Thursday, 12 July 2018

Nokia Lumia 1020 (2013)

Nokia Lumia 1020. Check out those megapixels.
Introduced July 2013

Let’s say that you are one of the world’s most famous brands, and you make a smartphone which easily has the best camera that any smartphone in the world has ever had, and then you add all the modern features that all the rivals have on top of it. Sounds like a recipe for success, yes? Well, in the case of the Nokia Lumia 1020… it wasn’t.

The headline feature of the Lumia 1020 was definitely the camera. Featuring a stonking 41 megapixels combined with optical image stabilisation (OIS) and a large sensor, this smartphone’s camera completely stomped on its rivals.

This remarkable “PureView” camera had first been seen in the Nokia 808 – Nokia’s very last Symbian smartphone – a bit over a year earlier. The clever folk at Nokia had tweaked it a bit in the meantime, and crucially had added OIS to make pictures even sharper. By default, the 1020 actually took 5 megapixel cameras that were vivid and sharp by using oversampling, but you could also use a Pro Camera app that could save both a 5 megapixel picture and one up to 38 megapixels at the same time. If you wanted to edit the photo and zoom into some detail later, then the higher resolution was probably for you. The Lumia 1020 could also effectively emulate an optical zoom by providing 4X near-lossless zoom with the huge megapixel count.

The rest of the hardware was no slouch either – a 4.5” 768 x 1280 pixel display, 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 32 or 64GB of internal storage, NFC, 4G support and even an FM radio plus all the things that every other smartphone had. The camera could also take 1080p HD video and there was a 1.2 megapixel selfie camera on the front too. It was a bit of a big beast and it certainly wasn’t cheap, but what was there not to like?

The catch was… this was a Windows phone. Nokia had been punting Windows devices for a year and a half, and despite being critically acclaimed it turned out that consumers weren’t really that interested. The Windows 8 OS shipped with the Lumia 1020 was elegant and complemented the hardware precisely, but it simply did have whatever it needed to have to steal customers from Android and iOS. The seamless support for Office 365 did appeal to corporate customers though, and quite a few did start to migrate from BlackBerry to Windows. But it wasn’t enough.

Nokia did start on the path to produce a successor – the Lumia 1030. But by then Microsoft were in charge and they tried to drive Windows Phone sales by pursuing the value end of the market instead. Although 2015’s Lumia 950 did revisit the PureView camera with a decent enough 20 megapixel unit, Windows Phone was largely irrelevant by that point.

Today an unlocked Lumia 1020 in good condition can cost you less than £40, where the earlier Nokia 808 will cost you several times more. Today, Android devices such as the Huawei P20 Pro come close in terms of camera specifications, but no mainstream camera phone to date has topped the Lumia 1020’s 41 megapixel camera.

Image credit: Nokia

Nokia Lumia 1020: Video

Check out some more shots of this epic cameraphone in the video we made to cover its launch five years ago.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Sliced bread (1928)

Lightly toasted sliced bread circa 2009
Introduced June 1928

There’s a common phrase “the best thing since sliced bread”. But have you ever considered exactly what time period that refers to? Yes? Well, wonder no more… because sliced bread is ninety years old this month. Apparently.

It’s a product you are possibly familiar with, having been around for thousands of years, presumably with a great deal of uneven sawing and cursing along the way. Having the bread pre-sliced not only made it easier, but it made bread more popular too.

All this convenience has to be a good thing, right? No downsides and all that? Well, bizarrely in 1943 the United States made sliced bread illegal.

Of course if you eat sliced and unsliced bread you might have spotted one downside with the sliced version – it dries out more quickly. Unsliced bread is protected by the dry crust, but when you slice it you expose the moister interior to the atmosphere. To protect sliced bread from drying out, it needs to be wrapped and in 1943 that meant using waxed paper.

They take this very seriously in Chillicothe, Missouri
Claude R Wickard - head of the War Food Administration – decided that the waxed paper could be better used for something else. Aircraft carriers, tanks and atom bombs perhaps. In New York, local bigwig John F Conaboy tried to clamp down on illegal sliced bread sellers even harder. You might suspect that neither Mr Wickard nor Mr Conaboy prepared much in the way of food in their households. The ban was finally lifted in March 1943, presumably after the Manhattan Project said they were more concerned about wonky sandwiches than saving waxed paper.

The city of Chillicothe, Missouri has a website dedicated to the product launched in their town, which also appears to have been created in 1928. Today both sliced and unsliced bread are commonly available in most food stores.

A few years after the ill-advised ban on sliced bread, the Second World War also produced another kitchen helper – the microwave oven. As far as many households were concerned, that really was the best thing since sliced bread.

Image credits:

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Nokia 6600 (2003)

Nokia 6600
Launched June 2003

Although Apple might like you to think that they invented the smartphone, in truth they’d been around for a decade or so before the ubiquitous iPhone. One successful early example is the Nokia 6600, barely recognisable as a smartphone today… but it certainly ticked all the boxes fifteen years ago.

The Nokia 6600 took a lot of technologies that were quite new and put them all in a single high-end device. Firstly though this ran the Symbian operating system which meant that users could install native applications on it (using a PC and a cable). It came with a relatively large 2.2” 176 x 208 pixel display, had a highly noticeable VGA resolution camera on the back (capable of taking video clips), it came with a multimedia player, MMC expandable memory, Bluetooth and it supported GPRS data.

You could read email and browse the web (slowly) and Symbian at the time had all sorts of applications available for it. For the time, the Nokia 6600 was an advanced piece of kit, and it was quite successful in sales terms, shipping 2 million units. Today it is largely forgotten, but good examples start at just £30 or so for collectors.

Image credit: Nokia





Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Porsche 356 (1948)

Porsche 356, circa 1950
Introduced June 1948

Just three years after the end of the Second World War, the (then) Austrian firm Porsche came up with a little two-sweater sports car called the Porsche 356. Arguably the first modern sports car, the 356 created a template for a lightweight but relatively powerful vehicle that many others copied.

Although sales were slow to begin with, after a few years this sleek sports car started to pick up sales and became available as a coupé, convertible or roadster. Various engines became available, with a typical unit being the 59 HP 4 cylinder 1.6 litre air-cooled engine. Not a lot by modern standards, but with an aerodynamic car weighing as little as 771 kg it didn’t need to be a fire-breathing monster.

