Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 13th Apr 2008 16:29 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Every now and then, a computer comes along that makes a mark, that sets a trend, or that simply stuns you - but not because of its internals, its processor or its software, but because of its appearance. Through the history of computing, there have been a number of computers that were actually designed to appeal not just because of raw technology alone, but also because of stunning looks. Read on for a countdown of my ten most beautiful computers.
Order by: Score:
Some of my picks
by swamp boy on Sun 13th Apr 2008 17:48 UTC
swamp boy
Member since:
2008-04-13

SGI Indigo - http://www.sgizone.net/indigo/
NeXT Station instead of NeXT Cube
IBM RS/6000 workstation instead of PS/2 Model 50
Cray supercomputer
Apple iMac (current models)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Some of my picks
by hollovoid on Sun 13th Apr 2008 20:40 UTC in reply to "Some of my picks"
hollovoid Member since:
2005-09-21

I second the Cray supercomputers, they were beautifully designed, and so powerful even the geekiest of us would sweat in its presence.I used to request info packets as a young'n from cray, under the alias of "lynsing medical research center" so they would even send it. ahhh those were the days ;)

Reply Score: 1

Enjoyable
by dado on Sun 13th Apr 2008 17:54 UTC
dado
Member since:
2006-05-01

At first, judging by title, I thought this is going to be a "These are ten Apple computers I really like" but I'm happy to see at least some diversity. ;)

In my book, hardware design is a non-issue, it can literally be wrapped in tinfoil for all I care, how it performs is key for me. That must be why I never used and probably will never use an Apple product. ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Enjoyable
by zztaz on Sun 13th Apr 2008 18:00 UTC in reply to "Enjoyable"
zztaz Member since:
2006-09-16

The legacy of the IBM PS/2 lives on in the glorious Model M keyboard, which I still use.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Enjoyable
by chemical_scum on Sun 13th Apr 2008 23:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Enjoyable"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

The legacy of the IBM PS/2 lives on in the glorious Model M keyboard, which I still use.


I am too am typing this from my IBM model M PS/2 keyboard. It is 19 years old.

I bought with an IBM PS/2 30/286 when I was a grad student and got the student discount. I regretted not hanging on till a 386 system got into my price range. It came with PC-DOS 4.0 which was later upgraded to Win 3.1 on MSDOS 6. Some parts were well built others were not as good the hard drive bjorked in less than a year, fortunately still in warranty. The monitor lasted seven years and the system was still running after nine years, when I upgraded to a cheap secondhand 486.

The keyboard however lasts forever being now on its fifth system.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Enjoyable
by Doc Pain on Mon 14th Apr 2008 07:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Enjoyable"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

I am too am typing this from my IBM model M PS/2 keyboard. It is 19 years old. [...] The keyboard however lasts forever being now on its fifth system.


Use it well, you'll never be able to get a better one. I'm still using some of them and always will. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Enjoyable
by Mikaku on Mon 14th Apr 2008 07:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Enjoyable"
Mikaku Member since:
2007-05-03

Yeah, I collected a lot of them and I'm using them in practically all the computers I have at home and at office.

I really love those original IBM keyboards with so special key touch.

Reply Score: 1

ThinkPads!
by Flatland_Spider on Sun 13th Apr 2008 18:10 UTC
Flatland_Spider
Member since:
2006-09-01

ThinkPads would be on my most beautiful computer list. They're beautiful the way a purpose built tool is beautiful and memorable the way Darth Vader is memorable.

Reply Score: 8

RE: ThinkPads!
by h3rman on Sun 13th Apr 2008 19:36 UTC in reply to "ThinkPads!"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

ThinkPads would be on my most beautiful computer list. They're beautiful the way a purpose built tool is beautiful and memorable the way Darth Vader is memorable.


Absolutely.
I'm by no means an IBM fan, but the Thinkpads, especially the X-series, are simply amazing examples of beautiful ugliness - and I mean that last noun in a good way.

I'm afraid only people that have actually used/owned a Thinkpad will be able to appreciate that. The fact that you cannot usually see Thinkpads in stores on shelves plays a role in that, I guess.

A big mistake Thom, and I have no idea why you didn't consult me ;) is to include the Macbook Air, I was very unimpressed having seen it here last week. Plus, its design is just way too fresh to be able to judge it.

iBooks, especially the later 12" models, beat the crap out of the McB Air in the looks department; as a matter of fact, Apple is not going to produce a nicer laptop in the next decade. It's not as light, but at least it has a real keyboard that says, type me!

So Thom, get the hell out of your blogging chair, get yourself a Thinkpad at eBay and repair this missed opportunity. ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: ThinkPads!
by xk2600 on Mon 14th Apr 2008 13:30 UTC in reply to "RE: ThinkPads!"
xk2600 Member since:
2008-04-14

I agree. Though I would not call necissarily use the world ugly. The Thinkpad is simply a more industrial design. Where as the Mac is more of a Bukakki of modern deco. Both are stunning examples of art and engineering intertwined. I personally am not a big fan of where the Apple laptop line is heading. The old PowerBooks, and the Titanium were Art at its finest. The Air... more like a flat egg. I think Apple hired the same guys who push VW. Just because it screams different doesn't mean its pretty. And while the air is smooth and thin, it's rather plain in appearance. Apple needs to bring out the beast in their boxes. I want something that a man who has worked his entire life to accumulate would want to own. It's what I expect from them. IF they want to build the Lamborgini of laptops, don't design it like a V-Dub.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: ThinkPads!
by h3rman on Mon 14th Apr 2008 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ThinkPads!"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

I agree. Though I would not call necissarily use the world ugly. The Thinkpad is simply a more industrial design.


True, I wanted to use the word ugly in a good way, which I guess is a bit hard in modern English. There was (is?) a Dutch architect though who advocated "beautiful ugliness" in architecture. ;)

Where as the Mac is more of a Bukakki of modern deco. Both are stunning examples of art and engineering intertwined. I personally am not a big fan of where the Apple laptop line is heading. The old PowerBooks, and the Titanium were Art at its finest.


Yeah I was wondering if I was the only one who thought the Macbooks are a step back compared to the Powerbooks and iBooks.
I liked the 12" Powerbook best but given absence of money, got mslf an iBook. Amazing machine.
The Macbooks are relatively cheap-looking, with their bright screen and awful keyboard. Hell, there are Sony Vaios that look better.

Okay I admit my opinion is sort of completely irrelevant.
But as you said, the direction Apple's design is heading, I would not buy any Apple stuff again. There's more explicit bling now, more form over function. I mean, you just don't toss a great keyboard like the iBook's out of the Cupertino window. Why not improve it and make it a classic like the Thinkpad's, in stead of producing something that looks "new" but is.. crap.
I mean, does Apple remember that in spite of the popularity of mouse clicking and "multitouch" goodness, some people actually type?

