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Old 11-23-2020, 10:17 PM   #43
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I have a PC Jr., a PS2 with tape drive, and an IBM convertible portable computer in the "museum." The Convertible has 2 - 720 kb floppy drives and a thermal printer that attaches to the rear of the computer. The screen is blue with yellow letters and can be removed and a CRT monitor can be plugged on the connector. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_PC_Convertible
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:21 PM   #44
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I have a PC Jr., a PS2 with tape drive, and an IBM convertible portable computer in the "museum." The Convertible has 2 - 720 kb floppy drives and a thermal printer that attaches to the rear of the computer. The screen is blue with yellow letters and can be removed and a CRT monitor can be plugged on the connector. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_PC_Convertible
That is a super cool computer, never seen that one before! I have the 1st gen iPod. That was a huge deal for my generation
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:58 PM   #45
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Still have the factory manuals for several older cars I have owned. Carrying the factory manuals for the current car and the motor home with me. Looking up stuff online is a big help though when it comes to deciding if I can fix it or I should let a pro do it.
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:03 PM   #46
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This is a great topic. I worked in a gas station and learned lots from the mechanic there. It's helped me throughout my life. I learned the flat rate books as well as Chilton's. Juggling 5 cars out there on the gas islands was a challenge working alone but it helped with critical thinking skills. I don't think the rest of the world mattered too much. I was content that most places stayed open only during the week- life was less hectic and centered around family.
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Old 11-24-2020, 03:20 PM   #47
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It just occurred to me that as long as I have been alive and wrenched or tinkered with anything I have had internet. My first car was when I was 13 in 1994. I am pretty sure I used forums then if not shortly after and still using one now. I as most probably do rely on google and the internet constantly. I can find, build, and fix just about anything. I have more skills than I can keep up with.

So, what was it like before the internet? Just what friends and relatives knew? The local expert? Books which were limited and dated quickly? I'm sure a jack of all trades was a bit more rare?

Maybe things were just a bit simpler. No fancy electronics. Cars ran off mechanical devices. Houses had less gizmos. The devices we rely on giving us all headaches time to time were not around. No one bugging me on my cell phone all day. In some ways it seems nicer.

Has the internet saved us or doomed us? Well if that doesn't open a can of worms on here...
To get a clue what it was like try reading some novels based before the Internet era. Robert B Parker's Spenser series would be good. John D MacDonald would be good.

I like books from 50 years ago, but sometimes I'll be reading and wonder momentarily why he doesn't have a cell phone or a way to Google something.
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Old 11-24-2020, 03:33 PM   #48
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To get a clue what it was like try reading some novels based before the Internet era. Robert B Parker's Spenser series would be good. John D MacDonald would be good.
Asking yourself "what would Travis McGee do?" wouldn't be a bad way to run your life!
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Old 11-24-2020, 04:03 PM   #49
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Like Old biscuit, started by helping my Dad. Having an engineer for a father meant we fixed "everything" ourselves. Remember learning the names of tools very early so I could hand them to Dad and he wouldn't have to crawl out from under car, etc. We probably changed fluid drive couplers on old Chrysler products two or three times a year as Dad would buy one with a bad fluid drive, replace the coupling, drive the car as a second vehicle for a few months, then sell it. Vivid in my memory is the time we put juice brakes on a '37 Ford. The parts came off a prewar Chrysler that the junkyard flipped on it's top so we could reach the hubs, master cylinder etc. Want to impress a 10 year kid, flip a car over for them!

By high school had learned to get manuals from the library and between the group of "motorheads" we usually got everyone's old car back on the road with all the parts in pretty much the right place. Work on the new cars as required, but still enjoy wrenching on the old ones more. Have an example from 4 decades ( 30's though 60's ) to keep the memory sharp. And, yes I do have a shop manual for all the vehicles.
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Old 11-27-2020, 04:10 PM   #50
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My university system was connected to the Internet in summer of 1989. I was just starting my Masters in Computer Science degree. I became the system/network admin for Computer Science department in 1990 and became a full time faculty member in 1992. In 1994 I became the network manger for the university. I am still working there and plan to for another 3-4 years.

We had one T1 circuit from California feeding into Reno and single T1s to each institution in the state in 1989. Now we have a 100 gigabit Internet2 connection in Reno and another in Las Vegas and have access to dark fiber on most highways to link all the network together.

The Internet was a pretty small education/reserch/military world until 1995 when a law was passed to allow for commercial use of the Internet and any company could connect.
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Old 11-28-2020, 08:34 AM   #51
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Life before the internet was to me, a better life. If I needed a car part, I called or visited the local auto parts store and told them what I needed. A part for the house, went to the local hardware store, lumber yard plumbing or electrical supply store and actually interfaced with a real person.