The engine was in the back above the drive wheels, a configuration which gives the fun of driving a rear-wheel drive car with the advantage that most of the weight was above the drive wheels which led to better handling. The 356 found success in motor racing, but it was equally at home pottering around the restaurants of the Côte d'Azur instead.

The production run was from 1948 to 1965, with four models and a pretty slow evolution of specifications and design over that period. The Porsche 911 was introduced to replace it in 1963, but 356 production continued a little while after that.

76,000 356s were built, with around half still existing. Prices for a used one seem to range from around £70,000 to over £250,000 depending on condition and exact model, although it’s of note that Porsche will still look after the car for you. Several companies (such as Chesil) make modern reproductions at a fraction of the cost.

Image credit: Matthew P.L. Stevens via Flickr

Monday, 25 June 2018

Space Invaders (1978)

Space Invaders (Midway version)
Launched June 1978

Forty years ago this month, Japan saw the launch of a simple little arcade game called Space Invaders. The premise was simple – five rows of pixelated aliens marched slowly across the screen while a laser cannon at the bottom tries to pick them off, accompanied with a basic four-note soundtrack and some sound effects. Simple it may have been, but Space Invaders became an enormous success.

The game came at a point when the technology was just becoming good enough to produce a compelling game. The Space Invaders machine itself ran an Intel 8080 CPU (a predecessor of the 8086) with a Texas Instruments chip producing the sounds (this in the same month as the launch of the Speak & Spell). A monochrome monitor in portrait mode gave a graphics resolution of 224 x 256 pixels, and in some versions of the game coloured strips across the screen gave the impression of a colour display when it wasn’t.

As with many classic games of the era, Space Invaders embraced the technical limitations of the hardware. The blocky aliens became a design icon, the simple but hypnotic soundtrack attracted curious onlookers. The fact that the very last invader raced across the screen in an adrenaline-fueled finale was simply a side-effect of the processor having less work to do.

The gameplay was simple enough but compelling, and Space Invaders machine soon started to rake in the money. A lot of money. A machine could pay for itself in a month or even less, and they soon started to pop up in all sort of places worldwide that hadn’t previously dabbled in arcade games, such as supermarkets.

There were two basic formats – creator Taito turned the game into a table-top format and cabinet with a joystick, while US licensee Midway used a cabinet with buttons replacing the joystick. Between them, the arcade versions raked in hundreds of millions of dollars of profit… and from then on there were adaptations for games consoles, home computers and a raft of sequels and spin-offs spanning generations.

Today prices for reconditioned original Space Invader machines can be £4000 or more. Alternatively for a few pounds you can buy an authentic reproduction of the original to play on your smartphone.

Image credit: Wally Gobetz via Flickr

Video: Reconditioned Taito Space Invaders machine



Thursday, 21 June 2018

Science of Cambridge MK14 (1978)

Science of Cambridge MK14
Launched June 1978

Before the Sinclair ZX80 – and before Sinclair even was Sinclair – came the Science of Cambridge MK14. A low-cost kit computer, the MK14 was similar to the successful MOS KIM-1 and a number of other kits launched in the late 1970s.

Instead of going with the 6502 or Z80, Clive Sinclair’s firm instead decided to go with the esoteric National Semiconductor SC/MP INS8060 CPU. This 8-bit CPU never really became popular, except for finding a niche in embedded systems of the era. The MK14 had just 256 bytes of RAM, expandable to 2170 bytes. Input was a 20 key keypad, and output was via a calculator-style display although it was possible to output basic text and graphics to a VDU. The architecture of the MK14 also allowed easy modification and the addition of peripherals such as a cassette interface.

Even for four decades ago, the MK14 was very basic. But at just £30 (equivalent to around £240 today) it was also very cheap – much cheaper than anything similar on the market. Science of Cambridge went on to sell tens of thousands of these, providing enough money for Clive Sinclair to launch the ZX80 a couple of years later. But it also provided a launch pad for the career of Chris Curry, who went on to become one of the founders of Acorn Computers  who eventually went on to change the world.

Despite selling in the thousands, MK14s are rare today and one in working condition might set you back £800 or so. Alternatively you can play with a MK14 emulator for free.


Image credit: Alessandro Grussu via Flickr

Monday, 18 June 2018

Apple iPhone 3G (2008)

Apple iPhone 3G (2008)
Launched June 2008

Launched ten years ago this month, the Apple iPhone 3G was Apple’s first smartphone.

But wait,” you say “obviously it wasn’t. The original iPhone was Apple’s first smartphone!

The original iPhone - launched in January 2007 – had plenty of potential and a lot of “wow” factor. But by modern standards, it wasn’t a smartphone at all. You couldn’t download applications to it, it didn’t have GPS or high-speed cellular data, it couldn’t record video and it only had one pretty basic camera on the back, so no selfies for YOU.

Added to that, the original iPhone was slow and very expensive and it didn’t sell in particularly big numbers. It really was a very elegant but extremely overpriced feature phone.

The iPhone 3G was a game-changer. Despite looking almost identical to the original and with a name that indicated that the main feature was 3G data support, the iPhone 3G was the first iPhone to come with the App Store through the new iPhone OS 2.0 operating system. Not only did this give the iPhone 3G a huge base of different apps to run, it also made adding those apps easy.

On top of that, the inclusion of 3G (and 3.5G) data meant that it was usable on the move. The new iPhone not only had GPS but also a mapping application and turn-by-turn navigation. It still couldn’t record video though and it only had the single basic camera, but it was faster and crucially cheaper too. It was a significant step in the right direction.

It was clearly a much better device than the original (even though that iPhone also got the App Store) and it was the iPhone 3G - not the original iPhone – that actually gave consumers what they wanted (apart from the ability to record video). The 3G was a proper smartphone in the modern sense, and it was this smartphone that drove nearly 7 million units worth of sales in the last quarter of 2008, finally giving Apple the sales breakthrough it was looking for.

