Digital Archeology

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GagHalfrunt
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Digital Archeology

Postby GagHalfrunt » Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:47 pm

Thought I'd introduce.... myself. :ugeek: I'm Dave from the Gloucestershire/Warwickshire border and was basically brought up on a QL. I still remember a Christmas in the mid eighties and Santa kindly left us microdrives in our stockings. :D We had no idea what they were for (I remember one being Meteor Storm). Well we got a QL (JM) for that Christmas, plugged it into our rented TV and had lots of fun. I since found out my dad got it in one of the post-Sinclair crash sales (didn't have a lot of money) so was already obsolete from the beginning! Not that it mattered, I was hooked on technology from then on.

I learnt to program on SuperBASIC which was amazing compared to others which I was completely oblivious to until years later. I remember trying to use GWBASIC on DOS and was shocked there was no auto datatype conversions and lack of proper structure. It all made languages like Pascal and C easier to learn from my point of view. I still have memories of entering listings out of QL World and having the infamous lockup or having to deal with misprints.

Eventually I moved onto and Atari ST & Falcon030 (I never make good calls about successful tech!) but always kept that QL link. My dad took it much further, his whole QL setup looking like some Heath Robinson setup with a JS version he acquired, modem, Gold or Trump card (can't remember which) and some bespoke connection to a terminal monitor which came from somewhere. He used it seriously for years doing documents for the local church, I wrote him a crude label maker for cassette tapes which used reverse-engineered (by trial and error) printer codes for fonts. He used it well past its best before date until he was eventually forced onto a PC.

And why is all this relevant now? Bits of his old setup has been drifting over to my house over the last few years from his attic much to the annoyance of my wife. Finally a box turned up last week containing the computers, think 1 JS and 2 JM, not in good condition due to his roof leaking but I'll save that for another post. Unfortunately I need to rationalise my growing retro collection but really want to see if one can be resurrected and connected to a TFT.

Where did this journey lead me? Well, I've spent my entire career in IT, and are now an IT consultant covering the entirety of Europe and the Middle East. I like to think of the QL as being the seed! :)
Last edited by GagHalfrunt on Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Dave D.
Vell, he'z juzt ziz guy y'know?
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vanpeebles
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Re: Digital Archeology

Postby vanpeebles » Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:51 pm

A warm welcome to the forum! What a great story there, would be a shame not to get all the old gear back up and running! Be sure to stop by and say hello on the chat too :)


RWAP
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Re: Digital Archeology

Postby RWAP » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:28 pm

Welcome to the forums - if we can offer any assistance, then feel free to ask..

It is interesting how many people started an IT career thanks to what they learnt on a Sinclair machine - I really don't think that in 30 years time, many people will be able to credit their programming careers to receiving a PC for Christmas in 2015....


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vanpeebles
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Re: Digital Archeology

Postby vanpeebles » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:31 pm

No :(


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NormanDunbar
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Re: Digital Archeology

Postby NormanDunbar » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:55 pm

RWAP wrote:It is interesting how many people started an IT career thanks to what they learnt on a Sinclair machine - I really don't think that in 30 years time, many people will be able to credit their programming careers to receiving a PC for Christmas in 2015....


Speaking as one of the afore mentioned "IT professionals" I started with a ZX-81. Now I tun my own company doing Oracle DBA and software testing work for the highest/lowest/best/only bidder! :-)

As for Christmas 2015, you never know, that Raspberry Pi thing seems to have taken off quite well!


Cheers,
Norm


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1024MAK
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Re: Digital Archeology

Postby 1024MAK » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:27 am

Welcome to our Forum Dave!

:D :D :D

Do keep us updated ;)

Mark


QL, Falcon, Atari 520STFM, Atari 1040STE, more PC's than I care to count and an assortment of 8 bit micros (Sinclair and Acorn)(nearly forgot the Psion's)
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XorA
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Re: Digital Archeology

Postby XorA » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:34 pm

NormanDunbar wrote:
RWAP wrote:It is interesting how many people started an IT career thanks to what they learnt on a Sinclair machine - I really don't think that in 30 years time, many people will be able to credit their programming careers to receiving a PC for Christmas in 2015....


Speaking as one of the afore mentioned "IT professionals" I started with a ZX-81. Now I tun my own company doing Oracle DBA and software testing work for the highest/lowest/best/only bidder! :-)

As for Christmas 2015, you never know, that Raspberry Pi thing seems to have taken off quite well!


I started off with zx81 too, now writing ACPI support for 64bit ARM processors as ARM try and re-enter the PC field again 10 years after the last attempt.

IMO Pi won't produce many coders, its just a PC in reality. The Arduino on the other hand is much closer to our old zeddies and requires some inventiveness to make stuff with.


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tofro
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Re: Digital Archeology

Postby tofro » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:47 pm

XorA wrote:
I started off with zx81 too, now writing ACPI support for 64bit ARM processors as ARM try and re-enter the PC field again 10 years after the last attempt.


I can raise my hand in that as well - It was actually Sinclair, starting with the ZX81, then Spectrum, then QL, that brought me into the IT business. Today I work world-wide as a lead architect (so, not so much hands-on development left...) for a large Telco Equipment vendor.
XorA wrote:IMO Pi won't produce many coders, its just a PC in reality. The Arduino on the other hand is much closer to our old zeddies and requires some inventiveness to make stuff with.


I go with you on that - The Raspi has too much stuff readily available for download (so: This can also be a bad thing) in order to motivate people to do their own. Why should kids start working on a game theirselves when they can easily download something much better with a single mouse click?

Tobias


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NormanDunbar
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Re: Digital Archeology

Postby NormanDunbar » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:18 pm

Why should kids start working on a game theirselves when they can easily download something much better with a single mouse click?


For the same reason we all stuck with our Sinclairs? Anyway, one good thing so far at least, kids are now being taught programming in ICT lessons as opposed to just using word, excel etc. So the Pi has already had an effect.


Cheers,
Norm.


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