Reply to the "Big Iron" collectors -- Thanks!

From: Paul Braun <>
Date: Thu Dec 30 22:20:23 1999

OK, I have been thoroughly chastised for my choice of "big iron" to
describe the minis. I know better, and this is proof that one
shouldn't post stuff real late at night.

I appreciate all the discussion. By no means did I mean to imply
that old equals obsolete -- I still use a 20-something HP-35
calculator that does the basic 4 fns plus scientific stuff just as well
as today's little marvels, plus it has the added advantages of being
built like a tank and using RPN. I've used RPN since I was in high
school in the mid-70's and learned early on that it is great for
preventing people from borrowing your calculator. All they have to
do is ask "where's the 'equals' key?" and when you reply "there
isn't one", they stare at you funny and go away.

I'm surprised that most of you do use them for day-to-day tasks. I
guess in my mind I just envisioned most minis in business settings
running business apps -- my exposure to the larger side of
computing has been somewhat limited. The most actual usage I
got was programming FORTRAN IV on a DECWriter connected to
the HP3000 at school. I guess it boils down to "if you know how to
run it, and it does what you need, then it's the right machine for the

I shouldn't be that surprised, I guess, because that's usually the
advice I give people who ask me about dumping a boatload of cash
because the folks at Intel have promised them that the latest whiz-
bang tricked-out PIII box will dance and sing, do the dishes, and
make their 28.8 dialup connection into a screaming multimedia
wonderland. I usually ask, "does your current pc do what you need
it to?" to which the reply is almost always, "Yes."

Then I tell them to save their money and get something better when
the current box dies.

Or I tell them to get a Mac. But that's a different thread for a
different group.

I would like to have a PDP at some point and learn how to use it,
but the pc collection is currently pushing the limits of marital
tolerance, and then I and my computers would have to find a new
place to sleep...........

We now return you to the list, already in progress.

Paul Braun
NerdWare -- The History of the PC and the Nerds who brought it to you.
Received on Thu Dec 30 1999 - 22:20:23 GMT

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