Microsoft Hatred FAQ

Peter T. Breuer ptb at
Sat Oct 15 08:27:41 CEST 2005

In comp.os.linux.misc Jeroen Wenting <jwenting at hornet dot demon dot nl> wrote:
> Without Microsoft 90% of us would never have seen a computer more powerful 
> than a ZX-81 and 90% of the rest of us would never have used only dumb 
> mainframe terminals.

Uh - when microsoft produced dos 1.0, or whatever it was, I was sitting
at my Sun 360 workstation (with 4M of RAM, later upgraded to 8M),
running SunOS 3.8 or thereabouts.

And a mean game of tetris it played too. Chess wasn't worth the
humiliation at level 5.

I believe every researcher in britain got one as a matter of course, but
they only replaced the perq machines that everyone had had to put up
with before then.  The vaxen running hpux or so were plentiful too, and
had fine monitors, tending more to the PC shape.  We'd made our own word
processor machines and spreadsheet automatons before that.  It didn't
take that many components, just a good engineer and a room full of
lackeys with soddering irons.  The BBC were selling kits too (what were
they?  Ataris?), not that I ever fell for that.

Maybe five years earlier I'd designed and built my own computer from
scratch using the MC 6802 chip as processor.  Somebody really should
have told me about assembler - I wrote in machine code, flashing the
code into prom with a 100ms pulse from a 16V battery.  Goodness knows
how much memory I had ...  maybe a few KB.

I think the Suns were abut $30000 each when they first appeared, but
prices dropped rapidly so that  after maybe three years the standard
price was about $8000. PCs had appeared and came in at about $4000, if I
recall right, so there was a price differential but it wasn't huge,
especially when a Sun could support a whole research team via vt100
lines, and a PC was a one-person job, thanks to the o/s.


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