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Old Feb 10, 2013, 02:59 PM   #26
Squilly
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I recall telling my friend, who was mystified that I didn't find computers fascinating, that I thought they were just a fad. This was the around '84. Now whenever I think I have something all figured out, I just remind myself of that enormously wrong conviction I had. Last I heard, my friend went into computer programming and retired before he was 30 years old.
Someone got rich....
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 03:14 PM   #27
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Someone got rich....
Master of the obvious you are...
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 12:17 AM   #28
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Someone got rich....
Yep. He was definitely smarter than the average bear.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 08:24 AM   #29
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I started Kindergarten in 1981 and graduated college in 1999. My first memory of computers was playing educational games in grade school. Oregon Trail, spelling games, and math games were simple and fun. A friend of my family was big into computers and he would delight us as children by making his computer talk with some kind of early speech program. Sure we had Atari and Commodore 64, but I remember thinking of computers differently because they didn't hook up to your TV.

Obviously as I got older word processing became one of my primary uses for a computer in school. My brother in law had a Tandy 1000 and I would type papers on it and play more developed computer games like Joe Montana Football or PGA Golf. In 9th grade my family purchased our first home computer from a custom build shop. We didn't have the internet just yet so playing games, word processing, and making banners on our dot matrix printer were it's main purposes. I think it came with Windows 3.1 if I remember correctly, but I was faster at navigating in DOS so I only used Windows to play Solitaire.

For me a computer was a new technological tool to get things done. The social and research aspect of computers didn't kick in until the internet became more accessible in the early 90's. I got my first email account (Hotmail) in college and during my senior year got a Gateway desktop of my own. By this time it was clear that computers could do way more then just type papers and play games. We had the internet, Napster, and could work with all sorts of media now. However, we still had no idea of how much things would change or advance in the coming decade.

Like Silent Panda stated in her post the process was gradual. I'm old enough to remember what life was like without having computer technology. Watching sci-fi tv and movies explored the human imagination and opened our minds to what seemed like the impossible. When I first saw a computer did I know where we would be today, no. There are obviously both positives and negatives to how inundated and dependent we have become on our tech. And, things will continue to change as new advances are made.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 08:36 AM   #30
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So it was all gradual over many years. It's kind of like saying "What'd you do before iPhones?!" in 20 years. The introduction of the iPhone was neat, but it wasn't incomprehensible. It was building on prior technology that you or somebody you knew already used.
Yeah, it's not like we didn't have pocket computers or even tablets back then.

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 09:16 AM   #31
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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.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 09:36 AM   #32
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I had an office job at the time and I remember the day they (couple guys who later morphed into what we all call IT now) came and collected our typwriters off our desks. I thought we were a super high tech office and I was very excited as we all heard about this happening months before. However windows was not out yet so we all had to take classes to learn DOS which killed the buzz instantly, we all quickly hated the site of computers at that time. It was only when windows 95 hit that the office celebrated like we were given an extra two floaters a year although office (excel, word perfect I think it was ) was a huge learning curve. At that point I was a serious Microsoftfan and Bill Gates was the absolute man......From that point the world changed. I saw people here in the Nor cal bay area become millionares over night and other go from millonare to bankrupt, the dotcom boom and bust was crazy times around here.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 09:48 AM   #33
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I started Kindergarten in 1981 and graduated college in 1999. My first memory of computers was playing educational games in grade school. Oregon Trail, spelling games, and math games were simple and fun. A friend of my family was big into computers and he would delight us as children by making his computer talk with some kind of early speech program. Sure we had Atari and Commodore 64, but I remember thinking of computers differently because they didn't hook up to your TV.

Obviously as I got older word processing became one of my primary use for a computer in school. My brother in law had a Tandy 1000 and I would type papers on it and play more developed computer games like Joe Montana Football or PGA Golf. In 9th grade my family purchased our first home computer from a custom build shop. We didn't have the internet just yet so playing games, word processing, and making banners on our dot matrix printer were it's main purposes. I think it came with Windows 3.1 if I remember correctly, but I was faster at navigating in DOS so I only used Windows to play Solitaire.

For me a computer was a new technological tool to get things done. The social and research aspect of computers didn't kick in until the internet became more accessible in the early 90's. I got my first email account (Hotmail) in college and during my senior year got a Gateway desktop of my own. By this time it was clear that computers could do way more then just type papers and play games. We had the internet, Napster, and could work with all sorts of media now. However, we still had no idea of how much things would change or advance in the coming decade.

