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RE: SEMI-TECH: Luddite-Tech ;)
To: CRTech <crtech@crtech.org>
Subject: RE: SEMI-TECH: Luddite-Tech ;)
From: Jon Foreman <Jon@ksgn.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2018 17:12:01 +0000
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Thread-topic: [CRTech] SEMI-TECH: Luddite-Tech ;)

If I recall correctly, a Northstar computer with an S-100 bus was our office computer when I first started at KSGN in the early 80s. I used it some in the office a bit, but my “major” use was to help port data from it to our new IBM AT via RS-232. That Northstar had a hard drive that was almost as loud as a vacuum cleaner. And that hard drive was in a case larger than the IBM AT case.


I learned BASIC on a TRS-80 my senior year in high school. No computer classes yet. We just learned on our own—The best kind of learning.




From: Willie Barnett [mailto:wbradiolists@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, April 9, 2018 9:18 AM
To: CRTech <crtech@crtech.org>
Subject: Re: [CRTech] SEMI-TECH: Luddite-Tech ;)


Thinking of esoteric software... has anyone here ever used Northstar BASIC? :)

I used it at Summagraphics, to do a significant re-write of an existing diagnostic program that would write values out to address & data busses on the boards that we were testing. I don't know what the original programmer was thinking, but that software would output the results of a "failure" IN DECIMAL!! it was up to the user to figure out the failed bit patterns!

I was like... "NO WAY! This is a COMPUTER, and dag nabbit Wabbit, it is going to do that work FOR US!: And so, I re-wrote that program, and got it to give us beautiful, detailed reports of bit errors, and patterns! You could see in an instant, which data/address lines had faults. The other tech that I worked with LOVED it! It saved him a bunch of time! :)

One interesting little quirk about Northstar BASIC: It used "EXAM" and "FILL" instead of "PEEK" and "POKE". Well, I fixed THAT, too! ;) A "sector editor" allowed me to find those strings in the BASIC EXE file, and change them. :) They also used "!" as a shortcut for PRINT, and I changed that to the more common "?".

Fun and useful stuff. ;) I learned BASIC in the mid 70's on a Radio Shack Model 1 computer, after school, thanks to a patient & understanding store manager letting me spend hours on his store demo computer. :) Then I got a VIC20, and later a Commodore 64, where I kept honing my BASIC skills.

I'm also glad to have been able to use GWBASIC to make some 21'st century systems work with older tech and with the Internet tech. :)

I just need to put more time into learning C on the Arduino... that's a fun little system to tinker with, but this old dog really needs to learn some new tricks to get to where I want to be with that! If the thing had a good implementation of BASIC, I'd have it doing a whole lot more. ;)

OK, lunch break is winding down... back to work! :)




On Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 10:39 AM, Jack Epperson <Jack.Epperson@alphamediausa.com> wrote:

Actually I have used Leading Edge as well as MultiMate, AmiPro, ed, edlin, vi, nvi and a few others that I cannot remember and WordStar through version 3. I had an NCR Dimension V with the NEC V20 chip replacing the 8080 and a 20M hard drive in a slot and dual 5.25 floppies. 640K definitely ought to be enough memory for anyone!

Follow-Ups: Re: SEMI-TECH: Luddite-Tech ;)
(Mark Croom <markc@newmail.kinshipradio.org>, 10 Apr 2018 03:34:55 -0000)
References: SEMI-TECH: Luddite-Tech ;)
(Willie Barnett <wbradiolists@gmail.com>, 6 Apr 2018 15:34:23 -0000)
Re: SEMI-TECH: Luddite-Tech ;)
(John Stortz <ka4flx@gmail.com>, 8 Apr 2018 04:48:58 -0000)
RE: SEMI-TECH: Luddite-Tech ;)
(Jack Epperson <Jack.Epperson@alphamediausa.com>, 9 Apr 2018 14:39:47 -0000)
Re: SEMI-TECH: Luddite-Tech ;)
(Willie Barnett <wbradiolists@gmail.com>, 9 Apr 2018 16:18:08 -0000)
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