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Proto-Geek Memories

After a few days of successfully rehabilitating my desktop all-in-one HP 300-1020 touchscreen I hearkened back to days of yore (of my what?)…

Of my former computers.

Prior to this one, I’d a series of increasingly-faster tower systems, starting with a 286 and ending with some Pentium variant.  And beyond.

Originally, I’d access the Internet via dial-up.  You remember – SHHHHHHH, followed by electronic bing-bong tones and then a connection – if we were lucky.  And then it was bbs (bulletin board services) and IRC (internet relay chat) connecting with people in places like Scotland and Germany.  (Finland bbs’ers disavowed me because I was an American!)

I remember chatting on a bbs with a guy whose handle was broomhandlemaus (or something) who told me he collected broomhandle Mausers.  How cool was THAT?

I chatted with some women, too.  The less said about that, the better.

But the 286 wasn’t my first computer.

My first cost me $20 in 1986 from a department store.  You hooked her up to a B&W TV (as a monitor) and used a tape recorder for memory(!)  She was a Timex-Sinclair 1000 !

ts1000I’d no money initially for the 16K memory add-on (it came with 2K resident), and had many peripherals available – including a printer!!!  But alas, with no money, and no modem, I’d no way to connect her to the outside world…  Eventually, I did get the 16K memory, though!

I remember hunt-and-peck entering machine code for hours to get a simple row-column program to appear on the TV, only to have the tenuous connection to the add-on memory break, and the screen go dark.  Of course, this was before I could save it onto the tape recorder.

Sigh.  Back to square one.

I even remember Computer Shopper Magazine having a center section entitled The Timex-Sinclair Survival Column.  Obviously, with memory technology passing her in light years, it no longer became practical to connect 10 and 20 machines together to build robots, and such.  And they went into the dust bin of history.

But, she taught me a lot, and more importantly set the computer hooks in me.

And, here I am today, communicating World-wide with friends on the Internet, and writing a humble blog.

Who knew?  :-)

About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Discussion

8 thoughts on “Proto-Geek Memories

  1. My first computer was a Texas Instruments TI99-4A. I had a computer geek tell me that I must have been hard core back then.

    Posted by robertsgunshop | June 8, 2014, 7:05 am
  2. IBM XT…

    Posted by oldnfo | June 8, 2014, 2:59 pm
  3. An S-100 bus micro with a cassette tape reader for storage. I think it had 16k of RAM.

    After that, the Commodore 64 was a step up!

    Posted by SiGraybeard | June 8, 2014, 6:01 pm
  4. I have my Timex Sinclair 1000 stashed away. Mine had that add-on module and cost $109 total. The manual touted the total memory and stated “You will never need this much RAM”. I still get it out, read that manual and laugh.

    Posted by tweell | June 10, 2014, 2:54 pm

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