Halt and Catch Fire AMC HD June 1, 2014 - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 332 Old 07-15-2014, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Myself, I believe the show does a pretty good job with the period detail, and I posted such a while back .. as far as the workspace goes, as a guy that lived thru that era, it's pretty well what it was like ..

Although it is not quite spot on time accurate, I would not mind seeing a Transformer or a GoBot on a desk here and there .. I would also tend to think that stores that are still in existence like Radio Shack would welcome a free placement in the show .. on placing a brick phone in the show, the timeframe is right on as far as 1983, but there were not a lot of users ..

The Dallas / Ft Worth metro area was not a hotbed of fashion during that era .. boots and cowboy hats were considered fashion ..

Historically, Texas was hard hit by the Savings and Loan crisis, S&L's carried 50% of the Home Loan market at the time and Texas contained 40% of the S&L failures .. mortgage loans had exploded in the late 1970's, early 1980's .. and much of it was unsound .. one of the reasons I felt some deja vu in 2007-2008 when the "Great Recession" came down ..

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post #182 of 332 Old 07-16-2014, 06:52 PM
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Myself, I believe the show does a pretty good job with the period detail, and I posted such a while back .. as far as the workspace goes, as a guy that lived thru that era, it's pretty well what it was like ..
The problem is, it's not enough to just be accurate with this show because the 80's was such a vivid time for some many people. To do the 80's, you have to do it to excess the way everyone did it back then.

The 80's was the start of "spend now, pay later". Cars had squared off, razor thin front ends to match the blade the party set was cutting their coke with. The 80's was when the cable industry took off with the establishment of networks like ESPN, MTV and CNN. We had Michael Jackson, the Space Shuttle and Ronald Reagan, all three of which we looked at as being gravity defying back then. We thought technology was the future with shows like Knight Rider, Airwolf and Street Hawk. We saw a time machine made out of a Delorean, the rebirth of Star Trek and the first new broadcast TV network in about 40 years.

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Although it is not quite spot on time accurate, I would not mind seeing a Transformer or a GoBot on a desk here and there .. I would also tend to think that stores that are still in existence like Radio Shack would welcome a free placement in the show .. on placing a brick phone in the show, the timeframe is right on as far as 1983, but there were not a lot of users ..
Well, if it actually makes it to a second season, they could cover 1984, which means they'd not only have Transformers, but the advent of the Macintosh.

As far as the cell phone, a guy like Joe would have one. Heck, if he didn't have one, he's so image conscious, he'd have a fake one - which many people back then actually did, just to look more important.

...and speaking of Apple, in all the conversations they had about the cost of the system, I don't think any of those guys brought up the Lisa, which was a massively expensive system and and even bigger failure for Apple pre-Mac.

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The Dallas / Ft Worth metro area was not a hotbed of fashion during that era .. boots and cowboy hats were considered fashion ..

Historically, Texas was hard hit by the Savings and Loan crisis, S&L's carried 50% of the Home Loan market at the time and Texas contained 40% of the S&L failures .. mortgage loans had exploded in the late 1970's, early 1980's .. and much of it was unsound .. one of the reasons I felt some deja vu in 2007-2008 when the "Great Recession" came down ..
Even going that route, I'm not seeing much of that on the show. It doesn't feel like Texas, either - 80's or not. For all they give an atmosphere for the show, it could be located in Petaluma.

At least The Americans, despite not being shot there, gives a feeling of DC, especially with those 70's era "cement bunker architecture" government workers so often worked in. We have one of those giant eyesores in my home town - it's grid a cement squares meant solely to house workers with little regard for those that have to look at it. Think J. Edgar Hoover building, but even uglier with 5 times as many stories so you see it from everywhere in the city.
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post #183 of 332 Old 07-20-2014, 08:05 PM
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That was a damn good episode and Comdex next week looks good too.
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post #184 of 332 Old 07-20-2014, 09:22 PM
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That was a damn good episode and Comdex next week looks good too.
Yep, I really like this show, I hope some way or the other it survives. Even got Donna on board now.
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post #185 of 332 Old 07-22-2014, 09:00 AM
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They got the Comdex booth right next to Commodore and Tandy...

