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Author Topic:   Max's old man rant for today's Teenagers.
Erbo
Super Geek

Posts: 191
From: Denver, CO, US
Registered: Jan 2000

posted July 28, 2002 22:31     Click Here to See the Profile for Erbo   Click Here to Email Erbo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ruthenius:
Do you remember "Press Play on tape"?

I did that on my Texas Instruments computer, while I still used cassette tape...

]OLD CS1
REWIND CASSETTE TO START OF TAPE
THEN PRESS ENTER
PRESS PLAY ON CASSETTE TAPE
THEN PRESS ENTER

I used an old Panasonic cassette recorder, which connected to the computer console via a funky cable I had to pay extra for.

Later on, I was lucky enough to get the disk drive. 5-1/4" single-density floppies, each of which held a grand total of 90 kilobytes...in a disk drive mounted in an enclosure which looked like it was built to mil-specs, that connected to the computer console with the biggest, fattest ribbon cable I have ever seen. And, to do most disk management tasks (formatting disks, copying them, renaming or deleting files), you had to plug the "Disk Manager" cartridge into the console.

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uilleann
Highlie

Posts: 626
From: St Albans, Herts, England
Registered: Apr 2002

posted July 29, 2002 01:03     Click Here to See the Profile for uilleann   Click Here to Email uilleann     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Quoting neotatsu: The problem is sometimes when I hit the back button the post still gets deleted...
Two, simple solutions. The safest by far is to edit in an external editor - keep Notepad or some such open to some file like "GC Posts.txt" that you can regularly save as you type. I know it would have saved me a post or two when I've crashed out in the middle of typing, but I'm too lazy to use that method; I just select all and copy before clicking submit each time, and I can paste back if anything goes wrong.

- uilleann

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neotatsu
Highlie

Posts: 606
From: A place my soul no longer resides
Registered: Jun 2002

posted July 29, 2002 03:04     Click Here to See the Profile for neotatsu   Click Here to Email neotatsu     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, thats a good point U, but the fact of the matter is I usualy forget to do that...and as for an external editor, if I'm posting after midnight I am on MY computer which I'm lucky even still will allow me to have just a single instance of IE at the same time as the msn instant messanger without crashing the entire system(yes it is that bad)

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uilleann
Highlie

Posts: 626
From: St Albans, Herts, England
Registered: Apr 2002

posted July 29, 2002 03:51     Click Here to See the Profile for uilleann   Click Here to Email uilleann     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...I usualy forget to do that...
Train your mind...

...as the msn instant messanger
Which, on the Mac, is buggy shit, but hey :) Actually, it's been ages since my sister last needed me to three-key it, maybe she's learnt all the things it conflicts with.

I read, though, earlier, something which confirmed my theories: Windows 9x allocates 128k of resources to User and GDI, but 2000 doesn't limit resources allocation. Consumer versions of Windows are just lame :) Anyhow, check to see you're not short of resources, and rid yourself of any unnecessary background processes (forever), such as those living in the system tray that you don't need (and all of those you can't see) - might mean a few trips to RegEdit.

And ditch MSN :) OK, I'm just biased, maybe the Windows version works, but, um, yeah, oh, look, there's a pig flying by my window and it's nothing to do with that Zurich bank...

- uilleann

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maxomai
Super Geek

Posts: 184
From: Portland, OR
Registered: May 2001

posted July 29, 2002 16:09     Click Here to See the Profile for maxomai   Click Here to Email maxomai     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by iQuadra:

Im not an old school geek.so sue me. in any case, is progress such a bad thing?

Of course not, but you appreciate progress a little more when you've had to do things the old fashioned way.

I had an introductory CS course where we had to write a simple program in Pascal .. using punch cards. This was in 1991!! They had an old IBM punch card reader that would load our code into the Sequent, and then run the batch process to compile it. It was such a major pain in the ass that nobody after that complained about having to use the dummy green-screen terminals in the math building.

Syntax highlighting in VIM is next to Godliness.

quote:

i can imagine looking back on those days with nostalgia, when there werent geek wannabes running around online, flaming random people.

No, we had real geeks flaming around online. And the flames were ten times as ugly.

quote:

but locking yourself into those "good old days" really doesnt make much sense.

See, that's the young'un talking. It's not a matter of getting locked into the old days; it's a matter of appreciating what having to learn the craft then teaches us now.