Image credit: Apple, Inc

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Texas Instruments Speak & Spell (1978)



Speak & Spell circa 1978
Launched June 1978

If you were a child of the late 1970s or early 1980s, then the Texas Instruments Speak & Spell was one of those “must have” toys that every child wanted, even if they didn’t get it. Designed as a fun way to learn spelling, it also came with different cartridges for word games and it was available in several different languages.

Originally introduced in June 1978, the Speak & Spell is possibly primarily remembered for the somewhat tinny synthesised voice, but the Speak & Spell was actually a marvel of innovation in a number of ways and it stayed in production in one form or another until the early 1990s.

What made the Speak & Spell work was TI’s new speech synthesiser chip, the TMC0280 (alternatively named the TMS5100). Using a system called linear predictivecoding, TI managed to create a speech synthesis IC that was practical to roll out in low-cost applications running on contemporary 1970s hardware.

Outside, the Speak & Spell was about the size of an A4 pad, although it was fairly heavy at 474 grams (a little over a pound). Early versions had raised keys and a vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) with a handy carrying handle on the top. Power was supplied by 4 C-cells or an A/C adapter. On the top was a carrying handle, and the whole thing was finished off in brightly coloured plastic.

It wasn’t the only product that TI made based on the same technology, the Speak & Read and Speak & Math also came in a similar package. Over the years the keyboard was replaced with a more childproof membrane keyboard which eventually changed from an alphabetic to QWERTY layout, the VFD display was replaced with an LCD and the handle moved from the top to the bottom to the top again. The last versions of the Speak & Spell were introduced in 1992.

Circuit Bent Speak & Spell
That really should have been the end of the story, but the Speak & Spell ended up having a weird afterlife. It turned out that the electronics in the device were easy to modify, and “circuit bent” versions appeared that could make new and interesting sounds, and the Speak & Spell found a home in electronic music in both modified and unmodified forms.

Prices vary depending on age and condition, but a good early one could set you back £100 or so. There are usually much cheaper, later ones too. Overall the Speak & Spell was a real technological marvel, and somehow we didn’t end up all speaking like robots. Whether or not it help to improve spelling overall is a matter for debbate.

Image credits:
Christian Riise Wagner via Flickr

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Intel 8086 (1978)

Intel 8086
Launched June 1978

By the late 1970s, Intel had carved out a successful slice of the microprocessor market with the 8-bit Intel 8080 and Intel 8085, but rivals such as the Zilog Z80 and MOS 6502 were eating into that share. Intel had been trying to design a radical 16-bit CPU – the iAPX 432 – since 1975 but that was still nowhere near completion.

As a quicker way of getting a 16-bit processor to market, Intel took some of the features of the existing 8085 and greatly expanded on it, making it much more powerful while maintaining some level of backward capability. The new 8086 was developed by a small team in just two years - the iAPX 432 took six years and a much larger team.

In 1978 the 8086 was ready to hit the market, clocked at 5 MHz and priced at under $90 a unit. It soon found its way into professional and scientific computer systems, but it finally got a big break in 1981 when the IBM PC was launched with a cut-down version of the 8086 called the 8088 inside.

The IBM PC and its clones ensured the success of the 8086 and 8088, and several generations followed. In June 2018 – to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 8086 – Intel announced a special edition of their current processor called the Core i7-8086K which is a 64-bit CPU clocked at 5 GHz, with 6 CPU cores.

The 8086, its descendants and compatible processors from rivals sold in huge quantities… not bad for something that was a bit of a stopgap. The iAPX 432 turned out to be too much of a technological leap for any company to make in the 1970s and ended up as a disaster. In the end, the simpler solution to the 16-bit problem was the more effective one. There’s probably a lesson in that.



Saturday, 26 May 2018

Jolla Smartphone (2013)

Jolla Smartphone (2013)
Announced May 2013

A brief history lesson – back in May 2005 Nokia announced their Linux-based 770 Internet Tablet, running an operating system called Maemo. This had most of the ingredients of the modern smartphone apart from the actual phone, and it went through several revisions such as the N800 and N810 before being turned into a pretty capable smartphone in 2009 with the N900. But then a disastrous attempt to merge Maemo with Intel’s Moblin OS to create a new OS called MeeGo caused the project to stall and at a key part of the smartphone wars, Nokia found itself without a competitive product. The follow-up to the N900, the Nokia N9 was launched 2 years afterwards, but by this time Nokia had already given up on MeeGo and had decided to base future smartphones on Windows.

The N9 caused quite a stir, but Nokia deliberately restricted its launch to smaller markets, presumably to meet a contractual obligation rather than just cancelling it. The N9 was the phone that Nokia didn’t want you to buy, and yet people did and they found that this latest incarnation of the Maemo / MeeGo operating system was rather elegant and had potential.

Sailfish OS screenshot
Nokia’s cancellation of the N9 was a death-knell for MeeGo, and that operating system was eventually merged with another Linux-based OS called LiMo to become Tizen which eventually found a niche as an embedded systems OS, especially with Samsung.

To some, the effectively cancellation of MeeGo seemed to be a squandering of something valuable. So, a group of engineering (most former Nokia employees) created a company called Jolla to develop the MeeGo-derived Sailfish OS. And in May 2013 they announced the Jolla smartphone (just called "Jolla" and pronounced "Yo-La")).

The Jolla shared a similar design philosophy to the N9, with simple and clean lines and a brightly coloured back. The operating system was as powerful as anything else on the market, but with a swipe-based user interface that made it stand out from Android and iOS offerings. The Jolla smartphone appealed to Nokia and Linux fans in particular, and it ended up being a niche success.

An attempt to launch a Jolla Tablet nearly ended in disaster when the company couldn’t bring it to market in time and had to offer refunds to customers who had crowdfunded it. However the company persisted and the Sailfish OS continues to be ported to other devices, and is still around 5 years later.

Jolla and Sailfish haven’t quite had the breakthrough success that they need, however the Sailfish OS is finding its way into devices for emerging markets and more specialist applications such as the highly secure Turing Phone. It seems that seven years after Nokia abandoned this particular platform, it is still going strong.