For a trip down memory lane- here's a three part video walk-through of the fall 1983 Comdex:

At 15m40s in you'll see a very young Bill Gates....


Look at those styles oh my!
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post #186 of 332 Old 07-22-2014, 11:22 AM
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My feet hurt already!
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post #187 of 332 Old 07-22-2014, 11:30 AM
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My feet hurt already!
My compound eyes and ears aren't. Is 1983 the oldest? If not, when did Comdex start? We should look for the older ones.
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post #188 of 332 Old 07-22-2014, 11:48 AM
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I was about to give up on this show. Then I read that this latest episode was really good. I agree, best one so far. The Donna twist, was awesome.

RIP John, my best friend. Oct 17th 1966 - Nov 13th 2010

RIP Victor, my dad, June 26th 1927 - April 13th 2011
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post #189 of 332 Old 07-22-2014, 11:33 PM
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Just caught up on the DVR (so I can read and post on this thread) and both my wife and I are really enjoying this.

The Comdex episode next week will bring back memories as I was regular attendee at Comdex in the 80's and 90's.

I see a few posts saying ' if it survives' - are the ratings poor? Is it likely to get a second season?

I thought it was only Network TV were I enjoyed a show and then it got cancelled -seems it might be happening on cable as well (just discovered Rubicon on Amazon and sad it only got one series...)

That said we have pretty much given up on the Network shows - lot of good shows on cable + Netflix/Amazon/Hulu+ for older and international shows are better than whatever the latest detective/crime drama on Network TV...
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post #190 of 332 Old 07-22-2014, 11:58 PM
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BTW, I had a good laugh: the "Giant" portable PC they're developing looks a heckuva lot like Apple's first Macintosh Portable...



This computer came out in September of 1989, and (to me) was a clunker even then. Given that the show takes place around 1983 -- I think we're in November for Comdex, right? -- it's pretty advanced for the time.

I've rarely seen a show with a lead character as flawed yet as charismatic as Joe in this show. He's a real enigma, and you never really know what kind of reality he's spinning at any one time.
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post #191 of 332 Old 07-23-2014, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by replayrob View Post
They got the Comdex booth right next to Commodore and Tandy...

For a trip down memory lane- here's a three part video walk-through of the fall 1983 Comdex:

At 15m40s in you'll see a very young Bill Gates....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VNS8TE4XhU

Look at those styles oh my!
I hope the Halt research folks viewed that video before they shot the scenes for the show. It would be awesome if they could come even close to that atmosphere.

However, my fear is that their reproduction of it will look more like this:

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post #192 of 332 Old 07-23-2014, 07:12 AM
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I hope the Halt research folks viewed that video before they shot the scenes for the show. It would be awesome if they could come even close to that atmosphere.
Well it wouldn't be difficult or expensive to get some 1983 vintage computers..
Commodore had the C64 out at that time, Tandy had the TRS-80 Model 2000, Color Computer and the portable Model 100 out and as we know TI had the 994a- all are readily available on ebay for cheap...
http://www.ebay.com/sch/Vintage-Comp...ntage+computer



For fun- here's some early Tandy Computer catalogs from 1977-1992 :
http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/computer.html

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post #193 of 332 Old 07-23-2014, 07:23 AM
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Well it wouldn't be difficult or expensive to get some 1983 vintage computers..
Commodore had the C64 out at that time, Tandy had the TRS-80 Model 2000, Color Computer and the portable Model 100 out and as we know TI had the 994a- all are readily available on ebay for cheap...
http://www.ebay.com/sch/Vintage-Comp...ntage+computer



For fun- here's some early Tandy Computer catalogs from 1977-1992 :
http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/computer.html
They don't even need to do that.

There are rental companies that have all that stuff, all cataloged for exactly what era they fit into.

As far as the event itself, the cheapest way to go about it is to rent one of the very many vacant retail big box storefronts, fill it with mockups with all the booths and grab some establishing shots of the whole view to sell it. Then clear everyone unnecessary out and shoot your main drama in a smaller, isolated portion where you can't see the rest of the "venue". Create deliberate choke points to limit the number of extras during those portions.

Heck, fort the wide shots, you don't even need that many computers. Just print a bunch of those cardboard fake ones they used to place on office furniture to show how it might look with a 40 pound home computer with CRT would look on it.

