RE: New Poll Question

Subject: RE: New Poll Question
From: "Clare Turner" <cturner -at- redflex -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 15:35:35 -0700

OK - my 2cents worth. First *home* computer - a Heathkit Z80, running
CP/M (ok, you CHILDREN - look THAT one up!), dual-4.77 MHgz clock
processors (blazingly fast), a green-screen and soft-sectored 5 1/4"
drive (BIG discussion on hard-vs. soft-sectored disks). My ex and I
wrote a BASIC program that let us do scenarios for our taxes, and that
"paid" for the computer the first year.

While in the AF (1980), I managed about a dozen dumb terminals, running
300 baud (*not* BPS but *true* baud) over unconditioned dial-up phone
lines some 1200 miles to a mainframe in Illinois. We had an
80-character sign-on (military - no more explanation necessary) and
60-SECOND time-out for each log-on. And, I was trying to get engineers
to log-on to these dumb terminals - 3 bad log-ons and the whole thing
was locked out. Nightmare!

A smidgeon too young to remember Sputnik, but do remember first color TV
shows, "live, via satellite" being a B-I-G deal (complete with snaps and
pops), first time being able to "dial direct" long distance w/o an
operator (honestly), change from rotary to DTMF phones, and 29-cent
gasoline.



Clare Turner, Technical Writer
Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc.
15020 N. 74th St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
480.607.3583
-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+cturner=redflex -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+cturner=redflex -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Barry Campbell
Sent: Friday, December 16, 2005 3:12 PM
To: Lisa Roth
Cc: TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: New Poll Question

On 12/16/05, Lisa Roth <roth -dot- lisa -at- jimmy -dot- harvard -dot- edu> wrote:

> * My first "computer" was an Atari with built-in BASIC. It had 64k
> internal memory and an external *cassette* machine to load games like
> Frogger. I used to have to start the cassette before going to the
dinner
> table, hoping it would be loaded and ready to play by the time dinner
> was over.

<snip> a lot of other cultural references that I strongly relate to...

I'm clearly in the same age cohort as Lisa Roth, though my first
computer was a Heathkit that Dad (an IBM lifer) and I assembled; it
involved a soldering iron and second-degree burns. My second computer,
at about about age 13, was a TRS-80 Model I with the oh-so-speedy
cassette interface and 4K of built-in RAM, expandable to a whopping
48K, if memory (pardon the expression) serves.

(I'm 39, but I have the body of a 55 year-old. A 55 year-old who
hasn't taken care of himself very well.)

- bc

--
Barry Campbell <barry -at- campbell-online -dot- com>
AOL IM: bcampbellnyc
http://campbell-online.com
http://enrevanche.com
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