaced by IMAP
  • Residential 10-Base-2 backbone, until we replaced it with UTP
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I made one of these. It’s great.