Thursday, 24 January 2008

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be

A recent post on an internal Yahoo maillist, triggered a wave of nostalgia for the old old days of computing. 

I was a computer enthusiast during the halcyon days of the early microcomputer hobby scene here in the UK, in particular i was very active in the NatSemi SCMP and SCMP II circles, having built several SCMP based systems and published in Personal Computer World, designs for Memory extensions and Multiprocessor add-ons to the basic Sinclair MK14 microcomputer trainer kit. 

Reading though some of the sites that exist to document this era, brings misty tears to my eyes, I still remember the days and nights locked away in what was at that time an old coal storage space in my first flat, that i had converted to a workshop, soldering iron in hand, building more and more bizarre variations.

The most extreme was a system that could have its CPU switched between a SCMP II, a 6502 and a 8080, so that i could run programs published for any of those architectures, without the then high investment in dedicated RAM and IO peripherals for each architecture. 

I still remember my then wife, complaining bitterly about the tiny solder beads, and small lengths of wire wrap that insinuated themselves into the living room carpet, and the batik like stains on all my jeans, from the ferric chloride used to etch my own circuit boards. 

Ahh those where the days, happy times. 

see for more fun.

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