Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Blast from the Past: Old Timey Computering!

I'm still ensconced in a network-wide malware infestation, that somehow manages to span two PCs, a MacBook Pro and at least one of our two Android phones. It seems to have started immediately after a party on Saturday, and I can't explain it. I've had no success in eradicating it yet. But while I work on it, I can think back to a simpler time. A time when computing was relatively virus- and malware-free. Come back with me, won't you?

1. CompuServe - This was an early online service, one that catered to the more professional set. It was kind of absorbed by AOL.

2. America Online -  Technically still around as AOL (and yes, I still use it), it was originally a more user-centered online service that had no internet access. But it had lots of people hooking up on their message boards!

3. Prodigy - One of the granddaddies of the online experience, Prodigy was about the best thing going for a little while. AOL and the advent of the World Wide Web pretty much killed them off.

4. Atari 400 Computer - One of the earliest computers for ordinary consumers, this one tried to parlay the very popular VCS 2600 video game system into computing success. It didn't ever get very poplar.

5. Commodore Vic20 - Even earlier than the Atari, this one paved the way for the much more successful. . .

6. Commodore 64 - This one was probably the most popular computer to predate Windows and Apple systems. They ran with this one long after it had been surpassed by more advanced computers.

7. Apple II - Apple may have always been behind PCs on the business front, but they always lead the way in schools, where the Apple II ruled. Still, they tried to market it as a home computer.

8. WebTV - Too far ahead of its time to be workable, what it set out to do is now done by other devices.

And while malicious code writers weren't as prevalent back in those days, I really wouldn't want to go back to them, would you? I'll sort these problems out, and undoubtedly encounter new ones. But one day, the devices we're using now will seem as quaint and simple as the ones in these ads.

For now, have a great (short) week. Happy Tuesday!


  1. In the mid 1990's, back in the dinosaur age of computering, I bought a Tandy computer for $1000+, not including a dot matrix printer for about $200.

  2. Our first was the Commodore 64, which quickly had us ignoring our Atari game. And it was on to PCs for me, after that.


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