November 6th, 2002 - The Museum was a User
Friendly Link of the Day! Of course, like any good geek, I love User Friendly.
Looks like I got the comments system up just in time!
March 13th, 2002 - Someone asked me when the Museum first went online. So I pulled out the
old logs and took a look. Here's the log entry from the very first hit:
220.127.116.11 [Wed Jan 4 08:51:11 1995] GET /fun/user/tcc/cmuseum/cmuseum.htm HTTP/1.0
Of course, that was me hitting it. The first hit from someone else was 8 days later:
18.104.22.168 [Thu Jan 12 17:16:59 1995] GET /fun/user/tcc/cmuseum/cmuseum.htm HTTP/1.0
Which was a friend of my boss from the Pima County court system in Arizona.
December 22nd, 2001 - Earthlink makes us the Weird Site of the Day, or something similar. Site traffic goes up six-fold. Which is great, but forces me to need to buy extra bandwidth. Oh well, I'm still spending less per month on hosting than I do on full-body Swedish hot oil massages. (You think I'm joking, but I'm not.)
December 13, 2001 - My bandwidth woes continue. Most of the photos in
the Museum are JPGs, but are set with a really, really low compression ratio.
That means that they generally look really good. But it also means that they're
huge! I've had to crank up the compression on the largest and most
frequently hit photos. Hopefully, they still look pretty good.
December 5, 2001 - The Museum has moved to a new host. Hopefully, everything has been moved over correctly
and should work fine!
You shouldn't notice any real differences. The pages should pop up
a little quicker. And they shouldn't go down just because my work
is upgrading something or other. Also, I've had to remove the old, old
Helpline Archives. Search engines kept hitting them and since they were
all quite large files, it was eating up my available bandwidth. (Hits
on the Archive pages used more bandwidth than the rest of the Museum
I'd like to thank everyone who gave me leads for hosting companies. I
picked Apollo Hosting. They
provided everything I needed at a decent price. Plus, they're physically
located just down the street in Newport News. I'd like to give a very
special thanks to those who offered to personally host the Museum for
free. I'm deeply touched that people care so much. I didn't take any of
you up on the offer simply because it's hard to demand a certain level
of service when you're not paying for it. If I let someone host it for
free, I'd have a hard time then complaining if things went wrong. And that
wouldn't be fair to all you users.
February 2, 2001 - Finally, the Helpline is back up!
It's been several months since its drive crashed. Now it's back and it's database-driven.
The database currently holds all the postings from March 2000 until the crash, sometime
in September. (I had to throw out about a dozen mangled postings out
of 3500 or so.) I'm truly sorry for the long delay. The past postings were an
HTML mess and I had to go through it all by hand to get them in a form
I could import. Anyway, it's now available!
New features of the Helpline:
It's searchable! Search through all the old postings, back to last March.
I'll keep adding more of the old archives until everything from the past few
years is available.
The main page only shows the last 50 postings. Never again will you
have to wait while a 3 meg Helpline downloads.
Other stuff: Obsolete Computer Museum T-shirts are now for sale! A company
called CafePress custom prints shirts on demand. The quality is similar
to what you would get at Kinko's. It's a printed transfer that gets ironed
onto the shirt. It lasts longer and looks sharper than an ink-jet transfer
does, but it alwasy has a visible rectangle where the edges of the transfer are located.
I receive a couple bucks from each sale. But mainly, I just thought it would be cool!
There are two designs available:
January 5, 2001 - Okay, the Museum is back up. I made an abortive
try at running the site on the BeOS,
but Be's networking stack isn't very good and things crashed pretty quickly.
The Museum is back on Linux. (Mandrake 7.1 to be exact.) I was going to
give FreeBSD a try, but found the install procedure to be very, very
ugly. FreeBSD may be more solid and stable than Linux, or so I'm
told, but it has a ways to go to reach the user-friendliness of Linux.
This makes the fifth platform change for the Museum. Here are the past OSs:
Linux (RedHat or Mandrake, I can't remember which.)
BeOS (Great for the desktop, not so good as a server.)
I'm still going to play with FreeBSD for awhile, but I need a much better
handle on it before committing the Museum to it.
