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New member introduction

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  • sicaproductions
    Hi, 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
    Message 1 of 14 , Jan 25, 2008
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      Hi,

      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.

      --Dave
    • Bob Applegate
      Hi Dave, Watch what you say about Franklin 1000s... a few of us who designed that machine are on the list! :-) Bob ... From: sicaproductions To:
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 25, 2008
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        Hi Dave,
         
        Watch what you say about Franklin 1000s... a few of us who designed that machine
        are on the list!  :-)
         
        Bob
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Friday, January 25, 2008 2:51 PM
        Subject: [midatlanticretro] New member introduction

        Hi,

        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.

        --Dave

      • billdeg@degnanco.com
        ... Hello Dave! Bill vintagecomputer.net
        Message 3 of 14 , Jan 25, 2008
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          > Hi,
          >
          > 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.
          >
          <snip>

          Hello Dave!
          Bill
          vintagecomputer.net
        • sicaproductions
          ... that machine are on the list! :-) Bob, I loved that little machine. I wish I still had it and I keep hoping I ll trip over one at a flea market one day.
          Message 4 of 14 , Jan 25, 2008
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            --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "Bob Applegate" <bob@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Hi Dave,
            > Watch what you say about Franklin 1000s... a few of us who designed
            that machine are on the list! :-)

            Bob,

            I loved that little machine. I wish I still had it and I keep hoping
            I'll trip over one at a flea market one day. AceWriter (Electric
            Pencil) was my introduction to word processing. I was awestruck that
            you could actually split a line of text open and insert new text then
            close it back up. I figured it couldn't get any better than that! And
            AceCalc was when I finally bit the bullet and forced myself to figure
            out what all the hoopla about spreadsheets was. I had a Hayes 300
            baud micromodem in that machine and with that and an outbound WATS
            line, I spent a lot of time on CBBS #1 when THAT was about as close
            to the Internet as we in the unwashed masses could get.

            Dang, I'm starting to feel about as ancient as that modem just
            remembering all this!!!

            --Dave
          • Ryan Harvey
            Welcome, Dave! Always good to have a new member. A 300 baud modem must ve been awful! I am currently set with an AT&T 6300 with a 1200 baud modem. Even that is
            Message 5 of 14 , Jan 25, 2008
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              Welcome, Dave! Always good to have a new member. A 300 baud modem must've been awful! I am currently set with an AT&T 6300 with a 1200 baud modem. Even that is pretty slow. It is alright, though. Maybe my 8MHz processor is slow...nah, that can't be it! I like the blocky looks of the Franklin but even more so the soft but rugged look of the Apple II line. Anyone out there ever think there were so many BBSes out there still active? I never did, but below find a link to a site with lists of presumably active BBSes and Telnet BBSes. I also have a long list of BBSes in the DF/W area, but I will have to transfer that off my AT&T's hard drive. I will reply to my post later when I get it. By the way, Bill, sorry to hear about your AT&T. I really hate it when sellers do that, too! That's like scraping some of the paint of a '57 Corvetter(I got the year right, right?) with it's keys!
               
              --Ryan
              [Yzzerdd]


              Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.
            • Mike Loewen
              ... My first (purchased) computer was a TRS-80 Model III, with 16KB RAM and a cassette recorder for storage. Later on, when I could afford it, I maxed out the
              Message 6 of 14 , Jan 25, 2008
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                On Fri, 25 Jan 2008, Ryan Harvey wrote:

                > Welcome, Dave! Always good to have a new member. A 300 baud modem
                > must've been awful!

                My first (purchased) computer was a TRS-80 Model III, with 16KB RAM and
                a cassette recorder for storage. Later on, when I could afford it, I
                maxed out the memory at 48KB, bought a disk controller and a single-sided
                drive (went back the next day and got a second drive) and a RS-232 board.
                My first modem was a 300 baud Novation J-Cat:

                http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/Modems/Jcat.html

                The J-Cat isn't a "smart" modem, and doesn't even do tone dialing. I
                had to write a dialer program to pulse the hook switch relay to dial into
                the local BBSs. It was SLOW, but affordable. A Star Micronics Gemini 10
                printer completed the setup - I couldn't afford an Epson. :-)


                Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
              • sicaproductions
                ... In a way, the slow modem just made for a different reality, but it was the only thing we knew. It didn t seem awful cause this was as good as it had
                Message 7 of 14 , Jan 25, 2008
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                  --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Ryan Harvey
                  <fieldhippieryan@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > A 300 baud modem must've been awful!

