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About Huxley

  • Birthday 01/25/1982

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    San Francisco, CA, USA

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  1. Huxley

    Color Classic Restore

    WOOHOO! Congrats, that's a fantastic update! Love seeing a Color Classic coming back to life Huxley
  2. Huxley

    Hastily designed VGA adapter for Mac Plus

    This is super cool. I have no horse in this race, can't really picture a use-case for this in my world, and I'm still beyond psyched to read about the concept and progress here, and if it ever turned into a commercial offering I'd almost certainly snap one up just for the cool-factor. Nice work! Huxley
  3. Huxley

    Power Mac G4 with Sonnet upgrade

    Badass machine! Really cool to see such a high-clockspeed CPU upgrade in there - congrats
  4. Holy smokes that is an absolutely baller Cube. Congrats! Huxley
  5. Huxley

    A Bit Of A Rarity

    I literally have nothing of value to add to this thread, other than to share my amazement and excitement that I get to follow along with the pics and (hopefully soon) the history of this insanely-cool prototype. @OldMacGuy - I've got some rare-ish items in my vintage gear collection, but this takes the cake, the bakery and the entire party too. Thank you for sharing this with us - I'm excited to learn more about the history here! H.
  6. *BEYOND* excited for this! With some crazy good luck and timing, I was able to purchase an unused (note the original protective plastic on the display!) DataRover 840. This was (I think) the only officially-released hardware sold by General Magic (and not another company's hardware running General Magic's OS). General Magic was a company founded by most of the original Macintosh team and spun off from Apple during Apple's dark "Scully era" of the early 1990's. A recent documentary about this company has won a ton of awards and buzz for uncovering just how influential they were, despite never being a retail success. When I was a young homeless kid living rough in San Francisco in the 90's, I was fascinated by computers and tech but had few opportunities to get hands-on time. There used to be an electronics store (a Good Guys, or maybe Circuit City?) near the Castro neighborhood, and they had a Sony Magic Link (a Sony device running the "Magic Cap OS" that General Magic created) demo station set up inside. The staff was incredibly kind to me and basically let me play with the Magic Link as long as I liked, and it left a tremendous impression on me. Despite being a little too thick and having only a black-and-white LCD display, to 12-year-old me, it seemed just a couple hardware revisions away from being the "PADD" tablets they used on "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Sony called their version of the platform "Magic Link," and to me at the time, the name was spot-on: it really seemed like some sort of amazing future-magic, to be interacting with a computer by simply touching icons on the screen with a stylus, instead of having to learn arcane DOS commands. The Sony Magic Link was a 1st-gen device though, and even though it feels very polished, it's painfully sluggish at times, and the non-backlit display isn't exactly easy on the eyes. The DataRover 840 though - this is a totally different story. Despite a somewhat similar form-factor, it's a much improved implementation of the Magic Cap experience, largely due to the significantly-faster CPU and crisp backlit display. Sadly, this device seems to have landed too late to gain any traction against the later Newton devices and (especially) the PalmOS devices that were rapidly taking over the entire PDA market, and has largely been lost to time - it doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. Not having any luck attaching pics to this thread, so here's an Imgur album with pics and more context. If you've never played around with a device running the Magic Cap OS, you're in for a treat. It's such an oddball UI - for a brief weird moment, these hyper-literal UI concepts were all the rage. The blowback against "skeuomorphism" in user interfaces around the release of iOS 7 a few years ago basically put the nail in the coffin of this whole visual metaphor, but I find it really charming even if it's not the most brutally-efficient approach. I'd honestly argue that UI conventions (especially on iOS) have gone too far in the opposite direction, so now it's not at all visually intuitive when you're trying to figure out which onscreen items are buttons, what happens when you use multiple fingertips, etc. There's something to be said for a thing that looks like the thing that it mimics. I'm digging around for more info, details and possible add-on software for this thing, but 90% of the Web resources for the DataRover seem to have gone offline sometime in the past ~20 years. I've had some luck on the Wayback Machine, but I'd be particularly curious if anyone here knows what specific software I'd need on my System 7.5.5-equipped Mac Color Classic II to get this thing syncing / installing new software packages. Any other DataRover owners here? Finding an unused DataRover 840 in the year 2020 felt super crazy, even more so because it included the original AC adapter and (especially) the almost 'unobtanium' proprietary serial cable - having it the cable is what's giving me hope that I might actually get this thing talking to one of my vintage Macs! Huxley
  7. I've recently resurrected my beloved old Newton 2100, and I was able to download the "UNNA Archives" which have a nearly overwhelming quantity of software, much of it with no accompanying info or context. Given this, I'm curious: what software would you guys recommend I check out? I'm especially interested in anything that would be fun to show off or demo - games, interesting tricks, anything that would take advantage of a Lucent WaveLAN card, etc... but I'm not picky. So many people still love their Newtons, I figure there's gotta be some especially cool apps I should be checking out! Huxley
  8. Yeah, all four pens that were in the print-head when I received it are totally dead, so they're my first candidates for any attempt to revive / refill them. From what I'm reading in various forums, it may be possible to refill them, but the design of the original pens is very refill-resistant - it's more likely I'll destroy the pen trying to drill a hole into the tank than I would be to successfully refill it. Fortunately, a kind soul on Reddit pointed me to a German medical-supply vendor who still sells compatible pens - from what I can sorta understand, a line of EKG printers used in hospital settings uses them. Go figure! Sadly, they're priced for hospital purchases and not for nerds on a budget, so a single set of 4 pens (black / red / blue / green) runs ~23euro... but they're theoretically easier to refill...
  9. After many years of poking around various IRL and online venues, I finally found a near-complete Panasonic Penwriter RK-P400c. This is a fantastically weird device: it's a battery-powered 'typewriter' but it uses a tiny 4-color plotter mechanism inside and features an RS232 serial input on the side for computer connectivity too. In other words, rather than 'stamping' each letter onto the page (as a typewriter or dot-matrix printer would have), this machine uses tiny ball-point pens to literally write each printed character onto the page - the print-head scoots left and right, while the paper jumps up and down on its spindle. Because of this, it's able to print red/green/blue/black text in small/medium/large sizes, italics, bold, graphs and charts, etc. - all tricks that were beyond most comparable typewriters of the era. I haven't tested the serial port connection yet, but I'll definitely try that out this week, probably using the Mac Color Classic II you see in the pics below. Unfortunately, the specific pens the Penwriter uses were only made in small quantities for a few years, and are now even rarer than the device itself. Thanks to some eBay luck, I now have both a working Penwriter, and also what I believe to be a significant portion of the world's remaining ink supply for these weird machines. Even so, because of the ultra-limited supply of ink, literally every page I print is one of the last this machine will *ever* print, so I'm trying to make each page count. Here's a couple pics, and a video showing me composing a letter on the machine - I hope you guys get a kick outta this too! Here's a sample of the large text setting, in a 'letter' I wrote for Twitter: Huxley
  10. Huxley

