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#398887 - 1st Apr 2010 11:42pm 80's,90's Computing Era
SoundLad Offline

Are you SoNutz?
Forum Master

Registered: 22nd Aug 2007
Posts: 2988
Loc: Birkenhead, United Kingdom
Yes what started this thread was a For Sale of a ZX Spectrum.. Can any of you people on here remember them.. Christ i did i had the +2A version of the spectrum with the Great 64KB of ram or Drive M: for which you used for dumping programs youve just typed in for later saving to Tape cause if you switched it off VAM it wiped it clean.. Anyhow what i started this for is to remember the days when Internet was just a Acoustic Coupler connected to a Bulitin Board System where you couldnt do much but read alot of txt and download a few Role playing games which sometimes you could actually play online.. So come on people whats your fave memory of this era of computing.. I'll reply with more soon.. laugh laugh laugh happy
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#398892 - 2nd Apr 2010 12:13am Re: 80's,90's Computing Era [Re: SoundLad]
TheDr Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 23rd Feb 2010
Posts: 2631
Loc: Wirral
I have two memories that stick, one is of long nights, huge phone bills and wasted time downloading data from the local BBS.... only to find out a year down the line that the guy who ran it only lived a few doors down from me.

The other was Yellow Pages online, one of the VERY first to do it, or rather, one of the first not to hide their number very well and to let you have full access to the system, allowing you to update, add and replace numbers with whatever you wanted...

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#398893 - 2nd Apr 2010 12:24am Re: 80's,90's Computing Era [Re: SoundLad]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10691
Loc: Birkenhead
In 1977 I had the Sinlair MK14 with the luxury of 256 BYTES of RAM, fantastic little machine, amazing what you could get it to do, programmed in machine code - you had to do the assembly language to machine code yourself.

Likewise a couple of years after this I was using the Bulletin Boards and even ordering electronically from Maplin and Display Electronics (Distel). Maplin had an amazing contract with the Royal Mail with dedicated aircraft to distribute quickly. I used to order things in the evening and they would pop through the letterbox next morning before going to work.

[Yorkshire accent] You tell the kids these days and they won't believe you!
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#398902 - 2nd Apr 2010 2:08am Re: 80's,90's Computing Era [Re: diggingdeeper]
Shadow_Omega Offline

Wise One

Registered: 29th Apr 2009
Posts: 871
Loc: Leasowe
i've had my amiga 500 since 1987 and i'm still using it to this very day as my main computer. i've also got an atari ST 520 sitting somewhere as well as a sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k, Commodore 64, Amiga CD32 and IBM PC 5150.

they were all good for the time but as soon as the 90's began drawing to a close we got a load of crap such as Windows ME, CE, Mac Anniversary, AOL.

we had no internet so we relied on magazines which were excellent back in the day because not only would they have useful info they also came with demo or full software suites for free. if you were into the Amiga cracking scene they used to love showing off what they had done to someones latest and greatest protection with the ST Group.

The Demoscene was also started in the 80's on the Commodore 64 And ZX Spectrum where a group would write assembly code to create amazing visuals and audio with strict limitations with hardware (such as writing an entire 10 min demo in under 114kb of ram space)and introduced many ways of creating 3d polygons and DSP Programming.

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#398904 - 2nd Apr 2010 3:10am Re: 80's,90's Computing Era [Re: Shadow_Omega]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10691
Loc: Birkenhead
A few machines I still have from that era:-

Ohio Superboard II - now modified out of existence compared to its original spec.

Apple IIc (a minature Apple IIe)

Amstrad PPC640, a very early laptop/portable computer.

A CP/M machine based loosely on Kemitron and Interak computers, both local companies. This was my first disk based system having 8" floppy drives.

