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Rachel
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:48 pm    Post subject: The first click Reply with quote

Did any of you hear this on Jezza today? Alex Lester describing how he popped his IT cherry. Save and continue. Beautiful. Smile

I donít recall my first click, oh, there was so many in those days. It was probably at school with the maths teacher.

My first proper PC type machine was an Amiga 4000- when I worked in the shady world of Broadcasting.
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John W



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 3360
Location: Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the 1980s I used computers at work, the make was Tandem, and we used them to produce production batch formulas, and the order entry office also used them to process orders etc. They had qwerty keyboards, and the screen was black with flourescent green text.

Our secretarial staff then had word-processor typewriters that could store letters etc and there was a little screen that showed the last sentence that you typed, don't think I ever used one of those.

Then in 1991 I became the quality manager and it was decided that the department should have a proper computer for quality documents and my boss bought me a Macintosh, we call them Mac nowadays. It was a tiny little thing the computer and 10" screen were all one unit. But it had Microsoft Word, Excel and some other software, I used to use something called Microsoft Project where you created timing plans. We supplied Land Rover then and I did a lot of planning with that programme.

Early 1990s bought our kids a Commodore 64, just for games which were on cassette tape.

Got my first home PC in 1996, a Packard Bell with Windows 95, it lasted 5 years.
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blimey, this is "memory lane" stuff!

The first computer I ever used was an Apple II computer at the Open University in 1981 or 82, where I was freelancing. At the same time, the BBC's OU Production Centre had a few BBC "B" Micros (made by Acorn in Cambridge), one of which I "borrowed" to build a mailing list on and saved to 5.25" floppies.

Then, at home, I bought a Sinclair Spectrum with a tape drive which was a horrible machine for anything other than writing Basic or simple gaming, so I sold it and bought a Amstrad PC1512 PC with twin 5.25" floppy drives and running MSDOS 3.1. I again "borrowed" Microsoft Word 4 for DOS from the BBC at the OU (just don't tell them) and started serious work.

Then, when I got fed up with floppy-swapping I got a 2nd-hand Amstrad PC1610 which had a massive 10MB hard disk drive! Woohoo! I bought a second even more massive 32MB PCI drive for £199 + VAT and installed that as well.

In 1983, I got sick of Windows so I jumped ship to Apple and bought the first of many excellent Macs which I use in the course of my work, although I also have Windows 7 PCs as well for doing the boring stuff.

Oh, not forgetting the iPhone 3GS which - compared to those early devices - is a fabulous computer (if that's a fair description) in its own right.

Because of the work I'm doing which is geared to mobile access, I'm planning on buying an iPad soon, but will wait til the next generation is released early next year.

For those who can get to Bletchley, Milton Keynes, it really is worth checking out the National Museum of Computing at the infamous Bletchley Park WW2 Codebreaking Centre.

Here's the link: http://www.tnmoc.org/

Colin
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mark occomore



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had one of these. Havn't times moved on Rolling Eyes

http://www.google.co.uk/images?rlz=1T4SMSN_enGB342GB342&q=bbc+computers&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=GJ-0TPalNs2TjAem_JS-Aw&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=3&ved=0CEEQsAQwAg&biw=1003&bih=371
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Blondehedgehog



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
Posts: 286
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first 'puter I had was Spectrum. Bought with an insurance policy that had come to fruition. My sons 9 and 11 at the time thought it was great. Progressed to Amstrad...much the same as Colin. My second son went on to study systems engineering at uni. When he finished he bought me an Apple...and anounced it was 'mummy proof' And it was.....the memory just got too small in the end.

From that specky my son has gone on to run his own systems company in Hong Kong................I have great holidays.... Laughing Laughing
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Angus McCoatup



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rach,

Just had to re-read your post.......

Saw "popped cherry" and "maths teacher" and my jaw dropped!! Laughing
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first use of computers was in 1974 when working for British Caledonian Airways at the airport. The system was known as Shares and we'd use it for preparing tickets for collection on departure, printing out passenger lists for check in, then all the post-departure procedures when the flights had gone. Having moved on to the reservations department we could access more areas, you could see which movie was on the LA flight and what the weather was like!

