Making things!


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.


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.

  • Kerberized telnet, until replaced by ssh
  • MH, until POP was replaced by IMAP
  • Residential 10-Base-2 backbone, until we replaced it with UTP