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Well this is the first article I’m writing of a series I’m calling “odds & ends”. basically just putting together a few things I think are kinda neat but don’t really have enough for an entire dedicated article. Its also decent filler till I write something more comprehensive. For this first one I’m going to go over the not so well know LS-120 “super drives”. The early 80’s Tandy portable game Hungry Monsters the 1967 Think-A-Tron…game? and lastly the Cryix 80mhz 486 CPU only because I like its green heat sink…really, only reason why.

LS-120 SUPER DRIVE

ls1201

The LS-120 and its larger capacity brother the LS-240 was the not so successful competition to the somewhat successful Iomega ZIP drives in mid 1990’s. Until recently finding one in a purchased PC I’ve never heard of these before. Like the ZIP drive these drives use special disks to store large amounts of data. This was before CD burning drives were extremely cheap and available. Unlike the ZIP drives though these things were more reliable, held slightly more data and here is the cool thing, could act as a standard 1.44mb or 720k floppy drive. Why these failed and Zip drives did not I don’t know (well I kinda do). I know it was not widely supported but many of my later socket 7 motherboards do support these drives in BIOS.

ls1202

As you can see they use IDE just like the ZIP drive but use the mini four pin molex connector unlike the ZIP drives that use the large molex connector usually taken up by your CD and hard drives. Like I mentioned earlier these drives held 20MB more Data then the standard ZIP drives and also could read/write to standard 720k and 1.44mb floppy disks faster then conventional drives. ZIP drives COULD NOT read or write to standard 1.44mb or 720k disks.

And here is an external model I recently came across at the thrift for a few $$. It uses the parallel port like many external peripherals of the day.

ls120ex

The most likely reason these failed was that Iomega had a three year head start with the Zip drive and burnable CD media was on the horizon. Its a shame these weren’t more common.

TANDY HUNGRY MONSTER

In 1983 Tandy, the makers of the trs-80 and Tandy 1000 line of computers, among others released a portable hand held game, “Hungry Monster”. Its basically a Pac Man type clone but none the less its kinda fun.

thm1

I picked this unit up at a Goodwill for about $3-$4. Its in good shape and requires 4 AA batteries for operation though it does have a connection for using an external power supply at 6 volt DC, center positive. The unit is light and pretty easy to use. I was slightly impressed by the color from the lights on this game and was expecting something more basic before turning it on.

thm2

So yeah, Its really just a Pac Man clone down to the power pellets. But its a good Pac Man clone

THINK-A-TRON

The oldest computer like thing I own. From 1967 Its Hasbro’s Think-A-Tron modeled after the huge mainframes of the time.

thinktron1

Where were going we don’t need zip codes! I say that because there’s no zip code for the address on the box (non mandatory zip codes were introduced nation wide in 1963 but did not start to become mandatory until some time in 1967). Anyways I received this for free from a bulk lot of vintage computer stuff I also received for free as a donation.

thinktron2

Basically the machine uses punch hole cards and you feed it the question cards with the punch holes and it answers via lights on it light array. Kinda neat for the time.

thinktron3

The crank on mine is cracked but other then that its in decent condition.

CRYIX 80MHZ 486 CPU

c48680

This was in a computer I picked up. I really don’t have much of anything to say about it. I was never a big Cryix fan but I really really really like that heat sink. Though I guess any 486 over 66mhz is kinda neat-o.

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One Comment

  1. I wouldn’t have known it until you posted about it, but my very first computer had a Cyrix 80mhz 486. I remember the green heatsink well, and also thought it was eye catching. I did not know it to be uniqhe at the time. I wish I still had it, but no one listens to a 10 year old.


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