Plus, Apple's PC design (I'm not into the ipod/phone dep.) has become less playful and more.. "serious". As in, serious business, maybe. That's a bad sign in design, believe me. Like the new iMacs, they look a lot more "don't touch me" than the funny white plastic types.

The Air... more like a flat egg. I think Apple hired the same guys who push VW. Just because it screams different doesn't mean its pretty. And while the air is smooth and thin, it's rather plain in appearance.


Agreed.
BTW hey Apple fans, this is free speech y'all. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: ThinkPads!
by daneilwsmithee on Mon 14th Apr 2008 14:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ThinkPads!"
daneilwsmithee Member since:
2008-04-14

I owned an iBook and a new MacBook. The MacBook's keyboard blows away the iBook's in every way. The MacBook's keyboard is the best laptop keyboard I have ever used and I've had Dell, Thinkpads, HP, and Toshiba's. The iBook's keyboard was horrible. Half the time my finger would catch on the key above the one I was hitting causing the keys to pop off!!

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: ThinkPads!
by h3rman on Mon 14th Apr 2008 15:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ThinkPads!"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

I owned an iBook and a new MacBook. The MacBook's keyboard blows away the iBook's in every way. The MacBook's keyboard is the best laptop keyboard I have ever used and I've had Dell, Thinkpads, HP, and Toshiba's. The iBook's keyboard was horrible. Half the time my finger would catch on the key above the one I was hitting causing the keys to pop off!!


All right.. It seems we've got a completely different set of fingers then. ;)
Since that never happened to me and I even have to type funny stuff on the iBook such as Hebrew and Arabic.
I'm a bass player, maybe that's why? ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: ThinkPads!
by unoengborg on Sun 13th Apr 2008 20:21 UTC in reply to "ThinkPads!"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, Thinkpads are excellent examples of the design rule that, form should follow function. E.g. look at the lid that closes very tightly and make the construction more rigid when closed. On off buttons is placed at places where you are unlikely to press them by mistake, not like the HP I use for work, that I turn off by mistake on a regular basis.

Reply Score: 5

The Cube
by Boldie on Sun 13th Apr 2008 18:21 UTC
Boldie
Member since:
2007-03-26

I brought a Mac Cube for 25 euros from my work place, thought it would be a nice fileserver etc. It only draws 35 watts when idle and is fan less. The show stopper was that it is not "noise less", the hard drive makes a whining sound. Now it is sitting at the top of a shelf in my living room just looking good (?).

I'm thinking about changing the drive to a silent one, maybe a flash-based. Has anyone tried that?

Reply Score: 4

RE: The Cube
by Kroc on Sun 13th Apr 2008 19:11 UTC in reply to "The Cube"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Asking if "someone has tried that" about a Cube is almost a silly question. There is /nothing/ that hasn't been tried on a Cube; "can you make it into an aquarium?" included. ;)

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: The Cube
by Boldie on Sun 13th Apr 2008 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE: The Cube"
Boldie Member since:
2007-03-26

It is a silly question! But a lot of the mods are with "old" hardware. I'm just lazy and want to have a quick fix! :-) I'll give it an other honest google-session.

I think I've seen the aquarium, it is excellent! :-)
(I think I also seen a toilet paper dispenser, but that is just plain wrong!)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The Cube
by Doc Pain on Mon 14th Apr 2008 07:25 UTC in reply to "RE: The Cube"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Asking if "someone has tried that" about a Cube is almost a silly question. There is /nothing/ that hasn't been tried on a Cube; "can you make it into an aquarium?" included. ;)


Well, even the SGI Octane has been modded into an audio system, as far as I remember, called the "Roctane". By the way, the "old" Octane (predecessor of the O2 mentioned in the article) looks great, too. Well, has SGI ever built any boring looking systems? :-)

Reply Score: 4

Ah, the IBM machines of old...
by umccullough on Sun 13th Apr 2008 18:46 UTC
umccullough
Member since:
2006-01-26

The thing that stands out from the IBM machines of that era was the complete screwless FRU (field-replaceable-unit) nature of the machines.

Nearly everything in the machine could be pulled and replaced without a screwdriver. In some cases, there was even a little plastic removal tool clipped into place inside the case for popping out plastic pins or whatever.

I always loved that.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Sun 13th Apr 2008 18:53 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

The reason the O2 is/was so appreciated is that it was the first computer that most people saw that wasn't a gray box.

And the choice for #1 is a lol and a half

Reply Score: 4

If these are the best...
by Michael on Sun 13th Apr 2008 19:01 UTC
Michael
Member since:
2005-07-01

Just goes to show what hideously ugly things computers are.

Reply Score: 9

Oh my...
by greenie on Sun 13th Apr 2008 19:05 UTC
greenie
Member since:
2007-04-28

BeBox - beautiful? Oh dear.

Where's SE/30? Or IIc Plus? TRS80-III? Cray 1? PDP-8? Xserve?

This is serious business ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Oh my...
by Lobotomik on Sun 13th Apr 2008 22:49 UTC in reply to "Oh my..."
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

The IIc with its monitor was definitely striking.

Reply Score: 3

most beautiful ?
by milleoiseaux on Sun 13th Apr 2008 19:09 UTC
milleoiseaux
Member since:
2007-09-28

much are quite ugly
what about the tezro http://www.sgi.com/products/remarketed/tezro/

the Cray's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cray

the thinking machines ? http://bradley.csail.mit.edu/~bradley/cm5/

Reply Score: 3

Nice article
by rhyder on Sun 13th Apr 2008 19:11 UTC
rhyder
Member since:
2005-09-28

Not all of the standards that IBM attempted to introduce with the PS/2 architecture were enduring. The PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors had quite a long life, but the PS/2 also tried to introduce a non standard case and the MCA expansion architecture. They also introduced a unique display standard that was a superset of VGA. I seem to remember that some of the line even had ESDI hard drives.

For the laptop, I would have thought you'd have gone for the iBook.

It might seem like heressy to say this on OSNEWS, but I've never really liked the look of the BeBox. Probably because it looks like most of my computers in that it's mis-matched.

Another nice looking and forward thinking design was that of the Acorn RISC PC. It was a fanless and screwless plastic case. It was also extensible, through the addition of extra "slices". You could have up to four slices in order to build a cube, if you needed to.

