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Old 07-30-2014, 09:33 PM   #301
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I remember my Amiga 1000 and the 2000, too bad Commodore f**k it up.
I've often wondered what if Atari and Commodore had merged instead of fighting each other...

Always found it funny that the people who designed the Atari 8-bit (400/800/XL/etc.) machine also designed the Amiga and the people who did the Commodore 64 also did the Atari ST
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:08 PM   #302
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I've often wondered what if Atari and Commodore had merged instead of fighting each other...

Always found it funny that the people who designed the Atari 8-bit (400/800/XL/etc.) machine also designed the Amiga and the people who did the Commodore 64 also did the Atari ST
Not only that, Microsoft BASIC ended up on the Amiga because Jack Trimmilli (not sure of the spelling) CEO of Atari broke his contract with Bill Gates to install the "new" Windows OS on the Atari ST, would have been the first computer to have it. Also, Word, later to become Microsoft Word was an Amiga word processor.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:25 PM   #303
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Not only that, Microsoft BASIC ended up on the Amiga because Jack Trimmilli (not sure of the spelling) CEO of Atari broke his contract with Bill Gates to install the "new" Windows OS on the Atari ST, would have been the first computer to have it. Also, Word, later to become Microsoft Word was an Amiga word processor.
The reason Jack Tramiel (founder of Commodore and later CEO of Atari) didn't want to have Windows on the Atari ST is because MS had said it would take them 3 years to do so and they couldn't wait that long.

Am glad they went with GEM from Digital Research though...

As for Word being on the Amiga: I had never heard of it and can't find any evidence of it ever existing for the Amiga. The first version of MS Word was released in 1983 for Xenix. Later versions were released for MS DOS, Mac OS, Windows and even Atari ST...
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:47 PM   #304
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IBM introduced the Personal Computer on August 12, 1981. Pricing started at $1,565 for a configuration with 16K RAM, Color Graphics Adapter, and no disk drives.

So a $900 wholesale price was probably reasonable for how they're portraying everything.
Not with a (however-big-it-is) LCD screen in those days...
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:09 PM   #305
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Not with a (however-big-it-is) LCD screen in those days...
The Tandy/Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100 had a 240x64 addressable pixel LCD screen, was introduced in 1983, and started around $1,000.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRS-80_Model_100


The TRS-80 Model 200 was introduced in 1984, had a 240x128 addressable pixel LCD display, and was priced at $999.

http://oldcomputers.net/trs200.html
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:29 PM   #306
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The Tandy/Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100 had a 240x64 addressable pixel LCD screen, was introduced in 1983, and started around $1,000.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRS-80_Model_100


The TRS-80 Model 200 was introduced in 1984, had a 240x128 addressable pixel LCD display, and was priced at $999.

http://oldcomputers.net/trs200.html
I really wasn't trying to get into an argument about a fictional design in a fictional show... But comparing a PC-compatible (portable, even) real world unit of those days, which retailed ~$3500 (so let's give it a wholesale cost half that), and adding the cost of of large-ish, backlit LCD (not the calculator-style displays), and I don't think you get there...

But obviously technical / historical accuracy was lost long ago on the show - and I'm sorry I brought any of those topics up. And I wouldn't have if there hadn't been so much chatter about "how accurate" the show was at the open.

I mean, if their writers don't catch even simple things like the pronunciation of
DEC (twice!), fact-checking anything else is pointless.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:04 AM   #307
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Well, the Toshiba T1100 (pretty much the first laptop, not luggable) cost $1900 at launch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toshiba_T1100

No, it's not a Giant. It's just an IBM PC XT clone with the same speed. And also released 3 years later in 1986. (Giant was "released" in 1983 since it was NOvember 1983 for Comdex).
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:00 AM   #308
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Well, it's too bad the last two episodes were the best of the bunch - unless the ratings picked up it doesn't sound promising for another season.

I wonder if enough viewers were able to make the leap that they were talking about the Macintosh ad during the Super Bowl? They mentioned it as a game (Redskins vs. Raiders), but not as the Super Bowl(tm) - probably for the same reason! I guess the assumption is that the viewers all know that bit of history...

And I figured something bad was going to happen to that first shipment - but I rolled my eyes at Joe burning it - really? At least that wasn't the final scene (it made me check the clock as I kinda expected that given the writing...)
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:23 AM   #309
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I found it very odd that the burned shipment was never mentioned. No dealing with the fallout. No irate ComputerLand. No insurance claim. Just Gordon continuing to lead what appears to be a successful company.

