03 July, 2006

You never forget your first.

I feel the need to say this now because I just ran across a website for the ORIC 1 (my first PC) and it took me back to the 80s in a haze of pure nostalgia. I was however struck by the difference between my old ORIC and the DELL sitting in my pocket!
My ORIC had a 1 MHz processor, 48KB of RAM (it was the top of the line model) and 16 KB of ROM. Plus you could add a tape drive.
My new AXIM has 416 MHz processor, 64 MB RAM and 128 MB of flash ROM. But it has no tape drive, sure it has wi-fi and blue tooth and SD card slot, but where is the tape drive?
While Dell try to sell their machine based on the fact that it would fit in your pocket, my old ORIC could do that, if I was wearing very big cargo pants. Sure the lack of monitor on the ORIC was a problem (unless I put a TV in my other pocket), but I could plug it into any TV (and any tape player) when I got to my destination.
The computer that came after the ORIC (for me) was an apple IIe Hong Kong knockoff and there was no way that would have fit in my pocket. It failed in one big area over the ORIC, colour. The ORIC had 8 colours the apple had black and amber, but then it had two (count them, two) floppy drives. And the disks were floppy!
But, as they say you never forget your first and no matter how fancy computers get I'll still be sitting in my (futuristic, laser guided) rocking char trying to explain to the great grandkids what it was like to use a 1 MHz processor and how fantastic life was when we had 8 colours and how we would write circular programs that looped with goto commands.
Ahh how we laughed.

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