Then I wrote a Forth operating system.
This was on a 16KB machine (I had the expansion pack) with a 1.7MHz Z80.
Fun days. I still have the machine and its complete circuit diagram. I should get it out again, but then again, I don't have time:
The Commodore RF modulator that came with it was no good either, but I replaced the electrolytic capacitor inside with a new one and it seems to work pretty well now...
My dad and his friend used to send programs to each other late at night via HAM radio. One would hold the mic keyed next to the tape player playing back the ASCII and the other one would hold the speaker up to the computer's input and load the data.
This was in the early 80's. I think maybe they invented PACKET or something.
My life was complete.
Been there, done that ;)
But this one also featured a 3.5" floppy drive: http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=...
Sadly I sold it to a friend at some point.
Actually I was too young to know what was going on; my dad setup the tape thing.
The computer used removable media: 12" removable "Diablo" 5MB hard drive platters. One had four user basic on it, one had single user basic, and one was locked away with the software for grading students.
Memory management was primitive: BASIC ran in RAM, and if you used single user basic, you had 4x the RAM and therefore room for 4x the program. When swapping drives, you had to boot the computer by toggling the CPU's three instructions into the front panel.
I wrote a massive Star Trek adventure game in single user basic. Friends would actually creep into the lab overnight so they could play by themselves.
I still have all my 8" floppies -- loads of BASIC programs, and a lot of content from the message-board system we wrote for it. You could enter posts using VT100 escape sequences to create animations. I figure there's a 50/50 chance the disks are still readable, since the bits are the size of small cats -- someday I'll find someone who can dump them for me.
Just brings back memories of the days when I had one floppy drive. I had to load MS-DOS disk, then swap to my game disk.
Then when I had two floppy drives, I was jumping for joy. Now I don't need to swap disk.
The pain of installing MS Office 4.3 with a dozen floppy.
Ah ... the memories
I have exactly this memory as well.
My first computer was a Compaq Deskpro Portable. It had a 5.25" floppy drive and a 40 MB hard disk. It was an embarrassment of riches - how could you ever fill up 40 whole megabytes? Between that and my custom AUTOEXEC.BAT file, I was set.
As it happens, I still have most of the files I created on that original computer, and can even run my old BASIC programs using DOSBox on Ubuntu. I had to copy the files via 5.25" floppies to another computer that had a 5.25" and a 3.5" floppy drive; and from there on 3.5" floppies to yet another computer that had a 3.5" floppy drive and a CD drive.
Once, I found a few 3.5" Microsoft Office disks (I think it was Office 4.0), and decided to try and complete the set.
I think it took me like three months of digging through garbage to get the full set of disks (it was something ridiculous like 30 disks).
I hauled the luggable down from the attic and plugged it in. The only things that worked were the fan and the power indicator light. I guess 25-plus years of San Antonio summers weren't exactly the best thing for the electronics. Off to Goodwill it went.
Anyway, one of the dialog exercises was to talk about hobbies, and one of the hobbies was record collections, with a picture. She had absolutely no idea what the picture was supposed to be, until I explained to her that they were like CDs. The other students in the class exploded with laughter.
Worse, my current computer has an A:\ drive. I don't know why I keep a 3.5" floppy drive around, exactly, because I haven't actually put a floppy in there in years, but I do have one.
And that's nothing compared to the 8088 that's collecting dust. It has two floppy drives, a 10 MB (yes, MB, not GB) hard drive, a CGA card & monitor, a math coprocessor and as much RAM as it can hold.
I don't know if it still works, though. It did work roughly a decade ago, which is the last time it was actually turned on.
Pity we got rid of the Apple ][ GS back in the 90s. It might be a collector's item by now.
I still recall that the expensive accounting software for which my father purchased the computer required an ISA card to run it. Now that's anti-piracy!
"In 1986, the XT/286 (IBM 5162) with a 6 MHz Intel 80286 processor was introduced. This system actually turned out to be faster than the ATs of the time using 8 MHz 286 processors due to the fact that it had zero wait state RAM that could move data more quickly."
hums the california games chiptune
I have one computer (a Sun workstation) with a 3.5 drive that no longer works. The fun part is I cannot tell you in what year it broke.
I think this was back in the early 2000's.
My 33 figure was wrong (either me or Wikipedia). Maybe the directory entry had 33 bytes (30 for the file name, 1 for type, and two for track and sector)
fd0: was floppy 1. If you had an additional drive, that would be fd1: etc. The best part was that you could also access devices by file-system label, so if you needed to make sure you were accessing not only a floppy, but the device labelled "WorkbenchExtras" you would simply do WorkbenchExtras:
Needless to say, this made multi-disk tasks & scripting rather pleasant, easy and cut out lots of boilerplate and checking.
