Is that a Smart Phone in your pocket or are you just happy with computing power?


Many years ago, we received a boon. A mighty boon, as mighty it must be, for what value is there in boons that lack might?


An average boon is like needing to eat jello but being reduced from the wonders of a spoon to a mere spork. Yes, it gets the job done...but is it worth it?


Anyway, if you are finished digressing by reading thoughts I had which had no bearing on this post (those were thoughts?), we shall continue.


If memory serves, which it does not, for I use my left hand to toss the ball up and my racket, held in the right hand, to propel the ball with relatively rapid force in the general direction of my opponent with the implied hope it shall clear the net, yet descend with sufficient speed to strike the surface prior to passing by the white lines marked upon the court...


...but if memory serves, it was the TSR-80, a machine so archaic it makes the dinosaurs look up to date and fashionable.


Yes, this fine computer, if such a term can be used, was purchased for the princely sum of...well, I never knew how much it cost, but it was an exceptional extravagance when compared to the bikes we could afford.


Of course, by the time we got it, it was considered an antique, but we did not care...it was a computer!


Not much of one...you had to use cassette tapes for memory. Woe betide the person who spent hours inputting a program, only to have their tape get eaten.


It came with stacks and stacks of monthly magazines with free programs. I anxiously set out to copy, laboriously copying line by line with frequent stops to save it to tape...you did not want to lose hours of work by not saving it or by having not enough space on the tape...to copy every line of programming.


The goal? An ice hockey game called break-away or something. You played a hockey player taking a penalty shot. You could weave left or right and hit the puck.


At least..I assume you could.


because despite typing in thousands of lines of code...twice...I never...ever....ever got it to work.


I spent so long trying to get the code typed in, saved to tape, and corrected that the obsolete computer became obsolete before I ever got to play it even one time.


The next computer was a big step up.


It had graphics that rivaled the Coleco football game pictured above. If you ever played it, you know what I mean...both teams were represented by a red "-", with your "-" glowing a bit brighter.
Ah, the good times playing classics like Oregon Trail...where I got tired of getting to Oregon so started seeing how many settlers I could kill off...or Wolfenstein.
I should point out...even back then I sucked at Videogames. I would often kill off all the foes without finding the exit. So then the game became a boring run through a seemingly empty maze randomly hoping to trip a missed secret door.
And now let us fast forward.

I have a phone with which I e-mail, check scores, sometimes video highlights, I could watch tv on it if I wanted, it checks the weather, tells me how heavy traffic is on my way home, it finds places...
There is more power in my phone than in the first three computers I had. Combined.
And I do not even have a smart phone!
Of course, I should also take into account that when I first purchased a computer, it was something like $2,000. I spent a lot of hard-earned money to get it, but wow, that thing was amazing!
I think the one I have now cost something like $500 including a nice flat-screen monitor.
What an amazing world.

7 comments:

Riot Kitty said...

That is awesome!

Riot Kitty said...

PS Speaking of retro...I sent a blog buddy to this post, but you'll probably like his blog as well:
http://dadsdish.blogspot.com/

G said...

Dude, now I'm feeling really old, especially since I remember playing Coleco football and using the TRS-80 in high school.

Thanks.

Mama Zen said...

"You have died of dysentery . . ."

Robert Tres said...

You kids and your new-fangled computers. When I was your age if I wanted to run a binary program I had to make my own abacus using two buttons and some string.

This was before the onion belt hook was invented so we did not have that distraction.

To this day I connect to the internet using a spark gap transmitter and morse code.

Darrin.. said...

Nice post!! "Riot Kiddy" gave me the heads up! I remember my friend had a computer kinda like the T-80, and he had a modem!!! I didn't know what I would possibly do with a modem.. but when he told me he could talk to other computers.. the possibility excited me to no end!! Gosh, if I only knew what was coming! LOL!!

BTW... I had SEARS version of COLECO's Electronic Quarter Back, so I know of the great Red LED graphics of which you speak! Here's a link to a post I did on the game (which I still own)...

http://dadsdish.blogspot.com/2009/12/7-days-of-toys-day-4-electronic.html

Darth Weasel said...

wow, this is closing in on record response...rocking.

RK...yes, I drop by his on occasion. Actually, I think he is one of the links to the left there

G, it is not old...it is seasoned and experienced in the trail from crap to today

Mama...lol I loved that death!

Darrin...do you remember their baseball game? It was awesome too!