old computers

Lead-Acid Batteries

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We all have Lithium-based batteries in our mobile devices today. In mid-80s there was the first wave of battery-powered portable (IBM compatible) PCs. They used lead-acid batteries which are much heavier for the same charge capacity. There were a lot of troubles connected with these batteries. Average battery lifetime in a laptop was about one to two years before charge capacity degraded. If you discharged the battery too much or let the device unused for a longer time you had to replace the battery. You even had to unplug your device from wall power when the battery was full. Otherwise it can be damaged according to manufacturer’s instructions.

On the other side these batteries were (and are) cheaper than any other type suitable for large portable computers. These two were removed from my Bondwell Model-8 laptop. They are not specifically designed for the laptop so they can be easily replaced with new ones even today after 30 years. Similar ones are used in some devices such as emergency lights.

Damaged Keyboard on Bondwell Model 8

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Keyboard flex (caused by a loosen screw) was a reason of a damaged keyboard circuit board in my Bondwell Model 8. Fortunately David helped me and repaired an interrupted trace. The laptop is almost in 100% shape now…

A Bit of UNIX in Amiga

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It is nice to see that so many Unix programs were ported to Amiga even when the computer was new. With Aztec C you can use familiar commands like ls, make and cc in Amiga Shell. I wanted something to plot data from our custom benchmarks and I’ve just discovered that Gnuplot still supports Amiga OS among other operating systems. Yay!