Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Personal Computer Related Memories - I Remember:

  1. #1

    Personal Computer Related Memories - I Remember:

    Hi all,

    I was reading the thread, which some older, knowledgeable, and experienced gentlemen were conversing in, not to say that I'm one. They're far above my head! It brought back a lot of memories for me, though. So I thought I would start another "Fun" thread to hopefully to add to the community. We all have memories young and old.

    "Preserve you memories. They're all that's left you"
    ~ Simon and Garfunkel in the song "Old Friends" (last line)
    Simon and Garfunkel-Old Friends, Bookends Theme -full version. - YouTube

    Born June 29, 1951 - I Remember:

    - As a child watching U.S. elections when some of the first mainframes predicted the results. I wasn't born yet for the prediction of the 1950 elections where the UNIVAC predicted a landslide for Eisenhower (100 to 1 odds) and the CBS news cast covered it up for unbelief, then recanted afterwards, but learned about it in early grade school reading an article in a school quarterly magazine. (For the life of me I cannot remember the name of the magazine. It's on the tip of my tongue but can't get it out. If anyone has a clue, please let me know.) You can read about it here: UNIVAC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    - Circa 1957: Some of my siblings and I recieved a transitor radio for Christmas. If I remember correctly it had no battery, for one would take the two alligator clips that the device had and clamp to some steel and listen through an ear plug speaker. (Pre-stereo for you younger folk) Many consider the transitor to be one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. It led to the invention of the IC. Smaller devices such as the PC, laptop, pads, etc. would not be possible without this invention. Transistor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    - In grade school using a pencil to punch holes in cards for multiple answer questions on tests so they could run them through an IBM mainframe for correcting and scoring. That was high tech for those days. I remember the cards had the IBM logo on it. Talk about brain burning!

    - In high school holding in my hand the first Cal Tech calculator by Texas Instruments that the rich kid had. I was mesmerized! If I remember correctly, it cost about $400 in 1960's money. I'd guess it to be about $1,000 in today's money. We're buying PCs for that now a days! I think it was my Junior year in 1967.

    - Seeing the computer HAL in the Sci Fi "2001 A Space Odessy" in the summer of 69 right after I graduated high school. This is the same summer of the Apollo 11 moon landing. I rented and watched it again in 2001 for New Years eve. It blew me away as to how much has come to past so far as technology goes in the last 40-some-odd years! Incredible technology!

    - Circa 1972: My best friend at the time graduated with a BA in mathematics and got a job at Kemper Insurance which no longer exists, but was revamped as Kemper Corp. He was on a team that were the liaisons between Kemper mainframes and companies that would rent time on them at night. He invited me to his work one afternoon and showed me around. The 1st floor was offices and data entry work stations. He took me to the 2nd floor and showed me bank after bank after bank of IBM main frames. It seemed to go on forever! My jaw dropped to the floor! And the noise and the heat! He also hired another buddy of ours to assemble harnesses for workstations at home for spare change.

    - Stating to family and friends in 1975 that "Some day we would all own computers, that we would all be using, and that we would be communicating through them". They lQQked at me as if I was crazy! (Well I am, but that's beside the point) No, I didn't capitalize on it, for I guess I didn't believe in my prediction myself all that much. Now you know I'm crazy!

    - Circa 1980: Hearing digitalized music on a CD for the first time. Without computers this would not be possible. It was like I heard music again for the first time! I heard instrumental parts that I didn't hear before, for prior to that in analogue stereo we were basically amplifying distortion. I remember a fellow that blew a picture window out in his house doing so! A CD has less than 1%. e.g. The Beatle song "Hey Jude" has 16 or so different parts not including a 36-piece orchestra. I didn't hear a lot of the parts until I heard it again on a CD.