Video: Jolla Smartphone Preview



Video: Jolla Tablet



Monday, 21 May 2018

LG HB620T (2008)

LG HB620T. Catchy name, huh?
Released May 2008

File this one under “W” for “Weird”. The LG HB620T was a strange-looking clamshell phone that attempted to deliver something that customers didn’t really want, and ended up being horribly compromised along the way.

There was a good idea behind the HB620T – and that idea was that people wanted to watch TV on the move. Ten years ago there was no 4G, 3G services was spotty and public WiFi wasn’t great either. But more critically, mobile data was extremely expensive in 2008 Vodafone charged £7.50 a month for about 4Mb of data per day, with each 15Mb after that costing another £1. High-quality mobile video would have been too expensive to watch for very long.

The solution seemed to be to put a digital TV receiver in the phone itself. Early attempts, such as the Nokia N92, used a version of the common DVB system optimised for handhelds with the name DVB-H. The problem was that nobody really wanted to pay for the infrastructure to support DVB-H, so manufacturers instead tried to adapt phones for the more common household DVB-T. This meant that no additional broadcasting infrastructure was needed, but it wasn’t as easy to make it work in mobile handsets.

LG’s approach was to build a DVB-T receiver into a clamshell phone. Nokia had already done this years earlier with the N92, which was quite a chunky device – but it did feature a clever two-way hinge which allowed the 2.8” screen to be used in landscape orientation. But the LG HB620T didn’t do it that way: LG just made the clamshell wider than normal and squeezed in a quite small 2.0” display in landscape mode instead.

The phone needed to use a large antenna to receive the TV signal, and the receiver wasn’t compatible with the digital TV service in many countries either. You might not be surprised to find out that the combination of odd design and poor features – plus the small screen – meant that the HB620T was not a success.

The LG HB620T always was pretty rare, and if you can find one the prices tend to be €120 or more. As a device it service very little practical purpose, and you can actually get a 9” DVB TV for less than that. And of course these days you can just stream most things to an app instead..


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

BlackBerry Bold 9000 (2008)

BlackBerry Bold 9000
Launched May 2008

You might say that the modern smartphone revolution started in January 2007 with the launch of the original iPhone, which is probably true. But it isn’t the case that everything before the iPhone was some sort of clunker, and everything afterwards was some sort of clone. The BlackBerry Bold 9000 – launched in May 2008 – not only ignored the iPhone completely, but it was also a significant sales success.

The BlackBerry Bold 9000 is perhaps the archetypical BlackBerry messaging device. An evolution of what creators RIM had been doing for years, the Bold retained the classic BlackBerry physical keyboard, excellent messaging capabilities and brilliant display characteristics of its predecessors. But now it was easier to use with a little trackball, and it packed in 3.5G data, WiFi and GPS (easily outclassing the iPhone) plus expandable memory and good music playback cababilities in a lightweight unit that could happily work for days on a single charge.

Messaging was the killer app that set the BlackBerry range apart from everything else. Offering quick and easy-to-use email messaging for both corporate customers and individuals, the Bold 9000 expertly delivered the internet feature that everyone at the time cared about.

Apps were so-so, but the original iPhone didn’t even have downloadable apps. Web browsing was pretty unpleasant too, but in 2008 there were hardly any sites optimised for mobile browsing. The Bold did everything that consumers thought they wanted, and as result it sold in large numbers, creating significant sales growth for RIM.

The problem was that what consumers wanted was changing. The original iPhone was limited in what it could do, and was slow. But only a one month after the Bold 9000 was launched, Apple came up with the much improved iPhone 3G. The world’s first Android smartphone – the T-Mobile G1 – was launched a few months later. The sand was shifting under RIM’s feet, and it was quickly becoming clear that RIM was not shifting with them.

A second-hand BlackBerry Bold 9000 is probably not anyone’s idea of a good time, so it might not surprise you to find out that second-hand units are dirt cheap. It’s certainly a device that was critical to the growth of RIM, but perhaps history has overlooked this useful little messaging smartphone.

Image credit: RIM / BlackBerry

Monday, 7 May 2018

Spam (1978)

No, not SPAM but spam. Junk email. That sort of thing. You've probably seen it. You might even know that the name comes from a Monty Python sketch. But you might not know that the first spam message is commonly believed to have been sent forty years ago this month. And here it is:

