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BBC Horizon: The Microprocessor 1978

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Hi Mikes10,

 

Your thread reminded me of reading a Thesis by a guy with whom I was sharing a house with on the process of Gallium Arsenide Chips - I was asked if I understood the general tenet of it and when I relayed my understandings, I was pleased to learn I had grasped the fundamentals of what he was doing at Sheffield Uni. He commented on how in relative terms their tech was way behind that being used in mainstream industry (circa 1982). ;)

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I find these look backs at technology of the day fascinatiing. I can recall being responsible for a company server for an engineering company late 1980s with a 300Mb HD and we didn't run out of space

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I find these look backs at technology of the day fascinatiing. I can recall being responsible for a company server for an engineering company late 1980s with a 300Mb HD and we didn't run out of space

 

hehe superb.

 

I try explaining to my kids about my IT days mid to late 1980's and it's virtually impossible to relate to. For example, 1985 I was selling 2mb sims for £150 and 4mb sims for £400. My kids response "what's a megabyte?" :/

My computer of the day had a 20mb hard disk within which cost me £300 just for the drive. It was an ESDI I think it was called, which because of a secondary interface it had I swapped for a 300mb drive. Wow, £3k right there :/

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The pharmaceutical company I worked for introduced a computer terminal in the corridor of our research labs which enabled us to find which chemicals and equipment were in our stores(in place of a card index)

To encourage us to use this new technique "dragons and dungeons" had also been installed on it.

The screen as far as I can remember was a small 6 inch circular green one.

The main office block had one of those machines with giant round tape discs. Girls used to type input data onto punched cards.

All this was probably in the early 70's.

I can remember being gob smacked when the whole of Beilstein, consisting of dozens of volumes amounting to thousands of pages of chemistry info, was replaced by one hard disc.

Of course searching for info on a particular compound was very fast.

Eventually in the 90s the whole library, hundreds if not thousands of chemistry and biology reference books, was put on line in the States and the books dumped.

The invention of the printing press must have had the same effect.

Info was downloaded from the States and I remember how disappointed I was when I retired in 2000 and found that the speed of my ADSL broadband on my nice new MESH computer (Windows 98)was nothing like I had enjoyed at work.

I was told the company had its own cable to the States.

What progress will be made in the next 40 years?

Edited by davyboy

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Revolutionary times sir.

I predict no computers but contact lenses.

I'll put that out there now, similar as I mentioned webcams built into TV's for conferencing, around 1985 I muttered over a bottle of scotch.

 

 

The pharmaceutical company I worked for introduced a computer terminal in the corridor of our research labs which enabled us to find which chemicals and equipment were in our stores(in place of a card index)

To encourage us to use this new technique "dragons and dungeons" had also been installed on it.

The screen as far as I can remember was a small 6 inch circular green one.

The main office block had one of those machines with giant round tape discs. Girls used to type input data onto punched cards.

All this was probably in the early 70's.

I can remember being gob smacked when the whole of Beilstein, consisting of dozens of volumes amounting to thousands of pages of chemistry info, was replaced by one hard disc.

Of course searching for info on a particular compound was very fast.

Eventually in the 90s the whole library, hundreds if not thousands of chemistry and biology reference books, was put on line in the States and the books dumped.

The invention of the printing press must have had the same effect.

Info was downloaded from the States and I remember how disappointed I was when I retired in 2000 and found that the speed of my ADSL broadband on my nice new MESH computer (Windows 98)was nothing like I had enjoyed at work.

I was told the company had its own cable to the States.

What progress will be made in the next 40 years?

Edited by walkertelecoms

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hehe superb.

 

I try explaining to my kids about my IT days mid to late 1980's and it's virtually impossible to relate to. For example, 1985 I was selling 2mb sims for £150 and 4mb sims for £400. My kids response "what's a megabyte?" :/

 

Short Circuit 2 has been on tv this last month.

 

Ok, so it came out in the late 1980s/early 1990s but to hear Jonny 5 the robot walk the streets of New York “Input! Megabytes of Input!”

 

:hihi:

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I was using a Compaq - an SLT286 if I recall correctly - with a top spec 20Mb hard drive - at the time.

Can't remember the memory size, but suffice to say it will have been miniscule.

It was shaped like a fat briefbase, with a removable keyboard courtesy of a coiled lead.

I remember my then neighbour rushing in to our house, excited by his latest purchase - a big Amstrad something-or-other - which he'd parted with £2k to get.

To say his wife wasn't impressed is an understatement of some measure, especially when he revealed that he had yet to purchase any software to actually do anything.

Lotus 123 was on his shopping list.

I shan't repeat his wife's language, but I'm guessing that sex was off the cards for some time...

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I remember during the 1980's a large steel rolling mill in Rotherham controlled and optimised it's cutting of the steel for its customers with a computer who's memory was smaller than a Sinclair Spectrum 48k.

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I worked for a computer company in the mid 70's..we had a huge 5mb disk drive..the size of a small car..we ran systems for large companies (Robinson's of Chesterfield,Sam Smith's Brewery etc) all their data came in on either punched card or paper tape or, a bit later on,on mag tape..the programmes we ran made good use of mag tapes for data storage/processing,as opposed to disk/memory,infact the machine only had 128k of core memory..we used to print boxes and boxes full of reports..I often wondered if it all got read or just sat about for ever..

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All very familiar stuff, and an interesting scan through and trip down memory lane. I started out coding for the 6502A CPU, and also worked extensively with 68000, ARM7, and PC processors. Can remember optimising code, instruction pipeline sequencing etc, those were the days, now it's (at least in my line) C++ and there isn't the same need for code optimisation (way faster CPU's today).

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