what i watched last week
weeds season finale

things we take for granted

Ten years ago today, we got broadband in our house. It was a big deal at the time … finally, we had a fast connection to the Internet. Understand, by that point we had already been online for more than 15 years, ever since we first hooked up a 300-baud modem to our VIC-20 in the early 80s. But speed? That was something you enjoyed when you happened to be at a computer on campus. I can’t remember any longer what speed our last standard modem was … 9600? 56k?

Now, of course, I take broadband for granted. I contemplate paying even more money to Comcast for their super-fast speeds (I’ve held out so far). Honestly, I wouldn’t say broadband was a life-changing event in our computing lives … that category is reserved for 1) our first computer, which introduced us to the world of home computing; 2) our first modem soon after that, which introduced us to online computing; 3) our first home wireless network, which introduced us to all-over-the-house computing; and 4) our first Treo, which introduced us to phone/internet computing. Perhaps it is the fact that broadband wasn’t life-changing that I take it for granted. One day it just was there, and I’ve forgotten everything that came before that time.

How far have we come? Check this commercial out, from 1982:

Comments

Cynthia

you actually owned a vic-20? huh. my first was a kaypro one; my second was whichever mac preceded the SE, a Mac 512? is that right? the latest computer thing that changed my world was wireless and that's old hat now. I'm just starting to explore smart phones. can I come play with your pre?

Steven

VIC-20, 1982 or 1983, can't remember for sure. Commodore 64 a year or so later. First DOS machine in '87 ... clone from Whole Earth Computers (remember them?).

My Pre is ready for play! The partner chick suggested dinner awhile back, maybe we could do that?

Cynthia

my first dos machine (as in one I owned myself as opposed to one I worked on in someone's office) was 1989. It was a 386 that I didn't replace completely until my mother gave me a pentium one in 1999. When i bought it, someone tried to get me to purchase a Mac 2, and I have to confess that there's no way I was going to get a decade out of a Mac 2 in those days.

I remember Whole Earth Computers. I tend to navigate Berkeley by "turn where there used to be a Whole Earth Access" and "stop at the place where Berkeley Bowl used to be." I haven't a clue what's where out there now.

I have jury duty tomorrow; assuming I can be offensive enough to get kicked (I usually can) maybe we can get together later this week?

Steve Hammond

Paging Dr. VIC, Paging Dr. VIC

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