They also had an early form of email whereby you could send messages to someone you had met on a fares and ticketing course, if you knew their computer set number. That wasn't encouraged though!

A couple of years later, a different airline and system, and you could then allocate seats (747s etc) request special meals and sky cots. All of this was done in the 'directory system' and you had to know the format which resembled something like the long address for this thread, by heart, plus the 3 letter codes for the airports etc. Later on they progressed to having fare calculators, which saved you from having to have a maths degree to work them out by hand Smile and eventually to being able to print out tickets. Fantastic unless the ticket machine ate the last book of your 12 sector journey. Sad

That took me to the early 90s but it was 2000 when I got my first home computer (O/H had a work laptop but I wasn't interested). My Dad had got the internet (he'd learnt on a BBC computer at a night class) and he discovered you could listen to music from radio stations around the world. So I became interested again and we bought a Win 98 with 9.5gb hard drive which I had for 5 years until I went for a new one with a much larger hard drive with XP. Still have it today along with a laptop.

My other love was using mini discs for making my own 'playlists' and recordings. When I came attempt to edit them, it seemed a bit over complicated until it clicked that it was exactly the same process we had used to divide up a group booking when one of the passengers needed to change their itinerary. So the long since used 'trivia' had a use after all!

H

PS sorry that's a bit long winded!
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RockitRon



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:45 pm    Post subject: Re: The first click Reply with quote

Rachel wrote:
Did any of you hear this on Jezza today? Alex Lester describing how he popped his IT cherry. Save and continue. Beautiful. Smile


About 1hr 19min in.

Alice Lester???

Funny story... not sure if it would encourage anyone to get a computer though.

I was relatively late in breaking my duck. My first PC was bought from East Midlands Electricity in 1991, cost an arm and a leg and weighed a ton; it was a 386DOS and the only software loaded onto it was Word Perfect. I used it to catalogue all my records and CDs, mum's recipes, and to compile a directory of useful names, addresses and telephone numbers, and also aides-memoires for processes at work. So it was no more than a word processor.

Second PC was an HP in 2001. That's when I got my first real taste of computing, internet and email.
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undiscovered



Joined: 15 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We had ONE BBC model B in primary school around 1982ish I think and I remember it coming in, lots of fuss but all it really did was play snake with numbers.
Then at secondary school computer studies lessons had a room full of them and we learnt BASIC
10 PRINT "hello"
20 GOTO 10

just as I was starting my GCSE's the school replaced them with Archimedes which was sort of half way between the old type computers and what we all have now. College and Uni had Atari ST's as we used them a lot for running applications while studying microelectronics.

At home we had a Commadore VIC20 which I believe had 2 1/2 k memory.
Never touched a computer from 1991 when I left University til I got a job in a transport office some ten years later and had to teach myself it all over again. Now I may as well plug into it Embarassed
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Gibbo



Joined: 31 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first click was shift and Run-Stop to load a game on the Vic 20.

Nice to see others had it too - although it actually had 3 1/2Kb of RAM. I can still see the 3853 bytes free at the start up screen! (3581 if you had a game cartridge in the back)

Which leads me nicely onto HEY HEY 16K:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ts96J7HhO28
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Angus McCoatup



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first PC, which I bought and shared with my younger brother, was an Acorn Atom - anyone remember those?!!

It came with a full 2k of RAM (!!!!) which was good for absolutely nothing so we bought a load of chips which you could plug into the motherboard which upped the RAM to 128K

My brother just used to buy games which had to be loaded from a cassette deck and took about 10 to 15 minutes if they even loaded at all but I was more computer literate and used to write games and more serious applications in Basic. I used to send the games to "Your Computer" magazine IIRC but never got any published even though I thought they were brilliant!!
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undiscovered



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Angus McCoatup wrote:
I used to send the games to "Your Computer" magazine IIRC but never got any published even though I thought they were brilliant!!


