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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • John Sheesley // March 19, 2008, 2:38 AM PST

    5 of the best desktop operating systems you never used

    Chances are, you're reading this blog entry on a Windows machine. If not, you're probably running a Mac or Linux. Here are five of the best desktop operating systems that you probably never used, but paved the way for what you're running right now.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • John Sheesley // April 4, 2008, 7:30 AM PST

    50MB of Data - For the low low price of $100

    One of the drawbacks to having old equipment around is keeping it running and finding parts when things break. The hard drive went out on one of my old Tandy 1000's. It's amazing how much hard drives cost for older PCs, especially compared to what storage costs today. Read on.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • John Sheesley // July 16, 2008, 6:33 AM PST

    Another old Office tip, another swipe at The Ribbon

    Before Microsoft introduced The Ribbon in Office 2007, there were toolbars. This Classic Tip shows old Office toolbars worked in Word. Plus how to work around The Ribbon with Search Commands.

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  • John Sheesley // June 6, 2008, 7:02 AM PST

    This old Excel tip shows the backwardness of the Ribbon

    Here's a tip from our Excel Techmail which highlights the problems caused by the Ribbon interface in Office 2007. This tip shows how to quickly create a series in Excel 2000. See how complicated such things are now.

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  • John Sheesley // May 22, 2008, 7:41 AM PST

    Classic Tip: Get the best performance out of WINS

    Today's Classic Tip highlights a feature found in Windows NT Server that was vital to networks in the 90's, but not so much today: WINS. Even though it's an old service, it's still around. Read on to find out more about WINS and how it affects Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.

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  • 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.

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