                  In a way, the slow modem just made for a different reality, but it
                  was the only thing we knew. It didn't seem "awful" 'cause this was as
                  good as it had ever been and as fast as it had ever been. Before
                  that, if we needed faster than the U.S. mail, we were Telexing things
                  and having a secretary re-type it on a Selectric.

                  At 300 baud, I can clearly recall being able to read the text as it
                  scrolled past you on the green screen. You didn't have to save it to
                  disk or print it out if you didn't want to, you could just read it as
                  it came in! Since it was going by just about as fast as I could read
                  it, I didn't see any advantage to a faster modem at the time :-)
                  (seriously!) I did eventually upgrade to a "hot" new 1200 baud unit.

                  We experimented with sending newsletter copy (ASCII) back and forth
                  between offices, but that proved just unweildy enough that we could
                  never get any of the people who would actually had to do it make it
                  work, they just couldn't "get it." 8-1-N? 7-1-E? Heck, I hardly got
                  it myself. It WAS difficult back then. And slow. But we didn't even
                  try to send large files, so I guess we never noticed the slow speed.

                  It was a few years later when I started sending video frame grabs
                  (approx. 1MB) with a 2400 and enduring an excrutiating 10 minutes or
                  more transfer time. About that time, I upgraded to a 33000 baud unit
                  and things all was good again. Then the web came along...
                • Ryan Harvey
                  I never did have to endure dial-up. All my life I have been spoiled with high-speed ethernet and wireless. I am back on the cord, though. I finally convinced
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jan 25, 2008
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                    I never did have to endure dial-up. All my life I have been spoiled with high-speed ethernet and wireless. I am back on the cord, though. I finally convinced my folks to let me run it. So I have a cord going from the router, along the ceiling, and into a wired router in my room.
                    Back on topic!
                    1200 baud isn't too bad. Seems I never have used faster and only in the last few days have used dial-up BBSing I didn't know how fast it should be. I didn't know if I should get the fast scrolling text or it all in one blast. The text scrolling at 1200 baud is pretty good. It can load an entire large paragraph in just a few seconds, faster than I can read. The ASCII graphics take longer, about 2x or more longer for an entire screen of them, but during that time I tend to get tea or stir whatever I am cooking, or just something that only takes about a minute. I use a color monitor for my computer, but a green screen wouldn't be so bad. I don't use one because I leave my PC on all day. With color I can turn the screen off. On my IBM I can do essentially the same thing. But on my AT&T, there is no power to turn off. I would have to totally unplug the screen to avoid burn-in. Back in the day to keep your battery charged(if you had one) you just used your computer. Of course, back then PCs were used about as much as today and you scrolled through alot of text so you had no burn-in worries. On the subject, how long does it take for burn-in to occur, and can a color monitor experience burn? I have never had any burns because I am always catious about leaving one thing on my screen, and thus have no clue about the timing for that. It I can find a faster 8-bit modem(I may have one) I will likely up the ante on my AT&T PC 6300. 2400 baud would be enough.
                     
