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Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
02-20-2018, 09:51 PM
Post: #1
Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
https://www.neoteo.com/basura-la-buena-e...o-galeria/

[Image: tumblr_ohda8fH4VJ1vi8yfyo1_1280-758x467.jpg]

The good enough is the enemy of the excellent.
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02-21-2018, 04:40 AM (This post was last modified: 02-22-2018 07:59 AM by Garth Wilson.)
Post: #2
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
Quote:No se trata de una adicción a la nostalgia. Tampoco es una obsesión con la idea de que «todo se hacía mejor antes». El problema es que la estética actual de la electrónica ha tomado un camino que nos lleva directo al aburrimiento y la repetición. Aluminio, plástico, vidrio, superficies pulidas, curvas… los fabricantes insisten en que eso es lo que queremos, cuando en realidad deseamos regresar a la calidez y la atención al detalle que poseían los viejos diseños.

I totally agree. I have said many times that styling, whether it's calculators, European cars (definitely not Japanese cars), stereos, kitchen appliance, whatever, hit its peak about 1980, about the time of the HP-12C shown there, and it has been going downhill ever since. I don't like the modern swoops and swirls and efforts to somehow look "sexy" (whatever that's supposed to mean for a technical product).

http://WilsonMinesCo.com (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, http://wilsonminesco.com/links.html )
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02-21-2018, 01:23 PM
Post: #3
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
I haven't seen a portable printer like that in a long time.
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02-21-2018, 04:56 PM
Post: #4
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
(02-21-2018 01:23 PM)Eddie W. Shore Wrote:  I haven't seen a portable printer like that in a long time.

Kind of reminded me of the Citizen PN60 which could print directly on thermal paper, or use thermal ribbons as the Sony apparently did.
The "printer branch" of the portable computing genealogy chart seems to have pretty much died out, save for the Brother/Pentax thermal printers.

Some more information on that little Sony here.
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02-21-2018, 07:44 PM
Post: #5
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
The HP Thinkjet printer was no bigger, and was portable, able to use internal batteries. It'd be nice to be able to get mine fixed. It goes through the motions but nothing at all is printed.

http://WilsonMinesCo.com (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, http://wilsonminesco.com/links.html )
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02-21-2018, 08:31 PM
Post: #6
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
Hello!

(02-21-2018 04:40 AM)Garth Wilson Wrote:  I totally agree. I have said many times that styling, whether it's calculators, cars, stereos, kitchen appliance, whatever, hit its peak about 1980, about the time of the HP-12C shown there, and it has been going downhill ever since. I don't like the modern swoops and swirls and efforts to somehow look "sexy" (whatever that's supposed to mean for a technical product).

I am not so sure. The 1980ies and 1990ies saw some very ugly products, that's certainly true, but things are getting better again. Right now there are some real beautiful man made tings to be admired like the two objects below (a Bombardier C Series, in my eyes the next well proportioned aircraft since the Concorde, and - I know, wrong brand, the latest Ti84plus "Denim". No swoops and swirls, functional, decent coloring.)

[Image: bombardier_cs100.jpg?itok=MxH7Qw-H&fc=50,50]

[Image: 71gTOShwpKL._SL1500_.jpg]
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02-21-2018, 10:43 PM (This post was last modified: 02-21-2018 11:04 PM by martinot.)
Post: #7
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
I agree about the TI-84CE+ above; to be a modern calculator it actually looks quite good. Nice clean design. I like it!

If it had RPN I might consider... Smile

That said I think the DM42 has a very nice and clean design:

[Image: maxresdefault.jpg]


I also like the HP 35s design very much, even if it is a modern retro design, it is much nicer than (typical) TI design:

[Image: maxresdefault.jpg]

HP 35s, HP 50g, HP Elite X3, SwissMicros DM42
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02-21-2018, 10:56 PM (This post was last modified: 02-21-2018 11:01 PM by martinot.)
Post: #8
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
I also like modern phone design like these:

[Image: f3b9bb74b077b1137d213cc21a337444.jpg]

[Image: iPhone_5s_grande.png?v=1494478429]

[Image: S-3837-a3779791e996d92d7e5f80aec935a079.jpg]

[Image: 81jEt5MRLjL._SL1500_.jpg]

HP 35s, HP 50g, HP Elite X3, SwissMicros DM42
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02-21-2018, 11:11 PM
Post: #9
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
Here's a piece of modern design I like:

[Image: 2007-toyota-yaris-3-door-liftback-hatchb...-front.png]

It doesn't just look good. Mine, at least, still works fine after 11 years and 141000 miles / 227000 km, having needed only two minor repairs in those years.

Sure there were some nice designs and quality products in the '80s and '90s, but I have to disagree with the notion that it's been downhill since then.

