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  Reply # 1424030 9-Nov-2015 22:31
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SaltyNZ:
Rikkitic: 
Edit: On reflection, the Kaypro could not have had an 8086 CPU. I am an old person and I mix things up. 

Not necessarily. There *was* a version of CP/M for 8086. And a Kaypro that ran CP/M. Although it might not have been an 8086 one.

The first Kaypro had a Z80 CPU and it ran 8-bit CP/M.  As SaltyNZ says, there was also a 16-bit version of CP/M called CP/M-86.

My first computer had a 2.5MHz Zilog Z80 with 512kB of RAM and 2 x 8-inch SS/SD Shugart floppy drives each holding 240kB.  It had a series of plug-in cards using the S100 bus in a massive chassis about the size of a large microwave oven, but even heavier!

User interface was via a separate dumb terminal plugged in to an RS-232 port.  It ran 8-bit CP/M and I had very few programs for it apart from WordStar and a cross assembler which I used to develop software for microcontrollers.

My first programmable handheld device was an HP-21, quickly followed by an HP-25C, both of which used Reverse Polish Notation.  Really hard for anyone not in the know to use, but brilliant for use at Tech in the late 70s where most others didn't have programmable calculators at all.





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  Reply # 1424131 10-Nov-2015 08:59
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Fairchild F8 board!!

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  Reply # 1424396 10-Nov-2015 13:45
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Acorn Electron (32k) with Plus 3 drive and Slogger eprom board. Still got it along with Atari 2600.

Palm pilot IIIx with ?8g expansion board.
   Remember connecting in to my Nokia ?6010 and surfing on internet...


A.




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  Reply # 1427547 13-Nov-2015 13:42
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Hopefully not OT but all this reminds me of when I was at Uni of Auck in early 1970's. One of the Economics III papers I did was Managerial Economics - Operations Research - a paper offered jointly by the Ec and Engineering depts about computer simulations to find optimal solutions to business situations - queuing, transportation problems etc.

It started by teaching us the programming language FORTRAN - now long gone I guess. We were given problem situations and we had to write a programs from scratch to simulate and optimally solve them. Wrote out the program on paper, then took it to the punch room where we had to punch our code onto IBM cards on machines - one card per line of code. Could easily end up with a stack of cards 5 - 6" thick for even a fairly simple program.

The cards were left in an inbox with a rubber band around them and were processed overnight by the staff on the Uni's only computer, an IBM mainframe in a sealed, air conditioned room at the Engineering School Computer Centre. Go back in the morning and pick up the output - the stack of cards wrapped in the printout on line-flow paper with a rubber band around them.

If if worked, you were rapt. If if didn't, would have to insert corrected cards into the stack and leave them overnight again. Rinse and repeat. There was no bug analysis - just had to look at the output and try and figure why it didn't work.

There was a tech leap forward during the year when we were able to move from punched cards to pencil-marked cards that would be run through an OCR reader by the staff each night. Meant you could make your cards anywhere and not have to trudge up to the punch room. Still had to trudge up to drop 'em off though.

That year was the only time I ever wrote any code and I really enjoyed it.



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  Reply # 1427583 13-Nov-2015 14:46
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eracode: Hopefully not OT but all this reminds me of when I was at Uni of Auck in early 1970's. One of the Economics III papers I did was Managerial Economics - Operations Research - a paper offered jointly by the Ec and Engineering depts about computer simulations to find optimal solutions to business situations - queuing, transportation problems etc.

It started by teaching us the programming language FORTRAN - now long gone I guess. We were given problem situations and we had to write a programs from scratch to simulate and optimally solve them. Wrote out the program on paper, then took it to the punch room where we had to punch our code onto IBM cards on machines - one card per line of code. Could easily end up with a stack of cards 5 - 6" thick for even a fairly simple program.

The cards were left in an inbox with a rubber band around them and were processed overnight by the staff on the Uni's only computer, an IBM mainframe in a sealed, air conditioned room at the Engineering School Computer Centre. Go back in the morning and pick up the output - the stack of cards wrapped in the printout on line-flow paper with a rubber band around them.

If if worked, you were rapt. If if didn't, would have to insert corrected cards into the stack and leave them overnight again. Rinse and repeat. There was no bug analysis - just had to look at the output and try and figure why it didn't work.

There was a tech leap forward during the year when we were able to move from punched cards to pencil-marked cards that would be run through an OCR reader by the staff each night. Meant you could make your cards anywhere and not have to trudge up to the punch room. Still had to trudge up to drop 'em off though.

That year was the only time I ever wrote any code and I really enjoyed it.

