- I was born when the pocket calculator was still a futuristic dream. The world awed at the invent of the first handheld calculator before the invent of integrated circuits which greatly improved power consumption made possible the first pocket calculator on the market in late 1970 early 1971. Even with those you had to have a rather large pocket to carry one. Being the technology buff that I am I bought a Canon model back in early 1971. I also had to purchase clothes with big pockets to make the device live up to its name. The no thrills device would add, subtract, multiply, divide and had one memory slot. I had two shirt pockets, one for my pocket protector for pens and tweaking tools and one for my state of the art device. When I took my Federal Communications Commission’s first class license test the FCC wouldn’t let me use my calculator. It was new on the market and somehow they thought it was cheating. Even after showing them I had cleared the memory I had to do the long math equations by hand. The test lasted 4 hours. I passed but I sure missed my pocket buddy.
I am a retired Television Broadcast Engineer and was involved in converting some television stations to color. Many of the broadcast 2 inch video tape machines back then consisted of a transport deck and four 9 foot x 19 inch racks of vacuum tubes. I used to bring leftovers for lunch and set it on top of the racks of vacuum tubes and by lunch time it was hot and ready to eat. Microwave ovens were still in the future. Over the next 10 years things came a long way and solid state equipment, many using transistor to transistor logic, brought the size down considerably and I had to say goodbye to my lunch warming racks of tubes. Some of the equipment “we had to build” during this period and I wrote the tech and user manuals for them. I had always had the knack for writing and I enjoyed this part of my job.
In 1982 I purchased a TI99/A computer. It was programmed in TI Basic and came with the console, a keyboard and a 10 inch CRT monitor. I could do amazing things on it. Some mathematical equations and about 3 games kept me busy at night. It was so amazing the television station where I worked came out and did a story on it. I loved it but it wouldn’t keep my lunch warm though.
When the DOS PC’s came out I went through the normal steps of the 186, 286 and running Windows 3.1 in 1985 on a 386 computer. My employer sent me to every tech school relating to this new operating system and computers in general. They paid for me to take community college courses. In turn I had to write about what I had learned and pass it around to fellow workers. From there I ran Windows 3.11 “Windows for workgroups” Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7. I didn’t sucker in for Windows ME which in my opinion was a crippled and useless operating system.
I had an interest in hardware early on in my computer experience. I wanted to know what makes a computer tic and how to improve it so I was constantly taking them apart and trying different cards and methods. I was far from perfect at this. I smoked some cards, power supplies and once I even smoked my 3 gig hard drive. Back then the hard drive power connectors wasn’t slotted and it was easy to connect the power backwards. I quickly learned, “Yellow on the outside, Yellow on the outside”. I never took a computer to a repair shop. I always managed to fix it or burn it all the way to the ground. Now days I am much wiser and can fix or repair almost anything. I even get down to component level on mother boards.
Before the Internet (Which Al Gore did not invent) we had bulletin boards called a BBS. They used a bank of dialup modems with multiple phone lines on a rotator that users could call in to a central computer and download files and chat with other users. I owned part interest in a 4 line BBS. When the baby stages of the Internet came along it was a dark world. About all you could do was send email in text only. I sent an email to a test site in Germany and was amazed it only took 6 hours to get a return reply. It read, “Test Received” and gave the time. Oh how things have changed with the http:// protocols.
If you are trying to revive or restore an older computer that has been forgotten in technology I may be able to help. Just make a post for help in the Technical Support Forum. If one of the super smart techs here at HiTekPals.com doesn’t jump right on it first I’ll be glad to share my knowledge.
I am also a member of the Texas League of Writers.
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on Yesterday at 01:33 PM
A new report from Forrester Research says Windows 8 will not become an enterprise standard. In fact, the report says that by the time another version of Windows becomes available, Windows 7 will remain the enterprise crowd's chosen operating system.
Forrester analyst David Johnson says that means Windows 8 can be considered nothing less than a major letdown for Microsoft.
"I have to believe Microsoft expected better enterprise
on 05-20-2013 at 04:51 PM
Getting your PC online can be a challenge when there's no Wi-Fi, cable, or other standard network available.
With cell service and a compatible phone, free or low-cost tethering software can connect Windows to the Web — with no added charges to your phone's data plan.
Sooner or later, this happens to everyone: You need to get your Windows PC online, but the network is down. Maybe the local Wi-Fi is out due to a power failure; or possibly a storm has taken down your cable, DSL,
on 05-19-2013 at 02:28 PM
Aero peek is one of the ‘Aero’ features that are in Windows. If you don’t use Aero Peek or have no plans to use it, here is how to turn it off.
Click to enlarge
For those who don’t know where the Aero Peek button is, it’s at the end of your taskbar just right of the clock, slide your mouse over it to see the effect. It switches to the desktop until you move your mouse away.
Click to enlarge
on 05-18-2013 at 12:48 PM
Operating systems have become more complex over time. For an every-day user, it’s really a hard task to find what programs are slowing down their machine and for what reasons.
The most common performance problems are related with physical memory.
Programs use more RAM if there is more available. Thus, you cannot associate high memory usage with bad memory usage. If your machine has resources (one of these resources is RAM), there is no problem using them if they’re available
on 05-17-2013 at 09:27 AM
Should You Buy Discount Ink Cartridges?
It's hard to ignore the big price difference between OEM ink cartridges (an "original equipment" product supplied by HP, Canon, Epson Lexmark or another manufacturer) and the alternatives. Compatible off-brand or remanufactured inkjet printer cartridges typically cost 15 percent less than OEM cartridges at OfficeMax, Staples, and other stores.
Online, you may find discount ink cartridges costing 30, 50, or 70 percent less than