Author Topic: The Computer Chronicles  (Read 2597 times)

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Offline Chris_

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The Computer Chronicles
« on: March 28, 2011, 08:20:22 PM »
Computer Chronicles was a program that ran on many PBS stations from 1981 until 2002 that was hosted by a guy with a mean comb-over, Stewart Cheifet.  I remember watching it beginning some time in 1986 on Saturday mornings since I was outgrowing the usual cartoons that were on at the same time.  It's a great trip back in time.

Laptop '89 Convention
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew2a74PUxRQ&feature=related[/youtube]

"The Gamer's PC"
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPOuR1CTJss&feature=related[/youtube]

Low-End Computers (1985)
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9boeHRUeMPA&feature=related[/youtube]

What Happened to OS/2?
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brU4KIxsLJI&feature=related[/youtube]
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Offline Ballygrl

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 09:23:45 PM »
Was the internet available back then?
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Offline Chris_

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2011, 09:27:01 PM »
Not really.  Most of it was local dial-up, or long-distance dial-up if you wanted to connect to something like CompuServe (they charged a monthly membership in addition to your long-distance charges).  Instead of using web browsers, there were other applications -- I think COMit was a popular one I used -- that let you dial a phone number and log into other people's computers that were running bulletin boards (BBS) or file servers (yeah, they had internet porn even back then).  I remember reading/participating in quite a few forums.  They were text-only, no pictures.  If there was internet in 1986, I wasn't aware of it.
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Offline Ballygrl

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2011, 09:29:29 PM »
So you were able to communicate with other people? but it was nothing like it is today right?
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"The nation that couldn’t be conquered by foreign enemies has been conquered by its elected officials" odawg Free Republic in reference to the GOP Elites who are no difference than the Democrats

Offline Chris_

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2011, 09:32:43 PM »
As far as communicating, it was similar.  Imagine a text-only version of this forum... you used menus to move around but the basic premise and operation were very much the same. 

It looked quite a bit like Free Republic with their all-text format.  Hypertext (http) allows you to link to pictures, but FR isn't much different from an old BBS forum.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 09:37:34 PM by chris_ »
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Offline Scoobie

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2011, 09:37:53 PM »

Wow, talk about a blast from the past.

Who remembers Prodigy?   ::)




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Offline Chris_

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2011, 09:39:01 PM »
Wow, talk about a blast from the past.

Who remembers Prodigy?   ::)
I do.  And I'm still using the same password. :ohsnap:
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Offline Scoobie

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2011, 09:42:35 PM »
I do.  And I'm still using the same password. :ohsnap:

 :lmao:
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Offline Chris_

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2011, 09:45:33 PM »
I had access to a Prodigy account in 1996.  I've been using that same password ever since for minor stuff like Hotmail (1997... I got there early) and mailing lists.
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Offline Scoobie

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2011, 09:50:31 PM »

I believe I started with Prodigy in 1994. I have to laugh when I think about how the "internet" was back then compared to how it is now.
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Offline Mike220

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2011, 10:57:21 PM »
I had access to a Prodigy account in 1996.  I've been using that same password ever since for minor stuff like Hotmail (1997... I got there early) and mailing lists.

I got my hotmail in 1998 as a smooth cheeked high school freshman... Damn has it really been that long?
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Offline Chris_

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2011, 11:04:29 PM »
But do you still have it?
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Offline Mike220

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2011, 11:06:55 PM »
But do you still have it?

Yes I do actually though I don't use it for too much anymore.
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Offline Chris_

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2011, 11:10:11 PM »
I stopped using mine.  I have a few friends that still send me things, but I mostly use Google Mail.  I still use Hotmail and Yahoo for mailing lists and subscriptions, though.  I still check it everyday just in case.
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Offline Eupher

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2011, 11:31:55 AM »
I remember installing a 3200 baud modem in my 386 clone. Probably 1994 or so. (I had upgraded directly from an XT clone with a 32 MB hard drive to the 386 with 4 whopping MB of memory.)

Dial up to download email, then quickly disconnecting. Long distance charges in Germany are ungodly expensive.

As I understand it, besides what Al Goracle is reputed to have said, the Internet got its start from a bunch of scientists who collaborated in a pseudo-network to exchange ideas relative to their chosen field.
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Offline IassaFTots

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2011, 12:19:11 PM »
I got my first Hotmail account in 97 or 98 and still have it.  I remember my ex's father getting AOL or Internet America, or something like that back in 90-91?
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Offline Thor

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2011, 06:31:48 AM »
I had compuserve, & AOL back in 94-95. I  discovered that if I used a new 50 hr free AOL diskette and changed screen names, credit cards used or bank account numbers used, I could get free internet for a while. I did that for a year or two until AOL came out with a $19.95/mo flat rate unlimited. I always had access to local numbers, so long distance wasn't a problem. In 97, I started work with a cable company in St Paul. I was one of the two primary techs for the institutional network which provided a WAN/ Internet for the entire city offices, schools & state offices. In early 98, the company started beta testing cable internet to their subscribers and some of their line techs. I was one of them. Later that year, I started as an headend tech, working with customer data (internet) & we rolled out cable telephone in mid 1999. I still have an aol account, but it doesn't work real well with Windows 7- 64 bit  quite yet. (It terminates and stays resident in  memory and often taxes my computer. There must be some kind of huge memory hole in their software or something.)
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Offline BattleHymn

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Re: The Computer Chronicles
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2011, 07:07:32 PM »
My two favorite CC episodes:


Here, Peter Griffin can hardly contain his excitement over Mickey Mouse and Michael Jackson:
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UExsRds7RlE[/youtube]

A Macintosh Portable, complete with animation, a mouse subsitute, and "16Mhz... speed":
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGwVTq_xcZk[/youtube]