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Turkey Flats Jack

Anyone remember BBS' & dialup modems?

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I certainly don't miss the dial up modems but I do miss the way of bulletin boards. It would be kind of nice if the clubs websites worked sort of that way. Those of you not following what I'm getting at. Before the interwebs were all wired together there was a whole mess of basically websites that you had to dial their phone number to get to and it was basically a chat room of sorts. 

Anywho I was just thinking (I know dangerous right) if the clubs had a chat room or bulletin board where you could leave a message for other members it would be pretty handy. I understand you can do that right here but there's a lot of folks that I meet at matches that don't frequent the wire but they check their local clubs website prior to a match to make sure nothing has changed.  

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Posted (edited)

Ah ! 300 baud and finding computer magazines with BBC phone numbers.

Somewhere I still have my 300 baud box and TRS-80 with 48k.

 

Anyway, I see many clubs using Facebook and have an account for their club for posting information.

It is also used as a sort of chat room where people can ask questions and get answers from club members.

 

This is not wide spread but it is catching on.

It just take someone involved in a club to setup the Facebook account.

Then post to it the club info and check it often and answer any questions.

If the facebook site is kept active, it will attract more users.

And with most everyone at home, this could be a good time to get something like this going.

 

 

Edited by Cliff Hanger #3720LR
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I don't miss either one of 'em.

 

Dial-up 300 baud modems, half-duplex, full-duplex, transmitting files....  

 

Okay - remember the old fax machines with the spinning drum and thermal paper?  The one you had to squish the telephone handset into?

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4 hours ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

I don't miss either one of 'em.

 

Dial-up 300 baud modems, half-duplex, full-duplex, transmitting files....  

 

Okay - remember the old fax machines with the spinning drum and thermal paper?  The one you had to squish the telephone handset into?

Remember 110 baud? Paper tape? Punched cards? Chicken pluckers? DECtape? Carrying around a disk pack? Replacing a chip in the computer? Changing a jumper?

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Reflecting on all that I remember a sentence in a textbook where the author compares documentation to sex.  Put that in a book these days and you wouldn’t make it to publication.

 

then there was the applicant for a position as assistant professor from Bell Labs who said the WRONG thing during his guest lecture. I think his resumes were in the trash before the end of the lecture.

 

if you really want to know you can PM me.   )))

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In the early days, we, on the west coast, had to call in the middle of the night to get an open line. A co-worker misdialed the phone number and woke someone up around 3am pst with the modem screeching in their ear. He heard a lot of cussing over his speaker! :lol:

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LOL, I remember when I thought a 10 megabyte hard drive was big and a forty.....man I'll never fill that up LOL. Bell System teletype machines you hadda take offline to type a message on to paper tape, then switch and run the tape through the reader to send it. Fax machines with spinning rolls. Mimeographs. Overhead projectors. Rotary dial phones....LOL

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I remember someone who noted that when his modem had trouble connecting, he didn't hear all the screeching back and forth.  So he believed if he picked up the phone and mimicked the noise at just the right time he could trick them into connecting. 

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I wrote a modem-based BBS application back in the 80s.
It was written in Turbo Pascal, with Assembler subroutines for the modem handling and data transmission.
All that was required was a dedicated phone line, or a smart switch that could determine an incoming call as Data or Voice, then switch.

Back in the day, it used to take 40 seconds to compile, link and build on my old 386/40 machine.
Today, it builds in about 0.1 second on my i7 machine.


 

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Some of y'all came into the computer game a bit before me. I remember upgrading to a 2400 baud modem, building my first c-64/laser 128 computer from a box of spare parts my step dad had laying around in his den. And of course writing simple programs in C+ for entertainment and hoping it worked well enough that he'd put it up on his 'TheNightOwl' BBS. 

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Posted (edited)

Ok bear with me for a minute here.

 

for a computer to add two numbers, it must access them from memory. The time required to do those accesses depends on the type of memory. These days that time can be nanoseconds or microseconds or even milliseconds depending on the types of memory where the data was stored. This particular old computer had a drum memory, like a disk except it was shaped like cylinder, a tin can. Being early tech, drums and disks rotated as with the electricity, 60 cycles per second. Thus an instruction like 

 

A = B + C

 

in the machine That would be fetch B, fetch C, add, store A, fetch next instruction. Which would be at least four memory references and 4/60 seconds or longer.

 

these days that would be 10,000 to 1,000,000 times faster.
 

