Linux Puts Personal Back Into Personal Computing: Part 1 Loss of Personal

Originally published at: https://bigdaddylinux.com/linux-puts-personal-back-into-personal-computing-part-1-loss-of-personal/

A CubicleNate Blathering The Background Long ago, during the “micro computer” revolution, there were numerous incompatible architectures. You had the Commodore PET, Apple II, the Osborn, IBM-PC, later the Commodore 64, Macintosh, Amiga and many others. They were all very unique, had their own way of getting work done or having fun. There was something…

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Looking forward to reading further installments :smile:

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Me too. I really like @CubicleNate’s writing style.

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Makes me miss my Amiga…….:frowning: Great write up.

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The first microcomputers I used in, oh, 1981 or 1982, were the ones we had at work. They were all Z80 based and ran CP/M or MP/M. My employer had bought a source licence for CP/M and had their own CP/M that would boot (off of 8" or 5.25" floppies) on 3 different manufactures machine.

I was involved in writing some turnkey solutions for businesses based on a version of one of those manufacturers machine (Rair Black Box - badged and coloured beige by ICL) and that was highly “entertaining” fitting a lot of code into the 48k RAM. Actually, the hardware had page switched RAM so with machines with more RAM you could hide additional code and swap it in and out of the address space as needed… fun.

Later, we developed in conjunction with Intel (based in Reading in the UK) a MUMP (Multi User, Multi Processor) CP/M “clone”. Up to 8 users, each with it’s own 8-bit card but with a 16-bit card providing a shared BIOS to allow them to access a… shock, 20MB Winchester hard drive. Plessey were doing something similar and I think won the market, but it was fun to develop even if we didn’t win the customers.

I still have very fond memories of those 8-bit days, writing in PL/M-80, PL/M-86, 8080 ASM, K&R C, RMX-88… It all started to go downhill with C++ and OO pedants demanding you encapsulated everything into a “class” of some sort. It had/has it’s place but I never really cottoned to it. Then came Java, it seemed so over complicated at time…

Ah well, my own fault for sticking to a corporate environment, luckily I managed to stick in smaller, maverick, sections doing stuff to prove it could be done and left the “corporate drones” to take it and make it “marketable”.

11 years retired, I can still manage a simple BASH script but I doubt I could do a serious C or JAVA program, and you know what? I don’t want to, I turned in my geek card for a user card. But I do miss my old BBC Model B with it’s sideways ROM card, co-processors and the only game I ever really liked, the original version of Elite.

Ahhh, nostalgia, it’s good, but it’s not what it was when I were a lad.

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