Like Silent Panda stated in her post the process was gradual. I'm old enough to remember what life was like without having computer technology. Watching sci-fi tv and movies explored the human imagination and opened our minds to what seemed like the impossible. When I first saw a computer did I know where we would be today, no. There are obviously both positives and negatives to how inundated and dependent we have become on our tech. And, things will continue to change as new advances are made.
You and I are about the same age, though if I had not drank smoked my way out of college I would have graduated in 1998..

At home we used Apples and t school Tandy's I learned basic on a Tandy 1000

I also remember trying to Mac by then our old out of date Apples function in the new world of BBS's.

Computers were more fun back then you actually had to try, now they're so powerful and easy to use their kinda boring.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 10:28 AM   #34
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The biggest thing I remember was the introduction of ATM machines everywhere. All you kids can't remember how hard it was to get to your money and finding places to cash working checks!
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 10:43 AM   #35
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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 graduated HS in 1970. I remember that all too well exept we had channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13, that's it!! My family had 2 TV's in the house and they were Black and White and no Remote Control!!!!, the biggest one was a 25" console.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:28 AM   #36
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Yeah, it's not like we didn't have pocket computers or even tablets back then.

B
Yep, although those made my world go round during the 80s. Not that scientific...

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:46 AM   #37
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Yep, although those made my world go round during the 80s. Not that scientific...

Image
I had the octopus myself.

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:51 AM   #38
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I had the octopus myself.

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I had the jugglar game back then

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:57 AM   #39
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I had the jugglar game back then

Image
Everyone wanted the Disney/Snoopy/Mario/DK games, while the non-branded ones were considered second class citizens.

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:05 PM   #40
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I learned to type on a keyboard, although I had a computer at home. I can't imagine life without them. I do miss those green screen apples you jammed number munchers and driver into.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:06 PM   #41
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Everyone wanted the Disney/Snoopy/Mario/DK games, while the non-branded ones were considered second class citizens.

B
I also had all the Atari systems 2600, 5200, and 7800
Colecovision, and the original Nintendo with the robot. Remember that?

Oh yeah, and an Atari 800 computer with floppy drive. I was one cool dude! lol!
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:19 PM   #42
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I also had all the Atari systems 2600, 5200, and 7800
Colecovision, and the original Nintendo with the robot. Remember that?

Oh yeah, and an Atari 800 computer with floppy drive. I was one cool dude! lol!
No game consoles for me. I had this monstrosity and an Apple //e, though I used a Commodore 128D for the second half of the 80s.

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:33 PM   #43
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Your answer... Tron. Everybody wanted to be a computer. The path was clear. When internet came out everything started to grow around it.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:39 PM   #44
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I live in Silicon Valley so instead of being a product that was largely packaged with bugs ironed out, it was fed to us in pieces.

The very earliest adopters, who we were simply because tech was the local cottage industry, just saw these things as quaint and often a bother.

Because I saw Apple IIs and TRS80s just linger away year after year in businesses with a slow growth curve, it didn't strike me as anything that would change society. By the time other regions saw it, they were well within the world of the original Macintosh and by then it was obvious that they could be a factor in business.

I didn't really see the world at large change until Microsoft Windows 95 and then from Apple's perspective with the busting out of the great blueberry iMac which I think eventually ushered in the current trend of cool looking, highly personlalized consumer electronics ala iPhone, iPad, Blueberry, and Samsung Galaxies.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:49 PM   #45
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My roommate in high school had an Apple IIgs. She was so damn cool to me because of it. When I was in college, I got my first loan to get a Performa 5400 (from now defunct Sun Television), the art department had brand new Powermac G3's. I remember one of my professors had a Newton at one point.

Sadly, after graduation I fell to the "dark side" and worked for a MS call center for quite a few years. My best friend worked for an Apple call center in from 99-02 and I remember when he brought his 1st gen iPod when he came to visit. While spouting the usual "My MP3 player is awesome!", I was genuinely a bit enraptured with the iPod.

My little brought gave me his G3 iBook in 2004, he'd upgraded to a 14" G4. From that point on, I came back to getting Macs.


