Coffeehouse Thread

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My First Computer

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  • MasterPi

    I wasn't as cool as you guys. Sad

  • ScanIAm

    @MasterPie:I beg to differ.  I had the IIgs when I first started college, and it was awesome compared to the various other II flavors.  It's the main reason I hate apple, though.  They cost an arm and a leg and apple just dropped the entire line after I went broke buying it.

     

  • cbae

    , ScanIAm wrote

    @MasterPie:I beg to differ.  I had the IIgs when I first started college, and it was awesome compared to the various other II flavors.  It's the main reason I hate apple, though.  They cost an arm and a leg and apple just dropped the entire line after I went broke buying it.

    The good news is that you still have one arm and one leg to go with that bitter Apple taste in your mouth. Bad dog!

  • MasterPi

    , ScanIAm wrote

    @MasterPie:I beg to differ.  I had the IIgs when I first started college, and it was awesome compared to the various other II flavors.  It's the main reason I hate apple, though.  They cost an arm and a leg and apple just dropped the entire line after I went broke buying it.

     

     

    Okay, maybe I am a little cool...the replacement to this machine was this (possibly even older machine)

    Two floppy drives = 2 x coolness.

  • ScanIAm

    @cbae:

    It's kind of funny, too.  I credit the Apple II with my love of PCs.  It had all those slots that just needed fillin' and while the Mac was pretty, it wasn't as much of a hands-on type machine.  If you open a standard ATX machine, lay it on it's side, and squint a bit, it looks like this:

    I'm getting moist just thinking about it.

  • Minh

    , ScanIAm wrote

    @cbae:

    It's kind of funny, too.  I credit the Apple II with my love of PCs.  It had all those slots that just needed fillin' and while the Mac was pretty, it wasn't as much of a hands-on type machine.  If you open a standard ATX machine, lay it on it's side, and squint a bit, it looks like this:

    I'm getting moist just thinking about it.

    Sorry, Macs aren't PCs, bub! And stop thinking about me!

  • Geoffreyk

    , Richard.Hein wrote

    trs-80  CoCo 1Ah, the memories.  Smiley  My father taught me BASIC and a bit of assembly.  Good times.

     

    +1

    though the one pictured here has an "F" motherboard. My first one had an "E" motherboard.

    I really shouldn't remember these things.

    I remember if you typed in CLS(0), you would get "MICROSOFT" printed to the screen.

    good times, good times

  • TechShark

    No pics, as that machine is long gone.. It was a C64 with a 1541 that even got me into a bit of 'hacking' as a member of "Ball Bros" group.  I remember realigning my 1541 so many times thanks to one copy protection that, if improperly 'hacked' would bang your disk drive head into the stopper until the alignment was hosed.  So, I wrote an alignment program for it.   Also, this may be interesting to those still trying to keep theirs alive, many of the chips, including the SID chip, don't need to be unsoldered to be replaced.. simply place the new chip over the old and solder overtop after verifying it works.   Most of the chips stuck to a 'held low" state for an inverse 1/0 logic, so most signals are overridden by the logic of the working chip.  Just an FYI.

  • TechShark

    Another machine I had, a bit later than the C64 was an Apricot..  It didn't do much (for me) but had the first 3 1/2 floppy and IR keyboard I'd ever seen.  Anyone know about what the heck that thing was/did?  The thing was beautiful, even by today's standards, but TBH, I was of the IBM PC and Franklin ACE mindset by that time.  Heh, and 3 1/2 inch floppies were pretty expensive.

  • cbae

    , TechShark wrote

    No pics, as that machine is long gone.. It was a C64 with a 1541 that even got me into a bit of 'hacking' as a member of "Ball Bros" group.  I remember realigning my 1541 so many times thanks to one copy protection that, if improperly 'hacked' would bang your disk drive head into the stopper until the alignment was hosed.  So, I wrote an alignment program for it.   Also, this may be interesting to those still trying to keep theirs alive, many of the chips, including the SID chip, don't need to be unsoldered to be replaced.. simply place the new chip over the old and solder overtop after verifying it works.   Most of the chips stuck to a 'held low" state for an inverse 1/0 logic, so most signals are overridden by the logic of the working chip.  Just an FYI.

