Users are like fish.

Met up with several Rovia Ex-pats last night who I hadn’t seen in ages. Matt and I met up with Mario, Omar, and Ming in Kendall Square and then headed to PeNang in Chinatown to grab some grub. It was a total nostalgia fest, too bad the rest of the squad wasn’t around… We should have a big reunion at some point.

More on the Superboard II

My dad read my earlier journal entry on the computers I’ve used and provided more info on his Superboard II:

By the way, our first computer was an Ohio Scientific Superboard II, as far as I know there was never a “III”. It had 24K of ROM and 4k of static RAM, later expanded to a whopping 7k. Data storage was on cassette tapes. It had a 6510 8 bit processor (Update: Think he actually meant 6502) clocking over at a cool 1mhz. It had a keyboard built in and output NTSC B&W video. It had built in 8k Microsoft BASIC in ROM, as I recall I remember seeing Bill Gates name in the code when I did a hex dump of the ROM. It also had a bug in the string garbage collector that would crash the computer after basic was used for a while – thanks Bill.

Update: My dad also found this page with some more Superboard info as well as links to software and an emulator!

My Computers

Someone today asked me about some of my early computer experiences, and so I ended up making this list of all my computers.

  1. Ohio Scientific Superboard II (or III?) – This was actually Dad’s computer, and while I vaguely remember using it on a cardboard card table in the basement of our house, I really don’t remember much. I seem to remember dad saying it was a Superboard III, but I can’t find any references to that model online (other than my own). We had the base model without any fancy stuff like cases… (Update: Dad wrote me giving me some more details about this machine)
  2. Commodore 64 – My grandparents bought this for me for an early birthday, probably at the prodding of my father… :) We originally got it floppy-less and used only cartridges and hand-input BASIC programs, but we eventually got a 1541 floppy drive to do real work with. I believe at first we used a small television as a monitor, but at some point we got a Commodore monitor (can’t remember the model, it wasn’t a 1084S).
  3. Generic 386/33DX – After the C=64 died, dad bought a PC, which I used for quite awhile until I could afford the Amiga. I cut my teeth on DOS and Windows 3.0-3.11 on this machine for the first time (I had never really touched a PC before this).
  4. Commodore Amiga 500 – I saved for a long time to buy this computer, and used it for years without a hard disk before I saved and plunked down $400 for a external SCSI controller with a 120MB disk. This computer was my trusty sidekick for years, even though my parents would take it away for about half the time (get midterm progress report, confiscate computer; get report card, return computer). I subjected it to the “pepsi syndrome” on several occasions and it eventually gave up after this trauma. actually brought it back from the dead once by replacing motherboard traces with wire, but this was just delaying the inevitable..
  5. Generic 486 DX4/100 – While I had the Amiga, my dad replaced his PC with a faster one. I would trade back and forth from the Amiga to the PC, mostly using the Amiga…
  6. Generic Pentium 166MHz (Summer of 1995) – This was when I really got to know how to use a PC. After my fallen Amiga I was quite reluctant to replace it with a PC, but the flailing of Commodore really forced my hand. It was on this computer that I had my first experience installing Linux (first Slackware, then 1 month to setup PPP, then hard disk crash, then retreat to Red Hat Linux 3).
  7. Generic Dual Pentium II 350MHz (Late 1997) – When I started getting excited about BeOS, I decided to go Dual Processor.. DP worked great in BeOS, but in Windows it was just a pain in the ass.. More drivers than you can believe have DP problems, and I am amazed to this day that I ever bought a second DP machine. I just wanted to say I had dual procs.. :) I believe this machine is now at CSH and is called neverforget
  8. Generic Dual Pentium III 1GHz (Late 2001) – Pretty soon after I moved to Boston my computer, now 4 years old, started showing it’s age. This machine worked like a champ, save the onboard sound who’s drivers didn’t like dual procs.
  9. Apple Powermac G4 733MHz (Late 2003) – When Rovia folded, I got this machine… I was always anti-Apple, but I’m never one to look a free computer horse in the mouth. I fell in love with OSX on this machine, and it became my primary workstation until I moved in here with . This is now living at CSH.
  10. Generic Pentium 4 3GHz (Summer 2004) – When Doom III came out I needed a new computer, so I bought this one. I finally gave up on Dual Proc machines, and was actually remarkably lazy and ordered all the same parts that had picked out for his machine. It treats me well and will probably live on until it can no longer keep up with the videogames of the day.
  11. Apple Powerbook G4 1.67GHz (March 2005) – I had wanted a notebook, particularly a Powerbook, for some time, and when I finally paid off my college/stupid/unemployed credit cards I treated myself. This is my primary workstation these days, and I sometimes bring it to bed with me and hug it until I fall asleep. Don’t tell Corinna. =)