I had the ZX Spectrum 48k with external tape recorder. Fantastic machine. I started out programming on this. Anyone else have one, remember how fast you could write a line of code due to the one press speed coding it had on the keys. This old chunk of code shows the power of the spectrum: q (This shows the eight colours (including white and black) and the two levels of brightness that the ZX Spectrum can produce on a colour television. (If your television is black and white, then you will just see various shades of grey.) Here is a list of them for reference; they are also written over the appropriate number keys.)

10 FOR m=4 TO 1: BRIGHT m 20 FOR n=1 TO 14 30 FOR c=4 TO 7 40 PAPER c: PRINT " ";: REM 4 coloured spaces 50 NEXT c: NEXT n: NEXT m 60 FOR m=0 TO 1: BRIGHT m: PAPER 7 70 FOR c=0 TO 3 80 INK c: PRINT c;" "; 90 NEXT c: PAPER 0 100 FOR c=4 T0 7 110 INK c: PRINT c;" "; 120 NEXT c: NEXT m 130 PAPER 7: INK 0: BRIGHT 0

My friend had a vic20, I was always jealous at it seemed so much cooler…

Absolutely. Got my feet wet on the ZX Spectrum by spending hours re-typing example code from gaming magazines (including the raw binary data for images). Was hooked onto computers ever since.

[quote=26730:@Michael Bierly]Ahhh…the TI-99/4A - I loved that machine! It was amazing with the expansion chassis I think I was able to trick mine out to a whopping 48K and add the optional floppy drive instead of saving to cassette. Bought the assembler cartridge and learned it from reading the command reference.

If only computers were that much fun today…[/quote]

Never had the pleasure to code for the TI-99/4A but thought I’d Google for a photo of it…

All these new fangled “microcomputer” things are just a fad.
It’ll pass :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyone here old enough to have boxes of punched cards & elastics ? maybe paper tape ?
Gawd maybe I’m dating myself a bit.
That was the firs t"programming" I ever did on the big machines in my friends dads office at IBM (think it was a 360)
It was about 10 years later I had a great job & bought myself a Tandy Coco & learned their basic & some 6502
Gave that up about a year later & bought a TI Pro (IBM PC clone and learned assembler, C, Pascal and a few other odd languages like Mumps (which I’ve not use in many many years)

Ever drop a deck of punched cards? Not pretty.

I honestly don’t know how anyone debugged the code below without an interactive debugger…

What? You take your deck to the window, hand it to the clerk, come back in a few hours and get your deck and printout from the clerk. What could be more interactive than that?

Lol, fair enough…

I dropped a deck. Not fun indeed.

This is so cool! Thanks for making me feel some decades younger…

sigh… 1974… First day of Cobol class…

Instructor : don’t forget to get your supplies from the bookstore before they run out. I estimate to complete this class you will each need at least 10 boxes of punch cards.

A few hundred students… and FIVE card punch machines… of which only one of them allowed you to buffer the text before punching.

Univac 90/40 with 64k magnetic core RAM, 3 multiplate harddirves (maybe a few hundred K of storage each), 3 high speed tape reals, and one CardReader/Punch machine

One of the first “major” non-class related programs I wrote on that machine was a CHESS game in FORTRAN. The computer did not play well but it played by the rules. It took 65 punch cards PER TURN. 64 described the current board. and one was the current move.

Obviously I didn’t play more than a few games… those cards were not cheap… :slight_smile:

I started in 1980 on an apple II (4KB RAM, 1 MHz) in high school.
In 1981 my dad bought a TRS-80 pocket 1 (1.5KB RAM, 256KHz). I confiscated it on the second day :slight_smile: Had my first steps in programming in Basic on this one.

This was followed the same year by a Sinclair ZX-81 (1KB RAM, 3.25MHz), also bought by my dad. Typed in lots of hex code found in Sinclair User magazine. I remember that debugging hex code isn’t fun.

