Technologizer: Patentmania! Personal Computers of the Early 1980s

oncomputers

By Harry McCracken

The first few years of PC history were its stone age–the era when any signs of life whatsoever were history-making. The period from 1985 to the present, as amazing as it’s been, has been one of consistency and compatibility. Which is why I think of 1980-1985 as the most interesting half-decade in PC history. Almost every new system (including some that debuted in 1979) was still an experiment–and even flops could be fascinating. Herewith a gallery of notable examples, illustrated with evocative drawings from Google Patents.

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Your Data May Be Lost at Sea(gate).

sea

Users of Seagates 7200.11 Baracuda ES.2 SATA and DiamondMax 22 hard drives are falling victim to a firmware bug as reported by Seagate, various forums, and blogs.

Some users of the Barracuda 7200.11, Barracuda ES.2 SATA, and DiamondMax 22 desktop hard drives are blocked from their data by a firmware bug that is causing lock-ups and/or failures. Users are finding that although data has not been erased from their drives – some data is being rendered inaccessible.

SEAGATE says there is no data loss, but obviously there may be issues for individual users learning how to access or recover the data.

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Vista Does Not Suck

The debate.

I bought Vista in March 2007, and after 16 months, I am happy to say that Vista does not suck. Yes you read that right. VISTA DOES NOT SUCK. Like many people, my history with Microsoft and operating systems goes back to the early 80’s with DOS 2.0. When I compare the two, there is literally no comparison. Vista is the clear winner.

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The PC Pitstop Notebook 500

I am very excited and proud to present a brand new report from PC Pitstop. Given the outrageous traffic on our web site, we are able to see the absolute fastest PC’s in the world, what technologies they use, and why they fall into an elite performance standing. It took a lot of culling of the data, but I am pleased to announced the PC Pitstop Notebook 500. This month we will look at the fastest portables that money can buy. So let’s get to the results.

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Black Rhinos and White Elephants

Gateway keyboard

With great excitement I set off to snap pictures of laptop herds, grazing the shelves of the local Best Buy. Sporting my new macro capable camera and memory card, this was going to be a pictorial review that would rival the Discovery channel’s �Tribes of the Orinoco�. We all know how bad laptop keyboards are. Cramped with missing keys, these are the trophies I seek.

As I entered the store, the smell of fresh electronics sharpened my senses. I found my first large herd fanned out across Brand Name Gulch. Camera in hand I rushed to the front of the herd knowing I was between them and the only outlet. It took some tricky footwork to position a shot of their

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PC Pitstop PC Information Results

Our September 2007 survey polled the folks visiting the PC Pitstop web site to determine just how intimate people are with their PCs. Nine out of ten people surveyed indicated that they knew the manufacturer of their PC, the size of their hard drives and how much RAM is installed. Almost as many indicated that they remember the model number of their PC and who manufactured the CPU. No surprises there. These are the common attributes that PC marketers highlight in their ads and that most people look for when buying a PC.

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Fixing Security in Windows

It’s no secret that Windows has security holes so large you can drive a truck through them. My last article analyzed the difficulty Microsoft faces with Vista in winning acceptance of an improved security model. But this of course begs the question, what can Microsoft do to make a more secure computing environment for us all? Even if Microsoft is one of the most profitable companies run by the richest man in the world, I hope they can take a little constructive criticism.

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