Boomer Tech Thread - *crack* *sip* Yep, the C64 was a good computer.

Glad I couldn't help

Ohai!
kiwifarms.net
Here's a thread for all the old, outdated but not yet forgotten tech from yesterday. Could be any tech from the 70's, 80's or 90's. Probably anything pre-2007 (before the iPhone and our current age of darkness).

Anyway, does anybody have any fond (or not so fond) memories of old tech? My family actually owned a XT, C64 and original Mac in the 90's went they were long obsolete, before getting a modern PC at Costco days before Y2K. Looking back, all those machines were better than that hunk of garbage and I wish I had kept them.
 

Reverend

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kiwifarms.net
I actually did grow up with a C64 as my first computer. Used to watch my dad play RPGs like Might & Magic on it all the time.

Had an Atari 2600 as my first console as well. I was addicted to Asteroids back then.
Moon patrol muthafucka. Nothing better than that game getting upto level bajillion.

Tape Player. I'm so glad that shit went the way of the CD. Obnoxious rewinding that shit.
 
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AmpleApricots

kiwifarms.net
I remember my first confrontation with Unix in the late 80s. Really liked the everything-is-a-file-dogma (but not really, but I didn't know better then) and thought that is the future of computers. Well I thought the same thing about Transputers so probably don't listen to me. About 30 years later and I wrote a small program that forwards keyboard input from one of my ARM computers to another, by basically listening to the event interface in the kernel for the physically connected keyboard and creating a fake keyboard via uinput kernel module on the client machine and while this was still easier, simpler and worked better than the "hundreds of mb of python required" solutions I could find online, all I could think was how needlessly complicated it all is. Back in the day you literally could cat the keyboard input from one machine to the next, no fooling. At least I made a tidy client-server setup in C that works via piping and communicates in easily to digest (and manipulate, record, whatever) text streams.

Simplicity. That's what I miss most from that era and have the fondest memories of. Funnily I had zero interest in Linux when i first heard about it (and that was very early, basically the time where Torvalds first talked about it on newsgroups) and stuck a long-ass time to DOS or AmigaDOS for simple tasks.

I also have very fond memories of the early internet, pre-web. I ran a low-frequented BBS on an Amiga 2000 that nobody will remember and I still remember the hassle it was to get the additional phone lines. I still have that computer and the *massive* 7-port serial card by Commodore. (what I don't have anymore is the bunch of modems, they had to die for hardware projects, sad) It had a small 65CE20 CPU on it with 16 kb of RAM that did the I/O. This sounds silly with your tiny, sub $1 USB-chips that throw mbits of bandwith no sweat but that was some serious, serious tech back then. I also avoided USB for a long, long time and it also took a while to become anything useful. I'd say flash drives did make it finally useful.

I've also got some really un-fond memories of some of the 90s IBM clones' really poor layout and cost-cutting measures from the companies that churned them out led to lots of problems people blamed on the software. Usually it was the computer itself that was unstable as fuck. Remember lots of ISA- and VLB-based boards that were just inherently unstable. Things only got better around the PCI age (because fucking up with a bus that fast won't still work "somewhat" - nothing will work) and then things started to get really complicated really fast. I still have some fond memories of the late single-chip Socket 7 chipsets where even the RTC was on the chipset chip which is a strange random memory of me going "whoa" for the first time at the high integration of these things for some reason. There was something comfortable about them. What I didn't like was having to get a new PC every half year for thousands to remain on the edge. I stuck a long-ass time with an early P3 Coppermine I also did Seti@home with. That was the time of the early web which was full of weird websites full of conspiracy theories. I fell a tiny little bit for the alien craze, I didn't go full tinfoil-hat but it really fascinated me. Then uh, Heavens Gate happened.

I like to take tours to nostalgia country when I sift through my boxes in storage and look at all the old hardware I have lying around. I've lately really gotten into some things again and put some things into operation again.
 

AmpleApricots

kiwifarms.net
I want a working C128
I have one of these as desktop version in the plastic shell, even the two carrying hooks are still intact, with the keyboard that'd snap into the underside. My uncle bought it back in the day because everyone was doing computers now, but he had no idea what to do with it, so it's basically unused. The carrying angle of that system is hilarious "Oh nevermind, it's just me carrying my huge-ass and heavy-ass desktop computer around on some straps. I'm an important business man" Nevermind that the thing would break to shit as soon as you'd bump into anything because of the weight. I don't know what they were smoking, especially since notebooks already existed that had actual useful features integrated and were somewhat better to carry. That thing also has massive metal shielding and the mainboard doesn't work outside the shield reliably, so you can't even take it out to make it lighter. It's an interesting evolutionary dead-end and from todays standpoint sort of an upgrade but even back then that thing was just odd and unnecessary. It's like they tried to give it as many features as possible but none of them were particularly useful.

Amiga fanboys are still insufferable. Ever visited your average Amiga forum? That'd be a thread for itself if it wasn't such a niche thing to begin with. Lots of crazy people still thinking the Amiga has a future or doing insane and unspeakable things to their old computers. I feel other communities are a lot more willing to let the past be the past.
 

Glad I couldn't help

Ohai!
kiwifarms.net
Amiga fanboys are still insufferable. Ever visited your average Amiga forum? That'd be a thread for itself if it wasn't such a niche thing to begin with. Lots of crazy people still thinking the Amiga has a future or doing insane and unspeakable things to their old computers. I feel other communities are a lot more willing to let the past be the past.
I've heard the same thing with many Lisp communities as well. I think it is the sense that we live a future robbed of its potential, and thus most will leave while the remainder will continue ranting in their lone madness.
 
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