"In the old days we...."

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

Post by MurphCID »

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!
We have found the cause of global warming! It is all those Vaxes out there....

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

Post by Hoser Rob »

HappyHippo wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:16 am
I worked with a Kaypro2 as start, with 2 BIG floppydrives and nothing else....
Jeez, equalled in the 2nd post. Those things didn't even support video scrolling in hardware so it'd drop characters even with a 1200 baud modem.

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

Post by Portreve »

MurphCID wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:27 am
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!
We have found the cause of global warming! It is all those Vaxes out there....
Yeah, particularly the brown-spotted ones. When they belch, it's game over, man.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by lsemmens »

All I can say is.... we must be a mob of Geriatrics here. I remember the Kaypro and Osborne luggables both running cp/m but ended up purchasing an 8086 computer running a relatively new OS called DOS. I thought I was future proofed, 2 x 360kb floppies, 256kb RAM with an amber CGA monitor. I couldn't see the need for colour. I also never thought that I'd run out of storage with those drives, and RAM, well it was mid range back then and I thought It'd be ok for centuries.............Fast forward 12 months, I was writing programs on that thing that I had no hope of ever running on it because I was developing databases using a dBase compiler called Clipper and the compiled program would not fit on one disk. I had to take it to work to compile on the newer 80286 machines that had HUGE 20mb HDDs in them.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by RollyShed »

Floppies, 1970s to 1980s - we started, as everyone did, with 8" ones that sort-of stored data but weren't all that reliable. Of two we had, one generally worked. Then we dropped to 5-1/4" and they were much more reliable. Odd, it was hard to imagine. Then the unfloppy floppy disks, the 3-1/2" with massive storage - impossible. And they were reliable too.

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

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

lsemmens wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:27 pm
I remember the Kaypro and Osborne luggables both running cp/m but ended up purchasing an 8086 computer running a relatively new OS called DOS. I thought I was future proofed, 2 x 360kb floppies, 256kb RAM with an amber CGA monitor...
And all that weighing only 256kg.
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.

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

Post by MurphCID »

lsemmens wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:27 pm
All I can say is.... we must be a mob of Geriatrics here. I remember the Kaypro and Osborne luggables both running cp/m but ended up purchasing an 8086 computer running a relatively new OS called DOS. I thought I was future proofed, 2 x 360kb floppies, 256kb RAM with an amber CGA monitor. I couldn't see the need for colour. I also never thought that I'd run out of storage with those drives, and RAM, well it was mid range back then and I thought It'd be ok for centuries.............Fast forward 12 months, I was writing programs on that thing that I had no hope of ever running on it because I was developing databases using a dBase compiler called Clipper and the compiled program would not fit on one disk. I had to take it to work to compile on the newer 80286 machines that had HUGE 20mb HDDs in them.
I remember Clipper and DBase 2 and 3. Also Lotus 1-2-3. Yes, some of us are old...

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

Post by MurphCID »

Kadaitcha Man wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:11 pm
lsemmens wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:27 pm
I remember the Kaypro and Osborne luggables both running cp/m but ended up purchasing an 8086 computer running a relatively new OS called DOS. I thought I was future proofed, 2 x 360kb floppies, 256kb RAM with an amber CGA monitor...
And all that weighing only 256kg.
LOL! A buddy had a Compaq "Portable" we called it the "Luggable".

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

Post by lsemmens »

I cut my teeth on Lotus, took me a few years to get used to Excel. At least Calc is "user friendly". :D
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by GS3 »

I worked for IBM in the 70's and I still have punched cards as a souvenir even though I've been trying to get rid of things.

I still have a few boxes of continuous 132 column line-printer "pajama" paper.

There a little computer store in my neighborhood and the young owner has a museum of sorts and he said he'd welcome old things so I've given him quite a few things. I recently gave him some boxes of 8" floppies.

In the 70's I had a Rockwell AIM-65 and coded quite a few programs for it in assembler.

I also had a Comodore PET32 with 32 KB RAM!
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by BG405 »

Getting "online" for me in the 1980s would have required a very long extension lead and a wait in the queue to use the phone box. And a modem for my Commodore 64 .. and a LOT of money, as it seemed the services like Compuserve were all US-based, at least according to the documentation I had access to at the time.

