Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Brimful on the 45

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  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Happy birthday, and happy 20th computer anniversary, Russell!

    I was trying to remember when I got my first computer, a Vic 20. It was a Christmas, possible 1983.

    In the preceding weeks, my dad had waited until my brother and I were asleep, brought out the computer, and taught himself BASIC so he could make a "Merry Christmas" message appear on screen. I remember my brother was really excited, but I was all "Pft! A stupid computer thing..."

    Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Important Notice to QuickTime Pro Users
    QuickTime 7 will disable the QuickTime Pro functionality in prior versions of QuickTime, such as QuickTime 5 or QuickTime 6. If you proceed with this installation, you must purchase a new QuickTime 7 Pro key to regain QuickTime Pro functionality. After installation, visit www.apple.com/quicktime to purchase a QuickTime 7 Pro key.


    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Happy birthday, Russell!

    My first computer was a Sinclair ZX81, bought in 1983. We splashed out and got the 16K memory upgrade, as well.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    An Amstrad PC was my second computer, I had a Commodore PET in late '83 (about $1300 second hand I believe) but it was fantastic.

    Anyone checked out the computer exhibit at Motat? I was in there at the weekend going "owned one... used one... still got one..." :)

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    I'm far too young to have cred in this Battle of Obsolete Computer Memories. My family didn't get a computer until 1997, and it was a P200 from Kingsland Computers - complete with handheld scanner, a chunky 4.3 gig of hard drive space, and Lotus SmartSuite 97 in place of MS Office. We hung on to it until 2004.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Dick Smith VZ-200, Christmas 1982 (?) 8k (?!) of memory. Plugged into the telly. Work could be saved to, and very primitive games loaded from, the "Datasette", ie cassette drive, if you got the bias setting just so.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Happy Birthday Russell.

    First program I wrote at age 10 was on paper to solve some task that would have been a real chore by hand, finding prime numbers. I didn't get to actually input it on a computer until about 6 months later, a ZX80 belonging to a mate. Worked fine. I still use the same algorithm to this day. No prizes for guessing what I do for a living.

    Apparently those who cut their teeth coding on the low spec machines of that period are having a real nostalgia trip writing Java games and apps for phones, which are also low spec. Space Cowboys for programmers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Happy Birthday. I remember using a Macintosh for the first time in 1984. It was owned by one Bob Black, who taught Logic at my university. He was an early-adopter, who also had a video disk player. It was all very exciting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Perhaps the worst aspect of turning 45 is answering surveys like yours. Suddenly, you are in a new age-range, 45-60. No longer are you grouped demographically with the Thirtysomethings. Instead, old age beckons.

    I would go on, but I am making myself miserable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    In the meantime, perhaps you'd be kind enough to complete this survey on your role in the future of television, which is connected with some of the work I'm doing.

    I might need to go back and change one of my answers. I've been trolling the web for 5 hours now, rooted to this chair. Got up to pee once, but only just realised I've skipped lunch. Better log off now, before I get addicted!
    here's what I watched last

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Why would a takeaway chicken franchise send me a telegram?

    Just spotted my typo ... I meant Nandor!

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Kennaway,

    Two events with one anniversary date, that enriched our lives and made it a lot more interesting!! <Big cheesy smile>

    Western Bays • Since Feb 2007 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Happy b'day Russell. First machine was a C-64 back in 1984. My father recalls me drawing a near-perfect picture of it and showing it to my teacher in J1 class.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Happy Birthday. I remember using a Macintosh for the first time in 1984. It was owned by one Bob Black, who taught Logic at my university. He was an early-adopter, who also had a video disk player. It was all very exciting.

    The computer that loved was the Mac I got to use in 1986 - it made so much sense! - but they were way too pricey for me at the time. And the first one I used was the old CP/M box that I used to enter all the copy for RIU on in 1984.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Bol,

    My family's first computer was an Apple IIe, bought in 1990 or so. It came with a stonking 64k of RAM (later upgraded to 128k).

    I really don't miss dot matrix printers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    I really don't miss dot matrix printers.

    I've been using 'puters since the family's first Vic 20 back in the early 80s. There's not much I'd say I miss about any of them - vague sense of nostalgia aside.

    The thing that really changed the face of the home computer is when they started coming with their own monitor, not using the family TV. That's when using the computer became much more of a personal activity than a family group thing.

    That I kinda miss.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Happy, happy birthday Russell. I'm still just in the 39-44 age group thingy so I'm well happy with that survey. And computers.........refused to touch them until 1994. Told my husband I'd rather read a book, and then he got us the Interweb connection, and I got online, and the rest is history. Some of you have had computers for yonks - I feel okay about not understanding much of what is said around here, now. :-D

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Eleanor,

    Happy birthday!! :o)

    Age in years 45.00
    Age in months 540
    Age in days 16425
    Age in hours 394211
    Age in minutes 23652675
    Age in seconds 1419160474
    Age in Milli seconds 141916047442
    Age in weeks 114978
    You were born on Monday

    wellington • Since May 2007 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Some good news for your birthday. ;)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Richie McGrath,

    Happy birthday Russell! I'm mates with Andy again!God I hope my marriage to the Jewish princess lasts cause if a divorce is anything like my estrangement from Andy is anything to go by it'll be bloody painfull! I don't expect to be invited to your party but I'm lettin' you know you'll be guest of honour when we have our party to celebrate Zaoui's repatreation to wherever will accept him! My response to the great footage of Kiwi's crackin' stella's any way they can is this "my sister Kathryn Mary was livin' in London town a few years back,workin' as a teacher by day when she decided to earn a bit on the side as a bar wench,anyway she applied at some 'hi-falutin/but down at heel joint' (Bobby Gillespie/Kate Moss/James Hewitt etc),anyway their were about 20 applicants for 4 positions,so to make sure the barstaff were compatible they sat em' down for a drink,produced a bunch of stellas and despatched someone to find the ubiquitious English accessary the bottle-opener,the managers eyes popped out of his head when the kiwi blonde pulled out her very expensive mobile and popped the lot,Kate got the job' ps what Ahmed's PR team don't tell everyone is that he has a weak handshake and hogs the ball,as my mate Alex (who plays against him sometimes) says "thats OK if your'e George Best or Maradonna but he ain't"

    Since Jul 2007 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    __...to tag along with the Chills in Europe...__

    I remember reading the account of that in Rip It Up. . .

    Would that have included bit about the goth who protested
    ". . .but it's a gold cross" ?

    If so, I really enjoyed that at the time. The good stuff sticks in your mind.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    Happy b'day RB. ZX81 with 16k expansion RAM in '85. It crashed more often than Helen Keller on a motorbike.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • hudsie,

    Happy Birthday and then some.

    Since Nov 2006 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    your happy day is here again...
    lots of people born in the 60s round here, eh (shock! horror! probe!)

    a friend-of-a-friend had a Commodore Pet in 1980...we played star trek off cassette tape.
    i became part-owner of a Centris 660AV in 1993. Auckland even had a mac bbs. downloaded Netscape 1.0N (no Japanese-language support, so had to wait for 1.1N).

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Capewell,

    Happy Birthday mate :)

    Also you probably have RSS feeds a-plenty, but I was reading the Observer yesterday and thought of you: http://www.guardian.co.uk/medicine/story/0,,2132076,00.html

    Manchester • Since Nov 2006 • 62 posts Report Reply

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