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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 6th Sep 2021, 12:08 pm   #1
brunel
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Default Another obsolete gadget.

Still in full working order.

Spare memory pack and external supply connector.
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Old 7th Sep 2021, 11:39 pm   #2
circuitryboy
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Default Re: Another obsolete gadget.

M&S used these in-store for a while for stock control.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 12:20 am   #3
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Default Re: Another obsolete gadget.

The more gadgety something is, the quicker it goes obsolete

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Old 8th Sep 2021, 5:19 am   #4
electronicskip
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Default Re: Another obsolete gadget.

Ah yes i have one of these with some spare memory packs .
You see them at car boot sales occasionally which is where i bought mine from a few years ago.
Very rugged and well made .
Was it called the Organiser?

Ah yes now ive enlarged the picture i can see the name faintly on the top.
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Last edited by electronicskip; 8th Sep 2021 at 5:20 am. Reason: organiser
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 5:49 am   #5
nutteronthebus
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Default Re: Another obsolete gadget.

I used one whilst working for BT to do my time sheet and posted off the memory chip every week

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Old 8th Sep 2021, 7:07 am   #6
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Default Re: Another obsolete gadget.

Psion organiser?

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Old 8th Sep 2021, 7:22 am   #7
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Another obsolete gadget.

I have the 'posh' (four line) version of this (LZ64?), along with the serial interface and (somewhere) the Windows 3.1 'PsiWin' software which allowed development of software for the Psion on a PC.

I used mine for sending low level RS232 command strings to CCTV telemetry receivers. Very handy to be able to operate all the functions of the camera when I was on the roof of a tower block or some other remote place. My colleague at the time had a Psion 3, much nicer little machine with its QWERTY keyboard, although not as physically tough as these ones.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 7:54 am   #8
Buzby123
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Default Re: Another obsolete gadget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
... although not as physically tough as these ones.
Back in the day I accidently dropped my LZ64 from 20ft onto a concrete floor.

The sliding cover for the ROM slot popped out ( never found it ), but the LZ worked perfectly for years after.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 11:37 am   #9
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Another obsolete gadget.

I used to have one, it had an adapter cable to a 25-pin rs232 plug which was nifty because I was able to carry all the router cconfigurations for my client sites around on the Organiser and quickly reload things if I had to do a hardware swap in the field.

Made life much easier and impressed clients too.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 4:08 pm   #10
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Another obsolete gadget.

We did the same with CCTV video multiplexers (Dedicated Micro) which could be completely set up by sending them ASCII command strings over RS232 - names of cameras, number of cameras to display on the output - all stuff that took a long time to programme manually using the front panel switches. We would prepare a text file containing all the necessary configuration commands and squirt it into the target unit using the 'ASCII send' feature of the terminal software.

Any kind of palmtop computer which had a file system, a native terminal program and an RS232 port was an amazingly useful tool at the time.

We eventually progressed to Toshiba Librettos which were very compact Windows laptops so they were useful for running a lot of other tools and utilities too, but until they came over the horizon the Psions were absolutely vital for us.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 5:33 pm   #11
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Another obsolete gadget.

I had, and still mostly have a number of similar tools though never a Psion. My HP 95LX is currently on display in a museum! My first was a Philips Velo, then the HP, followed by a couple of iPaqs (Compaq then HP). The serial port on the iPaq was useful for running diagnostics when I was working overseas in the middle of a desert or in the arctic. Saved getting a laptop out and booting it up. The only difficulty was the stuff I was working on used a bizzare baud rate (10,400) so the people who created the software to drive the serial port had to do some clever stuff to make it work.
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Old 8th Sep 2021, 10:12 pm   #12
McMurdo
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Default Re: Another obsolete gadget.

My brother was issued with a more up to date version for interrogating the ECU in certain models of JCB plant. Now they use a touch screen tablet that downloads the files via 4G, once they've verified you're a current member of staff!
The M&S use was proudly demonstrated to us when I was at college and we had a behind-the-scenes tour (late 80's). The large stores had comprehensive stock rooms and automated stock picking and control, rather then the just-in-time system that these days we all know works flawlessly.
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 4:08 am   #13
TonyDuell
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Default Re: Another obsolete gadget.

I seem to remember the M&S version of the Psion Organiser had a special ROM in it and won't behave as a normal Organiser or use the normal application program modules. Greenweld sold them off some time ago, I think I have one somewhere along with a couple of normal Organisers.

My HP95LX still gets a lot of use here as a terminal for testing minicomputer systems, to transfer files from my PC to/from the EPROM, etc, programmers on my bench, etc.
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Old 9th Sep 2021, 6:34 am   #14
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Default Re: Another obsolete gadget.

Mercury Communications used them for accessing information on Subscriber Pulse Metering Equipment (SPMG) in the 90ís. This kit allowed hotels to provide local billing, buy cheap minutes of Mercury (always cheaper the BT) and charge whatever ppm rate they wanted to.
I remember being called to faults where customers had been charged hundreds of pounds for a single call, we could use these to check the pulses were correct and what tariff the hotel had chosen, there was never a fault just greedy hoteliers.

John
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Old 11th Sep 2021, 6:32 pm   #15
rambo1152
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Default Re: Another obsolete gadget.

I remember when these were the latest thing in pharmaceutical ordering for High St chemists.
I think they were twinned with an acoustically coupled modem.
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