Latest News

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:

198.76.172.102 [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:

159.233.80.21 [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 pages combined!)

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

And in health news, my weight loss continues! Fifty pounds and counting. Less than thirty to go. Follow my progress, if you're bored! Also, if you've ever wondered if diet and moderate exercise can really help things like cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels, the answer is yes! For the morbidly curious, my blood work results are also online! Eww!


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:

  1. SCOUnix
  2. WindowsNT
  3. Linux (RedHat or Mandrake, I can't remember which.)
  4. BeOS (Great for the desktop, not so good as a server.)
  5. Mandrake Linux
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 xmas CD.


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 news indeed!


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, really!)


November 13, 1998 - Added two new entries:


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.


February 2, 1998

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!


The Museum was one of the Teleport: Web Today Destinations for August 11, 1997.

The Museum was the "weiner" of the Screw U Award for Excellence at Red Rock's Lil' Page of Hate on August 6, 1997. (It's a little confusing, but, yes, it's a positive award.)


I received my very first piece of hate mail. Whee!


The Museum was mentioned in the weekly cartoon in the Spencer F. Katt column in PC Week for the week of April 25, 1997.


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:

Dinosaur SIG
c/o Don Maslin
7742 Via Capri
La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone: 619-454-7392
E-mail: donm@cts.com

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.)

Begone! Back to the Museum!


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