Winner, Name that Ware August 2018

September 29th, 2018

The Ware for August 2018 is Micom router, with an EasyRouter HCF feature pack installed. It’s interesting how the ROM cartridge drew many people to the conclusion this was some sort of an old laser printer motherboard thanks to the ancient practice of purchasing fonts as physical ROM cartridges — I would have thought the same initially, except most laser printers also have a pretty substantial general purpose CPU built into them, and there isn’t enough RAM on board either for that type of application. SAM nailed it — I only slightly blurred some of the numbers to try and give something to search for, as Micom is a pretty obscure company and almost everything about this piece of hardware pre-dates modern search engines. Congrats, email me for your prize!

Name that Ware, August 2018

August 14th, 2018

The Ware for August 2018 is shown below.

Thanks to Patricio Worthalter for contributing this ware!

Winner, Name that Ware July 2018

August 14th, 2018

The Ware for July 2018 is an I/O board for the x86-based Sega Nu arcade platform. Congrats to megabytephreak for nailing the ware, email me for your prize! Also props to Vegard for pointing out the JVS connector (the thing that looks like USB but isn’t).

I was curious how certain readers were able to identify this as an arcade-related ware, and the answer I received is that the I/O breakout board is the key — the DIP switches and push-buttons are typical of how arcade machines are configured and serviced, and the JVS connector, if you can recognize it, is a dead give-away. The coin cell for retaining configs & high scores even if the power is pulled is also a potential tell. You learn something new every day!

Tariffs in a Nutshell

July 18th, 2018

I was asked to distill a previous post about tariffs into something more accessible to the general public. The resulting article ended up being run on CNN Digital as an opinion piece:

In retaliation for unfair trade practices and the theft of American innovations and ideas, the US Trade Representative’s office is imposing a 25% tariff on a broad range of goods imported from China.

But these tariffs won’t help American workers. Instead, they will encourage American companies to push ideas and production overseas by raising the cost of raw materials without penalizing the import of finished goods.
Imagine a bakery located in the US. It uses imported flour, sugar and cacao to make delectable cakes based on a closely-guarded secret family recipe handed down for generations, and it employs dozens of bakers to do this. Now suppose a bakery in China has tried to copy the recipe…

The article uses a bakery as an analogy to explain the trade war situation, as well as thinking through why trade deficits are OK through the notion that buying a T-shirt at a store creates a “trade deficit” between you and the store, but in the end that trade deficit is actually quite helpful to you. You can read the full article on CNN Digital.

I had also prepared a short infographic to accompany the article, which wasn’t picked up by CNN, but you can enjoy it here.

Name that Ware July 2018

July 18th, 2018

The Ware for July 2018 is shown below.

Thanks to the little birdie that dropped this ware in my inbox. :) Really nice photography work.