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tokelokenem
May 16th, 2009, 12:55 AM
Hello, I was thinking of getting an old computer from 80's or 90's. Would an atari be a good computer to buy? What computer from that era has a modem to connect online?

chuckcmagee
May 16th, 2009, 02:19 AM
Well, most of us go with the first computer we learned on. You will need to figure out what you are interested in. Almost all the early 1980 type computers have some way to use a modem. Even my Osborne 1 has a modem on it.

Chuck(G)
May 16th, 2009, 09:08 AM
Any computer with a serial port can be connected to an external modem (which used to be the only kind of modem there was).

If you're used to Windows-style computers, you might feel most at home with an Atari ST.

tezza
May 16th, 2009, 12:51 PM
What computer from that era has a modem to connect online?

Hmm, online? Do you mean the Internet?

A modem on a vintage computer from the 1980s will not (in itself) get you onto the Internet. Modems those days were used for calling Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs) and communicating with other computers via phone lines.

My apologies if you knew this already and by online, you meant simply connected via phone.

Tez

Chuck(G)
May 16th, 2009, 02:25 PM
For internet connection using an ST, see here. (http://www.atari.org/hosted/quickfaq/stfaq_4.htm#2)

tokelokenem
May 16th, 2009, 10:59 PM
Thank you for suggesting the Atari ST. By saying online I did mean an internet connection and guessed that these early computers would be harder to get connected. Thanks for your help.

P.S. Is 19200bps really slow? Compared to dial-up on a modern computer? Could I download programs for the Atari ST once i got an internet connection?

carlsson
May 17th, 2009, 10:53 AM
If you can get a dial-up connection at all? I have no idea what the support for SLIP or PPP is on the Atari ST, if modem pools of today still support those protocols.

On the other hand, chances are good that you could get an Ethernet interface and TCP/IP support so you could hook up a vintage computer directly to your home network. That is not exactly what you asked for, but much more practical and cool by today's standards.

Chuck(G)
May 17th, 2009, 12:07 PM
Anders, if you were in the "technologically advanced" USA, you'd find PPP dial up alive and well (http://www.netzero.net/). I don't know about other countries. The link I posted above mentions a PPP client for the ST.

carlsson
May 17th, 2009, 02:36 PM
Sure, those services still exist in Sweden too. They may still be of great use in more rural parts of the country.

NathanAllan
May 17th, 2009, 08:28 PM
Right. Every DSL account from ATT comes with a dial-up account, just in case the service is down. Not sure why-- has to be for when the servers go down, because both rely on the actual wires to connect them. If a tree falls in the woods on a phone line, everybody would hear it.

leehanken
May 20th, 2009, 05:28 AM
Hello, I was thinking of getting an old computer from 80's or 90's. Would an atari be a good computer to buy? What computer from that era has a modem to connect online?

Hi, I have gone online on an Atari ST with 1Mb RAM and a modem, but I found it to be *incredibly* slow, quite crash prone and difficult to do anything useful. Sorry if others have had better experiences.

http://www.leehanken.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/atari/st/mega.jpg

On the other hand, connecting my ST to a Linux box with a serial cable and using it as a terminal, it is great for email and text based web browsing. I can go onto telnet based bulletin boards, and download ST software.

The suggestion to use some kind of ethernet interface is a good one. My only doubt is that the bog standard ST is not really powerful enough. A later Atari model such as a TT or a Falcon would give better results if you can get hold of one.

carlsson
May 20th, 2009, 06:15 AM
I don't know the ST scene, but an Ethernet interface should probably buffer packages. There are interfaces for much inferior computers like Commodore 64, which at least can run a text browser in Contiki (quite slow IIRC).

NathanAllan
May 20th, 2009, 09:13 AM
The ST's are great machine but they were never meant for today's internet. Whenever I hook up I have to go through my main machine and not send all the java, flash and extra stuff the ST doesn't deal with.

I still love them, they're much fun, even without a hard disk drive. Nice setup, too. How is the monitor connected??

Chuck(G)
May 20th, 2009, 09:24 AM
Does Lynx run on the ST?

jens
May 21st, 2009, 01:24 PM
I have some Falcon-on-the-web screenshots on my webpage (http://jens-inge.dyndns.org). Just go to the pictures section to view them.

I think that an ethernet interface would be a better choice than a modem just because the standard ST does not have more than a 19200 serial interface.
They changed that to 38400 on the STe and to 115200 on the Mega/STe machines I believe.
The ethernec (or whatever you want to use) should be faster on all of them though.

On my abovementioned page there is a how-to about ethernec setup with STinG btw, just in case anyone happens to be interested.

Regarding Lynx:
I don't know if there's a Lynx version for MiNT, but I'm quite certain there's no version that's working under TOS.

leehanken
May 24th, 2009, 05:51 AM
I still love them, they're much fun, even without a hard disk drive. Nice setup, too. How is the monitor connected??