It also came with a set of clips so that you could stand it on its side as a tower.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Acorn_Risc_PC_600.jpg

Also, how could have missed off the one-box classic macs? ;-)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Nice article
by DigitalAxis on Mon 14th Apr 2008 22:11 UTC in reply to "Nice article"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

Seconding that RiscPC (or the Amiga "Walker" design), with the expandable case. THAT is sheer genius. Get enough of those together and yeah, you've got a tower... but you can because they all slot on top of each other.

I dunno, I'm also a fan of those old all-in-keyboard design computers, particularly the ones with more than just a keyboard on the top (disk drive, as in the C65, some SORD computers with two built-in 5 1/4"...)

If I had the money, time and know-how I'd love to put together (or gut and make) a modern system like those, except now the floppy would be a DVD-RW DL, and the cartridge slots would be Compactflash or SD...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nice article
by AmigaRobbo on Tue 15th Apr 2008 21:12 UTC in reply to "Nice article"
AmigaRobbo Member since:
2005-11-15

Acorn A600 had fans, and quite noisy they are too..

Reply Score: 1

You left out...
by jchildrose on Sun 13th Apr 2008 19:12 UTC
jchildrose
Member since:
2005-07-06

... the Atari 600/800/1200/1400 XL series. These things were gorgeous and futuristic-looking when they were released, as well as being awesomely fun to program for.

Reply Score: 1

RE
by Kroc on Sun 13th Apr 2008 19:21 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

C64c.

I love the "veet" sound you could make across the ridges on the back.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by transputer_guy
by transputer_guy on Sun 13th Apr 2008 19:32 UTC
transputer_guy
Member since:
2005-07-08

Easy, BeBox, SGI Indigo, NeXT stations, the Cray Supercomputers (round bench seat) in no special order.

Of course many of the Macs all the way back to 84. The MacII was my favorite of the day, 6 slots to expansion heaven if you had the money and very solid industrial engineering.

I might even add the BBC2 models, all in one box and beautiful for its day even on the software side. Wouldn't mind seeing that format again.

By definition almost all todays PC cases are ugly, esp the gaming cases coming out of Taiwan, they reek of teenage hormones. Now if some of the PC makers would just copy Apple style, the situation might improve.

I have to conclude that good looking computers tend to be the least expandable on the inside, usually locked out. Once you expand with lots of external USB widgets, they don't look so cool anymore.

Reply Score: 3

PowerMac G4 Cube
by Mellin on Sun 13th Apr 2008 19:54 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

Kleenex box ;)

Reply Score: 2

iMac - BeBox
by PowerMacX on Sun 13th Apr 2008 19:55 UTC
PowerMacX
Member since:
2005-11-06

I think the current gen iMac should have been on that list:
http://img380.imageshack.us/img380/9475/imacalumyy1.jpg

OTOH, I think the BeBox *didn't* deserve to be there! I mean, sure it is an important/significant model in computing/OS history but this is the "The Ten Most *Beautiful* Computers" and the Be-box looks as ugly as any cheap random case.

Edited 2008-04-13 19:55 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: iMac - BeBox
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 13th Apr 2008 19:58 UTC in reply to "iMac - BeBox"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

OTOH, I think the BeBox *didn't* deserve to be there! I mean, sure it is an important/significant model in computing/OS history but this is the "The Ten Most *Beautiful* Computers" and the Be-box looks as ugly as any cheap random case.


That's just your opinion, which is just as worthless as my opinion ;) .

This wasn't just the "The Ten Most *Beautiful* Computers" list. It was my "The Ten Most *Beautiful* Computers" list. Which is quite different.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: iMac - BeBox
by PowerMacX on Sun 13th Apr 2008 20:08 UTC in reply to "RE: iMac - BeBox"
PowerMacX Member since:
2005-11-06

That's just your opinion, which is just as worthless as my opinion ;) .


Just as worthy ;)

And you are right, you did mention "Read on for a countdown of my ten most beautiful computers." in the intro, I was just answering with the title of the article in mind.

Reply Score: 3

Mac Mini
by Morgan on Sun 13th Apr 2008 20:18 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

I know Thom considers the Mac Mini to be ugly, as he said in the G4 Cube entry in the article, but I don't see how it's much different from the Cube in overall design. Slot loading, very small footprint, (nearly) silent, with rounded corners and a smooth overall appearance. The only thing I ever found "ugly" about it was video performance.

To each his own I guess.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Mac Mini
by hobgoblin on Sun 13th Apr 2008 23:34 UTC in reply to "Mac Mini"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

i think the cube was simpler to disassemble...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Mac Mini
by Morgan on Mon 14th Apr 2008 03:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Mac Mini"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm sure it was, I took apart my old G4 Mini not long after I got it to up the RAM and it was a very touchy procedure. I didn't like the idea of shoving two metal putty knives into a $600 computer, but I did it right and didn't break anything. I wouldn't want to do it again though; even my eMac was easier to upgrade, and I had to take it halfway apart to add a bigger hard drive.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Mac Mini
by hobgoblin on Mon 14th Apr 2008 05:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Mac Mini"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

as on look at it, each iteration of a apple product seems to be less and less modification friendly.

about the only product of theirs that seems designed with ease of modification seems to be the mac pro...

but then im biased as i have not bought a pre-built system in ages...

ugh, just looked at the apple page and while the mac pro is more after market upgradeable then other apple products it still use what appears to be a very unusual motherboard and drive attachment system...

Edited 2008-04-14 05:22 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Mac Mini
by eggs on Mon 14th Apr 2008 05:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Mac Mini"
eggs Member since:
2006-01-23

It was very easy to upgrade the RAM and hard disk in my Macbook, both are accessible through the battery area. Although I had to buy a Torx screwdriver to get the sled off the hard drive, which was a pain.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Mac Mini
by hobgoblin on Mon 14th Apr 2008 05:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Mac Mini"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

glad to be corrected on it. so its not so bad as one can get the impression of at times...

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ZBrando
by ZBrando on Sun 13th Apr 2008 20:30 UTC
ZBrando
Member since:
2007-11-23

Where are the Apple LC and Classic?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by ZBrando
by siraf72 on Sun 13th Apr 2008 20:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by ZBrando"
siraf72 Member since:
2006-02-22

I had an LCII , now THAT was a pizza box , beautiful.. Alas the 16mhz it came with sucked biggens.

Reply Score: 2

pdp-11
by Geoff Gigg on Sun 13th Apr 2008 20:32 UTC
Geoff Gigg
Member since:
2006-01-21

Someone mentioned pdp-8. It was nice. I think DEC reached the peak of that line's clean design, inside and out, with the pdp-11. Here's a nice picture:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ee/Pdp-11-40.jpg

Have to second the Cray. Kept expecting that to be #1. Couldn't believe that was left off.

