* Posts by MatthewHughes

19 posts • joined 17 Mar 2020

Flexispot Deskcise Pro V9: Half desk, half exercise bike, and you're all sweaty. How much does it cost again?

MatthewHughes

Re: What's all the fuss?

You'd be surprised. The surface is fairly stable, even if you're going at a fast speed, and it can raise high enough so your knees aren't constantly banging against it. And I wrote this article on the bike itself, so it's certainly doable.

MatthewHughes

Re: What - no generator?

I believe you're grossly overestimating my physical fitness.

MatthewHughes

Re: Other unanswered questions:

No app. And not particularly noisy! At low resistances you just hear a nice wooshing.

Got $10k to burn? Ultra-rare Piet Mondrian-esque Apple laptop is up for grabs on eBay

MatthewHughes

Re: O je

Oh, I adore my Pismo. I've got three (technically two Pismos and one Lombard, although both machines are fairly similar).

You're right about the leaking capacitors leaking and the brittle plastics, but I think part of the fun of retrocomputing is actually fixing these products and making them usable again. It's the same mentality behind people who buy old bangers and nurse them back to health.

Even if you don't fix them, I like the idea of retro computers as art. There are three iMac G3s in my office, and while I don't regularly use them (and one is pretty much entirely buggered -- dead flyback transformer), I do find they brighten up the place a bit.

17 years since release, iMac G5 finally gets an upgrade after tinkerer shoves M1 Mac Mini inside

MatthewHughes

Re: Capacitor Plague @Red

This is true. The original Xbox, for example, is notorious for having faulty capacitors. It'll make them a scarce commodity in the coming years.

MatthewHughes

Re: Not just Apple...

Yep. There's actually an entire cottage industry where people will re-cap vintage logic boards/PSUs/analog boards. Amigas are common patients, as well as pre-historic Apple kit. If you're a dab hand with a soldering iron, there's decent money to be made.

Need a new computer for homeschooling? You can do worse than a sub-£30 2007 MacBook off eBay

MatthewHughes

Re: NIce collection!

Clamshells are crazy expensive! Every time I try to bid on one, they end up going for north of £100, even if they're in pretty dismal condition!

MatthewHughes

Older ThinkPads are surprisingly pricey right now, compared to what they went for prior to the pandemic! I think it's for the reasons you mentioned -- they're usable, even if they're quite old.

MatthewHughes

Re: Did this with a BlackBook

> "The only problem is that it gets hot quite quickly - some people have drilled holes in the underside in front of the internal fan to improve ventilation, but I haven't been that brave yet."

Potentially silly question, but have you changed the thermal paste? The stock paste used on these machines isn't very good, and if it hasn't been changed, it's almost certainly flaky and brittle by now. A fresh blob of Arctic Silver should improve thermal performance. Also, consider cleaning out any dust from the innards!

Can I get some service here? The new 27-inch iMac forgoes replaceable storage for soldered innards

MatthewHughes

Couldn't you attach a second display and use an iPad as a third display over SideCar?

Dutch Gateway store was kept udder wraps for centuries until refit dug up computing history

MatthewHughes

Re: I've been there! 1998?

Yep! Our tipster said it's on the Spui. Any idea when it closed?

Mind the airgap: Why nothing focuses the mind like a bit of tech antiquing

MatthewHughes

Re: At a loss

"Circa 2000, my university library invested in a fleet of type-only devices (might have been called an "AlphaWriter" or something like that)."

The brand you're looking for is AlphaSmart. I used one of those in high school. It was a slightly newer version that used USB instead of PS/2. My original plan was to buy one, but they're ridiculously expensive now, partly due to the fact that they're no longer made, but also because they've become hugely popular with writers.

I had my eye on one that ultimately went for about £100 on eBay.

MatthewHughes

Re: At a loss

I don't know why, but it just doesn't work like that for me. I've tried, but I need to physically distance myself from my "main" laptop and work from a completely distraction-free computer.

It may not make sense to you, but it does to me!

MatthewHughes

Re: Does it smell?

It doesn't! And very few marks, either. The previous owner clearly took care of it.

For the price tag, this iPad Pro keyboard better damn well be Magic: It isn't... but it's not completely useless either

MatthewHughes

Re: A pokey terraced house in Middlesborough for a month

Molten béchamel sauce will ruin even the hardiest of 1980s-era IBM Model M keyboards.

MatthewHughes

Re: boro parmo

I dated a girl from Boro as a student, and honestly? The parmos were the best part of that relationship. Sadly you can't get them on my side of the Pennines.

That said, I could never wrap my head around the propensity for Middlesbrough takeaways to put red cabbage on everything.

Openreach tells El Reg it'll kill off copper sales in 118 UK locations next year

MatthewHughes

Funnily enough, I'm (the author of this post) from Liverpool, and my dad grew up not far from Stoneycroft. While I wouldn't say it's become gentrified in the way parts of Toxteth have, the area is a bit better than I'm told it used to be.

Kensington itself, however, is dog-rough.

Three things in life are certain: Death, taxes, and cloud-based IoT gear bricked by vendors. Looking at you, Belkin

MatthewHughes

Re: Give the code / OS to the userbase ?

I had a Joggler! I got mine when O2 was ditching their inventory. I think I paid about £50 for it, or something in that vicinity.

It was a bit ahead of its time — in terms of form-factor, it’s basically an Echo Show without the voice control element. Still, it was great fun to slap proper Linux on it and use it as a mini computer, albeit one that was slower than cold treacle on a flat surface.

I think I ended up donating mine to a charity shop. Which is a shame, because it was a lovely bit of kit, and you’re right, O2 did right by those who bought one.

The Unihertz Atom XL: An iPhone SE-sized rugged phone that's also a walkie-talkie

MatthewHughes

Re: WTF?

I'm from Liverpool. ;)

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