But you're right about the dangers of old-geezer-dom. Yesterday on Slashdot I saw someone post about how he wouldn't want to teach Python to a bunch of Freshman unless it had a Visual Studio type IDE with all the trimmings. WHAT? I wanted to grab him by his Gap shirt and scream, "You fucking kids couldn't compile 'Hello World' without a full featured Click and Drool interface with a bunch of Wizards and some kind of arcane version control .. all the skill's gone out of software engineering, all the KNOW HOW and MAKE DO. Why once I wrote a whole compiler from scratch using nothing but vi and gnu tools over a 2400 baud modem connection. It took me a hundred hours! But it worked, you goddamn bet! You think Linus Torvalds or Dan Bernstein rely on Microshit or Bore-land for their software development needs? HELL NO! So do those students of yours a real favor and give 'em a command line and an editor to work with! OK?"

Of course, I didn't, because I immediately realized that there was a time when I couldn't get a job anywhere because I have no Visual Basic experience.

Blah.

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neotatsu
Highlie

Posts: 606
From: A place my soul no longer resides
Registered: Jun 2002

posted July 29, 2002 17:27     Click Here to See the Profile for neotatsu   Click Here to Email neotatsu     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
personally I rather prefer learning to do things the old fashioned way..nothing pisses me off more than using some kind of 'creator' program, such as with web pages, page creators aught to be banned..

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Bregalad
Alpha Geek

Posts: 344
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: Jan 2002

posted July 29, 2002 17:57     Click Here to See the Profile for Bregalad   Click Here to Email Bregalad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by maxomai:
I had an introductory CS course where we had to write a simple program in Pascal .. using punch cards. This was in 1991!!

That's quite the experience! I took introductory CS courses in Fortran77 and Pascal in 1985 and 86. We used command line terminals for Fortran and Mac 512's for Pascal. My father used punch cards once, but that was in the 1970's.

I must say that I've never discovered anything in the computer realm as slow as an application running in MacPascal on an 8MHz Mac. I swear that simple sort algorithms run faster in Applesoft BASIC on a 1MHz Apple ][.

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macmcseboy
Maximum Newbie

Posts: 16
From: Victoria BC...
Registered: Mar 2002

posted July 29, 2002 22:07     Click Here to See the Profile for macmcseboy   Click Here to Email macmcseboy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know where most of you are comming from and I remember almost all those things, Me being born at the end of the 70's I saw the devvelopment of many things, howerver my original path into geeksom was originaly that of geology and paleontology. growing up I hated text based OS's, yet I used em. First the vic20, the the comodore 64 and Apple ][. All my friends had these computers but I had none. My father was a military man and the son of a farmer, he hated technolgy that served no purpose to him. I never owned a computer untill after his death in 1994. Hoever In school I did use computers, what ever was in front of me I learned to use, but only enough to suit my needs. It was not until late 1988 that I actually saw a Macintosh, And not untill 1990 that I actually used one. If it wer not for the Mac i would never have pursued the carreer that I have currently. I was finally using somthing that compelled me to learn the intrcaies of computing. I then learned the dark side of computing, that of MS. I found major advantages in DOS and Unix (SCO), and used them to my advantage. I may not be proficient in all os's but I can muddle through and script with the best of them when necessary. I prefer Mac, but use whatever is at hand. Instead of becoming a geologis, or paleontolgist, I am a techie, I fix computers, Mac and PC, I am An Apple Certified technician. I can kludge solutions that other tech will not dare go. I am old school and new school. you need the old school foudation to succeed in todays work environment. If you don't you are helpless in many situations. Learn the old school, it just may save your Job.

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MariRumpus
Newbie

Posts: 6
From: way, way far upstate NY
Registered: Mar 2002

posted July 30, 2002 06:35     Click Here to See the Profile for MariRumpus   Click Here to Email MariRumpus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alien Investor:
This was circa 1974, when I was 12 -- old enough to read a lot of Isaac Asimov books and encyclopedias and such, too young to get any formal instruction.

My goodness, Alien, that makes me older than you, though admittedly not by much. A lady never admits to such things, so fortunate am not a lady. Remember being blown away at sight of television IN COLOR. Never knew the doomed security guy who dies in the first five minutes of Star Trek had a red shirt before. Sadly also remember JFK assassination.