Just the fact that half the dividers are curtains at these events makes it cheap to build - probably cheaper than those outdoor shoots of the family truckster they're driving to the event.
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post #194 of 332 Old 07-23-2014, 04:43 PM
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I never went to Comdex and only to CES starting in 1994 on the company tab. To E3 in 1996 at what is now the Staples Center in LA which was a blast. A Canadian game controller company threw a party in the Penthouse at the Century Plaza. Wolfgang Puck catered and the Playboy Mansion hosted the bar. One of the guys from my company told the Playboy girls that I was an astrologer and they lined up for readings. The next week at work guys were coming by asking if I could teach them astrology.

My last CES was in 2003 and I attended the AVSForum party. The Runco founder came in dressed up as Hannibal to give his talk. If you walked the floors at CES you would know what I mean about my feet!
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post #195 of 332 Old 07-23-2014, 04:50 PM
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I never went to Comdex and only to CES starting in 1994 on the company tab. To E3 in 1996 at what is now the Staples Center in LA which was a blast. A Canadian game controller company threw a party in the Penthouse at the Century Plaza. Wolfgang Puck catered and the Playboy Mansion hosted the bar. One of the guys from my company told the Playboy girls that I was an astrologer and they lined up for readings. The next week at work guys were coming by asking if I could teach them astrology.

My last CES was in 2003 and I attended the AVSForum party. The Runco founder came in dressed up as Hannibal to give his talk. If you walked the floors at CES you would know what I mean about my feet!
Heh, I finally went to my first E3 back in June 2014. I used to be a big video gamer (mostly on computers). It was awesome. I even met the co-creator of Elite games! The other event was Internet World during my dotcom days.
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post #196 of 332 Old 07-23-2014, 05:47 PM
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As far as the event itself, the cheapest way to go about it is to rent one of the very many vacant retail big box storefronts, fill it with mockups with all the booths and grab some establishing shots of the whole view to sell it. Then clear everyone unnecessary out and shoot your main drama in a smaller, isolated portion where you can't see the rest of the "venue". Create deliberate choke points to limit the number of extras during those portions.

Heck, fort the wide shots, you don't even need that many computers. Just print a bunch of those cardboard fake ones they used to place on office furniture to show how it might look with a 40 pound home computer with CRT would look on it.
You are mistaken, in that I was there at Comdex in 1983 (all the way until the event started to collapse in 1999-2000. All of my memories have visuals of massive, gigantic halls with 50,000+ people jamming the aisles... which is the way the Vegas Convention Center was in that period (the old "flying saucer" building, since demolished). I think it would be very difficult and expensive to reproduce that convention, especially on a cable TV budget where at best about $1.5M-$2M per episode.

From the looks of the promo, it appears that they aren't able to get on the show floor and instead wind up in a hotel room, and that would be fairly easy to do. But maybe I misinterpreted the promo. In truth, every big manufacturer had both a big show booth and a private hotel demo suite, so maybe the promo just showed the latter. But when you have a show booth, you need dozens of people to put the booth together, you need demo people to explain the device, sales people to write up orders, tons of brochures, graphic posters and so on... it's a huge enterprise. I don't think you can have a cheap booth for less than $150K, and a big booth would literally be $1 million+. Even in the 1980s.
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post #197 of 332 Old 07-23-2014, 07:04 PM
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You are mistaken, in that I was there at Comdex in 1983 (all the way until the event started to collapse in 1999-2000. All of my memories have visuals of massive, gigantic halls with 50,000+ people jamming the aisles... which is the way the Vegas Convention Center was in that period (the old "flying saucer" building, since demolished). I think it would be very difficult and expensive to reproduce that convention, especially on a cable TV budget where at best about $1.5M-$2M per episode.
That's just for the prime spots.

Even the above video that was posted from that very year shows a lot of curtain dividers with pretty low key booth walls. They could do that very cheaply. It doesn't have to look like the main event, but they ought to at least try. Even something along the lines of CCW-level would be passable.

As someone who has assisted in setting up large scale demos (though not at major show levels), I can tell you that it can be done quickly and relatively cheaply.

