Hahahahahahahahaha! I just found a wanted ad on CL that included this picture, perfect for this thread! This is what our home computers looked like in 2004. Who knew?
What is the giant steering wheel for??
We had a TI "computer" with no ROM, hooked up to a B&W TV, and a code book of BASIC programs for simple games. I got pretty good at the drawing program which generated a cursor approx 1" by 0.5" in size and could go up, down, and left or right. It was the shortest program, and therefore almost the only one I ever bothered typing up (since I had to do it each and every time I wanted to play).
In 1985, we had an Atari 800 XL, with two disk drives, so we could actually do two operations on occasion. Eventually we had a dot matrix printer attached to it. I gave up using it as a word processor (AtariWriter?) when I realized it was faster to use our electric typewriter than format every page for printing. The typewriter also allowed bold
, something the printer did not.
My school in 1987 had Atari 1200s, and an optional class to learn BASIC programming. The 1200s still used cartridges, and I remember the one for AtariArtist only allowed 4 colors to be displayed at any one time. You could change any of the colors to a new color, but anything you had drawn in the previous color changed to the new color.
I remember loving PrintShop! I created locker art with it, not to mention birthday cards and random flyers.
In 1992, my parents bought me a Mac IIsi as a HS graduation present (which, according to Wikipedia, was discontinued roughly 8 months later). College students with a personal computer in their dorm rooms were definitely in the minority - most people used the computer labs. I even had a modem (1200 bd, woo!) and a printer, so was totally spoiled. I want to say roughly half its life was spent playing Tesserae and Minesweeper.
And my kids will never know a world without touchscreens and instant information. Wonder what they'll wax nostalgic about?