How a Raspberry Pi will help you resurrect this classic communications device

Pagers were popular many years ago, and some people may still have one at home. Is it possible to test the pager now? Absolutely, and I will show you how to do it.

Let’s get started.

POCSAG — The Messaging Protocol

In the 90s, I was a student and the pager for me was something like a Star Trek Communicator, a piece of the cutting edge technology. It is fun to remember it because now I know that technologically the paging protocol is very straightforward. …

The first Palm PDA was introduced in 1996 and it was a huge success. How did Palm OS really work? Let's test it and figure it out.

Before we begin, it can be useful to remember the technological level of that time. The typical mobile phone, available for the customers in 1994, was a Nokia 2110, which had a 236g weight, a 25mm thickness, and a small monochrome 96x96 screen:

Nokia 2110 © https://www.imei.info/phonedatabase/3506-nokia-2110/

Laptops were heavy and expensive, smartphones were not invented yet, and nobody was even thinking about iPhone or Android at least for the nearest 10 years. Thus, an appearance in 1996 of a Palm Pilot device, that was relatively cheap and lightweight, that could be held in a palm and could work as a personal digital assistant…

Android is installed on about 2.5 billion active devices. How did it begin? Let’s test it and figure it out. We will test all Android versions, from 1.0 to 9.0, and see how the system has changed.

Android 1.0 (2008)

Android OS has a pretty long history: the very first Android phone HTC Dream was announced in September 2008. It can be hard to find this phone, but we actually don’t need it — for developers, Google made an emulator of every Android version. The SDK for version 1.0 can be downloaded from the https://developer.android.com/sdk/older_releases.html page, and this is the only version, that even does not need install. It’s enough just to run the file tools\emulator.exe. At the first run we get the error:

Windows 95 was the “next-generation” OS from Microsoft: redesigned UI, long file names support, 32-bit apps and many other changes. Some of Windows 95 components are still in use today. How does it look? Let’s test it and figure it out.

I was not going to make a review of Windows 95, it was actually not so many years ago. But once I saw the video, something like “Teens react to Windows 95”, and it’s become clear that there are already not only teens but a whole new generation of 20–30 years old adults who never used Windows 95 in…

Today Microsoft Windows is installed on about 75% of personal computers in the world. But how did it begin? Let’s test the first versions of Microsoft Windows and figure out, how it works.

Before we get started, it’s helpful to remember the background. About 50 years ago computers had the size of the fridge and the price of a sports car. Later the hardware became smaller, cheaper, and more powerful, and in 1974 the first personal computer Altair 8800 was made. Soon it became obvious that the microcomputers (“micro” compared to the fridge size, of course) sales are growing fast, and IBM, the manufacturer of the “business machines” (mostly large and expensive mainframes) decided to enter this market too. But they did not have a proper operating system for new hardware, and on…

Everybody knows MacBook or iMac. But when the first “Mac” was released, and what did it look like? Let’s test it and figure it out.

Hardware

In 1984 the Apple company was not a beginner on the market. The previous Apple II model had been on sale for several years. It had a sort of primitive OS, based on the BASIC programming language and the minimum ability to work with disks and files, but the computer was cheaper than its competitors and, unlike CP/M machines, had the ability to display graphics. The next model, Apple Lisa, was too expensive ($ 9,995 price in 1983, or $ 25,811 equivalent nowadays). It did not become popular but probably allowed Apple developers to tune and improve their new graphics-based…

Nowadays everybody knows Apple. But how did it start and can we run Apple ][ apps today? Let’s figure it out.

Apple ads from 1980 © The Byte Magazine

It’s interesting to know the computer's history. To know, how the UI evolved from big mainframes to modern tablets, to know when the first mouse was made, was it easy or not to use the text-only interface, and so on. It was also interesting for me to know, how people were using computers before I was born. And the last but not least, I was also working 5 years as an iPhone developer, so “digging” to the very beginning…

I was already using my Samsung S10 phone in the DeX (“Desktop eXperience”) Mode, and in general, it was working almost good. Now, in 2021, I bought the newest Galaxy S21 Ultra, which costs actually more than my PC. Can this phone replace it? Let’s figure it out.

Before we start, a small note. I bought the Samsung S21 Ultra phone at my own expense. It was not sponsored by Samsung or any other company. So I will tell my experience “as is”.

Let’s get started.

What Is Samsung DeX?

DeX is a technology, that Samsung is developing for several years. The idea is…

I work as a software developer for many years, the very first systems I tried to write programs for, were MS-DOS and Windows 3.1. Once I got curious — how people used computers in the old times before I was born?

Now it’s easy to get an answer to this question — we can run this system on a modern PC. I will show how to set up the CM/M emulator and run some of the original software of that time.

Hardware

Before we start, it’s interesting to see what sort of hardware was in use. …

In the IT world, there are some events that can be called landmarks in computing and engineering history. One of these was the creation of the first personal computer.

In those years, computers were used only by scientists and engineers in big companies. And then, in 1975, a device was created, which anyone can afford. The Altair 8800 contained an 8080 processor, 256 bytes of memory in the first version, and was priced below $ 1000 — it was the first commercially successful personal computer. …

Dmitrii Eliuseev

Python and IoT Developer, science and ham radio enthusiast

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