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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 still love Gary, just FYI. He's the best.

Gary just name dropped Allen Kay and smalltalk.

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.

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.)

Andrew (R.S Admin) @ajroach42

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.

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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:

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?

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.

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


@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.

@ajroach42 I'd watch your Computer Chronicles bootleg show.

@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.)