"In the old days we...."

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MurphCID
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"In the old days we...."

Post by MurphCID »

Coded using a stone tablet, and a chisel...

No, but I remember getting online to BBS systems with my 1200 baud modem. Later using BIX (Byte Information Exchange), GEnie, AT&T Worldnet was my first real ISP (if you could call it that.), and joining Compuserve. Wow that was something. Using Kermit, X Modem, and Y Modem. I still remember the dial up sound from that modem... Also the $300 phone bill that darn near caused a divorce. Using that 1200 baud modem in a Zenith Z-150 8088 (upgraded to an NEC chip), 640k ram, and a massive, massive I tell you, 20 mb hard drive (second hand) opened up the world for me. Oh yes, DOS 3.3 then 6.0 was the operating system at the time. Windows came later...
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by HappyHippo »

I worked with a Kaypro2 as start, with 2 BIG floppydrives and nothing else.
Later i got a Tulip 8086 pc with 512KB ram and 6 MB harddisk.
And then the world opened with a 486sx25 mhz and a 260MB harddisk, witch i would never get full sayd the seller.. I filled it in 1 day.
That was the last PC i bought, building them myself was a better and way cheaper option.

And now i have only laptops but not selfmade :(
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by kelevra »

I started with a hotrodded IBM 286 running Windows 3.0 (yes 3.0). I only paid $55 for it. I used it for programming homework, Assembly, Basic, Motorola, and C. We hand-built a Motorola computer on a breadboard and needed to program it. We even programmed it using C and then compiled it into Motorola. The 286 only lasted for one term, then it wasn't powerful enough to continue.
My second was an Intel DX2-66, 4MB of ram, and an ATI Mach 64 2MB. Wow, that was a quick system. It cost me $444 to upgrade the ram to 8MB, using one more stick of 4MB.
Those were good times.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by BenTrabetere »

My online life started in 1988 on a XT clone with a NEC V20, 640k RAM, a 10MB hard disk, two 5.25 floppy drives, a CGA card, and a 1200bps rebadged Hayes modem that came with a subscription to Prodigy. I used Prodigy and a handful of BBSes for a couple of years. A couple of years later I upgraded to a 486sx and a 9600bps modem, dumped Prodigy and shifted to CompuServe and the same handful of BBSes. One year later I upgraded to a SupraFAXModem 14400. I started with DOS 3.5 and stuck with it until 5.0, the 486sx came with Win 3.11, and I switched to OS/2 2.1 when it was released.

I was an early subscribers to the one of first ISPs in Dallas, TX. (Go ahead, whine about your WiFi connections. It is nothing compared to writing/tweaking a TCP/IP dialup script.) I discovered Usenet - n.a.n-a.e was my comedic release. The closest thing to Usenet today is reddit, but Usenet was more better. At least until AOL and the Eternal September.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by AndyMH »

with my 1200 baud modem
You wus lucky!
Started with an ex GPO 300 baud modem (it was the size of a desktop) talking to a CP/M PC, think I did most of the coding on the PC in assembler to get it to talk to the modem.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by 151tom »

.
Last edited by 151tom on Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Portreve
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by Portreve »

I got my first modem when I was still in high school, which I primarily used to connect to local area BBSs.

I was the first student in my county's school system to have Macintosh experience, and so I was recruited to my high school's news paper, where I remained for the next three years.

We started with one Macintosh, an SE, and then got a second SE and eventually a Iicx. The school also gave us an Apple IIe, and we connected that up to one of the Macs using some terminal software, which then let students type up articles and other things on the IIe and then they could be transferred over at our (my, really) convenience to eventually be formatted and included in the newspaper or other things we would print for ourselves or the school at large.

By the time we had the three Macs, we also used something called TOPS, which allowed us to share the hard drives in each of the Macs, and this then allowed us to move files back and forth as we would work on each edition of the newspaper. Now, consider we were doing this in the late 1980s, when PCs were pretty much only useful for basic business software (all strictly text mode, since even though Windows did exist, it was still very primitive and had nearly no software written for it) and meanwhile we could build the newspaper, we could play graphical games, we'd bring in digitized sounds to goof around with, we could even do screen sharing (what we would now think of as "remoting in") using Timbuktu.

If I would have had a clue that networking would be the thing it is today, along with system administration and such, I would have probably gone that route after high school.

About a decade later, I was working for a local news magazine which was 75/25 Macs and PCs, with Macs on the production, advertising, and editorial side, and PCs running mostly MS-DOS on the accounting side. When I started there, they were running AppleShare on a dedicated computer used as a file server. However, it was slow and crashed frequently, and actually they were using a then-out of date version which was not really for that model of Mac/release of Mac OS. So, after playing around with it for a bit, the decision was made to nuke-n-pave the Mac, install the latest version of Mac OS on it, and then use the system's file sharing capabilities. Once done, the server (IIRC) never crashed again, or if it did it was so rare that I don't remember. Also, sharing was ridiculously faster. Mind you, having spent the couple thousand dollars on the latest version of AppleShare probably would have worked just as well, but we looked at what our needs were and decided it would be overkill.

