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First post, by Intel486dx33

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I would like to hear about old or retro computer projects you would to have been a part of.

For example:

Maybe you would have liked to have worked in an old Data center ?
Super computer project ?
Atari computer lab
Sierra computer lab
Sony play station development
Sega computer network
Computer game
Computer software
Work for NASA
Work for a National computer lab
IBM computer company
Microsoft software development
Work for Apple
Or maybe just work at a Best Buy or Computer company store or builder ?
Etc...

Here is mine.
Back early 1990’s when I was in computer education school we had to reload the computers and it was always a chore.
A monotonous hated tasks

So later when I started working for companies we had classrooms full of computers to train our employees.
We use to use a server running specially configured software to remotely push out harddrive images over the network to all the classroom computers. We could even push out an image of the server to clone it and make another one.
These hard drive images contained all the classes we wanted the students to learn.
The hard drive images contained all the different operating systems and software the instructors where teaching.
It was amazing and so easy. With 3 clicks of the mouse you could load and entire classroom of about 30 computers in less than 5 minutes.

This was in 1996.

To see all these computer reboot at the same time and play the Windows start up sound was amazing and got everyone’s attention.
It would put a smile on peoples faces and made them laugh.

So I would have loved to have done this with a classroom full of IBM 5150 computers with network cards.
To be able to push out hard drive images on to these old computers and have them all reboot at the same time and play the Windows startup sound would have been Amazing.
https://youtu.be/wO9q4H49cGA

Or a classroom full of Macintosh Color Classics with network cards.
https://youtu.be/EB1lOLnWh-c

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Last edited by Intel486dx33 on 2020-06-23, 19:37. Edited 6 times in total.

Reply 2 of 22, by shamino

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Game programming in the 2D era when you directly programmed the hardware, not using 3rd party APIs in cumbersome modern OSes.
I think the Atari 2600 was too limited for my taste, but anything from the A8/C64 up through the early 1990s would have been fun to be involved with.
Mid-90s everything got weird with awkward tiptoeing into 3D and CDROMs and GUI driven PCs, and this evolved into the highly organized but un-fun mess that we live in today.

Reply 3 of 22, by martinot

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id Software when they where making games for Apple ][, but ENIAC cracking german crypto must be one as well. Apollo project as someone else mentioned maybe the greatest.

But working with IT in Silicon Valley in the 70/80´s must have generally been great and exciting.

Reply 4 of 22, by VileR

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shamino wrote on 2020-06-23, 19:36:

Game programming in the 2D era when you directly programmed the hardware, not using 3rd party APIs in cumbersome modern OSes.
I think the Atari 2600 was too limited for my taste, but anything from the A8/C64 up through the early 1990s would have been fun to be involved with.
Mid-90s everything got weird with awkward tiptoeing into 3D and CDROMs and GUI driven PCs, and this evolved into the highly organized but un-fun mess that we live in today.

This, word for word.

Also: would've been nice to be a fly on the wall during the IBM PC's initial development. Get some answers to still-unanswered questions about certain design decision, know the actual story behind the Gary Kildall Meeting Myth, etc.

martinot wrote on 2020-06-25, 22:39:

id Software when they where making games for Apple ][

I don't believe id software ever did Apple ][ stuff... just individual members who did it on their own (at least Carmack and Romero), way before they met up and formed id.

web  /   blog   /   tube

Reply 6 of 22, by martinot

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shamino wrote on 2020-06-23, 19:36:
martinot wrote on 2020-06-25, 22:39:

id Software when they where making games for Apple ][

I don't believe id software ever did Apple ][ stuff... just individual members who did it on their own (at least Carmack and Romero), way before they met up and formed id.

Yes, your correct that it was Romero in his career before idSoftware (right now I do not remember the name of the game companies he worked for at that pre-id period).

Would not mind working at either, pre-id with Romero and his first Apple II games, or later at id with all the PC-games. Probably equally great both!

Reply 9 of 22, by Intel486dx33

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martinot wrote on 2020-06-25, 22:39:

id Software when they where making games for Apple ][, but ENIAC cracking german crypto must be one as well. Apollo project as someone else mentioned maybe the greatest.

But working with IT in Silicon Valley in the 70/80´s must have generally been great and exciting.

I grew up in Silicon Valley. I think it was boring in the 70/80’s because it was mainly military contractors for the US Navy.
But i remember my hearing about my friends joining hi-tech companies like IBM, Sun Microsystems, and HP.
And start ups and making allot of money.

The 1990’s is when Silicon Valley really took off as this is when it was well established and when the internet took off
And became a household necessity. Home computers where affordable and selling like crazy.

