"In the old days we...."

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AndyMH
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by AndyMH »

Portreve wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:43 pm
They had a Macintosh 128 as well as a 512, and suddenly all the other computers at the show seemed primitive.
Back in 1987, I think, did 18 months working with a sister company, they were completely mac based (yes, they were a software house), all networked. Streets ahead of my home company*. It was my first introduction to word and excel and I've used them ever since (which is why I will not change to libreoffice, et-al).

* the small group I was in, and my business, was number crunching - the only way I could get PCs for the staff was building them and charging the bits to expenses with my director turning a blind eye. I worked on the basis that the most junior member of staff got the most powerful PC - 286s in those days, I had an 8086. We were using supercalc and word for DOS.
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Portreve
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by Portreve »

I have no idea how many different OSs this was done for, but back in the 1980s there was a (kind of advanced and cool for the time) idea that in a computer magazine, when they had a program (utility, game, etc.) to share, instead of sharing the source code that you would then have to hand-type in on your computer and save and/or compile it, they would encode it into a sort of matrix barcode. You would then tear these pre-perf'd pages out, scan them (the ones I'm familiar with were for the Apple II series of computers) using a ThunderScan in an ImageWriter or ImageWriter II printer with provided software, and voila! you'd have the whole program entered in and ready to be executed.

Wikipedia: ImageWriter
Folklore.org: Thunderscan

I used to have both an ImageWriter II as well as a Thunderscan unit. It shipped with a roll of white artist's tape, and the idea was you'd (very carefully) wrap the left edge of the printer roller (which was black) with the white tape, effectively giving you a narrow white edge. This was used for optical alignment purposes.

While it was painfully slow, it was fascinating for the time and (within certain limits) worked rather well.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by Mick-Cork »

RollyShed wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:45 pm
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.
My trainee operator days started with PDPs. Using those dials to select whatever tape drive was required to run batch programs. No clocks on those machines to record when things started or finished. On my first week I did an evening shift with another guy who was 'training' me. We set off a batch run at 8pm, left it running, went down the pub and came back at 11pm. Jobs had nearly finished - all ok. We then filled out our time sheets and under his instruction we put down 2am as our finishing time. 3 hours overtime! I was not too happy about that and said to him the boss would sack us. He told me the boss used to be the shift leader and it was he who had devised the scam! That went on for 2-3 years until they replaced the PDPs with a Honeywell mainframe, which had a clock!

Prior to that, my first job in IT (end of the 70s) was in data control for a brewery. Punch card and paper-tape era. There was free booze and a games room on the top floor of the office building. I was 18, and like a few of the lads there it wasn't unusual to leave at 11pm, in time to catch the train home :)

Edit: forgot to mention, there was only one question during my job interview for the brewery - "Do you mind bad language?" I duly said no, and the IT manager said great, you start on Monday! (After slogging it out at school for exams!).
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Re: "In the old days we...."

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My first was a BBC/Acorn Micro Computer, back in 1983 or so. I think it cost somewhere around a thousand pounds. I was working for Burroughs as a Medium Systems Field Engineer in England at the time. I got the BBC in the mail on the day before I flew back to the states for a management course. Took the manual with me and largely taught myself BBC Basic (very Pascal-like) on the flight over and back. The BBC finally taught me that those little things were real computers, after all. Tough when you've only worked on room-sized mainframes for years. Real computers needed gobs of power, tons of A/C and strict temp/humidity control. My $15 digital watch is probably as powerful as the mainframes I maintained at the time.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by 151tom »

MurphCID wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:15 am
lsemmens wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:51 pm
In the old days we................... used to go outside to the long drop!!!! We also used to use newspaper for toilet paper!
HA! We used to use old recycled punch cards for toilet paper...on BOTH sides! So there.
Ouch!
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by fstjohn »

151tom wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:52 pm
MurphCID wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:15 am
lsemmens wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:51 pm
In the old days we................... used to go outside to the long drop!!!! We also used to use newspaper for toilet paper!
HA! We used to use old recycled punch cards for toilet paper...on BOTH sides! So there.
Ouch!
Nah, it was the Sears Roebuck catalog and the Old Farmer's Almanac. The Almanac even had a hole punched in the corner to hang on a nail in the outhouse.
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BG405
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by BG405 »

I didn't cotton on to what "the long drop" meant until I thought of the outside dunnies in more rural parts of Kenya .. with the 40-foot well & the plank above it :shock: .. but the dunny paper in our primary school was the go-to whenever the teacher said "get some tracing paper" .. a convoy to the bogs for the sheets of Izal ensued. :razz:

Another one I remember was putting the cells from the radio on top of the gas fire to revive them a bit. This would have been around 1976 when we all had stocks of candles ready to bring out for the evening ...
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by fstjohn »

Story goes of a rural grocery store owner in West Virginia who was into ham radio. Two-holer outhouse out back. He installed a speaker underneath the seat and waited for a tourist lady to make use of, then announced over the speaker, "Lady, would you mind moving to the other hole, I'm painting down here".
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BG405
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by BG405 »

fstjohn wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:57 pm
He installed a speaker underneath the seat and waited for a tourist lady to make use of, then announced over the speaker
                      :lol:

Sort of reminds me of the long trough used in the forces and (until not long before I joined them, probably for the reason you'll see) the Scouts. This involved someone in the first dunny trap making a paper boat, stuffing it with combustible material, lighting it and then floating it down the line ...
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by lsemmens »

fstjohn wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:57 pm
Story goes of a rural grocery store owner in West Virginia who was into ham radio. Two-holer outhouse out back. He installed a speaker underneath the seat and waited for a tourist lady to make use of, then announced over the speaker, "Lady, would you mind moving to the other hole, I'm painting down here".
Thanks, haven't heard that one for Looooong time! :D
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151tom
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by 151tom »

@fstjohn

That's funny I'm still laughing. :lol:
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Portreve
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by Portreve »

In the old days, we used to chop down trees in the Sahara Forest.
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BG405
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by BG405 »

Portreve wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:37 pm
In the old days, we used to chop down trees in the Sahara Forest.
Ah, but we probably weren't responsible for decimating that one, unless our inroads did trigger dessication of the region by significantly changing air patterns & moisture levels from the "wrong" direction i.e. chopping all the trees down at the leading edge from the prevailing wind direction, if I'm making any sense.

Perhaps we did create a sort of spreading dust-bowl effect which grew exponentially?
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by Portreve »

BG405 wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:41 pm
Portreve wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:37 pm
In the old days, we used to chop down trees in the Sahara Forest.
Ah, but we probably weren't responsible for decimating that one, unless our inroads did trigger dessication of the region by significantly changing air patterns & moisture levels from the "wrong" direction i.e. chopping all the trees down at the leading edge from the prevailing wind direction, if I'm making any sense.

Perhaps we did create a sort of spreading dust-bowl effect which grew exponentially?
There was a beer commercial (circa 70s or 80s) where one of the guys is regaling the others by saying, in part: “You know, I remember when I was chopping trees in the Sahara Forest.”

“But the Sahara's a desert!” replied one of the others.

“It is now.” he responded.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by MurphCID »

YES! This is what I have been speaking about for a long time regarding the Linux community. The Linux Community has more than its fair share of toxic RTFM type folks that drive newbies away. He hits the nail on the head. This community is absolutely the most helpful and friendly of any Linux community I have ever been part of for all the years I have wanted to get back into Linux.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_7tuL0kbCE
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