old IT

On the cusp of the first decade of the 21st Century, I thought it might be fun to reminisce about old IT (information Technology).

I first laid hands on a “computer” waaaay back in 1981 in UPM: it looked like a garage-built PC (yeah, with plywood housing too.) but I recalled it was not an Apple. You connect to a TV as a monitor and you can do BASIC programming. Hey, I actually did the von Bertalanffy Model on this thingmajig, and got a “A” for Fisheries Computer Science.

My first PC acquisition was an IBM clone bought for RM4,500 (holy crap) from Rakyat Komputers at Segama Complex in 1984. It had an Intel 8088 running at 4.77 MHz, 16K of RAM, two 360KB double-sided 5.25″ full-height floppy disk drives (no hard disk), and you boot up your DOS (Disk Operating System) on one of the floppies. The monitor was text-based powered by an MDA (Monochrome Display Adapter) which resolution was 640 x 480 pixels.

Software: I was the ultimate Wordstar 2000 (a word processor) jockey, learned the original Quattro Pro (Lotus 1-2-3 was for weenies), powered my Department’s database with Borland’s Paradox for DOS which was relational database management system easier to write programs than Ashton-Tate’s dBase II. I was actually was very productive with Aldus Pagemaker in Windows 2.0 in 1987.

Damn, it was high-tech stuff! When I tell people I have a computer at home, every time they react with awe and respect – “You know computers?!” Then again, 20 years from now, the grand kids will be laughing at your uber-tech iPhone 3Gs and iMac.


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