I remember making a call to Scotland from the phone box & it ate my change in no time, so I asked the neighbour if I could use their phone & pay them for the call. So I asked the operator to connect & let us know what it cost after the call . probably about 10 minutes & it was £1.52!! Knowing this, I guessed using a modem to connect to the States was out of the question ..

I didn't get online until 1996 when I moved here & had a phone line put in. Then it was a subscription with Demon Internet and Windows 3.1 on a secondhand 486DX2-66 and their software suite provided email, browsing and a few other things like Telnet. The phone call had to be paid for too .. I was getting bills of £60 per month so changed to cable to save money.

Later we had those "free" dial-up services and following that, the cable company offered their own free dial-up and a second phone line at no extra charge!

We had to wait until around Y2K for coaxial cable internet, a whopping 600Kb/s .. with the comment from the installer "you won't know you're on the internet!" ...
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by iain_33 »

I remember the computers back when I was at school, I can't remember what generation of CPU it was at the time, but the cases had an LED display on the front boasting its dizzying 66MHz speed ... as long as the Turbo button was in, otherwise it dropped to 33MHz.

The thought of 66MHz being "turbo" and needing an option to lower it, makes me think back to the tales of people protesting against the early railways, claiming travelling at the breakneck speed of 20mph would have people asphyxiating :lol:
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by GS3 »

BG405 wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:34 pm
... and a LOT of money, as it seemed the services like Compuserve were all US-based, at least according to the documentation I had access to at the time.
I think you misunderstand. I had Compuserve and it was wonderful at first. You could dial local numbers in most places in the world and it didn't matter that the servers were in America, you paid for the local call and for the time you were connected to Compuserve. I used Compuserve a lot for messaging, email, forums and even Telex. It was really good at first. Then they had competition and started to lose customers, primarily to AOL, and they started swindling customers. I had a big to-do with them because they attempted to charge for a ton of connections which were impossible. They charged me one month for about $4000 worth of calls which meant running several computers connected 24/7. They would not listen to reason. They said I had not logged out correctly and it was all my fault. I knew I was logging out correctly and, even if I didn't, the system should log me out after a minute or two of inactivity. They were charging me for several simultaneous connections while I was on a transatlantic flight.

It seems Compuserve subcontracted services in other countries and one of their subcontractors was trying to pull a fast one. I never paid the bill because the credit card charged back but I cancelled Compuserve for being so idiotic about it. May they all burn in hell.

Then came AOL. I never had AOL but they sent floppies which you could use for your own use so I had many. AOL really was the introduction to the Internet for a lot of people. I can't believe AOL still exists.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by Portreve »

I was only ever on BBSs in the 1980s, and then I managed to have enough money scraped together given the pittance I was being paid here in Florida in the early 1990s for an account on GEnie. Eventually I set up an AOL account, but it wasn't until there was serious competition from ISPs that AOL's prices became reasonable, and by then I was already subscribed to the first of a few local ISPs.

That ISP almost got me fired.

At the time, I was working for SAM's Club. The parents of a friend of mine didn't have Internet and were curious, so I set them up with my account and told them to try it out during the day when I was at work and wouldn't be using it. (Ultimately they did and decided they liked having Internet connectivity, but that's another story...) It happened that they were logged onto my account when I tried to dial in, and this disabled my account. When I contacted the ISP, they read the riot act to me about sharing my account. I explained to them I'd only done it so someone else could see what it was like to be on the Internet, and that honestly they could have gotten another customer out of it. I was told in no uncertain terms they did their own marketing and didn't need my help, and who the hell was I to do something like that when it was against the terms of my account? So, for one of the few times in my (still relatively young) life at the time, I actually stood up for myself and yelled at them over the phone that they could take their f*****g account and their service and "shove it up your a**" at which point I slammed the phone down, and darned near broke the thing.

So, about three months or so pass, and I'm working at SAM's Club. I had a customer come up to me to ask about getting online, and he had a Mac, and could I recommend something? I told him that once he had both the TCP/IP and PPP control panels installed on his system, it wouldn't really matter who he went with because he'd just have to put his account information and dial-up number in, and he'd be all set. I told him any of the local ISPs would do, but that only a couple (who I named) gave any Mac-specific support. I didn't think anything of it. Well, over an aisle from where we were standing was the owner of the ISP I had the argument with, and he reported me for badmouthing his business, which I hadn't. I hadn't even mentioned it by name, other than in rattling off the memorized list of local ISPs.

