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Andrew B.
07-28-2005, 07:48 PM
We all know about Jobs and Woz hatching the Apple in the garage. And some of us even know about Gates writing the OS for the Altair 8800. But how many people know that ten years before that, Honeywell built the Kitchen Computer, a recipe storage and search computer, complete with integrated cutting board.

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=927

don Arnoldy
07-28-2005, 08:03 PM
how many people know that ten years before that, Honeywell built the Kitchen Computer, a recipe storage and search computer, complete with integrated cutting board.Hey, I've actually seen one!

There is one in the Computer History Museum here in Mtn. View. It was on the cover of the Neiman-Marcus catalog that year--they didn't sell any.

--don

Andrew B.
07-28-2005, 08:17 PM
Have you visited DigiBarn? Take a look at this (http://www.digibarn.com/collections/ads/apple-mac/page_02.htm).

ktinkel
07-29-2005, 07:24 AM
Have you visited DigiBarn? Take a look at this (http://www.digibarn.com/collections/ads/apple-mac/page_02.htm).And I have that computer, with the names of the original Mac team embossed inside the case. Got it the spring of 1984.

It’s been diddled with — we added a daughterboard with SCSI (the connector dangled out the battery compartment in back) and more RAM. Last time I tried it, it booted.

JohnC
07-29-2005, 08:09 AM
I've got a MacPlus sitting behind me here. It has the names of the team inside the case (along with a bunch of holiday lights and a plexiglass "screen"--the guts are all missing from it).

ktinkel
07-29-2005, 08:13 AM
I've got a MacPlus sitting behind me here. It has the names of the team inside the case (along with a bunch of holiday lights and a plexiglass "screen"--the guts are all missing from it).I have heard of people making fish tanks from old Macs — why not a light show?

The Mac 128 was jammed inside; making it into a pseudo-Plus must have taken the equivalent of an electronic shoehorn. We had to replace the third-party SCSI dealie at some point, and Jack had trouble getting everything back in.

Mike
07-29-2005, 11:17 AM
We all know about Jobs and Woz hatching the Apple in the garage. And some of us even know about Gates writing the OS for the Altair 8800. But how many people know that ten years before that, Honeywell built the Kitchen Computer, a recipe storage and search computer, complete with integrated cutting board.

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=927

Fascinating website. Nice to reminisce about the first computer I owned:

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=80

although it doesn't mention the first computer I worked on, the ICL 1904 in 1969:

http://www.fcs.eu.com/icl1900/

.

annc
07-29-2005, 01:30 PM
Fascinating website. Nice to reminisce about the first computer I owned:

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=80

although it doesn't mention the first computer I worked on, the ICL 1904 in 1969:

http://www.fcs.eu.com/icl1900/

.The first computer I owned was an Apple IIc, in 1984.

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=69

But although I started computing in 1977 via international phone calls to the Lockheed Dialog bibliographic databases in California, the first computer I actually worked on was an ICL 2956 in 1979. Operating system was VME-B.

ktinkel
07-29-2005, 02:06 PM
Fascinating website. Nice to reminisce about the first computer I owned … although it doesn't mention the first computer I worked on, the ICL 1904 in 1969 …My first was an Apple ][ (the original, I think — bought new in 1979). When Epson first came out with it, I bought an MX-70 dot matrix printer (and it was really hot stuff — first dot matrix printer that actually had descenders on the characters).

A couple of years later I traded it in for a ][e with a CP/M card so I could use WordStar, and got a daisywheel printer.

Around that time I was working part-time with friends who had a consulting business based on a Commodore system (cannot figure out which model, though). I helped them publish proposals and reports with it, printing plain text to daisywheel and early dot matrix printers.

I was doing primitive drawing on my ][e using a Gibson light pen and very simple drawing software, printing out to a wide dot matrix printer, and reducing the result with a stat camera, and was on the brink of buying a PC in late 1983 so I could run an Island Graphics drawing/painting program. However I was wavering between the PC and a used Apple Lisa when Lofty Becker on the CompuServe Apple forum suggested I hold off until Apple released its mysterious new computer, due out in early 1984.

So I bought a Mac 128K, and basically never looked back. Got an SE, then a used Mac II, a Powerbook 140, a Quadra 700, a 7500, then two G4s, one early, one now just a couple of years old (at least one of every CPU Apple offered; just a matter of time before I get a G5, I guess).

donmcc
07-29-2005, 02:48 PM
Well, my first computer (not counting Commodore's) was a Kaypro. I didn't own it, my employer did, but I still have the third party manual I bought that helped me become the company computer guy.

