OT--slightly anyway, what gives with used laptops

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snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com says...

You got me! I'd forgotten that one :-). And we had one of the first 360s (a model 20?) at Hughes Aircraft in Culver City. Another place I worked had a 360/30 on order and cancelled it in favor of an 1130.
But the very first "o/s" that I know of and used was XX3000 for the Univac. It handled all the (tape) I/O and let you embed your own code in the middle. High technology for the time :-).
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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Robert Bonomi wrote:

Especially when you consider that it outperforms the early hardware.
--
--John
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patriarch < wrote:

The OS is the power tool of computers. The Neander computer provides memory for instruction/data storage and a processor that understands basic machine codes to manipulate the data according to the provided instructions. What more would a Neander need? Of course some would argue that having a processor follow your instructions and manipulate your data is akin to a power tool so the true Neander who makes his own woodworking tools should also by definition make his own processor by hand coding an FPGA or actually building a bit slice.
-BR

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BruceR wrote:

The hard part's finding a working or repairable with reasonable effort machine with lights and switches on the front panel for a reasonable price.

--
--John
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Abacus.
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patriarch <<patriarch> wrote:

I'm going to have to dig up my copy of the product announcement for "OS/VU" 'virtual universe'.
It was noted that start-up was _slow_. the IPL of 'sys1.god' took seven days to complete.
System calls to 'non resident galaxies' had a large latency problem.
As for the Neanders -- *what* operating system?? In the good ole days, all programs ran 'stand alone'. There *wasn't* any such thing as an operating system -- either the functionality was embedded in your application code, or it didn't exist. Many shops came to have a 'standard library' of routines for basic device functions, that you could merge to your code, as needed.
The true Neander is going to 'program on the bare metal' producing direct machine-executable code, handling all required functionality internally, without benefit of an operating system, or even an 'assembler' to do instruction translation.
Don't laugh. I've _written_ code under those conditions, myself.
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On Wed, 08 Sep 2004 22:07:42 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

We used to call them "executives"; small continuous loops that polled various hardware locations and/or waited around for interrupts. Simple, efficient, and relatively easy to see what was going on with a piece of hardware so programmed.
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Charlie Self wrote:

The local college auctions always have a dozen or so laptops (486 class, sometimes better) that usually go for $5-$20. Deals are out there, it just depends if you want to kill a day to save a few hundred bucks and not feel ripped off on ebay :^)
-BR
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Denial? Refusal to believe that something you paid several thousand dollars for a few years ago is now "worthless"? Still agreed - it's all abouth the price. Price those for a few hunnert and they'd probably get some more takers.
By the way, this question popped into my head a few years ago: Is there any other product, besides computers, where the price decline is a rapid when there's no degradation in performance?
For example - my 33MHz 486 box still performs as well as it did the day I bought it. Yet, it went from $3000 in 1992 to effectively zero several years later. Any other product in the history of economics have a similar profile?
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Patrick Conroy asks:

Possibly, and it's still a bit too early to tell, digital cameras and cell phones.
Charlie Self "I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents." Sir Winston Churchill
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patrick conroy wrote:

Hookers?
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[ big :) ]
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I'm using a compaq I bought new at Xmas time on a "special" sale that was $700 after rebates at my local CompUSA. 15" screen, 30gig HD, DVD/CD-R, etc, etc. Maybe you need to look around some more, wait for sales, etc. Also, go to the stores to check out prices, they don't always advertise the low end machines.
John
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JohnT writes:

I've got time yet. Helluva lot more of that than money. I don't need the machine this year, even, but need to have it ready to go about February or March.
I don't need a 15" screen, either, which is why I'm looking at used laptops, but there's no way I'm paying 65% of new prices for a machine that has to be 3 years old. And that seems to be what a great many of the used sellers are asking.
As I said, I haven't had time to check locally, but I'm positive that within a dozen miles, there's only one such store (there's one in Bedford and it's a dozen miles from my house to there).
Charlie Self "I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents." Sir Winston Churchill
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Don't think too long about the PDA. Resolution isn't there. Wife keeps her photo gallery of grandkids and such on hers, but it's nothing like throwing the camera memory into the PCMCIA slot, then having 1024x768 and Photoshop to play with.
Those "return from lease" computers are pretty common, and some are up-to-date enough. Got a ThinkPad Celeron for $360 from a local college kid which takes care of photo business, internet browsing, and lesson planning. Check with a local laptop university for December graduations, they offer to the holders (who have already paid for them) at an attractive price, but not all take advantage of it. Daughter bought an $899 new Dell, which works not one bit faster at common tasks than mine.

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Then perhaps you may want to wait a bit. The same money six months down the road will buy you a lot more computer than you'll get today plus there will be a lot more used equipment on the market right after Christmas.
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mp responds:

Now, I hadn't thought of the the after-Christmas increase. That's a good idea. Thanks.
Charlie Self "Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened." Sir Winston Churchill
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Charlie Self wrote:

Charlie, if that Bedford is Bedford, MA and you're driving something that doesn't burn up a hundred bucks worth of gas on the trip to Hartford you might want to go by Kaplan Computers <http://www.kaplancomputers.com/ . He always has used notebooks in stock ranging from dirt cheap and pretty old on up, and usually has several Thinkpads. Not as cheap as the best ebay prices but not bad. Nice thing about Kaplan is that you can see what you're getting before you buy.
One thing to watch for with used laptops though, is the battery--if you can't test before you buy then just assume that you're going to have to replace it--that adds 200 bucks or so to the price. Another is the drivers--if it comes with a wiped disk and no recovery disk (usually the case) then you're going to need the device drivers to get it up and fully functional--IBM has drivers for some rather ancient machines up on their site--you can generally count on being able to get drivers for every operating system that was ever supported on that machine.

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--John
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My daughter wanted a laptop for her last birthday. At 8 years old I couldn't see spending big bucks so I checked the used market. I found an IBM Thinkpad PII/233 with modem, CDROM, & floppy, 8GB, for around $250 including shipping. The only problem is the included battery was weak, lasting only about 1/2 hour. I can't remember the name of the company I bought it from offhand, but I found it after a short amount of web searching.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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Charlie,
You might want to consider using a TV instead. My sony camera outputs to a TV using a 3.5" walkman type plug on one end and RCA plugs on the other. Check your manual, you might be able to do the same.
Jay
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