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Operating System Specific Discussions => Other Operating Systems => Topic started by: TCMSLP on January 12, 2011, 02:46:05 PM

Title: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: TCMSLP on January 12, 2011, 02:46:05 PM
See the following:-

http://superuser.com/questions/231273/what-are-the-windows-a-and-b-drives-used-for

If the 'kids today' need to ask these sorts of questions, a) it makes me feel very old and b) it makes me think I'm now in the category of those 'old timers' who I used to respect when in my teens.  Only, the kids asking these questions today probably have zero awareness (or interest) in anything pre-windows.

It's a sad, sad world :(


Steve
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: tone007 on January 12, 2011, 03:01:51 PM
Quote from: TCMSLP;606132
Only, the kids asking these questions today probably have zero awareness (or interest) in anything pre-windows.


..and why should they? Chances are, none of it would do them any good.

I realized years ago much of the random information I learned playing with computers in the 80s and 90s is no longer useful.

Quote
It's a sad, sad world :(


Because technology marches on?
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: AmigaNG on January 12, 2011, 03:05:51 PM
Iol, not as funny as another one I read not too long ago, cant remember on what web site, but a IT class in america the teacher asked what the PS/2 connector was for on PCs and one person said was it too connect a ps2 to the computer! :laughing: usb spoil them.
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: TCMSLP on January 12, 2011, 03:12:35 PM
Quote from: tone007;606136

I realized years ago much of the random information I learned playing with computers in the 80s and 90s is no longer useful.


I'd disagree.  Much of the basics I learnt years ago are equally valid nowadays.

I remember when I had my I was interested in general computing, reading as much as I could about the history, other machines/architectures and even electronics.  This was at the age of 12 or so - so only basic stuff but none the less I had a passion for this subject.  I remember a whole range of books available at the time (aimed at kids) taught the basics of ram, rom, the basics of binary notation etc.

Nowadays people have to ask what floppy drives are.

So yes, get 'orf my lawn, etc.


Steve
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: tone007 on January 12, 2011, 03:19:54 PM
Sure, basic concepts can be applied, but specific things like "how much does a floppy disk hold" or "how do I free up more conventional memory in DOS" and "what's the IRQ for COM1" for the most part don't come up anymore.
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: TCMSLP on January 12, 2011, 03:21:04 PM
AmigaNG: Ha, I like that.  I remember in my childhood I had an Atari ST (which of course had midi ports).  My Amstrad hifi system was labelled as a 'midi system' - I thought I could connect the two together!  However this stupidity eventually led to building a home made (1 bit!) sampler and eventually developed an interest in computer music ... I was only young, so I guess no no different to these kids asking what a A: drive is.

However, it does make me realise my heroes are probably consigned to the dustbin of history as far as these kids are concerned.  RIP Jay Miner, all the DIY computer hobbyists of the 70's, not to mention the creators of the ENIAC and before that Collussus etc.
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: vidarh on January 12, 2011, 03:29:29 PM
Quote from: TCMSLP;606145
However this stupidity eventually led to building a home made (1 bit!) sampler


I remember when I realized (not that I was anywhere near the first to do so) that the Commodore 64 Datasette could be used as a 1 bit sampler (just read the cassette IO bit as often as you can, and then play it back by turning the volume on and off every time you find a 1). Of course sound quality isn't exactly stellar.
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: TCMSLP on January 12, 2011, 03:36:10 PM
That's exactly what I did on the ST (although with cassette connected to the parallel port)!  I remember a friend in school doing exactly the same with an Amstrad CPC tape deck too ;)
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: jj on January 12, 2011, 03:42:05 PM
Yeah I did a similar trick on the cpc. God I was creative with with mc cpc, more than another machine I could be bothered with. Think it was my age when had one,
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: F1Lupo on January 12, 2011, 03:46:59 PM
Steve, I know what you mean, a 17 year old son of my friend thought that it was urban legend that we used to load programs onto computers using tape cassettes.  The poor kid was in shock when I showed him the datacassete and immediately took pictures on his phone and texted all his friends:laughing:

c'est la vie..our grand kids won't even know what a desktop computer is
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: mikeymike on January 12, 2011, 04:06:04 PM
About stagnating knowledge though - I used ramdisk solutions for a good few years on Windows because of the poor cold start times for certain programs and obviously it had an enormous benefit.  I doubt I would have thought of that if I hadn't spent a while using Amigas (not saying that ramdisks are/were unique to Amigas btw).

