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Author Topic: Father's Day Memory of Fathers and Computers.. Your stories?  (Read 3594 times)
mouser
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« on: June 15, 2008, 09:47:26 PM »

Do you have a memory of your father and computers? Or maybe you are a father and have a story to share about you and your kids and computers?  I'd love to hear it.

I started learning how to program a computer a little over 30 years ago when as kid in 1977 my father bought a big old Cromemco Z2d (which looked exactly as it does in that picture).

The computer had no games for it, and I was desperate to play video games on it -- so my father bought me some early books on BASIC and writing basic computer games (for the kids of today you will find it hard to believe that these "games" involved no graphics or action, but were all text based; in those days game listings in basic used to be printed in magazines).  The joke in the family was always that my father deliberately bought the one computer that had no games available for it so i'd have to learn to code myself.

My father was a consistent encouragement in learning how to program for the decades that followed.  He used to give me assignements, talk with me about programs, let me stay home from school if i worked out a plan of something new to learn.  When the IBM PC came out we were on the waiting list and we used to spend hours walking to and visiting the few computer stores that were in manhattan at the time, and browsing the bookstores checking out computer books.  He was always buying great books on computer programming and encouraging me to learn new languages. that's how i discovered my love for programming.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2008, 09:49:24 PM by mouser » Logged
Deozaan
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2008, 01:29:05 AM »

I mostly just remember avoiding my father when I'd tinker around in the command line and accidentally break the computer somehow. I'd get a stern talking to and then stay away from him. I always wondered how he fixed it.  undecided cheesy

My brother (who is 10 years older than me) got a TI-99 as a graduation gift. Which means I was about 8 years old at the time. We also ended up with a similar BASIC games book, but they had graphics and ASCII characters.

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nudone
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2008, 02:53:09 AM »

nice stories.

my father likes to remind people how much he hates 'com poooters' whenever he has to mention them. watching him use the laptop (on the few occasions he's managed) is like watching someone being tortured. like he's trying his best to wish that the laptop would vanish into thin air, or that touching it is similar to touching a dead rat.
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2008, 04:11:44 AM »

Our first computer was an Amiga 500 that came with a selection of Stuff (tm). I was retraining in technical college at the time so it was meant to serve my assignment's needs. It was also used by my kids.

The Amiga was a Floppy Disk based system (I did get a hard drive later, but not initially). One of the things the kids loved doing was painting with Deluxe Paint and making music with DMCS.

One day one of the kids said that Deluxe Paint had stopped working. After a little bit of investigation I discovered that my clever kids had managed of write enable the programme disk and overwrite the executable with an image file: clicking past the warnings  with "Of course I want to overwrite the file"!

The Amiga also introduced me to programming too: One of the AmigaBasic programmes in the package was a spelling programme that had been hacked by someone (at the shop I think). It would start up by speaking a welcome after you typed in your name. In those early days you had to tune your ears to the computer voice and it took weeks before we finally figured out that the computer responded to the name that was typed in: "Tiffany, what a nice name!" So, the first job was to edit the programme so that it responded to the name that was typed in!

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cranioscopical
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2008, 08:11:54 AM »

My father was a computer.
He was born in 1900 and wouldn't have known what we're referring to here.
However, in his prime, he was a relatively senior officer in a regiment of British
foot guards and could rattle off solutions to problems for which I had to use a slip-stick.

I hadn't thought of that for a while.
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Chris
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2008, 12:29:18 PM »

slip-stick?
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Edvard
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2008, 01:37:16 PM »

Quote
slip-stick?
Slide Rule
http://www.antiquark.com/sliderule/sim/


My father was much like Nudone's... "I don't need no computer no-how" he'd say to me and my brother as we labored over a Timex-Sinclair 1000.
One day, at my high school they had a "Parent's Day" where one of the parents would go to school in place of the kid for the day. In Art class, they had the parent's do a little circular vignette of what they thought of (visually) when they thought of their kid.
My father drew (in his old-fashioned chicken-scratch method) a picture of me, a picture of both of us fishing together, a guitar and a computer. Even though he had no use for a computer and the kind of music I played on my guitar drove him out of the house sometimes, he acknowledged that these were things as important to my character as trout fishing was to him.

/edvard discreetly wipes a tear away embarassed
« Last Edit: June 16, 2008, 01:47:14 PM by Edvard » Logged

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cranioscopical
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2008, 01:41:39 PM »

slip-stick?
Slide rule.
[edit: I see Edvard beat me to it  Thmbsup]



* slip-stick.jpg (12.63 KB, 605x106 - viewed 165 times.)
« Last Edit: June 16, 2008, 01:44:10 PM by cranioscopical » Logged

Chris
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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2008, 04:27:47 PM »

My first was a 286, around 1991. I remember playing "Digger" and "Double Dragon" for hours. Those computers had to first be booted through one 5.25" floppy and then a second floppy had to be inserted to load up whatever program you wanted. Back then, a computer was only for entertainment, I didn't even know how to use word processors yet, let alone programming. It was only around 1994 when I started learning through computers, mainly from MS Encarta. Discovered the internet the same year, surfing on a US robotics phone modem at ~ 9600 bps. Discovered Yahoo quickly since I think they had the best search engine at the time, along with a directory of games that could be played online.
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