The Golden Age of Computing


Judland
#1
This weekend I got a Commodore 64 emulator going on my Linux box.

Oh, the memories just came flooding back!
http://photos10.flickr.com/17149992_a9a46efcdb_o.jpg

It's great to think back to a time when computing was a lot more fun; and was a very unique past-time.

The time of 300 baud modems and BBS sub-cultures. Seeing how much power you could squeeze out of each bit of memory a computer had back then. And the fun of trading C=64 games on 5-1/4" floppies and cassette tapes.

Them were the days!
 
missile
#2
My first comp was a 366 with 32 megs of ram..couldn't even play rhe original Doom on it! And,I blew 1500 dollars on it. DOH!
 
mrmom2
#3
My first was 300 with16 megs and it was free :P My next was this one thats only 800 but its got 512 and it only cost me 100$ I got a 1.2 and 2.0 that I'm working on know and they were 100$ a piece the 2.0 has a128 vid card in it A few more parts and it is going to take this ones place.Moral of the story is don't waste your money on the newer models wait a couple of years and you can save yourself huge bucks
 
Jay
#4
My first machine was a 486 DX2 80....16 mb 40gig HDD.


Now I run a 3.0 P4. nice box....I use a 1.6 P4 at work.
 
callum01
#5
wow! how little i know about computers
 
Canucklehead
#6
My first 'computer' was an Atari 400 complete with cassette drive, 16Kb RAM and joysticks. ( still have this puppy and used it on & off until mid 90's when MAME came out )

First PC was 8088 running at a screaming 8Hz(in Turbo mode) w/ dual 5.25" floppies and CGA graphics w/ orange monochrome monitor. (later added 10MB HDD, yes MB)

First home-built was 286/12Mhz, 16RAM, 40MB HDD, SVGA w/ paperwhite monitor.

Ugh, I'm old.

Currently running 1.8Ghz P IV, 1GB RAM, 60GB HD, 128MB Video(Radeon)
 
Jay
#7
"(in Turbo mode)"

I haven't heard that in ages....
 
Judland
#8
If your first computer had megs of RAM, then you've missed out on a lot of the fun of early computing.

My first exposure to a computer was with a Commodore PET. Our elementary school had one on loan for a week from the near-by high school.

We played tournaments of Space Invaders among the class. If I recall correctly, it had a cassette deck as well.

Maybe a year or two after that, my parents bought me my Commodore 64. Didn't even have a cassette or floppy drive at first. I remember sitting for hours in front of it, typing in a machine language program out of the manual that cam with the computer. Then, playing it for a while and having to turn it off in the end.

Gee, I really had to think carefully as to what game I wanted to run, as it would be an hour or so after I had the code entered in before I could play it.

It was a glorious day when I finally got my 1541 floppy disk drive. Ah, the good ol' 1541. I can still hear the rat-tat-tat of the drive head as it prepared to load a file from the floppy disk.
 
mps
#9
Yup, I remember playing on my Commodore 64. Mine had a floppy drive, and all the games had the command lines written on them. I think I must have wasted half my time playing Winter Olympics, and trying to master the bobsled course. Of course, you needed a joystick for that one. Good times.

After that came a P1 133mhz, 16 mb ram, 3 gb HDD. Now it's a P4 1.4ghz, 256 mb ram, 40 gb HDD. I'm pretty apathetic when it comes to upgrading computers, so I'll wait a few more years before this one winds up on my curb.
 
no1important
#10
My first computer was a pentium 100 with 8mb of ram,1.01 gig hard drive 19,2000 modem, win 3.1 that came with I think 12-15 floppies. no cdrom but a 3.5 and 5.5 inch floppy. I do not know how I even functioned back then. Actually I do not know how I functioned running any microsoft operating systems..........
 
Knightman
#11
I was working for Radio Shack Canada when we just started to carry computers 8 kilobyte and 16 kilobyte units from tandy , monochrome (green) monitors and cassette storage drives all which sold for well over a thousand dollars. 5 1/4 inch drives were considered a luxury and we never heard of a Hard drive "whats a megabyte?". Later it was massive upgrades to dual 5 1/4's , 64 Kilobytes of memory and 8 and 16 color monitors. WOW we were rock'n, no one would ever need anything bigger than that...........
 
no1important
#12
I remember those computers with Green writing on blck from high school. I thought doing hangman was amazing at the time. But how times have changed.

I am glad hi speed came along as I could not stand all the zip files.....................
 
I think not
#13
Funny, I did a search and found a picture with my first computer.

http://obsoletecomputermuseum.org/electron/

I hope Jay doesn't see this.
 
Vanni Fucci
#14
My first computer was a Commodore 128...threw that in the trash and got a 386SX 33 Mhz with 2 MB ram...man that baby smoked...
 
