A personal travel in time...
G’Day, my name is Ben aka ‘TacTicToe’ and living in Australia.
I was born in Western Europe in 1962 and at the age of 9 acquired my first personal computer. A Sinclair ZX-81 (CPU Zilog80…). My brother was more calculator type bloke (a TI-80) and other kids were playing soccer in the park. I did not know but I was a geek and it starts a personal legend. Learning to create software and the basic language on a small black and white television. Monitor did not exist at that period of time. For who remember the ZX-81, you had to manipulate the 1K memory with REM line with no end and poke it, repoke, rerepoke and oops it crashed… start again. The good old days.
I always loved technologies. Especially computer but to return to day 1 age of microcomputer is to return to stone age. However, that is where I started and I am not complaining. After all it was pioneer time, everything was messy, documentation rare and mind you: only book in English most of the time, I did not speak English back then but what I learned at school. The Internet? Nope, did not exist at that period of time. I do remember BBS (Bulletin board system) thought… a little bit later on the track. Modem did start to appear later… if you can call that modem. Let’s say they were the ancestor. Dial a number, listen to a carrier… and hook the phone on this ‘modem’. Fun, we were talking in extra slow snail transmission rate… to compare to todays modern modem I should say: impaired snail under sedative. Unfortunately modem were way too expensive for me. Time passing I saw Apple arriving on the market, Commodore 64, but I was sticking at that time with my ZX-Spectrum (48K of Ram... what a jump in size for a so short period of time), its Microdrive it’s RS-232 Interface and a TV with colour or a colour TV… loading software from tape (K7 format…) or from my Microdrive (a tape without end… some ancestor of floppy disk)… I will not talk about the choking time needed to load software by tape… from 15 minutes to infinity… and that was without trouble. Microdrives were able to read and write on a small cartridge about 100Kb… Awesome! I do remember creating a map from a school for its open day, a database with more than 1000 records and games (Poke this poke that if you did have a ZX-81 or Spectrum). Oh well, time is flying…
I also remember drooling at an Amiga 500 from commodore at a Tech. shop… I had to have one and guess what? It stills working today. The very first PC with a workbench workable. An awesome machine that still have lots of Fan these days. I also had an Apple2C but did not use it very much. What is in common with all these PC? You had to go under the 'bonnet' quite often if you wanted to understand how it works, or for repair because they failed. Not often they failed but they did. Hardware ruled software at this stage, not so true today. Home PC from 1981 onward: Amstrad, Atari, Vic20, TRS-80, TI99/4A were also popular. Check the bottom of this page the link list of home computers to know more.
First Ever PC 16/32bits, lady and gentleman let me present to you the AMIGA...
A day my brother took me, after arrangement, to my very first computer shop and we both bought our very first PC clone running an Intel CPU at 133MHz (Pentium). To compare to the 3.5MHz ish of my old spectrum this was light speed. That clone was running Windows 95. A Revolution. Apple at that period of time was famous for it’s Macintosh. For me it was DOS6.11 and Windows 95… then 98, 98SR… I passed millennium too buggy and unstable. I tried NT at work while running 2000 at home. Then came XP… If I did prefer my 2000 at time I must admit I loved XP. At that period of time I just dislike its wizard and it’s plastic green start button and theme. But has time pass I started to appreciate it. Passed Windows Vista, Get 7, then now 8… totally tweaked.
To return to the past I remember when the Pascal Language was released then the first edition of Delphi by Borland. It was given on a CD of a monthly PC magazine. I tried it and since then I stick with this language. It does not pass a day I do not code in Pascal with Delphi… or in my head or behind a keyboard. All of this to tell you I did not make a living from computer in my early man age. Later on I married an Australian lady and migrate to Australia and then it became my profession. We had a shop. Repairs, Troubleshooting, building New PC, Upgrading not new one, developing custom software solutions, maintaining server or building/deploying them … And so much more. Today I do not have this shop anymore but I still love technologies whatever it is. I love the Internet, still developing software for personal use or keep in touch with my skills. Now at the age of 52 I wonder what could have been my life if computer did not exist. A Boolean dilemma I will probably have no answer to it. Meanwhile bitwise I wish you a very good day.
You might like to read more about Old Home Personal computer... They were heaps of them but not a lot made it to the finish line
Some link you might like to travel in time:
List of Home Computers : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_home_computers
List of Early Microcomputers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_early_microcomputers
ZX Spectrum Emulator : http://www.zxspectrum4.net/emulator.php
(donnation for registration give full access to the emulator)
Amiga Emulator: http://www.amigaforever.com
(the best Amiga emulator, not free)
Other Emulator, lots: http://www.99er.net/links/emulation
Movies about computer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_about_computers
And why not listen to my own music while surfing all of the above? Hmmm?
Hope you enjoyed this travel in time...
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