Other cases in point: pretty much every laptop and smartphone in the last decade.
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02-21-2018, 11:11 PM (This post was last modified: 02-21-2018 11:46 PM by martinot.)
Post: #10
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
Too be a cheap and cheerful calculator (I bought one for $9 for my daughter) I also think this is looking quite good and working well (even if it lacks both RPN and classic HP clicky key feeling):

[Image: 300s.png]


I do not have this, but from a design point it looks fine and OK:

[Image: nw276aa.jpeg]


Old classic Braun four banger with nice clean design:

[Image: Braun_Calculators_large.png?v=1468263804]


My first calculator I owned as a kid (good cheerful and classic 70ies design, terrible, terrible malfunctioning keys):

[Image: TI-1070.jpg]


I still have this (last TI/Casio I bought, after this one it was HP only for me) good looking classic:

[Image: 1e0eb950-957d-012d-12ca-0050569428b1.jpg]

HP 35s, HP 50g, HP Elite X3, SwissMicros DM42
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02-21-2018, 11:40 PM
Post: #11
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
(02-21-2018 11:11 PM)Thomas Okken Wrote:  Sure there were some nice designs and quality products in the '80s and '90s, but I have to disagree with the notion that it's been downhill since then.

Other cases in point: pretty much every laptop and smartphone in the last decade.

I agree! Two great examples that I have and like the design of very much:

[Image: 135508-tablets-news-feature-microsoft-su...XlQBRU.jpg]

[Image: maxresdefault.jpg]

HP 35s, HP 50g, HP Elite X3, SwissMicros DM42
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02-22-2018, 01:57 AM
Post: #12
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
I find beauty in most airplanes made during my 58-year lifetime, and in the very attractive HP-35s calculator above. The Casio calc above is not too bad lookin' either. I dislike the rest of what has been shown so far, especially the jelly-bean car. I make a ton of mistakes trying to type on thin, flat, short-travel keys on laptop computers. My main PC is a desktop and the keyboard has full-travel, cupped keys. I type well on this at 50+ wpm, while my secondary PC for the last six years has been a laptop and my typing on that thing is hopeless. I have not been able to get used to it and quit making so many mistakes. The track pad is a very poor substitute for a real mouse too. It does not work well at all. I want a laptop that's thick enough to have a real keyboard.

It's one thing if a product is unattractive because they didn't put much stying effort into it. It's quite another when it's ugly because they tried too hard and went overboard with the 3D CAD, as is too often the case today. Such styling definitely keeps me from buying a product.

http://WilsonMinesCo.com (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, http://wilsonminesco.com/links.html )
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02-22-2018, 05:33 AM
Post: #13
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
(02-22-2018 01:57 AM)Garth Wilson Wrote:  It's one thing if a product is unattractive because they didn't put much stying effort into it. It's quite another when it's ugly because they tried too hard and went overboard with the 3D CAD, as is too often the case today. Such styling definitely keeps me from buying a product.

If everyone could agree on what is attractive and what isn't, "unattractive" products probably wouldn't exist.

Speaking as a person who:

Likes full-travel keyboards, uses Unicomp keyboards on all his desktops, but also appreciates the thinness and lightness of MacBook Airs. And, I admit, doesn't do the kind of work where being able to type 50 words per minute is something that matters.

Thinks most electronics and cars of the last century are ugly as sin, despite having grown up with them (born in 1964). Also very happy at not having to deal with the crappy quality of said electronics and cars. Jellybean forever. :-)
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02-22-2018, 07:23 AM
Post: #14
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
(02-21-2018 11:11 PM)martinot Wrote:  My first calculator I owned as a kid (good cheerful and classic 70ies design, terrible, terrible malfunctioning keys):

[Image: TI-1070.jpg]

Proudly made in Italy! :D

Greetings,
    Massimo

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02-22-2018, 09:47 AM (This post was last modified: 02-22-2018 09:55 AM by martinot.)
Post: #15
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
(02-22-2018 01:57 AM)Garth Wilson Wrote:  I find beauty in most airplanes made during my 58-year lifetime, and in the very attractive HP-35s calculator above. The Casio calc above is not too bad lookin' either. I dislike the rest of what has been shown so far, especially the jelly-bean car. I make a ton of mistakes trying to type on thin, flat, short-travel keys on laptop computers. My main PC is a desktop and the keyboard has full-travel, cupped keys. I type well on this at 50+ wpm, while my secondary PC for the last six years has been a laptop and my typing on that thing is hopeless. I have not been able to get used to it and quit making so many mistakes. The track pad is a very poor substitute for a real mouse too. It does not work well at all. I want a laptop that's thick enough to have a real keyboard.

I can buy a thin keyboard design as a intentional compromise to make a product really portable. That said the 2015 MBP 15" above has a really good keyboard to be a portable. Almost as good as the ThinkPads I have had (which I think has the best keyboards).

The Surface Pro keyboard in the cover is really good for what it is (a think portable optional cover to the machine). The same goes for the Casio fx4000p; it is too thin and too short key press to be a really ergonomic "desk" calculator, but I can accept that as it's intended to be really portable and it's over all size target.