As a little one, my parents were friends with another couple who had one of the Pac-Man sit down/table arcade cabinets.

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:55 PM   #46
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Politically I was not fond of America but culturally, it was a great time to be around (if I recall correctly).

Yes, there was the threat of a confrontation with the Soviets but somehow for me, in my 20s, it was a party time and southern California and the bay area, where I was at two different times that decade, are times I remember with great fondness.

The music was a big part starting with John Lennon's solo album in 1980 to Journey in their heyday, to the Eagles, to the Police, to the Go-Go's and the Bangles, to Michael Jackson, to Madonna and Cyndi Lauper, to the mainstream of rap, to the the hair metal music of the time and to MTV who was a vehicle of that music.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:23 PM   #47
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Personally, it just seemed like a natural progression. I had been able to send message to people locally for quite some time via bulletin boards. Then things like fidonet came along where bulletin boards would connect to each other over a period of time and your message could get to somebody on another bulletin board. Email wasn't much of a stretch after that. None of it felt like "oh my gosh this is going to be huge!" It all felt like, "That makes sense."
Yep, I remember that too. It was a slow progression.

I first learned about terminals and modems because my dad had a VT220 for work. He would dial in using the 1200 baud modem. It wasn't "magic" or anything, it was just like learning how to make a phone call. Oh, you dial this number, you press this button on the modem when you hear this sound, and now the computer is connected and you can type stuff.

A few years later I discovered that the modem and terminal wasn't just dad's toy, but I could use them too, to dial into public BBSes. In those days BBS'es were standalone systems. You'd dial one up, you could post or read messages on its (sole) message board, you could play door games, you could upload or download files. You could call up with a dozen or so different BBS's one by one and start getting a feel for who hung out in each one, which one to dial into to talk about certain subjects or to download files of a certain genre.

The next step was FidoNet. BBS'es would call each other up at 3:00am and synchronize their message content. This was cool. Now I could dial into my favourite BBS, post a message, and within just a few days, that message would propagate to other BBS'es around the world (whoever subscribed to that particular node/network). And I would get answers back! From people in other cities! Cool.

By this time dad had purchased a 386 (25 MHz!) which ran DOS and Windows 3.1. Just in time for me to start junior high. (I had begged and begged, "Dad, can we please buy a PC? I know they're expensive, a 286 would be fine!" He kept on gruffly saying no all the way until he brought home the 386. I was so thrilled!)

I saved up my pennies and sent away by mail order for my own 2400 baud modem, which I was very proud to install and used extensively for BBSing. I even ran my own FidoNet "point" for a while, like a rudimentary dial-up email service.

Email technically existed at the time but most of us didn't use it yet; our concept of talking "privately" was more akin to private messages on discussion forums. It would be another few years before I found a large BBS that interfaced to "the internet" and gave me access to popular internet services like email, gopher, archie, telnet, finger. It had multiple phone lines, too, so multiple users could access it simultaneously, and, even cooler, actually talk to each other! You could send an "OLM" (online message) to a user on another phone line, and you could set a "who banner", a short message that appeared just below your username when someone typed "who", the command to show who all was online at any given time.

So, today, text messages and Twitter feeds and Facebook statuses, are light-years ahead of what we had in the 80's and 90's, yet in a way, not that different at all. It's just incrementally, evolutionary, better and better.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:35 PM   #48
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So, today, text messages and Twitter feeds and Facebook statuses, are light-years ahead of what we had in the 80's and 90's, yet in a way, not that different at all. It's just incrementally, evolutionary, better and better.
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.

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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:41 PM   #49
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I didn't really pay much attention to computers in the 80s, I had much more interesting things to do with my spare time.

By the time I left school in 1980 we only had one computer for the whole school and only the really brainy and swotty elite were allowed anywhere near it. I never even saw it.

My first encounter with a computer was in 1983 when I started working in CAD/CAM and that was on a HP with a 7" green & black screen which was so slow you could go and make a cup of tea while it was post processing the tool outputs (it takes less than a second nowadays). I had no interest in it though, it was just another tool to get the job done.

It wasn't until the early 90s when I bought my first PC and it was the internet which got me really hooked, even though it was ridiculously slow and expensive at first.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:47 PM   #50
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By the time I left school in 1980 we only had one computer for the whole school and only the really brainy and swotty elite were allowed anywhere near it. I never even saw it.
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).

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