All of the internet!
Here is a fun flashback Friday. 😀 That is a retail box for the new and improved Netscape Navigator 2.0, for Windows 95 and 3.1. Back in the day, if you were cruising the internet with Netscape 2.0 and Windows 95, you were getting things done!
25 years on, it’s crazy to even think about. People used to go to the store, to buy a browser (for $49!). There was a browser war. The blink tag was an innovation! But wait… it gets better!
I also have the manual, and the complete six disk set of floppies for install. As if the story wasn’t silly enough already. 😀 This is another fascinating example of how far computing and the internet have come over the past 25 years.
It still works!
Here, we are looking at the business end of a USB stick. This one has had a lot of use, shuffling firmware files and updates between systems. So much so, that it just fell apart. The fancy blue housing that used to surround it just fell off one day. But it does still work, which is nice!
This is almost something of a relic at this point anyway. It’s just 2GB. Considering I now have a 256GB microSD that is the size of a fingernail in my phone, 2GB seems almost silly. But that is the march of technology. Bigger things, smaller packages.
There’s your problem
Was in the process of putting a few old drives permanently out of commission when this happened. Another bit to the scrap heap.
Listen to this
A bit of an oddity for the middle of the week. This is a lavalier microphone. We’ve done photos of microphones before, but what makes this one interesting is just how tiny it is. The business end you are looking at in this picture is about 9mm across. Despite that, and thanks to our every evolving technology, it produces fantastic sound.
This particular mic is the V.Lav from Deity, and it has another little trick up its sleeve. You may have come across the incompatibilities of TRS and TRRS 3.5mm plugs. Your smartphone, for example, likely uses TRRS so you can plug in your earbuds/microphone to that one port. Something like a DSLR, on the other hand, has a TRS connection for a microphone. If you have one, and need the other, it can be a confusing mess.
The V.Lav solves that with intelligent circuitry that can sense the configuration of the device it is plugged into and change between TRS and TRRS as needed. That’s both very smart, and very convenient.
That’s no moon…
With the fires up and down the west coast, the skies here in the Jet City have been filled with smoke for several days. As I was driving home last night, I noted this curious sight.
That’s not the moon. That is the setting sun at roughly 5:30pm. There is so much smoke in the air you can just stare directly into the sun. These are strange times.
I have always been a much more telephoto person where photography is concerned, with my favorite focal length being 85mm. But a recent project that had me taking photos in tiny showers in NY necessitated going much wider. Most of those were shot between 17 and 24mm.
With that in the bag, I started doing more experiments with wide angles, and it has finally led to getting the bizarre monster you see above. That is a 15mm f2/4 lens. To give an idea of how wide that is, I can take a photo of a 2 meter cabinet from less than three feet away. It’s insanely wide. I will try to work some weird wide angle stuff into the blog in the future.
The unseen advances
Our personal technology has progressed to such a point over the last several years that I think most of us probably take it for granted. We’ve moved past the awe and wonderment of the amazing things devices do and just take it as a normal part of the day.
If I am listening to a podcast when I walk out the door for work, of course it just starts playing over the car’s stereo when I start the engine. A message arrives from a friend on the other side of the country while I am typing this, and I can just respond as if they were sitting next to me? Totally normal.
The other day I sent a 12 character link to someone in California and within seconds they were reviewing a gallery of photos I had taken. These are all things that were unthinkable within most of our lifetimes. And now they are the routine. From 30,000 feet, it’s pretty remarkable.
One of the things that always gives me an appreciation for just how fortunate we are to have all of this technology at our disposal is when I get a better look at the nuts and bolts of what makes these things possible. Like the photo you see above. That is the business side of a laptop that is having an internal battery issue.
This view strips a bit of the magic away from all of those amazing things. Of course, as I type that, I am creating this entry on my laptop, while sitting at my desktop machine, logged into the laptop remotely over the network. And I am going to remotely click a pretend button and all of this will be live for the entire internet to see in a few seconds. It’s crazy how far we have come.
Picture Puzzle to end the week
It’s been a while since we did one of these, and I just stumbled upon this relic, so let’s see if anyone recognizes it. This one should be simple, if you are of a certain age. These have fallen out of fashion over the years, as technology progressed, but if you were around while they were in use, you definitely used one. Got it? Scroll to see the big picture.
It’s one of the spindles for the cassette player in this little boom box. For some unknown reason, this has been sitting on a shelf in the warehouse for more years than I can guess. I’ve never used it. Somewhat surprisingly, everything works. It gets radio and plays CDs. I didn’t actually test the cassette player, because I don’t have a cassette handy, but I’m assuming that’s ok too. Pretty crazy that this big clunky dinosaur has pretty much been relegated to the scrap-heap of history by phones.
How I Miss The Good Ol’ Days
That title has not told the whole story. The actual lyric is, “How I miss the good ol’ days, but I’m so glad they’re gone.” That is actually more appropriate for what we are looking at today.
For those familiar with the classic HP systems, you will recognize the item above right away. It is a terminator for an A-Class server. There are a lot of things I liked about the A-class servers. These terminators were not one of them.
The CPU connection, in general, was not one of them. For those unaware, what you see on the top of this photo is the same connection that the CPUs from this time used. What you might not see is how very delicate they are. Not only were they in danger of being damaged just from being out of the server. You could damage them just by taking them out.
In systems that had been in service for an extended time those delicate covers would kind of cook to the system board. When you pulled up the CPU for removal, you would sometimes leave a bunch of those little feet behind, disabling your CPU, or terminator.
It was a constant battle with new covers and testing this CPU then that CPU or that terminator. When you finally got a set together that worked, you locked it down and hoped it didn’t have to come out for another ten years.
Another odd bit from the dusty shelf. This relay is a tiny part of a much larger board that I don’t know the origin of. My best guess is that it comes from an elevator, based on the company name on the board.
How it ended up here is a bit of a mystery, but I have a theory. Over the years we have bought up a lot of the classic HP systems as customers upgraded to newer tech, while we continued to support the older systems. Often those shipments came with odd surprises. Pulling out that old system was often the opportunity to tidy the IT operations, and everything went in the same bucket.
However it happened, it does make for an interesting photo. I’ll grab a couple more shots of the board before it moves on to the recycler.