Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Your Computer History

 It is Saturday Night time – 

Time for extra Family tree Enjoyable! 


Your mission, must you resolve to simply accept it (cue the Mission Not possible! music) is to:


1) I’m a slave to my laptop – how about you?  What’s your laptop historical past – what have you ever used, when did you get it, what did you do on it, and so forth.?

*  Inform us in your personal weblog submit about your laptop historical past, or in a touch upon this submit, or in posts on Fb.

Here is mine:

1)  I began on computer systems at San Diego State College in about 1965 – with punch playing cards and FORTRAN packages for my engineering courses.  I additionally had a slide rule that I utilized in math, engineering and science courses all by way of highschool and school.

2)  In my first paying job in 1966, I used an digital 4 perform calculator with a small display to make calculations, but it surely did not have a sq. root perform so I had to try this with a brief course of.

3)  Once I began at Rohr in October 1967, the engineering group had developed some FORTRAN packages for evaluation work, so I used to be ready to make use of my programming abilities and develop extra evaluation packages.  We stuffed out coding sheets and despatched them to the keypunch operators who despatched us again a card deck, which we put collectively, put in a field with rubber bands across the punched playing cards, and carried them to the pc heart.  Each morning, we might go to the pc heart to retrieve our card deck within the field (and hope the playing cards had not been scrambled) and the 11 x 17 printouts from the dot matrix printers.  If this system failed, the printout included a core dump in hexadecimal numbers (base 16) so we may work out the place this system failed.  We then revised the coding, acquired new punchcards, put the deck collectively, and submitted it once more, hopefully by the top of the day.  

Division secretaries reworked our handwritten pages into engineering reviews on typewriters, which we then edited and redlined and so they typed them once more.


When hand-held calculators, with all the features together with logarithms and trigonometry features, got here out within the early Nineteen Seventies, I purchased an HP-35 and later an HP-45 and used them for engineering calculations for many years.

4)  Within the mid Nineteen Seventies, we acquired keypunch machines in our work space, and punched the FORTRAN program and enter information playing cards ourselves.  By the late Nineteen Seventies, we had a card reader in our work space so we may submit jobs to the distant laptop heart with out strolling over to the middle.  We additionally had a printer in our work space that acquired the printouts.  By the mid-70s, the primary phrase processors had been offered to the division secretaries so they might edit the memos and reviews.

5)  Within the early Nineteen Eighties, Rohr acquired a VAX 11/780 laptop system for engineering, and we acquired terminals in our work space to exchange the punch playing cards, though some engineers nonetheless used the punchcards.  On the terminals, we may create a FORTRAN program file, add management playing cards, and electronically submit our program and information deck to the distant laptop.  The printouts nonetheless got here to our work space printer.  For the reason that terminals had higher and decrease case letters, and Greek letters, a few of the engineers typed the memos and reviews on the terminals, printed them off, and so forth. (I did). 

6)  In February 1983, I purchased an IBM 8086 PC with no arduous drive, two 360 kb floppy drives, MS-DOS, and a dot matrix printer for about $3,000.  I used the EasyWriter program for phrase processing at dwelling, and wrote BASIC packages for my radio wave propagation passion.  I had this laptop after I upgraded to a tough drive within the late Nineteen Eighties, together with a 300 baud modem, and began my family tree work in 1988 utilizing the Private Ancestral File software program program.  I nonetheless had this setup in 1992 after I used the Prodigy community to attach with different researchers of their boards utilizing the modem.

7)  In 1994, I purchased a 80386 PC, with a bigger arduous drive, 3.5 inch floppy drives, Home windows 3.1, and Microsoft Works.  I used this for correspondence, the web companies and electronic mail, plus Private Ancestral File for my household tree.  

8)  In 1998 I purchased a Home windows 95 PC with Microsoft Works and MSWord, with a zipper drive, an inner modem and an inkjet printer, and began utilizing the Web for family tree analysis on message boards and mailing lists.  I purchased Household Tree Maker Model 5 and transferred my family tree database into that program.  In 2001, I subscribed to Ancestry.com for the report collections and have continued that to the current. 

9)  I upgraded once more in about 2004 when the earlier laptop crapped out, once more upgrading to extra RAM, sooner CPU, Home windows XP, CDROM, and a scanner and an inkjet printer.  By this time, we had cable modems and routers.  I purchased a laptop computer in about 2002 so I may make family tree displays at family tree society conferences.  I switched from Household Tree Maker 16 to RootsMagic Model 3 in 2006 for my household tree program.  I began running a blog in April 2006 utilizing Blogger and nonetheless do that every day.

10)  I upgraded once more in 2010 when the 2004 desktop laptop crapped out, with Home windows 7, an all-in-one printer, DVD and CDROM drives, and so forth. I switched to Gmail as my electronic mail consumer in about 2011 as a result of Thunderbird was so sluggish.  I began utilizing Fb, Twitter and Pinterest for social media, and Dropbox to save lots of information and displays to switch to the laptop computer.  This laptop lasted till July 2021, and my information had been being backed up on iDrive and an exterior drive.  

11)  I acquired a brand new laptop computer in 2012 with Home windows 7, one other in about 2016 with Home windows 7, and one other with Home windows 10 in 2020.   These had been used primarily to provide displays at conferences, seminars and society conferences.  Now, I learn ebooks, electronic mail and social media on my laptop computer whereas watching tv (sports activities, information, and so forth.). 

12)  When the earlier Home windows 7 desktop laptop failed, I purchased a Home windows 10 PC with extra arduous drive and CPU at Costco in July 2021.  I used to be capable of switch all of my family tree, private, music and picture information to the brand new laptop from the iDrive backup system.  I nonetheless use Gmail for electronic mail and nonetheless use RootsMagic (now Model 8) for my major family tree software program program.  I exploit Zoom to look at society packages and Mondays With Myrt.  I’ve subscriptions to Ancestry.com, Newspapers.com, Fold3, com, MyHeritage, Findmypast, GenealogyBank, Geni.com, American Ancestors, and Household Tree Webinars.  I exploit free report suppliers like FamilySearch, Discover a Grave, and WikiTree, for on-line family tree analysis.  I work 8-12 hours a day on family tree on my desktop laptop.

That is my story in a nutshell – I am positive it bored most readers.  

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