Judland
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Knightman

I was working for Radio Shack Canada when we just started to carry computers 8 kilobyte and 16 kilobyte units from tandy

Do you remember the Pocket PC Tandy used to carry? I still have mine and it still works great.



A whopping 4K of programmable RAM, and ran BASIC.

The beauty part of that was, my high school and college teachers never knew what it really was, other than calculator. So, they always allowed me to use it in tests and exams.

The thing about BASIC is, you can write any string of code as a comment line, if you label it as a REMark Hey, and being able to write a little mathematical program to handle all of the tricky statistical calculations really helped me in my mathematics exams! :P

Or, when sitting in history class, I'd just run my little game of hang-man I happend to have programmed in the night before and I didn't have to be bored for the entire 45 minutes!

You could even hook it up to a little printer and tape drive, but I didn't have the cash to spring for those at the time.

Ah, the golden age of computing... when it really was magic to a lot of people not "in the know."
 
Knightman
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Judland

Quote: Originally Posted by Knightman

I was working for Radio Shack Canada when we just started to carry computers 8 kilobyte and 16 kilobyte units from tandy

Do you remember the Pocket PC Tandy used to carry? I still have mine and it still works great.



A whopping 4K of programmable RAM, and ran BASIC.

The beauty part of that was, my high school and college teachers never knew what it really was, other than calculator. So, they always allowed me to use it in tests and exams.

The thing about BASIC is, you can write any string of code as a comment line, if you label it as a REMark Hey, and being able to write a little mathematical program to handle all of the tricky statistical calculations really helped me in my mathematics exams! :P

Or, when sitting in history class, I'd just run my little game of hang-man I happend to have programmed in the night before and I didn't have to be bored for the entire 45 minutes!

You could even hook it up to a little printer and tape drive, but I didn't have the cash to spring for those at the time.

Ah, the golden age of computing... when it really was magic to a lot of people not "in the know."

In all the years I worked for them 16 over all, we constantly got asked for those units, they had some very special capabilities that no other unit could touch, like basic programmimg. Very cool you still have a working unit.........
 
DaSleeper
#17
This necro post made me remember my first "pocket" calculator, somewhere around the late '50s early '60s.
It took me a while to trust the answers it gave me......I kept checking the results long hand....

My first computer was a Vic 20 on which I would spend hours writing, and backing up the games to a cassette in basic for the kids..
And that thing cost me as much as my current notebook with 250G hard drive and 4G of ram.....
 
TenPenny
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by Judland View Post

This weekend I got a Commodore 64 emulator going on my Linux box.

Oh, the memories just came flooding back!
http://photos10.flickr.com/17149992_a9a46efcdb_o.jpg

It's great to think back to a time when computing was a lot more fun; and was a very unique past-time.

The time of 300 baud modems and BBS sub-cultures. Seeing how much power you could squeeze out of each bit of memory a computer had back then. And the fun of trading C=64 games on 5-1/4" floppies and cassette tapes.

Them were the days!

I remember our C64 - we'd type in programs in machine language, had an awesome word processor that we got from a magazine. Took us about 4 days of typing in machine language. We'd all do some programming, it was fun.
 
miniboss
#19
DaSleeper, we're even on this one. I still have a Commodore VIC20 in my basement with 5k of ram, and a tape drive. Fully functional, and I still have some programming books in my desk.
Last edited by miniboss; Jan 5th, 2011 at 01:03 AM..Reason: needed to give credit to poster.
 
Dexter Sinister
+1
#20  Top Rated Post
I dunno... seems to me that a time when computers were clunky and slow and stupid and hard to use and hard to program and ruinously expensive compared to what's available now hardly qualifies as a golden age. I remember when a 16-bit minicomputer with under a Mb of RAM and a 60 Mb drive, with only an OS, a Fortran compiler, a dot matrix printer, and a couple of dumb terminals, was the size of a washing machine and cost $100K, and a 400 Mb external drive was the same size and cost $25K, and that's well after the golden age you guys are talking about. That's like claiming the golden age of automobiles was 1910. The golden age of computing, if in fact it's happened yet, is now.
 
Ariadne
+1
#21
This now takes 10 minutes to do using photoshop ... even a year ago it took about 1000 times longer.

 
Mathiew
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by Judland View Post

This weekend I got a Commodore 64 emulator going on my Linux box.

Oh, the memories just came flooding back!
http://photos10.flickr.com/17149992_a9a46efcdb_o.jpg

It's great to think back to a time when computing was a lot more fun; and was a very unique past-time.

The time of 300 baud modems and BBS sub-cultures. Seeing how much power you could squeeze out of each bit of memory a computer had back then. And the fun of trading C=64 games on 5-1/4" floppies and cassette tapes.

Them were the days!

With the evolution of the graphics since a couple of years I think there is a place,still, for sqeezzing bit.
 

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