What was your first computer?

Bit of trivia about “obsolete” computer equipment. The launch control computers for the United States’ Minuteman ICBMs were IBM Series 1 running using 8 inch floppy disks with a whopping 80Kb storage capacity until 2019.

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Maybe it was slightly later.

I think it was 20GB doubled to 40GB now I truly think about it, but I remember the massive hard drive aside, the PC was rubbish.

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I’ll second this. I’ve got a ton of 5.25" floppies going back to the mid-80s, and I can still read them today.

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Anyone else remember the Apple II copy-protection scheme of deliberately damaged disks? A specific sector of the 5.25" floppy was damaged during manufacturing, presumably with a laser. When the disk/game was booted, it tried to read from the damaged sector and would only continue to boot if that operation failed.

Pretty ingenious scheme in hindsight.

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Yes, and it wasn’t limited to the Apple II. There was a version for the IBM PC, which lasted until someone wrote a DOS TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident program, the precursors to the desk accessory programs that would appear in premptive multitasking operating systems) that bypassed it. The TSR sat waiting until the copy-protected program tried to access the (supposedly) damaged area of the disk and then activated to intercept the action and fed back the expected result regardless of the state of the floppy in that sector. >>POOF!<< No more problem running a copy of the program on another disk.

Copy protection and digital rights management has been a steadily escalating game of whack-a-mole for decades.

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I always “loved” the turn to page sixteen of the game guide and type in the second word of the fourth paragraph.

One, it was annoying to dig up the book every time you wanted to load a game
Two, it’s called a copy machine. Every school kid had access to one.

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Even thought it largely serves no purpose for the people that are supposed to be the legitimate audience…

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I didn’t know that was on PCs too! I do remember TSRs though – of course someone would use it for that purpose, I love it.

I recall Borland’s SideKick was the top dog of those utilities, and it was just cool as hell. I was teaching myself Turbo Pascal at the time, having moved on from MBASIC, and actually wrote a tiny TSR; a simple hello world thing, intercepted a keystroke and displayed a message. This was on CP/M on a Kaypro. TSRs were like sorcery, I felt like I’d touched the hand of god.

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Which is why it was sometimes printed in navy blue ink on dark magenta paper. The two different colors had the same grayscale value, so you got a completely black copy as a result (color copiers were rare, high end business machines in those days).

Of course, that still didn’t stop someone armed with a pencil, a piece of paper, and a Mark I eyeball.

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Some games for the C64 used half tracking, messing with the head alignment at the factory so the game would still load but normal copy techniques wouldn’t work.

I had some games that used the code from the manual or a code sheet, heard about code wheels but never had a game that used one.

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10 then 20 meg was ballin

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Damn, dude. I think you win the thread necromancy award.

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TRS-80 Model III

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I had the VIC-20 with the cassette tape player for programs. Hooked it up to an ordinary television.

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Atari 800XL with the dot matrix printer and the 5¼ floppy drive!

image

As an adult: 486 with Windows 3.1 and DOS!

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If there isn’t a thread necromancy badge, there should be, and you should get one.

:+1:

Linking back to June 2022…

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Right?

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Better to necromance a thread than to start a new one on the same topic, I say.

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Agreed 100%

I mean it as a compliment in case I wasn’t clear :+1:

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