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Fletch

Favorite Computers based on industrial design

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The SGI computers always had cool cases. Of course, nobody could ever afford these things.

 

sgiindy.jpg

 

diatomic.jpg

 

Silicon graphics are beautiful machines.

 

So are most Macs I think.

 

The most cool computers of all time...

 

1) The Atari 800 (& 400) (the retro machines I tinker on)

2) The Sol Terminal 20. (Love the IBM blue and WOOD PANELING!) (circa 1977)

post-4709-1224608442_thumb.jpg

http://www.sol20.org/

3) The ThinkPad's "Butterfly keyboard"

post-4709-1224608639.jpgpost-4709-1224608632_thumb.jpg

4) Most Macs are pretty cool, but the Macintosh Duo beat them all!!

post-4709-1224608865.jpg

5) The Macintosh 12" G4 Aluminum, the coolest thing since the Mac Duo, and precursor to the Mac Air, and the powerbooks (that look really cool) coming out soon.

post-4709-1224609061.jpg

6) Agree on the E-mate, and the Newton 2x00 was a cool tablet device too.

7) The Zaurus 5500/5600 (and the cool foldout keyboard.)

post-4709-1224609242.jpgpost-4709-1224609246.jpg

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I guess no one could top what I said? :P

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2) The Sol Terminal 20. (Love the IBM blue and WOOD PANELING!) (circa 1977)

post-4709-1224608442_thumb.jpg

I was just looking at pictures of that thing yesterday, and thinking there ought to be more wood sides in computerdom. The analog synth guys can't have all the fun.

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Fully restored Apple Lisa II. This system was given to me back in the early '90s by my x-wife's then current boyfriend because it didn't work. It turned out to be the floppy head felt pressure pad had fallen off and was lying on the inside of the computer. Worked fine after fixing the drive!!!

 

post-6701-1224705558_thumb.jpg post-6701-1224705567_thumb.jpg

Edited by Guitarman

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Hi

 

I recommend you the "Digital Retro: The Evolution and Design of the Personal Computer" book by Gordon Laing.

It has terrific pictures of clasical hardware, in all angles: sides, top, bottom, etc.

 

For sale at Amazon for $19.79. You can preview some pages of this book at this link:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Retro-Evolut...2759&sr=8-1

 

Regards

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I'll give a mention to the Spectravideo SV-318. Really rather bland looking, with rubber chicklet keyes in a white plastic case with angles that resemble several other machines from the era, but it is distinguished from all other machines by the presence of a red arcade-style joystick built right into the keyboard. This, during a time when most home computer makers were trying to distance themselves from game consoles. This machine became the basis for the Japanese MSX standard, but the built-in joystick, alas, was never standard on any other machine.

Edited by Dr. Van Thorp

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Nice Onyx!!! SGI really have radical designs, some recent ones way over the top.

 

My personal favs: original 800 yup! 400, when I was a kid had candy appeal too.

Others: 1200XL, TI99 4/A, All translucent iMacs & in the future, the piano black iMac!!!

(I just know its coming & when it does think AC/DC singing "Mac in black" & a strong garage band push. )

[email protected]/campaignideawhichtheyprobablywontusenowwheresmyspacebar

 

On a sad note I literally, just yesterday, sent my old Silicon Graphics / SGI Personal Iris over the golden bridge.

A couple years ago I mod'd it and installed Intel hardware inside and used it as a server case.

 

Already I miss it. Like Barney's Mom, it was HUGE, purple & beautiful but utterly useless now.

 

Hopefully someone picked it up. I put it next to a bin that has become the area's freecycle outlet.

 

4d_pi_35_1.jpg

 

 

I once had the honour to use this beast:
Edited by Noelio

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5) The Macintosh 12" G4 Aluminum, the coolest thing since the Mac Duo, and precursor to the Mac Air, and the powerbooks (that look really cool) coming out soon.
I love mine. :D

 

I keep hoping Apple will give us a 12" form factor with an Intel processor, but that looks like it's never going to happen. :(

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I was just looking at pictures of that thing yesterday, and thinking there ought to be more wood sides in computerdom. The analog synth guys can't have all the fun.

 

 

Agreed. The wood look was more common in the early days as computer companies tried to market the "home computer" and something that didn't look like a Altair box with switches and lights, or a Commodore Pet. Part of the Sol's building instructions were how to stain and treat the wood panels. No kid. :)

 

Naturally the early pong units and the Atari 2600 would have the fake wood look as well. But the Sol had the real thing.