Personally I think in say a systems admin role it's incredibly useful for someone to have had some sort of cross-platform experience.  It gets people to think of solutions that aren't so ordinary, and also it helps point out flaws in a different platform much more obviously (rather than accepting the walls one lives in when using only one platform).  I don't think it matters greatly whether the 'other platform' one has used is a considerably older one, though the line has to be drawn somewhere.

Admittedly I've been wondering along a similar line about stagnating knowledge, when I think of what I learnt from NT4 that has benefited me in terms of troubleshooting problems affecting later versions of Windows, even though it's not as if what I experienced in terms of problems with NT4 SP4 can be directly applied to say the next service pack for Win7.
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: orange on January 12, 2011, 04:10:26 PM
Quote from: tone007;606136
..and why should they? Chances are, none of it would do them any good.

I realized years ago much of the random information I learned playing with computers in the 80s and 90s is no longer useful.



Because technology marches on?

I disagree, you probably learned about bits and  bytes, buses, registers and stuff. those things don't change. it will always be useful, because you know what digital computer can and can't do - how it works.
that is, until they make usable quantum computer or something.
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: TheGoose on January 12, 2011, 04:20:00 PM
Yeah, I actually think my floppy days and CLI and PATHs and memory and always having to debug and fiddle with things made me a much better IT / Web Developer.

You don't know jack about php.ini until know your startup-sequence!!!!!

etc.
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: orange on January 12, 2011, 04:35:58 PM
the rules haven't changed at all. modern computers are following the same rules/algorithms. they are just turing machines.
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: motorollin on January 12, 2011, 04:39:33 PM
Of course they don't know what floppies are, just like I didn't know until told a few years ago about punchcards, and have no idea how computers were programmed before that. In a couple more decades the 10-20 year old age group will have no idea what CDs are. I don't find this particularly depressing (though I will be sad when CDs stop being produced as I prefer to buy my music in a physical medium).

Actually there was a recent series on British TV called "Back in Time - The High Street". They got a whole load of modern day shopkeepers and recreated high streets from various periods in history. When they got to the 70s, they added a record shop. One younger guy who had never seen a vinyl record actually said that it was nice to buy the music in physical form rather than a download. So maybe there's hope yet :)

--
moto
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: Ral-Clan on January 12, 2011, 04:51:23 PM
A couple of thoughts on the subject.

I do think that what I learned in the 1980s & 1990s on the PET, VIC-20, C64, Amigas & MS-DOS systems has benefited me.  On occasion I've had to do some strange things with modern computers that involved entering command line parameters, etc. and it's helped.

I used to get depressed and feel old about changes in technology.  But then I just came to accept that old computers like the Amiga get old, but they still remain valid tools in their own right.

My Amiga is old, but can do some very useful, fun and impressive things.  It's a tool and in the hands of creative people, even an antique tool can do amazing things.
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: Tension on January 12, 2011, 05:36:22 PM
Quote from: TCMSLP;606132
it makes me feel very old/QUOTE]

But you are very old!
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: Fats on January 12, 2011, 07:32:52 PM
Quote from: motorollin;606194
... just like I didn't know until told a few years ago about punchcards, and have no idea how computers were programmed before that.

moto


FYI.

Before punchcards computers needed to be programmed manually if my info is correct though. Often the programmers would assemble their programs themselves into a binary word stream. Operators then manually programmed the word stream into the computer: physical settings switches to one or zero for each bit in the word and some kind of enter button to transfer the word to memory. I'm using the term word here as at that time there was no standard yet for the size of words.
I have not used these myself. The oldest I used was a mainframe with a room full of terminals connected to it.

greets,
Staf.
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: tone007 on January 12, 2011, 07:35:52 PM
I had one of these:
(http://oldcomputers.net/pics/imsai8080-left.jpg)

that needed code punched in via those switches as you described above.