 

Edited by Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984
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I've used computers the size of refrigerators with discs the size of LPs, Decuwriters, and DOS. Luckily punch cards were before my time as a user or tester.

 

When I took my first computer class, my neighbor loaned me his portable PC. It was really more of a "table top" than a "laptop."  It was like a small suitcase with a screen that was 3" x 6" approximately.

 


 

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Oh, I remember.  Two of my friends owned and operated a BBS.  There were about 7 or 8 in my hometown, and I was a frequenter on all of them.  My first computer was a 286 with a black-and-white monitor and a 2400 bps modem.  

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2 hours ago, Allie Mo, SASS No. 25217 said:

Luckily punch cards were before my time as a user or tester.

 

Some people say the computer industry has been all downhill since they got rid of punchcards. 

 

 

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Wow... 'bout fifty years ago I worked for a banking outfit (Western States BankCard Association) in San Francisco - the original MasterCharge company.  Mostly mailroom, but would get drafted for a variety of tasks including delivering tapes and disc packs and trays of punched cards.  Since I'd had a couple of programming classes (BASIC, COBOL and FORTAN), once in a while I'd actually do the "punching."  Dang, but that was exciting stuff!   :lol:

 

Used to hang out in the "Computer Room" when I could.  HUGE mainframe machines, with tape drives the size of small refrigerators.  Oh - and the whole raised-floor facility was refrigerated.  Once in a while I'd get pressed into service "finesorting" drafts with an IBM 1419 reader/sorter.  Oooo.... that made me feel SO important!  ^_^

 

And then we discovered the old text-based computer games ~ "Star Trek" is one that comes to mind... there was "Lunar Lander," and other adventure-type games.  Grand time-wasters indeed~!!  :)

 

Then came my own home computers.  The toy-like Timex-Sinclair. Oh Man... REAL computing at home!

 

Then came the first major upgrade - an IBM PC Jr.  Actually fairly advanced for it's time, with a wireless keyboard and mouse and 64k of RAM.  Which I soon upgraded to 640K, and added a second floppy drive.  I'll never forget the day I brought it home.  No monitor yet, but using an RF modulator and the then-future-now-former Missus Hardpan's television played Microsoft Flight Simulator for 12 hours straight.  Dang!  :rolleyes:

 

 

 

 

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My paternal grandmother told me her grandfather, my great, great grandfather, looked at the radio and exclaimed: "Imagine, they're picking that right out of the air!" ;)

 

Each generation advances well beyond the next. My four year old grandson is an expert with his I pad. He is sure better than his grandpa.  :D

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17 minutes ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

Wow... 'bout fifty years ago I worked for a banking outfit (Western States BankCard Association) in San Francisco - the original MasterCharge company.  Mostly mailroom, but would get drafted for a variety of tasks including delivering tapes and disc packs and trays of punched cards.  Since I'd had a couple of programming classes (BASIC, COBOL and FORTAN), once in a while I'd actually do the "punching."  Dang, but that was exciting stuff!   :lol:

 

Used to hang out in the "Computer Room" when I could.  HUGE mainframe machines, with tape drives the size of small refrigerators.  Oh - and the whole raised-floor facility was refrigerated.  Once in a while I'd get pressed into service "finesorting" drafts with an IBM 1419 reader/sorter.  Oooo.... that made me feel SO important!  ^_^

 

And then we discovered the old text-based computer games ~ "Star Trek" is one that comes to mind... there was "Lunar Lander," and other adventure-type games.  Grand time-wasters indeed~!!  :)

 

Then came my own home computers.  The toy-like Timex-Sinclair. Oh Man... REAL computing at home!

 

Then came the first major upgrade - an IBM PC Jr.  Actually fairly advanced for it's time, with a wireless keyboard and mouse and 64k of RAM.  Which I soon upgraded to 640K, and added a second floppy drive.  I'll never forget the day I brought it home.  No monitor yet, but using an RF modulator and the then-future-now-former Missus Hardpan's television played Microsoft Flight Simulator for 12 hours straight.  Dang!  :rolleyes:

 

 

 

 

Building a test tube/transistor/resistor circuit and writing a binary code program on IBM cards to earn the Electronics Merit badge in Scouts.  Councilor was the NCO in charge of the computer systems at Castle AFB.  Guess I didn't take down the Air Forces' computer system when he tested them, I got the badge. 

 

Walking across the Cal State Stanislaus Quad and tripping, sending 2 weeks worth of FORTRAN programming on IBM cards flying. Took me multiple try's over the next 2 days to get everything back in the correct order. 