Reply Score: 1

RE: pdp-11
by rhyder on Sun 13th Apr 2008 21:08 UTC in reply to "pdp-11"
rhyder Member since:
2005-09-28

That PDP-11 looks like the kind of computer you see in 1960s sci-fi/spy TV shows. If I had to do battle with one, I'd ask a challenging philosophical question to make it explode.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: pdp-11
by hhas on Sun 13th Apr 2008 21:36 UTC in reply to "RE: pdp-11"
hhas Member since:
2006-11-28

Continuing the theme of grand old boxen, let's have some love for Olivetti's 1960s industrial design:

Ettore Sottsass's ELEA 9003:

http://img182.imageshack.us/img182/3249/expladonationettoresottsass...

Mario Bellini's TCV 250 terminal:

http://www.moma.org/images/collection/FullSizes/00043077.jpg

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: pdp-11
by rhyder on Sun 13th Apr 2008 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: pdp-11"
rhyder Member since:
2005-09-28

> Mario Bellini's TCV 250 terminal:

My sense of scale failed me for a moment there and I thought "hmmm... computerised coffee maker."

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: pdp-11
by Doc Pain on Mon 14th Apr 2008 08:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: pdp-11"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

A very round concept. :-)



Holborn terminal:
http://www.computermuseumgroningen.nl/holborn/terminal.jpg

ADM-5 terminal:
http://www.vintagecomputing.com/wp-content/images/hamfest06/hamfest...

Edited 2008-04-14 08:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: pdp-11
by hobgoblin on Sun 13th Apr 2008 23:35 UTC in reply to "pdp-11"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

now thats a computer! ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: pdp-11
by sbergman27 on Mon 14th Apr 2008 00:46 UTC in reply to "pdp-11"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24
MAC SE/SE30 !!
by siraf72 on Sun 13th Apr 2008 20:39 UTC
siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

C'mon!

Reply Score: 1

Joke?
by Ruahine on Sun 13th Apr 2008 20:48 UTC
Ruahine
Member since:
2005-07-07

Is this serious?
I was certain it must have been a big joke, but then I saw the Cube at the end and thought... hmmmm.... maybe this guy just has absolutely bizarre taste.
But, if this was a serious article, then it is flawed. It misses out the best designed computer ever... the one I'm writing this on right now:
G4 iMac

Reply Score: 2

Comment by dmck
by dmck on Sun 13th Apr 2008 21:18 UTC
dmck
Member since:
2006-11-02

The RiscPC was definately a classic, not many computers were built with their own Pizza ovens.

http://www.d1.dion.ne.jp/~r_high/memorial/rocketship.html

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by dmck
by hobgoblin on Sun 13th Apr 2008 23:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by dmck"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

whiskey tango foxtrot?!

i guess the closest one come today is liquid cooling and high powered hardware in a flawed casemod.

anyone for scrambled eggs straight of the cpu? ;)

Reply Score: 3

Discredited list
by tonymus on Sun 13th Apr 2008 21:22 UTC
tonymus
Member since:
2006-01-15

Any list about good looking computers that does not have the Commodore Amiga 1000 on it should be automatically discredited.

The A1000 was the finest looking computer released up to that date. Why other manufacturers never embraced the keyboard garage is beyond me.

Apple has since took the design ball and ran with it (to their credit), although the Dell XPS is an interesting looking computer...

Reply Score: 4

RE: Discredited list
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 13th Apr 2008 21:26 UTC in reply to "Discredited list"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Any list about good looking computers that does not have the Commodore Amiga 1000 on it should be automatically discredited.

The A1000 was the finest looking computer released up to that date. Why other manufacturers never embraced the keyboard garage is beyond me.

Apple has since took the design ball and ran with it (to their credit), although the Dell XPS is an interesting looking computer...


Any person's opinion should be automatically discredited when they find the Dell XPS beautiful ;) .

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Discredited list
by xk2600 on Mon 14th Apr 2008 13:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Discredited list"
xk2600 Member since:
2008-04-14

Any person's opinion should be automatically discredited when they find the Dell XPS beautiful ;) .

Wooot.

Reply Score: 1

Yay for PS2
by jbit on Sun 13th Apr 2008 22:06 UTC
jbit
Member since:
2005-11-04

Nice to see the PS2 in that list, it's a very nice looking system... It's development kit counterpart (the T10k) looks equally cool too, which is rare.

I think the Sharp X68000 ( http://www.h5.dion.ne.jp/~xn68000/Computing/Oldies/X68000/index.htm... ) is another nice looking computer which is rarely mentioned ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Yay for PS2
by hobgoblin on Sun 13th Apr 2008 23:40 UTC in reply to "Yay for PS2"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

interesting case, but that mouse reminds me of the "puck"...

Reply Score: 2

Mouse of Sharp X68000
by testerus on Mon 14th Apr 2008 10:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Yay for PS2"
testerus Member since:
2005-07-06

What was so special about the mouse?
「丸い部分は90度回転させることができ、マウスカ ソルの動きを上下方向/ 左右方向が入れ替えることができました。これだけ は何の役にたつのか わかり難いと思いますが・・・・」
Can someone explain? What's the use case of moving the mouse cursor up and down?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Mouse of Sharp X68000
by sakeniwefu on Mon 14th Apr 2008 12:02 UTC in reply to "Mouse of Sharp X68000"
sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

What was so special about the mouse?


It is explained just below the text you quoted ;) . According to the page, you could turn it into a trackball by switching a button. You would click the buttons with your left hand and move the ball with your right hand. If you didn't switch the axises, by rotating the body of the mouse, the trackball would be difficult to use.
I am not much into design, but a Motorola 68k "DOS" PC like the Sharp is an interesting machine for sure. It's a pity we now only have the x86 architecture.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Mouse of Sharp X68000
by hobgoblin on Mon 14th Apr 2008 15:54 UTC in reply to "Mouse of Sharp X68000"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06
RE: Yay for PS2
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 14th Apr 2008 08:55 UTC in reply to "Yay for PS2"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I think the Sharp X68000 ( http://www.h5.dion.ne.jp/~xn68000/Computing/Oldies/X68000/index.htm... ) is another nice looking computer which is rarely mentioned ;)


I must say, I totally fell in love with that X68000 last night. We were discussing it in #haiku last night and the verdict was more or less unanimous: what a great looking device!

I hadn't heard of it yet. Thanks!