One thing we set up was the ability to dial in to the local area network there (yes, I said dial, as in a 38.4K modem on each end) and while it was very sluggish, it worked well enough so that the editorial staff could work on stuff at home and transfer it to work, or even print to one of the laser printers if need be.

I'm not gonna lie: I miss those days.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by slipstick »

Well, in the really old days:
viewtopic.php?p=1250847#p1250847
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by RollyShed »

I thought this was "In the Old Days".

The first computers I had to deal with were a couple of PDP-8s and a Data General Nova of the same vintage all 8 bit. One time I needed to do some coding to one of the PDP-8s to tell me why it wasn't working. A capacitor in the power supply, that was supposed to tell the computer to shut down because the power supply was going down, had failed. The power supply was OK but the detector wasn't.

On another machine, an NMR, we massively upgraded the memory in the computer running it to 16KB, (Wow!!!), hung the memory in its large box on the wall just behind the console.

Personally, at home, I used an Apple IIe clone as the editor for club magazines and a national magazine, a step up from a typewriter and cut & paste via real scissors and sticky tape. I did have a ZX81 at one stage but did little with it, a curiosity really.

As for old computer cases, there are a couple in the workshop holding up an inverted sheet of MDF, with a jig on it, as a waist level work table. They are sitting on a low work table that is used for kayak building with the jig the right way up when making sea kayaks.

As for old cases, there was a couple of years back a computer board put in an old case that needed cutting at the back because Dell didn't follow the conventional layout. That was to try and fix a Windows problem on someone else's computer. The computer kept getting viruses written by Microsoft which they called "Updates".
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by MurphCID »

In the old days, we had to hand code our operating systems you young whippersnappers! :)
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by freshminted »

MurphCID wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:22 pm
In the old days, we had to hand code our operating systems you young whippersnappers! :)
Operating systems?? You were lucky. We had to carve our own ones and zeros out of rocks.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by RollyShed »

MurphCID wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:22 pm
In the old days, we had to hand code our operating systems you young whippersnappers! :)
A row of switches on the front panel that needed to be set. On the PDP-8 sets of 3 toggle switches such that something like 7423 would be 111, 100, 010, 011. About dozen instructions entered followed by a length of punched paper tape. Then we could put the programme tape in. This then ran an xray diffractometer. The other PDP-8 ran a mass spectrometer.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

freshminted wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:28 pm
Operating systems?? You were lucky. We had to carve our own ones and zeros out of rocks.
HA! Back in my day we only needed uncarved rocks for ones and no rocks at all for zeroes.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by MrEen »

Kadaitcha Man wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:10 pm
freshminted wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:28 pm
Operating systems?? You were lucky. We had to carve our own ones and zeros out of rocks.
HA! Back in my day we only needed uncarved rocks for ones and no rocks at all for zeroes.
Sheer luxury!!! In my day, rocks hadn't coalesced yet. And the Universe was really really hot!
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by ajgringo619 »

Man I feel old reading this thread! I remember the 300 baud modems, the Commodore PET, the Apple I, CGA monitors. For me, the biggest technology jump was when our town got one of the first cable modems; going from 56k to 1.5mb was beyond amazing. I do still miss the old BBS days, though; made a lot of good friends there and on FIDOnet.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

MrEen wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:26 pm
Kadaitcha Man wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:10 pm
freshminted wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:28 pm
Operating systems?? You were lucky. We had to carve our own ones and zeros out of rocks.
HA! Back in my day we only needed uncarved rocks for ones and no rocks at all for zeroes.
Sheer luxury!!! In my day, rocks hadn't coalesced yet. And the Universe was really really hot!
Yes, I was there when it happened, I saw the whole thing. First there was just emptiness, a totality of void, then, all of a sudden, FOOM! There it was... it turned out that some joker had powered up a VAX-11/780.
Coming to a thread near you: Lots of bragging about my AMD 5950X. Currently delayed due to high demand.
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by MrEen »

Kadaitcha Man wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:38 pm
it turned out that some joker had powered up a VAX-11/780.
Well I'll be. That explains the heat!
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

MrEen wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:44 pm
Kadaitcha Man wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:38 pm
it turned out that some joker had powered up a VAX-11/780.
Well I'll be. That explains the heat!
lol - I have no comeback. You got me.
Coming to a thread near you: Lots of bragging about my AMD 5950X. Currently delayed due to high demand.
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by ZakGordon »

"In the old days we....had to type our games by hand and having no storage medium (no tape or floppy drives) that meant when we turned the computers off, we lost our games and would have to re-enter them by hand to play the game the following day!"

My early experience with a 1K ZX81 in the 1980's (let's not talk about the 16K ram pack 'wobble'!), i was at the forefront of computer gamers back then, it was new and awkward, but kind of fun ;)

I did eventually get a tape deck, and some games on tape (3D Monster Maze was pretty awesome), but not for the first 12 months or so. I learned to type accurately!
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by MurphCID »

I had to hand make the punch cards I used to learn programming! We had to go into the forest and chop down a tree, mulch it, press the paper, and then punch the holes in it to build your program! So there....


Seriously though, I did start with Fortran on punch cards back in college. If we were mean, we would find an obnoxious drones cards and shuffle them....
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