Microsoft Hardware Turns 30, Reflects on 1980s Nostalgia

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rsaotome

I know it's not MS related, but I was only 5, and enjoying my Atari 2600, and anxiously awaiting the release of the Commodore 64. :)

But I did receive my first PC in 1986, and a MS mouse. ^_^

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TrollBot5000

In 1982 I was a newborn. Uhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuh look at all these old geezers reminiscing about floppy disks. Back in my day we had walk 10 miles through the snow to if we wanted to get our hands on the new 486. 640kb thats more space than youll ever need. J/K I respect my elders.

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blackcat77

The Trackball Explorer was the greatest pointing device ever. Why they ever stopped making it is still a mystery to me.

http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-D68-00007-Trackball-Explorer/dp/B00005853Z

Notice that used and refurbs are still selling for many times the original price.

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Jeffrey Deutsch

Back when Ronald Reagan was president, floppy disks were really floppy (5 1/4"). Of course 3 1/2" disks were floppies too...we referred to them as "Macintosh disks"!

Not to mention that when I first used computers - Microsoft Hardware was just being born - the cutting-edge ones were Texas Instruments and Commodore Pet. Computers - back then they were known as microcomputers - often used TV sets for monitors and tape cassettes for disk drives.

Even later on under Reagan, when actual monitors and disk drives became ordinary equipment, when you bought a non-Macintosh computer you had to ask if it was IBM-compatible. The standard monitor was monochrome - you had your choice of amber or green. For maximum storage you made sure to get double-sided, double-density diskettes. Of course, printers were* mainly dot-matrix. Modems were some multiple of 300 baud; you could use an external (like the one in "WarGames") or internal one.

My first PC was an IBM-compatible knockoff of the XT. It had 360K RAM, MS-DOS, no hard drive or modem, two 5 1/4" floppy drives, 4.77 Mhz (or if I wanted to go "turbo" - which I usually did - 10 Mhz), a monochrome (amber) monitor and a dot-matrix printer. And no online database or BBS access. Standard college student package. (By the time I replaced it, Bob Dole was trying to unseat Bill Clinton.)

Oh yes, and WordPerfect.

At the time, John Q. Public had yet to hear about things like electronic mail, portable phones, laptops or this thing called "Windows".

[*] As recently as a year or two ago, some Maryland state agencies *still* use those. Oh well, if you can get stuff printed that way and save money on new printers, why not?

And this just scratches the surface. Beyond computers, society was *way* different in the 80s....

Jeff Deutsch

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ApathyCurve

In 1982 I was playing computer games and learning to program in BASIC... on an Apple ][

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randomgeek

Yeah my Microsoft Optical mouse I bought 10 years ago won't work right on Win 7 but it works fine on XP, as for 1982 I was in high school having fun.

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MrHasselblad

Think of it as a combination of drivers and perhaps a bit of code. Go on Microsoft forums with the specifics and I'm sure that someone could in fact make it work.

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NavarWynn

Memories? The Microsoft mouse my wife bought last year worked WORSE than the one I had 15yrs ago.

It used to be they produced a reasonably quality product that lasted AND worked well....now? not so much. hmmm, kind of like their software ;-) At least the mice don't have utterly useless 'ribbons' (that get in the way of getting, you know, actual work done) hanging off them...

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