Ok. I looked around a bit. I couldn’t find a thread that covered this so here it is. This way we don’t bother [or educate] the rest of the community with computer talk and Holy Grail quotes.
Tags to this are…
computers, science, monty python, fawlty towers, the googies, firefly, star trek, and Looney Toons
Use your geek card to add to the tag line.
I’ll open with a comment about my own computer life.
My first computer I bought from my first dorm roommate in the USAF IN 1981. It was from Protecto enterprises. It was called the INTERACT. It had 16 KB of ram. 4kb after loading BASIC in from. Built in tape drive. It hooked to the TV using the VHF antenna leads. A 20 column x 10 lines text screen if I remember right.
A couple of years later I bought a much more user friendly computer, a z80 Timex Sinclair 1000. It had built in basic, and a whopping 64k to play with. It had a 40x20 Colomn text screen. Black and white only. No greyscale. So 1 bit color. But it had a flight simulator, done in basic, that was more fun to hack than to fly
A few more years go by. At a coworkers house I see for the very first time, an Apple IIe. I fell in love. 64k with an 80 column card add in that gave it 128k. And with the magic of memory swapping I could actually use all 128k (in a few pieces of software only of course). I became an AppleWorks master. Writing macros to automate tasks. Mostly I played games on it of course. After all it was the game “EAMON” that got me hooked.
I can remember in 1985, bragging to my brother in law, who had a degree in computer science (well was in Annapolis getting the degree) that I had just put one MB of memory in it. He said, “pfft… you’ll never use it all”. Of course to him the Apple IIe was just a toy computer. But even at a measly 1 MHz cpu speed, it outperformed a the IBM clones running at 3.8 (speed check?) MHz. Especially in tasks like search and replace in a large text document. Or in spreadsheet recalculating.
Then in 1986 came the APPLE IIgs. Wow the colors, the sound. It was the beginning of a new love affair. I started a computer users group in my house. We registered with Apple and received a few goodies now and then. The name of the group was “The Newtons Fruit Users Group” because Apple was too anal to let anyone use the name Apple in their name. And that was back in 1987! We had a lot of members (to me at the time anyway) most were strait up hackers. We had a couple of software devs. We even had one of the Beagle Bros show up a few times. If you don’t know who Beagle Bros were, you didn’t love your Apple II.
I was one of the first to upgrade my IIe into a IIgs by swapping the main board out. So it had the case of a IIe and the guys of a GS. I eventually did a mod on it, replacing the case as well, with one my local Apple store was about to toss out because it was in a house fire, and had smoke damage. To me it just added character.
Add in cards… a 2400 turbo baud modem. A checkmate 160 column card. A Phaser sound card. A Transwarp GS accelerated that took it from 2.88 MHz to an unbelievably fast 8 MHz. oh yeah, I was that guy.
In 1989 I went to England. Was stationed at RAF Lakenhearh. A good friend of mine there worked as a NAV computer programmer. Had the cushy job of a civilian in the AF that all he did, or was allowed to do, was replace EPROMs in the Nav-coms when they came in with errors. Mostly he did nothing but browse the ahem internet (this was 1989, before browsers, before most people knew the internet existed). We would modem into his office, and connect to his PC there and use telnet commands to go out to other computers and download software. Of course it downloaded to his office PC, so he would bring it home the next day. Ahh… those were the days. Accessing a high speed government ISDN LINE remotely and pirating software.
Now… I have a beef with one of you who recently bad mouthed programming on the Apple II compared to on the IBM clones. At least we wrote our own code . I had several friends that were going to school in the Air Force for programming. IMHO they never learned how to program. They learned how to copy and paste code from a library. From what I hear, it’s only gotten worse.
Well, I think I’m hitting my verbosity limit for the day. Typing on an iPhone tends to wear one out. Easily takes twice as long, trying to catch auto corrects and regular typos.