putting chips in the cable whose only purpose is to detect if they are genuine or not is immoral behaviour on apples part, non magnetic latching is also rubbish, considering they make the magsafe connector, if were stuck with the lightning connector for the next 5 years thats a disappointment, especially since ‘currently’ its effectively just another adulterated proprietary variation on usb2 ‘Fuck Apple’ as far I’m concerned, hope the EU force them to use the same standards agreed – micro USB connector, Lightning my Arse, obsessed they are with making slimmer everything, including difficult to manufacture overpriced usb2 variants.
Along with the Anti reflective or should they phrase it correctly and admit theyre own mistake and call it “non glossy” ? theyll probably throw in USB3 since thunderbolt is overpriced ? and display input since they removed it on us ? just to mightily anger all the people who just bought the previous model ! GGRRRR
I was kinda lucky to have access to allot of computers as my father ran a business and after hours i got access to his computers at his premises, and used allot of early stuff, as he seemed to buy computers, just on the basis, that he liked a particular model and indulged in it, as an interest whether you actually got value out of the machines / investment was less of interest in those days, it was all just so new and exciting, people bought computers just for the excitement of exploring what they could do, its a long list but here goes with some of my favourites :
The first computer I laid hands on ? was the Apple II with two external 5.25″ disk II floppy disk drives sitting under a green screen monitor – no colours except green. not sure if that was just not being able to afford the luxury of a colour screen at the graphics i believe were 4 bit by some jiggery pokery with some rules as to what colour/tones could be next to each other on screen.
I played space invaders on it, which was a mean and almost perfect conversion from the arcade version I had pumped many 10 pences into.
I tried out all the various software. Of which there were some pretty funky demos, including one with an interactive room, which was pretty cool, that could have been an early hypercard demo maybe ? I don’t think it was “mystery house” as it was more bitmap graphics than vectors, a picture that winked at you, things in the room that did things, but certainly cant find any reference to it on the web. Perhaps a little too early at that stage although i didnt know what software was used to build that room demo. Although I did think it was highly original at the time and not many other computers had done anything like it.
After that, I got my hands on the first portable computer – the Osborne 1 Luggable :
For those days the size of a family suitcase was considered portable, it didnt have allot of software, but it run cpm and came with mbasic which you could then use to run colossal cave adventure – from, man I got a kick out of that game late night with that little vector green screen, I can never explain what a revelation it was, to play that game, xyzzy, plugh are the magic words, and dont forget to get the lamp, the items stick in my memory, the egg the bird, the cage the rusty wand, and getting lost the the maze “You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike” the pirate stealing things, it was all fantastic. you painted the pictures in your own imagination, a cup of coffee and few custard creams and I was off on an adventure – for hours, a revelation and in those does a relatively small scene of people, the UK in those early 80’s days was leading the world in home grown – home computing, as america was still mainyl atari and nintendo players, now were just a backwater of the tech industry. I blame thatcher being from an era that couldn’t the full importance of sustaining the industry through a collapse period.
After those two memorable and seminal machines there were many others a pdp 11, Apricot’s, xen’s, viglen’s, almarcs, sirius’s, husky portable’s, IBM’s, I remember using the GEM operating system which was my first experience of a gui and wimp environment and using gem paint, to paint my first artistic pictures on a computer, all simple blue and black silhouettes with moonlight, if i’d have left school at the tender age of 11, I would have been an early ZX81 game developer, probably no smarter move could have been made. writing in my bedroom and replicating tapes on home made duplicators and selling far and wide by post. Theres a good documentary on this era coming called “from bedrooms to billions” hopefully this documentary going to capture this unrecorded era of early UK computer history.
My father also was probably the first man in hampshire to buy an original apple laserwriter, I remember switching toner cartridges for metallic effect ones etc, interesting stuff.
