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Your First Computer Was?
#26

Your First Computer Was?
In the half-century since the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969, computer technology's
evolved in some pretty giant leaps.  

Even though the  Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC)  was a cutting-edge technological
marvel in its day—considered to be years ahead of the field—current comparisons confirm
it would be massively outperformed by even the most elementary computers of the 21st
century.  The iPhone in your pocket has over 100,000 times the processing power of the
computer that landed man on the Moon 50 years ago.

Apple developer Forrest D. Heller made headlines recently with a blog post in which he
outlined all the various ways in which one USB-C charger model on the market—the
Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2, running on a Cypress CYPD4225 microchip—was vastly
superior to the Apollo's performance, in both speed and memory.

"Many USB chargers have a microcontroller with a CPU," Heller writes. "Some are less
capable than the AGC.  Some are more capable than the AGC."

However, some commentators insist that all these kinds of comparisons are contrived and
off-base, arguing that the focus on purely technical specs—rather than the elegant way in
which the AGC was designed to operate in concert with NASA's other equipment—means
any match-offs are a red herring.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#27

Your First Computer Was?
HAL 8999.7.92
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#28

Your First Computer Was?
It was very reliable, which was good because if it crashed setting the date again was a nuisance.

[Image: topic-stonehenge-gettyimages-682586546.jpg]
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#29

Your First Computer Was?
In 1984 I learned BASIC on a TRS-80 in school. After that, I used various word processing machines in the Navy. Then I had a big gap and the first computer I actually owned was a custom-built 386 that I built.
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#30

Your First Computer Was?
Sinclair ZX-81. I had to get out my soldering iron and assemble it.
I am a sovereign citizen of the Multiverse, and I vote!


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#31

Your First Computer Was?
Well, my FIRST computer was the one at the data center at Univ of Maryland in 1969.  You had to write a program, enter the code onto keypunch cards, bundle them, and submit them to the data center.  There was always a line.  If you were lucky, late at night, you got back the results in an hour.  Usually, you had a single keypunch error on one card and it botched the program.  I HATED typing keypunch cards!  

Eventually, you got all the cards right (after waiting an hour for a free keypunch machine) and the cards ran a program and you got some results.  I was really good at writing Fortran and COBOL code, but terrible at typing cards.  I was even sought out by other students for debugging code logic.  I gave it up because I thought typing cards was too boring.  Had I known about the coming PC age, I might have stuck to it.

My Fortran teacher assigned us a final exam to program blackjack/21.  I turned that in the next day.  It was perfect.  So I asked if I could try chess.  He laughed (saying no way).  And, yes, I failed at that.  I could not keep the pieces from moving off the board.  But I had a shoebox full of cards to try it.  The data center balked at the volume, but I had an approval from the teacher.  

I probably came "this close" to being a billionaire.  But politics was more interesting.

My first own computer was a Commodore 64.  Then a 128.  That seemed amazing.  Does an Atari count?  I have SO MANY game badges from both...  LOL!

The office got Convergent Technology (C3) computers in the early 90s (I think).  Multiplan spreadsheet and some word processor.  I went right at the Multiplan and used all the functions and sheet-links.  I crashed the system.  Well, we had 10 "regions".  I set up an identical page for each region and a total summary page that added them all together.  They hadn't anticipated all those links.  They tried to blame ME for overusing their software.  Well, it didn't come with warnings about that.

I should have applied for a testing job with them.  I always was good at finding flaws.  But I like the place I know more than a new place.  We got Windows computers after that, though.  I think my bust of the C3 software had a lot to do with that.  

I got a Windows at home around 1995 to match the office computers. Why learn 2 different systems?   Explored that fully.  Excel was confusing at first because it treated cells opposite of how Multiplan worked, but I caught on, and liked it better.  Plus, it dealt with links a lot better.

I had too many problems with Windows crashing by 2008, so I switched to Apple after discussing it with some friends who had it.  Finder is great.  Loved it ever since.

I bought a Windows 10 computer last year just to stay in touch with it (I don't mind having 2 computers and the Windows is stand-alone, which has some security advantages).  Excel is a great way to keep secure passwords on a standalone, for example.

So that's my experience with computers.
I am tying notes to balloons and tumble-weeds and sending them out to the world. Where they are found, I do not know...
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#32

Your First Computer Was?
(08-07-2021, 06:46 PM)no one Wrote: HAL 8999.7.92

SAL here. We should get together and make them fight.
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#33

Your First Computer Was?
(08-07-2021, 03:33 PM)SYZ Wrote: In the half-century since the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969, computer technology's
evolved in some pretty giant leaps.  

Even though the  Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC)  was a cutting-edge technological
marvel in its day—considered to be years ahead of the field—current comparisons confirm
it would be massively outperformed by even the most elementary computers of the 21st
century.

Even the Texas Instruments calculator I had for school in the late 70ies outperformed the mission computer.
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#34

Your First Computer Was?
Did it even have a processor? How much of the work was done on the ground and passed to the abacus that went to the Moon?
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#35

Your First Computer Was?
Compaq LTE Elite.

[Image: product-97099.jpg]

120 Mb hard drive, 4 Mb ram and some sort of 86 decahertz processor. £1,400, fucksake.
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#36

Your First Computer Was?
Mine was a Digi-Comp I:

[Image: 1200px-Digicomp_I.JPG]

My first digital computer was a Timex/Sinclair 1000:

[Image: 1200px-Timex_Sinclair_1000_FL.jpg]

...which I still own, although my oldest computer is a Terak 8510/a:

[Image: terak_8510a_1.jpg]
"Aliens?  Us?  Is this one of your Earth jokes?"  -- Kro-Bar, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
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