Computer History

I made a post on a forum about my “computer history” and thought I’d share it here on my blog, for the sake of nostalgia.

First computer in the house:

Amstrad Word Processor. Also good for Basic, text adventures and chess.

A bit hazy on the order, but:

Amstrad 464. Games and more Basic programming. Save your games to cassette tape!

And then I got the next model up! An Amstrad 6128, with a colour monitor and a disk drive. The games loaded sooooo fast!

That one was mine. My brother got a black and white TV, so didn’t need a monitor. He got:

ZX Spectrum +2

Next up, Amiga 500:

This was actually usable as a word processor, for image creation, even making animated movies. Also the sound on this system was way ahead of any other system. Oh yeah… it had a mouse!

And then, Amiga 1200:

This motherfucker had a HARD DRIVE! Enough to store something like 20 floppy disks worth of games for super fast loading. And 2MB of RAM. Awesome! I did my first music sequencing with this one.

To be clear, I never bought any of these new. Always second hand, so I was always a bit behind the curve.

Then I bought a 386 PC, with Windows 3.11 for Workgroups. I used it to run Cubasis, a very streamlined midi sequencer which could control my keyboard. Yay.

I guess it looked a bit like this (just like every PC tower case).

Next was 486. It was a bit better.

Next was a Pentium computer, which was my first ever brand new computer. Windows 98! It ran the latest games, and had a 20gb Hard Drive. I put in a Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live card, with a breakout port in the front slots where a CD drive would go. Now I could do audio recording, and play back multiple tracks in real time without lags and skips. I upgraded a few times, and added a DVD drive.

I then bought an all-new PC system, but only used it for a few months. I bought a Macbook for traveling, intending to use the more powerful PC when at home. It turned out that once I got used to OSX, I could never face going back to Windows XP.

As I bought the Macbook as a travel laptop, it was a bit underpowered right from the start. So a few years later I upgraded to a waaaaay more expensive MacBook Pro.

15 inch high res screen, SSD hard drive, 8 GB RAM. Super fast and works perfectly as a desktop (with an external monitor) and for traveling. I also run Windows 7. Moore’s Law kind holds true for me, but I think the price went up each time too.


This takes me back…

80′s themed birthday party? Time to go shopping. I found the red bodywarmer/vest and knew what I had to do!

This pose was from memory (and while drunk), so excuse the mirror imagery. And this photo was taken with my iPhone, so please excuse the quality.


Bonus Audio: Atomic Trivia War 9000


I was a guest again on the trivia panel show Atomic Trivia War 9000. You know what? I surprised myself by how good I am at trivia, even successfully challenging Jason about an incorrect question. Until they turned to comics, cartoons and superheroes. Check it out.


Rough Cut 2004

In 2003 and 2004 I was producing a DVD featuring myself juggling in different styles. I never finished the DVD. Here is a rough cut of a 3 club section. It features a whole host of improbable tricks and even more improbable catches!

It was shot over two days, with Ewan Crichton and Nathan Rae on camera. One idea was to make it look more “action sport” than any previous juggling video, with the camera always moving.

Many tricks I did spontaneously for the camera and I’ve never tried them again. Other tricks were more planned, and some I still practice to this day!

Ah… memories.

Here’s a completely different video I made for the same project:

I have some more segments from the DVD project too. Maybe I’ll dig them out of my old PC and share them one day!