From my college vantage point in the co-op next to the PURPLE house, there was no such thing as a personal computer, let alone PhotoShop or QuarkXPress. Registering for classes was done at CRISP: Computer Registration Involving Student Participation, quickly shortened to Crispy Critters. It involved many hours of sitting on the floor singing old protest songs with new registration-related lyrics (sort of proto-filk, I guess) while waiting for someone to restack punch cards on registration computers.

The music was awful. There's a reason people like Adam Ant aren't popular any more.

Star Wars was only one movie with no attendant merchandising aside from the action figures (kewl rotating R2D2 and original white on black T-Shirt probably worth lots of dough if dog hadn't eaten them). Star Wars also changed moviemaking forever. We'd never seen anything like it. It was the first movie I went to see in the theater more than once. Also good excuse for more outings with nerd boyfriend.

I seemed to be the only one in my co-op who wasn't either an engineering student or a computer science nerd (that was the word we used before "geek"). I was the hapless graphic designer, bravely creating mechanicals out of ink rulers and rubylith and x-acto knives (and I have the scars and bloody matboard still) and learning to spec type. Typesetting was done in a service bureau by a professional typesetter, not by some freshman with a wireless laptop out on the green.

When we asked for computers in the design program, we were told that "computers are for engineers, not for a bunch of painters." How the times do change.

Being the only non-geek in my house, I was tagged to test some new thing called a GUI that the nerd/geeks had helped build. It featured a tiny monochrome screen with a trash can in the corner. !. That was just the coolest thing. I wanted one immediately.

Six months after I graduated, Amiga (anybody remember them???) came out with the first viable page layout program and my entire field went over to computers in about five seconds flat. I have spent all of the intervening years playing catch-up. Realize with some great disappointment that all you geeks make about ten times as much money as I do without half trying.

Is it too late to switch careers or should I just go back and learn game design instead since whacking virtual hell out of some jerk who desperately deserves it seems to be my favorite Black Hole Of Time activity?

P.S. Am also huge fan of Asimov and Al Bester.

------------------
MariRumpus
Defender of
Repressed Artists
Everywhere

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dajt
Geek Apprentice

Posts: 42
From: Boston MA USA
Registered: Jan 2001

posted July 30, 2002 07:12     Click Here to See the Profile for dajt   Click Here to Email dajt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey MariRumpus I remember the Amiga. The one I used was an early prototype. I downloaded programs to it via a kludgey parallel port thingo from my Sun 2. Unfortunatly, my company folded, and took the cool programming language I was writing with it ("TLC Logo for the Commodore Amiga"). It was an object-oriented language with namespaces and lots of lisp-like features.

I've worked in the computer game industry. The pay sucks 'cuz for every job there are ten drooling wannabes who'll do anything to work "in Computer Games". Go be a rock star instead. At least they get groupies :-)

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GameMaster
Highlie

Posts: 589
From: State of insanity
Registered: Mar 2002

posted July 30, 2002 10:11     Click Here to See the Profile for GameMaster   Click Here to Email GameMaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I owned an Atari, I played with 286's without hard drives... I may be young and missing a long history of geek toys, but that doesn't mean that I don't know of and have respect for the past. I know the great things my Great Grandfather did with computers that used tubes and filled rooms.... I suppose this is the point where I ask if you had to walk 20 miles up hill (both ways) in the freezing snow (Even in spring and summer), in your socks (because shoes weren't invented yet)? Let me also guess that quarter could buy a whole weeks worth of grocies, but because you poor you raised everything on the farm and sewed your own towel so that you could go galavanting around the universe?

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Alien Investor
Assimilated

Posts: 438
From: New York City
Registered: Jan 2000

posted July 31, 2002 05:26     Click Here to See the Profile for Alien Investor   Click Here to Email Alien Investor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I forgot about that! I watched multiple seasons of Star Trek on my family's black and white television. Then I decided, as a proto-geek, to stop watching television because it was bad for my developing mind. So to this day, I've never seen an episode of TOS with people wearing different colored shirts.

For all the younger geeks whose formative years were spent with primitive personal computers ... versus us 30-something geeks who grew up when "computer" and "personal computer" were not at all the same thing ... that difference does not actually matter anymore. Twenty years from now, everybody who used the Internet WAY BACK IN THE 20TH CENTURY will be an old fart!

To me, the most amazing thing about the 21st century (so far) is that more people are going to remember the 20th Century for the Internet than they will for 1969-07-20, which is the first major public event that I remember.

Mari, as far as switching careers to computer engineering goes, that one question is threadworthy all by itself. Briefly, I would say "yes, it's possible".

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