And I wonder if the writers had a good idea that renewal was unlikely before they wrote the finale. Because if they were planning on a second season, I don't think they'd have Gordon, Joe, and Cameron all doing completely different things. Because if there is a S2 and they're not all back together a at Cardiff, that would be pretty lame.
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:00 PM   #310
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I enjoyed this show. I hope it comes back next season, or perhaps Netflix could pick it up. That is funny how Cameron looks like the lady who throws the hammer at the video screen in the Mac commercial. I wondering that was planned or if someone just made that observation later while filming the show.

One nitpick. Joe kept using the term "Killer App". I didn't think that term existed back then. According to Merriam Webster online it wasn't first used until 1988.
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:04 PM   #311
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I'm a bit annoyed that the idea of a next machine wouldn't be mention to Joe. Ultimately there has to be a feature freeze or your product will never ship, so take all those great ideas burning a hole in your pocket and put them into your next design, which you are working on, right.... RIGHT?
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:18 PM   #312
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I'm pretty sure the extent of the advance thought put into development for this show was akin to "hey, wouldn't it be neat to have a show about the startup of the compatible PC market?" Then someone else decided it needed intrigue and hacking and sex and backroom dealing so they fired everyone and hired the latest television writers coming out of DeVry.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:08 PM   #313
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I enjoyed this show. I hope it comes back next season, or perhaps Netflix could pick it up. That is funny how Cameron looks like the lady who throws the hammer at the video screen in the Mac commercial. I wondering that was planned or if someone just made that observation later while filming the show.
Or they just read their reviews. Joe Poniewozik, the TV critic for Time, has been pointing out yesterday and today on Twitter that his review of the pilot episode pointed out that Cameron looked like the girl from the Apple ad.

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One nitpick. Joe kept using the term "Killer App". I didn't think that term existed back then. According to Merriam Webster online it wasn't first used until 1988.
It didn't bother me so much that he used that term, but that nobody seemed to have any concept of what it meant, including Joe. It was like Joe wanted to include a more engaging OS rather than a "killer app." But he'd already killed the OS created by Cameron (no idea why he couldn't keep that around for a future release), and he wanted a GUI like the Mac, but like Cameron's OS, that would likely require much more expensive hardware.

What Joe and the developers really should have been thinking about is that the vast majority of their customers would be businesses, so what application would be most beneficial to business people. And the obvious answer is a word processor. I don't know what the status of the various other word processing programs (WordPerfect, WordStar, Word, etc.) was in early 1984, but I'd think that if Joe really wanted to bundle an app that would make his PC indispensable, that's what they should have been working on.

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I'm a bit annoyed that the idea of a next machine wouldn't be mention to Joe. Ultimately there has to be a feature freeze or your product will never ship, so take all those great ideas burning a hole in your pocket and put them into your next design, which you are working on, right.... RIGHT?
I thought Gordon should have mentioned that as well. Once they already ordered the spec machines, it was too late to be thinking of adding features to that release. Joe should have been focused on Giant 2.0, and Gordon should have been guiding Joe's energies in that direction.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:25 PM   #314
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I think Gordon summed it up well, they already had a killer app, and that was Lotus123, since they were building an IBM compatible. Their killer app was the ability to run apps that ran on IBM at a lower cost.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:04 PM   #315
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I think Gordon summed it up well, they already had a killer app, and that was Lotus123, since they were building an IBM compatible. Their killer app was the ability to run apps that ran on IBM at a lower cost.
In Gordon's mind, that was their killer app. He understood that they were competing in a market where price is the only real differentiator. But Joe was trying to differentiate the Giant from every other PC compatible, and make the Giant somehow more preferable than other compatibles on a factor other than price. This is why he wanted to sell it with an integrated screen. This is why he wanted it to be lighter than the competition. This is why he wanted it faster than the competition. This is why he wanted Cameron's proprietary OS. But ultimately, what he was able to sell was just a "soulless" compatible that happened to be slightly cheaper than the competition. So Joe is feeling very unfulfilled and wants to figure out a way to still sneak something into the deal that will keep Giant on top, even when some other competitor comes along and undercuts their price.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:19 PM   #316
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Someone else mentioned it, so I won't spoiler it.

