Feeds

The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME

Gorgeous kit that looks as good now as it did the day it came out

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Commodore 128

Reg Hardware retro numbers

The original Commodore 64, unveiled in January 1982, simply used the casing that had been designed in 1980 for the company’s first home micro, the Vic-20. Come the summer of 1984, it was decided that the now familiar but by now tired-looking squat shape needed a revamp, in part the result of its acquisition of Amiga Corporation. The result was a sleek, flat, wedge-shaped look that was a world away from the chunky C64. The way the back of the unit fell away from the keyboard gave the machine a slim and futuristic feel, accentuated by the recessed ports on the right side - there were more round the back. Very swish and sexier looking than the bulkier Amigas that followed it, even if lesser in spec.

Commodore 128

Source: Evan Amos / Wikimedia

It’s not known exactly who designed the C128’s case. Possibly it was Ira Velinsky, though he left Commodore to join ex-CBM chief Jack Tramiel at Atari and design the first ST micros during 1984, and may have gone before the 128 case was conceived. Yet the C128’s look owes more than a little to the case design that Velinsky devised for the ill-fated Commodore Max - aka the Vic-10 - in 1982. Like the C128, the Max sported a wedge-like look, albeit a chunkier one, with a rear section well below the top row of keys. If Velinksy had quit Commodore before the C128 appeared on the drawing board, his work influenced its look.

Manufacturer Commodore
Designer Ira Velinsky?
Debuted January 1985

Cray Research Cray 2

Reg Hardware retro numbers

In the mid-1980s, if you wanted the fastest computer then known to mankind - and had a very large room to put it in - you chose Seymour Cray’s second-generation machine. Cray’s focus was building the most powerful supercomputers he could, but he wasn’t above an appreciation of machine aesthetics. The Cray 2 is “elegant in appearance”, his company boasted. Computers’ form shouldn’t entirely come out their function: they should look cool too. To that end, he and his engineers were not above equipping the various cabinets and containers that made up the Cray with coloured panels, eerie coloured lighting and even massive matrices of flashing lights. All very sci-fi.

Cray Research Cray 2

There was a practical component to some units’ design too: one part of the Cray 2 was the transparent glass tank through which Cray’s chosen processor-cooling liquid, 3M’s Fluorinert, would flow to release the heat it had absorbed from the machine’s working parts. “This liquid immersion cooling technology allows for the small size of the Cray 2 mainframe,” said Cray Research’s sales brochure. It also allowed jocular users to drop plastic fish in the tank, and led to the unit being nicknamed ‘Bubbles’.

Manufacturer Cray Research
Designer Unknown
Debuted 1985

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Next page: Elan Enterprise

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.