The first computer I bought was a TI-99/4A (16KB RAM, 3MHz) in 1982. The standard basic language on the machine didn’t give access to the full resolution of the machine, since the bitmap mode (256x192) was not available to basic, due to lack of RAM memory to handle the bitmap mode of the chip. Basic only gave you a graphics mode of 32x24 characters or 768 characters, and you could define up to 256 characters of 8x8 yourself. I made my own high resolution routines by making the 256 characters on the fly as needed. So this gave me 256 characters that I aligned in a 16x16 grid, giving me a resolution of 128x128. This was the first stuff I wrote where I was proud of what I’d achieved. :slight_smile:
Whilst studying, I couldn’t afford the floppy drive for the TI-99/4A so it was time to move on again.

The next computer I bought (1983) was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum (16KB RAM, 3.5MHz) with a ZX Microdrive, This was like a floppy drive, but with tape instead. I made my thesis on this machine. For my thesis I made a program for a school to evaluate students with autism. I used this computer at home whilst studying for programmer-analyst (bachelor) at school. At school we still used the famous punch cards. At school we were taught Assembly, COBOL and Fortran. The year after I finished my studies, the school finally got a system with video display terminals.

At this time I was also introduced for the first time to platform wars (as in my ZX Spectrum is better than you Commodore 64 because…)

In 1985 I got a Sinclair QL (128KB RAM, 7.5 MHz). This was a system that was aimed to be more professional, and came with a suite of office applications (word processor (quill), database (archive) and a spreadsheet (easel)). I did my first real database programming on this machine.

In 1986 I got a Atari 1040ST (1024KB RAM, 8MHz), also known as the poor man’s Macintosh at the time. This was also the second platform war I was in (as in my Atari ST is better than your Commodore Amiga because…)

After this we were in PC land, which is where we still are today. Of course in PC land DR-DOS (Novell DOS, Caldera OpenDOS) was better than MS-DOS, GEM was better than Windows, OS/2 was better than Windows, BEOS was better than Windows…

Started with Apple II Basic as well (FP version) .

Now think of a review of REALbasic and RealC written in a German Mac magazine, some years ago.

Re: The 80-col punched card : That’s an EBCDIC one - When I started (1969) the IBM mainframe used EBCDIC char codes, but our card punches used the older BCD codes and so we had to code any non alphanumerics by holding a multipunch button whilst pressing the correct sequence to get the character. Being on a large site our card trays were picked up by vans and driven to the mainframe - we could get a max of 3 turnarounds per day. It was better than papertape though ( which we had on our local Honewell DDP516 mini computer ).

1st Basics I met were on PDP-11 mini computers and lots of early micros - Exidy Sorcerer, Newbear 77/68 ( my brother still has one of these kit machines working ), North Star Horizon, Sharp MZ80-K, Apple II etc

Hence the elastics :stuck_out_tongue:

You guys make me yearn for toggle switches!

The best OS on PC in those days was PC-GEOS, later Geoworks Ensemble with Full Set of DTP Apps. While Windows 3 was poor in both, performance and look and feel PC GEOS rocked even on smaller 8086 XTs or 80286 ATs. 80386 DX (the real ones) or the 80386 SX (the crippled 32Bit) CPUs were hell of expensive in those Days.

Wow, havent we all lived through a massive change and evolution when you think about it. I’m only 37 and the changes are huge. When we moan about the flaws and bugs in Xojo, lets just have a minute and think about where it all started.

“those days” are the late 70’s to early 80’s

I started in 1974… before IBM ever invisioned a “personal computer”… before “The Woz” soldered the first chip of an Apple I computer…
when CP/M was just hitting the market… it was so new that my partner and I decided to go with “DEBBI” instead… never heard of it? not suprised… “Disk Extended BASIC by ICOM”… CP/M would have been a better choice :slight_smile:

To add to the collection, I started on a Commodore 8016 with the green monochrome screen (colour wasn’t created yet around 1979 ish), and the Black and White Television at home weighed as much as a small refrigerator and took time to ‘warm up’ - literally. Note: they don’t do well on a TV tray stand…

Yes, the grey hairs are starting (I prefer to say it’s wisdom-by-follicles) … LOL


I just keep it so short no one can tell what color it is since I’m darn near bald anyways