Discussion:
OT:Technological Changes
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Louis Epstein
2017-07-24 23:58:03 UTC
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This summer marks forty years since I first started using personal
computers,beginning with a Processor Technology Sol-20.As an S-100
architecture machine,the 8-bit Sol had a 64K memory limit,and offered
8- and 16-kilobyte expansion cards to build up to that level,which cost
$529 each for the 16K.

Today I took delivery of a new disk drive because one of the current
ones on my computer has been acting up...it cost about half as much
as those old memory cards,and that it includes eight thousand times
as much memory (i.e. a 128-megabyte RAM cache) is a minor incidental
feature that scarcely registers in the purchase price.

For those who wanted to move beyond loading software and languages into
the Sol's memory from audio cassettes whenever starting it up,we were
able to get single-sided,single-density,hard-sectored 5.25" floppy disk
drives ("diskettes",to pedants,since the more expensive 8" floppy disk
units from Sol itself were supposed to be the future but never caught on).
Each disk(ette) had a 90K capacity and files had to be created with
fixed sizes before they were filled (The disk operating system also
had to be loaded at start-up as an add-on to the basic "personality
module").

The disk I got today can hold more data than sixty million of those
floppies.

-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
Michael OConnor
2017-07-25 00:44:02 UTC
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Post by Louis Epstein
The disk I got today can hold more data than sixty million of those
floppies.
I remember 5.25" floppies. I also remember with my first home computer (Commodore 64 back in 1983 when in college, cost 300 dollars, took me an entire year to save up for it) had an audio cassette drive. I taught myself BASIC and learned COBOL and Fortran while in college, never used the later two. I was on the Internet (I think it was still called ArpaNet back then) back in 1984, our college had a computer lab and I was allowed two hours per week on the computer, between 5AM and 7AM Sunday morning. I remember some other California universities were online at the time, and we would send pictures back and forth, usually animals or sports photos or Star Wars or Star Trek. These early upload/downloads would take several hours with the original low baud modems that you set the phone receiver on, and we would sit around and bet on what the picture would be. The good old days.
Louis Epstein
2017-07-25 07:47:37 UTC
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Post by Michael OConnor
Post by Louis Epstein
The disk I got today can hold more data than sixty million of those
floppies.
I remember 5.25" floppies. I also remember with my first home computer
(Commodore 64 back in 1983 when in college, cost 300 dollars, took me an
entire year to save up for it)
That decadent newfangled machine came with the whole 64 kilobytes
already in it...rather than having to build up to 64 as you could
afford the cards!...not to mention costing less than one 16K card
for a Sol.
Post by Michael OConnor
had an audio cassette drive. I taught myself BASIC and learned COBOL
and Fortran while in college, never used the later two. I was on the
Internet (I think it was still called ArpaNet back then) back in 1984,
You beat me there!
Post by Michael OConnor
our college had a computer lab and I was allowed two hours per week on
the computer, between 5AM and 7AM Sunday morning. I remember some other
California universities were online at the time, and we would send
pictures back and forth, usually animals or sports photos or Star Wars
or Star Trek. These early upload/downloads would take several hours
with the original low baud modems that you set the phone receiver on,
and we would sit around and bet on what the picture would be. The good
old days.
-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.

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