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The march of time

AleisterCrowley
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Re: The march of time

#68705

Postby AleisterCrowley » July 20th, 2017, 10:27 pm

[quote="UncleEbenezer"

* I recall it or the set-up being called something like 'BBC Gold'....

There was a network called Telecom Gold in the 1980s. They were the other option when I got Prestel from home. Could that be it?


Ah, Prestel. Vague memories , but not as a user. Bit like CEEFAX/ORACLE.
It was hosted, if that's the right word, at BT Baynard - a Brutalist monstrosity in Blackfriars. A few of my ex-BT colleagues were based there.
Almost as ugly as good old Keybridge.

DiamondEcho
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Re: The march of time

#68759

Postby DiamondEcho » July 21st, 2017, 9:40 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:It wasn't called the Internet back then. Were you on JANET, or another of its predecessors? Was your email address in reverse order (you@uk.ac.wherever)?
I think my first electronic mail address was a Prestel address that looked like a telex number. Went through JANET and BITNET before I got my first address in the format we recognise today.
* I recall it or the set-up being called something like 'BBC Gold'.

There was a network called Telecom Gold in the 1980s. They were the other option when I got Prestel from home. Could that be it?


Hmmm, I don't recall now. But I'm sure I didn't have a personal e-mail address. IIRC it was a faculty address of some structure. E-mail was not often used as it was so laborious to compile a message in the required code, and of course few people in general had access to it :)

I googled 'BBC Gold computer' and it came up with a partially gold-plated version of the computer I used back then, but that adorned version is in the Science Museum collection.

The computer we used was like this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/domwalton/4228663733 BBC Micro, vintage computer. c.1985
Another version of the set-up with external floppy drives here: http://remotely-interested.com/micro-an ... computing/

UncleEbenezer
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Re: The march of time

#68835

Postby UncleEbenezer » July 21st, 2017, 2:33 pm

Yeah, I remember the BBC micro. It was way ahead of its time, as was its successor the Acorn Archimedes (1987 - I think). It was your use of the word "Gold" that led me to recollect Telecom Gold, and wonder if you had in fact had a BBC micro connected to that network.

There's a story - possibly apocryphal but also perfectly plausible - of Bill Gates visiting Acorn in Cambridge sometime in the 1980s. At some point they showed him econet - the Acorn/BBC networking of that era - whereupon he asked "What's a network?"

AleisterCrowley
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Re: The march of time

#68852

Postby AleisterCrowley » July 21st, 2017, 3:40 pm

I can't get over the BBC Micro being an 'antique' -doesn't seem that long ago! I bet there are still some in regular use

Real antiques - stuff like the bare-board MK14 which was my dream when I was 12.... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MK14

Breelander
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Re: The march of time

#68854

Postby Breelander » July 21st, 2017, 3:49 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:There's a story - possibly apocryphal but also perfectly plausible - of Bill Gates visiting Acorn in Cambridge sometime in the 1980s. At some point they showed him econet - the Acorn/BBC networking of that era - whereupon he asked "What's a network?"


Maybe apocryphal, but not that wide of the mark...

Bill Gates (1998) wrote: "Sometimes we do get taken by surprise. For example, when the Internet came along, we had it has a fifth or sixth priority."
http://archive.is/20130102062335/http:/ ... 12942.html

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Re: The march of time

#68861

Postby UncleEbenezer » July 21st, 2017, 4:11 pm

Breelander wrote:Maybe apocryphal, but not that wide of the mark...

Yeah, there's no doubt over the '90s, and MS's rapid about-turn when they decided they wanted to own the Internet, as opposed to the previous strategy (inspired by the likes of AOL and Compuserve, before those joined "the" 'net) of their own separate network.

The legacy of what MS did back then is still with us, in the form of a high level of vulnerability to malware. viewtopic.php?f=39&t=6052&p=63867&hilit=MIME#p63867

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Re: The march of time

#68935

Postby swill453 » July 22nd, 2017, 5:17 am

Yes, TCP/IP was ubiquitous in Unix when I started my first job in 1984, but didn't get bundled with Windows until W95 I think. Though you could add it to WFW 3.11 a bit earlier.

