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Old 08-25-2018, 07:29 PM
 
Location: NC Piedmont
4,015 posts, read 2,999,892 times
Reputation: 6514

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I had a TRS-80 and an Atari 400 (a computer with a keyboard that was also a game console) as my first personal computers. I took a BASIC programming class at a community college in '78 or '79 and it just clicked. I was attending community college to get my grades back up after flunking out as a chemistry major; my heart was never in that but my parents were scientists so I sort of fell into it when I didn't know what I wanted to do. The program to get an associates in computer science had an 18 month waiting list. I was sitting at home watching TV and Control Data Institute ran a lot of commercials about teaching programming and placing you in a job in under a year. My grandfather passed away and left me about $1400, which was about what the course cost so I signed up and went to class there from 7am - 11am and worked at a warehouse from noon until 6 or 8 every weekday for about 7 months and I was done. They placed me and sometime in the next 5 or 6 years I will retire from a career of about 45 years developing software. I love progress and systems and software constantly becoming outmoded.
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Old 08-25-2018, 08:27 PM
 
488 posts, read 309,235 times
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I love my modern electronics too, but I did enjoy the humor of the OP’s post.

In another 15 years when arthritis has gotten the best of me, I expect Alexa to be a little robot that can fetch and carry for me, make me a tossed salad for supper, and support me getting in and out of bed. Oh, and put on my socks in the morning. No more buttons for, ive fallen and I can’t get up. Alexa will know I’m on the ground and will roll over and pick me up.
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Old 08-25-2018, 08:55 PM
 
10 posts, read 5,378 times
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I remember the first computer I bought used 600.00 was a gateway running windows 3.1 I believe soon after windows 95 came about and I got an aol account lol.You’ve got mail!Was so exciting in those days,started integrating all my book keeping on computer but dam if it wasn’t one computer problem after another.so in 1997 I took an online course to build computers never bought another brand computer lol.I rebuild a new computer every 3 years .
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Missouri
347 posts, read 169,554 times
Reputation: 958
Got my first computer, an AT&T in the mid-1980s, along with a Juki daisy-wheel printer (fancy) and an Okidata dot matrix printer. I remember trying to decide which word processing software to use, because it wasn't yet clear which one would win out. A friend swore by WordStar. I went with WordPerfect for awhile.

I got so tired of the constant computer crashes in the old days. FAT errors, bad sectors, “This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.” It was a big deal being able to Gopher, Veronica, and Archie to search for internet files. The screeching sound that the modem made. The big excitement when we got Windows.

The only thing I'm nostalgic about is all the free time I had because I wasn't spending it online.
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:08 PM
 
10,908 posts, read 8,305,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZDesertBrat View Post
The first computer I ever saw was in 1974 when the company I worked for got one. Wall to wall equipment, reels and lights in it's own climate controlled room. Hired a programmer to take care of it. I heard on TV one night that it wouldn't be long and every home in America would have a computer in their home. All I could think was "Who would want something like THAT in their home??". I guess I just had NO idea, did I? lol
From about 1972-1977 I was sys admin for a setup much like you describe. It was contained in a bank of cabinets about 16 feet long and of course was on a elevated floor with the cables running underneath. It had a grand total of 1K core memory. Gating was done via electromechnical relays and when it malfunctioned, we would isolate the problem by wedging toothpicks into various relays and pulling circuit packs (a la Dave
pulling Hal's packs in 2001 Space Odyssey).
I loved it so much, couldn't wait to get to work every day and would happily stay late to tinker with it. In 1979, DH & I bought a house from a couple who taught computer science at a nearby university. When we looked at the house, they had a set-up like you describe, smaller in scale, in the guest bedroom, and I lusted after it.

My boss used to tell me that the wave of the future would be how small a circuit could be made. I just couldn't see it - how would people troubleshoot something like that?
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:18 PM
 
2,636 posts, read 605,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZDesertBrat View Post
Dial up...yuck. Glad those days are long behind me!
Ah...the ole days!

https://www.dialupsound.com/
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:35 PM
 
6,506 posts, read 10,141,317 times
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No where things should have stopped was in 2001 with Windows XP. It was so easy and SIMPLE to use with basic graphics and interface yet still modern and good looking. Then came along Windows Vista and that's when things went to crap.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:38 PM
 
Location: SF, CA
1,634 posts, read 777,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElDiabloJoe View Post
Netscape Navigator was the first WYSIWYG type browser (What You See Is What You Get). Just prior to that there was a popular text-based browser called Lynx. Not sure which other one you are talking about.

I too started life out in the TRS-80, Texas Instruments TI-99, Commodore-64 era before graduating to a DOS based 10MB harddrive IBM clone from Leading Edge. Their proprietary word processor was called LEWP (Leading Edge Word Processor). Not a lot of points for creativity.

I used to use the 300baud Modem (MODulator - DEModulator) type cradle where you actually put the phone into the cradle to try to make a connection. It took forever and was very slow. Then the big 9600 modems followed by the 14,400 and the 28,800 - all dial-ups. That's when you visited BBS sites (bulletin boards) instead of actual web sites.

Remember Earthlink/Concentric as one of the first internet services. There was also American Online (AOL) and the never ending spam of junk mail containing their membership disks or CDs to sign up. I think they came in the mail and every PC Magazine edition for years. Now they probably fill 50% of some dumpster somewhere.

Great walk down memory lane, thanks!
And before AOL there was.... American People Link (users called it "plink"). Does anyone remember it?
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Old 08-26-2018, 12:16 AM
 
2,636 posts, read 605,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW4me View Post
And before AOL there was.... American People Link (users called it "plink"). Does anyone remember it?
I started out with Compuserve...at like $12/hr
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Old 08-26-2018, 01:33 AM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
40,083 posts, read 48,999,814 times
Reputation: 112171
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenk893 View Post
No where things should have stopped was in 2001 with Windows XP. It was so easy and SIMPLE to use with basic graphics and interface yet still modern and good looking. Then came along Windows Vista and that's when things went to crap.
Agree 100%. This new fangled equipment has been a boondoggle ever since we got it.
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