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Evolution of Microcomputers: Personal Histories

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realjjj
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....
realjjj   2/28/2017 4:56:25 PM
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Would be interesting to look at it on a per cubic mm basis and maybe try to project the next 10 years too. Ofc excluding software wouldn't be right as it helps quite  a bit in key areas.

Can be argued that storage is practically unlimited as the internet has sufficiently evolved.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: ....
Max The Magnificent   2/28/2017 5:02:45 PM
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@realjjj: ...Can be argued that storage is practically unlimited as the internet has sufficiently evolved...

I remember when our ISP told us we had to pay more for our site because we had exceeded some limit like 10MB or storage (or something like that) -- something we would now regard as being piddlingly small

realjjj
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Re: ....
realjjj   2/28/2017 8:03:46 PM
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Yeah and because of it, file hoarding is falling out of fashion. Products like music and video streaming or cloud storage have changed people's behavior and needs. Youtube just announced that they have reached 1 billion hours per day watched. The internet offers us such a vast library of resources that on device storage is becoming irrelevant for consumers. In a few years even phones will have more than they need, assuming NAND prices keep scaling.

Michael Dunn
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No 386
Michael Dunn   3/1/2017 10:46:10 AM
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BTW, the 80386 PC was my work machine. At home, I jumped all the way from the 8MHz XT (DOS) to the 90MHz Pentium (OS/2) (ignoring the mostly-dedicated-to-music Atari ST). And I try not to think about what that Pentium system set me back. In 1995 dollars. Urgh.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: No 386
Max The Magnificent   3/1/2017 11:00:44 AM
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@Michael: ...I try not to think about what that Pentium system set me back. In 1995 dollars...

I know what you mean -- I think it was in 1998 when I was working for Intergraph and I purchased one of their Pentium 486 towers running Windows 95 -- this wasn't top of the range or anything -- but it cost me $2,500 (arrgghhhh)

Rcurl
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Southwest Technical Products 6800
Rcurl   3/1/2017 11:59:18 AM
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I started out with a Southwest Technical Products 6800 that was built from a kit,  It had a whopping 64K of RAM and was mounted in the base of a Friden Flexowriter teleprinter with an 8-level ASCII (none of the old 5-level Baudot crap!) punched tape reader and a stunt box full of relays on the back.

It took about 5 minutes to load "Tiny Basic" from punched tape.  I was really proud to have a copy of "Fancy Punch" which allowed me to type a short phrase and have it punched in legible holes on the tape.

It had a 300 baud modem and when I wasn't using it as a computer it doubled as a TWX terminal.

I eventually upgraded to a Commodore VIC-20.  The original computer ultimately went to a Hamfest where I had put a price of $10 on it.  It didn't sell, so about an hour before closing I marked it "Free".  It still didn't sell.

   

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Southwest Technical Products 6800
Max The Magnificent   3/1/2017 12:15:15 PM
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@RCurl: ...a price of $10 on it.  It didn't sell, so about an hour before closing I marked it "Free".  It still didn't sell.

I bet it would sell now -- do you still have it?

Rcurl
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Re: Southwest Technical Products 6800
Rcurl   3/1/2017 12:21:29 PM
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@MAX: "I bet it would sell now -- do you still have it?"

 

I had been warned that if it came back home I'd be sleeping on the couch.  I still remember seeing it in the rearview mirror in that big empty hall as I drove away.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Southwest Technical Products 6800
Max The Magnificent   3/1/2017 12:28:51 PM
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@Rcurl: ...I had been warned that if it came back home I'd be sleeping on the couch.  I still remember seeing it in the rearview mirror in that big empty hall as I drove away...

A little tear is rolling down my cheek in sympathy. And yet I bet Cynthia places on limits on the number of pairs of shoes she has gracing your bedroom closet LOL

blinss
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VIC-20 and Teletype Marriage
blinss   3/1/2017 12:40:46 PM
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I acquired a Commodore VIC-20 back in the day but not a printer, as Dot-Matrix and "Daisy Wheel" (remember those?) printers were still somewhat expensive. When I bought an early word processor program "Quick Brown Fox", it was apparent I needed to have a working printer.

I had scored an old (1960's?) Teletype KSR-33 terminal (Keyboard Send/Receive, with Paper Tape Punch and Reader) from a surplus sale, as a memento of my old BOCES PDP-11 timeshare BASIC programming experience in High School. That experience was using a rotary dial-up handset, pressed into an Acoustic-coupler Modem, at a screaming 110 Baud - the speed of the Teletype solenoid.

The Teletype used a 50 milliamp current loop to communicate with the modem - this current actually pulled in the solenoid that mechanically selected the character combination and stamped the head against the paper (all UPPER CASE, this is not an IBM Selectric!)

So, using the VIC-20 RS-232 port for printer connection, I hacked up my own 50 mA current loop interface, set the baud rate to 110, and ported the output to the Serial port. IT WORKED!

Though somewhat crude, I had my first working printer, and a great experience in serial communications. If you've ever wondered why the asynchronous serial protocol evolved the way it did, realize that there were serious electro-mechanical necessities in driving the printer mechanism of those days...

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