I am seriously so excited about this show, and I'm learning so much.

HP 150 - an HP with a touch screen, and an electronic roledex in 1983.

Also, they just put this guys phone number, area code and all, on blast right up on the screen.

This HP salesman is actually doing a good job selling a device with software well integrated to a touch screen.

And Gary follows up asking "do you foresee the touchscreen replacing the keyboard?" and he's kind of smug about how no one is going to re-write their software to interact with a touchscreen.

(I type, with an onscreen keyboard.)

Oooh, Gary is throwing all kinds of shade.

Talking about arm fatigue. Talking about how slow touchscreen interaction is.

But the key takeway remains tight hardware/software integration, which is sorely missing.

This HP has a printer built in to the monitor.

It uses a 3.5" floppy, has an integrated touchscreen, and a built in printer.

I wonder what OS it uses.


The IBM dinosaur is talking about LANs and how important they will be in the future.

And they Gary jumps in and says, essentially "Yes networking, but not just LANs. LANs are complicated and expensive", and then describes, more or less, the internet.

I really like Gary.

And now the HP sales guy is going off on voice controlled computers, and everyone else just kind of side eyes him.

I'm really enjoying

Looks like the HP 150 used an 8088, and was not PC compatible.

Ran a custom DOS version. The touchscreen was infrared based, and the computer was "difficult to program" according to BYTE magazine.

On to Episode 2! (I'm going to continue liveblogging.)

I've never used CP/M before, and never seriously thought about it before today.

Any grizzled CP/M veterans out there wanna give me the rundown?

Okay, here's a LISA engineer talking about seeing high resolution graphics at Xeorx back in the 70s.

And the LISA guy is talking smack about the software limitations of the Xerox star (and with good reason, IMO.)

Man, this John guy from the LISA team is pretty fun.

He's a nerd, and he believes in his product, and I think that's great.

Gary's here talking smack again. He has a strong vision for computing.

Oh snap, I didn't realize John was a Former VP at apple when he came on the show.

He's talking about a thing he helped build, but is no longer involved with.

I think that means he's genuinely proud of the LISA.

I need to look in to him some more.

Man, the LISA is way snappier than I expected, even with a lot of programs open.

Oh man! We have a VISICalc guy demoing the VISI On GUI

IIRC, Visi On had crazy DRM that prevented it from being well preserved.

I'll have to dig around and see if that's still the case.

Oh shit, now we have hte other host throwing shade.

Asking the VISICorp guy about Lotus 123 (that is, asking the guy from the company that invented digital spreadsheets about the competitor that ate his lunch.)

Now the LISA (but no longer with Apple) guy is talking about Macros, but calling them "Programming by example"

Which, TBH, is a great way to describe macros.

VISI ON looks neat. I might noodle around with it sometime.

I always found visicalc a touch too inscrutable for my tastes, but I never bothered to try and learn it properly either.

And now we're on to Synths!

Computer Music time.

Looks like we've got a teenager who wrote a computer music program squaring off against the head of the computer music department at Stanford.

I seriously love the format of this show, and I want to start making my own version.

This kid, Harvey, was 15 when he wrote this software, and 16 when he appeared on this show.

Try it in browser here: archive.org/details/EAMusicCon

And now, midway through my third episode, here is the first woman to appear on the screen.

She's talking about this neat kind of MIDI adjacent system called Alpha Centarui, I think?

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@ajroach42 ever used early versions of MS-DOS...? Pretty much the same thing.

@ajroach42 yes there was quite a jumble...in that era, but MS made the deal by buying a cp/m like clone from a guy then quickly tweaked it and under cut everyone and made the deal with IBM to be the OS of thier new PC's. It was a OS that handled disk operations and had a command interpreter with a set group of commands and a basic programming language interpreter. Apple and others were already way ahead of IBM at that time

@ajroach42 What do you want to know? First real micro OS. MSDOS borrowed a lot of ideas from it.

@ajroach42 Worked great. Ran a BBS on one for years. The MSDOS file tree is better than CP/M, but it looks and feels like MSDOS for the most part.

@Ricardus I know that CP/M was available on many different hardware architectures.

I'm assuming software would need to be cross compiled between systems, and there wasn't some kind of early VM?

@ajroach42 I've run CP/M emulators on MSDOS, but not a VM as we know them today. I think CP/M was mostly on Z80 machines.

@ajroach42 That video has a demo of Concurrent DOS, and I love how one of the other guests on the show says the multitasking OS brings no real value to the table because it's not really an app that does anything. And we're going to have to sell the general public on the idea of multitasking. 😃

@ajroach42 Gary Kildall and Digital Research (his company) also made a better, multi-tasking MSDOS clone that SHOULD have been what PC's shipped with in the 80s instead of MSDOS. The world would probably be a better place if it had happened. We would have traded Bill Gates for Gary, but Gary was a hippie and environmentalist type and probably a better guy. youtube.com/watch?v=skri1h3Zjr

@Ricardus Gary seems like a cool dude.

And DR DOS is pretty great.

IIRC, there was an antitrust lawsuit where microsoft was proven to have stolen some bits of DR DOS?

@ajroach42 There were so many lawsuits I don't even remember.

@ajroach42 I love Will Harvey's early work a lot. I had the IIgs version of Music Construction Set and Zany Golf as a kid, and they left a huge impression on me.

@Famicoman Once we get settled in our new house next month, I'll genuinely consider it.

@djsundog To be real, as catty as these folks have been so far, it might as well be.

@djsundog The music guys are way nicer to one another than anyone else has been, and the stanford guy seems to be genuinely jealous of the music construction kit kid.

@ajroach42 I would say, if you want to try it properly, try the PC version, not the original Apple II version, for one specific reason: the Apple II version has a hackish workaround, around the fact that the Apple II originally didn't have up or down arrows on its keyboard. This can make things... confusing.

The PC version, you have FOUR arrow keys. Such luxury.

Also, it might help to start with an early version of 1-2-3, which shows you what the / menu options actually *do*.

@ajroach42 Also IIRC formulas work totally differently in VisiCalc and 1-2-3, than they do nowadays in Excel.

(Although, funnily, you can still drive Excel 2016 like it's 1-2-3.)

@bhtooefr It was Toastytech where I originally read about the DRM. Glad to know that didn't doom the software to obscurity.

@ajroach42 DRM tends to work on business and educational software, too, so cracking it for preservation is of the highest priority.

AFAIK @a2_4am@twitter.com's Apple II cracking project started as a way to preserve games that had only been preserved in a tampered state (crack screens, missing content to fit into space constraints, and even sometimes partial cracks), but quickly focused on cracking stuff that had never been preserved.

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