Don McCahill

Andrew B.
07-29-2005, 04:41 PM
And I have that computer, with the names of the original Mac team embossed inside the case. Is Jeff Raskin's name included?

Andrew B.
07-29-2005, 05:05 PM
Here's the first computer I owned: http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=508. Before I got it I had no interest in computers. But I saw word processing as the only way I could manage writing my master thesis. This little computer turned out to be a big help, even though I had to split my paper across several floppy disks, and load only part at a time. I printed using a Mannesmann Tally Spirit 80 dot matrix printer. After that, I was hooked on computers.

ktinkel
07-29-2005, 05:05 PM
Is Jeff Raskin's name included?Gee, I think so. But it has been a long time since I looked.

Is that a big deal?

Andrew B.
07-29-2005, 05:12 PM
I heard a rumor that his name was removed from the credits. Probably just one of those myths, but I thought I would ask.

Mike
07-30-2005, 04:14 AM
The first computer I owned was an Apple IIc, in 1984.

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=69

But although I started computing in 1977 via international phone calls to the Lockheed Dialog bibliographic databases in California, the first computer I actually worked on was an ICL 2956 in 1979. Operating system was VME-B.

It was using an Apple computer at work that persuaded me to buy a home computer -- the Acorn was all I could afford. I used it with a home-made monitor.

Working on an ICL computer clearly demonstrates your country's origins. I wonder if any ICL machines where ever sold or used outside the Commonwealth.

PS

Oops! Sorry, I seem to have edited your message rather than replied to it and their doesn't seem to be any undo facility. I'll go back and see if I can edit out what I did.

Mike
07-30-2005, 04:21 AM
My first was an Apple ][ (the original, I think — bought new in 1979). When Epson first came out with it, I bought an MX-70 dot matrix printer (and it was really hot stuff — first dot matrix printer that actually had descenders on the characters).


That's reminded me of the first printer I had. It was an adapted Olivetti daisywheel typewriter. Their was a company in London that used to fix computer interfaces to them and a friend wrote a device driver to produce proportional spacing (left-justified only).

When I bought my first Mac the printer wouldn't work with that so I programed my BBC micro (a successor to the Acorn Atom) to be a print server.

Later I really launched out and bought an ImageWriter LQ.

ktinkel
07-30-2005, 07:16 AM
That's reminded me of the first printer I had. It was an adapted Olivetti daisywheel typewriter. Their was a company in London that used to fix computer interfaces to them and a friend wrote a device driver to produce proportional spacing (left-justified only).Now that you mention it, I sort of think I had to jury-rig something to use my dot matrix printer with the Mac. It was difficult, but I don’t remember how/why.

Mike
07-31-2005, 12:46 AM
Now that you mention it, I sort of think I had to jury-rig something to use my dot matrix printer with the Mac. It was difficult, but I don’t remember how/why.

I think the 'why' was because Macs had totally non-standard interfaces -- even their serial port needed an AppleTalk-aware device on the other end.

I think (though I may be wrong) that it wasn't until Apple adopted a SCSI interface that it became relatively easy to use more generic devices. Come to think of it, there was a company that made a whole range of interfaces for using non-Apple printers with Macs.

ktinkel
07-31-2005, 07:01 AM
I think the 'why' was because Macs had totally non-standard interfaces -- even their serial port needed an AppleTalk-aware device on the other end.

I think (though I may be wrong) that it wasn't until Apple adopted a SCSI interface that it became relatively easy to use more generic devices. Come to think of it, there was a company that made a whole range of interfaces for using non-Apple printers with Macs.Many printers required a parallel port, which the Mac has never had. There was some sort of dingus that let a parallel printer work with a serial Mac, but there was also the problem of controlling spacing in the Mac’s “graphical” text for the daisywheel printer. It was definitely one of those things that once I had it working I left it entirely alone!

But I am pretty sure I also used that printer with my Apple 2, and even though it had a parallel port (I’m pretty sure) there was no printer driver for the daisywheel, or something like that. One of the things I do not miss from Apple 2 days is the need to write little BASIC routines to use any third-party devices of any sort.

ktinkel
07-31-2005, 07:15 AM
I heard a rumor that his name was removed from the credits. Probably just one of those myths, but I thought I would ask.Maybe JC can tell us — the interior of his case is exposed. But now that I think further, I believe it is true.

