...using a dial-up modem to log into an ASCII-based BBS (Bulletin Board system) and downloading shareware programs. Was in Hull, UK back in 1993. That's how long I've been using computers.
The rubberized keys on a brand new spectrum and using the 'Chain' command to load BBC Micro software from an audio tape - watching the hex count up as it loaded! and then the utter joy of being introduced to 5.25inch flopppy discs (yes the ones that really were floppy!) and the immediate access to your programs!!! :D
I don't quite go back to valves, but it sometimes seems like it! Particularly with the Raspberry Pi and the talk of 'the good ole days'!!! LOL!!!
No internet or BBS to download things from back then - it all came in magazines and manuals for you to type in yourself. Made for vastly improved proof reading skills when you had to track down those Syntax Errors!!! :D
But Frankie, you're not old enough to be indulging in 'When I was a lad...' surely!
I agree Frankie - you are far too young for this sort of thing! I remember my dad bringing home one of the first ever pocket calculators (like a brick) in the 70's and my mum being shocked at the price of it. I remember starting teaching languages using a reel to reel tape recorder for listening exercises and while at university seeing my boyfriend's mate use this weird new method of typing called "word processing" whereby if you made a mistake you just deleted it and you only printed it out when it was perfect! I had to do my translations on a manual typewriter and I thought this was fantastic -but I had to wait until the mid eighties before I could get hold of one myself ....http://www.icthistory.co.uk/?p=128
Oh and - PS - I also remember when we only had two channels on a black and white TV and they were numbers on a dial at the side!!!
I was an I/O clerk at Duke University Computing Center 1970-1973.
In with the punch cards. Out with the green bar printout.
The cool technology was putting the phone handset into the acoustic coupler modem (kind of like this one
What a great video! Accessing today's Wikipedia using Lynx, 1970s OS and a 1960s modem.
Okay, I'll go back a bit further. I remember getting this ZX-81 thingy from my dad when I was 14 (hah! Now you know how old many-years-lived I am). Fantastic membrane keyboard which had, like what, 6 or 7 different symbols on each key. Almost impossible to type on at first, but you got used to it. Best of all was its memory - 1K. And there were Basic graphing programs and even games that ran on that thing. Later on my dad bought a whopping 16Kb(!!) addon RAM pack. The pack fit at the back of the ZX-1 and if it wobbled, I would lose all my data. Back then I didn't understand the Zilog/Z80 assembler (?) that it used. Anyway that didn't stop me from buying those computer magazines with hexadecimal code and just punching in the code just for the sheer joy of seeing some black and gray block move across the screen. It was Greek to me, but was worth it. Those days the chunky graphics looked nothing like the cover of the game's cassette cover, but never mind, my imagination made up for the lack of pixel resolution. Thank you, Sir Clive.
So many youngin's!!! I remember teletypes with paper tape punches and readers along with modems the size of a shoebox you put the phones handset in....
My last job at DUCC was guarding the "remote" comp center -- a teletype and a printer -- all of two blocks from the main comp center.
I learned a kind of basic language, and used to hand punch them item by itme into Port-a-punch cards with a paperclip. I then walked about 2 miles to a bank data centre where I handed them in for processing. They would come back the next day with a printout of the code and the answer, such as all the prime numbers up to 10,000. The machine would say "Used 1.026182 seconds" Mostly I made mistakes. I also know I stuffed up the reader with stray 'chads'
Learned about loops, if, typing variables.
I totally missed the early machines on desktops like the Sinclair, the Spectrum until I started visiting a friends place in 1984ish to use an Apple IIe with Appleworks to do the accounts for a small non-profit.
It was cool.
Did you know that the ancient Egyptians used a sort of binary system for multiplication? They didn't have a place value system as such, so the first natural system was binary. Did they start the digital revolution? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egyptian_multiplication
PS: I learnt Fortran IV on punched cards circa 1971. I also read that a recent programmers' course at some Uni were using old micros (BBC) to force students to think at machine level.
I've been a life long student with the UK Open University who produced the 'OU Wiki' for Moodle. My first on line experience with them was using a BBC Micro, a home made illegal modem screwed to a bit of wood and a multiple choice test on their dial up BBS at 300 bits/sec.
Aayee... when I were a lad.......
I can identify with lots of comments here.
I'm in the BBC, ZX81 ("Horace goes Skiing") generation
However, I remember my wife visiting parents in the UK a few years ago, and she pulled out an old record player (one of the portable square ones that I think were sold at Woolworths originally?)
Her youngest school-aged brother was intrigued, and they played a single.
When she said "Play the other track" he had no-idea what she meant, and there was nothing in his mind that made him think turn it over physically, because as a CD and DVD generation he had no reference point for this double-sided concept.
Nice story, always makes me laugh, and makes me think about how our assumptions of simple things are often not shared by others.
I started with a ZX81 too. I guess it was the first affordable home computer. My next computer was a BBC micro with all of 32K and later I got an Atari erm... can't remember, but the one that had MIDI built in and everyone used for Cubase initially; 4Mb of memory! I arranged a score for one tune for 20 instruments (a jazz big band) once and it crashed. Still, it worked well enough to give musicians an idea of how you wanted arrangements to sound.
Could this be the first eBook?
Source: BoingBoing.net http://boingboing.net/2012/03/22/the-book-reader-of-the-future.html
My first computer experience was in 3rd grade, ushing an Atari 800XL, to draw pictures using a turtle. While Atari is gone Logo lives on!