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.

Show thread

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.)

Show thread

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.

Show thread

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.

Show thread

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.

Show thread

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

Show thread

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.

Show thread

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.)

Show thread

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.

Show thread

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

Show thread

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.

Show thread

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.

Show thread
Follow

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.

Show thread

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.

Show thread

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.

Show thread

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

Show thread

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

Show thread

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?

Show thread

Now the Stanford guy is being condescending to the woman.

And now he's playing with a primitive voice synth, and talking about how fancy and advanced it is.

Show thread

@ajroach42 this might be the best chain of toots I've ever read

ty

@rook I foresee live-blogging the computer chronicles to be a regular part of my month. Glad you got some enjoyment out of it.

@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.)

Sign in to participate in the conversation
R E T R O  S O C I A L

A social network for the 19A0s.