Category Archives: retro computing

Matias Tactile Pro 3 for Macintosh – UK

Apple’s steady erosion of the simple ergonomic qualities of their keyboards in favour of style has reached tipping point for many – including myself. I grew up battering an Apple //e’s solid mechanical switches, and in the ’90s my Apple Extended Keyboard (originally from a Mac IIx) was fiercely guarded. Even so, when ADB was finally removed in favour of USB, Apple’s keyboards were primarily simply “cheap”, rather than “downright uncomfortable” for a typist used to exerting a bit of force. PC-targeted replacement keyboards only go so far; and as Apple introduced media and hardware controls to their keyboards, missing those symbols became more than just irritating. Matias have been producing an alternative for some years now – and as it’s been revised again and made available with international layouts, it seemed the opportune moment to take it for a spin.
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Nokia 9000 to E90 – RIP Communicator, Hello Smartphone

I blame Douglas Adams, pretty much. Impressionable young minds were bound to lap up the concept of “information everywhere”, and ever since I first laid my hands on a “slightly smarter than a calculator” portable computer, I’ve wanted my very own ‘Guide’. My brain parsed the Guide as looking a lot like a graphing calculator, so Psion’s Organiser seemed logical enough – but it did so little… 30 years after Adams first popularised the concept, numerous machines now offer that sort of device, albeit with varying degrees of success. Nokia’s E90 is just one of many, but with Nokia’s 13-year track record in the emerging “Smartphone” device class, have they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by abandoning the Communicator paradigm?
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Apple’s iPad – not first, but third generation.

Apple’s iPad is hailed as a new device, bringing the iPhone’s success to the tablet market. You couldn’t be more wrong; iPad is a device which has somehow escaped or evolved to become part of Steve Jobs’ world vision – a true follow up to John Sculley’s “Knowledge Navigator” in a way that Newton could never be, but always promised. Sharing the same relationship to the Macintosh that Newton did within the context of available technology the iPad clearly demonstrates that just as consumer tastes and desires have become more sophisticated, so has Apple’s design process. So where will iPad go next?
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What Makes JooJoo Tick – Inside Fusion Garage’s tablet

The JooJoo had an interesting gestation yet seems to have passed below the radar since birth, despite impressive 1366 x 768 HD screen and fast, dedicated web browser claims. The hardware wasn’t badly priced, coming in at £319 + VAT and Duty in the UK – so what’s happened? Somehow the hacking community appears to have overlooked the device too – at least when compared to the first Eee and similar devices. Yet it offers good, solid and attractive hardware to base projects on.

This article was originally written in July 2010, and held over for new announcements.
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Sony downgrades PS3 system – again!

Sony have consistently removed features from the PS3, and the latest update is no different; it affects different users, of course, and if you currently have a PS3 Slim you really don’t need to care about this.

I don’t. I have a 60GB PS3, the original UK model. It cost £425, a price I considered justifiable because the system included a high-definition movie player (Microsoft charged £99 at the time for the HD-DVD drive), wireless as well as wired connectivity, a decent size of HD and 4 USB ports/card reader. It also included HDMI and the ability to run Linux, making it an ideal “home computer”.

Thanks to the activities of one talented individual, Sony has elected to remove the Other OS function from machines that allowed it a mere month after stating their commitment to keeping the feature in place. Sony, which marketed the systems on this capability and made a lot of noise about the cluster systems based on the PS3.

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