Nevertheless, I was dragged into the office and grilled by the assistant manager (who, incidentally, was a senior at my high school when I was a sophomore, and had been on the yearbook staff while I had been on the newspaper staff) and he just tore me a new one. Not wanting to lose the paycheck, I bowed and scraped. However, now I was on his s**t list, and so he kept transferring me around the store, and every time I was in a department, I would get called to work somewhere else for my shift, or a good portion of it. I remember that I was working on the grocery side, and it was decided I needed register training, so I got register trained. Then, as a backup cashier, I would be called up there for my whole shift minus about the first 30 minutes I was there. Needless to say, things weren't getting done in the department because I wasn't there to do them after 30 to 45 minutes on shift. My department supervisor called me in to reprimand me and I explained what was going on (he was totally unaware). He took it up with management, and the next thing I knew I was offered a position on the front end as a regular cashier instead. I tried to resist, but was told if I wanted to keep my job that's what I'd need to do, so I did it. The moment I was a "regular cashier" I then started spending nearly my entire shift as a cart guy. Then, since I couldn't be pushed any further down, I started getting reprimanded for insufficient performance in pulling in carts, even though my fellow cart guys all said they didn't see how I was doing any better or worse than they were. Deciding I'd had enough, and because I also had desktop publishing experience, I went next door to OfficeMax, applied for a job in the copy department, and the moment I then turned in my two week's notice to SAM's Club, all the harassment stopped.

I've since found out that Cory (I won't mention¹ his last name on the Internet) was cheating on his then-fiance and banging many of the female cashiers in the receiving department office. I only wish I would have had some way of letting her know so she could have dumped his sorry ass.

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

Post by MurphCID »

I understand and feel your pain. I used Compuserve for a bit, and like I said above I had to enter *70 or something like that to turn off call waiting before dialing into the service. By that time I was outside of Bexar County where the ISP node was located so it was a long distance call. That $300 phone bill almost caused a divorce. I got tired of Compuserve, and besides AT&T Worldnet offered a local calling which cost very little for as much time as I wanted to spend on the net. I just had to do the *70 and it worked. I even had an email address, which was amazing for me at the time. I remember using LYCOS, infoseek, Excite, Alta Vista and some others as search engines. Google was not a thing yet. One of my jobs I worked at back in the very early 1990's was civil service for the Air Force, and my three levels of supervisors were women, who wanted to get rid of all the men at the job (Contracting), and so I was hammered for every little thing, and eventually fired. I sued and got a re-instatement but decided to cut my losses, accept a good recommendation, and appraisal, and leave. After I got canned, all the remaining men (4) either left or got fired. I later heard the women then turned on each other viciously. By that time I was in the police academy and did not care.

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

Post by SteveR »

I began to get involved in computers in the late sixties. The University of Maryland bought a Univac 1108. There was no computer programming major at the time, but the facility was open (24/7) to all students. I was a History major. Unfortunately, computer programming as a major, was not offered until after I graduated. So just missed out.

I spent some time learning Fortran and punched my programs onto cards. For Basic they had a RTTY terminal.Typing on that was hard. My first personal computer was an APPLE IIE. Really enjoyed it.

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

Post by Portreve »

To follow SteveR's example and stick with the topic :wink: :lol: ...

The first computer I ever touched was an Apple IIc that my middle school had bought. They actually bought I think one for each classroom. Then, there was a consumer electronics show where all the local computer stores were also exhibiters. I saw all the latest for sale systems, but the thing which stopped me dead in my tracks was the Macintosh exhibit. They had a Macintosh 128 as well as a 512, and suddenly all the other computers at the show seemed primitive.

I gather that's how Steve Jobs felt when he walked into PARC for the first time and saw the Alto.

I kind of skipped over the era of tape drives and both 8" and 5¼" disks (though I certainly used my fair share of 5¼" disks back when) and, y'know, looking back on things with hindsight, I'm lucky in a way, but I do kind of wish I'd had other areas of exposure (z.B. programming, TV production) as well.
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by MurphCID »

I love you guys. I have been drinking a.....littleJamison's irish.

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

Post by lsemmens »

In the old days we................... used to go outside to the long drop!!!! We also used to use newspaper for toilet paper!
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Re: "In the old days we...."

Post by MurphCID »

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.

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