    A few random Newton questions

    So I've recently found, cleaned and resurrected my trusty old Newton 2100. It's such a cool gadget, and makes a great companion to my Color Classic II. However, it's been ages since I spent any time really playing with a Newton, so there's some stuff I'm totally confused by. In no particular order: 1. I downloaded the UNNA Archives and Mirror files and I'm trying to get some of the .pkg's installed into my Newton. I downloaded the files on my PC, used DropBox to move some of the specific packages I want onto my MacBook Pro where I have a simple FTP server running, and then pulled them into the Color Classic II via FTP. That whole process went super smoothly, but the Newton Connection Utilities simply doesn't acknowledge any of the plain .pkg files I transferred this way. A few .sit files worked fine on the CCII once I UnStuff'd them - the NCU sees the packages and installed them without issue, but since 99% of the UNNA Archive is plain PKG files, I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong here and would love any suggestions. Feels like something is getting scrambled - maybe I'm breaking their resource forks or something? 2. As with every other Newton owner in 2020, I'd love for my Newt to have the correct date/time. I see this patch - is it a good/working option, or is this gonna brick my Newton? 3. I bought my Newton ~13 years ago when I lived in Albuquerque, and it still uses ABQ as my default city/time-zone. How to I change that to reflect where I live now? 4. Lastly, does anyone know how I could turn a simple logo graphic on my modern Mac / PC into a suitable file (I guess a PKG?) to use as a backdrop image for Avi's Backdrop? Thanks for any tips! Huxley
  11. Huxley

