If you're old enough to know what MSDOS was...

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Old 03-08-16, 10:10 AM
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If you're old enough to know what MSDOS was...

This is pretty interesting:

https://youtu.be/8ucCxtgN6sc

 
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Old 03-08-16, 06:05 PM
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Some teens don't even know what a phone book is. I heard that someone that age called it a "google book".

As far as DOS goes, I constantly use the command prompt in Windows. I also use the command line interface (CLI) in Unix & Linux much more than the Graphic User Inteface (GUI pronounced gooey.
 
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Old 03-08-16, 06:59 PM
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This generation - All I got to say is that I am just beginning to teach my youngest to drive. Part of the training I plan on giving her is how to read a map. Not a google map, but a physical map. I am going to give her a random street, she needs to find it on a paper street map, and take me there. She will be miles ahead of anyone else. Its the right thing to do.

Those kids in the video have no patience nor desire to learn how or why things are as they are today. They only want instant gratification.
 
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Old 03-08-16, 07:05 PM
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Not a google map, but a physical map.
I have a feeling that it won't be long before she asks for a GPS.
 
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Old 03-08-16, 07:17 PM
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She has GPS on her phone, but not for training, the phone does not travel with us. She needs to know how to navigate if she ends up some where without a cell phone signal or wifi.
 
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Old 03-08-16, 07:22 PM
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I agree that it's good training. It can't hurt to know how to read a map. Luckily, I haven't had to teach anyone how to drive in long time.
 
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Old 03-08-16, 07:43 PM
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The driver training program in Virginia is pretty intense. 45 hrs behind the wheel and a big old log book with lessons and exercises for the parent to teach the child. All leading up to a hands on road test that is taken over several days. Then she has to go before a judge, in a court room, to actually pick up her license. We are on day 2 of training (6 months worth), she has only learned how to adjust the seats, mirrors, all the dash buttons (fail if she gets one wrong), learned about bling spots and how to fill a low tire and change a tire. In the next few days is her first on the road. Don't know who is more worried, her or me?
 
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Old 03-08-16, 07:57 PM
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I didn't know that Virginia was that intense. Years ago, illegal aliens used to get their licenses in Virginia because the state didn't require Social Security Numbers or a lot of ID. I guess that things changed.
 
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Old 03-08-16, 11:17 PM
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I still know some of the command line interface but I have to admit I have become lazy in using it as Windows now makes it easier to check on things. I liked Windows 95 much better than what was before it as that was strictly MSDOS and a bit harder to navigate. I also thought that Windows 95 even with some flaws is far better than some of the newer incarnations that have come along since then. Myself since I grew up learning how to look up things on a computer I prefer a computer over a tablet any day although I like my Ipad but not as much as my computer.

I am thinking about eventually getting a smart phone but internet usage will be very low on my smart phone versus my computer. I really don't care for trying to read something on a smart phone just too small a screen.
 
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Old 03-09-16, 03:31 AM
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Not a google map, but a physical map
Can you still get fold up maps? haven't seen one in a long time. Years ago my glove box was full of maps for various states/counties ...... now the biggest thing in it is leftover napkins from fast food joints

My wife and I joke that we aren't smart enough to have a smart phone and I agree about the screen being to small to do any internet stuff.
 
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Old 03-09-16, 05:35 AM
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I am going to give her a random street, she needs to find it on a paper street map, and take me there. She will be miles ahead of anyone else. Its the right thing to do.
Well certainly no harm and a good skill. But way ahead of others? I don't think so. It's like knowing how to saddle and ride a horse. Good to know but not useful in today's world.

Yes, the chance that it might be useful when you don't have wifi or a cell phone, but really not too likely unless you live a life style that you find yourself in that situation.

Or like knowing how to change a tire. Most people can't, but then again don't need too. With AAA and the like.

But I'm all for map reading. We don't have enough of that in today's schools. Most young people (not just kids) can't locate most states or countries.
 
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Old 03-09-16, 05:45 AM
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That skill will transfer to other things that require research. Another example of something that young people don't know is the difference between a table of contents & an index.
 
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Old 03-09-16, 05:46 AM
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Re: changing tires

(1) A lot of cars nowadays come with no spare.
(2) Nobody checks air in the spare anymore, so even if you have one, chances are it is way under inflated (especially donuts, which are hard to judge without a gauge) and chancy to use.
(3) Most oem jacks & lug wrenches are crap; I never use them.
 
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Old 03-09-16, 06:01 AM
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Nobody checks air in the spare anymore,
That's true. However, people don't know that the new low pressure warning light includes the spare. I've had people tell me that the light stays on even though all the tires have the correct pressure. I ask them, did you check the spare? You can guess the rest.
 
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Old 03-09-16, 06:02 AM
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Not to hi-jack the thread, BUT...model building is also a skill that will transfer to other things in life. I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of us "old timers" in the DIY set built model cars and planes and maybe still do. It teaches patience and dedication. Useful when you need to solder things for instance.

But to be fair today's video games do hone one's ability to react and anticipate what is to come. Today's young fighter jet pilots all know how to use video games and most likely learned at an early age. Us old guys can't do as well.
 
