Merry Christmas Everyone

This topic contains 20 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Alfredo_T 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    No way man, 8 bits are enough! 😀



    I felt that way once, that 16 bits were enough for everybody to do everything. Then I got a 486…



    Oh, it is not about any of that. I actually skipped out on 16 bit computing. Bummer, but it was 8 bits to PC machines, all of them through 486, then SGI.

    I did let those go, and it still bothers me sometimes. Best computing experiences I have had were on IRIX.

    No, the 8 bit era is about fun, building ones own hardware, etc. Of all those early machines, I currently enjoy my //e the most. It is still relevant, in that I can actually still do meaningful work on it and bring that forward and onto my Win 10 machines and software. Last oroject was some writing. It is interesting. Writing on that one brings some stuff out that has a bit of texture not seen when I write on modern gear.

    But more fun is making my own cards, interfacing it to various things. That era is just fun, speed, scale, etc… human sized. One can do something and understand it all. So I do.

    Lastly, I have one more generation to show it too. Grand daughter played her first Atari game. Her father asked for it. Later we will do Oregon Trail, and some old school INFOCOM games. For a while, with my own kids, I had one of those HP Palmtop machines running Frotz in the car. On long trips, they would play the text games. One reading and typing, all of them thinking up stuff to do next.

    Just roots, early stuff, where we came from and all that. When the fun goes, so will I, but so far, it is all good.

    Have you seen those mini arcade cabinets in the stores? I can get one that plays the best of Williams and Atari. Yeah, definitely will score a couple this year. :D. Almost all the classics on offer are 8 bit productions.

    The other consistently fun thing to me is all the great productions every year. People are still pushing it, making sometimes killer titles just for kicks. I have done a couple. Even got one on cartridge for the old VCS. That was actually hard, but rewarding. A few hundred have been sold. Peeps all over the place have played Atari, and on a cart I wrote! Spiffy.

    I did big iron for a decade. Bunch of other stuff after that. Not fun anymore, so I changed careers to something fun again. The 8 bit era just never quit being fun. I think that is due to the scale. Just enough to really enjoy, but no so much as to get sucked into the mess we have today.

    If you can’t actually see the pixels, it’s no fun.



    I gave up on my Apple IIE years ago. (See how I actually did it with screenreader-friendly Roman numerals? No stupid forward-slashes or square brackets. With a little practise, you too can avoid using those unpronounceable characters.) I don’t have the time or patience to rebuild its power supply or source a new one, so into my friend’s junk box it went. Applewin in WINE is teh sh17zz0rz d00d.

    Beh, Atari? Who the hell plays that garbage any more? All the COOL kids have Colecovision now!

    These days I’m recompiling 64-bit Linux kernels on unicycles.



    Linux kernels… yeah, built a few. Meh. No fun.

    I do enjoy my little Raspberry Pi.



    My 8 bit experiences growing up were with Tandy’s Color Computer 2 and MC-10. The manuals included with the computers were written in such a way that even a young person like me could write programs in BASIC that could perform mathematical calculations, manipulate strings, and draw on the screen.

    Machine language, which was not covered in the manuals, seemed like magic to me because it was out of reach. I found it quite intriguing that machine language programs were significantly faster than BASIC and that they could override the default function of the <BREAK> key. On both computers, machine language programs could be loaded from cassette with the CLOADM command. The Color Computer 2 also had a cartridge port into which a ROM cartridge could be plugged in.

    Another thing, not covered in the Color Computer 2’s manual, was the cartridge port itself. I once passed by a robotics exhibit at a shopping mall. In this exhibit, Color Computers were being used to control the robots. There were handmade wiring harnesses connecting the computers’ cartridge ports to the robot control circuitry. That looked really cool, but in retrospect, at that age, the type of programming ability needed to control individual bits at different addresses would have been over my head. It didn’t occur to me then that the computer’s printer port might have been used in a similar way.

    Getting back to the original (non-technical) subject of this thread, I hope that one day the idea of electing celebrities to high offices will be discredited. I believe that most people would consider the idea of making a person a senior manager of a corporation based solely on beliefs or work ethic (without considering skills) ludicrous. I think the same is true of government offices, yet many people don’t see things this way.

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