[Technology 1435] Re: retrospective

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Denis Anson danson at misericordia.edu
Fri Dec 21 13:13:10 EST 2007


I got my first computer while I was in OT school, when a friend of
mine went to work for a small company in California called Apple
Computer. At that time, Apple had a "close friends and family"
discount of 30% on everything purchased through the company store,
even if it wasn't made by Apple. We bought an Apple II+, with
language card, which gave me a massive 64K of memory. My original
monitor was a 13 inch Zenith, purchased at the local Heathkit store,
which displayed the color graphics.
I think, but can't prove, that I had the very first Master Thesis
produced on computer at the University of Washington. Certainly , I
had the first in Rehab Medicine. Where my colleagues were spending
hundreds of dollars per draft of their thesis each time the committee
wanted a change (it all had to be retyped), I'd just go home, make the
changes, and submit a new draft the next day. I wrote the thesis in
the Pascal Language editor, and used a special formatting program
developed in-house at Apple, but never released, to do underlining,
bold and the like.

In those days, the monitor could only show upper case letters. In
Pascal, an normal upper case letter was really lowercase, and
uppercase was displayed in inverse video. I had installed the "one-
wire shift key mod" to make the shift key work correctly, and later
added an 80 column card and replaced the display chip with a new one
to show true upper and lower case characters.

I eventually traded that machine off on a new Apple IIe, which was not
nearly as easy to type on, and later on a Woz signature IIgs, which I
still own.

How things have changed. That old 1 MHz machine, with it's 64K of
memory, versus my new "Leviathan," which has eight processing cores
running at 3 GHz, 5 GB of RAM, and a bit over 2 TB of hard disk
storage. (Yeah, I know. But I won't have to upgrade it for a while.)


Denis Anson, MS, OTR
Director of Research and Development
Assistive Technology Research Institute
Misericordia University
voice: 570-674-6413
fax: 570-674-8054

danson at misericordia.edu