Also the first I’d heard of to have a Hi-res Hercules graphics card for desktop publishing (720×348 in 1bit) way ahead the word DTP reaching the public consciousness.
with the first version of ventura publisher:
and a winchester drive 30mb in size ? I think it was called a winchester because it was the equivalent of two of the biggest drives at the time and was therefore double, like a double barrel winchester rifle, although maybe i’ve misunderstood this. A few duller ones too the amstrad PC1512 pc clones struck me as particularly meagre ham fisted machines, compared to their genius CPC brethren, Though the PCW’s were probably the most purchased and functionally used business machines of those times to enhance productivity in actual businesses in the UK.
a computer of my own (well to share with my brother :] )
Upto this point id been using the machines in my dads business, rather than having my own machine, at about the age of 12, the parents clubbed together a feat considering they broke up before I was 1, way back when. And at considerable expense bought me and my brother a ZX81 to share for christmas, crikey a computer of my own ;).
with cassette tapecorder, and ran it off an old B/W television. We laboriously typed in games from listings in magazines and loaded a few cassette games into it, only having 1k of Ram meant you had to be totally ingenious to write games for it, as in the 1K of ram could only store about 10 long lines of code before the memory ran out, none the less I learned to write in basic on that machine, and to be honest never have I seen before or after, a more suitable machine for anyone to learn basic coding on- as one … theres was nothing else to do and two the restraint of 10 lines only, kept the coding short and haiku like, switch on and away you type, no distractions or anything. there wasn’t at that time much else to do on computers then, except to code, whereas today less people learn to code because computers have so many other inumerate distractions built in. Never bought the ram expansion for it the machine even at £99.00 was only just affordable by a familys in the UK in those days, hacking hardware to make the most of it, existed even then, for instance one of them frigged sound on a machine with no sound, by making you turn the volume on the television to maximum, they worked out how you could modulate the interference noise sent to the television from the natural hum of the internal circuitry to create an actual tune without a sound chip anywhere in the machine !
games on the ZX81 :
a 3D maze game on the ZX81 the grandaddy of 1st person perspective and the FPS games to come:
The precursor of elite > “trader” a 16k game i could only dream of running in my wildest fantasys :
The keyboard was as most remember a legendary pain to use, but hey Sinclair did make computers personal and affordable, without sinclair there would be no personal / home computer industry in the UK, and to think we once had a silicon valley in the UK, and now we have nought, quite sad really.
they even managed to hack high res graphics onto a ZX81, so the 16k games looked more like spectrum games.
My next machine was a total revelation the only good thing Alan Michael Sugar ever helped bring to creation – in my opinion (unless you consider crass entertainment like the apprentice, interesting), the cpc series is what I will only ever remember him for, as specification wise it was a stroke of genius, the best machine his company ever made the Amstrad CPC6128 :
This machine was like moving into modern day computing in comparison to the ZX81, amazing colour – amazing sound, a disk drive, the machine was far superior to its nearest competition, but the machine was expensive, I knew I was very lucky in getting one i suppose my endeavours on the Sinclair were deemed worth encouraging. It had an amazing paint program OCP art studio, the games were amazing it had many graphics modes one even running in 640×200 with 2 colours ? would have been considered hi-def by those days standards, the quality of the games were amazing, later platforms did not have such good games it must have been quite good to program games on, Gauntlet was amazingly close to the arcade version, Zombie by UBI-soft amazing (Amazing intro screen and music blew me away). one of UBI-softs first games ? if not their first ?
Cauldron had fantastic music and was a great if tough game :
As you can see by the following video almost every game genre played today in just an uprated form, was well established on these early platforms at this time, apart from god sims (actually even little computer person could be considered the precursor of the sims).
Even 3d games such as doom were represented by maze games and elite etc. As a gaming and basic learning computer it had it all.
I also played my first mmo on this computer via my first modem circa 1986-1988 ! 23 years ago ! I think it was 300baud and you used connect to micronet
which was run by prestel part created on post office premises and run by BT which i think was a BBS a bulletin board system, and from that you could telnet ? to “shades” mud
this was a truly stunning experience for the day, so few had been online at that time let alone played in an online game ! it was basically a Multi user text based adventure game where you could see other peoples action and chat. And was the first time I saw online griefing from a character ?(so long ago its almost madness) Each character had a name, and there was this one user who was called Reepicheep aka that mouse from narnia, anyway he used to find a place where people were congregating to go into a castle etc and he used to make allot of futile chat and fill the screen with rubbish, in this game you could kick another character and it would show that action to other users, so everyone took turn to give Reepicheep a liitle kick so the screen instead was full “xxxxx kicks Reepicheep hard” etc to stop him from blathering and filling screens with useless text, eventually he got the message, I got the feeling he was just to excited at being in an online game.
