[bct] Re: Good old days of computers

  • From: "Rick Alfaro" <rick.alfaro@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 12:47:28 -0500

My very first computer was a Texas Instruments T I99-4A.  It actually had a
TTS cartridge that you could insert and send text to it.  It definitely was
not a screen reader, but I was determined.  I wrote a little program in
extended basic.  The program when run, would look at the screen character by
character and build a long string that it would then send to the TTS module.
The TTS would see the string as words, and read the entire screen back to
me.  Every time I wanted to know what was on the screen, I ran this little
program and sit back and listen to it read the entire contents of the
screen, and then continue on with what I was doing, and then run the program
again and again to see any new screen output.  I get tired now even just
thinking about it.  <grin>

I remember I had no patience for the saving of data to cassette tapes, so I
actually got an external expansion unit that had a disk drive.  I had
invested over $1500 on that first computer.  When I got the expansion unit I
told my wife that was all I ever needed as far as computer stuff for the
foreseeable future.  I'll never live that one down.  My wife still reminds
me of what I said every time I get something new that is computer related.

--Best regards,

--Rick Alfaro

-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of The Scarlet Wombat
Sent: Sunday, March 12, 2006 12:25 PM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Good old days of computers

As long as we are talking about the good old days, my first computer, not
mine personally but the first one I programmed and worked on, was a Bendix
G-15.  It was a four by four by six foot cubeic like structure full of, yes,
vacuum tubes.  It had a spinning drum with a whopping 2k of memory, nothing
like RAM at all.  It spoke only binary and used punch tape.  Sometimes, I
thought my slide rule was faster.


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