I think I may also still have my first two WINDOWS machine's motherboards which were a 12MHz Intel 286 and a 25MHz 386DX. Though I did have a couple of 8086 machines but only with MSDOS/PCDOS on board.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#398986 - 2nd Apr 2010 2:47pm Re: 80's,90's Computing Era [Re: diggingdeeper]
camaroz Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 19th Mar 2009
Posts: 616
Loc: Wirral
Originally Posted By: SoundLad
Anyhow what i started this for is to remember the days when Internet was just a Acoustic Coupler connected to a Bulitin Board System where you couldnt do much but read alot of txt and download a few Role playing games which sometimes you could actually play online..


eek! I remember that, also getting my first serial modem and subscribing to Compuserve, if I remember correctly you had to pay for individual rooms of information..

Originally Posted By: TheDr
I have two memories that stick, one is of long nights, huge phone bills and wasted time downloading data from the local BBS....


Ouch ! Yep I remember those phone bills... Do you remember when Freeserve changed al the rules, and when you had to wait for ages to get an internet connection?

Originally Posted By: diggingdeeper
In 1977 I had the Sinlair MK14 with the luxury of 256 BYTES of RAM


That was luxury... I'm sure my ZX81 came with 1k RAM installed..

Originally Posted By: Shadow_Omega
The Demoscene was also started in the 80's on the Commodore 64 And ZX Spectrum where a group would write assembly code to create amazing visuals and audio with strict limitations with hardware (such as writing an entire 10 min demo in under 114kb of ram space)and introduced many ways of creating 3d polygons and DSP Programming.


I remember the demo's well. Infact companies were always advertising to sell these demo's and other public domain stuff. I used to buy load's of them at computer fairs (remember them?) and marvel at my Amiga 500 as the chrome ball rolled around the screen.

Thanks guy's, this thread brought back many fond memories....Ah! The good old days...


Edited by camaroz (2nd Apr 2010 2:49pm)

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#399003 - 2nd Apr 2010 4:28pm Re: 80's,90's Computing Era [Re: camaroz]
Capt_America Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Jul 2008
Posts: 1503
Loc: Wallasey
I had a Sinclair ZX 81 which just had enough memory to programme in three quarters of a sine wave (displayed on the blocky led display) but I thought it was wonderful!
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See you in cyberspace!

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#399059 - 2nd Apr 2010 8:23pm Re: 80's,90's Computing Era [Re: camaroz]
TheDr Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 23rd Feb 2010
Posts: 2631
Loc: Wirral
Originally Posted By: TheDr
I have two memories that stick, one is of long nights, huge phone bills and wasted time downloading data from the local BBS....


Ouch ! Yep I remember those phone bills... Do you remember when Freeserve changed al the rules, and when you had to wait for ages to get an internet connection?

I joined FREESERVE on the first day they started out, saved me hundreds of pounds.
Before that I was with WHICH online (and before that UKONLINE) where you had to pay to phone in to them, and then pay for how data you looked at or downloaded.

Originally Posted By: diggingdeeper
In 1977 I had the Sinlair MK14 with the luxury of 256 BYTES of RAM


That was luxury... I'm sure my ZX81 came with 1k RAM installed..

1K (KiloByte) is 1024Bytes, so the ZX81 actually had FOUR TIMES more memory than the MK14, although still tring to remember how much the ZX80 had, sure that was only 256Bytes

I have fond memories of the BBC (which was excellent for playing racing car games) and the ITT 2020 (a proper computer) which was good for Space Invaders

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#399099 - 2nd Apr 2010 10:33pm Re: 80's,90's Computing Era [Re: TheDr]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10691
Loc: Birkenhead
Originally Posted By: TheDr
I joined FREESERVE on the first day they started out, saved me hundreds of pounds.


Wasn't freeserve on an 0845 number. I joined screaming.net/locatel whose internet was totally free (no fees, no call charges).

Freeserve was initially just for Dixons/Curry's/PCWorld PCs but opened up later, trying to find out when it was generally available.

Screaming.net/localtel started April 1999, freeserve started Sep 1998.

Screaming.net/Localtel were losing money very fast, but their marketing stratedgy was to build a customer base ready for Broadband when they would recoup their money. Eventually they got taken over by WorldOnline and then Tiscali.

