What Classic Computer are All About - A Lovers View

From: Brett <danjo_at_xnet.com>
Date: Thu Jul 10 20:34:49 1997

First - if you don't want to hear my opinion - stop now! I am going to
get pretty detailed about what the list is/should be about. I may hurt
some feelings - but well hell - that's life!

First from Enrico -

> On the contrary, I think that people are unsubscribing because in this
> mailing list about collecting Classic icons there is NOT ENOUGH
> discussion about the history of the computing boom and the hows and
> whys that led to it. To just limit the discussion to the mere hardware
> is narrow minded and shows the kind of attitude which leads to consider
> "the other" (the one which begs to differ) as an enemy or at least as
> an intruder. The "dont' bother us as we know what we should be talking
> about" attitude might be legal and understandable but is it wise?

No it is NOT wise! However - it is *as you said* understandable. Each
person is a collection of feelings and memories, sometimes refered to
as a *pile of the past*. Each of us has had different experiences in
EVERYTHING we do. No two people view life the EXACT same way.

Currently, this list is set on the aquistion of hardware. One reason
is to get it before it's GONE. Another, is the ECONOMY of collecting.
(I buy it for 10 and sell it for 15 Sam 8-) The point being, in two
years, if we did nothing - you may NEVER be able to buy it because
someone junked it! Nothing wrong with making hay while the sun shines.

The history of computing doesn't lend itself to the IMMEDIACY of hardware.
The history of computing IS. There is no cost in learning it,
understanding it, and aquiring it.

Now, if everybody on the list had an Apple, an Amiga, an Altair, an Imsai,
a DEC 11/24, an IBM 360, two Commodore 64s, a BBC, etc,etc,etc THEN we
might sit down and discuss the history. We can discuss it now - but I
would rather be gathering all the hardware I can get my hands on NOW and
think about the history.

I would probably die if someone wanted to give me the Intellec MDS that
Gary wrote CPM on. That is too much to hope for in this world 8-)

> As already said here several times, computers are bits of metal and
> plastic. They are important for the sentiments and the feelings they
> managed to raise in each and everybody (and soul) of us. You keep your
> hardware (and I will keep mine so that I can leave it to future
> generations) but I will keep my principles and if this will mean I
> will have to do without you, then (I will be sorry but) be it.

As said before, we are all different. I will gladly discuss the history
of computing. However, if I stray from why I think Turing was a genius
to WOW I JUST GOT MY RL02 TO BOOT MY 11/23 - you will have to forgive me.
I'm just that kind of guy.

On the other hand tho - WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??? I have seen
the messages from you in the last two weeks and you have not mentioned
*history* at all! You have mentioned the social and psychological impact
of why we collect individual machines - it the same with cars - it the
same with ANY collectable. But it is NOT what I call - History. Nobody
NEEDS a twenty year old computer! Not in the USE sense - they NEED them to
remind them of the good times in the past. That spark of WONDER or GLORY
or FULLFILLMENT they got from that item. The same as ANY collectable. If
you have no sense of wonder or glory or fulfillment - you don't collect
for the sake of collecting - you are collecting for the ECONOMICS of

On Thu, 10 Jul 1997, Kai Kaltenbach wrote:

> You're absolutely, terribly correct. In our benighted shortsightedness
> we have been ignoring the core, the soul, nay, the very existentialism
> of the historical man-machine interface and the personal hygiene of Gary
> Kildall. These bits of metal and plastic have become a zen-like cyborg
[snipped but saved]
> becoming no more than Waldos while Charles Babbage's heart is ripped
> from his chest by ravens dark as toner, eight claws upon each talon.
> Kai

Beautiful! I have not (except for Bill's bathroom story) been so
wonderfully entertained and amused by posts to the list than this!
You've gone up a notch in my book.

Glenn Roberts wrote:
> I for one certainly support Bill's efforts to keep this list on target.

Enrico replied

Yes, agreed, BUT the pint being made here is WHICH is the target? Just
hardware OR history of the machines as well?

Pint! Oh point 8-(
I think Bill summed it up - go ahead - but don't *expect* anyone to
discuss it with you. The list hasn't been around long enough to develop
a *personality*. (Did I speak to late!?!?)

The list doesn't HAVE a POINT. But the people on it do.

We gather here and there in the faint glow of Cathode Ray Tubes connected
throughout the world by the wonder of modern man - The Internet - and
discuss computers that are older than 10 years. Some will never again
be seen as useful. As some say - "They can have my DEC, when they pry it
from my cold dead hands!" Some will use them, some will sell them, some
will lurk in the dark corners, some will boil to the surface with an
explosion of estatic joy and/or humor, some will solder little
thingmajiggies together, some will droll on and on about some favorite
piece of hardware or software, some will leave and others will come. It's
called "community" - the one thing man has over all other animals. It
isn't easy, and it isn't hard. There is give and take. Those who give
constantly will be consumed, Those that only take - will eventually be

The problem - currently - is Enrico. You have not either explained what
you want (I certainly don't understand) or what you want isn't here. If
you can explain - in terms we can understand - I am sure that your desires
can be fullfilled by this list as well as Sam's (sorry Sam - I see you as
a hardware mogul - more more more 8-) It is usually best, I have found, to
walk into a group and listen to what is being said. If an opportunity
presents itself, interject a question. (I remember that you did this very
well Enrico) Then if the current discussion recognizes your question, in
a positive way, you should then be permitted to state your case. This did
not happen! You should then wait for another opportunity. There is no
rule that if someone shows interest, you can not start you OWN
conversation. Just don't keep it on the list - take it to EMail. If
something important is discussed in private EMail, by all means, if all
concerned agree - put it on the list. This then becomes more than a
single observation and then the impact upon the group has more weight.

I also get a little perturbed when people state "This Weekends Haul".
I really don't have the time or inclination to read about all the neat
stuff I DID NOT get. I understand the joy and amazement of those of you
who do make great deals (Sam Grrrrrr....) but it only makes me feel more
or less - left out! I usually get one machine (my biggest haul was 12
clone motherboards - not even NEAR on topic!) and then gather all the
info I can to get it to work the way it was supposed to. Then every six
months I get antsy and fire them all up - just to make sure - and then
spend another month getting them all to work right again. And two months
paying off the electric bill. BUT - I DO want to know what everybody has!
If I need help - I will know who to go to! Right now - I just fire out a
question and get the responses. That is because this is a community.

Things to remember - every community has a town drunk, a town clown,
a town cop, and a town fool. It wouldn'tbe a community without them.

Received on Thu Jul 10 1997 - 20:34:49 BST

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