It was a nice system and I kinda miss it.
Edit: df0: was floppy 1. dh0: was first harddrive, etc. Not that in changes much.
SUBST on Windows is similar, but with 1/10th of the power and just single drive letters.
I miss the Amiga too, but it simply never kept up the pace.
I just thought it might be slightly out of scope for the discussion at large, so I decided not to include it ;)
Just to imagine most today's PCs deal with cruft that dates back to the CP/M days is... disgusting.
Apple's ProDOS also had something like that - the volumes were named and you accessed files with /VOLUMENAME/FILE.DAT paths.
When we're talking about 100 core cell phones and Clojure, in many ways the teenagers and the old hands are on more equal footing. Then someone busts out "and then I reverse engineered the tape drive with an oscillascope" and I'm like.... "Respect."
I look forward to one day being the old hack who can say shit like that.
This joke needs to be adjusted for the times. It should say 10 years not 8000.
The last line: "COBOL is forever" gets me every time. =)
If it makes you feel any better, I'm 37, which is like 259 in developer years.
Lets just say whoever posted the question is a newb :)
1. Insert source disk
2. Type copy a:\. b:\
3. The system will read a chunk of data from a:\ then say:
Please insert disk B: and press any key to continue...
4. You'd swap the disks, press a key, and the system will write the chunk of data and say
Please insert disk A: and press any key to continue...
This would go on and on and on...
Anyone remembers installing Win95 and the number of 1.44MB 3.5" floppies it came on? 26! And once you got to about disk no. 13 it would start asking you to insert seemingly random disk numbers every minute or so... Or how about getting to disk number 17 and being told that the installation is corrupt, start over.... errrr.......
Another one that was a doozie was VC++ for Windows 3.1 - it was about 13 or 14 3.5" floppies also.
But, most of the time I think it's because people simply think that this is the way things are supposed to be. One example is how long it took before Auto-ISO became an option on DSLRs.
In all cases there are opportunities for a startup to be disruptive. So, keep looking for those C-drives!
Windows has always had extensive backward compatibility, even if it requires tweaking to run 9x programs on XP and up. I often wonder how much better Windows could be if Microsoft were to choose to repeat OS X's innovation, which was almost completely severing backward compatibility.
Seeing as Windows has been bootable from removable drives and over networks for a long time, I sincerely doubt it.
Hand in hand with 32bit Windows came the registry, which is where most applications stored configuration information until relatively recent times.
To the best of my recollection, I have not seen an application or utility hard coded to C: since Windows 95. But I would be interested to learn of the actual examples which support your assumptions.
I used to have Windows on C:, Program Files on D: and My Documents on E:. Everything broke, to an approximation.
Even if writing code to require it is trivial.
write-lock: prevent it from beint written (and acquiring viruses)
read-lock: prevent it from being read (and passing viruses), only showing the free space and being able to write only in the free space
Luckily it was just copied games that got corrupted, but it could have been worse.
Get off my lawn.
In fact if I dug around in the box under my desk I could probably find the special puncher, and a couple unused ribbons for the old daisy wheel printer, etc.
This was for 5 1/4" floppies, naturally. By the time 3 1/2" was the standard, I had a job and could simply requisition them as needed.
This would have been late '93 or so.
I think 9/10ths of the games I played with my brother were exploited with this trick until the warez scenes started developing proper and timely released nocd cracks.
We managed a 7-player at school, but that was using 2 discs.
Performance was terrible, but this was real 3D with a cool atmosphere.
My Quake came on a CD though ... which I loved because of the included Nine Inch Nails soundtrack.
10 fps 3D action!
With the steadily increasing amount of software that auto-saves without you noticing, maybe soon we just wont need to "save" anything. It'll just happen.
Though that may also become antiquated with SSDs and cloud storage :-)
Same goes for the universal sign for telephone - nothing like a modern cordless handset.
We can already seen this in action as the icon for 'mp3' on signs looks like a first-gen ipod. Already no players (even ipods) look like that, but I think it will stick around for a long time.
Some things get stuck as icons and the original meaning is lost with the sands of time. Once the icon is assigned to a meaning for most people, it sticks. There's no reason to update the icon, even if it no longer represents the object, because everyone agrees on the meaning.
There aren't too many areas where one generation translates to a million-fold improvement.
Now excuse me, I need to chase some pesky kids off my lawn.
Ah, those were the days.
edit: And given trends in solid-state drives, local storage will be cheaper and more energy efficient than a wireless network for a long time.
Bandwidth (in the sense intended here) is measured in bits/second: how do you measure that from a station wagon [full of mag tapes]?
Now a freeway full of station wagons ... that has bandwidth.
edit: I always understood the quote as "the [potential] bandwidth"- the bandwidth that can be available using the station wagon as physical infrastructure.
