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My first was also the TI99/4A, the beige box. Aah, the refresh that pauses. :) I loved that thing. It was a gift to me by a friend of the family who no longer wanted or needed it (his son was completely disinterested in it). I was given a cardboard box with the TI, several education cartridges, a voice module, some cassettes, and both of the instruction books. I didn't have a cassette deck, so I picked up a "slimline" recorder at a pawn shop. Didn't have a cassette interface, so I had to pick up a DB9 connector and some 1/4" phone plugs and within a week of having the system I hacked my own. Later built the cable for the secondary tape recorder.

I learned a lot of BASIC on that thing. My largest ongoing project was a TI-Basic port of Pac-Man; mmmm, nothing like defining my one-color sprites with hexadecimal and having to move them around with PRINTCHAR(x,10,8). Got the game as far as being able to move Pac-Man around, with either cursor keys or my home-made joystick, to eat dots and get scores, but couldn't determine how to make the ghosts move to chase Pac-Man or how to make sounds play concurrently with gameplay. That project taught me to have the good sense to gratuitously use subroutines and structured program flow -- before then my projects mainly consisted of straight-through execution and GOTO's. I Learned a lot on that machine. I later ended up with FIVE of them, all in various states of disrepair and cannibalisation.

My second computer was a hand-me-down Timex Sinclair 1000. Let's hear it for membrane keyboards, 2K of RAM, 8K of ROM, and 1-bit graphics!

It wasn't until '92 when a close friend of mine gave me his Amstrad 128k Z80-based machine (which displayed on a PAL monitor) that I found a piece of heaven; internal 3.5" floppy (non-standard form factor), 3-voice sound, 3 video modes, and probably the best, most powerful implementation of BASIC I had ever seen (which blew TI's BASIC out of the water). He even gave me his CP/M disks.

Aah, halcyon days, friends.

(Ph) Phaysis (Shawn)
If idle hands are the tools of the devil, are idol tools the hands of god?


In reply to Re: (jeffa) Re: My first computer was... by Phaysis
in thread My first computer was... by belg4mit

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    [Corion]: ambrus: No, you're misunderstanding. If you place content too far on the left/right/top/ bottom, people might not see it because the view is obstructed ;)(
    [Corion]: In Amsterdam, the screen went down to the bottom of the stage (60cm above ground) and the seating was on the ground, meaning that the rows in the back couldn't see the bottom of slides.
    [Corion]: There also were some columns that meant that maybe you couldn't see the left/right edge of a slide.
    [ambrus]: Corion: Sure. I've had a course in a 50 seat lecture hall that has two fucking columns in the middle.
    [Corion]: Talking about it, the top should be fairly visible in the situations I've experienced at least. The top is uncomfortable for people in the first three rows, but that's life ;)
    [ambrus]: The pillars are there because this is in the 6th floor of building R of BME, which is an attic that was built in after the original building, which is also why the elevator doesn't go that high and the windows are tiny.
    [Corion]: ambrus: Hehe ;) Yeah - such real life stuff is far more inconveniencing than wasting display area due to screen ratio problems :)
    [ambrus]: Corion: yes, it's a bit tricky. you can try to adjust the slides live to cover only a part of the screen, but it's still hard.
    [ambrus]: Corion: two very hard things about presentations I should try to work on if I have twenty times as much free time as in real life are:
    [Corion]: That's why I like HTML - it makes it relatively easy to resize stuff. Resizing with Powerpoint is much harder, or at least, I remember it being that way

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