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  #21  
Old 07.09.2020, 18:25
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

I went to night school for Business Studies in the late 80s and the Information Processing classes were taught on BBC Basic. Unfortunately for us, the tutor the college employed was a Professor from Essex University and he was a mega boffin. He couldn't come down to the level of the techy idiots he was teaching, who were tired after work and commuting to the City, so he just used to shout at us all the time I was dazzled that I actually passed the exam
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  #22  
Old 07.09.2020, 18:30
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

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"And where is the very first „home computer“, the Sinclair ZX80. £99 for no screen, no memory, 1K ram and hardly a keyboard.

Wish I‘d kept mine now..."

OH has still got his in the original polystyrene packaging, also the little printer with the silvery coloured heat paper and some cassette tapes. I don't like the rubbery feel of the keyboard, it's a bit icky!
I remember seeing one at the local Brocki for 10 CHF. This was about 15 or 20 years ago.

Still kicking myself that I didn't take it.
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  #23  
Old 07.09.2020, 18:33
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

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I went to night school for Business Studies in the late 80s and the Information Processing classes were taught on BBC Basic. Unfortunately for us, the tutor the college employed was a Professor from Essex University and he was a mega boffin. He couldn't come down to the level of the techy idiots he was teaching, who were tired after work and commuting to the City, so he just used to shout at us all the time I was dazzled that I actually passed the exam
My first computing lessons at school were in the early 1980s. We were a class of about 30 had to share two BBC Micros and programm them in BASIC. Despite that we very soon knew more about them than the teacher did, so all her efforts at trying to teach us something ended up in embarrasment.

Especially whe we started doing things that she had claimed were impossible.
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  #24  
Old 07.09.2020, 18:41
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

I was always jealous of my friends who had various computers. I wanted an Amiga or Atari ST. However, my parents were dead against having any kind of computer. It was only when my uncle left the country, leaving me his IBM PS/2 did I have a computer and even then it had only 3 programs: 1 game (Formula 1 racing), Typing Tutor and Turbo Pascal.

In retrospect, this was a blessing in disguise as both my sister and I became excellent touch typists and I learned to program!
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  #25  
Old 07.09.2020, 18:43
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

BASIC! Ah Beginners, All purpose, Symbolic, Instruction, Code!

10 Print “Hooray”
20 Goto 10
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  #26  
Old 07.09.2020, 20:24
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

actually BASIC was far funnier. I remember in the 80s going into local stores selling computers and writing quick BASIC programs to do random counts then start making a lot of noise. The TVs to which these units were turned up high.

The Commodore units worked best because they pushed the noise though the TV and not though a microspeaker in the computer itself.

In the 90s, I regularly FDISKed Win95 and 98 computers. You could delete the partition while Windows was running. Which was quaint considering you had to load Windows from 11+ floppy drives back then.
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  #27  
Old 07.09.2020, 20:30
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

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In the 90s, I regularly FDISKed Win95 and 98 computers. You could delete the partition while Windows was running. Which was quaint considering you had to load Windows from 11+ floppy drives back then.
There was a file in Windows NT that was required during startup. It was called NTDETECT.COM.

It wasn't write protected so you could rename it to NTDEFECT.COM The cruel thing was that technicians typically wouldn't notice the one flipped character, and less still the irony of the meaning. They assumed the file was present and could be read. Yet the computer wouldn't boot properly. I once had an argument with a computer guy who when i told him that maybe he should rename that file, told me, no, the name is correct, it's not that.

There was also one version of DOS or maybe even CP/M, in which FORMAT was not an embedded command but there was actually a mini application called FORMAT.COM. You could rename it to FOPMAT.COM, which to most computer technicians and on those fuzzy orange on green monitors was indistinguishable. And then you could lean back, order popcorn, and watch them try to format a floppy. And then after a while you could nonchalantly come over, type FOPMAT A: for them and watch it fopmat the floppy and they would still be none the wiser.

Last edited by amogles; 07.09.2020 at 20:42.
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  #28  
Old 07.09.2020, 20:54
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

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There was a file in Windows NT that was required during startup. It was called NTDETECT.COM.

It wasn't write protected so you could rename it to NTDEFECT.COM The cruel thing was that technicians typically wouldn't notice the one flipped character, and less still the irony of the meaning. They assumed the file was present and could be read. Yet the computer wouldn't boot properly. I once had an argument with a computer guy who when i told him that maybe he should rename that file, told me, no, the name is correct, it's not that.

