Classics Rock

Examining IT trends from the past live to help IT managers plan for the future.

  • Administrator Staff // January 8, 2009, 9:19 AM PST

    Name that CPU

    We've played Guess The OS a few times before. This time let's see if you can figure out what CPU is being talked about in this article. Look back and see how arguments about computer performance have lingered forever.


  • John Sheesley // January 7, 2009, 12:21 AM PST

    Classic Tip: Control how programs start with batch files

    When using batch files, you sometimes may want a program to start minimized or full screen. This classic tip from 2000 shows how you used to do it in Windows 9x and how little things have changed.


  • John Sheesley // January 2, 2009, 7:15 AM PST

    Y2K: The New Year's disaster that never happened

    Another New Years goes by in the 21st Century and we're still using computers. If you believed all the hype from 90's, we'd be living in the Stone Age by now. Here's a set of videos that look back at the Y2K bug and raise new conspiracy theories.


  • John Sheesley // December 29, 2008, 6:44 AM PST

    Five 2008 cutting-edge technlogies that will look quaint in the future

    Like every year, 2008 introduced to dozens of new technologies and IT products. Shiny and new now, these things will look quaint in just a few years. Here are some of the new things for 2008 that we'll reminisce about.


  • John Sheesley // December 26, 2008, 6:37 AM PST

    Classic Tip: A Notepad trick from 1999 that works in Vista

    Even though Microsoft makes major changes to Windows through the years, some things stay the same. This Notepad trick for Windows 98 that was featured in our 1999 Windows TechMail is a prime example.


  • John Sheesley // December 22, 2008, 3:44 AM PST

    Recapping classic Classic Rock posts for 2008

    We started Classics Rock in March 2008. Here's a recap of some of the posts that drew the most discussions for the year.


  • Michael Banks // December 18, 2008, 12:36 AM PST

    Prodigy: The pre-Internet online service that didn’t live up to its name

    One of the early online destinations before the Internet was Prodigy. Like many child prodigies that share the name, Prodigy started off with lots of promise, only to wind up a disaster. Guest contributor Michael Banks gives a look back at Prodigy's tortured journey.


  • John Sheesley // December 15, 2008, 4:10 AM PST

    Bring out your dead!

    Calling all TR Members. Do you have any old equipment laying around that you'd like to get rid of and have featured in our Cracking Open series? Now's your chance. Read on to find out how to submit your old equipment, or pictures of them, to TechRepublic to appear on the site.


  • John Sheesley // December 10, 2008, 6:13 AM PST

    An annual holiday tradition: Computer commercials

    Christmas, Hannukah, and all of the other traditional winter holidays are around the corner. That means its the time of year for lots of commercials, including ones for computers. Here are some Holiday Classics.


  • John Sheesley // December 3, 2008, 8:58 AM PST

    1950's IT without tailfins and leather jackets

    Usually when talking computer classics, I stick to computers from the 70's, 80's and 90's. This video from IBM shows a state of the art accounting computer from the 1950's. See how far we've come.


  • John Sheesley // November 25, 2008, 1:02 PM PST

    What's the biggest tech turkey of all time?

    This time of year, we're supposed to give thanks for our blessings. Sometimes one of the things we're thankful for is the technology nightmares we no longer have to deal with. What's the biggest Tech Turkey of all time? Place your vote.


  • Michael Banks // November 24, 2008, 1:23 AM PST

    Cloud computing? Been there. Done that.

    Cloud computing is nothing new. It's just a fancy name for technology that's been around since the 1980's and before. Classics Rock Guest Columnist Michael Banks talks about computing in the clouds in 1983 with his Tandy 100 and CompuServe.


  • John Sheesley // November 21, 2008, 4:37 AM PST

    Guess the OS (Office Suite edition)

    Usually when we play Guess The OS, we're talking about classic operating systems. This time OS refers to office suites. Here's an article from Home Office Computing. What office suite is being discussed? See if you can guess.


  • John Sheesley // November 20, 2008, 6:58 AM PST

    Questing before the age of WoW

    World Of Warcraft is the top online destination for questing today, but long before Kil'jaeden the Deceiver ever dreamed up the Lich King, there was another quest to be had. Almost all modern questing games can be traced back to Sierra's King Quest. This video has a run through and here's a look back.


  • John Sheesley // November 17, 2008, 5:40 AM PST

    Revisiting the great-grandfather to the iPhone: The Apple Newton

    Long before it produced the iPod, iPod Touch, or the iPhone, Apple introduced a revolutionary hand-held device called the Newton. It was the first commercially successful PDA. Here's a look back.


