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Personal Computer Related Memories - I Remember:

  1. #101


    I mentioned the "Skunk Works" at Lockheed Aviation in Long Beach Calif.
    Please goto - A brief history of Lockheed Skunk Works aircraft (pictures) - CNET News

    This is CNET Technic news about the "Skunk Works" Anniversary & how it got its' name.

    Tully

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  2. #102


    Thank you, Tully. Great and interesting read!

    I was able to see a SR-71 Blackbird hanging at the Boeing Museum of Flight in Seattle when living there. " Breathtaking" is correct as the article described. Magnificent piece of engineering for it's day to say the least.

    And now I know how Skunk Works got its name.
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  3. #103

    U2 Spy Plane


    Another of my memories;

    At Machine tool company I was working for, we had top security clearance from WWII, were asked, by Lockheed Aircraft to machine some honey comb stainless material. This was on a "Don't Ask Basis".

    We tried everything, all the results were negative, just could not machine it. We tried filling it with wax etc. Needless to say, we found out that somebody did it with "Spark Erosion".

    We also found out the process was used to machine the honeycomb core for the "Laminar Flow" wing that was used on the U2 Spy Plane.

    The "Spark Erosion" process is now used all over the world to make the complicated moulds used in casting all types of materials.

    A carbon shape is machined to the shape of the mould. It is then connected to a power source & the metal piece to be
    machine is set on a grounded bed, fluid is used to wash away the eroded material & the spark between the carbon & metal ERODES the metal into the required cavity.

    By the way the Lockheed "Skunk Works" built a jet plane & flew it long before the Germans did. The Army Air Force did not want it they just wanted more bombers. The original jet plane is n the Smithsonian.

    As Jimmy Durante used to say "I've got a million of 'em"

    By the way my "First flight" was in a "Tin Goose" (Ford Tri-motor, about 1938).

    The "Old Fart"

    Tully
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  4. #104


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Hello all,

    Now, sticking with the "I remember theme", my earliest remembrances of Personal Computers would most likely be trumped (or repeated) by many of the previous posters; however, I do have some fond memories of when I was part of a team that installed a leading-edge main frame computer system for a well-known corporation. Yep, that was my first job, right out of high school! So, they sent me to installation school for 9 months to bring me up to installation speed and then they sent me out to do "some" work. Now, I must clarify that I was by no means a lead installer initially but I ended up working my way through the ranks over a 35 year period and ended up as managing director of that same company.

    Anyway, here's some of the awesome things that I specifically remember (circa 1968):

    When I first arrived onsite, I saw a room filled with rows of empty framing. There were many rows and the entire floor plan was about 1/4th the size of an NFL football field. What I learned in school was that the main processor would be a single core (25Mhz) processor that would be capable of handling 5,000 instructions in about 5.5 milliseconds. Whoa Nellie! I also noticed these very large "refrigerator-sized" metal enclosures that had a giant electrical ball inside so I asked the lead installer what they were and he simply said "Those 4 enclosures contain the temporary memory for this mainframe computer system. Each enclosure will provide 8K of random access memory. This installation will have a leading-edge installation of 32K!" Still in awe, I heard this mechanical clanking, so I went over to where the noise was emanating from and here is this mechanical contraption moving up and down on a segmented pulley arrangement and this is where they were actually "copying the programs for the new installation." Hey, I knew that because I learned that in school (well sorta).

    Anyway, they handed me a torque-wrench, pointed to the areas in need and said "OK kid, start boltin' things down." So I did, but I always tried to visit the lead installer, managing that gigantic diagnostic and installation monitoring mini-computer to see what else I could learn. Now, 35 years later the rest is history and now its playtime for me!

    A few other observations I forgot to mention. This large mainframe used magnetized memory cards to store the permanent programming. All processing was done via reading simple 1s or 0s off each bit on each card by reading 44 bits (I think) at a time. The logic functions of this mainframe were all controlled by physical diode "and-or" gates, and since the manufacturing techniques were so new, nothing was small. In fact, you could only fit a minimal number of gates on each peripheral card so now you may understand why it had to have such a large footprint.

