Thursday, 3 March 2011


The first computer I ever saw was a Commodore PET in the early 80's, it was in a Maths classroom and was there because the Science department didn't think it was worth having. It was the only computer the school owned and was rarely used. The following year, a young enthusiastic teacher in the science department acquired a second PET for the Controlled Technology Department and picked 6 of us to try and get a GCE in computing. The head teacher wasn't up for it really, so we did most of it after school.

We had great fun building simple robots that we learnt basic commands to operate. Everything was done in MSDos and using line by line programming.  Of course even computer manufacturers didn't really for see the impending future as this classic quote demonstrates...

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943 quoted

But times have changed and despite using computers ever since and even spending 3 years studying them with the Open University, I still find myself keeping just ahead of my kids in understanding.

At the moment my laptop is behaving itself, but that's because over the Christmas Holidays I restored it to its factory condition and then reinstalled just the software I use. Unless everyone else is much different than me, we all tend to accumulate junk on our hard drives that slows them down to almost a standstill. Every home needs a computer nerd and I seem to be the biggest nerd so I got the job, but I sense this role will soon be passed down to a brighter generation. Seldom a day goes by without another dweller in the RJR abode asking me why one of their gadgets doesn't work how they want it to. We have Blackberries, Ipods and Iphones, laptops,Blu-Rays,network drives, TVs and games consuls, all with there own idiosyncrasies, but the expectation is that they will all communicate with each other seamlessly, it could almost be a full time job !!

So for all of you who have experienced a delinquent PC... Enjoy the following !

To all frustrated computer owners

At a recent computer exposition (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the
computer industry with the auto industry and stated:

"If General Motors had kept up with the technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon".

In response to Bill's comments, GM issued a press release stating:

"If General Motors had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:-

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason, you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a manoeuvre such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive -- but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "General Protection Fault" warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask "are you sure?" before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time GM introduced a new car, car buyers would have to learn to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

May or may not be true but it makes me smile !!!!


Duckie. said...

I remember it well, the old Sinclair Hey, wish I'd been able to keep up with my kid.HA HA

Ruth Teal said...

You're getting old then dad :)


JPooley said...

I feel like I have owned that car several times over!

SFDaddy - Bryan said...

My dad bought that Commodore PET and we had a little game where you had to herd the sheep that where made with the pi character. There was another where you mowed the lawn. Sounds like the first FarmVille!

Bryan ~ SF Daddy

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