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13 minutes ago, Arkie Lee said:

Building a test tube/transistor/resistor circuit and writing a binary code program on IBM cards to earn the Electronics Merit badge in Scouts.  Councilor was the NCO in charge of the computer systems at Castle AFB.  Guess I didn't take down the Air Forces' computer system when he tested them, I got the badge. 

 

Walking across the Cal State Stanislaus Quad and tripping, sending 2 weeks worth of FORTRAN programming on IBM cards flying. Took me multiple try's over the next 2 days to get everything back in the correct order. 

 

Good story, Arkie!  :lol:

 

I'm a Merit Badge Counselor for eleven different badges (about 40 miles southeast of Castle) ~ Electronics is not one of 'em.  I could do it, but honestly... I don't see many kids these days who would be interested.  

 

I can relate to the flying cards.  I never did that, but saw it happen and joined in the scramble to gather 'em all up - on a windy day, no less.

 

Hm.  Turkey Tech to RUCAS??  Gotta be another story there!  ^_^

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I do remember hexadecimal conversions. All I remember is that I had a cheat sheet and needed it. I can't even remember where and when that was.

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I think I have a small stack of unused Hollerith cards around here.

 

(Just looked on e-bay and they might have some value.):wacko:

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Octal, BCD, packed BCD, two’s complement vs one’s complement, ASCII vs EBCDIC, Unicode, ASCII 7 bit vs 8, 5 characters in a 36 bit word. floating point formats, IBM vs CDC vs DEC’s many. Single, double quad, octuple precision floating points. A few other encodings that never had names.

 

Being able to do each of those with pencil and paper in order to solve problems.

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10 hours ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

Ok bear with me for a minute here.

 

for a computer to add two numbers, it must access them from memory. The time required to do those accesses depends on the type of memory. These days that time can be nanoseconds or microseconds or even milliseconds depending on the types of memory where the data was stored. This particular old computer had a drum memory, like a disk except it was shaped like cylinder, a tin can. Being early tech, drums and disks rotated as with the electricity, 60 cycles per second. Thus an instruction like 

 

A = B + C

 

in the machine That would be fetch B, fetch C, add, store A, fetch next instruction. Which would be at least four memory references and 4/60 seconds or longer.

 

these days that would be 10,000 to 1,000,000 times faster.
 

 


The IBM 2305 was "high speed" drum storage back in the day.
R/W heads were placed all the way around the periphery of the disk.
This eliminated the huge rotational delay waiting for the disk sector to rotate (up to) 360 degrees before it came back under the heads.

The interface from the 2305 was a dual type.
It would flip/flop between A and B interface to double the data transfer rate.
All interfaces require a certain amount of idle time to "ring out" and stabilize before sending more data.
Alternating the interfaces let one side idle while the other side was active.

My first mainframe was the 3168 model.
We calculated the disk rotational delay compared to the CPU cycling, in man-years.
Compared to the CPU, a data request from disk took years, when slowed down to human terms.

Most devices in the large environment operated on 208 volts, three-phase, and hundreds of amps.
The power distribution unit for one of our main frames was 900 amps.
The building electrician accidently kicked a screw driver down the open buss bar box beneath the floor... pfft.. nothing left.

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Punch card punch-outs!!! 

 

In the days when nylon leisure suits were king, a small handful of punch-outs in the dorm communal dryer with someone's rayon shirts was the ultimate RF!  Better'n blasting shaving cream under a dorm room door!!

 

There was a real purpose for taking FORTRAN class.

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Posted (edited)

I was a service manager for radio Shack from 1982 to 1988 and then worked for a Computerland for a year before going to work in industrial Electronics

Does anybody know how to align a floppy disc drive so the disks were compatible from one drive to the next? I worked on the old 8 inch floppy drives and the 5 1/4 floppy drives. I had to align 10 meg hard drives so the CE packs would work in them.

 

My first computer was a a Commodore Pet with a black and white screen and 4K of memory. It used a cassette deck to save the program.

 

I have 2 cassette decks and cables around here for saving programs for the TRS-80 Model 1 and I got rid of most of my old computer stuff about 15 years ago and filled the back of 2 pickup trucks with equipment and parts. A guy was making a computer Museum in his barn and I gave him a working Model 1, Model 4 and a bunch printers and parts. One of my friends still has his Model 16 with a built in 15 meg hard drive that he was using for accounting.

 

I have a lot of old software around for different things.

old games2.jpg

Edited by Maddog McCoy SASS #5672

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