25 October, 2009

Side Step...My Funny Old Computer

I find myself, as per the usual, working at the radio station of a Sunday afternoon. I actually, for once, managed to remember that the Steelers game at 1pm was a home game and therefore left early enough not to have to tailgate on 279 from the airport. Normally mornings start roughly for little old me.

My conversation this morning with the girl who is in before me got my brain rolling. Describing the trials of getting the first story onto this site, I realised how old I was.

How many of us remember the days when you had more than a PC or a Mac? I know there are a few off-beat computer systems now, but nothing like we had as children (For those over 30 and then some.)

How many people today would remember, let alone have used a Commodore 64 or 128? (I still own my Commodore 64C, sitting in a box away from damage.)

How about the Atari ST line of home computers? (I used to log on to a BBS run from one.)

Try the Texas Instruments TI-99-4/A as another. (This was the first computer my mother bought. She taught herself BASIC programming on it. I never did learned.)

I could make this list longer still but don't want to make drooling into keyboards occur. I am not paying for new keyboards. :-)

There are some great stories from the time. Such as Jack Tramill from Commodore bailing out and running to Atari and the fight there. The great statement of Bill Gates: "640k ought to be enough for anybody." A statement Gates denies handily. The great Mac price disasters also are another fun one to look at as well. This is another list that could continue indefinately.

Granted, I miss the days of much variety. Although most of the companies have faded into the mist of History, their mark is left today. Windows 7 is going to be a better thing than Vista and with each passing day Linux gains popularity. Even Apple has rebounded, and as much as I despise the Mac (Institutional hatred built into from using one of the best home and video platforms ever, the Commodore Amiga.) it has evolved into something other than just a simple toy.

So in that virtual cafe of the mind, imagine a room with the latest and most up to date computers, plus all the classics. A place to once again relive the days of playing text based games, quick boot times, and a good deal of typing.

I am waxing nostalgic I know but what the Hell. Every so often, it is fun.

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