Scott.

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Re: The march of time

#68950

Postby UncleEbenezer » July 22nd, 2017, 8:28 am

swill453 wrote:Yes, TCP/IP was ubiquitous in Unix when I started my first job in 1984, but didn't get bundled with Windows until W95 I think. Though you could add it to WFW 3.11 a bit earlier.

Scott.

My recollection of W95 was that it was well-hidden even there. That is to say, if you just did any of the obvious things like "system settings-->networking" or "places-->servers" you'd find yourself in MS's proprietary networking instead. Getting online from home was not really supported, to the extent that I recollect something essential (possibly ppp) being buried bizarrely in MSIE! Non-techie users would plug-and-pray an ISP's floppy (or later CD), and Yours Truly would get a headache looking for configuration options when that failed.

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Re: The march of time

#68974

Postby Alaric » July 22nd, 2017, 10:15 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:My recollection of W95 was that it was well-hidden even there.


Wasn't it something of a last minute addition shortly before release? Before Win 95, you might run something from Dos to get your internet connection started and it was often an email program which did the work. Before browsers you might need ftp to download stuff.

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Re: The march of time

#68983

Postby Dod1010 » July 22nd, 2017, 12:05 pm

moorfield wrote:In my last year at university same mate had acquired a brick sized nokia mobile phone. I bought my first mobile 2 years after graduating from the Carphone Warehouse on Moorgate/London Wall - it's still there today!


What did you do with your degree from Carphone Warehouse?

Dod

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Re: The march of time

#68997

Postby UncleEbenezer » July 22nd, 2017, 1:39 pm

Dod1010 wrote:
moorfield wrote:In my last year at university same mate had acquired a brick sized nokia mobile phone. I bought my first mobile 2 years after graduating from the Carphone Warehouse on Moorgate/London Wall - it's still there today!


What did you do with your degree from Carphone Warehouse?

Dod

Thwack!

May I refer the Hon. Fool to my post of June 28th in this very thread?

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Re: The march of time

#69059

Postby DiamondEcho » July 22nd, 2017, 8:20 pm

swill453 wrote:Yes, TCP/IP was ubiquitous in Unix when I started my first job in 1984, but didn't get bundled with Windows until W95 I think. Though you could add it to WFW 3.11 a bit earlier.


Back at work in 1994/5, out in Asia, I had a Windows desktop machine, and then Unix terminals connected to [presumably] some form of mainframe elsewhere. The latter were produced by ... er... Red Hat, Red Box, or some such 'Red couplet'. This was also back in the day of Usenet [vs the later web] and newsgroups like say Soc.Culture.[Country name], etc. Long ago but we still had trolls same as today.

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Re: The march of time

#69068

Postby Dod1010 » July 22nd, 2017, 8:47 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:
Dod1010 wrote:
moorfield wrote:In my last year at university same mate had acquired a brick sized nokia mobile phone. I bought my first mobile 2 years after graduating from the Carphone Warehouse on Moorgate/London Wall - it's still there today!


What did you do with your degree from Carphone Warehouse?

Dod

Thwack!

May I refer the Hon. Fool to my post of June 28th in this very thread?


Sorry UE. I have not read this thread very carefully. I was not trying to upstage you and you picked up the second point as well. We obviously have the same thought process.

I'll go back to sleep.

Dod

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Re: The march of time

#69070

Postby UncleEbenezer » July 22nd, 2017, 9:12 pm

Dod1010 wrote:Sorry UE. I have not read this thread very carefully.
Dod

Apology not accepted, because it's absolutely unnecessary. Had my comment been yours, I could easily have missed it.

Dare I now apologise that my thwack might have come across as anything more unfriendly than a tongue-in-cheek nudge/wink?

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Re: The march of time

#69112

Postby Dod1010 » July 23rd, 2017, 8:01 am

Thanks UE. Anyway the fact is that moorfield's post ought to be used as a lesson in watching the structure of one's sentences! I was highly amused.