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Old 03-09-16, 06:05 AM
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That's true. However, people don't know that the new low pressure warning light includes the spare. I've had people tell me that the light stays on even though all the tires have the correct pressure. I ask them, did you check the spare? You can guess the rest.
Must only be in high end cars. I don't believe most spares have the module attached to it. I may be wrong.
 
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Old 03-09-16, 06:14 AM
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That has happened 2 or 3 times already. It's not just high end cars. Maybe tow guy knows more about it.
 
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Old 03-09-16, 06:26 AM
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I have a full size spare on my jeep but it doesn't matter if the spare has air or is even there - that valve stem is never read by the system ... only when it gets installed on one of the 4 corners.
 
  #19  
Old 03-09-16, 09:25 AM
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DOS taught me one thing that's still useful on today's OS's: keyboard shortcuts. If a mouse is all you've ever used to access menu items, special characters & such you're too slow.

Thank God computers are so much faster now & effortlessly handle multi-tasking. I recall how anything done on W3.1 took forever and having more than a couple windows open at the same time guaranteed a crash.

It would blow a teenagers mind if the Youtube clip you just watched stream instantly to your device took all night to download, like it did back then.

I'm so old I recall reading an article in Popular Electronics about a 1 megabyte harddrive being SO extravagant that NO personal computer user could ever expect to fill it up.

More "buggy whips":
BBS
Usenet
FTP
Download manager software
Telnet
Manual internet setup
Tape drives
 
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Old 03-09-16, 01:48 PM
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Really date yourself when you start talking about Win 3.1!

I think it's more common for spares to not have sensor, but a lot of cars do have them. Light will also come on with a dead sensor. Daughter's Corolla currently like that until she gets new tires her next visit back on this side of the state.

Anybody still have some 5 1/4 floppies around? Side note, I have a Win95 install CD kicking around that I'm going to load on an old computer some day just for kicks.

How's this for cutting-edge technology?:

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  #21  
Old 03-09-16, 11:03 PM
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I remember those days when personal computers were very expensive especially if you bought an IBM clone. My very first computer was more a toy than anything else it was made by Texas Instruments and I think it was the TI1000 in which you could save some things onto a tape drive but it was very slow. My next computer was a Commodore 64 and then later a Commodore 128 which wasn't much faster than the Texas Instrument computer. Software like just a basic word processor was hard to come by too.

I remember typing in code for a word processor as that was the only way to get a word processor program. The code was pages long and copied from a magazine in a public library as I couldn't find the magazine anywhere else. I was young then but my eyes were burning from looking at all of those numbers.

The way the basic code was written you couldn't just stop either. Luckily after all of that work the program worked with an old parallel printer I bought from my cousin and I used it for school assignments and was that ever loud thankfully the newer printers are quieter. My third computer was an IBM clone with Windows 3.1 which was really MSDOS and it came with a CD drive. It was one of the older model Acer computers which broke down more often than it was up and running. Acer would send me parts and instruct me in how to repair the piece of junk.

I guess I can't complain as it got me through different things and helped me but I was glad to get rid of it finally and it wasn't worth the price of well over $1000.00. Anyway it started me out on learning how to repair computers to the point where I can diagnose most of my own computer problems.

As for maps made of paper they are still made and you can find them. The map I always liked best was made by Alexandria Drafting Company but I go to look them up and now I see they were absorbed by a company called Kappa Map Group so things change sometimes for the better and sometimes not. This is an interesting topic though and fun to stroll down memory lane. Things were definitely harder in the old days but it taught us oldsters things kids just don't learn. It would be real rough on them if all of their technology just stopped working.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 04:18 AM
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5 1/4 Floppies MS-DOS 6.2

Yes, I have some. Was going through them last week to clean out some stuff.
Don't have any drive that will read them, but they are still here.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 05:17 AM
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Ok, guess I'm old. First "PC" I ever used was a trainer that ran Pascal and used a slide projector linked to a stylus of some sort and projected on a screen. 8" floppies that had to constantly be swapped.

Next was a Zenith/IBM clone running DOS 3.0.

We were all like the monkey men in 2001: A Space Odyssey trying to make that first "modern" PC do something. No one bothered to tell us that usable software would be shipped separately.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 05:49 AM
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My first PC was a DOS only! That's what I learned on. It wasn't cheap, either.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 06:16 AM
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First PC was an Apple II. It had 64 K of memory (48 K on main board and a 16 K expansion card).

Floppy drives were 5 1/4" single side. The drive only used one side. You needed a notching tool to punch another write enable notch, then you could flip it over to use the other side. I still have the notching tool.

First monitor was a 13" B/W TV only had 40 column display. Later build a Heath kit monochrome amber.

Most of my programs came from magazines and were entered in basic.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 06:17 AM
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Moving a bunch of files now gets done with a swipe of a mouse and a click.

Back then:

xcopy C:\folder\*.* C:\otherfolder /e /s

Ugh.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 06:22 AM
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Our family's first computer was a IBM PCjr. It also was run with DOS and use 5.25" floppy discs. It had a wireless IR keyboard and could run quite a few things such as word processing, and some games (Zyll, Rogue, etc.) IIRC it has 64KB of RAM and we upgraded it to a whopping 128KB!

