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Re: SEMI-TECH: Luddite-Tech ;)
To: CRTech <crtech@crtech.org>
Subject: Re: SEMI-TECH: Luddite-Tech ;)
From: Willie Barnett <wbradiolists@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2018 10:16:47 -0400
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Thanks, Mark, for those fascinating stories! My replies embedded below...

On Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 11:34 PM, Mark Croom <markc@newmail.kinshipradio.org> wrote:
I've never properly learned any programming languages or done any real programming like many of you guys. I played with Visual Basic for Windows

​I only tinkered with that VERY briefly, and gave up on it. I stuck to the much more familiar Commodore 64 and/or the DOS-based GWBASIC, instead. :) ​

In my primitive digital automation for our AM station I was recording files using batch files and a command line recorder utility that came with SoundBlaster cards. Then I played those files back with the VB player. Within eighteen months we were implementing full Wavestation systems and the clunky stuff that only did one thing was replaced with a complicated system that could start the morning coffee if you wanted it to do that.

​Fascinating! My primitive automation system at WFIF was much more "analog"! ;) A commodore 128d was the heart of the system. I have a picture of it, and some more details posted about 2/3 down ​this page:


That was a very helpful system that served us well for several years! :)


because the studio building was in the main lobe of a 5kW 3-tower inline directional. Metal sheetrock corners bit, as did file cabinet corners in that place, and the metal mini-binds sang Country songs along with the radio. Long cables like the one from the front office to sales really picked up signal.

​Similar at WFIF, but not directly in the main lobe. ;) We had a few RFI issues which were solved by a LOT of grounding. I learned a good amount about grounding while working there. :) I put that knowledge to the test when building the new studio in 1997.

And one of my first data conversion projects I did with the help of a guy at the HCJB Engineering Center. We used terminal software on a TRS-80 Model III and on one of those Amstrad PCs and converted all our company databases that were on TRS floppies to tab-delimited text then imported them into Alpha 4, a dBase compatible database manager. That was where I learned about null modem cables. I've done a ton of data conversions since then, but I had to start somewhere.

​Ah... I remember the "laplink" cables... one was serial, the other was parallel. Installing software on each machine, to allow x-fer of files from one to another. The parallel cable was, naturally, MUCH faster than the serial. Now, we are so spoiled by "drag & drop" via gigabit LAN! :)​


At the same station all the company's original tower lease documents were on a Commodore 64. I ended up just re-typing those and used the project to force myself to type properly without looking at the keyboard.

​Ah! This reminds me of transferring my resume'! Because I started working at WFIF in the summer of 1987... and was "downsized" on Aug 31 of 2007... it has been 20 years since I last had any need to even look at it, let alone update it. ;) So, because I'm a tinkering Geek​, I sought out how to x-fer files from C= to PC, and ended up downloading some DOS software to an old P2/200Mhz machine, and building a special cable to link the C= to the PC. In the C= I converted the file to ASCII, then saved it. Pulled it from the C= disk to the PC, and opened it in WORD... and there I have kept it in the DOC format ever since, updating it as needed. :)

​Sure, I could have just re-typed it, but where would be the GEEK factor in THAT? ;)​ In a very geeky way, this was especially satisfying. ;)


Thinking about the primitive stuff we did with our machines back then, I really appreciate the flexibility of what we use today.


​Oh, yes! Like the C=128-based system I used at WFIF​... I was VERY glad to have a MUCH more advanced, all digital system to replace it! No more fussing with cassettes & twiddling sat receiver knobs! :D Hooray!! :D


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)
RE: SEMI-TECH: Luddite-Tech ;)
(Jon Foreman <Jon@ksgn.com>, 9 Apr 2018 17:12:13 -0000)
Re: SEMI-TECH: Luddite-Tech ;)
(Mark Croom <markc@newmail.kinshipradio.org>, 10 Apr 2018 03:34:55 -0000)
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