Reply Score: 2

Comment by biffuz
by biffuz on Sun 13th Apr 2008 22:22 UTC
biffuz
Member since:
2006-03-27

SUN Ultra 20? Come on, my self built x86 looks better with its Cooler Master Stacker STC-01. And the PS/2... bleah. Maybe that's because I'm Italian, but I like more the Olivetti's design from '80s and early '90s:

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=1055
http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=182
http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=853
http://www.1000bit.net/scheda.asp?id=583
http://www.1000bit.net/scheda.asp?id=1960
http://www.1000bit.net/scheda.asp?id=1890
http://www.1000bit.net/scheda.asp?id=6
http://www.1000bit.net/scheda.asp?id=329
http://www.1000bit.net/scheda.asp?id=117
http://www.1000bit.net/scheda.asp?id=1427

The last one, the PCS 286, is the computer I've learnt programming on :°-)
It was a nice junction of "modern" stuff (PS/2, VGA, 1.44 Mb floppies) and standards (ISA, IDE). And I got the best config, with color monitor and 40 MB hard disk, later expanded to 4 MB of RAM (the max you could install on board).

Oh, and I love my black MacBook.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by biffuz
by hobgoblin on Sun 13th Apr 2008 23:42 UTC in reply to "Comment by biffuz"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

ah, olivetti. some of those early ones was interesting.

my sister owned a olivetti in the late 90's, damn thing wanted its own kind of ram!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by biffuz
by biffuz on Mon 14th Apr 2008 10:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by biffuz"
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

amy sister owned a olivetti in the late 90's, damn thing wanted its own kind of ram!


Yes, like most brand PCs at that time :-(

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by biffuz
by hobgoblin on Mon 14th Apr 2008 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by biffuz"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

and it was incredibly subtle to, as the socket was standard. but when i inserted ram that had worked perfectly in a home built system, it would fail to boot...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by biffuz
by biffuz on Mon 14th Apr 2008 17:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by biffuz"
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

and it was incredibly subtle to, as the socket was standard. but when i inserted ram that had worked perfectly in a home built system, it would fail to boot...


Yes, they used the same processors, sockets, chipsets, and memory chips, BUT they accept only _their_ modules. I suspect they just used a different pinout (read: an excuse to make sure you buy the modules from them).

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by biffuz
by hobgoblin on Mon 14th Apr 2008 19:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by biffuz"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

and thats the reason why im wary againt buying brand name computers, even if the practice is no more.

Reply Score: 2

sun workstations
by matthekc on Sun 13th Apr 2008 22:57 UTC
matthekc
Member since:
2006-10-28

The sun stations seem pricey that is probably for solaris. I think it would be cool to have a sun machine for a serious geek factor.

Reply Score: 1

RE: sun workstations
by weblum on Sun 13th Apr 2008 23:37 UTC in reply to "sun workstations "
weblum Member since:
2006-10-28

I think it would be cool to have a sun machine for a serious geek factor.


I picked up a couple Blade 100s for USD$25 each, no HD, no RAM. I already had harddrives I could use in them ( any IDE HD under 137GB), and was able to find a full gig of RAM for each machine for $50 off ebay. They're not speed demons, but perfectly fine for my purposes (making sure code isn't endian-sensitive).

Reply Score: 1

RE: sun workstations
by Doc Pain on Mon 14th Apr 2008 07:35 UTC in reply to "sun workstations "
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

The sun stations seem pricey that is probably for solaris. I think it would be cool to have a sun machine for a serious geek factor.


*looking to the right* Yes, exactly. :-) I have a Sun SparcStation 20 that has been mentioned in the article - the "Pizza box", equipped with an excellent keyboard (only the IBM keyboard is better).

Furthermore, I have a Sun Ultra 1 which has a front that is a hardware representation of CDE's launch bar. CDE users will know what I'm talking about. :-)

Reply Score: 3

What about HP? And DIY...
by irbis on Mon 14th Apr 2008 00:12 UTC
irbis
Member since:
2005-07-08

I agree that Apple has always known how to design good-looking products. But, for example, HP products or Sony laptops are not bad-looking either. Actually - in my humble opinion - a Sony Vaio or most new PCs by HP could beat BeBox or most other models listed in the article here - in looks & design... - but that is just my opinion, of course...

Anyway, the best looking computer is the DIY one, built from the components that you want. In other words: choose and buy the most functional and best looking computer case/enclosure (& other components) to suit your personal tastes. Personally I might perhaps choose some of the new Antec cases because they are also very well designed from functionality point of view: http://www.antec.com/us/pro_en_performance1.php

Edited 2008-04-14 00:23 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: What about HP? And DIY...
by ari-free on Mon 14th Apr 2008 01:04 UTC in reply to "What about HP? And DIY..."
ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

I agree with you there. I have deep respect for all those at tomshardware who make their computers their own.

Another thing...any computer can be made beautiful if you stick in in a cabinet and close the door ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What about HP? And DIY...
by Doc Pain on Mon 14th Apr 2008 07:40 UTC in reply to "RE: What about HP? And DIY..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

I agree with you there. I have deep respect for all those at tomshardware who make their computers their own.


That's interesting. While things like case modding have been a sign of "geekness" longer time ago, there's an industry behind it today. Nothing special anymore, except you decide to do something really strange... like putting a PC into a robotron K8924 case:

http://www.robotrontechnik.de/bilder/PCs/K8924/K8924_klein_k.jpg

The bigger the device is, the less need is for loud fans. It's possible to build a silent system that looks at if it comes from ancient history, but features an up-to-date UNIX system. :-) I'll see if I will find the time to disassemble my defective K8924 and put something useful in. It's just sad that it is nearly completely unimaginable to re-use the contact-less (!) Hall keyboard...

Another thing...any computer can be made beautiful if you stick in in a cabinet and close the door ;)


Talk to mainframe guys what they find "looks good" and you'll get interesting impressions. :-)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by eekee
by eekee on Mon 14th Apr 2008 01:02 UTC
eekee
Member since:
2007-12-17

That was interesting. There's some nice machines there but I was scandalized by the ommission of the first-generation iBook! They're gorgeous machines to my eyes, I have one sitting next to me, a Key Lime SE, that I just can't bear to stop using. ;)

More seriously, I was surprised by the inclusion of the MacBook Air. It may seem the best of it's kind now, but will we be looking back on it in a few years and thinking the same thing? I guess it's a cleanly-exected design, but it is most certainly not the first ultra-slim laptop, and frankly it looks blank to my eyes; under-designed. My sister has an old-ish Toshiba laptop that is about as slim, and... perhaps not wonderful in appearance, but honestly I think I like it just as much as the MacBook Air.

Returning to a lighter note, if you want to see a few laptops to remember, I'd suggest searching the following forum:
http://www.brassgoggles.co.uk/bg-forum/
They may not be very practical machines, but some of them really show off just how much design potential a laptop has.