I remember the days of typing out pages of BASIC out from the backs of these magazines, used to take days and had to leave the thing switched on because you couldn't save them. Then when you'd finished it, it didn't work because there was a typo in it somewhere Evil or Very Mad
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Blondehedgehog



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

undiscovered wrote:


I remember the days of typing out pages of BASIC out from the backs of these magazines, used to take days and had to leave the thing switched on because you couldn't save them. Then when you'd finished it, it didn't work because there was a typo in it somewhere Evil or Very Mad




Oh so true....I remember my sons typing out a game only to have it vanish....and the problem of not being able to save things....how times have changed... Very Happy
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd typed out a long page of code in BASIC and was starting to feel exhausted (horrible rubber keys on the Spectrum) when my wife tripped on the power cable and pulled the plug from the computer!
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undiscovered



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ColinB wrote:
I'd typed out a long page of code in BASIC and was starting to feel exhausted (horrible rubber keys on the Spectrum) when my wife tripped on the power cable and pulled the plug from the computer!


Oooh the good old days
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Gibbo



Joined: 31 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

undiscovered wrote:
I remember the days of typing out pages of BASIC out from the backs of these magazines, used to take days and had to leave the thing switched on because you couldn't save them.


I'm confused. I'm struggling to think of an 80's machine which didn't come with a tape recorder (Commodore) or couldn't use a normal tape deck to prevent you saving the file.
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undiscovered



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gibbo wrote:
undiscovered wrote:
I remember the days of typing out pages of BASIC out from the backs of these magazines, used to take days and had to leave the thing switched on because you couldn't save them.


I'm confused. I'm struggling to think of an 80's machine which didn't come with a tape recorder (Commodore) or couldn't use a normal tape deck to prevent you saving the file.


They didn't always come as standard, and were incredibly expensive. Although more likely we didn't know what we were doing (some things don't change)
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gibbo wrote:
undiscovered wrote:
I remember the days of typing out pages of BASIC out from the backs of these magazines, used to take days and had to leave the thing switched on because you couldn't save them.


I'm confused. I'm struggling to think of an 80's machine which didn't come with a tape recorder (Commodore) or couldn't use a normal tape deck to prevent you saving the file.


There were loads, most of which used 5.25" floppy drives. I bought my Amstrad PC1512 in 1986 and that had twin drives. The famous Amstrad "green screen" machine (a PCW something) had a 3.25" vertically mounted drive to the right of the screen. And, of course, lots of business machines had floppy drives and/or Winchester HDDs.

Where I worked between 1981 and 1984 we had ACT and Apricot MS-DOS and PC-DOS computers, though I tended to use BBC B Micros running BASIC.

The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park (Bletchley, Milton Keynes) really is worth a visit for anyone who feels nostalgic about past computers!
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Blondehedgehog



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ColinB wrote:


There were loads, most of which used 5.25" floppy drives. I bought my Amstrad PC1512 in 1986 and that had twin drives. The famous Amstrad "green screen" machine (a PCW something) had a 3.25" vertically mounted drive to the right of the screen. And, of course, lots of business machines had floppy drives and/or Winchester HDDs.




I had one a PC1512....always thought the green screen was kinder on the eyes.... Laughing
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Rachel
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread is looking like a listing on e-bay or the contents of a car-boot sale skip. Smile Took mum in law to a museum yesterday... she said.... Oh I still have one of those- oh and one of those....., thrown a much better one of those away... etc etc....
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rachel wrote:
This thread is looking like a listing on e-bay or the contents of a car-boot sale skip. Smile Took mum in law to a museum yesterday... she said.... Oh I still have one of those- oh and one of those....., thrown a much better one of those away... etc etc....


I know how you feel. We went to a 1960s Memorabilia Exhibition somewhere over the summer and my daughter and friends were admiring a Biba dress, among other things.

My wife was able to say "Oh I had one exactly like that". And these are now museum pieces!
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Helen May



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

.............and Biba has just come back Colin!

