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Mar 05, 2016, 09:51 PM
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The 1 that started it all


It was the 1st computer a fake test pilot could afford by his own doing. There will never be another 1st.

It was a monster for its day. 200 whole megahertz. 512 k of "cache". Surely it would open up serious audio reverb, all done in the "cache". The cache was physically the same as the DRAM in those days. It was just addressed faster, but all the memory had to be accessed through another chip. What a joy to finally have a living breathing UNIX workstation that would never crash, with someone else paying the electric bill. It finally crashed when the heatsink filled with dust.

It didn't take long after mastering its audio capabilities for video to arrive. 1st came playback of 320x240 MPEGs. Then came recording 320x240 at 4fps or 640x480 at 1fps. Still didn't know enough about video compression to get the most out of it, but it was a new world. There will never be another new world in video or audio. The new world nowadays is the physical world.

You can't afford to keep a lot of the stuff you once had, especially with rent heading for a 3 handle. After 19 years of waiting for some kind of embedded repurposing that would never come, it was time to put it down. It might have actually had some use, right until 10 years ago when the Gumstix arrived. By 2014, the CPU heatsink was repurposed for the contact lens agitator. In 2015, the last of the PCI video cards was discarded, so it would never run again.
Last edited by Jack Crossfire; Mar 05, 2016 at 10:45 PM.
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