    - Getting my first computer in 1991. A used Commodore 64C with a floppy disc and monitor. I played with it some, but wasn't really serious about PCs yet. I think the kids destroyed it. I threw it out. Ouch! I wish I still had it! I got serious with PCs when a IT friend of mine gave me a Gateway 2000 with Win 95 loaded on it in 1997. My friend would teach me how to fix it when I broke it. Now I know enough to be dangerous! I still have it. It runs, but I put it in storage. I think I'll drag it out. It's got 98 SE loaded on it now. Then bought this Acer PC about 6 or 7 years ago.

    - Circa 1996: Getting my first mobile phone account and bag phone, which led to the "Brick", which led to the dumb phone, then to the smart phone. They are actually very small computers. We carry in our pockets more computing power and MEM that took rooms to house some 30 odd years ago. I have not had and not needed a land line for about 13 years now.

    - Getting my first charge and bank cards with the magnetic data strip on them and using it at stores and ATMs. Like the Church Lady said on SNL "How convenient!"

    - Seeing a automobile ECU for the first time. They had and have more computing power than the Apollo missions had!

    - Seeing a UPC barcode for the first time and wondering what it was for! Commonplace today.

    - I remember throughout the years anticipating "The next Windows OS" or program with excitement just as I have done with Windows 8.

    More to come as this older mind remembers.

    Please share yours, "Fellow Forumeers".

    All of you can return, edit, and add to your posts as you remember things.
    Last edited by HippsieGypsie; 12 Aug 2014 at 09:52.

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  2. #2

    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!

    Dad helped develop memory for RCA (before they dropped out of the computer business).
    He was in the local paper holding an 8 kB memory board (approx 8 1/2 x 11) amidst reams of paper scattered all over.

    He also developed 10 mB hard drives the size of washing machines!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    City of Burj Khalifah
    Posts : 273
    8 Release Preview, 7 Home Premium

    Sir Tony,
    In the year 1989 was the time Iíve seen a computer with Win 95 in my friendís house. For their family has a grocery store, they can afford to buy for it.

    Sir usasma,
    Itís an honor to read what you have shared about the ram. Having that size is for a mainframe infrastructure. And for sure you have inherited.

    Truly amazed with your past memories were that time I have no idea with computers.

    Thank you for sharing and it is my honor. *salute*

    Iíve been a part timer as computer assistant in a computer shop in the late 90ís, high school days. I open everything to my father and mother for I do not want them to get worry when I come home late. Then one time they talk to me of which way Iíll be heading, to be in the computer shop or to go to school. For I choose the school and stop being an assistant. And they always tell me, thereís nothing in this world I can give you except for your education, which is true.

    When I remember that old days I canít ignore to get disappointed were my father has a different point of view in life. He listens but when it comes to technology he set aside of it. He always say be contented of what we have for other people do not have. (They did not finish their education but Iím proud of them for they pursue our education.) But on the other hand I do not blame them of what I have right now or even in the past.

    Now that I have a daughter I will not prevent her for lack of information about computer/technology for she might need it someday. I will give to her the support that she likes to learn more.

    Pace of time is too fast do not waste time and learn in every single day.
    Last edited by adamus; 09 Jul 2012 at 11:15. Reason: correction
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  4. #4

