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How it used to be

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Whilst clearing out my shed I came across an old newspaper dated May 1994 (I don't clear out my shed very often). In there were a couple of adverts for PC's, being:

 

Packard Bell 486
 
Intel 486sx-25 processor
4MB RAM expandable to 36MB
3.5” 1.44MB floppy drive
Massive 250MB IDE hard disk
32-bit local bus 1024x768 SVGA graphics
Superb 1024x768 SVGA colour screen (14”)
Serial, parallel and mouse ports
Keyboard and Microsoft compatible mouse
Four free 16-bit expansion slots
MSDOS 6 and Windows 3.1 preloaded
 
£961.15 inc delivery and VAT (CD multimedia models £249 extra)
 
 
Vtech 486sx25
 
Preloaded Lotus software
Intel 486sx-25Mhz processor
4MB RAM memory – sufficient to run most Windows applications and upgradable to 32MB
128k cache memory
1MB video card
107MB hard disk
1.44MB floppy drive
6 ISA expansion slots (5 free)
14” MPR11 colour monitor
Microsoft compatible mouse
Microsoft Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS 6 preloaded, including all documentation, manuals and disks
 
£821.33 inc VAT plus delivery
 
How little we knew just how much power, storage and memory we would need in twenty years. All up by a factor of 1000, except the price, which has more than halved, bearing in mind that £1,000 in '94 is worth about £1,700 today. What did we manage to run on these things? An 107MB disk?
 

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Wow they were really expensive then weren't they?

 

Top of the range floppy disks, those were the days :)

 

(glad to hear you are at last cleaning out your shed)

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Yes but neither of them has an integrated math coprocessor (FPU) on their CPU

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/486SX

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floating-point_unit

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I think the oldest computer I ever interacted with was an old Macintosh that had a green screen with a black background. No idea what it was but my aunt owned it. The oldest computer I remember growing up in my house had windows 3.1 but I dont remember much else about it specifically. I just remember that in 3.1 there was a weird grid interface. I just googled it and this is what I remembered:

 

Win311.png

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And that baby ran on the Z80 which was the first chip we programmed on in Uni with Assembler.

Ah, the glory days of computing.

I've still got my Programming the Z80 manual on my bookshelf.

 

All these things are a forgotten world to the kids of today with Pacman right there on their phones - on their phones for god sake, how cool is progress.

No more asking Mum to drive you down to the arcade.

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And that baby ran on the Z80 which was the first chip we programmed on in Uni with Assembler.

Ah, the glory days of computing.

I've still got my Programming the Z80 manual on my bookshelf.

 

All these things are a forgotten world to the kids of today with Pacman right there on their phones - on their phones for god sake, how cool is progress.

No more asking Mum to drive you down to the arcade.

 

So mta you are one of the "ancient" programmers..... ;).

 

On behave or all man kind, "ancient" programmers, thank you for giving Pacman and more on our phones.

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So mta you are one of the "ancient" programmers..... ;).

 

 

Here's a "how it used to be" blast, I wrote my first game (Pacman by chance) in COBOL on a DEC-20 mainframe.

I do miss programming mainframes in Pascal, Fortran, COBOL and Assembler.  Those were real men (don't eat quiche) languages. :P

 

And who amongst us remembers the 80 column green punch cards we had to punch holes through to give to the 'computer room guys' to run through the card reader to get the code into the mainframe?

 

Is that a collective HUH? I here from all the gen X's and Y's...

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Here's a "how it used to be" blast, I wrote my first game (Pacman by chance) in COBOL on a DEC-20 mainframe.

I do miss programming mainframes in Pascal, Fortran, COBOL and Assembler.  Those were real men (don't eat quiche) languages. :P

 

And who amongst us remembers the 80 column green punch cards we had to punch holes through to give to the 'computer room guys' to run through the card reader to get the code into the mainframe?

 

Is that a collective HUH? I here from all the gen X's and Y's...

 

My first understanding of programming was with the help of Pascal then Delphi and now VB.Net.

At the collage where I did some studding, they still teach students how to work with punch cards....

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they still teach students how to work with punch cards....

 

That will come in handy when someone emits an EMP and destroys all electronics.

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Small efficient programs.

 

Indeed. You can do quite a bit if you know how to write the code to perform efficiently.

 

Question: What can you possibly do with a system that has a 2 MHz processor, 32KB of RAM, and 576KB of ROM storage for applications?

 

Answer: Fly to the moon, land there, and fly back to earth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Guidance_Computer

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Answer: Fly to the moon, land there, and fly back to earth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Guidance_Computer

 

To be precise the computer couldn't land, it got overloaded by the radar returns of the uneven surface and was heading them towards a crater so Neil took manual control and landed with something like 7 seconds of fuel remaining.

 

Recently read his biography, impressive man.

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