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My classic computer is better than today's modern machines because..


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#1 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:59 AM

My classic computer is better than today's modern machines because..

 

..because the software was simple and got straight to the point. Software back then, while not as refined and pretty as today, had one purpose: to do the assigned job. Today, software has two purposes, to do the assigned job and stuff advertisement and nag screens in your face.

 

 



#2 AtariLeaf ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:13 AM

Do you sit on your front porch in a rocking chair and whittle while you make these threads? For some reason I picture you looking and sounding like Gabby Hayes.  :P

 

 


Edited by AtariLeaf, Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:13 AM.


#3 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:28 AM

Not normally, I'm bored, the wife is sick, and I took time away from work to enjoy the winter.



#4 am1933 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:42 AM

Much as I love my P.C, it has to be the PC 2 minute start up that gives the edge to the classic machines.



#5 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:11 AM

One more thing I like, the styling of classic mainframes, some of them. The PDP11 series front panels. The IBM 4331 terminals.. And then of course all the 8 & 16 bit home systems. Their styling was as diverse as their performance and ancillary capabilities.

 

Not to mention the creative and easy-on-the-eyes advertising brochures and flyers!


Edited by Keatah, Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:25 AM.


#6 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:18 AM

My 5160 takes longer to POST than my current box does to boot!  But once it POSTs it boots pretty quick, though not aided by the lack of a hard drive. :(



#7 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:53 AM

Classic machines with their 'instant on' and no bloat, are always going to have a place in my heart but I remember the first time I booted GEOS for the C64. Painfully slow disk drive access (no speed up cart back then) didn't help, but was starting to become aware of the fact that it's now "stylish" to have an operating system run an operating system. :lol: 



#8 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:54 AM

When I saw the shortened title on the main forum page I was expecting "My Classic Computer is Better Than Your Classic Computer Because..."
I was ready to make some popcorn and watch the battle.



#9 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:23 AM

... it has no need of virus protection software.



#10 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:24 AM

... it looks "cooler" and does not feel like an appliance.



#11 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:37 PM

A one page letter saved by my word processor only took 1 or 2 Kilobytes on a disk.



#12 akator OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:26 PM

... it still works after 30 years.



#13 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:35 PM

A one page letter saved by my word processor only took 1 or 2 Kilobytes on a disk.

That's why I still use Notepad (and text files) for extraordinary productivity. Text files and NTFS put  together give me an extraordinarily simple-to-implement and maintain database. Sure some things might take a keystroke or two more than a full-blown "real" database. But you can't beat the transportability and ease of backup.

 

It might even require the operator to think too. OMG!!


Edited by Keatah, Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:36 PM.


#14 Gemintronic OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:42 PM

The fact is computers are better in all respects except viruses, spyware and companies that backdoor your machine for themselves and government agencies.

 

..oh, nevermind..

 

I guess all I can say is that my Palm m125 is better than any Android machine today :)



#15 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:52 PM

Somehow, I find the idea of having to load the OS from a disk to be bastardized. Since the days of RAMAC in the 1950's most "big" computers had to load part or all of their OS from a mechanical device. And it has stayed true even today.

 

First now, with SSD's almost ready for mass commercialization, are we seeing a return to the proper way of loading programs on the PC. The proper way being loading the OS from a device with no moving parts. Classic game systems have done this for years. Even before there was a program to load!

 

How long does it take for a VCS to boot? Anyone ever build a test-bed to time the interval between power-up and on-screen activity? Gotta be milliseconds. I was gonna mention Intellivision, but you've got a title-screen. An artficially-induced delay. Perhaps the first form of spam (shoving the copyright screen in your face) for home systems. Spam! .. because you can't click past it.

 

And the funny thing is is that tablets and smartphones, complete systems in and of themselves, have been doing SSD-style loading for years! No wonder the PC market is lagging! Ha!

 

Though I wait for the day when a complete OS is shadowed in such a way that it doesn't take any time whatsoever, no CPU cycles or anything, to start. Like an Apple II with DOS on a romcard. You bank-switch the bastard in or out for instant availability.


Edited by Keatah, Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:54 PM.


#16 adamchevy OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:03 PM

My classic computer is better than today's modern machines because..

 
 


No they aren't. Bus speeds on current motherboards in the GHz and ram speeds nearing 3ghz or better, combined with 3rd gen ssd drives and multicore processors reaching 5ghz. Put a slimmed down copy of any operating system and you'll have load times that are so fast it seems like it anticipated your mouse click.

#17 Aquaman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:10 PM

Not having to deal with Microsoft Windows and it's annoying updates!!