If wanted to read a book, I borrowed it from the library and talked to real people. I also bough shelves of books including Motor's mauals (never cared for Chilton's, being to general)


If I was taking a trip, dragged out a free map from the gas station and plotted my trip.


In our neighborhood there are at last count 22 kids though possibly more. No clue where they hide, but they aren't outside playing like before internet and computers.


Then the trash on the 'net that needs to be waded through - including too many dead wrong You Tube How To Do It videos.



I have a love/hate relationship with computers and the internet. I love that I can buy my auto and home/RV bits and pieces with a few clicks. I enjoy being on a couple forum sites. I hate that I really have little person to person interface. We have lived in this neighborhood for 27 years. We got to knew most of the people when we first moved here. With the usual turn over of homes, no idea who most are now since they seldom lwalk out of the the front door and do some household work. And most of their properties show that neglect vs 20+ years ago - and this is not a low value home neighborhood.


With that said, I'll keep my internet and hope civility returns eventually to the world.
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Old 11-28-2020, 12:04 PM   #52
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IC2 I find it hard to disagree with anything you said. I often wonder where everyone hides. I talk with a few neighbors but for the most part there are people who have lived here 12+ years that I have never talked to. I also sit on city council and am publicly available and it amazes me how few residents in our small town of 1000 I know.

I think I would enjoy simpler times. I do enjoy the internet but I am a very hands on fix my own stuff kind of person. I dread owning newer vehicles and often find myself frustrated with technology.

Yeah I love my Amazon and the like, but I think I could live without it.
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Old 11-28-2020, 01:07 PM   #53
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I'm 73 years old, so I spent the first several years of my life with no Internet and didn't know what I was missing. I have to admit that I seriously enjoy it now and would miss it dearly if I were to lose it.

I've got friends all over the country that I've met on motorcycle forums. We get together once annually for week-long rides all over the lower 48, and as many as 25 or 30 riders will show up from many different states. Smaller, more localized groups will get together for local rides. I've got dear friends that live less than 20 miles from me that I met on the Internet -- people from different walks of life and of different ages that I would very likely never have met. I live a much richer life just for having met these people.

I also seriously enjoy the ability to find virtually anything I want to know. Granted, I have to take everything I read with a grain of salt, but I soon learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff. I had a weird problem with a motorcycle not long ago and asked a question on a forum. I had the answer within a half hour.

I've enjoyed the same input here. We started RVing 6 years ago and came into it as total newbys. I feel like I'm well ahead of the game today because of the kind folks here.
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Old 11-28-2020, 03:46 PM   #54
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My astronomy, backpacking and RV camping wouldn't be the same without the Internet. Most of my astronomy gear is made by small or single employee businesses. I would have never learned about or be able to buy the gear before the Internet.

I also do backpacking with very light gear that isn't sold in places like REI.

I have learned so much about solar and 12 volt power on the Internet. It has enabled me to design and install an RV power system that I couldn't afford to buy installed by a business.

I absolutely remember life before the Internet, cable TV and even color TV. I read a lot more books and went to the library more back then. I still read a lot of books but more and more they are on a Kindle.

One of the reasons I like backpacking is getting away from being in touch and online. It is great to be off the grid for 3 weeks on a long trip. Just enjoying being in the moment and taking life day by day without outside concerns.
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Old 11-28-2020, 04:09 PM   #55
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Like many have already said, in some ways it was better. As Old Biscuit and others have suggested, we had Chilton and Haynes repair manuals available at any auto parts store for all but the most obscure vehicles. We went to the local parts store and if they didn't have the part, they looked it up in a book and ordered it or we went to junkyard and often pulled the part ourselves.



We learned critical thinking skills that are severely lacking in much of the internet generation. Those Haynes and Chilton manuals were usually well thought out with pictures and semi-detailed step by step instructions, but we learned to apply logic and intuition to fill in the gaps. The ability to instantly lookup everything has taken much of the curiosity away.



Certainly not suggesting its all bad, my career has been supporting computer infrastructure and there are many, many benefits to technology. Today's computer controlled fuel injected engines are far more reliable than their predecessors, but we learned to keep them running....
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Old 11-29-2020, 04:08 PM   #56
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Its a difficult call

I am 65, for 45 years i had to learn by paying attention and practice. The internet brought many problems to the knowledge base. Suddenly there were far too many experts because of the internet.

It has become a valuable source of information as long as you use common sense. It’s impressive to see how many share common concerns, it’s equally impressive to see how many different opinions exist concerning a subject matter.
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