Technology: Trouble and History from Here

For the past couple of weeks things at my house have been rather frantic. A long term, yet sporadic, computer problem has kept me troubleshooting for hours. First thought to be a virus or a trojan, the problem turned out to be a worn out power supply. Of all things, I was under the impression if the power supply went out, the computer would not turn on. Alas, not so. With a intermittent problem, it will turn on, and try to boot, but nothing, no cd, no windows boot cd, no floppy, nothing will help the piece of machinery whirl and beep to life.

On Friday not only did i receive a new power supply for my main computer but also a new Hewlett Packard Pavilion 17.1 inch laptop which I plan on using heavily.

So, I am considering this blog, a test drive of the new HP. Shiny chrome and black, who would have ever thought…..


HP Pavilion

I’ve had some time to reflect over the past few weeks on technology, and computers and my life. In fact, at a business dinner the other night, it was a topic of conversation.

My first toe-dipping experience in to the world of computers was the purchase of a Commodore 64. Yes, it had 64,000 bytes and not many people in the world at that time, including me, knew what a byte was.

Commodore 64

I happily took it home, set it up on the new desk and went to work. As a musician we had hundreds of recorded songs on cassette tapes that needed to be indexed. It was Halloween, and I was excited at the proposition this new thing, a computer, was going to save me hours of hand indexing then typing the results on my IBM Selectric.

Long after the last of the trick-or-treaters had left I was at my desk entering the final page of recorded jazz songs into the Commodore 64. Thinking that was a good stopping point, I took a deep breath at hit “sort”.  Well, it did not exactly go up in smoke, but it might as well have. The poor thing made all manner of noises and then stopped. Dead. Frozen. For the better part of an hour I tried anything I could think of before giving in and shutting off the power. I lost the whole nights work but more importantly, I got a pretty good idea that 64,000 of whatever these byte things were, was not a whole heck of a lot.

By late in 1985 Commodore had released the 128 version with twice as much memory. I bought one the day they hit the local stores and kept it working for a number of years. While many people we playing games on them, I found the ability to type lyrics to songs for the band and being the first kid on the block with a computer genealogy program just astounding.

Next up….. The 8088

Of Interest:

An Article in C-Net news in 2007 on the 25th anniversary of the Commodore 64

Wiki Commodore 64

Wiki Commodore 128



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