Computer Nostalgia

Boyd

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Here is something very cool… archive.org has online emulators for the Apple II, MS-DOS, Windows 3, the original Macintosh and even Atari. You can literally turn your computer into any of these old systems by choosing one of the thousands of programs in their collection. There is nothing to install or configure, it runs right in your web browser - click the fullscreen icon to get the real experience.

It will also remind you how slow those old systems were, and how bad the graphics were. :) Anyway, it sure brings back a lot of memories. Here's an index of all the different collections:

https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary?and[]=mediatype%3A%22collection%22
 

Jon Holcombe

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My first Mac was the 1991 IIsi with 5 Megabytes of RAM, running system 7. I can't believe I was actually able to get work done using such a buggy, slow computer. Still, at the time it seemed amazing to be "assembling pages" on a computer, even if I was still sending the pages out to be typeset which I would then "paste-up" on Bainbridge board. I remember driving to the "graphics house" at an industrial park in Morrisville PA at 3 AM to get a job out and make a deadline. No internet, no digital photography...
 

46er

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It will also remind you how slow those old systems were, and how bad the graphics were. :) Anyway, it sure brings back a lot of memories.
I guess your a youngster and hadn't heard of the card based systems from IBM and Remington Rand ;) Them were the days :eek:



And who can forget the famous motto that was on every desk of IBM and hung on most computer room walls. We could use that motto these days.

 

ecampbell

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I guess your a youngster and hadn't heard of the card based systems from IBM and Remington Rand ;) Them were the days :eek:



And who can forget the famous motto that was on every desk of IBM and hung on most computer room walls. We could use that motto these days.

That's how I got started, and the punch tape.
 

ninemileskid

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I remember those cards from a company I drove a truck for. The computer was in a room that was kept cold, there were jackets and sweaters hanging on hooks right outside the door. We were warned, in no uncertain terms to STAY OUT!!!
 

46er

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I fondly recall my first interview at some bank in NYC. I was given a tray of cards to sort. Boy did I ever screw that up. The guy interviewing me was nice, he let the air out of my balloon slowly, gave me some advice and sent me on my way. :)
 

Boyd

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I guess your a youngster and hadn't heard of the card based systems
No, I'm an old fart that learned ALGOL in 1967 by keypunching one statement per card. After you wrote your program you put a rubberband around the card deck and left it in the inbox where the white-coated technicians inside the glass-walled computer room would feed it to the huge Burroughs B-5500 computer. There was a row of alphabetical pigeon-holes where the technicians would leave your original cards and pages of line-printer output from your program wrapped around them with a rubber band a few hours later.

More often than not, the program aborted with some kind of syntax error so you would have to find the error, replace the bad card and repeat. It could take DAYS to get your simple little program to run. Incredibly frustrating! A year later they installed a state of the art timesharing system with teletype ASR-33 terminals in various locations around the campus. They gave you realtime access to the computer center using phone lines with modems and acoustic couplers. You could then write your programs in BASIC which was a huge advance.

Got my first computer, an Apple II in 1978, it was one of the first 5000 that Apple made. It cost $1300 - I got the 16k model instead of the cheaper 4k model. That's 16 KILOBYTES, not megabytes. :) For that price, you just got the computer, you had to connect it to a TV for a screen and an audio tape deck for storage, they hadn't introduced a disk drive yet.

In 1985 I got a "Fat Mac" with 512k memory and floppy drive. A year or so later I got a Hard Disk 20, Apple's first hard drive that plugged into the RS-422 serial port. My mind boggled at the vast amount of storage! My daughter is from the "computer generation", here she is using the Mac back in 1986. :)

mac1986.jpg
 

manumuskin

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No, I'm an old fart that learned ALGOL in 1967 by keypunching one statement per card. After you wrote your program you put a rubberband around the card deck and left it in the inbox where the white-coated technicians inside the glass-walled computer room would feed it to the huge Burroughs B-5500 computer. There was a row of alphabetical pigeon-holes where the technicians would leave your original cards and pages of line-printer output from your program wrapped around them with a rubber band a few hours later.

More often than not, the program aborted with some kind of syntax error so you would have to find the error, replace the bad card and repeat. It could take DAYS to get your simple little program to run. Incredibly frustrating! A year later they installed a state of the art timesharing system with teletype ASR-33 terminals in various locations around the campus. They gave you realtime access to the computer center using phone lines with modems and acoustic couplers. You could then write your programs in BASIC which was a huge advance.

Got my first computer, an Apple II in 1978, it was one of the first 5000 that Apple made. It cost $1300 - I got the 16k model instead of the cheaper 4k model. That's 16 KILOBYTES, not megabytes. :) For that price, you just got the computer, you had to connect it to a TV for a screen and an audio tape deck for storage, they hadn't introduced a disk drive yet.

In 1985 I got a "Fat Mac" with 512k memory and floppy drive. A year or so later I got a Hard Disk 20, Apple's first hard drive that plugged into the RS-422 serial port. My mind boggled at the vast amount of storage! My daughter is from the "computer generation", here she is using the Mac back in 1986. :)

View attachment 8939
I was three years old in 1967! and I thought I was an Old fart!
 
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Tom Jenkins

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46er, that machine room photo brings back memories (nightmares?) - I started my career in the mid-60s in what we called the tab room processing punched-card input & output for an IBM 1401 computer - 16k ( yes, 16 K) total memory.
 
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46er

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46er, that machine room photo brings back memories (nightmares?) - I started my career in the mid-60s in what we called the tab room processing punched-card input & output for an IBM 1401 computer - 16k ( yes, 16 K) total memory.
I started with the wired board machines, i.e. 403, 407, 604, etc. I have a few of the boards somewhere. Programming by wire, now that was fun :) Do you remember petaflops?

 
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