Great fun on Twitter today as I asked when folks went online for the first time in their lives. The answers were marked with the #goonline hashtag. Mostly just random reminiscing but it got me remembering the fun we had "suffering" in the olden days.
The best part, of course, is that my "olden days" aren't yours. Maybe you learned with punch cards or maybe your first machine was a *gulp* Pentium. Either way, it was different and now it's a part of you.
Here's a totally random, completely useless collection of things I remember doing/accomplishing/working on while I was "coming up" in computers.
What's your list? Is it a list of suffering? Of joy? Of great fun? Of accomplishment?
Using QEMM to rearrange all the TSRs in upper and extended memory. Then getting better than QEMM and using intuition to get better results.
Stacker'ing a 40 meg MFM hard drive. Upgrading to DR-DOS and getting compression for free.
Running a multi-node WildCAT! BBS under DesqView. Later running it under OS/2, then OS/2 Warp.
Upgrading my PC/XT by meticulously adding dozens of DIPs to an QUADBOARD expansion.
Using a standard paper hole punch to punch another write-protect notch in a 5 1/4" floppy to make it double-sided.
Telling everyone to be quiet so the acoustic coupler on a 300 baud modem could do its thing.
Using a regular cassette tape to play games on a Commodore Vic 20. LOAD "*", 1, 1
Printing out 40+ page or more giant-posters of Mr. Spock created entirely in ASCII on a TSR-80 and a 9-pin dot matrix printer. It took hours.
Typing in games from the back of COMPUTE! magazine. I ended up hiring kids from down street to read the long list of HEX values and CRC codes to me.
Buying a printer to work with PaperClip and having to type the printer's control codes directly into the application.
What's yours, Dear Reader?
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
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Formatting dual-sided 5 1/4" floppy disks on my dad's Apple IIe and labeling them up, ready to store my invention of a computer program that held a conversation with you... but was only limited to 5 questions!!Spending hours using drawing detailed pictures in "Dr. Halo" on a brand new PC sporting an 8086 processer and black/orange monitor that used *a mouse!*Having to re-write my fruit machine (aka one-armed bandit) games (aka one-armed bandit) in BASIC on a Toshiba MSX 64K each weekend, as the external tape drive broke months ago.Having to use a floppy boot disk armed with SimCGA-2 on a IBM-PC compatible and having to play around with memory configurations just to play "Defender of the Crown" on a orange/black monitor. (I can still remember the theme tune in my head for that one that blurted out through a PC speaker!)Unpicking the RAM chips from one graphics card to boost the RAM on another graphics card, bringing the total up to 4 Megabytes on my 386 machine!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.