Ha ha - my first job when I left school was as a computer operator for a company that had an IBM System360/145 mainframe, complete with washing machine-like demountable disc storage, big reel-to-reel tape drives, the massive impact printers that produced that line-flow paper, more flashing lights than a 1970s science fiction movie and... a card punch and card reader. We used to get programs submitted from high school students on cards with pre-perforated holes that they would poke out with a pencil point as the schools didn't have card punch hardware. Unfortunately we always used to "fan the deck" before feeding cards through the reader as it helped prevent jams and if you weren't careful and bent the cards too much when fanning you'd pop out dozens of extra bits so their programs wouldn't work. You'd look at their printout, something like a nice "sine wave" graph plotted out with asterisks, which would suddenly shoot off in a random direction.

I'm sure a few GeekZoners will know this, but the little bits of card cut out by the punch are called "chad" and make pretty good confetti.

Hmm, what to write...
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  Reply # 1427613 13-Nov-2015 15:27
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1995 486DX4 4MB RAM Windows 3.11, no modem, no cd drive, no sound card 1.44 floppy drive, MS office on 25 floppy disks, Xerox fastpage 4 LED laser printer.... and all for only $4500




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  Reply # 1427654 13-Nov-2015 16:21
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Brendan -- ah, yes, I remember that Casio Programmable Calculator with BASIC.  It had the feature that if you multiplied two negative numbers, or squared a negative number, it gave you a negative number. When I queried this with the makers, they assured me the math was right!

My first?  HP 35, of course, and then an Osborne 1, fabulous machine!




gml


Hmm, what to write...
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  Reply # 1427657 13-Nov-2015 16:25
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mdav056: Brendan -- ah, yes, I remember that Casio Programmable Calculator with BASIC.  It had the feature that if you multiplied two negative numbers, or squared a negative number, it gave you a negative number. When I queried this with the makers, they assured me the math was right!

My first?  HP 35, of course, and then an Osborne 1, fabulous machine!


yes it was correct... -1^2 is not (-1)^2, it is really -1x1^2 and of course because exponents are done before multiplication....




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  Reply # 1427686 13-Nov-2015 17:12
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mdooher -- oh dear, there goes most all statistics and maths, who is going to tell the spreadsheet makers and programmers?  Not I.




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  Reply # 1427716 13-Nov-2015 18:57
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ZX Spectrum (48k).  Hand-me-down from Dad -- it was about 8 years old when I got it.  Came with a cassette recorder, mono composite monitor.  No games apart from the demo tape it came with, so I was forced to program at an early age.  And now look at the mess I'm in...

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  Reply # 1427724 13-Nov-2015 19:28
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mdav056: Brendan -- ah, yes, I remember that Casio Programmable Calculator with BASIC.  It had the feature that if you multiplied two negative numbers, or squared a negative number, it gave you a negative number. When I queried this with the makers, they assured me the math was right!

My first?  HP 35, of course, and then an Osborne 1, fabulous machine!


Haha that reminds me of 3rd and 4th form (which wasn't actually that long ago for me). Me and a friend sold games we made on the calculators. Had a whole bunch of them, best seller was a 'mario' equivalent and also mini golf.
We made up a serial cable to make transfers easy and charged 5 bucks for the game. Kids don't know how good they have it with their phones now...

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  Reply # 1427807 14-Nov-2015 00:51
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First cd-rom drive I installed was a scsl and paired with a soundblaster card with a scsi interface. In the days of 20mb hdds, reading 650mb from media was amazing.

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  Reply # 1427821 14-Nov-2015 03:52
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gzt: First cd-rom drive I installed was a scsl and paired with a soundblaster card with a scsi interface. In the days of 20mb hdds, reading 650mb from media was amazing.


That must have been about the time that PC games migrated from multiple floppies to CD ROMs? As you say, amazing at time - revolutionary, if you'll pardon the pun. This was about the time we bought our first family computer - son was about seven - so about 1994?

Then it wasn't long before games got so much bigger and were on multiple CDs.

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  Reply # 1427828 14-Nov-2015 06:47
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first "family" computer was a Commodore Vic 20 which was mostly used for playing Pong.
Then in the late 80s when working as a musician our band used an Atari 1040ST along with Mastertracks Pro midi sequencing software for playing keyboards on a Roland D110 Synth module.

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  Reply # 1427829 14-Nov-2015 07:05
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gzt: First cd-rom drive I installed was a scsl and paired with a soundblaster card with a scsi interface. In the days of 20mb hdds, reading 650mb from media was amazing.


I spent three years back in the day doing custom builds, repairs, etc. I sold a CD writer to a muso. HP, Only $2500. The blank CD's were $5 each

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