Date:  1 May 1978 1233-EDT
From: THUERK at DEC-MARLBORO
Subject: ADRIAN@SRI-KL
To:   DDAY at SRI-KL, DAY at SRI-KL, DEBOER at UCLA-CCN,
To:   WASHDC at SRI-KL, LOGICON at USC-ISI, SDAC at USC-ISI,
To:   DELDO at USC-ISI, DELEOT at USC-ISI, DELFINO at USC-ISI,
To:   DENICOFF at USC-ISI, DESPAIN at USC-ISI, DEUTSCH at SRI-KL,
To:   DEUTSCH at PARC-MAXC, EMY at CCA-TENEX, DIETER at USC-ISIB,
To:   DINES at AMES-67, MERADCON at SRI-KL, EPG-SPEC at SRI-KA,
To:   DIVELY at SRI-KL, DODD at USC-ISI, DONCHIN at USC-ISIC,
To:   JED at LLL-COMP, DORIN at CCA-TENEX, NYU at SRI-KA,
To:   DOUGHERTY at USC-ISI, PACOMJ6 at USC-ISI,
To:   DEBBY at UCLA-SECURITY, BELL at SRI-KL, JHANNON at SRI-KA,
To:   DUBOIS at USC-ISI, DUDA at SRI-KL, POH at USC-ISI,
To:   LES at SU-AI, EAST at BBN-TENEX, DEASTMAN at USC-ECL,
To:   EBISU at I4-TENEX, NAC at USC-ISIE, ECONOMIDIS at I4-TENEX,
To:   WALSH at SRI-KL, GEDWARDS at SRI-KL, WEDWARDS at USC-ISI,
To:   NUSC at SRI-KL, RM at SU-AI, ELKIND at PARC-MAXC,
To:   ELLENBY at PARC-MAXC, ELLIS at PARC-MAXC, ELLIS at USC-ISIB,
To:   ENGELBART at SRI-KL, ENGELMORE at SUMEX-AIM,
To:   ENGLISH at PARC-MAXC, ERNST at I4-TENEX,
To:   ESTRIN at MIT-MULTICS, EYRES at USC-ISIC,
To:   FAGAN at SUMEX-AIM, FALCONER at SRI-KL,
To:   DUF at UCLA-SECURITY, FARBER at RAND-UNIX, PMF at SU-AI,
To:   HALFF at USC-ISI, RJF at MIT-MC, FEIERBACH at I4-TENEX,
To:   FEIGENBAUM at USC-ISI, FEINLER at SRI-KL,
To:   FELDMAN at SUMEX-AIM, FELDMAN at SRI-KL, FERNBACH at LLL-COMP,
To:   FERRARA at RADC-MULTICS, FERRETTI at SRI-KA,
To:   FIALA at PARC-MAXC, FICKAS at USC-ISIC, AFIELD at I4-TENEX,
To:   FIKES at PARC-MAXC, REF at SU-AI, FINK at MIT-MULTICS,
To:   FINKEL at USC-ISIB, FINN at USC-ISIB, AFGWC at BBN-TENEX,
To:   FLINT at SRI-KL, WALSH at SRI-KL, DRXAN at SRI-KA,
To:   FOX at SRI-KL, FRANCESCHINI at MIT-MULTICS,
To:   SAI at USC-ISIC, FREDRICKSON at RAND-RCC, ETAC at BBN-TENEXB,
To:   FREYLING at BBN-TENEXE, FRIEDLAND at SUMEX-AIM,
To:   FRIENDSHUH at SUMEX-AIM, FRITSCH at LLL-COMP, ME at SU-AI,
To:   FURST at BBN-TENEXB, FUSS at LLL-COMP, OP-FYE at USC-ISIB,
To:   SCHILL at USC-ISIC, GAGLIARDI at USC-ISIC,
To:   GAINES at RAND-UNIX, GALLENSON at USC-ISIB,
To:   GAMBLE at BBN-TENEXE, GAMMILL at RAND-UNIX,
To:   GANAN at USC-ISI, GARCIA at SUMEX-AIM,
To:   GARDNER at SUMEX-AIM, MCCUTCHEN at SRI-KL,
To:   GARDNER at MIT-MULTICS, GARLICK at SRI-KL,
To:   GARVEY at SRI-KL, GAUTHIER at USC-ISIB,
To:   USGS-LIA at BBN-TENEX, GEMOETS at I4-TENEX,
To:   GERHART at USC-ISIB, GERLA at USC-ISIE, GERLACH at I4-TENEX,
To:   GERMAN at HARV-10, GERPHEIDE at SRI-KA, DANG at SRI-KL,
To:   GESCHKE at PARC-MAXC, GIBBONS at CMU-10A,
To:   GIFFORD.COMPSYS at MIT-MULTICS, JGILBERT at BBN-TENEXB,
To:   SGILBERT at BBN-TENEXB, SDAC at USC-ISI,
To:   GILLOGLY at RAND-UNIX, STEVE at RAND-UNIX,
To:   GLEASON at SRI-KL, JAG;BIN(1525) at UCLA-CCN,
To:   GOLD at LL-11, GOLDBERG at USC-ISIB, GOLDGERG at SRI-KL,
To:   GROBSTEIN at SRI-KL, GOLDSTEIN at BBN-TENEXB,
To:   DARPM-NW at BBN-TENEXB, GOODENOUGH at USC-ISIB,
To:   GEOFF at SRI-KL, GOODRICH at I4-TENEX, GOODWIN at USC-ISI,
To:   GOVINSKY at SRI-KL, DEAN at I4-TENEX, TEG at MIT-MULTICS,
To:   CCG at SU-AI, EPG-SPEC at SRI-KA, GRISS at USC-ECL,
To:   BJG at RAND-UNIX, MCCUTCHEN at SRI-KL, GROBSTEIN at SRI-KL,
To:   MOBAH at I4-TENEX, GUSTAFSON at USC-ISIB, GUTHARY at SRI-KL,
To:   GUTTAG at USC-ISIB, GUYTON at RAND-RCC,
To:   ETAC-AD at BBN-TENEXB, HAGMANN at USC-ECL, HALE at I4-TENEX,
To:   HALFF at USC-ISI, DEHALL at MIT-MULTICS,