Thanks, I was lucky someone locally donated me the Mega unit for free.

This is a Mono to VGA adapter, a guy in Poland still makes them and sells them internationally on eBay.

Chuck(G)
May 24th, 2009, 01:18 PM
OT but it has me wondering...

How is it that an Atari TT or Falcon is considered to be a vintage computer, when 80486 PCs aren't? :confused:

Vlad
May 24th, 2009, 01:28 PM
OT but it has me wondering...

How is it that an Atari TT or Falcon is considered to be a vintage computer, when 80486 PCs aren't? :confused:

Macs that use the 68000 series processors are counted as Vintage with their own section and correct me if I'm wrong but didn't both of those machines use a 68000 series processor? I suppose they would count that way. A white box 80486 is WAY more common than either of those too. I don't think I've ever actually seen an Atari computer at all in person, just pictures of them so I suppose they could be called uncommon if you compared it to the bazillions of 486's out there.

My 2 cents anyway :rolleyes:

NathanAllan
May 24th, 2009, 01:30 PM
OT but it has me wondering...

How is it that an Atari TT or Falcon is considered to be a vintage computer, when 80486 PCs aren't? :confused:

double standards. Tho I'd love to have a 68K based windows machine :D Better yet a Linux one that works well.

Chuck(G)
May 24th, 2009, 03:48 PM
Macs that use the 68000 series processors are counted as Vintage with their own section and correct me if I'm wrong but didn't both of those machines use a 68000 series processor? I suppose they would count that way. A white box 80486 is WAY more common than either of those too. I don't think I've ever actually seen an Atari computer at all in person, just pictures of them so I suppose they could be called uncommon if you compared it to the bazillions of 486's out there.

Well 68K came after x86 and you can still buy 68K family members (see: ColdFire). Things with 68K family processors were more common than you'd think. Workstations (e.g. Apollo), Macs, *nix boxes (e.g. Plextor, Fortune). Heck, I've got two laser printers with 68Ks in them.

If it's the criterion that Atari isn't around any more (at least the entity making personal computers), well then, neither is Packard Bell.

Vlad
May 24th, 2009, 05:11 PM
Heck, I've got two laser printers with 68Ks in them.

I always wondered what powered those.


If it's the criterion that Atari isn't around any more (at least the entity making personal computers), well then, neither is Packard Bell.I never said they counted because Atari didn't make them anymore, I said they could be considered on topic and vintage because we count the 68k Macs as so. And interestingly enough Packard Bell lives on to this very day as an subsidiary of Acer that doesn't operate in North America.

http://packardbell.com/

Tiberian Fiend
May 24th, 2009, 07:04 PM
You can also use an Apple IIGS on the internet, while having access to the Apple II's massive software library.

Chuck(G)
May 24th, 2009, 08:15 PM
I never said they counted because Atari didn't make them anymore, I said they could be considered on topic and vintage because we count the 68k Macs as so. And interestingly enough Packard Bell lives on to this very day as an subsidiary of Acer that doesn't operate in North America.

You know, I looked at the web site under "company profile" and the description makes it seem as if the PB of the 80's is the same as that of the 20's-60's. Nothing could be farther from the truth. A couple of Taiwanese guys bought the rights to the name of the out-of-business company in the 80's.

For a real Packard-Bell computer, consider the PB 250 (http://www.piercefuller.com/library/pb250.html?id=pb250). Whack it with your fist and it dropped bits.

But thanks for indulging a curious mind...

Trooper
May 29th, 2009, 10:21 PM
The "couple of Taiwanese guys" are called Acer if IIRC, and Acer is what used to be Multitech so some classic connection is there anyway :)

Chuck(G)
May 30th, 2009, 04:31 PM
The "couple of Taiwanese guys" are called Acer if IIRC, and Acer is what used to be Multitech so some classic connection is there anyway :)

Actually, it was an Israeli tank driver, Beny Alagem and a bunch of his Israeli friends who bought the name in 1986. Alagem currently owns the Beverly Hilton Hotel (purchased from Merv Griffin).

What they sold was cheap Taiwanese stuff. To quote WikiP:


In 2005 PC World Magazine ranked the Packard Bell computers of 19861996 as the worst PCs manufactured of all time. In addition, one out of six Packard Bell PCs sold at retail was returned, a rate double the industry average.

NathanAllan
May 31st, 2009, 12:09 AM
Actually, it was an Israeli tank driver, Beny Alagem and a bunch of his Israeli friends who bought the name in 1986. Alagem currently owns the Beverly Hilton Hotel (purchased from Merv Griffin).

What they sold was cheap Taiwanese stuff. To quote WikiP:

One out of six? Sounds like a current game console that is out now. Hmm...

Had to chime in, back to your regularly scheduled discussions :)