Rise of the Machine

Back in 1983 my life changed when a shiny, very high-tekky, computer showed up on my doorstep. Well, I admit someone must have put it there, but for me… sigh… love at first sight!

It was a KayproII, a one-piece wonder that had its keyboard tucked up and buckled in against the monitor. There were two 5 1/4″ floppy disk drives: A and B. The A drive held the operating system, mysteriously known as CP/M, which took up part of the disk which also held what we would now call “content”; the B drive was for disk files. There were several manuals, mostly written in some completely foreign dialect resembling English but with words I had never seen before. To be fair, there were a few sections of one of the manuals that hinted at how to operate the computer. Very few. There was also a collection of programs, (soft wear) including a word-processing program called WordStar.

Speaking of word processing… every time one system becomes familiar, they change it. WordStar was quickly nudged out by WordPerfect, as that became the “industry standard” for huge businesses. For me WordPerfect 4.5 was my first, back in the day when WP was the standard before Microsoft introduced Word. Which of course as everyone knows, became THE word processing system, quickly insinuating itself (ok, pushing itself) into every office in the world. My Luddite heart remained true to WordPerfect all the way up to version 11, when we had to part ways because my computer operating system moved on.

The point of all this is to alibi the reason why my posting to blogging101 has been so spotty. I was going to complain about my printer, but it isn’t really that…it’s more to do with the operating system, i.e. Windows8.1. Yikes! It so happened that the last computer I bought was on the very day that the new Windows 8 had come out. Really…the very day! Amd Windows 8 was the first new system to be completely alien to the previous version…Windows 7, and (sob) the revered WindowsXP.

Well yes, I admit that it would have been better had I let the Geek Squad set up the new computer for me, but I–always in a hurry–insisted on setting it up myself, installing everything. Since that has always been the way I did it, why think this time would be any different? Well, I found out why, apparently I did something wrong. To be fair, no one else that I know has had problems with the new operating system…so maybe its me. Huh!

Oh…now they are saying that Microsoft is going to provide their NEW system, Windows 9, free for us hysterical souls who need it. I can hardly wait, although by then I will have probably figured out what the problem is and have to start all over.






14 responses to “Rise of the Machine”

  1. m.a.allen Avatar

    Loved this article! We were also ahead of the curve in computer use. With my husband being with IBM whose computer we couldn’t afford, we hit the road with a Commodore. We loved it! My husband taught us all to use the computer way back then and boy has it been a godsend to us all these years. Of course, we graduated to many other company’s computers as the years passed but that C-64 was great in its time!

  2. Good Woman Avatar

    This brings back memories to me. I didn’t get my first computer until about ’95 but had been using them at work for quite a while. I remember learning Word Perfect and thinking it was so complicated. My, have we come a long way. It still can be frustrating but I don’t know what I would do without them. I marvel at the whole world being at my fingertipsl

  3. Pekebun Avatar

    Word Star & WordPerfect 😀 Ah yes, we (me too!) touched the keys & probably thought they were office wonders. And today, me being the usual late starter, finds out my Brand is my Blog (while doing that 101 task) courtesy of Gradmama2011. Thanks for that BTW. (*sigh* I wonder if I would be a faster learner if I was born during the Stone Age.)

  4. Fimnora Westcaw Avatar

    There are SO many things which I can identify with! So wonderful to another who knows the hallowed halls of DOS. And I can SO commiserate with you about 8.1. OMB! It’s been truly a challenge. In fact, I’d just gotten used to WIN8 when I was literaly forced to accept the upgrade. No if, ands, or buts. I didn’t have the choice, like I did with the XP, and the Vista. (sigh). And oh WordPerfect! I can remember seeing that nostalgic name for, like ever! I use Word Pad, and note pad, and found an actual ‘word count’ freebee online to know how much I’d actually written.

    Thank you for your time machine ride back to ‘the good ole days.’

  5. JoHanna Massey Avatar
    JoHanna Massey

    I remember when my husband surprised me while away on business with drop shipping me with a Gateway full of Windows, gosh I do not recall the year or version. Indeed, my life changed that day!
    Great Post!

    1. Gradmama2011 Avatar

      loved the boxes that looked like cows! I had Gateways, still have one in fact but it had a mysterious accident and just hangs out in the computer graveyard lounge.

  6. WagginMaster (aka Jerry) Avatar

    You are speaking my lingo. My fist new machine was an Apple II in he 80’s Not sure how that evolved to my Mac Book Pro, which I believe is the best computer I’ve ever had.
    Yep, I used, Wordstar, then Wordperfect, then Word. Now I use Pages. It does anything I could do on any of the former products and at $19.99 it is a bargain. The only thing I miss is MS Access.
    And CP/M WOW, I love assembly language. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  7. Clare Avatar

    Great article,

    I was a little late to the game, my first computer was an Amstrad Mega PC. Sad.


  8. OK, OK, where’s the darn space button? | SOMETIMES Avatar

    […] I have blogged about my history with computers in a post called Rise of the Machine, which in case anyone is interested, can be found at http://mumbletymuse.com/2015/01/26/rise-of-the-machine/ […]

  9. It’s Here! It’s Here! It’s Here ! | SOMETIMES Avatar

    […] For those who are interested, my WordPress blog post entitled Rise of the Machines, published this spring, details my adventures in setting up and teaching myself to operate the computer. http://mumbletymuse.com/2015/01/26/rise-of-the-machine/ […]

  10. Arinum A Avatar
    Arinum A

    I’m fifteen and you are by far one of the most interesting bloggers I have ever met in my life. I agree with the ‘once-you-get-new-to-something-they-change-it’ I honestly feel like throwing my laptop out of the window whenever something updates itself and I have no idea how to use it. I remember using Windows XP as a kid and

    1. Gradmama2011 Avatar

      Wow…I’m impressed! My grand-daughter told me once I was the coolest person she knew, which is great praise as she is a rock-band leader and singer, and is actually the coolest person I ever knew. Thanks for your comments, I appreciate it.

  11. Arinum A Avatar
    Arinum A

    This is a continuation.
    I thought it was mankind’s greatest gift. Now I am not sure how people use it.

    1. Gradmama2011 Avatar

      the greatest gift since the printing press anyway. People immediately started using books for all sorts of stuff, too.

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