To:   HAMPEL at LLL-COMP, HANNAH at USC-ISI,
To:   NORSAR-TIP at USC-ISIC, SCRL at USC-ISI, HAPPY at SRI-KL,
To:   HARDY at SRI-KL, IMPACT at SRI-KL, KLH at SRI-KL,
To:   J33PAC at USC-ISI, HARRISON at SRI-KL, WALSH at SRI-KL,
To:   DRCPM-FF at BBN-TENEXB, HART at AMES-67, HART at SRI-KL,
To:   HATHAWAY at AMES-67, AFWL at I4-TENEX, BHR at RAND-UNIX,
To:   RICK at RAND-UNIX, DEBE at USC-ISIB, HEARN at USC-ECL,
To:   HEATH at UCLA-ATS, HEITMEYER at BBN-TENEX, ADTA at SRI-KA,
To:   HENDRIX at SRI-KL, CH47M at BBN-TENEXB, HILLIER at SRI-KL,
To:   HISS at I4-TENEX, ASLAB at USC-ISIC, HOLG at USC-ISIB,
To:   HOLLINGWORTH at USC-ISIB, HOLLOWAY at HARV-10,
To:   HOLMES at SRI-KL, HOLSWORTH at SRI-KA, HOLT at LLL-COMP,
To:   HOLTHAM at LL, DHOLZMAN at RAND-UNIX, HOPPER at USC-ISIC,
To:   HOROWITZ at USC-ISIB, VSC at USC-ISI, HOWARD at LLL-COMP,
To:   HOWARD at USC-ISI, PURDUE at USC-ISI, HUBER at RAND-RCC,
To:   HUNER at RADC-MULTICS, HUTSON at AMES-67, IMUS at USC-ISI,
To:   JACOBS at USC-ISIE, JACOBS at BBN-TENEXB,
To:   JACQUES at BBN-TENEXB, JARVIS at PARC-MAXC,
To:   JEFFERS at PARC-MAXC, JENKINS at PARC-MAXC,
To:   JENSEN at SRI-KA, JIRAK at SUMEX-AIM, NICKIE at SRI-KL,
To:   JOHNSON at SUMEX-AIM, JONES at SRI-KL, JONES at LLL-COMP,
To:   JONES at I4-TENEX, RLJ at MIT-MC, JURAK at USC-ECL,
To:   KAHLER at SUMEX-AIM, MWK at SU-AI, KAINE at USC-ISIB,
To:   KALTGRAD at UCLA-ATS, MARK at UCLA-SECURITY, RAK at SU-AI,
To:   KASTNER at USC-ISIB, KATT at USC-ISIB,
To:   UCLA-MNC at USC-ISI, ALAN at PARC-MAXC, KEENAN at USC-ISI,
To:   KEHL at UCLA-CCN, KELLEY at SRI-KL, BANANA at I4-TENEX,
To:   KELLOGG at USC-ISI, DDI at USC-ISI, KEMERY at SRI-KL,
To:   KEMMERER at UCLA-ATS, PARVIZ at UCLA-ATS, KING at SUMEX-AIM,
To:   KIRSTEIN at USC-ISI, SDC at UCLA-SECURITY,
To:   KLEINROCK at USC-ISI, KLEMBA at SRI-KL, CSK at USC-ISI,
To:   KNIGHT at SRI-KL, KNOX at USC-ISI, KODA at USC-ISIB,
To:   KODANI at AMES-67, KOOIJ at USC-ISI, KREMERS at SRI-KL,
To:   BELL at SRI-KL, KUNZELMAN at SRI-KL, PROJX at SRI-KL,
To:   LAMPSON at PARC-MAXC, SDL at RAND-UNIX, JOJO at SRI-KL,
To:   SDC at USC-ISI, NELC3030 at USC-ISI,
To:   LEDERBERG at SUMEX-AIM, LEDUC at SRI-KL, JSLEE at USC-ECL,
To:   JACOBS at USC-ISIE, WREN at USC-ISIB, LEMONS at USC-ISIB,
To:   LEUNG at SRI-KL, J33PAC at USC-ISI, LEVIN at USC-ISIB,
To:   LEVINTHAL at SUMEX-AIM, LICHTENBERGER at I4-TENEX,
To:   LICHTENSTEIN at USC-ISI, LIDDLE at PARC-MAXC,
To:   LIEB at USC-ISIB, LIEBERMAN at SRI-KL, STANL at USC-ISIE,
To:   LIERE at I4-TENEX, DOCB at USC-ISIC, LINDSAY at SRI-KL,
To:   LINEBARGER at AMES-67, LIPKIS at USC-ECL, SLES at USC-ISI,
To:   LIS at SRI-KL, LONDON at USC-ISIB, J33PAC at USC-ISI,
To:   LOPER at SRI-KA, LOUVIGNY at SRI-KL, LOVELACE at USC-ISIB,
To:   LUCANIC at SRI-KL, LUCAS at USC-ISIB, DCL at SU-AI,
To:   LUDLAM at UCLA-CCN, YNGVAR at SRI-KA, LYNCH at SRI-KL,
To:   LYNN at USC-ISIB, MABREY at SRI-KL, MACKAY at AMES-67,
To:   MADER at USC-ISIB, MAGILL at SRI-KL, KMAHONEY at BBN-TENEX,
To:   MANN at USC-ISIB, ZM at SU-AI, MANNING at USC-ISI,
To:   MANTIPLY at I4-TENEX, MARIN at I4-TENEX, SCRL at USC-ISI,
To:   HARALD at SRI-KA, GLORIA-JEAN at UCLA-CCN, MARTIN at USC-ISIC,
To:   WMARTIN at USC-ISI, GRM at RAND-UNIX, MASINTER at USC-ISI,
To:   MASON at USC-ISIB, MATHIS at SRI-KL, MAYNARD at USC-ISIC,
To:   MCBREARTY at SRI-KL, MCCALL at SRI-KA, MCCARTHY at SU-AI,
To:   MCCLELLAND at USC-ISI, DORIS at RAND-UNIX, MCCLURG at SRI-KL,
To:   JOHN at I4-TENEX, MCCREIGHT at PARC-MAXC, MCCRUMB at USC-ISI,
To:   DRXTE at SRI-KA
cc:   BPM at SU-AI