believe or not some genius has ressurected this game in java form presumably no extra players though ?
you can play Shades here
I also had access to an atari 800xl with 1050 disk drive, which i still have lots of disks for:
at around this point though it wasnt my own machine, my fathers favourite game on this machine was “Journey to the planets”
Syncing the quantity of information that people handle today (a normal iphoto library per se) via the net is nigh impossible due to ADSL upstream speed. ADSL doesnt enable the possibility of syncing large uploads, we should of had SDSL from the start. But thats not in the favour of isp’s and hosting services.
Apples priorities? lack of polish on ichat ? except perhaps the icon !
No sooner do they add a feature to the operating system, they then fail to update it. Logged on to ichat again recently and tried to have a chat between me and a friend. I had just about forgotten about the troubles I had setting ichat up 5 years ago so I thought it might be worth a try today, only to discover similar flaws to the ones I experienced 5 years ago. Joy joy for whatever reasons we spent an hour and a half trying to make the heap of shit software behave and then gave up. ichat v4.0.8 on both sides.
Initially I knew he was logged on but it perceived him to be offline. Resolved that issue by recreating him as a buddy or something, then he could hear me but I couldnt hear him. Then set up tons of port forwarding on the router including trying dmz my own machine. Still couldnt hear the other guys voice. He could see his own voice input on the meter though. Could have been his router, although I went through setting up all the port forwarding on his machine GRRR to no avail. I could screen share to him but not the reverse ? Also my machine kernel panicked with a grey screen of death crash with my dual monitor setup when he was controlling my machine and the pointer wandered onto the second screen, GRR .
Then I thought maybe I have to upgrade to a mobileme account from my dotmac acct which was still functioning from a buddy list point of view in ichat. So I signed up for a free trial entered in my card details blah blah blah. Did it then function any better with both of us on mobileme accounts ? No not at all, all the issues were the same.
Answer – ichat is still a pretty poor program. Why is it they plough all this new investment into new stuff and features and yet they can barely maintain the stuff they’ve already written ?
ichat is still a dog in comparison to skype, and why oh why is spotlight and file searching still an absolute dog in mac os x ? no control whatsoever in that department.
Apple your priorities are all wrong. Get it together man, why the hell should I pay you £59.99 a year when I cant even get ichat to function properly, let alone syncing issues with multiple users on a single account ? As I know from trying to support it from an IT perspective is a nightmare. All this apple mobileme stuff seems to break if you fall out of some small ill defined parameters setup by apple.
Why when your dragging a folder into another folder does only work if you drag it to the icon of the folder, if i drag it onto the name of the folder what does i think i want it to do make them rub against each other and not go one inside the other ??? GRRRR. mac os X needs allot of polishing still 5/6 versions in ? when will they get it right ? actually im doing this on leopard but as per asual I doubt theyve fixed this on SL either ?
Having previously allowed my itunes to organise my music folder, this time when re-associating my itunes mp3 containing folder with itunes its attempting to reorganise my music into a different folder layout than it decided on previously ?! now it wants to shift all 40gb about to satisfy its organisational structure ? anybody got any reasoning as to why the damn thing is attempting to do this on the basis that shuffling around 40gb worth of files for the sake of putting them in a new folder orientation compared to the ones it was using previously seems ridiculous as in reality there was nothing wrong with the way it had previously organised stuff, and this shuffling of every file around takes huge amounts of time and wear on my disk ?
more bizzare stuff from apple ?
why oh why do nearly all plist files start with
com.apple.blaah blah blahh ?
I mean when one is scanning up and down the list with the eye to find one in particular ? it becomes difficult, and orderering them by name forget it ?! the only way is to search hurumph.
more signal less noise please louise
theyre better be something other than an inane reasoning behind this naming schema.
OH also why do I have 7 of a program preference but postfixed with gibbersih like this ? bad form of backup ?
before the .plist part of the name ?