Yes — this is from Raskin’s obituary last February in The Register (http://www.theregister.com/2005/02/28/jeff_raskin_obituary/):At that time, Raskin had fallen out with Steve Jobs, and was shortly to be eased out of his job with Apple. His job there had been to design the Mac, something his break with Jobs meant was not credited to him — they even left his signature off the inside of the Mac case, which supposedly had everybody's name who was associated with the project. Only years later was he recognised as "the father of the Mac" and I think it was the millionth Macintosh which was presented to him to honour that achievement.

ktinkel
07-31-2005, 07:24 AM
… I saw word processing as the only way I could manage writing my master thesis … After that, I was hooked on computers.Word processing was what hooked me, too.

I had written my first book in 1976 on an electric typewriter, making corrections by typing new paragraphs and cutting out the bad text and taping in the good, then going off to a copy center to create readable pages. Phooey on that. I wanted to have my own word processor (at that time — late 70s — a big expensive deal for offices only).

So the first software I bought, ever, was something called (I think) SuperText for the Apple 2. It was all-caps on the coarse and hideously green screen (reverse video highlighted the caps), and it was hard as blazes to read, but at least I could print out continuous corrected copy. Heaven! (Getting publishers to accept dot matrix printout was another hurdle; that led to finagling a daisywheel printer to work with the computer.)

I suspect word processing is what hooked a lot of us at first.

donmcc
07-31-2005, 07:58 AM
I suspect word processing is what hooked a lot of us at first.

It did for me. I was working as a reporter when the company bought a Compugraphic that had a viewscreen (the 7500). Earlier models were line-at-a-time. I started coming in during the evening so I could typeset my own columns and stories on the machine, in order to take advantage of the cut-and-paste capabilities.

I think that is when I discovered that I didn't want to write newspapers, I wanted to build them (graphically).

Don McCahill

Andrew B.
07-31-2005, 12:03 PM
I wish I could remember the name of my first word processing program. It was able to overcome some of the limitations of the Color Computer by doing everything in graphics mode. IOW, it didn't rely on the computer's built-in text display; it drew its own characters. So I had an 80 column display with upper and lower case. But I don't think it displayed things like bold. I think I typed the codes directly into the document, and it displayed the codes along with the text. The monitor was a regular color TV.

ktinkel
07-31-2005, 12:30 PM
I wish I could remember the name of my first word processing program. It was able to overcome some of the limitations of the Color Computer by doing everything in graphics mode. IOW, it didn't rely on the computer's built-in text display; it drew its own characters. So I had an 80 column display with upper and lower case. But I don't think it displayed things like bold. I think I typed the codes directly into the document, and it displayed the codes along with the text.Was it especially slow? I would think so — even though speed was hardly the issue it has become!

The very first version of SuperText may have shown the code as well (I seem to have forgotten most of the grisly details!) I was utterly ignorant of computers when I bought my first one, and do remember finding everything bewildering for quite a while. (Then I started writing about it! <g>)

When I moved up to the 2e I was reviewing software for a 6502 magazine. One of the programs I got to review was WordJuggler, the first product from an upstart one-man company called Quark. I still remember being struck by its formidable copy protection (which was redundant because you had to install a custom keyboard encoding doodad in order to use the software at all).

Years later, when I was writing about DTP, that recollection gave me insight into Quark.

The monitor was a regular color TV.At some point I used a TV (can’t figure out when). The green screen I remember was a cheap computer monitor, I’m sure.

That was all some 25 years ago (yikes!), and I seem to have forgotten a lot. Technology is like that — as easy to upgrade as to eat ice cream, and all the hard-to-chew stuff before it quickly forgotten!

Steve Rindsberg
07-31-2005, 01:18 PM
Early Mac serial ports were a bit weird but not totally off the wall.
You could interface them with modems and such, so the external devices certainly didn't need to be Appletalk aware, and Mac-specific serial devices (early Laserwriters, for example) could be used with early PCs and other non-Mac computers.

Not always w/o resort to profanity, mind you.

But to be able to use a LWriter instead of one of the dotmatrix or even HP Laserjets of the time? It was ALLLL worth it, believe me!

Steve Rindsberg
07-31-2005, 01:22 PM
That coughs up another bit of MacPCTrivia. The first Imagewriters were Apple-specific versions of the NEC 8023; the IWs didn't have the parallel port of course, 'cause what would you do with that on a Mac?

