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6917New member introduction

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  • sicaproductions
    Jan 25, 2008

      I'm Dave Sica and I found out about this group through Evan soon
      after it was formed. With my legendary swiftness, it's taken me this
      long to actually getting around to joining, but here I am.

      I am a member of the InfoAge organization in Wall NJ which is where I
      met Evan. I am also a member of the New Jersey Antique Radio Club,
      which operates museum space at InfoAge right next door to MARCH.

      I'm first and foremost an old radio collector. Actually, I started
      out that way but morphed into specializing in television collecting
      many years ago. (And people you meet think collecting computers is
      weird, huh?) But I collect almost anything that's electronic and
      makes noise. And I have been using personal computers since nearly
      the beginning and I always felt back then that they too would be
      collectible probably sooner rather than later.

      I clearly recall that my brother-in-law and I were simply lusting
      after an Altair or IMSAI, or anything else that was on the market
      around 1975 or so. But we could never seem to swing the purchase
      price. And after I realzed that there wasn't a whole lot of personal
      fulfillment to be had flipping eight toggle switches and watching
      eight LEDs blink, so I kinda shelved the lust for a little while.

      Then Apple came out with the Apple II, which I also could not afford,
      and Bally came out with the Arcade, which was am 8-bit game machine
      that could also be used as a personal computer. I was running an
      amusement arcade in Montreal at the time and I figured that this was
      something I might be able to use. Fortunately or unfortunately, I
      never found enough spare cash to play around with the Bally either.

      A couple of years later I baby sat a friends TRS-80 model 1 long
      enough to figure out how to program some crude games in BASIC with 4k
      of memory, then got a TI-99/4 which allowed me to sneer at my
      friend's TRS-80 'cause I now had 16 K of memory and a color TV for a
      display! After about two solid days of programming I was able to
      display a red heart on a blue background. At that point, I KNEW I was
      cool. (My kids find this to be a VERY sad story!) At work at a very
      large corporation around 1981, although I was a mid-level manager, we
      just couldn't get the upper management to see any benefit to
      investing in expensive Apple IIs, so we were forced to buy a couple
      of cheaper Franklin Ace 1000s. On those, I learned nifty things like
      how to program graphics, and how to read the raw catalog track in
      hexadecimal. I recall the salesman trying to get us to buy a 5 MB
      (that's MEGA-Byte) hard drive to go with the two computers,
      since "this is so huge, it will handle all your storage needs for
      your whole department!"

      I now have one of those Bally Arcades courtesy of eBay (but sadly no
      Altair) along with an Osborne, a Timex 1000 and a bunch of other
      stuff in my meagre little collection. And I still have the white-
      label Apple II clone I bought as my office machine when I opened up
      my own business in 1985.

      And I still have my Video Toaster Flyer, the first affordable
      nonlinear video editing system. Affordable, as with everything that
      gets smacked around by Moore's law, is a moving target. At the time
      (circa 1995) I bit the bullet and installed two of the brand new
      Seagat 9GB SCSI drives at the "bargain" price of $4,500 each to give
      me a whopping hour of video storage!

      Well, that's probably enough about me to bore everyone to tears. I
      hope to be able to participate in the MARCH activities at InfoAge and
      I look forward to meeting more of the members.

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