Dod

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Re: The march of time

#69130

Postby UncleEbenezer » July 23rd, 2017, 11:17 am

Dod1010 wrote:Thanks UE. Anyway the fact is that moorfield's post ought to be used as a lesson in watching the structure of one's sentences! I was highly amused.

Dod

Thanks accepted :D

We clearly have some thought processes in common. Sometimes linguistic faux-pas make it hard to restrain oneself :lol:

I think (from memory) I kept it subtle, in part because picking up twice on it (the degree and the mobility) could've come across as rather too much, and even if I could've been confident of not offending moorfield, some of our over-zealous moderators don't share our sense of humour.

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Re: The march of time

#69153

Postby DiamondEcho » July 23rd, 2017, 1:59 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote: Sometimes linguistic faux-pas make it hard to restrain oneself :lol:


Agreed :lol:
p.s. it's faux pas, without a hyphen.

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Re: The march of time

#69160

Postby UncleEbenezer » July 23rd, 2017, 2:47 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:p.s. it's faux pas, without a hyphen.

Touché :oops:

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Re: The march of time

#105974

Postby AndyPandy » December 23rd, 2017, 11:08 pm

Apologies for the resurrection. Pre-Christmas reading of threads I don't normally read.

I must be a similar age to Aleister as when I was in the 6th Form our school had a single Commodore Pet that we had to book time on (Bristol School, not Brum, though). My schoolmate wanted to do serious stuff, I wanted to play Space Invaders. I often 'won'. The School also had a few Acorn Acorns, basically a 6502 attached to a hexadecimal display and a hexadecimal keypad. I learnt my machine code on there before buying a BBC Micro and moving onto Assembler and BASIC. Some of my mates were members of a Commodore User Group and for a while my BBC was an honourary Commodore as I was the only one with one.

Bought a Teletext Adaptor and reverse engineered it to download and save share prices from Ceefax (Prices updated every 20 minutes) which I could then display as a graph. That you have never heard of me outside this Forum shows you how impressive my investing skills were by use of these data.

At Uni I used my BBC in my Final Year project to design & build a Storage Oscilloscope so overall I don't think it owed me anything by the time I disposed of it. My Examiner said of the external board and Software "You could sell that for £200 a time". Not my first, not my last Business Opportunity missed.

Two postscripts.
1) I have downloaded and run Beebem, which is a very good BBC Micro emulator for the PC - http://www.mkw.me.uk/beebem/
Most ROMS are available from links on the website and I still blast meteors on a regular basis as well as trying to get somewhere in Philosopher's Quest.
2) I had reason to kill two days in London this week and 3 hours of that were spent in the Science Museum. The telephony and Computing history sections brought back so many memories for me with plenty of BBC MIcros, ZX80/81, TRS 80s and so on and I wallowed in nostalgia for a big chunk of those three hours. Well recommended.

Happy days.

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Re: The march of time

#106244

Postby scotia » December 26th, 2017, 10:16 pm

Apologies for the resurrection. Pre-Christmas reading of threads I don't normally read.

This also applies to myself
I seem to go back a bit further than most responders. I was first introduced to computing using an Algol derivative running on a KDF9 computer, with programs punched on tape via flexowriters. Then an IBM 360 arrived - with punched card input. But it was a PDP8 that actually kindled my interest in computing, and its small instruction set made assembly language programming a dawdle. Then came the PDP11 with its large instruction set and multiple addressing modes which made assembly language programming a nightmare - hence the birth of "C". However I really wish the authors had continued refining their approach - and possibly tried with a "D" or an "E" or....
At that stage I deviated off into Intel microprocessors and S100 Bus computers. I tried writing my own simple floppy disk operating system before gratefully adopting CP/M, then later CP/M86 before admitting that DOS had won the day on the IBM PC.
A bit later I got involved in Networking. Internet Protocol was an interesting "amateur" introduction - but there were commercial alternatives - e.g. DECNet, and UK academic alternatives (JANET). However working with a major multi-national company, I agreed that Internet Protocol would be a stop-gap solution, and ultimately the world would adopt ISO Networking. It is only within the last few years that I threw out the large number of volumes describing the ISO proposals. Internet Protocol won hands down.


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