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From the looks of the promo, it appears that they aren't able to get on the show floor and instead wind up in a hotel room, and that would be fairly easy to do. But maybe I misinterpreted the promo. In truth, every big manufacturer had both a big show booth and a private hotel demo suite, so maybe the promo just showed the latter. But when you have a show booth, you need dozens of people to put the booth together, you need demo people to explain the device, sales people to write up orders, tons of brochures, graphic posters and so on... it's a huge enterprise. I don't think you can have a cheap booth for less than $150K, and a big booth would literally be $1 million+. Even in the 1980s.
Before all the hellfire came down, they had a booth reservation and were still only sending Joe - by himself. Even if they lost their original spot, it's a cop-out if we never see the any representation of the show floor, perhaps with them tucked in some out of the way spot by the restrooms. They sold Joe's Porsche. If all they get is an orange-carpeted hotel room with a TV with a big knob on the front in it, I'll be very disappointed.

Mad Men, also on the same network and taking place in a period that is even less like current day managed to put together several large scale sets, including two different dealership showrooms (one for Cadillac and one for Jaguar), featuring the proper cars from that model year. That's hard to do. Finding vintage vehicles that fit the era is one thing - getting a group of mint condition vehicles of one particular model year is very hard and can be an expensive rental. That doesn't even account for the cost to transport the vehicles from wherever they were on loan from. If that weren't enough, they've shown multiple large office sets that absolutely looked the era along with the various homes of the characters. They've even staged a wedding and various awards dinners and banquets.

On Halt, I'm still waiting for even one programmer to even reference Wargames or even that other really big movie of 1983....something that was called....Revenge of the Jedi....or wait....no, it may have been RETURN of the Jedi....

Seriously, George loves it when people reference Star Wars. He'd probably loan them some toys.

Heck, National Lampoon's "Vacation" came out that year and probably not one of them will direct a "Family Truckster" joke at their station wagon ("if you hate it now, wait 'til you drive it"). Although, I'm not sure if that's a Ford Country Squire or a Mercury Colony Park. They were both big and covered in wood grain...

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post #198 of 332 Old 07-23-2014, 08:45 PM
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That's just for the prime spots.
They did say they were right next to Commodore, right?

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Mad Men, also on the same network and taking place in a period that is even less like current day managed to put together several large scale sets, including two different dealership showrooms (one for Cadillac and one for Jaguar), featuring the proper cars from that model year. That's hard to do.
Naaaa, they just pick up the phone and rent five vintage cars from the right year. There's whole companies that rent "Picture Cars" precisely for this reason. The real expense is in transporting and insuring the cars to get them to the location. There must be 20 companies just in LA that can do this. It's not cheap, but it can be done -- especially if it's a 6-hour shoot in one day.

Mad Men just wrapped a couple of weeks ago, by the way. They shoot at LA Center Studios in downtown LA, and it's amusing to see how they use the real glass doors, elevators, and other parts of the real-life building and incorporate it into the show. They shoot it cleverly enough that you'd never know it was 2014 LA rather than 1968 NY. The show is extremely well lit, and their attention to props and set design is second to none. Matt Weiner is extremely obsessed with getting the show right.

I don't think Halt and Catch Fire is nearly in Mad Men territory when it comes to costumes or props, but I can see they're doing their best on not much money. I'm told that the AMC execs are very difficult on some of their other shows, particularly Walking Dead, where there's been a terrible turnover in showrunners -- mostly because of arguments on budget and story direction. My impression is that they're not nice people.
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post #199 of 332 Old 07-24-2014, 08:08 AM
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Any news on a renewal for next season?

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Does AMC ever do early renewals outside maybe it biggest shows? I don't think we'll hear anything until after the season is over.
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post #201 of 332 Old 07-24-2014, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Any news on a renewal for next season?
Maybe it's just me, but I think a renewal announcement on a show currently airing is more of an exception than a rule .. usually, it's after the fact .. feel free to correct me if I'm wrong ..
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post #202 of 332 Old 07-24-2014, 09:03 AM
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I was just hoping...
The Last Ship already got it's renewal, I think Penny Dreadful got it's renewal while still showing, along with some other shows recently, so I was just wondering...