#18 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:13 PM

You don't have to deal with Microsoft Windows on any computer, modern or classic.

#19 Gemintronic OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:17 PM

The Atari 2600 didn't have an OS or even something like the EXEC on the Inty.  The Atari ST had an OS in ROM but that's more than I'd be willing to deal with when a new version comes out.

 

I guess the closest we have now is coreboot:

http://www.coreboot....ome_to_coreboot



#20 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:45 PM

The Atari 2600 didn't have an OS or even something like the EXEC on the Inty.  The Atari ST had an OS in ROM but that's more than I'd be willing to deal with when a new version comes out.

 

I guess the closest we have now is coreboot:

http://www.coreboot....ome_to_coreboot

Yes, of course the VCS doesn't have anything near even a primitive OS. The "best description" of the concept of the OS and how it applies to the VCS would be a few lines of code in the game cartridge, the Kernel. This handles the I/O and interprets the switch settings.

 

Heck even that is giving it more of an OS flavor (credit) than it really actually is. Makes it sound like a routine running in the background, in parallel with the main game program. Which it is not.



#21 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:53 PM

No they aren't. Bus speeds on current motherboards in the GHz and ram speeds nearing 3ghz or better, combined with 3rd gen ssd drives and multicore processors reaching 5ghz. Put a slimmed down copy of any operating system and you'll have load times that are so fast it seems like it anticipated your mouse click.

How long before they start consuming all that performance with shovelware, subscription services, and internet advertising? It will be another x amount of years before the joe-blow public consumer can utilize that power. For it will take a 10GHz machine to overcome the crapware load.

 

It takes hobbyist and enthusiast to work around all the commercial garbage and realize that performance. H & E can load their own OS spam-free with the applications they want.



#22 5-11under ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:12 PM

3 GHz versus 3 MHz (give or take). The problem is that new computers don't seem 1000 times faster than classic ones.



#23 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:35 PM

Not only are computers still fat-ass-at-the-gym slow, It takes hours to set up a printer and make it work right, that and all the dilly-dallying and lollygagging with adjusting settings and registering and installing drivers. And worse yet, once you get it going, it works for a few weeks or months, and then a steady stream of tweaks and updates seems to somehow creep into the situation requiring more and more attention as time rolls on. Heaven forbid you need to get new ink cartridges! Settings seem to magically de-adjust themselves from optimal.

I mean, like I got this wireless printer here, and the fucker still won't talk to the computer which is sitting right next to it. I mean WTF? Just tell it to look to the left and call it a day! For heavens sakes.. It's sitting right HERE!!!

I remember BITD my old Epson MX-80 F/T w/Graftrax III, a dot-matrix printer for you noobs (herin and thereafter referred to as "old Epson") was the best. I had it out of the box and running in like 20 minutes. Including the initial self-test! By the 30-minute mark I had learned the PR#1 command and how it "echoed" shit from the screen. My next task was to actually print something useful, before the hour was up! I made a banner or some sign or some shit with Print Shop. And I listed out my BBS code which was like 30 pages long.

Later on I got a Microbuffer (which we emphatically called the boofer). And this let the system do things like CATALOG a disk or play a game while printer banged out another 65 pages of BBS code listing. And best of all it took less than 5 minutes to set up! Unreal..

Dude, it was like glorious!

And all this included a huge-ass manual, a separate interface cable, a heavy box of paper, and a separate circuit board made by a totally different manufacturer! OMG! A circuit board?!?!? You mean you had to touch 'lectric parts? Isn't that dangerous? How could those consumer watchdog associations allow this??

And on this circuit board was the printer driver itself! A 2K-byte ROM. And it had like 16 options, 10 of which applied in niche applications. Incredible! And it worked!

(coming up next: My new rant on the PC's race to the bottom and how it won!) Should I make a new thread or post it here?



#24 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:50 AM

There were many undocumented unique techniques to be discovered. Oftentimes this led to software that seemed magical. Deciding to learn an 8-bit machine often set one up for rewarding discoveries, if not from the machine itself, but from your own creativity.

 

Some examples might be using a modem to digitize speech or provide a timing signal for a software clock, thus saving you two slots worth of hardware. Or perhaps using the Z80 CP/M card to do array sorting in the background.



#25 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:24 PM

My classic computer is better than today's modern machines because.........it isn't. Sorry, it just isn't. Whatever trivial advantages classic systems offer (instant boot-up, no need for virus protection since you won't be downloading things anyway, etc) are colossally outweighed by the advantages of newer systems.

As much as I enjoy my Commodores and Ataris and TRS-80s and whatnot, if it weren't for the games, there would really be no reason to ever touch one again.






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