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Frank Hagan
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7 hours ago, PAR said:

This was a painful lesson I had to learn some years back. A stable system is a happy system, so once you've got a machine in a place where it works well and doesn't give you the blue screen or death or similar, don't screw with it. 

I learned my lesson as well, back in the days of the PC XT. I learned quickly that upgrading an OS is an exercise in futility. The only computer since those days that I've done an OS upgrade on, without also upgrading the motherboard, is my wife's laptop that had Windows 8. Horrible OS. Windows 10 is a great improvement on Windows 8 because, like you said, it retains most of what made Windows 7 good. 

If I want to upgrade to a new OS I buy or build a new computer. Safer that way. 

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Yeah, I just built this machine and made the difficult decision of the 64 bit Win7 OS. My patch job on the 32 bit worked fine and permitted over 4 gig of RAM access, but there were some clunky aspects of it (batches or separate shells to run the older software). The new 4 core machine has 16 gigs of RAM possible and being greedy, I wanted it all, so 64 bit it was.

I never owned an XT, though I did use one (256k RAM). The 286 I had was an AT (DOS 3.0) and the good old days of hair pulling and cursing while you cold booted after a freeze up. I never got Win8, not having a need for the touch screen stuff. I've also learned to wait until the bugs are sorted out, before making an OS upgrade. It takes about a year, before any new OS is sorted out well enough to consider. FWIW, I beta tested Win 3.1a and still have those 3.5" disks around some place. I wonder if they're worth anything. What I remember of these old machines was unreliable hard drives and controllers. I lost a lot of data before I realized how important backups (remember the old tape drives) actually were. My first backups were on cassettes, yeah the same ones used in the WalkMan. Damn we're old . . .

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9 hours ago, PAR said:

I never owned an XT, though I did use one (256k RAM). The 286 I had was an AT (DOS 3.0) and the good old days of hair pulling and cursing while you cold booted after a freeze up. I never got Win8, not having a need for the touch screen stuff. I've also learned to wait until the bugs are sorted out, before making an OS upgrade. It takes about a year, before any new OS is sorted out well enough to consider. FWIW, I beta tested Win 3.1a and still have those 3.5" disks around some place. I wonder if they're worth anything. What I remember of these old machines was unreliable hard drives and controllers. I lost a lot of data before I realized how important backups (remember the old tape drives) actually were. My first backups were on cassettes, yeah the same ones used in the WalkMan. Damn we're old . . .

I went from a Epson Equity II pc-xt to a 386sx that I built ... if I recall, the 386sx didn't have the math coprocessor or was still 16 bit instead of 32. I remember paying $400 for a 40 MB hard drive then too, and was amazed it was a half height drive (about 6" wide by 8" deep and 2" thick - but just from memory on those dimensions). Now I have microSD cards that can store 1,600 times that drive's capacity, and they cost about $30, but I lose them if I'm not careful because they are about the size of my fingernail.

Yeah, we are old.

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My first computer was an IBM 8086 with 256k RAM, no hard drive, 2-5.25 floppy slots, one for the program being run and one for storage. And no reminder to save data.  The most thrilling update since then for me was the reminder to save before closing programs.  I still remember playing "Dungeons of Kroz" on it.  But unlike Frank, I'm not old.

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Since we're trying to out-old each other, my first computer was an Apple II+ with 64k of ram and a cassette tape recorder.  I was certain I could never write a program that would take up that much memory.  We upgraded to a floppy drive and it was really nice not to have to adjust the tone and volume of the tape player in an effort to get it to work.

I also remember the agony of having my painstakingly-typed program for the Imsai 8080a destroyed when the paper tape it was stored on got frayed.

My Grandma used to end all the "I remember before" conversations by saying "I remember before there were zippers." :)

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9 hours ago, Hirilonde said:

So far Ken wins the old argument.

I think so. I can't remember the year I got the Epson Equity II computer (PC XT clone), but it was produced starting in 1985. The Apple IIe started in 1983. I had to search for those dates because I sure can't remember it well enough to know it off the top of my head. 

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When I was in school, I purchased a TI pocket calculator, which cost an ungodly amount of money. They wouldn't let us use them in class, because not everyone had one, so the slide rule was the deal, like it or not. My first computer experence was a IBM System 3, but I do remember using a buddy's Commodore 64 for a while.

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Oh, Dang. Commodore 64. Haha. 

My buddy had a Vic20, then Commodore 64. Shoot, now he's some computer nerd for someone making big bucks.

Me? I figured computers were a fad and bounced. 

Ah, well. My friend can't draw or skateboard, so I think I won, in the end.:)

 

Peace,

Robert 

 

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My freshman year in engineering (not my degree) was at a school fortunate enough to own 2 electronic calculators that we could use at the library on a first come basis.  They cost $5,000 each and were 3x the size of a typewriter.  My Fortran course that year utilized a building sized computer and hand punched cards.  The worst part was that it was in the mountains of Vermont.  So we had to walk up hill, against the wind in 8' of snow to get to any of them.

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