My Dad worked for IBM so I think he got a pretty good deal.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 06:30 AM
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The text based game Zork was still one of the most fun 'video' games I remember playing with my best buddy when we were younger. You had to read and use your imagination to envision your surroundings. As opposed to 1080P video with full Dolby digital 7 channel surround sound.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 07:17 AM
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Oddly I never played Zork, only Zyll. IDK if Zyll was the first or Zork was but you are correct, the text based games were a lot of fun.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 07:52 AM
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You had to read and use your imagination to envision your surroundings. As opposed to 1080P video with full Dolby digital 7 channel surround sound.
It started out so innocently. A few games to kind of spur the imagination. But only at first.

No need to go outside and interact with others on a one to one basis. You can do that over a BBS. And you can say what you like without retribution or bodily harm.

Then came interactive games with full video and 1st person action. All make believe.

But we need to go out side and interact and not be tethered to a cord. Thus came the Walkman, iPod and cell phone so we can appear to interact with others.

BUT...it was all part of the diabolical plan...

And slowly but surely AI removed man kinds ability to work out problems and imagine his own future.

Robots, and Androids are now the dominate species of the planet. The humans are used as surf labor to do the mundane task like inputting a plug into an outlet.

The future was ours to determine and that we did so well.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 09:08 AM
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Learned Basic at a high school night course using a Rad Shack TRS-80. My first owned computer was a Rad Shack Color Computer. Had all of 4 K memory. Wrote my own programs in Basic and saved them on a tape recorder. Those were the days.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 04:42 PM
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Vic, we probably used the same vintage Zenith 248 machines, pretty standard in the NAV/MC circa mid-to-late 80's. We used to scrounge upgrade stuff (more memory, etc) from USAF throw-aways at the DRMO's.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 06:56 PM
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My first computer was an Apple IIc that I won in a sales contest. Was the first windows based computer I ever owned and it turned me on. I learned in high school and college on punch cards and a main frame computer to do basic programing. Nothing finer than a 4 inch thick stack of punch cards hoping you don't drop them or shuffle them out of order in any way.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 08:56 PM
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That brings back (bad) memories. I too learned in highschool on a Honeywell console computer with keypunch input. Went to college and it was keypunch again--both Fortran 70-something. Turn in a box full of cards and wait for an hour for your job to come up in the queue only to find it failed on a syntax error. The you had to FIND the card with the error. Replace it and re-submit the stack only to have it fail on the next error (the job halted at the first error found). Many sleepy nights in the computer lab.

Waited a year before I took the next computer course--and flunked it. Things had changed THAT much in a year.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 11:05 PM
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I found this article about Basic which brings back some memories from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC . I learned BASIC on my own fairly well and knew some basic programming but I could never claim to have been an expert in BASIC programming. I knew enough at the time though to write very small programs that really didn't do much. By the time I was getting more into BASIC my cousin who sold me his printer had an IBM clone and I wanted one of those as it could do more.

Basic though isn't dead yet as it is still used in Linux and Microsoft but not as part of the whole operating system. Instead according to the article Linux and Microsoft have something called Chipmunk Basic available for both operating systems. I am just guessing but it is probably in a virtual machine of some sort at least from what I read I think that would be a good guess.
 
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Old 03-11-16, 01:21 AM
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Well, to go back even further...the RM's had a "computer" that you programmed by putting about 50 toggle switches in different configurations. Glad I never dealt with that.

When I was in one school where the instructors often traveled to Japan...they all came back with IBM clones. They were such geeks they had those briefcase size portables with about a 4" screen and little handheld things that weren't much better than an HP calculator...but you could get other software for them.

They're probably all rich now of course.
 
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Old 03-11-16, 02:58 AM
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I never used a computer until after I retired so I don't know much about the early ones but do y'all remember the show Man from Uncle? They featured a computer that took up a whole wall with a lot of reel to reel tapes and lights. I have no idea if it resembled a real computer from that era or if it was all hollywood .... not like any of the viewer had real computer knowledge.
 
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Old 03-11-16, 04:32 AM
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My head also has an inventory of obsolete knowledge regarding computers: I cut my teeth on an NCR 304 and an IBM 1401 over 50 years ago, programming in SPS (Symbolic Programming System) and AutoCoder (both predecessors to COBOL and ForTran).

My mind is cluttered with worthless information acquired to deal with RCA 200s and Univac (1104) Computers and a Burroughs 1885 Dual Processor and some Wang and Digital MINI MainFrames. I even had some hands on involvement with Honeywell and Sperry-Rand Equipment . . . . both members of what was at one time called the Big 6 of the American Computer Industry. Where are they now ?

My first personal Computer was a TRS-80, and I wasted a lot of time programming an IBM PC in Assembler and using IBM's DOS 1.25 BEFORE its Lawsuit with MicroSoft.

Now, I'm somewhat of a technical cripple, unable to get serious about learning anything for fear that it'll all become obsolete before I can ever put it to use anyway . . . . so don't ask me about anything contemporary !
 
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