My First PC

I found the receipt for the first PC my father bought this last weekend. They are in the process of significant downsizing, and while I don’t want to uselessly clutter up my own space with things that were in their garage, having a PC in my home for my final years of high school affected my entire life.

How much did you pay for your first PC and enough software to make it useful?

My father paid $6512.45 in 1983.

This was for a 64k PC running DOS 2.0, a word processor, and a printer.

MicroAge Computer Store IBM PC Invoice Page 1

MicroAge Computer Store IBM PC Invoice Page 1

MicroAge Computer Store IBM PC Invoice Page 2

MicroAge Computer Store IBM PC Invoice Page 2

The Hayes 1200bps Smart Modem alone cost $699.00.

This machine had two 360k floppy drives. I ran a bulletin board system that booted and ran from one floppy drive, and stored files available for download on the second drive.A box of 10 360k floppy disks cost $50.

The printer adapter was not built into the machine and had to be purchased separately for $150. One extravagance he purchased was the microbuffer for $349 that went in-line between the computer and printer, allowing the computer to send more of its print job to the microbuffer and the microbuffer would feed the printer at the speed it could accept it. This was long before anyone would think about using multitasking in a home computer, or even think that printing might be a separate task.

Skeuomorphism is back

I find it interesting that gizmodo is complaining about skeuomorphism again, but this time saying that it’s a good thing.

I’ve always liked skeuomorphism. I like the look of the new apple watch. I won’t be getting one because I believe that a watch needs to be able to go at least a week without requiring a charge to be useful.

I’ve always hated the US practice of tipping.

I really haven’t liked the increase in expected percentage being given as a tip. The entire reason to use a percentage to begin with is that it gets proportionally larger as the underlying value gets larger.

I came across an article sharing much of my sentiment, and followed it to a second article that had lots more information about the practice of tipping, so I thought I’d share them here.

Tiananmen Square 25th Anniversary and Right To Be Forgotten

I find it extremely interesting on this the 25th anniversary of the suppression of Tianamen Square Protests that Europeans are trying to implement the Right to be forgotten.


25 years ago I had just started working at Microsoft and was using the internet to communicate inexpensively with friends still attending university. I had a screen on my desk that could run 640×480 resolution. I remember seeing the image of a solitary man stopping a line of tanks displayed on screens around the office. I was graduating college, the cold war was ending, and students were demonstrating for democracy in China. What could be better.

This morning on the radio I was hearing about how most of the young in China didn’t know the recent history of demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, and thinking of the irony that Europe is trying to make the right to be forgotten law enforceable. If the knowledge of what the Nazis did had been forgotten by 1970, where would Europe be now?