modemstudcover1

Vintage Computing Passages

Apple II+:

Gershom talked through his ass. The only thing the Apple II+ could connect to was CompuServe, through a 300 baud coupler that was really a converted 110 baud modem Simmonser stole from a university in the early 1970s. There was no way any Apple II+ could connect to another Apple II+ without, maybe a cable in the back.

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 We debated whether we could afford a hard drive. Ultimately, we aspired to acquire another floppy drive. Our endeavor to have three floppy drives hooked up to an Apple II+ took us into a territory few had traveled.

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The Lemur Connection runs on three floppy drives. Floppy number two is called, “Sedgy” because he is a converted Sedgwick drive from the TRS-80. A cacophony sounds when disks spin inside of him. The third drive is old; probably hails from the height of the single density disk era. I wish Colt never bought the piece of crap. Overall, I suspect the antiquated hardware pieced together by used gum will cause the system to crash. Moreover, I could cook a Swanson’s on the lid of the Apple II+, and heat coco on top of the stack of drives.

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Mainframes:

GERSHOM GOODMAN: YOUR MAJESTY. IF I MAY SPEAK. I AM A COMPETENT COMPUTER PROGRAMMER IN EVERY LANGUAGE A MICROCOMPUTER CAN BE PROGRAMMED. I HAVE ALSO PROGRAMMED IN EVERY LANGUAGE A MAINFRAME CAN BE PROGRAMMED. THE PROBLEM IS THIS, THE LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT DEPENDS ON A MAINFRAME COMPUTER IN THE AGE OF MINIATURIZATION.

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TRS-80:

On Christmas Eve, I was in Radio Shack. The store was so damn complicated I hated the place, but I had a membership to their Battery of the Month Club. In the store, a computer was hooked up to a regular color television set.

“Pretty neat,” the salesman said to me.

The salesman pushed the, “Play” button on the tape drive. In only a few minutes a screen loaded. Sixteen different horizontal color bars were stacked on the screen. Sometime later, another screen loaded. “COLOR POKER BY GERSHOM GOODMAN,” were the words on the television set.