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"Whatever happened to...?" The odd fates of 25 legendary tech products. (technologizer.com)
62 points by technologizer on Mar 26, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments

Amiga, Inc./Hyperion VOF has already released Amiga OS 4.0, and it's sequel Amiga OS 4.1. It runs on the Sam 440ep, as well as the classic Amiga, and AmigaOne computers (and Pegasus now as well if I recall correctly). The OS has been rewritten from the original version to support the PPC platform, but it appears to need a separate release for each individual platform (driver reasons maybe? I don't know.). As of now, it doesn't support any modern high-speed CPUs and the newest graphics card it seems to support is the Radeon 9200. It is not a secure machine; memory protection is merely an option which individual programs can decide to opt-in only if they want to.

It's sad to see that era gone, but as you say, it's still kicking around... I can still remember the thrill of popping open my A1000 and seeing all the signatures on the inside of the lid.


Oh man, so many memories... I still remember my first interaction with a bubble jet printer. Back in the day, the electronic card catalog machines at Ball State University's library were hooked up to these early bubble jet printers. I remember what was distinct about them was that they held on to all of the old dot matrix conventions: the head was mounted horizontally and in front of the roller, and the paper was still fed by sprocket wheels. The speed was pretty decent too!

One that I would have liked to see under the hardware section is thermal paper fax machines. I still remember working in my parents office as the "gopher" when I was in grade school. One of my jobs was to make photocopies of all the faxes so that they could still be read after the thermal paper faded.

...good times...

Thermal paper faxes is still very much in use. Thermal paper is also replacing dot-matrix printers in cash registers.

I think this is an excellent article and it's clear that the guy who wrote that did a lot of research.

Article mentions dot matrix printers.. I've thought a few times that if there was an easy way to get a daisy wheel printer I would. There are situations where it would be neat to be able to set one up as a permanent record and as a fax substitute. I have multiple homes, and it would be an easy way to send a message to non-technical people living in the houses that I have servers sitting in where I might be in another country for years at a time.

In this book (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cuckoo%27s_Egg_(book)), Stoll talks about hooking up unix terminals to daisy wheel printers so he can review input later on.

Why would you use a daisy wheel and not an inkjet or laserjet?

I used to have a daisy-wheel back in the day, and the thing sounded like a machine-gun. I can't say I miss it (although the print quality was nice.)

The answer was right in the article -- tractor feed paper. 10s of thousands of pages without having to refill a tray.

In that case, a dot-matrix would do as well as a daisy-wheel.

I loved MiniDiscs. It was as close to a DAT machine as I could get with my budget. Unfortunately, I think all of the surviving records of my band are on MiniDisc...

All most of these products didn't just snatch a part of history, but each one also has it's own failure lesson along with it. Nice read.

If computer games are considered in this category of '25 legendary products', then a lot of them would have been there. Dave, Prince, Doom and Wolfenstein for sure. And people haven't stopped loving them, a lot still play it. Wolfenstein is now on iPhone also. Anyone's got any idea abt it's sales?

I'm amazed that Zilog is still selling Z-80s. Must be a lot of legacy products out there. I'm still hanging on to a few tubes of Z80, Z80-CTC and Z80-SIO in case anyone needs to make an emergency buy in 10 years :-)

You bet! In fact, they are in the hands of pretty much any modern high schooler: the TI-83 and TI-84 graphing calculators both use Z80 chips :)

Dot-matrix printers still have a large market in Brazil, were they're needed to print out receipts. But because only businesses buy them, they cost about three times more than the latest inkjets.

This was worth it just to remind me of After Dark; I remember owning that program. I loved those damn toasters...

I'm surprised they didn't mention Voodoo. I still have a few of their graphics cards lying around.

You mean 3dfx. Apparently their assets were bought by Nvidia.

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