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62 votes

Why did computers use a power supply with a socket?

The socket (or rather inlet) is most definitely standard, it’s a IEC 60320 C14 inlet. The standard was published in 1970. C6 and C8 are commonly used for laptop power supplies and smaller audio ...
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  • 96.6k
55 votes
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Why were most PCs and electronics beige back in the day?

Same as today - beige and light gray goes with every style, no matter if a business desk or your living room. They are a simple non-statement, the least offensive colours to most people, thus not ...
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  • 173k
48 votes

Was there a technical advantage to such tall PC tower cases?

Disks take up space. At sub-gigabyte capacity you may want more than a couple. Add the CD-ROM drive, the 3.5" floppy, the 5.25" floppy, and you're into skyscraper territory. You can't put ...
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  • 28.3k
41 votes

Was there a technical advantage to such tall PC tower cases?

I have that case sitting behind me. Actually, the air holes on the side look slightly different, and it lacks the SuperMicro branding, but everything else about it is the same. According to my PC ...
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  • 7,591
38 votes

Why were most PCs and electronics beige back in the day?

The choice of beige for the plastic cases used on popular 1980s retrocomputers was not arbitrary. As a color for a popular, mass-market, personal computer, it originated with the Apple ][, where it ...
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  • 57.3k
33 votes
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Why plastic cases?

Cost, both in manufacturing and design. The basic metal cases are simply that -- basic. Even modern PC cases are pretty simplistic being a metal box, with a plastic facade. For home computers of the ...
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  • 10.9k
26 votes

Why were most PCs and electronics beige back in the day?

According to the "Beige box" entry of Wikipedia, many early personal computers and dedicated word processors [...] were usually beige or similar colors like off white or ecru. These colors were ...
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  • 1,225
22 votes

Why plastic cases?

Injection molding has a costly tooling cost but very low per-unit costs. This makes it cheaper to build a large number of cases. Metal cases have a lower tooling cost but higher per-unit cost. This ...
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19 votes

Was there a technical advantage to such tall PC tower cases?

In addition to just general ease of service & upgrades, motherboards used to be much bigger, particularly if you had a motherboard with lots of RAM and built-in ports. To the right of the ...
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18 votes

Why were most PCs and electronics beige back in the day?

Nostalgia Nerd produced a video on this very subject very recently. Most of the reasons he cites are already answered here. But one interesting find was that Germany and some other European countries ...
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17 votes

Was there a technical advantage to such tall PC tower cases?

A "full-length" ISA card could be over 13" from the mounting bracket to the end of the card: This case gives you enough room to have a full complement of full-length cards on the ...
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  • 3,946
15 votes

Why did computers use a power supply with a socket?

(This is about motivation (the why) of defining and adding a standard socket to devices and ment as an addition to Stephen Kitt's great explanation of the technical side - at some point a merge might ...
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  • 173k
13 votes
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Glue to attach rubber feet to a PC case?

A thin plastic tape with strong adhesive on both sides is what I usually use for these types of applications. The tape I use is Scotch 665 double-coated tape; it's a bit hard to find but an ...
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  • 8,930
13 votes

Was there a technical advantage to such tall PC tower cases?

I built a 486DX2/66 in one of those massive towers back in the day. The motherboards back then were full size, and some cards were 'full length' cards (like Vesa Local Bus, etc). Many times the I/O ...
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  • 8,456
12 votes

Why plastic cases?

I was designing computer housings back in "the day". Plastic cases were comparatively cheap in volume, but challenging to bring to market. The technology of choice was structural foam. It was ...
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  • 667
12 votes
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Is the metal shielding required in all-in-one Amiga models?

Amigas work fine without their metal shields, and even the big-box machines' innards can be taken out of their case and run open on the desk. I never noticed any instability on my old A500 with the ...
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  • 9,380
12 votes

Did Commodore ever produce gray colored Commodore 64?

Commodore was famous for using whatever parts they had That sentence already captures most of what's at hand. Commodore wasn't really picky about their colours. They used what ever their suppliers ...
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  • 173k
10 votes

Was there a technical advantage to such tall PC tower cases?

To add to other answers, you have to consider how changing connections have shifted the mind-set over the last three decades. Connections to external devices have improved tremendously; we now have ...
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  • 371
10 votes

Was there a technical advantage to such tall PC tower cases?

Can never have too many bays, you need them for your: Simple storage drawer Stowable third monitor Ciggy lighter and cup holder Easy-bake oven Toaster while not strictly drive bay, the extra ...
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  • 357
9 votes
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When did the tower form factor appear and when did it become popular?

The tower form factor was well known in the 1980's, even IBM was using it at that time (the IBM RT 6150 was available in both desktop and tower cabinets, and IBM even had a tower stand option for the ...
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  • 11.3k
9 votes

What size screws were used in the Amiga desktop cases?

There is very little information online about this, so I have scraped around and put this together: The screws on the Amiga 500 and 500+ were often Phillips (requiring a #2 Phillips head screwdriver[...
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  • 17.5k
9 votes

Was there a technical advantage to such tall PC tower cases?

The key to understanding the use-case for such a tall tower is thinking of what it allows at full occupancy that a shorter case wouldn't. Most importantly, those horizontal ribs on the housings for ...
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  • 4,563
8 votes
Accepted

Is the 3000T's case made by Commodore, or was it stock from elsewhere?

The case of the Amiga 3000T was actually modified from the Commodore PC-60 III (their top-range PC). I doubt, however, that this makes it an easier find. Those monsters are sought after as well, ...
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  • 28.4k
8 votes

What was the standard size of a PC clone's badge indent?

Measurements of my IBM Model 5150 indicate the badge itself is 1 in. square, equivalent to 25 mm. But there is an additional approximately 1/32 in. added for the indent area, thus allowing the badge ...
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  • 57.3k
8 votes
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Wider tower cases

Early PC towers often used such a design, if only because they were basically desktop PCs on their side. Some systems even had a rotatable drive bay (a bay containing two full-height 5.25” ...
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  • 96.6k
8 votes
Accepted

Why don't manufacturers make handheld computers like the Jornada 720 any more?

This answer is not quite about retrocomputing, but anyway... They are making them, though it is a bit of a niche market. One of the newer ones (designed by the original Psion designer!) is the Gemini ...
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7 votes

When did the tower form factor appear and when did it become popular?

The tower is neither an invention of the 90s nor was it done by IBM. For example NCR sold their PC8 series in tower form factor since (at least) 1986 with 286 CPUs. IBM hat the PS/2 Model 60 in 1988 ...
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  • 173k
7 votes

Glue to attach rubber feet to a PC case?

I find this website helpful for similar questions: https://thistothat.com/ "We are here to help you choose the right glue for your bonding requirements" Rubber to Metal For the strongest ...
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  • 579
6 votes
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Commodore 64 board dimensions

There are several revisions of the C-64 board (see, e.g., here , or here), with two major form factors: the old "long board" and the new "short board". The long board (which I happen to have on my ...
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  • 7,854
6 votes
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What are the sizes of the hex nut drivers in the classic "nine piece" computer toolkit

I believe you are referring to one of these: This one is actually an 11-piece. But same basic stuff. I've used & lost quite a few of these over the years. According to the specs: Includes ...
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