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Different use of computer


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#1 Serguei2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:44 PM

What can you do on 1970s/1980s computers beside making and playing games?



#2 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:57 PM

Huh? They're computers... almost anything you can think of.

Calculators

CAD
Checkbook registry

Comic book creators

Simulators

Lotto number generators
Address book

Address labels
Word processor
Spreadsheet
Database
Music composition + midi synthesizers
Desktop publishing / Printshop
Star gazing and tracking
Education: math, science, reading, vocabulary, etc.
Programming languages
Paint programs
Video editing, titling, genlock, toaster, special effects
Sound and video digitizing

Typing tutor

List could go on and on and on



#3 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:44 PM

Machine Control

Player Piano Rolls - How its Made


MarkO

Edited by MarkO, Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:45 PM.


#4 Serguei2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:22 PM

Star gazing and tracking = NASA computer?

 

"Video editing, genlock, toaster, special effects, sound and video digitizing" = Commodore Amiga. Maybe Apple III or Apple Lisa?

 

 

Machine Control

Player Piano Rolls - How its Made


MarkO

 

 

Thanks for the video.



#5 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:23 PM

Pornography

#6 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:52 PM

Star gazing tools = programs like Distant Suns.



#7 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:36 PM

Hollow out a nice looking monitor and make a nerdy fish tank like people do with those funtastic colored iMacs from the 90s.



#8 SignGuy81 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:55 PM

What can you do on 1970s/1980s computers beside making and playing games?

 

 

Goddess-weird-science-26649243-470-700.p


Edited by SignGuy81, Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:57 PM.


#9 rpiguy9907 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:44 PM

Sadly she did not age well. Never google her now.

#10 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:14 PM

Checkbook Register?  People still use checkbooks? 



#11 pacman000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:24 PM

I still use a checkbook.

You can host a website: https://en.m.wikiped...rg/wiki/Contiki

Type. You can always type.

#12 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:22 PM

I am sorry, but the topic/subject of this thread is just plain stupid. What do you think computers of the 70's/80's were made for anyway? Obviously making and playing games only...nobody actually used computers for "work" until the 90's! 

 

Oh boy...


Edited by eightbit, Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:23 PM.


#13 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:06 AM

Star gazing tools = programs like Distant Suns.

 

I loved (and still do like) the look of most star chart programs. Back then I would always have one running in the background while reading my astronomy books. And we'd often use them as make-believe maps for play Sci-Fi adventures. And they were especially intriguing in an ineffable way.



#14 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:18 AM

I'd consider interpreting the topic "what is a meaningful use of a vintage computer today except playing games?" which might strike out some of the uses while others remain.



#15 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:36 AM

Video editing, genlock, toaster, special effects, sound and video digitizing" = Commodore Amiga. Maybe Apple III or Apple Lisa?


Some of that list can be done from 8-bits; there are audio digitisers for most of the systems - i've got two samplers for the C64 alone - and quite a few had single frame video digitisers too like Digital Visions' Computer Eyes. There's also presentation software for video titling and other displays on many 8-bit platforms, MIDI software for sequencing music (or hardware expansions which allow the computer itself to become a MIDI instrument) and of course the entire demo scene which has been doing amazing, improbable things that aren't games with 8-bit systems since the 1980s.

#16 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:41 AM

The Apple II had a rather low-key following of research scientists in the late 70's. Several mission managers and principal investigators at NASA had used the Apple II to test and develop orbits for popular space probes.



#17 pacman000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:50 AM

Till about 10 yeas ago the US National Weather Service used 80's IBM PCs and PC XTs for upper air observation stations.

https://en.m.wikiped...rsonal_Computer

#18 Serguei2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:52 AM

I am sorry, but the topic/subject of this thread is just plain stupid. What do you think computers of the 70's/80's were made for anyway? Obviously making and playing games only...nobody actually used computers for "work" until the 90's! 

 

Oh boy...

 

This uqestion is not that stupid.

 

A computer is more  just a programmable console  everybody can make and play their own games.

 

Of course, today computers can play DVDs/Blu-Ray movies, going to internet, make videos, make your own cartoons, ...



#19 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:25 AM

Checkbook Register?  People still use checkbooks? 

 

Of course! No longer at a store though (hate waiting for old ladies wasting everyone's time writing out a check), but for the important bills I prefer through the mail. Not always into relying on online bill paying.  

 

Okay, thought of a few more uses for old computers: 

 

cad.jpg

 

 

...really need to put that lotto number generator to use one of these days. And if I ever win, I'll be sure to publicly attribute my good fortune to the Amiga computer and that program.   :rolling:  



#20 pacman000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:32 AM

Legacy business software.



#21 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:25 AM

I struggle to think of anything "important" I'd want to do with any of my vintage computers. Other than playing games, a little bit of programming, and general messing around (optimizing environments/flash carts/drives for instance) - in fact all of it "messing around" for fun - I prefer to use a modern system. I kind of think of my use of vintage computers these days as an "escape" more than anything resembling a productive destination. For that role, they work wonderfully for me.



#22 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:00 AM

Legacy business software.

There are a lot of legacy business packages that are really good but don't have a modern equivalent. 
Especially the customizations for small businesses that were more common when people were coding in BASIC, Turbo Pascal, dBase, etc...
The code size was small so customization was easier.
 
The thing with stuff like this, is that you can usually run it under emulation with no issues, and can crank up the speed to where you don't have to wait like you did back in the day.
 



#23 Wayneb123 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:30 AM

My brother made a hardware interface for an Atari ST, added stepper motors to a manual mill and built an Atari ST controlled CNC mill. I used to do a lot of flyers for people in Pagestream on my Atari ST.

#24 Pack007 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 2, 2018 12:39 PM

Word processing - You can write a memo without every keystroke being transmitted to Big Brother. Sorry, I didn't mean to sound paranoid. 

 

Turn off your Wi-Fi or disconnect the Ethernet cable and essentially you can do the same things but without the glitter.  



#25 Mr SQL ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 2, 2018 1:01 PM

What can't you do with them besides handle more data and play larger more elaborate games? :)

 

bitd you could send email and IM via BBS software and even follow hyperlinks to other sites (dialing them by hand).

 

You could turn them on and immediately evaluate mathematical expressions and type in the text book examples that persisted until recently; no easy way to do that in modern languages , kind of like trying to write a 10 liner - you could write a game in 10 lines bitd and enter it in a contest via the same mechanism that allowed those short text book examples to work because BASIC was there when you turned the machine on.

 

Now it takes a long time to boot up a modern IDE, load the OS, sign into several layers and authenticate and update and install just about everytime you want to do something productive.

 

Even games have updates and sign-in's now.








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From: Different use of computer

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