today i am learning Sony made a desktop tower with a built-in minidisc drive *and* a built-in preamp, atop the DVD drive and floppy drive, and i am honestly mesmerized

today, in more VAIO shit (for Japan only), this thinkpad-like nub for browsing portably, without putting your grubby paws all over the glass, whips ass

i’m being informed by my VAIO stan that the nub also clicked when you pressed on it — something the thinkpad nub doesn’t do!

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@nova @syntacticsugarglider @_ i remembered to go find some pics of the nickel-plated grid buttons of the 1981 Trinitron and “remote commander” — my grandmother’s TV — as unquestionable inspiration for the above VAIO MX tower

alas, the pics are of heavily-used units, but you get the idea:

@patience @nova @_ that's beautiful! can't be too ergonomic given the tiny touch surfaces and the rigidity it likely has, but i'm sure it's durable

@syntacticsugarglider @nova @_ you’d be surprised!

basically once you could feel where the “Picture” rocker was or where the 0 button was, you could hit the digits or the channel rocker (below) without ever having to look down,

the buttons were not hard to press, either, they had not a “click”, but a definite “give” to them

probably the only non-fergonomic thing about it was it was shaped like a long, straight brick (tho not heavy compared to other remotes of the time)

remember, a 60sth woman thought it was easiest to use and feel her way around, and she kept using that TV for at least a decade,

and since i lived with her after i ran away from my parents in high school, i was around that TV for probably 3yrs, late in its life, and everything on it still worked like new

@patience @nova @_ huh, that's a pleasant surprise, my brain immediately connected those buttons with how they would feel attached to modern tact switches which is probably much worse than the actual implementation in this case.

@syntacticsugarglider @nova @_ heck, i remember my grandmother using her index fingers for changing channels,

i often wondered where that UI and aesthetic went with things like remote design, cos by the late ’80s the button situation on remotes from many brands went bananas (and also opted for rubbery buttons),

unless it was for something simple (like the Sony remote for a Discman, which actually came with these thin plastic rails which slid into the side and let you slide other same-form-factor Sony remotes from that period)

@patience That orange plate almost looks like it could be an 8 track.

@patience oh my god. The buttons. The volume knob. The three separate spinning media drives. Why not build your hifi into your PC tower. Pride of place on the desktop, not tucked away underneath. Powerful nostalgic energy.

@patience this is how they're going to re-brand "home assistants"

@georgespolitzer nah i’d never want one, but it would be neat af to see one and also, from a tinkering standpoint, how the minidisc player interacts as a removable media device in Windows (here, probably Windows ME or 2000)

@georgespolitzer if there’s gonna be crowd-anything for my birthday, maybe folks can just send me their old macs :)

me: yah send me your old macs

rico: yah i had a IIc

me: no not THAT old lmao

@georgespolitzer also the Apple IIc was literally an all-in-one Apple II, pre-Mac! it ran ProDOS :D

@patience Sony used to make some of the best desktops.

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