I totally don't get why Joe burned the truck..

and I presume it was his _mother_ he was going to hike up to see? It was an hour drive, but he was going to hike? Even though they said it was on dirt roads & fire trails, something like that.. that seems like it would be an AWFULLY long hike, even if he were able to walk a more direct route there.

I think there were TWO technical nitpicks I saw in this episode. (Remember, I realize it's fiction... but my take is they've been _reasonably_ consistent with real history except for their new machine/OS.)

I don't think 2400 bits/second modems were common in the timeframe of this show (1984). In my very simplistic searching of wikipedia, I couldn't find ratification dates of the standards.. But I did find this:
Quote:
Voiceband modems generally remained at 300 and 1,200 bit/s (V.21 and V.22) into the mid-1980s. A V.22bis 2,400-bit/s system similar in concept to the 1,200-bit/s Bell 212 signaling was introduced in the U.S., and a slightly different one in Europe. .... By the late 1980s, most modems could support all of these standards and 2,400-bit/s operation was becoming common.
I think it was a 2400 bits/second modem that I got as a high school graduation present in 1987.. and that was after they had become somewhat cheaper.. So MAYBE they were available before that, but I don't think so.

You did hear modem sounds in the episode, and they ALSO talked about "9600 baud" and such. I won't nitpick the bits/s vs baud technical correctness issue, but they COULD have been talking about serial port bandwidth or somesuch. (I think not, since they were basically talking about CompuServe, etc..)

That's the only one that I remember that stuck out..
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:13 PM   #317
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Was anybody doing massively multi-player online games in 1984, like Cameron wants to do? She specifically said "game", not "chat" or "meet" like AOL and CompuServe did.
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:19 AM   #318
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Was anybody doing massively multi-player online games in 1984, like Cameron wants to do? She specifically said "game", not "chat" or "meet" like AOL and CompuServe did.
No, I think so, but Cameron want to build a "game machine", this is why she hire Gordon's wife. Would love to see this show renew just to see where this plot line go.
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:30 AM   #319
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No, I think so, but Cameron want to build a "game machine"
Cameron said "order modem by mail", so I assume she meant an MMO of some sort, which I don't believe existed then.
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:38 AM   #320
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Cameron said "order modem by mail", so I assume she meant an MMO of some sort, which I don't believe existed then.
I understand what you're saying, but I think the real reason she hire Gordon wife it to build a "game machine"
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:34 AM   #321
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I understand what you're saying, but I think the real reason she hire Gordon wife it to build a "game machine"
She worked at a phone company, she had ideas how to make communications faster, improve on the existing modems, etc.

I think she wants to make better modems optimised for online gaming which can connect to regular PCs.

She was talking about (text) adventures stuff (among other things) so it would need a keyboard and a proper screen and especially since she was indeed saying they would mail the modems out to their customers the conclusion that she wants to make modems for online gaming seems slightly more correct...
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:48 AM   #322
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No, I think so, but Cameron want to build a "game machine", this is why she hire Gordon's wife. Would love to see this show renew just to see where this plot line go.
I concur. I would love to see where this is going.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:08 AM   #323
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Someone else mentioned it, so I won't spoiler it.

I totally don't get why Joe burned the truck..

and I presume it was his _mother_ he was going to hike up to see? It was an hour drive, but he was going to hike? Even though they said it was on dirt roads & fire trails, something like that.. that seems like it would be an AWFULLY long hike, even if he were able to walk a more direct route there.

I think there were TWO technical nitpicks I saw in this episode. (Remember, I realize it's fiction... but my take is they've been _reasonably_ consistent with real history except for their new machine/OS.)

I don't think 2400 bits/second modems were common in the timeframe of this show (1984). In my very simplistic searching of wikipedia, I couldn't find ratification dates of the standards.. But I did find this:


I think it was a 2400 bits/second modem that I got as a high school graduation present in 1987.. and that was after they had become somewhat cheaper.. So MAYBE they were available before that, but I don't think so.

You did hear modem sounds in the episode, and they ALSO talked about "9600 baud" and such. I won't nitpick the bits/s vs baud technical correctness issue, but they COULD have been talking about serial port bandwidth or somesuch. (I think not, since they were basically talking about CompuServe, etc..)

