Greetings from down under!

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Greetings from down under!

Postby simmi » Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:16 am

Greetings everyone!
Yep, I'm a virgin in this forum, so I might as well introduce myself..
I'm originally a true Viking, yes born in Iceland! We migrated down under just over 30 years ago and have been in Sydney, Australia since then until a few years back, we both retired. I've worked in IT since 1978 when I joined IBM Iceland as a service engineer.. Still, my first experience with a computer was before I joined IBM.. I worked at a hifi/tv/radio shop fixing things. The son of the shop's owner came back from some overseas conference with what he called a computer, but didn't have a clue what to do with it. So, I was called in.. What he had was a programmable calculator! I quickly set it up with some calculation programs and showed him how to set them up and he was very happy!

My own first computer was a plain motherboard with a 6502 and a keyboard I bought in an electronics hobby shop during one of my trips to London. I used it to write some basic programs to calculate acoustic properties of various materials for a recording studio I designed, so it was quite useful.. When IBM launched the IBM PC in August 1981 I was of course at IBM and could tinker with it at work when the sales guy's weren't looking. We only had a couple as IBM couldn't make them fast enough. We finally got a big shipment a few months later and then IBM offered all employees an interest free loan to get one, which most of us did. So in October 1981 I was the proud owner of a 5150, with 64Kb of ram, two floppies and an IBM 5151 monochrome monitor. I've had a PC of some sorts ever since! As a service engineer at IBM, I of course had to install and service all these computers, ranging from the PC to the mainframes, which later on became my specialty.. So I must admit I didn't spend a lot of time playing games or tinkering with the PC's at home.

In the late 90's I saw that people were throwing out old computers. (In Sydney the councils have couple of day's each year they come around and pick up trash. So people put out stuff they want to get rid of!) So I picked up an XT and a couple of Apple Mac's etc.. I then got interested in obtaining the good old 5150, so I ended up hooking into a collectors network in Sydney. Through that I ended up with a lot of vintage gear, at least until my garage couldn't take any more and my wife said, enough is enough, which was in early 2000! My horde has mostly been in storage since then. Now I've finally had time to set myself up with all this stuff and a good workshop to restore some of them, so here I am. I must admit I don't have a PCjr, but I do have a couple of PC JX machines. Based on the hardware design, it's basically the PCjr reborn! They both work fine, but have the older Bios ROM which limits the 3.5 floppies to 360Kb and IBM PC JX Dos 2.10.. A later ROM upgrade changed the 3.5 drives to their native capability of 720Kb and included IBM PC JX Dos 3.2. It's great to tinker with these old computers because back then I thought they were so cool, fast and capable, whereas now my mobile phone is faster than all of them put together!!
Looking forward to catch up over the keyboard!
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:58 pm
Location: Tinonee, NSW, Australia

Re: Greetings from down under!

Postby Brutman » Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:48 pm

(Delayed response ... my work weeks are crazy)


I'm also a former IBMer - I worked on the AS/400 midrange system, the BlueGene/L supercomputer, customer consulting and Linux support for PowerPC in my 18.5 years there.

I'll see if I can sneak a PCjr in my luggage the next time I go to Sydney. :-)

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