There was also one version of DOS or maybe even CP/M, in which FORMAT was not an embedded command but there was actually a mini application called FORMAT.COM. You could rename it to FOPMAT.COM, which to most computer technicians and on those fuzzy orange on green monitors was indistinguishable. And then you could lean back, order popcorn, and watch them try to format a floppy. And then after a while you could nonchalantly come over, type FOPMAT A: for them and watch it fopmat the floppy and they would still be none the wiser.
I started my career teaching nt 3.51 to people. Those days were so beautiful, sniff sniff.
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  #29  
Old 07.09.2020, 20:58
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

You guys have no idea, try getting kissed by LISA
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  #30  
Old 07.09.2020, 20:59
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

Did anyone else type all those pages of DATA strings from the likes of a Sinclair User magazine that would literally be a game you could program in at home ? Hours and hours and hours of monotonous hex and alphanumeric and if you got just one character wrong it wouldn’t work!!!

Man, the olden days were different.
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  #31  
Old 07.09.2020, 21:09
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

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Did anyone else type all those pages of DATA strings from the likes of a Sinclair User magazine that would literally be a game you could program in at home ? Hours and hours and hours of monotonous hex and alphanumeric and if you got just one character wrong it wouldn’t work!!!

Man, the olden days were different.
One machine I worked on was a MISOMEX winchester with punch card programming.
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  #32  
Old 07.09.2020, 21:17
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

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One machine I worked on was a MISOMEX winchester with punch card programming.
My dad worked for ICL dataskil back in the 1970s. I was a little kid and don't think I had any understanding of what it was all about but sometimes I would visit him at work and would be allowed to make my own punch cards with the typewriter machine.
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  #33  
Old 07.09.2020, 21:20
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

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My dad worked for ICL dataskil back in the 1970s. I was a little kid and don't think I had any understanding of what it was all about but sometimes I would visit him at work and would be allowed to make my own punch cards with the typewriter machine.
The past is another country, we did things differently there.
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  #34  
Old 07.09.2020, 22:19
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

Yep, vintage / classic computing is a thing these days!

Witness my cellar :

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And yes, do go to the vintage computer festival at the Rote Fabrik early november !
Want to exhibit your old computer there ? PM me, I am one of the organizers.

Jos

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  #35  
Old 07.09.2020, 22:24
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

And your mum would unplug the computer before you’d had chance to save the last 10 mins hex typing.

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Did anyone else type all those pages of DATA strings from the likes of a Sinclair User magazine that would literally be a game you could program in at home ? Hours and hours and hours of monotonous hex and alphanumeric and if you got just one character wrong it wouldn’t work!!!

Man, the olden days were different.
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  #36  
Old 07.09.2020, 22:33
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

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Yep, vintage / classic computing is a thing these days!

Whitness my cellar :

Attachment 140183

Attachment 140184

And yes, do go to vintage computer festival at the Rote Fabrik early november !
Want to exhibit your old computer there ? PM me, I am one of the organizers.

Jos
That looks like the set of Gerry Anderson´s UFO series.
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  #37  
Old 07.09.2020, 22:52
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

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And your mum would unplug the computer before you’d had chance to save the last 10 mins hex typing.
aye, so true.

we had a tough childhood indeed.
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  #38  
Old 09.09.2020, 00:51
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

This is one of the first (and I use the word without a hint of irony) computer I worked with.
What you did was basically "draw" your layout, with a pencil, drawing the captials and minuscles taking in to account font type, font size, kerning, line width, Em spaces, tracking and a host of jargon that I have forgotten by now.
Then you pasted your artwork onto the board and hoped that you had done your sums right and that the cursor, that long thingy, would be in the place you intended at the end of the run, or you got a clip round the ears from the Meister and started again.

Technically I was a good typesetter, but soon got tired of the rules and regulations and started to repair the machines instead.
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  #39  
Old 09.09.2020, 07:28
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

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Plus my Sinclair QL is also missing ?

Hardly a surprise as they were pretty much a flop back then though.

I was a staunch C64 then Amiga guy which had by far the best hardware for coding at the time (although Atari 800 had better graphics hardware than C64 to be fair it never quite took off). I guess being quite musical the C64 then Amiga music was so far ahead of anything as well at the time also pointed me in that direction.

Was involved in doing demoscene coding and music for a good few years in the late 80s and early 90s. Good times

I never personally understood why the Spectrum was so popular - the keyboard itself was rank and colour clash etc woeful. That said I always wanted to play the Ultimate isometric 3D games which never came to the C64 back then.

Still have a mint condition C64 sat in my loft all boxed up back in the UK.
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  #40  
Old 09.09.2020, 09:23
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Re: Guardian rank Home Computers - OUTRAGE! RANT!

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I never personally understood why the Spectrum was so popular - the keyboard itself was rank and colour clash etc woeful. That said I always wanted to play the Ultimate isometric 3D games which never came to the C64 back then.
The Spectrum was half the price of the C64.

A lot of people used them just for games and then the fact that the 'dead-flesh' keyboard was terrible was immaterial as people used joysticks.

A lot of schools in the U.K. had them as well as the BBC micros as it was much cheaper to fill a classroom with Spectrums than it was with BBC Micros.
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