Tuesday, July 25, 2006

NorthStar Horizon Classic System- Nice Memory

Vintage Northstar S-100 Horizon System in excellent condition and working. Includes SOROC IQ-120 Terminal with unique Northstar labeled function key sticker. Plus NEC 9510 SpinWriter. Donation by Carol Amato of Stargazer Publishing in Corona, CA.
Horizon 8-bit S-100 computer was introduced in 1979. Horizon with single drive is $1599/kit form and $1899/assembled. Dual drive is $1999/kit form and $2349/assembled. They also started shipping a Shugart 5.25" disk system in 1978. You could buy a kit for a whopping $700! North Star Computers was founded by phD types Chuck Grant and Mark Greenberg. Chuck was quite a nice and gentle guy to deal with. The company seemed to be in some kind of trance when you dealt with their moon-people like sales and service team. I call it the personal computer created by the "Hippie Generation". Horizon was one of the most popular computers from 1979 to 1985. We enjoyed dealing with and selling Northstar products....
Thanks Carol!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Introducing Sebastian Ford Ponder-Freeman

Little Sebastian was born this morning (7/17) at 12:09 a.m. Apparently, all 6 pounds, 2 ounces and 20 inches of him decided sometime late yesterday that they just wanted to be born. Everyone is healthy, happy, and exhausted.
from proud parents--Zac and Paige

Makes Papa proud!
Nice job Zac and Paige! Mom and Sebastian are already home and back to normal routine of breakfast brunch out, shopping and exercise at the gym.
Dad (Proud Papa)

Bush Follies A Short History

The New York Times, July 17, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist, March of Folly, by PAUL KRUGMAN

Since those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it — and since the cast of characters making pronouncements on the crisis in the Middle East is very much the same as it was three or four years ago it seems like a good idea to travel down memory lane. Here’s what they said and when they said it:

The greatest thing to come out of [invading Iraq] for the world economy ... would be $20 a barrel for oil.” Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation (which owns Fox News), February 2003

Oil Touches Record $78 on Mideast Conflict.” Headline on www.foxnews.com, July 14, 2006

The administration’s top budget official estimated today that the cost of a war with Iraq could be in the range of $50 billion to $60 billion,” saying that earlier estimates of $100 billion to $200 billion in Iraq war costs by Lawrence B. Lindsey, Mr. Bush’s former chief economic adviser, were too high.” The New York Times, Dec. 31, 2002

According to C.B.O.’s estimates, from the time U.S. forces invaded Iraq in March 2003, $290 billion has been allocated for activities in Iraq. ... Additional costs over the 2007-2016 period would total an estimated $202 billion under the first [optimistic] scenario, and $406 billion under the second one.” Congressional Budget Office, July 13, 2006

Peacekeeping requirements in Iraq might be much lower than historical experience in the Balkans suggests. There’s been none of the record in Iraq of ethnic militias fighting one another that produced so much bloodshed and permanent scars in Bosnia.” Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense and now president of the World Bank, Feb. 27, 2003

West Baghdad is no stranger to bombings and killings, but in the past few days all restraint has vanished in an orgy of ‘ethnic cleansing.’ Shia gunmen are seeking to drive out the once-dominant Sunni minority and the Sunnis are forming neighborhood posses to retaliate. Mosques are being attacked. Scores of innocent civilians have been killed, their bodies left lying in the streets.” The Times of London, July 14, 2006

Earlier this week, I traveled to Baghdad to visit the capital of a free and democratic Iraq.” President Bush, June 17, 2006

People are doing the same as [in] Saddam’s time and worse. ... These were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam and now we are seeing the same things.” Ayad Allawi, Mr. Bush’s choice as Iraq’s first post-Saddam prime minister, November 2005

Iraq’s new government has another able leader in Speaker Mashhadani. ... He rejects the use of violence for political ends. And by agreeing to serve in a prominent role in this new unity government, he’s demonstrating leadership and courage.” President Bush, May 22, 2006

Some people say ‘we saw you beheading, kidnappings and killing. In the end we even started kidnapping women who are our honor.’ These acts are not the work of Iraqis. I am sure that he who does this is a Jew and the son of a Jew.” Mahmoud Mashhadani, speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, July 13, 2006

My fellow citizens, not only can we win the war in Iraq, we are winning the war in Iraq.” President Bush, Dec. 18, 2005

I think I would answer that by telling you I don’t think we’re losing.” Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, when asked whether we’re winning in Iraq, July 14, 2006

Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits for the region. ...Extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of jihad. Moderates throughout the region would take heart, and our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be enhanced.” Vice President Dick Cheney, Aug. 26, 2002

Bush — The world is coming unglued before his eyes. His naïve dreams are a Wilsonian disaster.” Newsweek Conventional Wisdom Watch, July 24, 2006 edition

It’s time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be the commander in chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation’s peril.” Senator Joseph Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, Dec. 6, 2005

I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now.” Representative Tom DeLay, Republican of Texas, on the campaign against Slobodan Milosevic, April 28, 1999

image from www.president-bush.com/oil.jpg

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Kaypro 2000- Their 1st Laptop! and..last!