MCKINLEY@USC-ISIB
MMCM@SRI-KL
OT-ITS@SRI-KA
BELL@SRI-KL
MEADE@SRI-KL
MARTIN@USC-ISI
MERRILL@BBN-TENEX
METCALFE@PARC-MAXC
JMETZGER@USC-ISIB
MICHAEL@USC-ISIC
CMILLER@SUMEX-AIM
MILLER@USC-ISI
SCI@USC-ISI
MILLER@USC-ISIC
MITCHELL@PARC-MAXC
MITCHELL@USC-ISI
MITCHELL@SUMEX-AIM
MLM@SU-AI
JPDG@TENEXB
MOORE@USC-ISIB
WMORE@USC-ISIB
JAM@SU-AI
MORAN@PARC-MAXC
ROZ@SU-AI
MORGAN@USC-ISIB
MORRIS@PARC-MAXC
MORRIS@I4-TENEX
OT-ITS@SRI-KA
LISA@USC-ISIB
MOSHER@SRI-KL
MULHERN@USC-ISI
MUNTZ;BIN(1529)@UCLA-CCN
MYERS@USC-ISIC
MYERS@RAND-RCC
DRCPM-FF-FO@BBN-TENEXB
NAGEL@USC-ISIB
NAPKE@SRI-KL
NARDI@SRI-KL
NAYLOR@USC-ISIE
LOU@USC-ISIE
NESBIT@RAND-RCC
NEUMANN@SRI-KA
NEVATIA@USC-ECL
NEWBY@USC-ISI
NEWEKK@SRI-KA
NIELSON@SRI-KL
NLL@SUMEX-AIM
NILSSON@SRI-KL
NITZAN@SRI-KL
NOEL@USC-ISIC
NORMAN@PARC-MAXC
NORTON@SRI-KL
JOAN@USC-ISIB
NOURSE@SUMEX-AIM
PDG@SRI-KL
OMALLEY@SRI-KA
OCKEN@USC-ISIC
OESTREICHER@USC-ISIB
OGDEN@SRI-KA
OKINAKA@USC-ISIE
OLSON@I4-TENEX
ORNSTEIN@PARC-MAXC
PANKO@SRI-KL
TED@SU-AI
PARK@SRI-KL
PBARAN@USC-ISI
PARKER@USC-ISIB
PEARCE@USC-ISI
PEPIN@USC-ECL
PERKINS@USC-ISIB
PETERS@SRI-KL
AMPETERSON@USC-ISI
ASLAB@USC-ISIC
EPG-SPEC@SRI-KA
PEZDIRTZ@LLL-COMP
CHARLIE@I4-TENEX
UCLA-DOC@USC-ISI
WPHILLIPS@USC-ISI
PIERCY@MOFFETT-ARC
PINE@SRI-KL
PIPES@I4-TENEX
PIRTLE@SRI-KL
POGGIO@USC-ISIC
POH@USC-ISI
POOL@BBN-TENEX
POPEK@USC-ISI
POSTEL@USC-ISIB
POWER@SRI-KL
PRICE@USC-ECL
RANDALL@USC-ISIB
RANDALL@SRI-KA
RAPHAEL@SRI-KL
RAPP@RAND-RCC
RASMUSSEN@USC-ISIC
RATTNER@SRI-KL
RAY@ILL-NTX
FNWC@I4-TENEX
BRL@SRI-KL
RETZ@SRI-KL
SKIP@USC-ISIB
RICHARDSON@USC-ISIB
RICHES@USC-ECL
GWEN@USC-ECL
OP-RIEDEL@USC-ISIB
RIES@LLL-COMP
RINDFLEISCH@SUMEX-AIM
OP-ROBBINS@USC-ISIB
ROBINSON@SRI-KL
JROBINSON@SRI-KL
RODRIQUEZ@SRI-KL
MARTIN@USC-ISI
ROM@USC-ISIC
ROMIEZ@I4-TENEX
ROSE@USC-ISI
ROSEN@SRI-KL
BARBARA@I4-TENEX
ROTHENBERG@USC-ISIB
RUBIN@SRI-KL
JBR@SU-AI
RUBINSTEIN@BBN-TENEXD
RUDY@USC-ECL
RUGGERI@SRI-KA
RULIFSON@PARC-MAXC
DALE@USC-ISIB
SACERDOTI@SRI-KL
SAGALOWICZ@SRI-KL
ALS@SU-AI
SANTONI@USC-ISIC
SATTERTHWAITE@PARC-MAXC
SAWCHUK@USC-ECL
CPF-CC@USC-ISI
SCHELONKA@USC-ISI
SCHILL@USC-ISIC
SCHILLING@USC-ISI
SCHULZ@SUMEX-AIM
SCOTT@SUMEX-AIM
CPF-CC@USC-ISI
OP-SEATON@USC-ISIB
SENNE@LL
NORM@RAND-UNIX
AFWL@14-TENEX
SHEPPARD@LL-ASG
SHERWIN@USC-ISI
SHERWOOD@SRI-KL
SHORT@SRI-KL
SHORTLIFE@SUMEX-AIM
SHOSHANI@BBN-TENEX
MARTIN@USC-ISI
UCLA-NMC@USC-ISIE
SDL@USC-ISIC
SKOCYPEC@USC-ISI
SLES@USC-ISI
SLOTTOW@UCLA-CCN
NOAA@14-TENEX
SMALL@USC-ISI
DAVESMITH@PARC-MAXC
DSMITH@RAND-UNIX
SMITH@SUMEX-AIM
SMITH@USC-ECL
MARCIE@I4-TENEX
USARSGEUR@USC-ISI
LOGICON@USC-ISI
EPA@SRI-KL
SONDEREGGER@USC-ISIB
SPEER@LL
AMICON-RN@USC-ISI
SPROULL@PARC-MAXC
PROJX@SRI-KL
STEF@SRI-KA
STEFIK@SUMEX-AIM
STEPHENS@SRI-KA
CFD@I4-TENEX
STOCKHAM@SRI-KA
STOTZ@USC-ISIB
ALLEN@UCLA-SECURITY
STOUTE@MIT-ML
STRADLING@SRI-KL
STROLLO@PARC-MAXC
UCLA-0638@UCLA-CCN
CRT@SRI-KA
SUNSHINE@RAND-UNIX
SUTHERLAND@SRI-KL
SUTHERLAND@RAND-UNIX
SUTHERLAND@PARC-MAXC
SUTTON@USC-ISIC
SWEER@SUMEX-AIM
TAFT@PARC-MAXC
TAYLOR@USC-ISIB
TAYLOR@PARC-MAXC
TAYNAI@SUMEX-AIM
TEITELMAN@PARC-MAXC
TENENBAUM@SRI-KL
GREEP@RAND-UNIX
TERRY@SUMEX-AIM
TESLER@PARC-MAXC
THACKER@PARC-MAXC
PWT@RAND-UNIX
TIPPIT@USC-ISIE
TOBAGI@USC-ISIE
TOGNETTI@SUMEX-AIM
TORRES@SRI-KL
TOWNLEY@HARV-10
ELINA@UCLA-ATS
TUCKER@SUMEX-AIM
TUGENDER@USC-ISIB
LLLSRG@MIT-MC
UNCAPHER@USC-ISIB
NOSC@SRI-KL
UNTULIS@SRI-KL
MIKE@UCLA-SECURITY
AARDVARK@UCLA-ATS
UZGALIS;BIN(0836)@UCLA-CCN
VANGOETHEM@UCLA-CCN
VANMIEROP@USC-ISIB
VANNOUHUYS@SRI-KL
VEIZADES@SUMEX-AIM
VESECKY@USC-ISI
AV@MIT-DMS
VICTOR@USC-ISIC
VIDAL@UCLA-SECURITY
OP-VILAIN@USC-ISIB
RV@RAND-UNIX
SDL@USC-ISIC
VOLPE@SRI-KL
VONNEGUT@I4-TENEX
VU@SRI-KL
WACTLAR@CMU-10A
WAGNER@USC-ISI
WAHRMAN@RAND-UNIX
WALDINGER@SRI-KL
WALKER@UCLA-SECURITY
WALKER@SRI-KL
WALLACE@PARC-MAXC
EVE@UCLA-SECURITY
LOGICON@USC-ISI
DON@RAND-UNIX
WATSON@USC-ISIC
WEIDEL@USC-ECL
WEINBERG@SRI-KL
JLW@MIT-AI
LAUREN@UCLA-SECURITY
WEISSMAN@I4-TENEX
WELLS@USC-ISIC
GERSH@USC-ISI
WETHEREL@LLL-COMP
RWW@SU-AI
SCRL@USC-ISI
TWHELLER@SRI-KA
MABREY@SRI-KL
WHITE@PARC-MAXC
WHITE@SUMEX-AIM
WIEDERHOLD@SUMEX-AIM
WILBER@SRI-KL
EPG-SPEC@SRI-KA
WILCOX@SUMEX-AIM
WILCZYNSKI@USC-ISIB
WILE@USC-ISIB
OP-WILLIAMS@USC-ISIB
WILSON@USC-ISIB
TW@SU-AI
SCI@USC-ISI
WISNIEWSKI@RAND-UNIX
WOLF@SRI-KL
PAT@SU-AI
NELC3030@USC-ISI
WYATT@HARV-10
LEO@USC-ISIB
YEH@LLL-COMP
YONKE@USC-ISIB
YOUNGBERG@SRI-KA
ZEGERS@SRI-KL
ZOLOTOW@SRI-KL
ZOSEL@LLL-COMP
DIGITAL WILL BE GIVING A PRODUCT PRESENTATION OF THE NEWEST MEMBERS OF THE
DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY; THE DECSYSTEM-2020, 2020T, 2060, AND 2060T.  THE
DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY OF COMPUTERS HAS EVOLVED FROM THE TENEX OPERATING SYSTEM
AND THE DECSYSTEM-10 <PDP-10> COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE.  BOTH THE DECSYSTEM-2060T
AND 2020T OFFER FULL ARPANET SUPPORT UNDER THE TOPS-20 OPERATING SYSTEM.
THE DECSYSTEM-2060 IS AN UPWARD EXTENSION OF THE CURRENT DECSYSTEM 2040
AND 2050 FAMILY. THE DECSYSTEM-2020 IS A NEW LOW END MEMBER OF THE
DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY AND FULLY SOFTWARE COMPATIBLE WITH ALL OF THE OTHER
DECSYSTEM-20 MODELS.

