pieces of metal and plastic

From: A.R. Duell <ard12_at_eng.cam.ac.uk>
Date: Wed Jun 25 17:06:02 1997

Sorry about the repeated message - this is what I wanted to say :

> I love collecting oddball stuff, just to consider what people could do...in
> what directions the industry could have gone. I play with old software
> (Visicalc, Concurrent DOS, and others) and trace their influences on
> today's WINtel products...and you know? as clunky as those old programs
> are, today's software is a direct descendant of many classic programs.

What worries me is that in a lot of cases, the older machines are more
useable than the modern Wintel equivalents. This applies both to a new
user (somebody who just wants to write 2 page letters does _NOT_ (or
should not) need a 166MHz Pentium with 16Mbytes of RAM), and to 'hackers'
who want to understand their machines. It's possible for one person to
complete understand both the hardware and software of most classic
computers - something that (IMHO) is not possible with a Wintel box.

> I'm a trivia freak, and computer trivia's fun. Old computers are great
> trivia. (here's a good one for everyone...does anyone remember "synthetic
> programming"? Explanation on request.)

Remember it? If it's what I am thinking of, I was doing it a couple of
weeks ago. You are talking about a 'Coconut', right (explanation of that
codename also on request - it has _nothing_ to do with the Tandy CoCo).
Nowadays I do something similar. I create a GROB with the right bit
patterns, use the SystemRPL 'Get' routine to remove the header, and thus
create new objects.

> And...so you watch TV in the evening. Well, I hate TV and don't watch it.

No I don't. In fact I don't even own a (broadcast-band) television.

There are plenty of computers to play with, circuits to solder up and try
out, enthusiasts to swap war stories with, programs to write, etc. I am
not going to waste what little time I have watching other people do
mindless things ;-)

The gates in my computer are AND,OR and NOT, not Bill
Received on Wed Jun 25 1997 - 17:06:02 BST

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