25 Years Ago - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-08-2006, 01:51 AM   #1
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In 1979, I was using a CP/M machine as my business and engineering computer. I needed more storage so I added a 50 megabyte hard drive and controller. That cost over $5,000. This was a big, heavy thing with a 14" platter made by MegaVault. It generated enough heat to keep a small town warm.

Just before Christmas, I bought a 1 gigabyte Flash Drive (no moving parts) for $50 after mail-in rebate.

That's $100/megabyte in 1979 versus 5/megabyte in 2005. Way to go, technologists.

Imagine what it will be like 25 years hence.

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Old 01-08-2006, 08:06 AM   #2
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I'm waiting for speech technology to make giant leaps. I write for a living so the ability to sit in a recliner and "talk" my way through a job 'Course I'm retiring in six years and the technology will probably be perfected in 5 years and 11 months.

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Old 01-08-2006, 08:52 AM   #3
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Twenty five years ago, I thought a megabyte was something you took out of a giant burger.
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Old 01-08-2006, 02:05 PM   #4
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25 years ago was 1981. The beginning of the Reagan Administration.
In 1966, Star Trek showed future Federation Officers using a device called a "communicator" that clipped to your belt, and hinged open to be used like a "walkie-talkie" to communicate with the mother ship. I heard that the designer of the flip open style of cell phone used that reference to come up with his design.
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1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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Old 01-08-2006, 02:17 PM   #5
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I now have a device that I can look up information not locally stored, read the news, play a game, see a live video of my mother, use as a calculator, take notes on and communicate both in text and voice instantly. I can receive mail on it, and get driving directions to anywhere. I can see aerial photos of where I am, where I have been and where I want to go. I can store a whole photo album on it and show it off, or link to a remote location that can hold even more of my pictures.

It is the size of a ciggy pack, and clips to my pocket. It's called.. a Blackberry.
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:07 PM   #6
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I write for a living....

Donna D!
What do you write (other than amusing posts on fbgrv)?

Fellow scribbler,
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Old 01-08-2006, 06:58 PM   #7
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Next time any of you are in or around a used bookstore look up an old PC or MAC magazine from the 80's. It's a wonder any of us could afford even a 20 megabyte hard drive or a small amount of RAM!

I have 1 gigabyte of RAM in my PC now, if I paid 1980's dollars for the RAM it would have cost me 50,000.00...just for RAM!

By the way, I think Michael Crichton wrote computer manuals to put food on the table back then.
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:17 PM   #8
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Ah, nostalgia still churns for my old Kaypro. I even commuted with it a number of times. Despite the wonder of my little Fujitsu notebook and Blackberry, there are times when I think mid-30s technology was perhaps as far as we ought to have come. But then, there's nothing as enjoyable as sitting in my egg with my little laptop--withdaring into my shell and still connecting to the world.
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:29 PM   #9
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One of the things I have fond memories of is standing on a stool and helping my mom feed the washed laundry through the ringer rollers!
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Old 01-09-2006, 06:18 AM   #10
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The pinnacle of computer design was the Trash-80 Mod 4 with it's little pal the TRS-80 Model 100 laptop, and a DWP200 daisy wheel printer... The Mod 4 had TWO 160k 5 1/4" floppies with 128k RAM in TWO switched 64k banks... all the storage and RAM you would EVER use... couldn't figure out why anyone ever would need so much storage... It could use either TRSDOS 6.0 (the LATEST thing in O/Ss) or CP/M if you wanted to use existing software of the day... The Model 100 sported a 6 line, 40 character LCD screen and a whopping 32k RAM, but had six built-in programs and was actually quite competent. I worked that system through the four years it took me to get through a two year degree! My much younger classmates all looked at me a little strangely, showing up to class without a paper or pen... until I began bringing lecture transcriptions in... then they were VERY interested...

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Old 01-09-2006, 10:05 AM   #11
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We got the first used TRS-80 at the weekly newspaper where I worked just about twenty-five years ago. Within a year, it was obsolete and we purchased an 80286 computer with a 2 Meg hard drive for around $8,000. I actually learned MSDOS. We skipped the 386 and went to a 486 with Windows 3.11 with the hope that the Internet would soon be here. It took a year to make it all work but going from a command-level into point-and-click computing was like rocket science. If anyone had told me that within ten short years, I would be working from a public library seventy-five miles south of the Arctic Ocean, as if I were at home, I would have said they were daffy. Today, my PalmVx with 1000 times the computing power of that first Tandy is obsolete and I am redundant.

My father worked on the Mercury and Gemini projects in St. Louis and never missed an episode of Star Trek. He predicted that many innovations seen on that TV program would soon be a reality. I was still in high school then but should have known, when we took an unplanned vacation to Florida with a midnight visit to a mansion in the hills above Huntsville, Alabama, that he had an inside track. He didn't live to see the home computers or cell phones that we take for granted but he knew they were coming. He also predicted that star travel would be achieved in spite of the mathematical impossibility and I can only wonder what knowledge he was privileged to that I can only dream about.

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