Slake your thirst
My good friend and fellow CAP squadron member, Dave Martin, and I had a mini-adventure at the long-legendary TRW swap meet up in the South Bay of SoCal last weekend. Dave is a brilliant guy fro whom I have a deep admiration for. He is an MIT graduate (as was my dad) who is in a continual contest with his own intellectual curiosity and the result is an upwelling of knowledge for all within proximity or earshot. He is a virtual Artesian spring that one only need dip a cup into for refreshment.
O.K., stick with me now, because this is hyper-tangential Tinkers-to-evers-to-Chance Rube Goldberg. Dave and I stopped by an electronics store after our meanderings (and a truly fine Mexican meal) whereupon he saw a Raspberry Pi offered for around $40. When he fully satisfied my thirst for knowledge on what the devil this was, he simultaneously awakened in me memories of an old KayPro 2X I have lovingly stored away and a desire to delve more into the nascent trend of "RetroComputing"
So then there's that..
Get your MITs on one of these
So, never content to stick to the subject, I stumbled upon a You Tube video by Jeff Tranter discussing the Briel Altair 8800 kit he recently purchased. Now Jeff is also an amazing guy. He publishes a fantastic series of videos of largely vintage Heath equipment but has done a series of the Altair Briel sells. Here is the last in the series where he brings up CP/M on his newly-assembled kit:
I commend the entire four videos to you -- and subscribing to Jeff's works on You Tube for a thoroughly fascinating tour through the Heathkit past as well.
Anyway, to unwind the loops, I need to revive my KayPro so I can see if my talent at C programming -- that I learned somewhat after my "Darth Vader's Lunch Box" started gathering dust. "And why revive," you ask? Well, it saves me about $350 over getting the Briel kits for one. It's an act of love and regard for a wonderful piece of machinery that essentially helped me break away form the world of Big Blue IBM and mainframes and get into the rebellious of C code-slingers who wrote stuff more for love rather than money.
Could I do it on that platform? Could I go back and conquer or master? Well, with inspiration from Dave and Mr Tranter, I sure got the energy to try it again.
Now, the bad things.
Well, I could (and probably will) go on and on with the remembrances, but I will spare that for the series I contemplate documenting the revival. So, I guess that's a good thing after all.
Dawn of time as we know it..
The pioneers of this revolution were kind of like the guys who preceded George Washington, the first president elected after our Constitution was ordained. There were a number of them -- largely forgotten -- who saw us through the tumultuous years between the Revolution and the Constitution. They deserve some credit for the role they played in making this country what it is now -- or at least what it was before the incompetent boob who is running the show has is attempting to make it.
Similarly, there were giants who pioneered what we blithely take for granted now. When they stopped walking the land, it was subsumed by a few nutless Nancy Boys whom the popular media and the whole slew of fruity tutu-wearing Apple-using faggots deem as the forefathers of the industry.
Among my heroes -- most unsung -- are folks who carved this niche out of the granite unknown of technical mystery. They invented stuff like operating systems, they created hand-crafted products that operated on thin air alone, and they were so wrapped up, so obsessed with their creativity that the preening, boy-men walked in and plundered.
I will not re-fight the battles that have raged for several decades. Rather, I would say that they were the pioneers who were my true heroes and not the ones who came after the redskins were subdued.
For example, go all over the internet and you will see the battle raging about how the panty-wearing Harvard dropout stole the OS market from the guy who wrote the first run-everywhere micro OS.
Consider Gary Kildall, CP/M creator..
..versus Little Billy Gates.
Or, consider, consider the guy who every Apple-using fairy swoons over versus the guy who was the "R" in K&R C:
Makes you want to throw up, don't it. In fact, I am taking a break to go get a vomit bag. Be back in a sec.