pieces of metal and plastic

From: Sam Ismail <dastar_at_crl.com>
Date: Tue Jun 24 12:36:49 1997

On Tue, 24 Jun 1997, A.R. Duell wrote:

> To me, some classic computers have a personality. The experience of
> booting a PERQ 1 - particularly a PERQ 1 I'd just restored - is something
> I'll never forget. The click as the power relay pulled in. The noise of
> the fans. The squeal from the hard disk belt as the platters got up to
> speed. The counting up of the DDS. And then the screen clearing, and a
> logon prompt appearing. You don't get that with modern computers.
> I've never really thought about the people behind it, except in a very
> general way. If the machine had 'come from another planet' I'd still like
> it. I'd still be interested in it for what it can do - it's a fine piece
> of machinery that can do some things that you can't do on any PC.
> People who are interested in the Apple ][ are interested (I suspect)
> because of its place in history. It was one of the first true personal
> computers. It got the micro revolution going. But that's not why _I_
> collect computers.

I'm interested in the Apple because I grew up on it and it was a
wonderful machine to grow up on at that. There was so much to explore.
And it was more than just the machine itself, but the culture that
spawned around it. The culture I am referring to mainly is the BBS
culture with all its lingo, the pirate groups who banded together and
cracked software, the holy wars with other computers.

But I am always fascinated by other computers. More so than with the
Apple. I know all about the apple. That's old hat. I love going to a
swap meet and finding a computer I've never even heard of before (not
likely since joining this discussion), then taking it home and turning it
on and finding out that it booted into this particular BASIC or that
particular monitor or (unfortunately) required this particular boot disk
which I must now go find. Its fun to see the differet paradigms that
computers of olden days used, rather than the ubiquitous PC BIOS that you
invaribly see when you bootup any computer these days. Even computers
I've loathed in the past I discover good things about and appreciate them
for their uniqueness.

The person behind the machine is not important to me. It really depends
on the person. Again, since I grew up on Apples I would only be
fascinated that Steve Wozniak did this hardware or that, because I know
who he is and respect him. Any other well known creator (Chuck Peddle
would be a good example) I could care less about because I barely know
who he is or what he's done. Now, mind you I know Chuck has done some
tremendous work now from having read the discussions on this newsgroup,
but he's just not my hero because I didn't grow up on Commodores. It
would be like trying to convince someone not from America how amazing
Babe Ruth was.

The history behind the machine is what I am most interested in. What
company built it, what year it came out, what technology it used (its
processor, RAM, etc), what its predecessor and successor were, etc. I
like to know each machines historical perspective.

Computer Historian, Programmer, Musician, Philosopher, Athlete, Writer, Jackass
Received on Tue Jun 24 1997 - 12:36:49 BST

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