Saturday, February 3, 2018

My First Computer!

The company made an offer to some of their employees, including me. There were a number of opportunities available, and if you agreed, on your own time, to create one of the suggested products, the company would buy an IBM PC XT, and you would over time become the owner.  I'll talk about the project I was offered in another post.

So, I got my first computer. It was the IBM PC XT. It had dual floppy drives and a 10 MB Shugart hard drive.  Terry Winter had a 10 MB hard drive that was larger than most modern desktop systems, so I was impressed with how small it was, and convinced I wouldn't run out of space for a long time.  Was I ever wrong!

Partitioned half the hard drive and would boot into R83 from Pick Systems.  At that point, half my drive was unavailable for DOS stuff.

Then, I got hold of something called Revelation version G.2, and shortly thereafter, a bug-fix of G.2b.

This took up some of my space and I started creating applications with it. I had two applications that my church used for tracking finances and Sunday School attendance.

The Rev G.2b application I wrote for my church - still runs under DOSBOX!

The final blow was when I got a Mark Williams C compiler.  Suddenly, I had to manage my space, and back things onto floppy (never just one, it was always a series of floppys.)

The problem with backups on floppy was that the likelihood that one diskette having an error was fairly low, but when you multiplied that by 4 or 5 floppies, the likelihood went up. If you took one backup, you'd have a bad floppy. If you took two, you'd have a bad floppy in each. If you took three, all three would be fine!  Did I mention that floppies were slow? They were just slow enough to drive you crazy, and just fast enough that you couldn't really do anything else. And this was DOS. If you were copying to a floppy, you were not doing anything else!

Still, it was exciting times, and I loved the amazing new technology!

We changed the company name.  It was Toga Computer Services ("To"ny and "Ga"ry were the founders - hence "Toga".)  Occasionally we'd get calls from people who thought we were a laundromat.  The new name was Datasense.

1 comment:

  1. I had forgotten about TOGA! Wow. This feels like eons ago. I'm glad you are getting the memories down.