 

 

5) The Macintosh 12" G4 Aluminum, the coolest thing since the Mac Duo, and precursor to the Mac Air, and the powerbooks (that look really cool) coming out soon.
I love mine. :D

 

I keep hoping Apple will give us a 12" form factor with an Intel processor, but that looks like it's never going to happen. :(

 

Well, you get 13" computers. Not small enough for you? :D I wish Mac would make another Duo personally. ;)

 

On a sad note I literally, just yesterday, sent my old Silicon Graphics / SGI Personal Iris over the golden bridge.

A couple years ago I mod'd it and installed Intel hardware inside and used it as a server case.

 

Already I miss it. Like Barney's Mom, it was HUGE, purple & beautiful but utterly useless now.

 

Hopefully someone picked it up. I put it next to a bin that has become the area's freecycle outlet.

 

Sorry to hear that. Sometimes you really just HAVE to get rid of things. Either get rid of it now (give it away, sell, throw away) or guarenteed your loved ones will probably dump it somewhere when we're gone. Hey, just a fact of life.

 

I think in my computing days I have thrown away the shell (kept the insides) of a Mac Plus as they were STARTING to go out of style. I did that for space since I was flying back from Guam and only the boards would fit. I think parts to a Atari 600XL were tossed after it sat on my backporch growing up. It was broke when we got it. Most other computers I've given to other people or sold.

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c64c.jpg

Say what?

 

www.commodoreage.com - the domain is still free, you may be first.

 

Btw. nice paperweight! :cool:

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In date-order:

 

CDC 7600

 

Cray 1

 

Atari 800

 

NeXT cube

 

SGI Indy (with the granite monitor and peripherials)

 

SGI Origin 2000

 

I've use all of those machines except the Control-Data.

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In date-order:

 

CDC 7600

 

Cray 1

 

Atari 800

 

NeXT cube

 

SGI Indy (with the granite monitor and peripherials)

 

SGI Origin 2000

 

I've use all of those machines except the Control-Data.

 

Yep, all of those! The sgi Onyx full-size rack/fridge was a badassed system, used to be an admin on one of those & a desktop/mini-fridge... ha. Don't forget the Indigo2s! I have always thought that the dual display CDC was amazing as was the Cray 1, in sooooo many ways.. All NeXT boxes, too. Original VAIO laptops were great back in the day.

 

Oh, man, there are just so many cool designs, let's not forget the wood-cabineted Zuse or precision brass Analytical Engine!

 

I also like the stark military rack design of the Bell Labs analog computers used for the Nike missiles, back in the 50's.

 

Lets not forget the Air Force's SAGE systems, super-cool! & Douglas Engelbart's Mother of All Demo's SDS, with it's ENORMOUS CRT and beautifully ergonomic fiberglass-looking keyboard interface.

 

I could go on & on. There have been some wonderfully fine points in industrial design's history since the advent of computational devices. Like say, Nixie tubes, how cool are they!

 

Oh, wait. Coolest computer ever: The desk in the movie "Tron". I want one.

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Here's a picture of my Kaypro. Look at the solid keyboard. You don't see that quality anymore. Who could not like that?

 

greenscreenkaypro.jpg

 

Another shot. As you can see, I finally got a TI-99/4A (two, actually). It's beautiful. This one was "New, never used" and judging by all the unopened manuals, I think they were right. My other TI-99/4A (which is slightly older) has a slightly better keyboard and I think has the best keyboard feel of any "computer in a keyboard" designs ever.

 

commandcentresm.jpg

 

You can see more pictures of my computers by clicking on my signature.

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Here's a picture of my Kaypro. Look at the solid keyboard. You don't see that quality anymore. Who could not like that

 

Another shot. As you can see, I finally got a TI-99/4A (two, actually). It's beautiful. This one was "New, never used" and judging by all the unopened manuals, I think they were right. My other TI-99/4A (which is slightly older) has a slightly better keyboard and I think has the best keyboard feel of any "computer in a keyboard" designs ever.

 

You can see more pictures of my computers by clicking on my signature.

Nice collection!

 

Stephen Anderson

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I'm really happy to see my favorites already covered:

- Apple //c

- Apple G4 Cube

- Apple 20th Anniversary Mac

- NeXT Cube

 

I also like the Alienware gaming desktops that are currently being sold.

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Picture of Spectravideo from Wikipedia:

800px-Spectravideo_SVI318.jpg

 

That's an absolutely stunning machine... with a BUILT IN JOYSTICK, wow!! I remember seeing this in magazines but not in real life.

 

Here is my favourite though...

 

Oric_Atmos_System_s1.jpg

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