Now. Where did THAT come from? I have no recollection at all of how I tumbled to that fact, but somehow, somewhere. Maybe it was because we had one of each around the house (a mixed marriage at the time) and I got to comparing manuals.

Manuals. C'mon. YOU remember those? ;-)

Steve Rindsberg
07-31-2005, 01:26 PM
Was it slow? ALL computers were slow. <g>

But depending on the hardware and OS, displaying bold and such wouldn't necessarily have been too horrible. Some computers, IIRC, treated the screen as a terminal, sending it characters one at a time. Others had memory-mapped screen displays; a program or the OS could write pixels to memory and they'd display on screen. Much quicker, that.

ktinkel
07-31-2005, 01:47 PM
Was it slow? ALL computers were slow. <g>Well, yes. But that process (showing text as images) seemed especially likely to crawl.

Others had memory-mapped screen displays; a program or the OS could write pixels to memory and they'd display on screen. Much quicker, that.How is that different from dot-matrix characters on-screen? (Or is that what it is?)

Andrew B.
07-31-2005, 02:36 PM
Was it especially slow? I would think so — even though speed was hardly the issue it has become!The only annoyingly slow thing I remember was typing in insert mode. With letters being drawn as graphics, this meant redrawing the rest of the line after each letter was typed. But the program also had a hot key that pushed the remainder of the row to the next line, and this overcame the problem.

By today's standards, the whole thing was very crude. But I was thrilled to have word processing.

donmcc
07-31-2005, 04:08 PM
Was it especially slow?

One person mentioned a Radio Shack computer, and my experience with slow came when the type shop I worked for got a book on Radio Shack disks, and it was my job to get them onto CP/M disks our Kaypro could read.

I found a service bureau that had a Radio Shack machine, and hooked up a null modem between it and the Kaypro, and started sending files. Nothing wokred until I slowed it down to 150 baud. A Screen dump occurred as the files were transmitted, and it was actually possible to read the test as it was transferred.

We decided at the end of the experiment that it would have been about the same cost to rekey from the manuscript.

Don McCahill

ElyseC
07-31-2005, 07:04 PM
I found a service bureau that had a Radio Shack machine, and hooked up a null modem between it and the Kaypro, and started sending files. Nothing wokred until I slowed it down to 150 baud. A Screen dump occurred as the files were transmitted, and it was actually possible to read the test as it was transferred.

We decided at the end of the experiment that it would have been about the same cost to rekey from the manuscript.Painful! Great war story. Glad it wasn't me. <g>

Andrew B.
07-31-2005, 07:41 PM
I didn't realize CP/M was that different. I could read my Color Computer floppies in an MS-DOS computer. The only extra step was adding a LF to every CR, or vice versa, I don't remember which now. But I had a utility that did that.

donmcc
07-31-2005, 08:33 PM
Radio Shack had some computers before CoCo and they used a proprietary operating system, I think. This was in the days before everyhting slimmed down to Mac or MS-DOS. There was still CP/M, Apple Dos, Commodore, Atari, the Mattel box (forget what it was called). Everyone was inventing the the world over and over\, and then adding CP/M capability for interusability.

Originally the IBM PC was going to have a CP/M option, but digital didn't have it ready wehen the machine came out, and Lotus ran under plain DOS. Had it been ready, people might have bought it, and VisiCalc, and the entire world would be a different place today.

Or not.

Don McCahill

Mike
07-31-2005, 11:14 PM
But I am pretty sure I also used that printer with my Apple 2, and even though it had a parallel port (I’m pretty sure) there was no printer driver for the daisywheel, or something like that. One of the things I do not miss from Apple 2 days is the need to write little BASIC routines to use any third-party devices of any sort.

One of the wonderful things about the BBC micro was that it was very easy to embed assembler programs into BASIC and that made it relatively easy to write device drivers. It was always easy to intercept almost all calls to the operating system which made the machine very flexible. That meant is wasn't difficult to write some software that turned it into a dedicated print server when the need arose.

It was a pretty innovative computer design.

By the way, there's a new version of Mactracker available:

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/10816

ktinkel
08-01-2005, 06:05 AM
That coughs up another bit of MacPCTrivia. The first Imagewriters were Apple-specific versions of the NEC 8023; the IWs didn't have the parallel port of course, 'cause what would you do with that on a Mac?

Now. Where did THAT come from? I have no recollection at all of how I tumbled to that fact, but somehow, somewhere. Maybe it was because we had one of each around the house (a mixed marriage at the time) and I got to comparing manuals.Brain burp! I didn’t realize that the early imagewriters were not Apple’s own. But I was too ignorant even to pose the question!

