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622Re: [midatlanticretro] Digest Number 93

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  • Bob Applegate
    Jun 2, 2005
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      This might be a repeat... having problems with the mail system here at
      work, so I'll resend this through my home machine instead...

      Since there was some interest in who the lurkers are, I'll toss in some
      info.

      I got involved with microcomputers in 1976 (age 13) via an article in QST
      (ham radio). Mom let me buy my first computer, a KIM-1, in 1978. Until
      then, I furiously read and re-read issues of Dr Dobb's Journal, many of
      which are still in my basement. I published several articles as a 17 year
      old in Micro about porting Tiny PILOT to the KIM. After the KIM, I moved
      to an OSI SuperBoard. That was followed by an Atari 800 (with disk
      drives... woohooo!), Apple II, etc.

      Started working at Franklin Computer as a software engineer in 1982
      at age 19. While there, I acquired more Ataris, several prototype Franklin
      machines that were never produced, a Ferguson Big Board, an IBM
      System 3 (yeah, a real beast), some Franklin production machines, an
      S-100 box, etc.

      Around 1985 I lost my interest in old computers and got rid of almost
      everything not current/fun. At the time, I subscribed to Micro
      Cornucopia (have most in the basement) and ended up selling my
      Ferguson Big-Board to the publisher (Dave something). It was packed
      into an ACE-100 case that I'd die to have again (still have one of the
      very early motherboards).

      I also got rid of my collection of PDP-11 machines. The first computer I
      ever used was a PDP-11/45 that a friend got me access to when he was
      a grad student at Princeton, so PDP-11s have always meant a lot to me.
      My very first program (computing area of a square) is hanging on my
      wall, printed from an old teletype machine at Princeton.

      Now I'm slowly collecting some odd Franklin machines, helping other
      Franklin collectors find the rare prototypes, and once again have a KIM-1
      in the basement. Having always been fascinated by Tiny Basic, I contacted
      Tom Pittman and got the code. He lost the source, so I disassembled the
      6502 version and re-commented it, then sent him source. He assisted in
      commenting some of the sections I wasn't sure about. Slowly, I'm making
      some expansion boards for myself and a few others with bare KIMs
      looking to add some more memory, I/O, etc.

      I also have some old Atari 800s that my son enjoys playing games on, but
      that's about all the retro stuff I currently have.

      I had a great time at TCF talking to the fellow who collects OSI machines.
      In the picture on the MARCH page on Yahoo, I'm in the upper right,
      wearing a tan jacket talking to the OSI fellow with the red shirt on.

      FWIW, I missed the first two, but attended every TCF until they moved
      to Edison. This year I went back to Trenton and had a great time... the
      MARCH exhibit was a lot of fun!

      73

      Bob - K2UT
      www.k2ut.org
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