2024 Fundraising - $1001 / $2000 CDN for the year, June/July Renewal. Paypal Donation Link US dollars

General Computing Randomness

For general computer discussion & help, come here

Moderators: Bakhtosh, EvilHomer3k

Post Reply
User avatar
LordMortis
Posts: 70372
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:26 pm

Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by LordMortis »

Punisher wrote: Fri May 10, 2024 10:55 am
jztemple2 wrote: Thu May 09, 2024 11:08 pm
Blackhawk wrote: Thu May 09, 2024 9:01 pm I also took a basic programming course (basic BASIC)
I had a semester of basic programming in college, back in 1972. We used, no joke, punch cards :roll: to write our program which was compiled and run on a mainframe.
In high-school we didn't have BASIC. They taught assembly. I tjink our project was a pacman game.
I learned some BASIC in my DOS days. I also became REALLY good at bat files. Had a single bat file with a game menu to liad specific games with their specific settings.
Nice. Our Highschool only did BASIC and not much at that. I did *a lot* more at home learning how make BattleTech 'mech creation in a program and trying (and failing) to create a TELENGUARD clone as well as learning basic PEEK and POKE in ATARI BASIC than I did in Computers 1 and 2 in HS. Half the time the teacher would give me a pass to go off campus and run errands, and I wasn't the brightest cookie in the tooldrawer.
User avatar
Rumpy
Posts: 12735
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:52 pm
Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Rumpy »

Computers in schools in Ontario were quite a different prospect if you were a child of the 80's and 90's. We had to use a government mandated server-based Unix system called the Unisys ICON. They were big sturdy computers (all-in-one units) with built-in trackballs, but incredibly slow. And it was an expensive government program, and limited as well, every application had to be specifically coded for the system, so it had a limited library for students to use. The government scrapped the project and destroyed most of the computers. I didn't personally get to use a PC in school until maybe 93-94, because part of the terms had to use the ICON computers before moving on to the PCs.
PC:
Ryzen 5 3600
32GB RAM
2x1TB NVMe Drives
GTX 1660 Ti
User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 42446
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by GreenGoo »

I did grade school in the 70's and high school in the 80's, both in Ontario and we used PETs if I remember correctly. I don't recognize ICON at all. I had a vic20 and then a commodore64 and my dad brought home a TRS80 from work on occasion. By end of high school (and the 80's) I owned a ridiculously expensive Amiga with an 8088 card slotted, so I could run PC apps. It was not a great solution.

I didn't own a PC myself until about 1994ish.
User avatar
Rumpy
Posts: 12735
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:52 pm
Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Rumpy »

They might have been after your time. The government would have started phasing them out in the 90's, at which point most of them disappeared. Some went to museums to be used in exhibits. At one point they were everywhere, impossible to ignore. But just as quickly, they went out of favor and they were deemed an expensive mistake. In that manner, they were fairly unique as they were designed from the ground-up for the classroom. Good writeup here https://vintagecomputer.ca/the-burroughs-icon-computer/

While early models had the monitor and keyboard as part of the same unit, later models had become more PC-like with the monitor separated from the keyboard, and I believe later ones also were able to run dos applications.

Oh yeah, they were also nicknamed the bionic beaver :D
PC:
Ryzen 5 3600
32GB RAM
2x1TB NVMe Drives
GTX 1660 Ti
User avatar
hitbyambulance
Posts: 10319
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:51 am
Location: Map Ref 47.6°N 122.35°W
Contact:

Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by hitbyambulance »

Rumpy wrote: Mon May 13, 2024 7:42 pm They might have been after your time. The government would have started phasing them out in the 90's, at which point most of them disappeared. Some went to museums to be used in exhibits. At one point they were everywhere, impossible to ignore. But just as quickly, they went out of favor and they were deemed an expensive mistake. In that manner, they were fairly unique as they were designed from the ground-up for the classroom. Good writeup here https://vintagecomputer.ca/the-burroughs-icon-computer/

While early models had the monitor and keyboard as part of the same unit, later models had become more PC-like with the monitor separated from the keyboard, and I believe later ones also were able to run dos applications.

Oh yeah, they were also nicknamed the bionic beaver :D
also where QNX started (among other things, the OS for latter-day BlackBerries and Ford Motor Co.'s automotive head units)
User avatar
Rumpy
Posts: 12735
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:52 pm
Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Rumpy »

hitbyambulance wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 11:56 am
Rumpy wrote: Mon May 13, 2024 7:42 pm They might have been after your time. The government would have started phasing them out in the 90's, at which point most of them disappeared. Some went to museums to be used in exhibits. At one point they were everywhere, impossible to ignore. But just as quickly, they went out of favor and they were deemed an expensive mistake. In that manner, they were fairly unique as they were designed from the ground-up for the classroom. Good writeup here https://vintagecomputer.ca/the-burroughs-icon-computer/

While early models had the monitor and keyboard as part of the same unit, later models had become more PC-like with the monitor separated from the keyboard, and I believe later ones also were able to run dos applications.

Oh yeah, they were also nicknamed the bionic beaver :D
also where QNX started (among other things, the OS for latter-day BlackBerries and Ford Motor Co.'s automotive head units)

And I do find that history fascinating. I mean, who would have thought that would be the origin to the Blackberries's OS? Let alone Ford's entertainment OS. When I remember those slow as molasses ICONs, it boggles my mind that the OS would be used for anything else.
PC:
Ryzen 5 3600
32GB RAM
2x1TB NVMe Drives
GTX 1660 Ti
User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 42446
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by GreenGoo »

Rumpy wrote: Mon May 13, 2024 7:42 pm They might have been after your time.
Ouch. :lol:

Good point though.
User avatar
Rumpy
Posts: 12735
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:52 pm
Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Re: General Computing Randomness

Post by Rumpy »

GreenGoo wrote: Fri May 17, 2024 11:45 am
Rumpy wrote: Mon May 13, 2024 7:42 pm They might have been after your time.
Ouch. :lol:

Good point though.
Heh, I don't even think we're that far apart age-wise. But these computers had a fairly narrow timeline. I find it amazing that the Ontario government put so much money into the program only to scrap them out of existence. There's still relatively little information about them online given the nature of how they worked, and the proprietary software.
PC:
Ryzen 5 3600
32GB RAM
2x1TB NVMe Drives
GTX 1660 Ti
Post Reply