Ah, summer–grilling, campfires, water sports, family trips, watching the World Cup (at least until yesterday)…
It’s easy to get distracted this time of year, and particularly this week, with national holidays in the U.S. and Canada. So in the spirit of taking a midsummer break from work, here’s a completely off-topic post.
cleaning out a storage area in our basement helping an older friend clean out his basement recently when we came across a box of old computer parts, cables, and software from my early days in engineering documentation early in his career. These photos may bring back memories for anyone who can recall when the 286 (for those under 30: that’s the Intel chip that preceded the 386, which preceded the 486, which preceded the Pentium, which preceded the Core i7 possibly powering your laptop today) was considered fast.
Back in the day before software was a service, it had to be installed. And installing something significant, such as an operating system upgrade, was a project. Windows 3.1 came on diskettes–14 of them:
Diskettes gave way to CDs, which made installation faster and easier. Here’s the CD for Microsoft Office. Not Office 1.5, or 3.0, or 95, or XP, or 2013–just Office.
The great leap from DOS to Windows was that one could use a mouse. The original wasn’t cordless, or IR, or ergonomically correct, but IBM nevertheless sold a zillion of these.
Finally, there’s this: an anti-static wrist strap. When installing circuit boards or memory chips, or doing any other kind of word on the inside of older PCs, one had to wear one of these things clipped to the computer chassis in order to avoid damaging sensitive components with static electricity. These are no longer required.
Have a great holiday / Canada Day / 4th of July!