Remember when

Remember When :-

The Z80 chip ruled.
8 kilobytes of memory was enough.
We loaded and saved our programs to cassette tape.
The TV set was the monitor.
Start up was instant.
Two colours was state of the art – then four colours., oh wow. !
Printers were rattly dot matrix.
The Commodore VIC-20 was released. Then the Commodore 64. Be still my beating heart. !
Home computers actually had sound, beep beep beep.
We knew how to manually calculate check digits.
We spent hours typing our first BASIC program in, saving it to tape, then testing.
Many home computes ware named after fruit, not just apples.
True computer geeks hand built their machines or used a Sinclair.
DOS (in many flavours) was the only OS. (Apart from CP/M).
IBM had not yet released the first “standard” PC.
Floppy disks were 8 inch, 5 and a quarter inch, and 3 inch (the Apricot and Amstrad standard).
We paid a fortune for our first floppy drive. Whirrrr, clunk, buzzzzz. !
Then Sony 3 and a half inch became the standard. Dang. !!
PC's had two 5 and a quarter inch floppy drives.
Jim Button's PC-FILE 3 flat file database was king.
We used Sidekick.
X-TREE was a great “front end” interface.
We had to beg our company/department for a hard drive.
Hard drives of 10 Megabytes we considered HUGE.
Viruses, trojans, malware, spyware, adware, hijackers did not exist.
Microsoft told us 640 kilobytes of RAM was more than we would ever need.
We wrote our own AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files.
We knew how to write programs with BASIC.
Poke and peek meant putting a line of code at a high memory address and recalling it.
We tried LOGO, LISP, FOTRAN, COBOL and so on to learn.
We discovered that a routine written in Q-BASIC would patch into COBOL.
DOS really bombed out with Ver 4.1 with it's disaster DOSSHELL GUI.
DOS 5 was the best DOS of all.
OS/2 lived and died.

All was well.

Then – Windows. “Papa's Got A Brand New Bag”.

We took to Windows 3 and 3.1 for Workgroups like ducks to water.
Solitaire became the greatest time waster/stress relief/just one more game thing ever.
The brave began modifying the WIN.INI file.
Dear old Windows 3, was it that long ago.
Our real introduction to the Blue Screen Of Death with Windows 95.
Things are getting better with Windows 98 and 98 SEII.
Modems and dial up with 14.4 kilobytes per second, wonders will never cease. !
The most solid OS ever, Windows 2000 Professional.
And what went wrong, Windows ME.
What could have been. Windows Neptune and Windows Triton.
XP, yehaaaaa !. At last a great robust and “do anything you want or need OS”.
Oops, Vista. Or is Vista really so bad after all.
And so to today with a mixture of XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1,being used along with so many other OS's and more changes on the horizon.

Well, PC's, operating systems, success and disaster, the net, all of it in about just under 40 years. (Not counting Charles Babbage, Alan Turing, Eniac, and the pioneers of what we have today).

Remember When ?,


Aunty Jack.
My first PC was an IBM 8086 hand-me-down from some accountant who was upgrading their hardware (possibly to a 386) and wanted to get rid of it.

It's close enuf in specs to those you mentioned at the beginning:

monochrome -- ditto. There was an actual button on the monitor to switch between monochrome green and EGA colors.
not a tape drive but those large 5" floppies.
BASIC as an onboard ROM OS -- ditto.
came with a dot-matrix printer b/c the guy also didn't want it -- ditto.
lotus 1-2-3 -- man I thought that software was the bomb!

Btw, initially, I didn't know how to use it. I had to get him to spend a few hours with me going thru the basic DOS commands.

I no longer have the machine and I sometimes yearn to be on one like it. *sigh* And I really miss that thumping disk drive spinning swishing sound of them good 'ol floppies!
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I had worked with some XT class machines, but my first system was a clone 80286 16 MHz machine, with 1 MB RAM, 40 MB early IDE HDD, and a TTX 14" VGA monitor. My sister sold it to me, along with some computer furniture for $600, and there was a Citizen dot matrix printer with it. She had MS-DOS v4.01 with DOS Shell loaded up, but I upgraded to MS-DOS v6.2 quickly. Though I kept DOS Shell intact.

I then bought a clone 80486 DX/2 66-MHz mini-tower, with 8 MB of RAM and an AHA-1542 SCSI adapter. I plugged a 540 MB SCSI drive to the controller (Quantums were my drive of choice back then in 1994) and I was ready and roaring to go with OS/2.
Yep, my first "mainstream PC" was a 286 running at 6 Mhz. But, it did the job and threats of emasculation had it running Windows 3.

Here is a pic of my first machine. Z80 chip, TV as the monitor, and oh wow, a memory expansion module with 16 Kb.


Mark. (Aunty Jack).


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This was my first PC (8086, or 186), with two disk drives, no HDD, except the monitor didn't look like that. Instead of the rotary knobs on the monitor, it had something far more advanced --- rectangular touch buttons that you swiped your fingers across to change the display modes...
What about the times when Nesticle could run an NES game at full speed on a 25mhz processor on DOS?

I wasn't obviously around then but this would have been early 90s I believe.
Ah, but always remember. !

Cheers from another Oldie.



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