Sunday, 14 June 2015

IBM XT

Looking back it must be 1984,1985 when we (we is the company I worked for, a 100 employee firm run by a married couple, and yours truly) bought an IBM XT. The IBM PC XT was the successor of the IBM PC. The XT stands for EXtended Technology. An Intel 8088-processor on board no no less than 10MB hard disk. More memory: we began with 256kb internal memory and I upgraded that later to it's maximum 640 kb. Boy, that made a difference!  Each time the computer started it displayed on a black screen the green numbers until it reached 640 kb OK, and then got to the DOS prompt: C:>



The IBM XT had PC Dos, the IBM clones (every other computer had MS Dos - that's right MS from Bill Gates MicroSoft). PC Dos was basically the same as MS Dos. And so was BASIC. A manual was part of our new computer. I thought is was so wonderful. In a weird way it is power as well: power to demand that the user will do exactly what you want him to do. 






Buying a real IBM meant you bought state-of-the-art software too. Who remembers Ashton Tate's DBase III? It was a database. No, it was THE Database standard in those days. If you combine it with Wordstar (for writing letters and, more important, bills) and Lotus 1-2-3 by Lotus (now part of IBM), well you had the dream team in those days. And we had.






Dreaming of the dream team....

8 comments:

  1. LOL Han...this is great...I started in computers a bit later but still learned WordStar and Lotus 1-2-3 and our printers were dot matrix that we had to tear off the perforated edges...had to make sure that stack of paper was loaded correctly in the printer.;) Thanks for sharing.

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

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    1. Ah yes FF (Form Feed) and my dot matrix printer gave a blank page before it started printing, half the text to the right, filling the dots to the left.

      I'm old. Today's computers are much better... LOL

      Han

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  2. Time passes. I don't remember WordStar but do remember Word Perfect and Lotus 1-2-3. I still automatically use some of the commands on Excel before I get a reminder - remember wsywig. lol

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    Replies
    1. Yes Word Perfect. Going to make a post of Word Perfect. A Perfect Post. Me and Word Perfect were buddies once.
      Lotus 1-2-3. Ah.

      Memories,
      Han

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  3. I was fluent in Wordstar.... all those dot commands for markup, and 123 and DBase.
    A nice trip down memory lane.

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    1. I'm so glad you shared the same memories DF. Strange how strong memories are of machines and their programs.
      But I like to look back sometimes.

      In appreciation,
      Han

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  4. As you know, I love your technology posts, especially when they are about computers you used decades ago.

    In the mid-80's, I used an IBM XT in our school library. We had to write an essay for English class and use WordStar. I hated it. For some reason, my essay kept on getting lost and I had to retype it. Back then, I didn't know how to type, so it took so long typing with two fingers, looking down at the keyboard.

    Ah, such wonderful memories. I actually took a course on how to use Lotus 1-2-3. Little did I know that I would work for Big Blue years later. Funny how life works.

    Thanks for sharing, Han.

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    Replies
    1. Strange indeed how life twists and turns and suddenly you are on a road you remember from before. Yes, retyping was nothing new in those days. I do have some memories of a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk that contained a large file and well, the floppy was so attached to the file it would not give it to me or anyone else.

      They died together.
      Thank you for sharing your memories Girl with the Naughty Name,

      Han

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