Kaypro 2000 introduced in 1985. This was Kaypro's first and last laptop. The black brushed-aluminum case is very unique and the look is somewhat eerie. It has been called the "Darth Vader" of laptops. Has a Intel 8088 cpu and 256K of RAM. IBM PC compatible and comes with a very complete software bundle. This computer is very rare and is in fair condition. Kaypro is not. They filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1990. In 1983 Kaypro was listed as the 5th largest computer manufacturer, Too bad as Andy and David Kay were good people and risked their total corporate business on Kaypro- and lost!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Vintage OP-80A Paper Tape Reader

Oliver Audio Engineering (OAE) first introduced in 1976 by a very nice man named Doug Oliver. Doug was one of those people that made it a pleasure to be in the computer business. At ACP we sold hundreds of these and they never came back. The quality was a tribute to Doug and his approach to design and reliability. Plus Doug purchased a fair number of his components from us. The OP-80A basically outdated the Teletype ASR-33 as the popular mode of reading paper tape. The OP-80A sold as a kit for only $74.95. All you needed is a light source to place over the reader as you pulled the paper tape through. OAE and Doug continued to make several more models and EPROM programmers throughout the 80’s. This one is a "Classic".

Monday, July 10, 2006

“Otafuku” for "soba" in Gardena.

This small, hot, very-Japanese, old-time restaurant serves authentic peasant style noodles. The ambiance certainly could be better. I had kiku-uchi, a buckwheat soba noodle ($10) that's rare even in Japan, served cold on a piece of paper with sliced scallions and a dipping sauce (tsuyu) made of dark miso, kelp and Bonita flakes. (photo similar)

After you finish your noodles they bring a pot of yu (water they used to cook noodles) and you add it to your dipping sauce and finish with a nice broth. Barb had Udon soup with shrimp and it was also very good. The noodles are as good as it gets at this place. Only problem is the ambiance itself and the location, food is top-quality and we recommend, but get there early as they line-up. 16525 S Western Av, Gardena, 310-532-9348. Next week we will try another noodle shop!

“Pho Thang Long” Best Pho in California

Last year Barb and I visited Vietnam. As we traveled from town to village we looked for the perfect “Pho”. There seems to be a degree of freshness to “Pho” in Vietnam that is difficult to find here. The best “Pho” we have experienced to date has been “Pho Thang Long” on Brookhurst at McFadden in Westminster (behind KFC). Their chicken broth is fresh, delicate, and full of a variety of herbs and special flavors.

One of my friends, Vivian (from Vietnam), joined me here and was very impressed. She said the chicken is fresh. What do you mean? I said, she replied, it is fresh chicken, not frozen or processed. Then on the way back to the office she took me by the place that only sells freshly butchered chickens- just like the old country! Good Spring Rolls as well. Also open late! 15579 Brookhurst St. Westminster, CA 92683. 714-839-4955

Ultimate Noodles “Mandarin Deli”

We have decided to try to find the best noodles in So Cal (My obsession for noodles started when I was making about 2 trips to Tokyo each month). To date there is only one noodle shop that warrants top billing and that is the “Mandarin Deli” located on Broadway in China Town. Jimmy is one amazing chef and turns out the best fresh steamed dumplings, potstickers, seaweed salad, dry ground pork with handmade noodles (our favorite), 5-spice Beef noodle soup, black bean dry noodles with pork, scallion pancakes and more. It is fun to watch them make the noodles and dumplings with wonton wraps through the front window. Prices are totally reasonable. Limited seating. Park below underground, validated. No credit cards. Not fancy just great food. Many top chefs in LA and the country have come in and tried to steal and imitate Jimmy’s “Dry Ground Pork Noodles”. He will not part with the family secret. 727 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA, USA. 213-623-6054. Perfect before theater or concert place to eat! Long time our favorite!

So this week we checked out “Otafuku” for the perfect soba in Gardena.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The "Revolutionary" Osborne 1

Just received the vintage "premiere" issue of "the Portable Companion" magazine by Osborne Computer Corp. It is dated June/July 1982. Loaded with Osborne propaganda and this incredible shot of the Osborne 1 in the midst of the Taliban. This computer could possibly be in the hands of Osama. I will try to post a better scan of the cover.