Reply Score: 3

Bebox or IBM ps/2 model 50 beautiful??
by irbis on Mon 14th Apr 2008 01:06 UTC
irbis
Member since:
2005-07-08

What is the definition of beautiful in this context? I thought the idea was to talk about aesthetics and pure looks, not functionality?

To me a beautiful personal computer would mean a computer good looking enough so that you could even have it in your living room daily, just beside your finest furniture and art hanging on the walls. Now, would Bebox fill those requirements..? I seriously doubt it..?

I've no doubt that BeOS was very advanced OS in its day, but that box... it looks just plain ugly to me, and I would never want to drag something like that into my living room if not necessary... The same with Sun Ultra 20 and Sun SPARCstation 20. Not to mention IBM ps/2 model 50. Some ugly monsters!! ;)

SGI O2? Well, much better, yes... But actually my vacuum cleaner - that happens to look a bit similar - might look better than that in my living room... ;-)

Reply Score: 7

ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

but when people say the bebox is beautiful, they aren't talking about functionality either. It's more of a romantic or sentimental feeling

Reply Score: 3

old mac ii series
by thebackwash on Mon 14th Apr 2008 01:31 UTC
thebackwash
Member since:
2005-07-06

The Mac II series produced some of the best looking machines of the day in my opinion. The amigas were pretty good-looking, too. The BeBox, not so much!

Reply Score: 2

Pizza boxes
by nonesuch on Mon 14th Apr 2008 01:56 UTC
nonesuch
Member since:
2007-11-13

I miss the pizzabox form factor. I definitely second the suggestion of the SparcStation 20, but I would submit that the PS/2 model 55 looks nicer than the model 50: http://john.ccac.rwth-aachen.de:8000/alf/ps2_55sx/ . Maybe just because its slimmer. I took mine apart and it was beautiful on the inside too: everything was packed in wonderfully, and solidly built.

Also, the Apple IIc+ was a real stunner: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_IIc_Plus . Gorgeous.

Also Thom: you mentioned the Macbook Air, but are you aware of the Sony Vaio x505? http://www.mobiletechreview.com/notebooks/sony_vaio_X505.htm . How does that affect your belief that laptops are ugly?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Pizza boxes
by Doc Pain on Mon 14th Apr 2008 07:47 UTC in reply to "Pizza boxes"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

I miss the pizzabox form factor. I definitely second the suggestion of the SparcStation 20, [...]


I think that's why a friend of mine is actually putting a modern x86 system (attention, may be seen as oxymoron!) into an KC85 pizzabox built by RFT, along with a silent PSU, a slot-in optical media drive and a 2,5" HDD.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3d/Kc85-3.jpg...

It features a "new" front that will look at is has been produced in the GDR, but have all the functionality needed by the new system (PS/2 and USB ports, card reader, status LEDs).

Another concept common to the pizzabox form factor systens: They usually came equipped with a certain set of hardware, and if you wanted to extend it, you usually used external devices. Ah yes, and that's how you added a CD recorder to the SGI Octane, too. This concept is nice in some regards, because it allows you to change the system configuration without having to open the case. Replacement of a defective external drive is very easy.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Pizza boxes
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 14th Apr 2008 08:53 UTC in reply to "Pizza boxes"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Also Thom: you mentioned the Macbook Air, but are you aware of the Sony Vaio x505? http://www.mobiletechreview.com/notebooks/sony_vaio_X505.htm . How does that affect your belief that laptops are ugly?


It doesn't ;) .

Reply Score: 1

RE: Pizza boxes
by CharAznable on Mon 14th Apr 2008 14:13 UTC in reply to "Pizza boxes"
CharAznable Member since:
2005-07-06

When I was like 7 years old, living in San Jose, Costa Rica, my dad took me to a computer show. The first booth we saw as we walked in was Apple. When I saw the IIC, with its monitor, I almost crapped my pants. It was sleek and beautiful. We walked out with a 512k Mac though. I wasn't too happy but in retrospect it was probably the right decision.

Reply Score: 1

Hm.
by ormandj on Mon 14th Apr 2008 04:31 UTC
ormandj
Member since:
2005-10-09

Any article about beautiful computers that doesn't include the Cray 2 is rather silly (or the author has very odd taste.) That said, it's obviously an opinion based article (as are almost all articles posted here now), so I'll cut some slack.

That said, check out the Cray 2.

http://ftp.arl.mil/ftp/historic-computers/png/cray2.png

There are far more images available for those who want - the fluorinert stacks were *awesome* to behold. ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Hm.
by Doc Pain on Mon 14th Apr 2008 08:16 UTC in reply to "Hm."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

There are far more images available for those who want - the fluorinert stacks were *awesome* to behold. ;)


I think the SGI Tezro had a similar feature, too:

http://bsdnetwork.blogsome.com/images/sgi_2.2.jpg

On, and I'd like to add some images of another fine looking system (at least in my opinion): The Sun Enterprise 450:

http://www.b2net.co.uk/i/sun_enterprise_450.jpg

I mentioned Sun's Ultra 1 with the "hardware representation" of the CDE launch bar, here some images to back this up:

http://sunstuff.org/hardware/systems/sun4/sun4u/ULTRA1/sun.ultra1.1...
http://www.blastwave.org/articles/BLS-0058/images/blaster.jpg

NB: These systems only look good when the original monitors are attached. :-)

And as many of you will have seen from my previous posts: Next to keyboards, this is one of my favourite topics about computers. Thanks for bringing it up! It's nice to have so many interesting images linked from within the articles. Made me a great monday. =^_^=

Reply Score: 2

Taste is always personal
by thavith_osn on Mon 14th Apr 2008 05:45 UTC
thavith_osn
Member since:
2005-07-11

But I guess beauty isn't just skin deep, so like other posters have said, it's more than just looks, I could design a Ferrari with a 4 cylinder engine and that would not be "beautiful"...

Having said that, I think I would include

C64 (or Vic20 - both great machines in their day and nicely designed).

Sinclair ZX80 or 81 (not the 16k ram pack - lol)

Apple ][ (the //c and //e looked nicer, but the ][ got the whole thing going, plus the 6502 at 1Mhz was fast back in 78 - does anyone else remember the new comuter smell ;-)

Amiga 500, cheap and powerful - maybe too powerful <evil laugh>

iMac (current model or the white one just before it)

iMac Bondi Blue (ugly now, but wow back in 98 and fast - ok, maybe not the mouse so much, looked nice though - he he)

Agree with Sun's Pizza box

Cray should be there, ah, those comfy couches... Never saw one, but would love too...