                    --Ryan


                    Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.
                  • fieldfan1
                    ... with high-speed ethernet and wireless. I am back on the cord, though. I finally convinced my folks to let me run it. So I have a cord going from the
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jan 26, 2008
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                      --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Ryan Harvey
                      <fieldhippieryan@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I never did have to endure dial-up. All my life I have been spoiled
                      with high-speed ethernet and wireless. I am back on the cord, though.
                      I finally convinced my folks to let me run it. So I have a cord going
                      from the router, along the ceiling, and into a wired router in my room.
                      > Back on topic!
                      > 1200 baud isn't too bad. Seems I never have used faster and only
                      in the last few days have used dial-up BBSing I didn't know how fast
                      it should be. I didn't know if I should get the fast scrolling text or
                      it all in one blast. The text scrolling at 1200 baud is pretty good.
                      It can load an entire large paragraph in just a few seconds, faster
                      than I can read. The ASCII graphics take longer, about 2x or more
                      longer for an entire screen of them, but during that time I tend to
                      get tea or stir whatever I am cooking, or just something that only
                      takes about a minute. I use a color monitor for my computer, but a
                      green screen wouldn't be so bad. I don't use one because I leave my PC
                      on all day. With color I can turn the screen off. On my IBM I can do
                      essentially the same thing. But on my AT&T, there is no power to turn
                      off. I would have to totally unplug the screen to avoid burn-in. Back
                      in the day to keep your battery charged(if you had one) you just used
                      your computer. Of course,
                      > back then PCs were used about as much as today and you scrolled
                      through alot of text so you had no burn-in worries. On the subject,
                      how long does it take for burn-in to occur, and can a color monitor
                      experience burn? I have never had any burns because I am always
                      catious about leaving one thing on my screen, and thus have no clue
                      about the timing for that. It I can find a faster 8-bit modem(I may
                      have one) I will likely up the ante on my AT&T PC 6300. 2400 baud
                      would be enough.
                      >
                      > --Ryan
                      >
                      >
                      > ---------------------------------
                      > Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile.
                      Try it now.
                      >
                      My first computer was a Commodore Vic 20 with a 300 baud VIC modem,
                      but I did most of my early telecom on an Atari 800XL with first a 300
                      baud and then a 2400 baud modem. 2400 was amazingly fast to me back then.
                    • Ian King
                      One of my first industry jobs was writing a system to run a check imprinter. During the introduction of the system to the company who had purchased it, we (I)
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jan 26, 2008
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                        One of my first industry jobs was writing a system to run a check imprinter.  During the introduction of the system to the company who had purchased it, we (I) had a connection into their site to do maintenance or troubleshoot issues.  It was over a phone line with - you guessed it - a 300 baud modem.  It was painfully slow, but less burdensome than traveling an hour to the customer site each time....  At least I think it was! 
                         
                        That was also my first experience of technology displacing jobs: the system I'd written replaced twelve people with Friden Flexiwriters, with three people on ADM-3 terminals.  It also improved the efficiency of the business because reorders could be done by pulling up a record out of a database.  Needless to say, on the site visit we did conduct, the managers loved us and the employees looked on us as the spawn of Satan.  Ah, progress.... 
                         
                        It was run on a Nova 1200 clone produced by EDS, FYI.  I wrote it in a BASIC dialect that included native database semantics. -- Ian


                        From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ryan Harvey
                        Sent: Friday, January 25, 2008 3:52 PM
                        To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: New member introduction

                        Welcome, Dave! Always good to have a new member. A 300 baud modem must've been awful! I am currently set with an AT&T 6300 with a 1200 baud modem. Even that is pretty slow. It is alright, though. Maybe my 8MHz processor is slow...nah, that can't be it! I like the blocky looks of the Franklin but even more so the soft but rugged look of the Apple II line. Anyone out there ever think there were so many BBSes out there still active? I never did, but below find a link to a site with lists of presumably active BBSes and Telnet BBSes. I also have a long list of BBSes in the DF/W area, but I will have to transfer that off my AT&T's hard drive. I will reply to my post later when I get it. By the way, Bill, sorry to hear about your AT&T. I really hate it when sellers do that, too! That's like scraping some of the paint of a '57 Corvetter(I got the year right, right?) with it's keys!
                         
                        --Ryan
                        [Yzzerdd]


                        Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.

                      • Ryan Harvey
                        Well, I got the list off my AT&T. Did it last night, actually, just remembered I was going to post it here as well. Many of the numbers are invalid, that I
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jan 26, 2008
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                          Well, I got the list off my AT&T. Did it last night, actually, just remembered I was going to post it here as well. Many of the numbers are invalid, that I tried. Two I dialed were real numbers, one of which to a spanish place around here. I dunno if everyone can get attached files on a mailing list, if not, it won't be hard for me to copy and paste it all into an e-mail. Don't hesitate to ask me to if attaching a file to a group message doesn't work.
                           
                          --Ryan


                          Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.
                        • Sridhar Ayengar
                          ... I remember upgrading from 110 to 300. It felt sooooo much faster! Peace... Sridhar
                          Message 12 of 14 , Feb 6 9:02 AM
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                            sicaproductions wrote:
                            >> A 300 baud modem must've been awful!
                            >
                            > In a way, the slow modem just made for a different reality, but it
                            > was the only thing we knew. It didn't seem "awful" 'cause this was as
                            > good as it had ever been and as fast as it had ever been. Before
                            > that, if we needed faster than the U.S. mail, we were Telexing things
                            > and having a secretary re-type it on a Selectric.
                            >
                            > At 300 baud, I can clearly recall being able to read the text as it
                            > scrolled past you on the green screen. You didn't have to save it to
                            > disk or print it out if you didn't want to, you could just read it as
                            > it came in! Since it was going by just about as fast as I could read
                            > it, I didn't see any advantage to a faster modem at the time :-)
                            > (seriously!) I did eventually upgrade to a "hot" new 1200 baud unit.