Oh, yeah. Why was the Museum down? We changed our networking topology
from token ring to ethernet, and everything that could have gone wrong
did. Unfortunately for the Museum, I needed to fix our business servers
first, so the Museum had to wait.
The Helpline has been down because the hard drive started to get flaky.
The Museum is on a much better drive now, so the Helpline will return soon.
However, it'll return as a full-fledged database. You'll be able to search
through all the previous postings, as well as look at the last weeks worth,
or months worth, or whatever. The main Helpline page will not need to be
manually trimmed nor grow prohibitively large. It should be cool, so stay
tuned. The actual database stuff is easy. The hard part is parsing out
all the archived info.
Other news? Well, for medical reasons, I'm getting my weight down.
I've dropped 40 pounds and have about 40 more to go. You can watch my
progress at tom.carlson.org!
Shopping early for next xmas? Pick up a copy of my
June 9, 2000 - Don't miss the 4th Vintage Computer Festival! (I always
miss it because they keep holding it on the west coast.) It's coming up
this fall. They're also working on an east coast version, which is good
March 30, 2000 - The Museum server crashed last week. The hard drive
basically went up in (virtual) smoke. I was able to recover all the
web pages, but some of the graphics files were lost. Luckily, I have
backups of all the graphics files. The problem is determining which are
hosed. So if a page seems to be missing its computer pix, please
let me know!
December 20, 1999 - Much has been going on in my personal life, which
has been rudely intruding on my ability to work on the Museum. (This
includes my first house, a new, very demanding, boss, kittens, a tech
conference for 3500 people, Comdex, and a hurricane.) I'm finally
starting to take pictures again. Some donors have been waiting
literally over a year, for which I am eternally sorry. That said,
there are some cool computers coming your way! So stay tuned!
Also, I'll soon have a new domain name for the museum. It's not
in place yet, but soon the Museum will be at www.obsoletecomputermuseum.org,
which I believe is about as long as a domain name is allowed to be!
But remember, it's not working yet! Don't click on it!
July 8,1999 - Check out the Soapbox.
It's a sort of flexible on-line forum. You can add comments, create new
pages for new topics, cross-link pages, and link to external sites. It
doesn't really replace the Helpline, but provides a place to spout off
about things. It's also rough beta code, so it might be flaky. But you
can't really hurt it, so go ahead and play with it!
June 10, 1999 - Don't miss this year's ADAMCON.
(Oh! Those wacky Adam folks!)
March 22, 1999 - No, I'm not dead. Added 16 new entries. There are more to come. (No,
October 22, 1998 - Ouch! Was the last update really last February? Alas it was. My
problem is that I keep wanting to do one big update. So I keep holding onto stuff, trying
to get all caught up before I put them all on. Obviously, this hasn't worked. I never get
caught up, so I never put anything up. So I'm trying a different tactic. I'll be adding
new machines and pictures on an almost (insert a long period of time here) basis, but only
one or two at a time. Today's addition is one of my very favorite computers, the Amiga 500.
French translation! Christophe Poirer
translated the Museum into French. (My sincere apologies to Christophe for not mentioning
The World's Cheapest Web Server is back online. I
had to take it down when our new firewall amputated my little ethernet from the public
side of our token-ring network. I finally got around to converting it to token ring. Take
a look, but don't hammer it too hard. It's just a little guy!
I've made a few changes to the pictures in the Museum. I've added photo credits to
nearly every photo. Anyone has my permission to use any photo that says "Tom
Carlson" on it, as long as proper credit is made (such as making it link to the
Museum). If you're using one in a printed publication, I would like a copy. Other photos
aren't owned by me, and so I can't grant permission. I've also reoganized file locations a
little. So if you've been linking to a particular photo, it may have moved.
Thanks to Ryerdon, we now have a source for CP/M disks:
c/o Don Maslin
7742 Via Capri
La Jolla, CA 92037
Ryerdon tells me that this group, part of the San Diego Computer society, has a
tremendous CP/M library with disks for 42+ old computers ranging from ALSPA and ALTOS down
to ZORBA. They charge very reasonable prices ($3.00 for 1st disk and $1.00-$2.00 for each
additional, depending on availability). So stop asking me where to get software for your
Osborne or Kaypro!
Send comments to here! (Note the new address. Lots of space to hold photos sent my way.)