That's the only one that I remember that stuck out..
The modem sounds were too long from what I remember about 2400 baud modems. Granted it's been a long time, but I do remember the sounds being much quicker the slower the modem was. I don't think I had 2400 until very late 80s or early 90s. My first two modems (both for my Atari 800XL) were 300 and then 1200. The 1200 had both the propitiatory Atari serial port and a standard serial port so I was able to use it on my first PC clone.

Overall the series was disappointing to me, not because of the tech aspect, but because I felt that these disfunctional people could no way do ANYTHING successful. They were ALL too strongheaded in their thoughts and they couldn't get together on ONE thing of importance. The Lee Pace character was such a jerk that there's no way I'd let him lead a kindergarten recess let alone a potentially lucrative tech company. And his actions were really disparaging. The characters were so wishy washy in their loyalties that it just didn't seem real. One minute they are working as a team, and 5 minutes later they are all undercutting each other. It didn't make sense.

I think you could have made a compelling story about the same topic without the dumb dramatics. There were some good episodes. I thought the Comdex episode was well done, then it got stupid again this week.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:17 AM   #324
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I don't think 2400 bits/second modems were common in the timeframe of this show (1984). In my very simplistic searching of wikipedia, I couldn't find ratification dates of the standards.. But I did find this:
V22.bis (2400 bp/s) was ratified in 1984. But there were a few models on the market before the finalization of the spec. Telebit also had a proprietary modem out that was over 18000 bp/s in 1984.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:47 AM   #325
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The modem sounds were too long from what I remember about 2400 baud modems.
i noticed this, i remember the longer handshakes with 9600 baud error correcting modems in the early 90s.
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Overall the series was disappointing to me, not because of the tech aspect, but because I felt that these disfunctional people could no way do ANYTHING successful...The characters were so wishy washy in their loyalties that it just didn't seem real. One minute they are working as a team, and 5 minutes later they are all undercutting each other...I think you could have made a compelling story about the same topic without the dumb dramatics.
this sums up the series for me - so much potential, wasted on overly dramatic backstabbing...i can't remember such an unnecessarily antagonistic cast.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:00 AM   #326
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V22.bis (2400 bp/s) was ratified in 1984. But there were a few models on the market before the finalization of the spec. Telebit also had a proprietary modem out that was over 18000 bp/s in 1984.
I had two Telebit modems. Felt like I had to get a mortgage to pay for them. It took me years after they were basically useless old tech to be able to throw them away just because of how much they cost.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:36 AM   #327
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Overall the series was disappointing to me, not because of the tech aspect, but because I felt that these disfunctional people could no way do ANYTHING successful. They were ALL too strongheaded in their thoughts and they couldn't get together on ONE thing of importance. The Lee Pace character was such a jerk that there's no way I'd let him lead a kindergarten recess let alone a potentially lucrative tech company. And his actions were really disparaging. The characters were so wishy washy in their loyalties that it just didn't seem real. One minute they are working as a team, and 5 minutes later they are all undercutting each other. It didn't make sense.
Agreed. As I was watching this final episode, I just kept thinking to myself that something has to go wrong, the Cardiff Giant can't actually be a success. That thinking is because of how the show was built and written. You never got a real sense that these people would succeed.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:32 AM   #328
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Agreed. As I was watching this final episode, I just kept thinking to myself that something has to go wrong, the Cardiff Giant can't actually be a success. That thinking is because of how the show was built and written. You never got a real sense that these people would succeed.
And when they did come close to succeeding, one of them just blew it up, for no reason that makes any sense. This topic could be done so much better.
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:34 PM   #329
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Personally I think Joe is Manic/Depressive. He was manic during the whole build up and when the goal was finally achieved it was empty to him. He goes into destruction mode and runs away. The final scene with him appears to be some new quest.

Gordon almost in a similar fashion was frustrated with having to fight against Joe and the machine. Once he got it all at the end he looked quite empty.

The girls seemed happy because they were in the startup and not the machine.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:08 PM   #330
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A couple of thoughts on this show now that it's over for the season. Hopefully it comes back next year.

I look upon this as a parallel universe. Having lived through the '80s and being peripherally involved in the PC world at that time and watching the evolution of the PC clones etc... I found it interesting.

The Giant reminded me of a GRID laptop: https://www.google.com/search?q=grid...w=1801&bih=943



I'm as confused as everyone as to why Joe burned up the shipment and nothing more was said about it. Unless it harkens back to the same theme that he doesn't create anything but destroys everything he touches, i.e. the IBM data center.

Those old Hayes modems brought back memories.
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