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Old Feb 12, 2013, 02:33 PM   #51
63dot
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Originally Posted by balamw View Post
I graduated HS only a few years later and in our school every student had some class that required the use of some computers or another.

We had a PDP-11, a bunch of Apple ][s and DEC gave the school a bunch of DEC Rainbows.

Even the non-techy folks had to do some business oriented computer work to graduate. (Stuff like making histograms).

B

There was once a time in the 1970s where the computer kid was usually an ee/el engineering student or headed there. Anybody else just wasn't cool being seen using one too much. You know you were a nerd when the fire department had to come to the classroom in off hours when nerds/geeks were using the dot matrix printer too much and started a fire. This happened at my school in the 1970s because maybe they wanted to print a whole 500 words.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 02:45 PM   #52
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There was once a time in the 1970s where the computer kid was usually an ee/el engineering student or headed there.
Yeah, I know. My older brother was in the do not fold spindle or mutilate crowd.

B
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 03:28 PM   #53
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Yeah, I know. My older brother was in the do not fold spindle or mutilate crowd.

B
I know those were out of style quickly but in one government clerk job I had in the mid-90s still had those and 10K space reel to reel tapes. Those reel to reels were heavy and a stack of them were carried on a dolly between floors. It was like something from Lost in Space.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 12:11 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by balamw View Post
Before it became AOL and opened its floodgates to the unwashed PC masses, Quantum Link was a truly amazing nationwide online service.

I was more active on there than on individual BBSes in the latter half of the '80s.

B
Quantum Link 1986 commercial

Wow! That actually does look pretty advanced for its time, especially for a dial up modem service.

Laughably and lovably retro looking today though
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 04:07 AM   #55
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I remember my mom's first computer, it was like CompStar. It had pool game and I'd play it every morning before school, I was in 5th grade and everyone was always curious how I learned to type so fast in our keyboard class. I remember AOL 2.5 and dialup, I didn't stop using 28k dialup until 2006 when I moved out of the house.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 05:38 AM   #56
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Laughably and lovably retro looking today though
I love how the video accurately reproduces the 300 baud modem experience.

Habitat was supposed to be Second Life but ended up being something a lot scaled back. They finally gave up and rebranded it Club Caribe.

EDIT: It looked quite a bit "nicer" on the C-128 with its higher resolution.

B
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:34 AM   #57
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I do kind of miss mixed tapes and recording music off the radio.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:40 AM   #58
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I do kind of miss mixed tapes and recording music off the radio.
And Hypercolor T-shirts.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 10:27 AM   #59
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I graduated from high school in 1984.

I remember cable tv coming out while I was growing up. No more just 3 or 4 channels. Speaking of which, I remember when tv stations signed off at midnight or so with the national anthem.
I finished High School in 1950, no thoughts of computers then. My first foray was an Apple ll with 48k memory and floppy discs in 1981 I believe. I used it for word processing (Word Star) and record keeping with a few listing programs I don't even remember. My friend and I used some programs to break the protection against copying mainly, for the fun of it. I finally upgraded to an Apple llE which was about the same price as my new iMac 21.5! This had 64K or maybe 128k memory and still had floppy drives After a iiG, I finally started with the Macintosh line and have been happy with them ever since.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 11:13 AM   #60
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Wow, now I feel old. In high school in the early seventies, I created programs in Fortran using punch cards. I had friends in college in the mid-seventies who were in Computer Science, and they started with doing their programs with punch cards with decks as long as their arms, finally evelving to multiple page print-outs, no more punch cards. In the early eighties, I was working and going to grad school and I used a desktop and did my school typing in Word Perfect, but I could never get the hang of DOS commands for my job. When I got my job after grad school, my company still had a secretarial pool, though we had desktops. In the nineties and to date, laptops for work.

In the mid-nineties, I bought my first home computer, which my children grew up using, an Apple 6115, and later got an iMac, a Mac Pro and a Mac Mini, along with assorted other Apple devices. My oldest daughter just got her second interview for Apple Retail, so I am happy that I may be able to get a discount on Apple products.

Change happens.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 11:27 AM   #61
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The first time I used a computer it was 1979. It was an Interact computer with built-in cassette drive, using a color television as a monitor. It displayed color but at a very low resolution. It was also programmable in BASIC.

http://oldcomputers.net/interact.html

I knew this was a big deal. Being able to "tell" a computer what to do? Amazing! I took computer programming classes at the local community college (on a Pr1me mini-computer and a PAPER terminal!) and learned more about the BASIC programming language.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Computer

Finally, the community college got new Apple ][+ computers around 1981. By then my skill level in programming BASIC was much better and I was able to quickly pick up these new computers. Graphics were "high resolution" (256x192!) and there was rudimentary sound.

My parents got my a TI-99/4a computer around 1982. (Apples were too expensive.) Its SLOW BASIC language interpreter was just the kick I needed to delve into Assembly Language. That truly unlocked computer understanding for me. Plus, having lower-case characters helped too. (The Apple ][+ didn't have lower-case characters!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Instruments_TI-99/4A

After taking the TI to its limits, I moved onto an Amiga 2000, an AT&T 7300/3B1 (yay UNIX!) then started building PCs using parts from broken or obsolete computers. My first home-built PC had a 10MHz 8088-compatible CPU, 640KB RAM (pilfered from the AT&T), an enhanced CGA video card (on clearance from Radio Shack), and a monitor taken from a TI Professional computer and hand-tweaked to run with the video card.

When Macintosh computers came out in 1984, I was in love. But it was not to be because it was WAY out of my price range. I continued with PCs until the early 1990s, when I started getting into video editing. PCs just couldn't keep up. I've been Mac ever since Mac OS 8.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 04:09 PM   #62
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IMO, the catalyst for was a simple program called Visicalc. If you spreadsheet by hand, you'd see what a godsend Visicalc was back in the day. It was a clunky program, but it was a step up from the old way.
I worked at a car dealership while in college. One of our monthly tasks was figuring out the inventory value of each car on the lot, including such things as pin-striping and rust-proofing. This was done on large green columnar pads, by hand, with an adding machine.

I was the first person to suggest using the newfangled IBM-PC XT one of the car companies sent us (its sole official function was to order - via dial-up modem - new cars) to do the inventory. Overnight a job that had previously taken six or seven hours could be done in less than twenty minutes. And Visicalc was the program I used.

IMHO, one of the smartest things IBM ever did was to design the keyboard and monitor that came with their early model PCs to look just like the monitors and keyboards that acted as terminals to their System 3XX minicomputers. Accountants bought into the whole "IBM compatible" thing, and sort of assumed these new "personal computers" could just plug into the legacy minicomputer systems they were running. It was theoretically possible, of course, but very few small businesses I was associated with ever went through with the expensive custom programming they would have needed to make it happen. So a lot of time was spent manually retyping figures from green bar printouts to populate the spreadsheets the CEO and financial people used.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 04:19 PM   #63
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 04:46 PM   #64
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The first microcomputer I saw was a revelation to me.

You can tell it what to do and it will do it!?!

I hadn't really thought that such a thing could exist before and considered it the greatest toy ever invented. (It was a PET and I was in fifth grade.)
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 10:24 AM   #65
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The first microcomputer I saw was a revelation to me.

You can tell it what to do and it will do it!?!

I hadn't really thought that such a thing could exist before and considered it the greatest toy ever invented. (It was a PET and I was in fifth grade.)
I think this is what kept me going through junior high. I couldn't understand other people (especially girls ) to save my life, but the Apple ][ would always do what I told it to...
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