The personal computing revolution didn’t reach the masses until the 1980s, but back in the 1970s, a groundswell was forming among hardcore tech nerds. LGR takes a look back at a number of the unusual computer designs that emerged in the years leading up to the PC revolution.
THE BEST Computers
The ability to upload one’s knowledge, experiences and even consciousness into a computer is a frequent concept in science fiction. In this Cyberpunk 2077 inspired episode, Kurzgesagt explores what would be necessary to store and simulate our minds, along with some of the ethical concerns about digitizing humanity.
Designed for artists and creators, MSI’s slimline desktop tower PC features a design you won’t want to hide. It offers up to a 10th-gen Core i9 CPU, DDR4 dual-channel RAM, Thunderbolt 3, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), an NVIDIA RTX 2020 Super GPU, and easy upgrades. It looks great alongside the matching Prestige 5K2K display.
An ultra-compact 60% keyboard that features top-end features without breaking the bank. It features 63 anti-ghosting mechanical keys with RGB backlighting, and works with either a wired USB or wireless Bluetooth connection. Available in four different key firmnesses.
Today’s computers are largely solid state devices, but some of the earliest examples of computers were mechanical. In this clip, you’ll get an up-close look at Charles Babbage’s 2.6-ton metal computer, a machine its 19th century inventor never got to see, but was eventually replicated in 1991 to prove that it works.
Photographer Mark Richards and author John Alderman offer a visual guide to some of the earliest examples of computing devices. The 176-page hardcover book features artistically-composed images of machines like the Eniac, Cray 1, and the original Apple 1, which call Silicon Valley’s Computer History Museum home.
When computer geeks want to show off, they try to make DOOM run in unlikely places. In this case, Max Holt took the game and used Windows Task Manager’s multicore view to show off a version of the classic FPS, using a ridiculous 896 CPU cores. It also plays PONG.
This palm-sized computer measures just 2.4″ x 2.4″ x 1.7″ and weighs just 4.5 oz. It can run Windows 10 or Linux at up to 4K resolution, and has an Intel Celeron J4115 CPU, Intel UHD 600 GPU, 6GB LPDDR4 RAM, USB-A, USB-C, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm audio ports, and a MicroSD card slot. It can also be upgraded with an M.2 SSD.
If you work with computers regularly, you probably have a story about a time when you lost a bunch of work due to either a crash or a mistake. Tom Scott recounts a time that he made an irreversible rookie mistake that cost countless hours of work, and talks a bit about the importance of backups and undo/redo systems.
This pocket-sized computer runs a full version of Debian 10 w/mainline Linux, and packs a 1080p touchscreen display, a full QWERTY keyboard, expandable storage via SD card, 4x USB-C connectors, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more. There’s also a version with LoRaWAN tech for low-power, long range communications. Available 8.2020.
Computers are pretty capable these days. And while most problems boil down to a series of mathematical computations, Tom Scott points out that there are some kinds of abstract problems that even the smartest programmers with the most powerful supercomputers can’t figure out.
If you have a newer laptop, there’s a good chance it only has USB Type C ports. This hub adds a plethora of ports with just one connector. It’s got a gigabit Ethernet port, 2 HDMI ports, 1 VGA port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB C data port, 1 USB C charging port, and SD / microSD card slots.
Save big on computers, peripherals, and accessories in the HP Presidents’ Day Sale. They’ve got great laptops, desktops, printers, monitors, and other gear at prices up to 60% off. From the HP Spectre X360 touchscreen laptop to the HP Color Laserjet Pro MFP, there’s no better time to upgrade your office or home. (Sale ends 2/22/20)
This refurbished 2011 Mac Mini isn’t going to win any speed records, but it’s a cheap way to pick up a great little computer with lots of ports. It’s got a 2.3GHz Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, 500GB HD, and measures just 7.7″ square by 1.4″ tall. Grab one today in The Awesomer Shop.
Grab a bargain on a refurbished 2015 MacBook Air that makes a great second computer. It has a 1.6GHz Core i5 CPU with 2.7GHz Turbo Boost, 128GB SSD, a 1366×768 display, and runs for up to 9 hours per charge. This refurbed model comes with a satin black case. Save an extra 20% with code 20SAVE20. (Expires 1/2 @ 12:30pm PST)
Need a spare computer, or something for the kid’s room? Grab a certified refurb 21.5″ iMac. This previous-gen machine has an Dual Core i3-2100 3.1GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, and 250GB HD. This is the thicker, 2011 model, which means easier repairs and upgrades. Save an extra 20% with coupon code GREENMONDAY20 (Expires 12/10/19)
Today’s computers and gadgets are built from molded plastics and precision-cut metals, while vintage objects had so much character because of their use materials that can be imperfect. DIY Perks decided to build himself a unique PC that looks amazing because of its use of more traditional materials.
Razer’s top-of-the-line wireless gaming mouse features an astoundingly precise 20,000 DPI sensor, tracks up to 600 inches per second, and is roughly 25% faster than its competition. It packs 14-zone Chroma RGB lighting, 11 programmable buttons with fast optical switches, a lift-off sensor, and customizable scroll wheel resistance.
Looking for a super cheap laptop? For under a hundred bucks, you can grab this refurbished 2012 Samsung Chromebook. It’s got an 11.6″ screen, an Exynos 5 Dual-Core 1.7GHz CPU, and is great for surfing the web, or working with Google’s convenient (and free) office applications.
Need an extra machine for the kids? Or something you can just toss around to check email and surf the web? This Grade A refurbished Dell Chromebook 11 should do. It’s got a 2.1 GHz Celeron CPU, 16GB of SSD storage, and an 11.6″ screen. Priced right around a hundred bucks, it’s a great bargain in The Awesomer Shop.
Despite its popularity as a building material, wood is rarely used in the construction of PC cases. Bucking that trend, DIY Perks built a truly unique computer system from wood, with rope trim. We love how he incorporated the air cooling system as a sculptural design element.
It’s a key sequence PC users dread having to use, but the old “Ctrl-Alt-Delete” is still in use today. Nostalgia Nerd looks back at the origin of this key combo which dates back to the 1980s. We’re sure that Apple will profess that their “Command-Option-Esc” key combo is far superior.
Tech startup Clevetura is readying an innovative new keyboard which manages to place a capacitive multi-touch trackpad underneath its keys, saving space, while providing a larger tracking area. In addition to pointing, it supports scrolling and pinch-zoom gestures.
The latest iteration of this cheap and tiny computer now has support for two 4K displays via micro-HDMI, Bluetooth 5.0, and a faster CPU than ever. It also packs gigabit Ethernet, 2 USB 2 ports and 2 USB 3 ports, and up to 4GB of RAM. Initial demand is high, so it might take a while to get one, though.
Use Arrow Keys ← → for Faster Navigation