WE INVITE YOU TO COME SEE THE 2020 AND HEAR ABOUT THE DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY
AT THE TWO PRODUCT PRESENTATIONS WE WILL BE GIVING IN CALIFORNIA THIS
MONTH.  THE LOCATIONS WILL BE:
         
              TUESDAY, MAY 9, 1978 - 2 PM
                  HYATT HOUSE (NEAR THE L.A. AIRPORT)
                  LOS ANGELES, CA

              THURSDAY, MAY 11, 1978 - 2 PM
                  DUNFEY'S ROYAL COACH
                  SAN MATEO, CA
                  (4 MILES SOUTH OF S.F. AIRPORT AT BAYSHORE, RT 101 AND RT 92)

A 2020 WILL BE THERE FOR YOU TO VIEW. ALSO TERMINALS ON-LINE TO OTHER
DECSYSTEM-20 SYSTEMS THROUGH THE ARPANET. IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND,
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT THE NEAREST DEC OFFICE
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE EXCITING DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY.


Responses to the spam email were strongly negative. Luckily the controls introduced in 1978 killed off spam once and for all. Oh no. Wait...

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Land Rover (1948)

Land Rover Series I
Introduced April 1948

There’s a lot you could write about the iconic Land Rover, but we’ll try to keep it brief. After the Second World War, the chief designer of the Rover car company came up with an idea to build an off-road vehicle, inspired by the war-surplus Jeep that he kept on his farm. Designed with export markets in mind, the Land Rover used a great deal of aluminium in its bodywork as steel was rationed. With capable four wheel drive, a sturdy and reliable construction and the ability to be adapted to a huge number of tasks, the Land Rover became a huge success.

A boxy looking thing with no regard for aerodynamics, the Land Rover evolved very slowly over the 67 years that it was in production. The original Series I was followed by a larger Series II then Series IIA in 1958, Series III in 1971, then the Land Rover Ninety and One-Ten in 1983 which became the Defender in 1990, and this continued in production until 2016. Over the years the Land Rover became a bit smoother, a bit more comfortable and with better engines in each generation.

The design adapted well to military service, ending up in armed forces all other the world in a huge variety of guises. Emergency services, utility companies and just about anyone who needed a practical off-road vehicle also used them, as well as farmers and the general public.

Late model retro-themed Land Rover Defender
Increasingly the Defender became a popular (and expensive) leisure vehicle, again with a huge range of modifications and custom-built versions. But by 2016 the Defender was struggling to keep up with environmental and safety legislation and was finally put out to grass. Well, sort of… because in 2018 Land Rover came up with a Defender Works V8 which cost an eye-watering £150,000 or more.

Although Land Rovers are still popular for those jobs that other vehicles cannot manage, they are also high collectable. In the UK a Series I Land Rover in good condition will set you back around £30,000 or more, with similar prices for late model Defenders. Customised ones can cost £100,000 or more, but it is possible to finder older and more basic models for less than £10,000. In the US the Defender has become a cult classic which was only officially available for a few years in the 1990s. Prices there are buoyant, with a typical price for a mid-1990s model being $60,000 to $70,000.

The Land Rover is an example of a product that got it largely right first time, and although it evolved over the years it never really strayed far from that original idea. The Land Rover marque itself outlived the Rover Car Company (having been through several owners) and now there are six vehicles in the Land Rover stable, not including the Defender itself.  Somewhere along the line this niche vehicle adapted into the mainstream, with SUVs being a commonplace site of city streets. Whether this is a good thing or not depends on your point of view, but there’s no doubt that the original Land Rover had a great deal of influence in today’s popularity of these cars.