Agree with Next

Don't agree with BeBox, a great OS and nice hardware, but damn ugly (IMO) - sorry...

Actually, the Current Power Mac is very nice too,
AirBook (but limited in power, so I would leave it off)

As for PC cases, hmmm... I think Sony does a great job...
Think Pad should be there too...
Maybe we need a list of the top 50, 10 is too hard...

As for best design in a computer, for me it would go to the <drum roll> original Mac. (yes, i know what I said about Ferrari and 4 cylinder engines), but this thing was a brilliantly designed box (both inside at the OS level and outside at the hardware level) for a specific market. It proved to be over priced and under powered, but apart from that, it was an amazing engineering feat!!! You could go with a Mac couple of models up with the HD and extra slots for memory... The Amiga runs a close close second - for the me OS and drives lets it down) - I owned an Amiga back then by the way, not a Mac...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Taste is always personal
by frood on Mon 14th Apr 2008 06:19 UTC in reply to "Taste is always personal"
frood Member since:
2005-07-06

- I owned an Amiga back then by the way, not a Mac...

Shame we all feel like we need to put in these anti-flame disclaimers in our opinions.

Reply Score: 3

Pizza Box and SUN?
by tyrione on Mon 14th Apr 2008 08:31 UTC
tyrione
Member since:
2005-11-21

I'm trying to figure out how you classified the Pizza Box with the SUN seeing as the NeXTStation Turbo Color is thee Pizza Box of Workstations.

Reply Score: 2

PS/2
by Soulbender on Mon 14th Apr 2008 08:37 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

While it may have been an influential machine beautiful it was not. In any way. More like butt-ugly. Not even nostalgia can improve it's design.
Also, where' Kaypro 2000?
http://oldcomputers.net/kaypro2000.html

Reply Score: 2

Original iMac
by Adurbe on Mon 14th Apr 2008 08:51 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

How can you justify not including this? It litterally redefined what colours and form factor a PC(mac) could be. It has been emulated countless times and not just by PCs but also by periferal makers

Reply Score: 3

RE: Original iMac
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 14th Apr 2008 08:53 UTC in reply to "Original iMac"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

How can you justify not including this? It litterally redefined what colours and form factor a PC(mac) could be. It has been emulated countless times and not just by PCs but also by periferal makers


Because I find it ugly as sin?

And I actually own one. I had it on display as a decorative item in my house for a while, even though I didn't like it. I had it on display because of its significance to Apple, not because it looks good.

Because darn, that thing is ugly.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Original iMac
by Adurbe on Mon 14th Apr 2008 12:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Original iMac"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

Fair enough as an answer, except displaying things that are ugly in your house... If you dont like it, dont display it!

On a personal level I really did like them, they looked soooooooo much better than our 7600 at the time

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Original iMac
by Sabon on Mon 14th Apr 2008 15:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Original iMac"
Sabon Member since:
2005-07-06

That's because you aren't looking at it from the correct angle. The original iMacs a beautiful rear end. Turn it around so the screen doesn't show and look at once in awhile over a few weeks. It will grow on you.

No I didn't do that on purpose and most computers rear ends are the epitome of ugly.

Reply Score: 1

Ohhh the past ...
by s_groening on Mon 14th Apr 2008 09:02 UTC
s_groening
Member since:
2005-12-13

I still hope Apple will, one day, revive the Cube, and position it in between the dreadfully ugly Mac Mini, and the hopelessly overpowered (for ordinary desktop use) PowerMac G5.


The past is so comforting, it even makes you forget even the big deal Apple has made over its switch to Intel chips ... :-)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Ohhh the past ...
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 14th Apr 2008 09:05 UTC in reply to "Ohhh the past ..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

"I still hope Apple will, one day, revive the Cube, and position it in between the dreadfully ugly Mac Mini, and the hopelessly overpowered (for ordinary desktop use) PowerMac G5.


The past is so comforting, it even makes you forget even the big deal Apple has made over its switch to Intel chips ... :-)
"

Heh, fixed it. Thanks.

Reply Score: 1

The collection of beauty
by Doc Pain on Mon 14th Apr 2008 09:11 UTC
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

Some years ago, I found a picture that could be titled "The collection of beauty": It showed a huge collection of Sun and SGI workstations. Sadly, I wasn't able to find a higher resolution picture than this one:

http://www.workstationusers.com/images/new.gif

But it existed - you could see lots more details. The image was approx. 1500x500 px if I remember correctly. Can anyone help?

For a beautiful geeky living room - attention: oxymoron! :-) - be sure to place this on the wall:

http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/model91.jpg

Reply Score: 2

BeBox
by memson on Mon 14th Apr 2008 10:09 UTC
memson
Member since:
2006-01-01

As a former BeBox owner, they were very nice looking. Almost like Roman columns. The cream/light grey was nicer than the dark grey one.

My BeBox is even more beuatiful now... it morphed in to a black MacBook (or at least the money I sold the BeBox for did.) Old computers are lovely, but if your old computer costs over £500 (what's that, like US1000?) on eBay, you are heading for a fall... If My BeBox had died, it would have been one almighty hunk of metal.

Reply Score: 2

Oi
by aitvo on Mon 14th Apr 2008 10:58 UTC
aitvo
Member since:
2006-09-03

Lets write an article about the junk in our closet and call it "The Ten Most Beautiful Computers"

only: none of them will be.

Reply Score: 3

that digital...
by Googol on Mon 14th Apr 2008 12:14 UTC
Googol
Member since:
2006-11-24

looks like one of those 60-movies super brains that can talk to you ;)

Reply Score: 2

ORIC Atmos!
by mmu_man on Mon 14th Apr 2008 12:53 UTC
mmu_man
Member since:
2006-09-30

http://www.silicium.org/uk/oric/atmos.htm
Smaller than the kitchen computer but as sexy, if not more ;)
I agree on the BeBox btw ;)

Reply Score: 2

TRS-80 Model III
by Quag7 on Mon 14th Apr 2008 15:54 UTC
Quag7
Member since:
2005-07-28

I never owned one of these, nor have I ever used one, but I still say the TRS-80 model III is the most computery of computers. The integrated design has obvious disadvantages, but, still, I'd like to pick one up somewhere just because I always thought it looked cool:

http://tinyurl.com/45a7br

I'd also have to add the Apple //e. Apple 8 bits still make me warm and happy in the tummy and at peace in the mind.

And, lastly, the TI-99/4a - silver and black goodness. I always thought it was a nice looking machine, with the cartridge port in front and so forth:

http://www.schmeling-ol.de/ti99/bilder/TI99.jpg

Edited 2008-04-14 15:59 UTC

Reply Score: 3

"My" beautiful computers
by Sabon on Mon 14th Apr 2008 16:49 UTC
Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree with people. Leaving off the Cray series is the biggest one left off the list.

