Coffeehouse Thread

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My First Computer

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  • User profile image
    Minh

    @figuerres, I knew they had C & Pascal compilers, but I hadn't realized the power of a compiled language back then. I mean how can you beat Assembly? Although, in 64K, maybe you can't

  • User profile image
    ryanb

    , 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

    Generic Forum Image

    Yup!  I had a copy of that book!  Good times!

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    figuerres

    , Minh wrote

    @figuerres, I knew they had C & Pascal compilers, but I hadn't realized the power of a compiled language back then. I mean how can you beat Assembly? Although, in 64K, maybe you can't

    well on the C=128  i had 2 banks and code in each bank....

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , ryanb wrote

    *snip*

    Yup!  I had a copy of that book!  Good times!

    Me too. I can't say that I ever learned any of it though. It's sort of like those C++ books that I bought back in the 90s. The intention was there, but the follow-through, not much so. Smiley

     

  • User profile image
    ScottWelker

    @Ian2: Great Thread!!

    Wish I had time to participate earlier/better. I would have taken photos of my collection. I've kept all but my x86 (and beyond) machines. Ah nostalgia!!

    First Loves (survived house fire - still in parent's barn)

    • Sinclare ZX81 Kit(my very first computer - new):
      • Added 8, 16, and 32K memory - packs in time. My version of the card game 21 (with drawn cards AND doubling down) finally exceeded even the 32K (forced me into assembly for the drawing routines).
      • Built an Analog to Digital converted from a kit. Had to use assembly here.
      • Loads of cassettes (games etc)
      • Loads of old magazines
      • Z80 Assembly mnemonic to decimal fold out card - my 'Assembler'
      • Rodney Zak's, How To Program the Z80 zilog (still got it - dogeared and well worn)
      • Ah the memories!!
    • Commodore 16 (used)
    • TI99/4A (used)
    • Atari 800XL (used)
    • Bottom end TRS-80s (used)
    • (probably forgetting some lesser stuff I picked up cheap to play with)

    First Programming Classes:

    • Commodore PET (various models): BASIC class. It was supposed to be 6502 assembly. Instructor bailed and we were stuck with BASIC :`(
    • Apple II: Fell in love with Pascal
    • Osborne I: CPM-based (can you say PIP?). Countless eye bleeding hours developing WordStar and Dbase curriculum.

    ZX81 Kit

    Osborne I "Portable"

  • User profile image
    cbae

    Hey, it's an Osborne! One of the original "laptops".

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    , cbae wrote

    *snip*

    Hey, it's an Osborne! One of the original "laptops".

    I don't think its users have much of a lap left after that thing crushes their pelvis.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    , TechShark wrote

    Anyone remember the first semblance of an MP3-similar player?  

    Not exactly, but there was an old game for the apple II line that was basically a centipede ripoff.  Most of the program's content was taken up with what sounded like a 2 bit sample of someone screaming.  It would play whenever you died and it was AWESOME!!!!!!

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    ScanIAm

    , W3bbo wrote

    *snip*

    I don't think its users have much of a lap left after that thing crushes their pelvis.

    No joke, they were arguably heavier than a fully loaded desktop from today.

    I ended up at a regional trade show in germany around the time those things came out, and they were all the rage.  The screen had less physical real estate than my phone does.

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , ScanIAm wrote

    *snip*

    Not exactly, but there was an old game for the apple II line that was basically a centipede ripoff.  Most of the program's content was taken up with what sounded like a 2 bit sample of someone screaming.  It would play whenever you died and it was AWESOME!!!!!!

    THIS is the best Apple II game evar! (Wait for the sound. There actually is sound.)

    I think almost every computer geek kid in the school had a copy of this game.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , figuerres wrote

    *snip*

    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 !

    I still remember trying to hand-code Z80 with a bunch of POKEs, sometimes it worked but more often than not it failed miserably. It was that which eventually led to me writing an Assembler in BASIC so that I could concentrate on doing the code and let the computer worry about calculating all the right jump offsets and what have you. Did lead to some exciting debugging sessions though, is it my assembly code or my assembler that has a bug? Perplexed

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    blowdart

    , Dr Herbie wrote

    Generic Forum Image

     

    Can you tell we were middle class?

    I always wondered about the perforated square patch to the left of the keyboard ...

     

    The patch had a ROM socket behind it.

    The first code I ever got paid for was for the BBC B, at the grand age of 14 I had written a ROM for a Watford electronics EEPROM board which allowed minimicked the BBC Master *FX commands for burning their ROMs. It got printed over about 15 pages over two issues in some computer magazine and I think I got £10 for it.

     

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    @cbae:I had it, and yes, it was awesome.

    I suppose the statute of limitations has expired by now, but back in the day, I doubt I ever bought any software.  There was an established 'computer club' that would meet once or twice a month that was really just a swap meet to trade games and other software.  I doubt it would have been so blatant in the US, but this was overseas on a military base, so there really wasn't any fear of getting in trouble. 

    I seem to recall there was disk dupe software out there, too, that would recreate 'bad sectors' so if the game depended on a bad sector as it's copy protection, it would still work. 

    That's kind of why I tend to avoid torrenting stuff, now.  Back then I couldn't afford it, so in a twisted way, it wasn't as bad.  Now, though, I'd just feel sleazy.

  • User profile image
    ScottWelker

    @cbae: We liked to call it the luggable Big Smile

    ... or was that the Comapq?

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  • User profile image
    ScottWelker

    , AndyC wrote

    *snip*

    I still remember trying to hand-code Z80 with a bunch of POKEs, sometimes it worked but more often than not it failed miserably. ...exciting debugging sessions though

    Surely then you (at least once) decided your POKE'd assembly was good-enough to execute without first saving to tape (takes too long you know)... hung the machine (or worse) and had to start all over :-/

  • User profile image
    Dovella

    , figuerres wrote

    *snip*

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

    Nostalgia -- only nostalgia

  • User profile image
    TomboRombo

    @ScottWelker:I had to drag that Compaq all over the country.  Its also a heavy carry on.  At least it was pre -9/11 so security was alot easier.   I was happy when the toshiba laptops came out. 

  • User profile image
    Minh

    @cbae, this blew my mind w/ the speech recording

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