    I remember that copy protection. I had to bringing my drive to some guy who did the realignment for something like $20. I think he was making a fortune from all the drives he was fixing.

  • TechShark

    @cbae:

    Hmm.. do I know you?  Or, better yet, owe you $20?

    EDIT: For a bit of background, though... I actually had to use factory diskettes, and write my alignment software around some very poor feedback the drive offered, and had to write it in MLX (machine language editor, by Compute's Gazette (wow my memory isn't that bad!) to get decent timing.  Once you had a copy of my program, it was two screwdrivers and a lot of guts to break the lock-tite on the alignment screws.   I like to hope I kept some people happy by not having to replace the entire drive.

    After that protection came the pin-"poke" method of damaging a known sector of a disk.  The protection relied on writing to that exact damaged area (factory disks used a laser, i used a pin), and expecting unreadable data.  That took mad skillz.  I wrote a few progs to redirect that to a place of known damaged area, and then had to write /parameter files to find and use that area.  WOW, this takes me back.. such a cool time.

    PS - Sorry about that darn Rambo game.  I still (to this day) wonder what they did as a protection scheme past the 3rd level.  That was downright good protection.  (anyone?)

    Until next time, here's a sound for you.. Veeeeerowww, dit,dit,dit,dit,dit...  Veeeeeeeerowww, dit,dit, dit, dit, dit...  (Quick, pull the disk, the drive is dive-bombing the stopper!)

  • TechShark

    Anyone remember the first semblance of an MP3-similar player?   My first experience was (and I did not write it) a C64 program that allowed you to place a real music casette into the datasette player of the Commodore, press Play, and digitally record a 10 second sample.   I was amazed listening to my lil junky computer loop ZZ Top's Slip Inside My Sleeping Bag...  That was a true turning point for me, personally.

    That, outside of 24+ hour daynights programming the SID with endless phonetics for it to correctly speak an entire sentence (almost) flawlessly.  That quickly evolved into the IBM PC COVOX serial port loopback connected mumbo jumbo with some odd talking parrot (or was the parrot part of a MediaVision package?)... ugh.

  • cbae

    , TechShark wrote

    Anyone remember the first semblance of an MP3-similar player?   My first experience was (and I did not write it) a C64 program that allowed you to place a real music casette into the datasette player of the Commodore, press Play, and digitally record a 10 second sample.   I was amazed listening to my lil junky computer loop ZZ Top's Slip Inside My Sleeping Bag...  That was a true turning point for me, personally.

    That, outside of 24+ hour daynights programming the SID with endless phonetics for it to correctly speak an entire sentence (almost) flawlessly.  That quickly evolved into the IBM PC COVOX serial port loopback connected mumbo jumbo with some odd talking parrot (or was the parrot part of a MediaVision package?)... ugh.

    I vaguely remember spending a long time typing in a bunch of lines of hexadecimal numbers copied from an issue of Compute! magazine in order to run a program that did something similar to this. Unfortunately, I never got it to work.

  • Sven Groot

    @TechShark: I was always amazed at the way MOD trackers could play something that, if you had a lot of imagination, somewhat sounded like actual digital samples over a PC internal speaker. Okay, they obviously sounded much better on an actual sound card, but it was still pretty amazing compared to the beeps the PC speaker normally produces.

    I was pretty late on the whole computer sound front. The first computer with a sound card that I had was a 486, obviously long after sound cards had been around. A friend of mine had an 8086XT with an AdLib card, so I would frequently play games at his house; his PC might be slow compared to the top-of-the-line 286AT that we had at the time, but the games sounded much better!

  • Minh

    @TechShark, damn! That's hardcore. I had to MLX an assember w/ this book, then I can LDA to my heart's content

  • Dovella

    VIC 20 :,-(

  • figuerres

    , Dovella wrote

    VIC 20 :,-(

    why the frown ??  that was an AMAZING first computer to have!

  • figuerres

    , Minh wrote

    @TechShark, damn! That's hardcore. I had to MLX an assember w/ this book, then I can LDA to my heart's content

    one of them old compute books was for the C=128 and had a macro assembler listed in hex that i keyed in and used to do assembly on the 128 - woot!!  plus i had a C compliler from Spinaker software and i could use the C code to call the assembly code ...  that was some fun times !

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