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Something about computer use that kids today wouldn't understand

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Jeanh, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Here is a portable computer from 1983 (I used to work with one of these). It had a whopping 128 kilobytes of RAM and a 9" monochrome screen (but no battery; worked from AC only):


    It was officially called a portable, but "luggable" was considered a more appropriate term by many. Anyhow, it was possible to assemble it in the form of a suitcase, and at a mere 28 pounds, it was a breeze to carry:


    Oh, and did I mention that this beauty was sold for the bargain price of a mere $3,590?

    But it was a capable computer indeed. You could even play a game of combat flight simulation, like Sopwith Camel, in glorious monochrome:


    Better yet, Sopwith 2 allowed to players to play against each other over a serial data connection! (Much cheaper than a genuine 2 Mbit/s local area network, with network interface cards costing upwards of $1,000.)

    Oh, but these were glorious days, compared to the way I worked just a few years prior: punch cards, a 110 bps teletype machine (no screen, just impact printing on a roll of paper) connecting to a mainframe across town, or if it was my lucky day, a free VT-100 workstation connecting to the same.

    Saving computer programs on audio cassettes...


    • Using a 1.44 MB floppy disk or a 700 MB Blank Compact Disk to store valuable information:
    In an era where 1 TB hard disks are easily available, kids will surely not understand what a floppy disk or a blank compact disk meant to us. School presentations, holiday home-works, 'notes', etc. were forced into these small sized floppies to carry. Such a pain!! Oh, talk about games, Counter Strike? Age of Empires? Fifa! Well, we struggled using a couple of compact disks (till my 9th or 10th standard probably) to properly burn those games into it to use it. Nowadays, kids will be like, 'Just copy-paste the new game you have, '(Well, please don't sue me with piracy allegations :p)

    • Our childhood games: Dave, Mario, Road Rash, Contra, Captain Claw!
    How I miss them!! With VFX and Game Programming having reached a quintessential level, it is so hard to explain them what these games meant to us. I can literally recall every day when I used to run back home from school, just to play these antediluvian games.

    • Encyclopedia
    Just Google it! Yea! Why Not! Talk about it. I don't even remember when Wikipedia came into existence but I can surely remember buying those Encyclopedia disks from trade fairs to get information on a whole lot of things. Wonder those disks even exist now! Have a copy of it preserved in my home town. Sometimes, I just open them and titter over it!

    • Highlights of my favorite match
    Whenever I felt like watching the 2003 India vs Pakistan WC Cricket match again, I had to put in the disc I had bought with such enthusiasm from a store. It was overwhelming to relive those great moments from those unforgettable matches. With the ÿôutubê era, not only it is easy for all the kids or everybody to just watch anything whenever they feel like, I feel it has reduced that titillating feeling of watching them again. I remember how I used to look at the newspaper's entertainment column, where they used to put in the schedule of every channel for the day. And then, wait for hours for that match to arrive on Star Sports or ESPN.

    • When I started using a computer, you had to build your own computer, then manually teach it how to be programmed, before you could program it. Please or Register to view links
    • Before thumb drives, this was portable storage:
    • Early computers had printers, but no monitors. You'd type something in, print results, look at the paper, type in changes, then print it again.
    • Computer memory used to be made out of magnetic beads strung on wires, flipped either to the right or to the left. They would forget data if a train went by or an earthquake shook the ground. This was called "core" memory and it's where we get the term "core dump."
    lablab likes this.
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