Let's cross our fingers for Halt then, I'm enjoying the trip back to the 80's...
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post #203 of 332 Old 07-24-2014, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I was just hoping...
The Last Ship already got it's renewal, I think Penny Dreadful got it's renewal while still showing, along with some other shows recently, so I was just wondering...

Let's cross our fingers for Halt then, I'm enjoying the trip back to the 80's...

Oh, I hope so too .. while HCF may not be everyones cup of tea, I enjoy the trip down memory lane and actually relate to the show on a personal level more so than I did with Mad Men .. being a techie since the 1970's and having bought an 8086 machine back in the day .. becoming addicted even back then to the point that my wife at the time knew me best by the glow of that 14" CRT .. hell, I still have a fully functional Compaq Lunchbox ..



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post #204 of 332 Old 07-24-2014, 09:41 AM
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Oh, I hope so too .. while HCF may not be everyones cup of tea, I enjoy the trip down memory lane and actually relate to the show on a personal level more so than I did with Mad Men .. being a techie since the 1970's and having bought an 8086 machine back in the day .. becoming addicted even back then to the point that my wife at the time knew me best by the glow of that 14" CRT .. hell, I still have a fully functional Compaq Lunchbox ..


I have that same computer - just with the hard drive upgrade. I think it maybe has a whole 10MB of storage on it - if that.

I used to have the IBM version of it, but that thing never ran right. The drives often failed to read disks properly and that stupid phone connector keyboard cord always lost connection in the middle of typing.
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I have that same computer - just with the hard drive upgrade. I think it maybe has a whole 10MB of storage on it - if that.

I used to have the IBM version of it, but that thing never ran right. The drives often failed to read disks properly and that stupid phone connector keyboard cord always lost connection in the middle of typing.
It's funny since back then when you said 10MB you figured "I'll never use all that" and now we're filling tetrabyte drives .. it also reminds me that I was pretty good back then at the command prompt, I may not been the Worlds Best at Lotus 123 but I was pretty good ..

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post #206 of 332 Old 07-24-2014, 10:07 AM
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It's funny since back then when you said 10MB you figured "I'll never use all that" and now we're filling tetrabyte drives .. it also reminds me that I was pretty good back then at the command prompt, I may not been the Worlds Best at Lotus 123 but I was pretty good ..
Nah, we were storage hogs. It was the family computer and most of the storage was used by my Dad for massive spreadsheets he created in Supercalc. All those formulas ate a ton of space.

I didn't use nearly as much since most of the programs I used were single disc items and ran fine off a floppy.
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post #207 of 332 Old 07-24-2014, 10:58 AM
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I still have my TI 99-4a up in the attic with a bunch of game cartridges and joysticks.
I remember doing some basic programming on it resulting in sprites moving around the screen, etc...It was fun and educational. Nowadays if the computer doesn't boot to Windows it's- "okay, lets go buy a new one" Sadly, if you asked today's average PC user to Make Directory, Change Directory, Remove Directory, Xcopy, etc.. outside of the GUI they'd look at you like you're speaking a foreign language.
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post #208 of 332 Old 07-24-2014, 11:03 AM
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I still have my TI 99-4a up in the attic with a bunch of game cartridges and joysticks.
I remember doing some basic programming on it resulting in sprites moving around the screen, etc...
It was fun and educational, nowadays if the computer doesn't boot to Windows it's- "okay, lets go buy a new one"
I only played games on it. My parents bought me that so I could learn how to type since I have impediments and disabilities. My parents gave that computer to my neighbor when I got an Apple //c. I wonder how far this s(how/eries) can go if renewed. I didn't get into computers until my Apple //c days with BASIC, LOGO, games (duh), etc. And then IBM PCs.
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post #209 of 332 Old 07-24-2014, 11:40 AM
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...I wonder how far this s(how/eries) can go if renewed....
Well the last episode of the season is titled "1984" so going by that- they've still got quite a few years of the PC wars history ahead of them out into the early 90's...
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post #210 of 332 Old 07-24-2014, 11:42 AM
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Well the last episode of the season is titled "1984" so going by that- they've still got quite a few years of the PC wars history ahead of them out into the early 90's...
Yeah. It would be cool to see the later years during MY days. Maybe they need to do one for each decade (60s, 70s, 90s, etc.).
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