A Real Computer for the Price of a Toy

There is a bit of a story to this picture.

This is a sticker on the inside of a writing desk that my mother owns. I think it was in my brother’s room for a while, or it might have been mine. But one of us saw fit to cover this; no doubt, antique with stickers! About two weeks ago I was talking to Dad and he had reason to open the cabinet. You can imagine my surprise when I found this sticker plastered to the inside!

I am not sure about the age of this sticker, but I am sure that us boys would have been somewhere between eight and 12. Back then the old Commodore VIC20 was the go. With it’s brute raw power and 20K of memory! Don’t worry we didn’t get the VIC we got the Commodore 64, double the memory man! Now that’s power!

We had great fun with the games and the useless tape system that never worked! But then disks came out and that was rad, so we didn’t have to keep count on the tape counter anymore. You know how it goes. But this is where we came from and has lead us in some ways to where we are today. I never dreamed that what we could do now would be possibile then.

Maybe my kids will be laughing as hard as I am about what we are using now. As a matter of fact I am sure they will. Enjoy the trip and whatever memories that it causes to surface in you, I did.

VIC20

No Pretty Lights

The other day I went to town the other day and bought a USB hub. So I looked around Harvey Norman and chose one that was compact and reasonable “cool” looking. I found one and purchased it. So I hooked it up that night, but only used it a day or so later. This thing was so cool. When you powered it up it had these very nice blue lights at the front for each port. They were that really great looking iridescent blue. Great I thought…

So a day or so later a hooked up the MP3 Player to transfer about 200 odd megs of podcasts and when I did that, I noticed something was a bit amiss. The transfer was as slow as a wet week. Turns out that the damn thing was a USB 1.1 device! I assumed that it was a USB 2.0, nothing on the box and since that’s the standard these days I thought that would be the case. Wrong. What it took was a hunt on the Internet to get the specs on it and there it was. But I was surprised to find that there was nothing on the box or in the documentation. So I waited for about 10 minutes while it transfer the files…

Yesterday I went back to the store and hunted for another USB hub. I found one. It is pretty basic and the only cool thing about it is that it is aluminium! The only light on it is a red one, at the back to say it is on. Bummer. Yeah sure this one is 2.0 compliant but I can tell you this hub is boring.

So I concluded that I want the one with the cool lights without the slow speed! I think also I am more disappointed that the cool lights had to go back and I have a boring alloy Hub. So I like things to look good and be functional, I am disappointed in myself, I always thought that I did not mind what something looked like, as long as it did the job! Seems not.