    Posts : 116
    xp , 7Pro, 8RP, Android phone, Tablet

    I can still remember my early experiences with the digital world. You won't believe this!!
    My dad worked in the war arsenal in Chorley during WW2 making bombs in a factory under a hill responsible for making bombs.
    He took me to work on a number of occasions and to keep me occupied he would offload me to a couple of nice ladies who ran the punch card system (Power Samus) I believe. They gave me packs of cards and the chips that came out and I would happily spend time filling in the holes, building houses (like you do with playing cards) then bombing them.
    Step forward to 1959having left university having studied pure maths; I did not get a job preferring to "party" getting up at noon going out in the evening and coming in the early hours. He threatened to throw me out if I did not get a job and suggested I
    I became an actuary (boring) and waited for his next suggestion - he said get into computers they are the coming thing.
    Round of interviews began (NCR, IBM, RCA, Elliots, LEO, Univac) Most of which were a disaster.
    IBM 4 guys in dark suites, white shirts, and blue ties and so stiff and formal I was horrified not my style at all.
    LEO (google LEO 1 computer for background).
    First question "how many hours do expect to work a day" answer by me "if bored as little as possible - if fun as long as it takes"
    They told me to come back a couple of days later - 6 of us did an IQ test then were given an hours lecture on binary programming followed by a test. This entailed adding, subtraction and Multiplication (shift left- shift right etc) you had to solve each problem in the shortest number of steps. I managed to pass and was sent off to work J Lyons on LEO 1.
    The rest is standard IT as I climbed up the "food chain " some points of note however.
    I was responsible for overseeing the final shut down of LEO1, bits went to Science Museum and somehow the name plate stuck to my fingers and that and one of the mercury delay lines are still in my loft.
    I later joined the Plessey Company and I can remember putting up an authorization of 1 meg of 16bit -£750,000!! for an ICL 1906.
    I still have a Swiss Army knife on my desk that ICL handed out on the launch of the ME29 their first mini to take on the DECs
    By the time the PCs came out I was out of direct IT involvement into telecomms but could not resist meddling in their affairs.
    Rather than waffle on here see my post that explains my conversion from mac to pc.
    Other odd points of note were competitions with my 10 year old daughter to obtain the highest scores on a commodore 64
    for which I wrote a couple of adventure cames; still in the loft as is an original mac ( I am a hopeless kleptomaniac to my wife's horror). I finally quit aged 52 (24 years ago) having spent a year commuting between San Diego, Boulder, London and Sydney weekly on quite a good pension. I can now only claim to be a hobbyist now reverting to getting up at noon and still be messing around at 2a.m. Life turns full circle!!!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Dad helped develop memory for RCA (before they dropped out of the computer business).
    He was in the local paper holding an 8 kB memory board (approx 8 1/2 x 11) amidst reams of paper scattered all over.

    He also developed 10 mB hard drives the size of washing machines!
    They are interesting and I appreciate the memories of your dad. How about some of yours?

    Now that I have a daughter I will not prevent her for lack of information about computer/technology for she might need it someday. I will give to her the support that she likes to learn more.
    Thanks for sharing, Nelson! Wise advise to all the parents out there.

    I can now only claim to be a hobbyist now reverting to getting up at noon and still be messing around at 2a.m. Life turns full circle!!!
    Good for you, besb! Thanks for sharing. And how true that life does a full circle!

    I'll edit my lead post with this statement: All of you can return, edit, and add to your posts as you remember things.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!

    I worked for DEC in the late 60's/early 70's - building mainboards for the PDP-11's on the graveyard shift.

    I started playing with computers on my own in the mid 80's - using the Wang word processors that the military had. We were in Korea so we had access to any game that we wanted at $1 each. Wanting better performance, we read the manuals and started tweaking. Luckily the military had technicians on contract to fix the things that we tweaked!

    Our tech was a nice guy and used his time on the job to explain to us why and how we had screwed things up. All he asked for was that we help others - and that's how I got started in the online forums!

    I still didn't know all that much about computers until the mid-1990's - when I had a tech who worked for me (again, in the Army). He was smart as a whip, and would swipe anything that wasn't nailed down. To his credit he used his thievery to help our unit out! But I had to learn what he did in order to be able to ride herd over him.

    For example, my supply sergeant and his 2 clerks spent 2 solid weeks inputting data into our supply inventory system when the system crashed (Win95). The tech's only idea was to wipe the hard drive, reinstall Windows, and have them re-enter all the work. Luckily I was around, and I rebuilt the autoexec.bat and config.sys files - and the system booted up. Then I booted the supply sergeant for not making a backup!

    But the tech used this opening to get into the supply channels, and the next thing we knew - we had 50 laptops that we didn't have the day before!

    We also had a T1 line at work, but the dialup at my home (on the German Telekom lines) was charged by the minute - so I had to learn how to move IDE hard drives from one system to another so that I could download from the T1 line, then take the drive home and use it there.