And secondly, you just measured latency there, not bandwidth.
That's 1 hr latency, unless I'm mistaken. Latency doesn't include disk operations on the client side, does it? Is latency time between a signal being sent and received, or between sent, received, and acknowledgement sent/received?
ie, is latency time(client->SYN->server->SYNACK->client->ACK->server), or time(client->SYN->server)?
At some point, though, you get diminishing returns. If all you're doing is playing mp3s at 192 kbit/s, existing wireless is fine and future wireless will be more than adequate. There's no need to add the expense of putting local storage on a mobile device if you can achieve the same end cheaper with cloud hosting.
Now, this is all academic, as we're talking about a radio, and I don't think they're likely to be around by then. Whether or not a device includes local storage will be an economic decision given its intended usage and market conditions of the time, which nobody can predict with great certainty.
Look at remote places in Canada or Australia.
Local data caching is important.
If you can get a cell signal, you can get streaming media, or at least you will be able to. I don't see that being much of a problem.
If you've only started using Windows based computers within the last five years then the missing A and B drives may seem mysterious. Floppy drives started disappearing from first laptops and then desktop machines in the early 2000s.
A: - floppy
C:/D: - HDD
E: - CD/DVD
F: - External Storage
This video made me feel tremendously old.
Kids don't know what it feels to upgrade from a C-64 with a "datasette" to an early Atari 520ST with 3.5" floppies. THAT was an upgrade, everything else pales in comparison.
Yet we had to put up with this inferior technology for so long. I remember people were still running around with floppy disks at high school in the late 90s/early 00s (it was easily 20 year old technology by that time) and I started using the internet for transferring my files. So much that I have never purchased a USB memory device.
Anyone here started programming with QBasic?
I have a soft spot in my heart for QBasic. As DOS-based procedural languages go, it has of the best editing environments, fantastic integrated help, and hits that sweet spot of making simple things easy and hard things possible that never outgrew my learning curve. Contrary to popular opinion, I never had to "unlearn" anything once I graduated to modern languages.
Guilty. Did a fair bit of that.
Although I think before that I was hacking batch files featuring the CHOICE command and firing them from config.sys in order to build a menu to allow me to chose from among the many different DOS memory management setups needed to play various games. Ahhhh, Dune II.
Thank god those days are gone to be honest. I'd pretty glad I don't have to deal with IRQ numbers any more.
One day you'll have to take your kids to a museum to show them a CRT monitor (and they will have to take their kids to a museum to show them an incandescent light bulb).
I'm old enough to remember the 8" floppy disk that was invented by IBM to ... wait for it ... boot System 360! I think they had CE (customer engineer, i.e., repair guy) diagnostics, firmware, etc. on them, as the little bit I actually saw one being used, it was during maintenance.
Cannot believe I still remember my old favorite: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARJ
Screw pkzip. It always asked me to insert the first disk, again, last.
On the BBC Micro, the first drive had sides 0 and 2; the second drive had sides 1 and 3. And I was lucky to have two drives. I only saw HDs on magazines.
I remember back in the old days when I would bring up anything tech I got called a nerd and/or geek and it was the kind stuff you dont talk to normal people about.
I got made fun of by people for talking about IRC channels and being on internet boards, back when they were command line.
The weirdest change for me as been the acceptance of knowing about technology. Today if you dont know what the interent or a computer is you are consider old and out of date. Back then if you knew that stuff you were an outcast.
2K RAM, 3 MHZ CPU (much faster than the .9 MHZ of my TRS-80 Color Computer. Yes, it didn't even have 1 MHZ).
And yes, I did a lot of programming on that keyboard.
Of course, that was after an Apple II clone, and C64, and a 286. They were scrapping it and I (my high school, but really me) ended up with it. Can't remember if I ever got it working properly, but it was really impressive. It had been used in an NMR setup and had really neat vacuum tubes to do connect to that.
And tape drives transfer speeds were 300? baud. Most people can read way faster and some can type faster.
I have many memories of working late in school labs, feeling that awful feeling when the sky outside gets light as it literally dawns on you you've been there all night, making backups on multiple floppy disks as you go...Bathed in the fluorescents
Nobody who asks this question would need to go to a StackOverflow site to get it answered.
And then remembering taking forever to save anything on a school computer, only for the floppy to read half the file and die when I got home. It's amazing - maybe it was the crappy quality of floppies I was using, or maybe I was using them for too long, but for me, regularly not being able to read data back off a floppy was a fact of life. Times have definitely changed for the better :)
Out of curiosity, I just googled for prices and it seems prices stayed about the same since I bought the last pack.
Not only reuse but be pleasantly surprised yet irritated at the same time because suddenly the disk was magically usable again!