Manuals. C'mon. YOU remember those? ;-)You betcha. Have rooms full of them to this day. Guess I will have to find a way to dispose of them, because I need their space more than their company. I find it hard to simply throw out a book, any book. Silly, in this case. You can get seriously confused looking at old manuals! :-(

ktinkel
08-01-2005, 06:06 AM
One of the wonderful things about the BBC micro was that it was very easy to embed assembler programs into BASIC and that made it relatively easy to write device drivers. It was always easy to intercept almost all calls to the operating system which made the machine very flexible. That meant is wasn't difficult to write some software that turned it into a dedicated print server when the need arose.

It was a pretty innovative computer design.I remember hearing about the BBC micro years ago, and thinking it had some neat features.

ktinkel
08-01-2005, 06:11 AM
Originally the IBM PC was going to have a CP/M option, but digital didn't have it ready wehen the machine came out, and Lotus ran under plain DOS. Had it been ready, people might have bought it, and VisiCalc, and the entire world would be a different place today.CP/M is what drove most typesetters of the early-mid 1980s. Because I had it, I could send floppies to my typesetter during that brief period that it mattered. Took a fair around of jiggery-pokery, as I recall, with little gadgets to make it all work.

Of course, I could also (and did) send coded text files by modem to a typesetting service down near Washington D.C. Except for one bad experience with an unclosed ITALIC code, that worked pretty well. Not sure why I bothered — I suspect it was the lure of being high-tech.

ktinkel
08-01-2005, 06:17 AM
… there's a new version of Mactracker available:

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/10816Thanks, Mike.

For those who don’t know, that is a database of every model of Macintosh from Day One. This version is 4.0b3. Handy, especially for these sorts of conversations.

Wonder if there is one of these for the PC and for the other flavors of early computer.

JohnC
08-01-2005, 08:50 AM
There are around 31 names in there. But I don't see Raskin's. As KT's quote mentioned, he was pretty much off the team by the time the Mac came out.

John

Stephen Owades
08-01-2005, 04:14 PM
Early Mac serial ports were a bit weird but not totally off the wall.
You could interface them with modems and such, so the external devices certainly didn't need to be Appletalk aware, and Mac-specific serial devices (early Laserwriters, for example) could be used with early PCs and other non-Mac computers.

Not always w/o resort to profanity, mind you.

But to be able to use a LWriter instead of one of the dotmatrix or even HP Laserjets of the time? It was ALLLL worth it, believe me!
I had an original Apple LaserWriter which I used with an IBM PC/AT, connecting via serial port. But the LaserWriter did have a standard RS-232 serial port, separate from its LocalTalk port, so I'm not sure you can say that the two "serial" ports are compatible.

Steve Rindsberg
08-01-2005, 04:34 PM
[I had an original Apple LaserWriter which I used with an IBM PC/AT, connecting via serial port. But the LaserWriter did have a standard RS-232 serial port, separate from its LocalTalk port, so I'm not sure you can say that the two "serial" ports are compatible.]

Right you are. That's what comes of my not having had a Mac to attach to it until much later. But I also used to move files between Mac and PC using a serial cable (albeit one supplied by the company who sold the software that did the file shuffling). I never had call to check the pinouts on that one. '

I do recall that the Laserwriter expected the host to use software flow control, which the early PCs didn't natively support; the better word processing apps had their own XON/XOFF flow control routines, which made the LW a lot easier to live with.

Incidentally, here's an interesting site that I ran into:
http://pinouts.ru/data/applelaserwriterserial_pinout.shtml
Lots of other pinout info if you go back up a level

Looking at the info here:
http://pinouts.ru/data/MacSerial_pinout.shtml

it does seem that the Mac serial port is not standard RS232c (at least from the signal descriptions - I don't know where there's a standard for 9-pin serial pinouts as there is for 25-pin).

Ah well. Even then they thunk different.

Steve Rindsberg
08-01-2005, 04:36 PM
[How is that different from dot-matrix characters on-screen? (Or is that what it is?)]

That's more or less it, except that you can control any dot on the page/screen in memory rather than waiting for it to scan as you would with a printer.

donmcc
08-01-2005, 06:11 PM
Yes. If I recall my printer manuals, the PC printers would only have to send out the ascii code for a single character to print (and a few other codes like newlines, carriage returns and form feeds). The Macs had to send out the bitmap of a page, which was, of course, much larger.

Don McCahill