    Finally I got deeply into computers on my return to the states in 2000. I started overclocking and got a brand new copy of Windows 2000 to install. I couldn't figure out why my system wouldn't work right and went on the web looking for help. At one site the helper asked me if I had installed my drivers. My reply was "What are drivers?"

    Around that time I got very ill due to an allergic reaction and nearly died (search for Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis if you have a strong stomach). My vision was severely damaged, so I couldn't spend a lot of time outside (I was stationed in the high desert at El Paso, TX). Consequently, I spent a whole lot of time on the internet after that!

    I've been helping out with general questions on the forums since that time. I got interested in BSOD's and started trying to find out how to help people who had them on their systems.

    It turned out that there just wasn't much useful information about them - so I started researching things myself. Around this time James Eschelman (the owner of stopped updating his BSOD page - so I started up my own ( BSOD Index ) Not long after that I found that there was no centralized resource for pointing users at downloads for their malfunctioning drivers - and because of that I started the Driver Reference Table ( Driver Reference Table (DRT) ) which jcgriff2, Laxer, neimiro and others are helping to maintain and improve.
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  7. #7

    Thank you, usasma for adding your personal experience! What a treasure chest full of helpful knowledge!! We are all so glad that you survived that awful disease. I researched it. You must have suffered tremendously. We admire you for your help here on the forum. Thank You!
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  8. #8

    City of Burj Khalifah
    Posts : 273
    8 Release Preview, 7 Home Premium

    Sir besb,

    With the list of companies (NCR, IBM, RCA, Elliots, LEO, Univac) there is only one I recognize and that is IBM.
    Great share and thank you! *salute*

    Sir usasma,

    It was a great experience for in your early age you've been expose in technology/computers and I try to fill myself within the past can't imagine those times.
    Eventhough you had a hard time with the disease you still manage to keep upto date of what is happening around.
    Thank you for the great share.

    Sir Tony,

    You're welcome, my pleasure to share.

    Now, I can say it's my privileged reading stories of the oldies that can't be written in books but only through out the experiences.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9

    My history with computers started in 1993, when I got my frist computer. It was a 486 DX2 @ 66 MHz with 8MB of RAM running Windows 3.11. At that time I didnt have a modem and used it mostly to keep records of my father's firm clients and do some of my school home work.

    In 1995 my father gave me a Pentium 100 MHz with 32 MB of RAM, Windows 95 and Office 95. At that time I started to learn CorelDRAW 5 and started to create logos for my father clients. Also in 1995 I started to use the internet for school researches and to contact some clients.

    In 1997 we bought a Pentium MMX 200 MHz and I installed 192 MB of RAM. I got it running at 250 MHz and that was my frist overclock experience. At that time I was using Windows 95 OSR2, but after a few months I moved to Windows 98, and loved it. With Windows 98, Office 97 and CorelDRAW 7 installed in that rig I entered in a new level of production. In this year I started to learn some programing at university. I used MATLAB and Pascal.

    In 1999 we bought a Celeron 300 MHz with 384MB of RAM. At that time I was using Windows 98 SE, Office 97 (or 2000?), AutoCAD R14. I was very interested in gaming, so I bought a 4MB graphics card. My favourite game was Counter Strike. From 1999 to 2000 I started to learn AutoCAD 2000 and we bought a cutting plotter. Also in that year I started to learn Visual Basic and Delphi.

    In 2001 I started to build our systems, and my frist build was a Pentium III 800 MHz with 1GB of RAM. That was pretty fast compared to anything I had ever seen before. In the same year I built a Duron 950 MHz with 1GB of RAM exclusively for school jobs.

    Since then I havent stoped anymore. I like to build systems and get the maximum from them. I like to research and share things through over internet and cant imagine my life "disconected".
    Last edited by vrosa; 10 Jul 2012 at 08:45.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10

    Thanks for posting, Vlad! Started very young. Lucky you!

    I like to research and share things through over internet and cant imagine my life "disconnected".
    Are you Max Headroom?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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