    Anyway, I could go on and on but after 11 glorious years in retirement, I have most likely forgotten more than I can remember. In summary, I don't miss it a bit because the higher I progressed in the corporate structure the more difficult it became to continue. Anyway, my early days are what I enjoyed the most. Cheers!
    Last edited by my2cents; 06 Oct 2013 at 11:06.
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  5. #105


    Thanks for posting your experiences and memories, my2cents. It's kind of you to share that. I think it important for the younger to read and grasp such things, not to say that you're old.

    I saw a large room of mainframes such as you installed in the early 70's at an insurance company building that my buddy worked at. I was awe struck!

    What's absolutely amazing to me is that here we are now carrying around devices in our pockets what used to fill those rooms.
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  6. #106


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    not to say that you're old
    Well, if I was cranking a torque wrench circa 1968, that doesn't make me a spring chicken either!

    I saw a large room of mainframes such as you installed in the early 70's at an insurance company building that my buddy worked at. I was awe struck!
    Yes, I was quite impressed as well.

    What's absolutely amazing to me is that here we are now carrying around devices in our pockets what used to fill those rooms.
    Agreed!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #107


    2003
    • First saw computers, currently being used by my dad for video editing purposes.
    • First time used computers, when asked by my dad to log in to my computer (took about 2 hours in welcome screen)

    2004
    • Broke my dad's printer by putting a pen on the paper slot.

    2005
    • Started to understand how to use computers.

    2006
    • My dad applied to a computer magazine subscription, thus i'm reading those magazines.
    • Started messing around the Windows registry.

    2007
    • Finally, getting internet using Cable (used Dial-up before, expensive and slow).

    2008
    • Got the courage to open Control Panel (was forbidden by my dad).
    • Messing around programs.

    2009
    • Got a new computer, since my dad's pentium 4 system died.
    • Playing with Windows install CD/DVD's.

    2010
    • Bought Windows 7, installed by myself

    2011
    • Installed some games.
    • Started to program using Visual Basic.

    2012
    • Got my very own laptop.
    • Bought Windows 8.
    • Starting to mess around partitions.

    2013
    • Disabled Facebook, Twitter, etc. accounts.
    • Making forum posts.
    • Messing around dual-boot.
    • Trying linux.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #108


    Thanks for posting, MrShowdown. Very well presented. :thumbup:

    That's what I like to see. The younger ones posting here. You too have your memories. I think our memories help guide us to where we want to head in the future.

    You younger ones are fortunate to be able to use PCs. There were none for us older members in our youth. Only mainframes. Geez. I'm trying to remember when I saw my first desktop PC.....Around the mid 80's I think. I was in my mid 30's.
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  9. #109


    USA/Tenn/Oak Ridge
    Posts : 245
    Win 8.1 Pro 64 Bit


    Quote Originally Posted by HippsieGypsie View Post
    Thanks for posting, MrShowdown. Very well presented. :thumbup:

    That's what I like to see. The younger ones posting here. You too have your memories. I think our memories help guide us to where we want to head in the future.

    You younger ones are fortunate to be able to use PCs. There were none for us older members in our youth. Only mainframes. Geez. I'm trying to remember when I saw my first desktop PC.....Around the mid 80's I think. I was in my mid 30's.
    I saw my first desktop PC in 1979 and it was a heath-kit. I was a senior in High School and the electronics dept was working on it.
    At the same time I was using a HP2000E and coding in Time-share Basic. The next PC I used was in college.. a TSR80. The college dumped them after one semester and used the Digital PDP-11 instead.

    From then on I used mainframes and only got to use PC's much later on.
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  10. #110


    Thanks for posting, BunnyJ. You certainly have some great experiences there!

    I haven't heard of Heathkit in years. Upon further research I see they're reorganizing. One may read more about this in the FAQ section linked here: Heathkit
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