H
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helen May wrote:
.............and Biba has just come back Colin!


My wife prefers Primark these days! Smile
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nod



Joined: 24 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First PC I bought was a Sinclair ZX81 which was great if you were into machine code Very Happy
Amazing what you could do with only 1k of RAM then Very Happy but the tape recorder to save things used to drive you mad. Rolling Eyes

Then progressed to a Lynx 48, with full colour ! That got used a lot mainly for decoding pictures from weather sateliites (again in machine code)

Then came IBM PCs........
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to say, am I the only one to have an IBM as my first PC? Laughing
I can't remember much about it except that I was ripped off as a completely gullible buyer knowing bugger all about computers and further ripped off when I asked to buy the mouse to go with it.. Laughing I can't remember how much I paid for the mouse but it was a lot more than I expected ( £50 seems to come back to me but I may be wrong.. ) " Well, these IBM mouses are sort after mate" said the shark of a seller...
Lambs to the slaughter... I only used it for Autocad.. this was about 1988..

My next PC was much better.. I think it was a 386 and Autocad was much faster on it. That was the first one I had to go on line and discovered Ebay.. ££££££'s Confused I still have it and it still works!
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Cherskiy



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First computer I used was a Commodore PET at school around 1982 or 1983. The first home computer I used was a ZX80 (the white ones with less than 1K memory) and the first one I owned was a ZX81, but I also managed to get my hands on a VIC-20 and a Spectrum 48K.
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nod



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Computers at school ? When I was at school we had to punch holes in cards and they got sent off to the local university who ran them on their computer and if it worked you got a printout back. Laughing
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nod



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

here they are...
Very Happy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_programming_in_the_punched_card_era
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nod wrote:
Computers at school ? When I was at school we had to punch holes in cards and they got sent off to the local university who ran them on their computer and if it worked you got a printout back. Laughing


The same for us. We went on a visit to Plymouth Polytechnic (now University) in order to get a brief glimpse of their computer. I thin it took up the whole of the 5th Floor of the main building. All the equipment was grey!
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nod



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ColinB wrote:
All the equipment was grey!


A step forward then when all IBM type PCs were biege Laughing
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John W



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nod wrote:
Computers at school ? When I was at school we had to punch holes in cards and they got sent off to the local university who ran them on their computer and if it worked you got a printout back. Laughing


Good heavens! Yes, I forgot that. THAT was my first action on a computer, maybe in my 6th form 1970, we went to see it at Falkirk Technical College (as it was then) and we had to type in a program/formula for it to calculate something like square root of a number, and there were these punched cards. Fortran? Was it that?
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Gibbo



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

undiscovered wrote:
Gibbo wrote:
undiscovered wrote:
I remember the days of typing out pages of BASIC out from the backs of these magazines, used to take days and had to leave the thing switched on because you couldn't save them.


I'm confused. I'm struggling to think of an 80's machine which didn't come with a tape recorder (Commodore) or couldn't use a normal tape deck to prevent you saving the file.


They didn't always come as standard, and were incredibly expensive. Although more likely we didn't know what we were doing (some things don't change)


Everyone I knew nicked the radio cassette player from elsewhere in the house!
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nod



Joined: 24 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John W wrote:
nod wrote:
Computers at school ? When I was at school we had to punch holes in cards and they got sent off to the local university who ran them on their computer and if it worked you got a printout back. Laughing


Good heavens! Yes, I forgot that. THAT was my first action on a computer, maybe in my 6th form 1970, we went to see it at Falkirk Technical College (as it was then) and we had to type in a program/formula for it to calculate something like square root of a number, and there were these punched cards. Fortran? Was it that?


yes that's it, see the link I provided above Very Happy
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Moonraker



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The TV ads make me want to kick the telly.

The older generation is the generation that has seen more technological advance than any other: television, colour televisions, stereo, men on the moon, video recorders, DVD recorders, the modern motor car, supersonic flight etc, ect

Why do they think I can't turn a computer on??????
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