What I did not like was the 2017 MBP 15" with the Touch Bar I had as my previous company laptop. Terrible keyboard, and never got used to it. It was otherwise a great machine, but in this case I think Apple took it way to far in being thin (compared to its still relatively big and heavy).

Normally using my laptops on my desktops I prefer to have a good dedicated keyboard with good mechanical keys witches. I prefer Cherry MX Brown or MX Clears, and from either Ducky or Filco. You can get really good small ones. I also always change the key caps from standard ABS to good quality PBT ones.

Here is my favorite Ducky Mini keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches, and black PBT keycaps (with laser etched engraving for long use quality) used with my old ThinkPad X1 Carbon:

[Image: BV07P5ZCAAIHSxt.jpg]


For some more pictures of my different mechanical keyboards I have a gallery of some here, including my favorite Filco wooden wrist rests (here in the rare 60% version I bought in Tokyo while on a trip, as they are quite rare outside of Japan):

https://www.sweclockers.com/galleri/1193...-inenheter

(It is a Swedish site, but should be OK to read descriptions of the types and my comments in English)

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02-23-2018, 01:07 AM (This post was last modified: 02-23-2018 01:16 AM by Manolo Sobrino.)
Post: #16
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
(02-21-2018 11:11 PM)martinot Wrote:  I do not have this, but from a design point it looks fine and OK:

[Image: nw276aa.jpeg]

Hum, the HP10s+... that one is funny, because it happens to be a Casio. A cheaply made derivative of the FX-MS series (just shuffling a few keys), with (even) worse keys and worse stability. The thing likes to drift when keying and also rattles if you've slid it into the cover to do so (put some cardboard between, thank me later). I know it's a 10€ calc and YGWYPF, yet still...

I had to buy one to get used to it for a test. Some civil servant thought it was about time to standardize and chose the cheapest one. Good looks and the nice touch of a recessed ON key, but Casios (with a Casio label on the faceplate) are usually better engineered and the original FX-MS have much nicer LCDs.

I do know it is a Casio calc because I'm familiar with them and well... if you press four times MODE to get to the Disp menu, and then press "2" (hidden option) it displays CASIO (Kinpo can be like this).
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02-23-2018, 02:13 AM
Post: #17
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
Here's what I don't understand: why doesn't HP have a basic more "entry level" RPN (possibly both RPN/algebraic) calculator, like an updated HP 25S or even an (solar-powered) HP 21?
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02-23-2018, 04:36 AM
Post: #18
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
(02-23-2018 02:13 AM)Eddie W. Shore Wrote:  Here's what I don't understand: why doesn't HP have a basic more "entry level" RPN (possibly both RPN/algebraic) calculator, like an updated HP 25S or even an (solar-powered) HP 21?

I think it's because nobody (age 30 and below) really knows that RPN exists. Not even my professors (if they are young) know what it is. Once, one of my classmates picked up my dad's 15C in physics class to perform a calculation and he shouted...

"Ahhhh, I'm sorry I broke your calculator. It doesn't work!"

Plus, when I try to explain RPN to fellow classmates, they immediately think it's too hard and loses interest. I haven't got one person to stay interested for more than 5 minutes.

"The Common Man's Collapse" by Veil Of Maya. BEST ALBUM EVER!
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02-23-2018, 07:00 AM (This post was last modified: 02-23-2018 07:04 AM by Thomas Okken.)
Post: #19
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
(02-23-2018 04:36 AM)Carsen Wrote:  I think it's because nobody (age 30 and below) really knows that RPN exists. Not even my professors (if they are young) know what it is. Once, one of my classmates picked up my dad's 15C in physics class to perform a calculation and he shouted...

"Ahhhh, I'm sorry I broke your calculator. It doesn't work!"

Plus, when I try to explain RPN to fellow classmates, they immediately think it's too hard and loses interest. I haven't got one person to stay interested for more than 5 minutes.

Eh, nothing new there. I had the same experience with my HP-41C, 38 years ago. And with my HP-25 before that. I was the guy whose calculator you shouldn't borrow. "Where's the [=] key?" Oh, well. Smile
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02-23-2018, 08:49 AM (This post was last modified: 02-23-2018 09:27 AM by grsbanks.)
Post: #20
RE: Exploring the beauty of retro electronics (Gallery)
(02-23-2018 01:07 AM)Manolo Sobrino Wrote:  Hum, the HP10s+... that one is funny, because it happens to be a Casio.

So I was right after all!

I bought one of these a couple of days ago just to see what it was like (no great loss if I hated the thing, which I do).

First thing that happened as soon as I saw the solar panel/LR44 battery power combo and the keyboard and then pressed the "Mode" key was me blurting out, "FFS, this is a cheap Casio!".

Horrible machine all in all. No contrast on the LCD even when the battery is in.

Ahem... Allow me to demonstrate: https://youtu.be/4F873-zbyM8
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