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Old 10-30-2016, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,241 posts, read 4,132,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macrodome2 View Post
My first job out of college in 1975 was as a programmer. I got my first PC in the mid 1980s. At that time you used CompuServe, Prodigy, or AOL. I was a Prodigy fan. The first modem I remember was 1200baud. You dialed a local number so you didn't have large phone bills, but you had to make sure it was a local number. The internet followed many years later.

I remember those days! Prodigy was also my favorite. I also remember those 1200 baud days. I remember pong, but it was just something different. I never thought of it as special or earth shattering. Same with pac man.
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:38 PM
 
Location: SoCal
6,064 posts, read 9,526,027 times
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Never really played pong.

At work, we were doing a joint project with a team on the east coast. It was either get onto the Internet or else snail-mail floppy disks (floppies - how's that for a blast from the past?) back and forth.

It worked out to be mutually beneficial, since we were also well able to serve as guinea pigs for the first, at that time only, local ISP when they wanted to implement new services.
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Wayward Pines,ID
1,870 posts, read 3,442,480 times
Reputation: 1466
What blew my mind was seeing those pong paddles on the screen after I built the circuitry from scratch. I remember having to tweak them as at first the slightest touch would send them off the screen. Then the "ball" would get stuck in the left hand corner and oscillate. Once I got bored with pong I moved onto the much more advanced tank game where you could move back and forth and articulate the turret.
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,784 posts, read 23,805,237 times
Reputation: 6195
We bought a pong game from Radio Shack, after playing it at a local Philly bar.

It was really neat to hook it up to the TV and actually play the game. It had two versions, classic pong and a game similar to hockey. The controller had a sliding plastic knob, it worked rather well.

The internet came quite a bit later for us, probably over a decade later. My first experience was at work, at the Pentagon, and it was weird being able to read the NY Times on my computer screen. We were limited to research and e-mail, but it was really a different experience.

I had some computer work prior to the internet, so I knew this stuff was coming. But to see it was something else. Bought our first home computer around 1995 for my kids. I wanted them to be comfortable with using disc for information and using the internet. The initial emphasis was learning programs and the Encarta Encyclopedia.
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,241 posts, read 3,012,247 times
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I have never seen "pong". We went online before we owned a computer. Our kids (grown) gave us a WebTV unit. With this set top box you could go online and the TV served as a monitor. We had the accessory printer and we thought this was real hi-tech. The wireless keyboard did not have a mouse or trackball. It plugged into a phone line and to the TV plus a power cord. It was nice sitting on the couch to use it.
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,864 posts, read 14,364,134 times
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DH was a programmer for years. He programmed assembly language for IBM mainframe computers. It sounds strange but we were not early adopters. We got one of the first IBM minicomputers sometime in the 1980s. I learned to word process on a piece of shareware which name I no longer remember. It was murder learning it, but I turned in at least one paper at the graduate level using it.

We never had AOL. But I longed to use CompuServe. I think we did have it for a short time. When I took a graduate level course in database searching, I longed to have that capability in my home. The advent of the WWW was major for me.

One day at work, I saw a message about a new searching tool called Google. This has to have been in the 1990s. I generally used Alta Vista at work, and had messed around with Dogpile. But Google with its clean screen and quick performance won me over immediately. I put a link on our screen and told every one about it. Of course it was a hit everywhere. Who searches anything except with Google now?

I played a very few games on our PCs. I still play only a few games. I'd rather go searching for stuff on the web. For me the internet as we know it is an amazing window to the world. I spend too much time on my IPad mini these days.
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:29 PM
 
Location: State of Denial
1,910 posts, read 959,763 times
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Remember a program called "Dancing Demon"? You could program this simple little stick figure to dance (well, jump around) to music. My brother-in-law was one of the first people in the area to get hold of it and we were absolutely gobsmacked by the sheer wonderment of it all. Imagine.....you.could.make.it.dance......


Of course, we were pretty lamebrained back then. It didn't take much to impress us.
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:42 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,540,572 times
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I got involved in the big computers first. I was working as a cobol programmer when we got our cool new spiffy turbo xt. It had a green screen monitor, and was set up to print too. It was the latest you could get in 1986. I felt like this new age had arrived, and all the sciffy movies were coming true.

I kept that for the longest time, argued with boyfriend/housemate over sharing as we had one machine and one phone line and he liked online games. A year or so later, we got our first 'real' pc. We still had to share the phone line but had our own machine.

And there were bbs's. I STILL miss bbs's. We had our own, and the local bbs's had a club where we met. It was sad when they started to fall by the wayside as the internet started getting easier to use.

I saw a recording of Disney's House of the Future. One room had a box which was their network center or something, not computer. It marveled at how people would order anything they wanted, look up all sorts of information, and it sounded almost magical. My laptop doesn't look much different than their 'box' but it and its 'stuff' has reserved space in the living room since I don't want to be stuck away from the food and the tv.

I still marvel at this wonderful toy we've all started to see as just one of the necessities and its rather special to be of the first generation to make them part of life.
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Northeastern Pennsylvania
104 posts, read 47,733 times
Reputation: 221
I remember the first time I saw a Digital Watch. Maybe 1971. I was 19. I had asked an older friend about the watch he was wearing. No numbers, just a black face where the dial should be. He held it up where I could see it, put his other hand up to it and red numbers appeared with the time! The future hit me right between the eyes. I thought it was the coolest thing I ever saw.


TU
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:04 AM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,540,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tooluser View Post
I remember the first time I saw a Digital Watch. Maybe 1971. I was 19. I had asked an older friend about the watch he was wearing. No numbers, just a black face where the dial should be. He held it up where I could see it, put his other hand up to it and red numbers appeared with the time! The future hit me right between the eyes. I thought it was the coolest thing I ever saw.


TU
I had one of those Casio watches with the display and the keyboard on it. It was big and black and ever so cool. I was sufficently cool I didn't take it off and leave it places it would never have been seen again. It even had a few simple games.

The best thing was it remembered phone numbers. I often scramble numbers and I actually could call someone and get it right the first time.

Funny how at first we wore souped up watches which were baby computers to know the time, (and story phone numbers) and now we all have our little phones so we can never have to leave our expanded world behind.
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