I'm interested in the history of computing. I have a few interesting examples: a Technico 9900 single board computer using the TI 9900 16-bit processor (my first computer) and a Wicat 2000 system running Unix V7.

Some notable computer collections in museums:

Computer History Museum in Mountain View

Deutches Museum in Munich, Germany

Commodore 64C computer

A friend asked me to try to sell her son's old Commodore 64C computer. I had fun learning a bit about them. She had saved the original boxes, some of the packing material, and much of the manuals, warranty card, and other paper.

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The small box on the left is the power supply for the 64C. On the right is a Commodore 1541C disk drive.

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The motherboard has the 6581R4 SID sound chip. I used the sample Basic program in chapter 7 of the Commodore 64 Users Guide to test that all three voices in the chip still work.

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Here's an overview of the right side of the motherboard ...

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... and of the left side.

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I tested it using the sample Basic program in the manual.

Here's some more photos of the Commodore 64C and accessories.

Mac OS X 10.5.8 and Canoscan 8400F

My nice Canon scanner stopped working with our iMac when we upgraded to OS X 10.7. Apple changed their scanner driver architecture, and Canon didn't revise the old drivers to work in the new framework. So, I got a USB 2.0 card for my old Mirrored Drive Door PowerMac G4, which only runs Mac OS X up to 10.5.8. I installed the latest Canon drivers, and started scanning away. 

I noticed one oddity, however. With the latest Canon driver (, the CanonScan Toolbox application works fine. However, if I try to use Apple's Image Capture application, there are problems. The preview scan shows the entire document, and I can select the entire document, but when I scan it to PDF, something cuts off about an inch from the top of the document. Bummer. 

Everything works fine when scanning with Apple's Preview application. Very odd, as both applications appear to use the same scanner software component.

I didn't see anything on Google about this bug, so I thought I'd mention it here.


I haven't confirmed this thoroughly, but it seems this bug is triggered by manually inputing the image size in text boxes right-hand side of the dialog box. If I instead set the image size by dragging the rectangle in the preview in the left-hand side of the dialog box, Image Capture operates correctly and does not cut off the top of the image.

Also, I've reproduced the bug using the Preview application's File->Import Image... menu item, so it does exist in both applications: Preview and Image Capture.

What a real computer looks like

Mac Museum

I've been collecting some random vintage Macs and have a software collection dating back to 1986. Except for IP networking (which is the killer app), Mac OS 7.6 and its apps have OS X beat all hollow. Especially the travesty that passes for the Finder these days.

© Steve Byan 2011-2016