[geeks] Goodbye, I guess
velociraptor at gmail.com
Fri Aug 31 19:18:01 CDT 2007
On Aug 30, 2007, at 1:39 PM, Charles Shannon Hendrix wrote:
> For one horrifying moment, I read that as "camel dumplings".
Well, they have something similar, called horse dumplings--they go
with the buggies. ;-)
Carmel dumplings are essentially sugar and bread, properly
cooked...quite an indulgence.
>> My father left his family at that age and went out on his own (he
>> wanted to attend school). He ended up joining the Army and is an old
>> school electronics geek. I haven't been able to convince him to
>> learn *NIX, though he still has functional C= computers. He never
>> would pony up for the Amiga, oddly enough. I still don't think he
>> understands just how much I know about computers, because I dismiss
>> his interest in Windows. ;-) I only do it because it irks him.
> For some reason, most of the old-school electronics/HAM geeks I
> know are
> Windows people, and nothing will make them change.
> Never have quite figured that out.
Pop got into computers by building his own kit microcomputer out of
those mail-order catalogues, can't recall the name at the moment. We
had one of the first TRS-80's--definitely the first in our small
town, I'm sure. Then it was the Vic 20, the C= 64, and the 128.
In his day job he was an automation control engineer, so BASIC, flow-
charts and all that were right up his alley. He discovered DOS quite
by accident when he forgot to put the Allen Bradley software
diskettes into the portable programmer. From there it was a downhill
slide to Windows. A few years ago, after 98 was EOL'd, I got the
earful about his new computer that it wouldn't install on. XD He
finally capitulated and installed XP.
I presume it's got something to do with the serial interfaces that
make the stamp boards and BASIC so easily handled on a DOS box. I
think it's also the perceived budget issues. Most HAM/electronics
guys want to save their $$ for other stuff that has more "bling" for
them--coughing up the cash for a Mac wasn't in the cards. Likewise,
think about the advertisements you'd see a magazine of that era, and
how much something other than an 8086 box would cost...
I never got into the TRS-80--the crappy cassette "datasette" that
passed for storage just turned me off. I read Byte mag and all that,
but never really got into the computer per se; my nose was in books
or I was playing sports, doing the HS journalism thing, and all the
other crap kids trying to get a free ride in college do.
When I got to college, they had TRS-80's, Apple ]['s and 2-floppy DOS
computers. The first two years, I learned and used WordStar on DOS,
then after my 2 years off, I started working in the library computer
lab, so I learned Macs, DOS, and early 'doze. Being a liberal arts
major, I only used those computers for writing papers, until I
started working at the lab full time after graduation. At that
point, I started learning more about the hardware, as we had a
special card for our IBM PS/2 computers that worked similarly to the
software we ran on the Apple ]['s and Macs for backing up software.
(We had a "lending library" of software for use in the lab.) Later,
I turned my Mac knowledge into a computer support job, and taught
myself rudimentary programming through having to maintain a DBIII+
program that was written in Clipper. Then followed the twisted path
I also had the <sarcasm>pleasure</sarcasm> of dealing with Microsoft
support trying to typeset a book with files imported from MS Word on
DOS to the _very_ first version of Word on the Mac. That experience
caused me to fall in love with FrameMaker as soon as I heard that
it's save files were binary compatible across *all* platforms (not
really rocket science, but they were the first).
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