Technological Grail Quest and some reviews too.

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When I sit here now writing on Google Drive, and think to myself, 20 years ago this was just not possible.  When I think about the MB of data that are transferred in a single data exchange that were massive efforts requiring days of splitting files, and re-combining them, it seems amazing to me that an operating system (OS) could even consist of such massive sizes as 1 or 2 GB.  I remember the early days of direct connections into each and every computer via a telephone link, like telenet.  I remember spending hours, no weeks, writing a few thousand lines of code just so I didn’t have to remember the simplest of actions.  Back then, I would have spent days alone in a cave of a room, implementing code in basic, it was all hacking.  There was no Microsoft or at least nothing that was worth talking about, they were just another bit player in the DOS game.  At that time I was using PC-DOS on an IBM, and wishing in my dreams for the new Apple to come to market.

I built my first computer from a kit I got from some magazine, I do not even remember which one it was.  It was 1978 and there were not a lot of choices out there for a kid without a lot of money to work with.  I worked an entire summer just to buy the kit, and it did nothing, no I/O, no way of knowing it even worked.  I was fortunate in that my Grandfather on my father’s side fixed TV’s as he gave me a broken black and white TV from which I could make a monitor.  There was no place to find this information, it was just trial and error.  I lived in the middle of the backwoods of rural no where NY State, so there were no other people, and no PARC to work from.  It was a disaster that should have killed my appetite for computers in general.  It took me two years to finally build a computer, with the help of my cousin who was an electronics wizard and could make anything from a radio to a refrigerator work, and just stupid luck.  The first day I finally got that blinking cursor on the screen was one of the happiest days of my life.  I have never been able to get a computer to work as well as that first one, ever.  In many ways they have not improved in the slightest.  With some tinkering and a few tries at the BIOS, I was able to get the computer to nearly instantly go into the OS, almost immediately.  I had no real external storage, it would be another 3 months or so before I figured that out.  No one in my school had even heard of what a computer was, not much less worked with one.  I had to go to the city to learn more, and that didn’t happen often.

Here I sit now, looking at the newest version of Android, and all these other things, and think to myself, yea they are cool, but ten second boot time, my god that is an eternity.  Next time I will try to explain the first time I saw an advertisement for the Apple II.

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