                            I remember upgrading from 110 to 300. It felt sooooo much faster!

                            Peace... Sridhar
                          • Kelly Leavitt
                            Sridhar: Congrats!! You don t look old enough to remember upgrading from 110 to 300. Either you started real young or aged real well. I m 41, started with
                            Message 13 of 14 , Feb 6 9:08 AM
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Sridhar:
                              Congrats!! You don't look old enough to remember upgrading from 110 to 300. Either you started real young or aged real well.

                              I'm 41, started with computers in 1981, and I think my first modem was 300 baud even then. But the upgrade to 1200. WOW! Does anyone else remember RLE graphics on Genie (or was it Compuserver)?

                              I still remember my last Genie (XTH43602) and compuserve (70145,1013) accounts.

                              Kelly


                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Sridhar Ayengar
                              Sent: Wed 2/6/2008 12:02 PM
                              To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                              Cc:
                              Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Slow modems



                              sicaproductions wrote:
                              >> A 300 baud modem must've been awful!
                              >
                              > In a way, the slow modem just made for a different reality, but it
                              > was the only thing we knew. It didn't seem "awful" 'cause this was as
                              > good as it had ever been and as fast as it had ever been. Before
                              > that, if we needed faster than the U.S. mail, we were Telexing things
                              > and having a secretary re-type it on a Selectric.
                              >
                              > At 300 baud, I can clearly recall being able to read the text as it
                              > scrolled past you on the green screen. You didn't have to save it to
                              > disk or print it out if you didn't want to, you could just read it as
                              > it came in! Since it was going by just about as fast as I could read
                              > it, I didn't see any advantage to a faster modem at the time :-)
                              > (seriously!) I did eventually upgrade to a "hot" new 1200 baud unit.

                              I remember upgrading from 110 to 300. It felt sooooo much faster!

                              Peace... Sridhar
                            • Mason Taube
                              It was Compuserve. They later brought us GIF89 once color widely used. ... From: Kelly Leavitt To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com Sent:
                              Message 14 of 14 , Feb 6 9:21 AM
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                                It was Compuserve. They later brought us GIF89 once color widely used.

                                ----- Original Message ----
                                From: Kelly Leavitt <kelly@...>
                                To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Wednesday, February 6, 2008 12:08:22 PM
                                Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] Re: Slow modems

                                Sridhar:
                                Congrats!! You don't look old enough to remember upgrading from 110 to 300. Either you started real young or aged real well.

                                I'm 41, started with computers in 1981, and I think my first modem was 300 baud even then. But the upgrade to 1200. WOW! Does anyone else remember RLE graphics on Genie (or was it Compuserver) ?

                                I still remember my last Genie (XTH43602) and compuserve (70145,1013) accounts.

                                Kelly


                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: midatlanticretro@ yahoogroups. com on behalf of Sridhar Ayengar
                                Sent: Wed 2/6/2008 12:02 PM
                                To: midatlanticretro@ yahoogroups. com
                                Cc:
                                Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Slow modems



                                sicaproductions wrote:

                                >> A 300 baud modem must've been awful!
                                >
                                > In a way, the slow modem just made for a different reality, but it
                                > was the only thing we knew. It didn't seem "awful" 'cause this was as
                                > good as it had ever been and as fast as it had ever been. Before
                                > that, if we needed faster than the U.S. mail, we were Telexing things
                                > and having a secretary re-type it on a Selectric.
                                >
                                > At 300 baud, I can clearly recall being able to read the text as it
                                > scrolled past you on the green screen. You didn't have to save it to
                                > disk or print it out if you didn't want to, you could just read it as
                                > it came in! Since it was going by just about as fast as I could read
                                > it, I didn't see any advantage to a faster modem at the time :-)
                                > (seriously!) I did eventually upgrade to a "hot" new 1200 baud unit.

                                I remember upgrading from 110 to 300. It felt sooooo much faster!

                                Peace... Sridhar







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