  • John Sheesley // April 9, 2008, 6:03 AM PST

    My DOS version can beat up your DOS version

    Which version of DOS was the best? Before people argued the technical merits of Linux, they argued the technical merits of DOS. Look back and see the differences between the old DOS distros and how the debate that rages on today about Linux distros is as it ever was.


  • John Sheesley // April 14, 2008, 5:26 AM PST

    Counting down to TechRepublic's 10th Anniversary

    You can't measure the lifespan of most Web sites in Dog Years. They usually don't last that long. On the other hand, TechRepublic just passed its 9th Birthday earlier this month and is closing in on its 10th Anniversary. Here's a brief recap of how TR got started and what we'll do as the big 1-0 gets closer.


  • John Sheesley // April 11, 2008, 5:54 AM PST

    Can Domino or GroupWise still compete with Exchange?

    Today's Classic Tip comes from TechRepublic's 4/11/2000 edition of the Lotus Notes TechMail, which we no longer produce. It got me to wondering - of all of the great battles in the 80's and 90's, you don't hear about Exchange vs. Lotus Notes anymore. Does it still matter?


  • John Sheesley // April 21, 2008, 5:13 AM PST

    How out of date are your IT skills?

    The longer your career as an IT professional, the more things you learn. Unfortunately, because the IT field changes so rapidly, many of the things you learn become obsolete. Check out list list of my obsolete IT skills that I found while looking around


  • John Sheesley // April 16, 2008, 1:25 AM PST

    Like all myths, the OpenMac has a basis from history

    Does the company that made the $400 Mac clone exist? Maybe, maybe not. However, history shows that Mac clones have existed before. History also shows that it's possible to legally reverse engineer what makes the Mac unique. Here's the history behind the myth.


  • John Sheesley // April 18, 2008, 4:05 AM PST

    Who made the worst PC ever?

    Who made the worst PC ever? There are so many to choose from, it's hard to pick just one. But, that's what you've got to do in our poll. Pick the worst PC and see if it compares to the opinions of other TechRepublic members.


  • Mark Kaelin // March 19, 2008, 6:36 AM PST

    The Osborne 1 is now in a Cracked Open Photo Gallery

    Recently, I published an entry in the TechRepublic Classics Rock blog on the Dinosaur Sightings Photo Galleries of the Osborne 1 and the TRS-80 Model 4P personal computers. Well, now I have taken the next step -- I have just published a Cracking Open Photo Gallery of the Osborne 1.


  • John Sheesley // March 21, 2008, 2:28 AM PST

    Finding Easter Eggs in old software

    What's lurking inside of your software? Ideally, only the code necessary to make the program work. Sometimes however, programmers hide Easter Eggs inside. Check out some of the Easter Eggs you can find inside of older software like Windows 3.1, Windows 95, and Office 95.


  • John Sheesley // March 26, 2008, 3:00 AM PST

    Windows 2000 Server: Microsoft's best NOS ever?

    Windows 2000 Professional may have been Microsoft's best desktop OS, but what about Windows 2000 Server? Was Win2K Pro's big brother best of breed as well? John Sheesley says No and points out why these may be the good old days.


  • John Sheesley // March 28, 2008, 6:40 AM PST

    IBM's OS/2 campaign showed how marketing matters more than technology

    Marketing really does matter. If you can't market your product, it doesn't matter how good it is. This OS/2 Warp ad from IBM proves the point. Check out the ad and then read on to see how and why it didn't work.


  • John Sheesley // March 24, 2008, 5:45 AM PST

    Keeping current on certs: It's an age-old problem

    Certifications present the eternal problem of what to do to keep them up to date. Once the most important certification to have, Novell's CNE still exists. This Classic Tip shows what you had to do at the turn of the century to keep your CNE certification current. See how some things haven't changed.


  • John Sheesley // April 2, 2008, 6:03 AM PST

    Does anyone actually still USE Token Ring?

    One of the big technology battles of the 80's and 90's was Token Ring vs. Ethernet. Even though it was technically superior, Token Ring was overpriced and ultimately fell by the wayside. Here's a recap of Token Ring's advantages, and we ask whether Token Ring is even used anymore.


  • John Sheesley // April 29, 2008, 11:38 PM PST

    The first stealth fighter retires, but the game flies on

    For a long time, the F-117 was top secret technology. In 1988, Microprose Software created a game called F-19 Stealth Fighter which allowed people to get the first experience with how a stealth fighter works. The F-117 has been retired, but you can check out this blog entry and associated photo gallery to see how the F-19 flies.


  • John Sheesley // April 28, 2008, 5:51 AM PST

    Backward compatibility problems have long plagued Microsoft Office users

    Office 2007 and the introduction of the OpenXML file format has created all sorts of headaches when it comes to backward compatibility with previous versions. Here's a classic tip from April 2000 which shows that this is a long standing problem and how to get around it.