Reply 10 of 22, by martinot

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-06-26, 14:02:
I grew up in Silicon Valley. I think it was boring in the 70/80’s because it was mainly military contractors for the US Navy. Bu […]
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martinot wrote on 2020-06-25, 22:39:

id Software when they where making games for Apple ][, but ENIAC cracking german crypto must be one as well. Apollo project as someone else mentioned maybe the greatest.

But working with IT in Silicon Valley in the 70/80´s must have generally been great and exciting.

I grew up in Silicon Valley. I think it was boring in the 70/80’s because it was mainly military contractors for the US Navy.
But i remember my hearing about my friends joining hi-tech companies like IBM, Sun Microsystems, and HP.
And start ups and making allot of money.

The 1990’s is when Silicon Valley really took off as this is when it was well established and when the internet took off
And became a household necessity. Home computers where affordable and selling like crazy.

From the documentaries I have seen, and recollecting from others growing up in the valley (even if you grew up there, it is just your single opinion, and not speaking for everyone else there), the military companies grew it in the 50/60, and with IT and microprocessor revolution starting to take over in the 70/80´s.

I work mostly with software myself, but I have a fondness for hardware and silicon. From my perspective (already enjoying the software part of the revolution), I would really have liked to see the exciting hardware development taking place there!

So, no, I do not agree with you at all. 😀

Reply 11 of 22, by TheMobRules

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VileR wrote on 2020-06-26, 10:12:
shamino wrote on 2020-06-23, 19:36:

Game programming in the 2D era when you directly programmed the hardware, not using 3rd party APIs in cumbersome modern OSes.
I think the Atari 2600 was too limited for my taste, but anything from the A8/C64 up through the early 1990s would have been fun to be involved with.
Mid-90s everything got weird with awkward tiptoeing into 3D and CDROMs and GUI driven PCs, and this evolved into the highly organized but un-fun mess that we live in today.

This, word for word.

+1

I would have loved to have worked on game development at that time, both PC & consoles, with direct access to hardware and all that. Nowadays programmers seem to be more like just cogs in a huge machine.

Reply 12 of 22, by Caluser2000

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-06-26, 14:02:

The 1990’s is when Silicon Valley really took off as this is when it was well established and when the internet took off
And became a household necessity. Home computers where affordable and selling like crazy.

That depended entirely on your location/demographic. I lot of folk still could not afford a home computer well in to the '90s

There's a glitch in the matrix.

Reply 13 of 22, by spieler8

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SUN. I think what they achieved and how they brought computing world-wide to a next level (think Java) is just amazing. Looking at what employees said, it also seems that the work-culture there was the right balance between start-up chaos and IBM-like coprorate culture.

Reply 15 of 22, by Intel486dx33

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martinot wrote on 2020-06-27, 21:38:

For best corporate culture in US I would have loved to work for Hewlett-Packard in the 70/80.

I have to say “HP” was the BIG Kahuna in Silicon valley. A very discipline company. The employees where very loyal to the company.
I have never seen the IBM culture but that must have been what they where like or even more so.

Reply 16 of 22, by Intel486dx33

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spieler8 wrote on 2020-06-27, 20:48:

SUN. I think what they achieved and how they brought computing world-wide to a next level (think Java) is just amazing. Looking at what employees said, it also seems that the work-culture there was the right balance between start-up chaos and IBM-like coprorate culture.

That what I use to think about Sun Microsystems too until I visited there main facility. It was not that great.
However today with Oracle culture they should be more driven with a set goal.

Reply 17 of 22, by martinot

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-06-27, 22:52:
martinot wrote on 2020-06-27, 21:38:

For best corporate culture in US I would have loved to work for Hewlett-Packard in the 70/80.

The employees where very loyal to the company.

More famous in the opposite way; HP very loyal to it’s employees . But I guess what comes around ...

Reply 18 of 22, by TheMobRules

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-06-27, 22:57:

That what I use to think about Sun Microsystems too until I visited there main facility. It was not that great.
However today with Oracle culture they should be more driven with a set goal.

🤣, the only goal Oracle has for the Sun/Java stuff is the same they have for everything they acquire: to bury everything worth a damn under absurdly expensive licenses, obfuscate the software with lots of unnecessary bloat and lock their clients to their product so they can have a steady flow of money due to "technical support". As long as some people in the industry keep saying "no one got fired for choosing Oracle, right?" they'll keep getting rich.

You clearly don't know much about Sun if all you can say about them is that their main facility "was not that great". Any possibility of innovation or thinking outside the box ended with the Oracle purchase.

Reply 19 of 22, by Miphee

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Videoton Hungary in the 80's.
They lacked the resources western companies had but still developed quality personal computers and even kept up with IBM.
Most of these computers (especially the VT-models) are super rare now.