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 11, 2008, 11:43 PM PST

    Classic Tip: Prevent your users from talking to each other

    Networks are supposed to foster communication, but sometimes you don't want users communicating TOO much. Here's a classic tip about how to stop NetWare users from messaging each other directly across a network. Doing so in Windows presents a challenge.


  • 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 // October 13, 2008, 8:47 AM PST

    The 80's supercomputer that's sitting in your lap

    By now we're all used to the idea that each generation of CPU is faster and does more than the last, but just how fast? The computer you're probably using to read this blog on is faster than an 80's supercomputer.


  • John Sheesley // October 14, 2008, 5:29 AM PST

    How Star Trek influenced development of the Cray supercomputers

    Check out this video from CNET TV. It shows the original Cray 1 and discusses how Star Trek influenced the design of the grandaddy of the supercomputers.


  • John Sheesley // October 17, 2008, 4:35 AM PST

    Revisiting the Apple IIc

    The Apple IIc was one of the most popular home computers in the early 1980's. Introduced at the same time as the Mac, it calmed early Apple fans who were afraid that Apple was going to abandon the II line. Find out more about the Apple IIc and take a look inside.


  • John Sheesley // October 21, 2008, 7:08 AM PST

    A 1969 perspective on computers in the future

    Remember The Jetsons and how cool 'the future' was supposed to be? This 1969 video shows the convenience of online shopping, banking, and an 'electronic correspondence machine'. It shows a future with a passable resemblance to today.


  • John Sheesley // October 22, 2008, 7:44 AM PST

    Guess the OS

    We already played a game of Name That Windows Version. Let's expand it a little and see if you can figure out what operating system that's being talked about in this article from the New York Times.


  • John Sheesley // October 24, 2008, 4:39 AM PST

    Play Nintendo classics on your PC

    Who needs the Wii? You can play original Nintendo NES games right on your PC. All it takes is a trip to vNES.


  • John Sheesley // October 27, 2008, 5:28 AM PST

    Life in the year 1999 AD

    Previously, I showed a clip featuring what people thought the world would be like in the future. Doing a little more digging, I found the original film: 1999 AD. Here's more information about the film and where it came from.


  • John Sheesley // October 29, 2008, 7:10 AM PST

    Ancient word processors highlight the lack of modern software diversity

    One of the claims of superiority that Microsoft claims with Windows over the Mac is the amount of software that's made to run under Windows. Even though there are thousands of programs available, the actual diversity of software seems to have diminished compared to the 80's. Word Processors are an excellent example.


  • John Sheesley // October 31, 2008, 6:45 AM PST

    Looking inside a CRT monitor

    When we purchased our Apple IIc, it came already partially cracked open along with its monitor. Because it was pretty much useless otherwise, we thought it would be a good chance to tear apart and see what was inside of a CRT. Here's what you'll find.


  • John Sheesley // November 5, 2008, 6:29 AM PST

    Using an Atari for something other than games

    As I mentioned before, there were a plethora of word processors available for PCs in the 1980's beyond the basic Microsoft Word we've all come to know. You didn't have to just stick with a PC however - you could also use a computer like the Atari shown here.


  • John Sheesley // November 7, 2008, 1:22 AM PST

    Guess the OS 3

    On November 1, 2008, Microsoft stopped licensing one of its most popular operating systems. Can you identify which one it is?


  • John Sheesley // November 11, 2008, 3:43 AM PST

    Five of the best celebrity computer salesmen in the 80s

    Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld tried their hands at selling Vista. John Hodgman and Justin Long have made mini-careers out of pitching Apples. Here are of some of the celebrity spokesmen that preceded them.


  • John Sheesley // November 12, 2008, 3:30 AM PST

    Classic Windows NT Tip: Dump Registry to text files for tracking

    Figuring out what changes occur to the Windows registry is difficult. This Classic Tip shows how you could do so in Windows NT by exporting to text files. It worked in 1999 and it works today.


  • 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 // 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.