I still have my screaming.net dial up account and this is still my primary routing for my emails, all other emails are redirected through this account and I pick it up on POP3 through broadband.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#399130 - 3rd Apr 2010 4:04am Re: 80's,90's Computing Era [Re: diggingdeeper]
TheDr Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 23rd Feb 2010
Posts: 2631
Loc: Wirral
Originally Posted By: diggingdeeper
Originally Posted By: TheDr
I joined FREESERVE on the first day they started out, saved me hundreds of pounds.


Wasn't freeserve on an 0845 number. I joined screaming.net/locatel whose internet was totally free (no fees, no call charges).

Freeserve was initially just for Dixons/Curry's/PCWorld PCs but opened up later, trying to find out when it was generally available.

Screaming.net/localtel started April 1999, freeserve started Sep 1998.

Screaming.net/Localtel were losing money very fast, but their marketing stratedgy was to build a customer base ready for Broadband when they would recoup their money. Eventually they got taken over by WorldOnline and then Tiscali.

I still have my screaming.net dial up account and this is still my primary routing for my emails, all other emails are redirected through this account and I pick it up on POP3 through broadband.


It was on an 0845 number, but remember that up until that point (which was only 12 years ago) we'd been paying a monthly subscription to your service provider for an internet connection, plus your phone call to their "local" server, and then you had to pay for the amount of data you downloaded as well, it all added up oshocked

The original Freeserve concept was called Channel 6, between Planet Online and Packard Bell, but PB pulled out so Dixons/PC World joined them instead. Dixons etc used to sell PB's so that is how they got into it and why the Channel 6 idea was just meant to be for PC's bought from the Dixons Group.

Dixons gave away the Freeserve CD's (for free), which you then installed into your Windows 98 PC, and it instantly took over EVERYTHING, putting its logo into IE the lot, took a few weeks before everyone realised that as long as you signed up for it online you didn't actually need their software, and to visit the Freeserve Home Page everytime you logged on crazy

Freeserve is still about though, it was bought out by Wanadoo and is now Orange Broadband, so the legacy lives on cool

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#399131 - 3rd Apr 2010 4:17am Re: 80's,90's Computing Era [Re: TheDr]
_Ste_ Offline


Wiki Master

Registered: 7th Aug 2005
Posts: 16043
Loc: New Brighton
Wow omg the days of the 56k modem and `Welcome to AOL` on my IBM 386 With 256mb ram, 500mb hard drive and my ultra cool Voodoo 3dfx card running games like quake, doom and unreal lol laugh
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http://www.youtube.com/user/stetopop

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#399135 - 3rd Apr 2010 6:05am Re: 80's,90's Computing Era [Re: _Ste_]
Wheels Offline
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 4th Jan 2005
Posts: 8795
Loc: Tranmere
I had the Amiga 500, or was it 1200?

Use to love playing Rock star ate my hampster smile

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#399153 - 3rd Apr 2010 11:58am Re: 80's,90's Computing Era [Re: Wheels]
_Ste_ Offline


Wiki Master

Registered: 7th Aug 2005
Posts: 16043
Loc: New Brighton
500 big, then slim 600 then 1200 was it?
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http://www.youtube.com/user/stetopop

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#399178 - 3rd Apr 2010 1:31pm Re: 80's,90's Computing Era [Re: _Ste_]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10691
Loc: Birkenhead
Originally Posted By: _Ste_
Wow omg the days of the 56k modem

56K, you're joking, started off with 300 Baud modems, then V21 which was asymetrical 1200/75 baud, then V22 (1200/1200), V22bis (2400/2400), V32 (9600) and V42bis

I still have quite a few of these modems around, will dig them out sometime and do some photos. I also have the receipt for my first V32/V42bis modem, I got substantial discount for buying two, they were £289 each in 1992.

Then there were the rtty days before that at 45.5 baud, 90 baud and 100 baud ..... thank god things got faster.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#399185 - 3rd Apr 2010 1:55pm Re: 80's,90's Computing Era [Re: diggingdeeper]
Wheels Offline
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 4th Jan 2005
Posts: 8795
Loc: Tranmere
So how long to download an album? raftl

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