Vault Dweller’s Quick Reference Card – A Handy Guide to Help You Get Started on Your Adventure!

Vault Dweller’s Quick Reference Card – A Handy Guide to Help You Get Started on Your Adventure!

skunkbear:

50 years ago at 4 a.m., a Dartmouth student and professor ran the very first BASIC program.

In the 1950s, if you were at Dartmouth and you wanted to run a computer program, you had to translate that code into a bunch of little holes on a punch card, drive the 125 miles to MIT where a room-sized computer was humming away, and then wait two hours.

But Tom Kurtz (seen in the second image holding a reel of magnetic tape) decided to change that. He developed a system where students and faculty could send their code to MIT via a teletype machine. To make computer programming even more accessible to students, Kurtz and his colleague John Kemeny created a simple programming language called BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). It made programming much more intuitive.

"People who absolutely never would have engaged with a computer before were engaging with computers," says Dartmouth professor Dan Rockmore.It spread so quickly that the telephone company had to put in new trunk lines … so that everyone who wanted to get on the computer could get on the computer.”

Here more about BASIC from Joe Palca.

Image 3: Some of the first computer nerds look over a program printout in 1969.

Image 4: John Kemeny and his daughter Jennifer look genuinely awed by this revolutionary technology. The lady in the portrait remains unimpressed. 

Image 5: Kemeny’s vanity plates. If this car still exists, I will buy it. Let me know. 

All photos by Adrian N. Bouchard, courtesy of Rauner Special Collections Library and Dartmouth College

A German buyer’s guide for home computers, 1983.

Apart from explaining some technical terms and the basics of computing, the goal of this small booklet is to explain to potential buyers what these newfangled machines are good for. After all, “only a few years ago, computers were seen as gigantic, terrifying machines that sent annoying bills, ruled the corporations and cost millions of marks.”

A German buyer’s guide for home computers, 1983.

Apart from explaining some technical terms and the basics of computing, the goal of this small booklet is to explain to potential buyers what these newfangled machines are good for. After all, “only a few years ago, computers were seen as gigantic, terrifying machines that sent annoying bills, ruled the corporations and cost millions of marks.”

Terratec EWS64XL, 1997.

Fans of this excellent sound card liked to expand “EWS” to “Eierlegende Wollmilchsau”, after an in Germany very popular mythical farm animal that lays eggs, gives wool, can be milked, and gives tasty meat too. Indeed, this card could do nearly everything: It was a fully functional Sound Blaster replacement, in hardware, without the need for drivers or TSRs; it supported Microsoft’s new DirectSound; it could do hardware mixing of up to 64 voices, making it ideal for the in Germany very popular tracker music; it had two separate MPU-401 compatible UART MIDI interfaces, again in hardware; it had a nice front panel, into which MIDI and other devices could be plugged directly; and it could be equipped with up to 64 MB RAM to store sound fonts. TerraTec had even licensed the original Sound Canvas samples from Roland and included them on the CD!

Terratec EWS64XL, 1997.

Fans of this excellent sound card liked to expand “EWS” to “Eierlegende Wollmilchsau”, after an in Germany very popular mythical farm animal that lays eggs, gives wool, can be milked, and gives tasty meat too. Indeed, this card could do nearly everything: It was a fully functional Sound Blaster replacement, in hardware, without the need for drivers or TSRs; it supported Microsoft’s new DirectSound; it could do hardware mixing of up to 64 voices, making it ideal for the in Germany very popular tracker music; it had two separate MPU-401 compatible UART MIDI interfaces, again in hardware; it had a nice front panel, into which MIDI and other devices could be plugged directly; and it could be equipped with up to 64 MB RAM to store sound fonts. TerraTec had even licensed the original Sound Canvas samples from Roland and included them on the CD!

Nice graphical logo from a Greek Geocities site.

Nice graphical logo from a Greek Geocities site.

In a closed system, stupidity tends to increase until it reaches a maximum. Fred Reed
The map of Dogs Of War, a Risk-like game in a WW2 setting.

The map of Dogs Of War, a Risk-like game in a WW2 setting.

wwwtxt:

Island Telecommunications ▰ Created in ProPaint (Amiga) ☯85

wwwtxt:

Island Telecommunications ▰ Created in ProPaint (Amiga) ☯85

fakewaffles:

Snownimation :-)

fakewaffles:

Snownimation :-)

pitchblackvoid:

Shintaro Kago is a genius.

pitchblackvoid:

Shintaro Kago is a genius.