    Clock and Date

    Hi! Just wanted to ask - did you ever test the patch? Any issues? I'm thinking about installing it onto my Newton 2100, but don't really wanna brick it... Thanks, Huxley
  12. Love how you said this! I think I have the same thought around one of my other all-time favorite designs: the Blue & White G3. Even as a top-of-the-line machine clearly aimed at a professional audience, the B&W had such a lovely sense of whimsy in the design and aesthetics, especially if paired with the "GIANT BLUE EGG FROM SPAAAACE!" matching CRT display (which I'd very much like to acquire someday). I think the more austere look that came in with the G4 machines and basically never left the desktop Mac hardware 20 years later is cool too, but I miss the sense of fun that pervaded the "colored plastics" era of Apple design. H.
  13. I desperately wanted one of these "Flower Power" iMac G3's when they were new back in early 2001, but I was a broke college kid and it just never happened... until today! A local Craiglist ad popped up in a nearby area I needed to pass through anyway today, so I made a pit-stop and here we are. The machine is in fantastic shape for its age and boots nicely to an early edition of Mac OS X, but I'll likely wipe it and restore it to Mac OS 9.2, just how it would've been when shipped. This machine (along with it's similarly-wild companion model, "Blue Dalmation") was one of the final G3 iMacs Apple produced, so in addition to being visually awesome, it's also a notable entry in my collection for other reasons. Pics here: https://imgur.com/gallery/Uu6x5GR Huxley
  14. The Mac I was using from ~1999 through ~2003 was definitely a PowerMac 7100/80, which I eventually upgraded with a G3 running at 233MHz (IIRC). I really loved that machine - I used it for a while with three NuBus video cards + 3 14" Apple CRT's and although my poor desk was sagging under the weight, I felt like I was on the bridge of the Enterprise. Being a NuBus machine I was unable to run even the early Public Beta's of OS X, but I did run 24/7 with an "Aqua-style" Kaleidoscope theme in MacOS 8.x. Anyway, I've just done a bit of Googling and I'm now 90% sure I had an Orange Micro 486 NuBus card, similar to the one pictured here: I have a vague memory of trying (and probably failing) to get it working well enough to run some basic DOS games
  15. Yeah, I've seen a lot of Mac internals and I don't think I've ever seen one with an internal black plastic frame like this. My first thought when I saw it was "OMG, is this a prototype?!?" but (other than the previously-mentioned patch wire which probably doesn't mean anything) I don't see any indication that it is. I guess it's just an oddball? The black plastic feels sturdy and robust, and I don't see any bits of it anywhere in the machine. The internal beige plastics though are everywhere - tons of plastic crumbs littered the inside of the case when I opened it, the power button snapped into three pieces despite me handling it like a wounded hummingbird, etc. Same! @Cory5412 - thank you for the thoughts and (extensive!) suggestions about possible upgrades for the machine. I know we differ a little in our approach (you tend to lean towards keeping things closer to stock, more-or-less, while I tend to upgrade my machines as though they were still current-generation and I was just super rich in the 90's and wanted to see how far I could push them, LOL), and I really appreciate all your ideas. I'm especially interested in finding a PC Compatibility card for this thing - I had one ~20 years ago in my PowerMac 7100 (I think? Been a long time) and remember having a lot of fun with it. Time to start searching, I guess!