Later of course they made floppy interfaces and boot roms.
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: Iggy on January 12, 2011, 08:36:54 PM
Yeah, I feel for you.
How about one of these?

(http://file:///tmp/moz-screenshot.jpg)(http://www.swtpc.com/mholley/System/6800_Color.jpg)

While you S100 users got CPM before we got an operating system, our final operating system, Microware's OS9, was a multiuser, multi-tasking OS that supported position independent re-entrant code.This system supported a 2Mhz 6809, a 6845 VDP,  a serial card with 8 ports, parallel card, floppy controller and hard disk controller.

Come to think of it, my first experience with floppies was on a Wang 2200 which used 5.25 floppies that had more than one hole punched in the normal area for timing. Expensive disks (I think they were about $7.00 each at the time).
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: motorollin on January 12, 2011, 09:15:02 PM
Quote from: Fats;606254
FYI.

Before punchcards computers needed to be programmed manually if my info is correct though. Often the programmers would assemble their programs themselves into a binary word stream. Operators then manually programmed the word stream into the computer: physical settings switches to one or zero for each bit in the word and some kind of enter button to transfer the word to memory. I'm using the term word here as at that time there was no standard yet for the size of words.
I have not used these myself. The oldest I used was a mainframe with a room full of terminals connected to it.

greets,
Staf.

Thanks Staf! Why the switch to punchcards if we already had the option of storing data in memory?
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: tone007 on January 12, 2011, 09:27:04 PM
They liked to turn off the computers occasionally.
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: JimS on January 13, 2011, 12:14:47 AM
Quote from: klx300r;606162
Steve, I know what you mean, a 17 year old son of my friend thought that it was urban legend that we used to load programs onto computers using tape cassettes.  The poor kid was in shock when I showed him the datacassete and immediately took pictures on his phone and texted all his friends:laughing:


You're lucky he even knew what a cassette was. ;-)
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: Argo on January 13, 2011, 03:39:36 AM
Er, What's DF0:?
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: coldfish on January 13, 2011, 04:04:33 AM
I felt old when I was telling my niece about how computers (C64) had very few colours couldnt display photos or movies.

She said: "What, like before flatscreens?"
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: robo-ant on January 13, 2011, 05:02:52 AM
I don't have an amusing story to tell of what young people think of old tech, because I never talk to children.

What I do have is a photo that my Dad took of me rolling paper tape on the old RCA Victor combo TV/AM Radio/Turntable.  I think I got a paper cut soon after the photo was taken, but I kept playing with that roll of paper tape for a long time.

Speaking of that old TV, I must not have seen "Get Smart" since we had that thing, because I just picked up Season 4 on DVD and was surprised to find that it had been filmed in colour!
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: lsmart on January 13, 2011, 05:53:26 AM
Quote from: Argo;606341
Er, What's DF0:?


But that is precisely the difference between the Microsoft concept and the sane world. How could they name their devices A,B,C, ... without ever thiniking about the future. How can an OS that is new in 2009 (Windows 7) still have C: as the hard wired name for the primary partition? At work we have trouble because UNC-paths aren´t universally supported and with only 26 letters in the alphabeth there is some double usage of the same letter.

In the Unix- and the Amiga-scheme you will never run out of device names. You can extend the scheme to accomodate for new developments, without breaking exisiting software and without looking goofy.

We knew that in 1988, but Microsoft didn´t care and they never did the right thing and thow it out of the Windows (pun intended). So we are old, but Microsoft is old and stupid.
Title: Re: WTF - now I feel old :(
Post by: motorollin on January 13, 2011, 06:06:38 AM
Quote from: tone007;606278
They liked to turn off the computers occasionally.


Oh of course :lol:

--
moto