I didn't see anyone talk about the Compaq Luggable http://www.obsoletecomputermuseum.org/compaq/ Maybe not the prettiest computer in the world is stacks very well against some of Thom's using what I think is the same criteria. And talk about a pain to upgrade or work on. I think it took 4 torx different wrenches just to get to anything.

What about the IBM laptop with the "butterfly" keyboard? How did this miss everyone's list? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_keyboard

Keyboard's wise. The bank I worked for (Seattle, WA area) bought 286 Olivetti computers (actually decent looking marble look) http://www.win.tue.nl/~aeb/linux/kbd/m24.jpg . They were decent for 286 computers, nothing's perfect. The KEYboard I would rate 2nd to IBM's best. I used those keyboards until I moved to Macs in 2000.

I haven't seen an Apple iMac that I haven't liked. I current have the White 24" Core2Duo, a iMac Lamp (G4) and a G3 OS 9.2 Bondi blue (I think that's what it is, I'm shade challenged/color blind). All three are still used. The last by my wife's parents to check their e-mail.

I stopped getting wood building my own computers after doing so for 19 years (I started building my own in 1981 when I couldn't afford the Atari 400 and I the blood loss to prove it. Pins in circuit boards used to stick up off the boards and like needles they could go deep into your fingers and hands.

Building your own is no challenge now days. There is so little you have to worry about (other than Windows itself). You don't have to worry about soldering anything, changing jumpers, changing DIP switches, making sure the cards you put into the computer are in the only order they will work for that specific combination of accessory cards ... I could go on and on.

The only people that need any skill anymore are people upgrading Mac hard drives (iMacs and Mac Minis) and memory in general in Mac Minis.

Edited 2008-04-14 16:55 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Author is too young
by baixogavea on Mon 14th Apr 2008 16:55 UTC
baixogavea
Member since:
2008-04-14

To remember the "original" cube, the Cobalt Qube. A nice-looking headless server (Apache, SAMBA, ftp, AFP, etc) with a small LCD display, that was purchased (the company, Cobalt Networks) and discontinued by SUN. I don't know what legal stuff did happen between Cobalt Networks and Apple, but the latter could say that (as Bill Gates/Microsoft supposedly said about the GUI) that they both copied the NeXT cube.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Author is too young
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 14th Apr 2008 16:59 UTC in reply to "Author is too young"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

To remember the "original" cube, the Cobalt Qube.


Uhm, don't make presumptions. I know the Cobalt Qube just fine - I almost bought one, even.

I think you got it all mixed up though, since the Qube is MUCH younger than the NeXTcube. Cobalt Networks was founded in 1996, while the NeXTcube was brought to market in 1988, so how can the Qube be the original??

Important life lesson: if you want to act smart, make sure you get your facts straight ;) .

Edited 2008-04-14 17:00 UTC

Reply Score: 1

An Orb
by qroon on Mon 14th Apr 2008 17:49 UTC
qroon
Member since:
2005-10-21

Or a sphere. That is what I'm waiting. Not the mini-itx mod (lamp) or dome-based iMac. Something like the Mac cube's aesthetics in spherical form factor. Or make it similar to the Sputnik design, he he he.

Reply Score: 3

some omission
by puenktchen on Mon 14th Apr 2008 18:36 UTC
puenktchen
Member since:
2007-07-27

commodore pet 200
epson hx-20
abs computer orb *
apricot portable
sinclair ql
mac
amiga (1000)
nextcube /nextstation
acorn riscpc
imac g4

* http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=355

Reply Score: 1

The Following Shouldn't be on the List.
by theTSF on Mon 14th Apr 2008 20:29 UTC
theTSF
Member since:
2005-09-27

The Play Station 2. It is a square box. Yea it is black but it is kinda bland design. Just a Box.

The Sun Ultra 20. Yet just an other Square Metal Box. Bland.

IBM ps/2 model 50 This may be good for IBM but on the Top 10 list for most Beautiful computer. Come on Its design fails to impress.

The Next Cube, Just a black box... They have been around for decades.

There are other ones on the list that I personally don't like, but those are the ones I feel are way to dull of a design to be put on the list.

Replace the Play Station with a Cray.

The Ultra 20 I would replace with the G5 Power Mac. Those handles make it stand apart.

The ps/2 I would say the Amstrad 512k One of the few PCs which monitor fits in the case.

The Next Cube I would say give a G4 iMac.

Reply Score: 1

The IBM PS/2's beauty was under the skin.
by Sabon on Mon 14th Apr 2008 21:09 UTC
Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

Proprietary is not good. But I did like the IBM PS/2 for one thing. When you installed an accessory card, it DID plug and play.

Unlike non PS/2 PCs which sometimes plug and played but usually it was "Plug and Pray" (anyone else remember that?), each different accessory card that you could plug into a PS/2 had a card type number specific to that brand and model of card. So when you plugged it into the computer and the computer asked for its number, the computer knew what settings to use with it.

For those of us that always seemed to be in understaffed IT support departments (there were four of us that did everything including programming large programs and hardware support for 300 people) it saved us a lot of time and they crashed a lot less because there were less hardware and software conflicts.

Reply Score: 2

One oldie I liked
by Captain_DaFt on Mon 14th Apr 2008 23:37 UTC
Captain_DaFt
Member since:
2006-01-01

I always thought the Commodore 128 was a good looking computer. http://www.brandonstaggs.com/img/c128-a.jpg

Reply Score: 1

Apple //c
by concurrentcoder on Wed 16th Apr 2008 19:33 UTC
concurrentcoder
Member since:
2008-04-16

I always thought the Apple //c was an attractive design at the time, especially versus other luggable machines from the early 80's. Surprised it is not on the list versus things like the BeBox (which I love Be, I even used to write/sell software for it!). I suspect the author is picking from past computers he simply remembers and likes versus aesthetics. If that would be the case I would pick the Apple ][ and ][e, and the C64 not pretty but lots of fond memories.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by stevenaaus
by stevenaaus on Fri 18th Apr 2008 05:36 UTC
stevenaaus
Member since:
2006-05-30

The Microbee is an Australian computer with nice minimal design. Like it ;>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Microbee%2C_Melbourne_Museum...

Reply Score: 1

uBee
by stevenaaus on Fri 18th Apr 2008 05:38 UTC
stevenaaus
Member since:
2006-05-30

The Microbee was a cool Australian computer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Microbee%2C_Melbourne_Museum...

Reply Score: 1