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Re: My first computer was...

by liz (Monsignor)
on Jul 20, 2003 at 10:23 UTC ( #276022=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to My first computer was...

My first computer was a Control Data IST-1 PLATO terminal with an 8080 processor (1977):
  • 16K ROM
  • 40K RAM (of which 32K was used for the 512x512 monochrome screen)
Available memory for programming was more like 1.5K, but there was a nice API in the 16K ROM that would allow you to do nice graphics stuff and access the keyboard and touch screen. If your program got too big, the stack would run into your executable code and crash the terminal.

My first program on that was a chase game in which you were supposed to shoot a Star Wars Imperial Tie Fighter. You could run this program locally in the terminal, which was handy if the connection to the mainframe was down. And by making it accessible through a hot key, you could appear to be doing serious work one moment, and be playing the next moment ;-)

Later on I simulated a slot machine, with the turning of the wheels being done locally, which made for a nice effect in those days.

Of course, the terminal was used for doing serious development of Computer Based Training (nowadays usually referred to as "e-learning") otherwise. ;-)


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