[ index ]
. 1982, zx81 . 1987, 8086 . 1993, macintosh lc iii . 1996, powerbook 190 . 1998, powerbook g3 . 2000, pentium iii 667eb . 2001, thinkpad a20m . 2002, ibook 2 . 2002, epia-m . 2002, ss51g . 2003, thinkpad x30 . 2006, soekris 4801 * 1993, macintosh lc III the lc iii was my first mac. i had worked during a summer in a company and i spent the full month of money to buy a new computer. that was the first one i paid myself and i really liked this machine. i was tempted by a pc at first but two friends (fred and guy - i sold the lc iii later to guy when moving to another machine) convinced me and i went for the new lc iii from apple. if i remember correctly, the machine costed me about 9000 francs or so. it had a pizza box central unit and a 14 inches screen. its cpu was a 68030 at 25 mhz but it had no fpu so i bought one a few monthes later, but the first 6 monthes i bought a shareware called "soft-fpu" that emulated the fpu in software and worked with any app (: it had 1 mb of rom with the mac toolbox, and 8 mb of memory, with an internal video card of 512 kb : as much video ram as my previous machine's ram ! with a huge 20 mb hard disk. technically the machine was interesting: the motherboard was the single component, no wire inside the machine (except the fan, one small and none on the cpu of course). compared to the previous lc and lc 2, the lc 3 was no longer hobbled with 16-bit data paths so this new machine broke the bottleneck and had a real 32-bit. while it only had one expansion slot (and using that nubus thing) programming was not easy at first, since i could not buy anything. on a store near my home i had found the metrowerks codewarrior but it was over 1000 francs. so i wrote a letter to people at metrowerks and asked them if i could buy a c compiler, an old version, from them at a cheaper price. greg galanos himself, their ceo, wrote back to me and offered me a free copy of their codewarrior academic 96/97 edition ! that was a wonderful move from metrowerks and i will always remember the great care they had for programmers and greg galano's letter i keep with care (: it was with this machine that i saw the introduction of the cdrom. i had bought a huge cdrom reader, 3 times longer than a 5" drive, with 10 time its weight. of course it only worked at x1 150 kb/s but it was incredible to see 650 mb CDs when your hard disk was not even 1/20 of that space. i spent a long time over this machine. i did not like programming the usual mac programs with graphical interfaces because i had to write huge amounts of code and spent countless hours in resedit to create dialogs and so on, though programming loop-controlled programs centered on user's action was something new. but i mostly used codewarrior using the unix-alike programs since they had incorpored a text engine from marco piovanelli : WASTE. i later contacted marco and became the translator for several years of his Style's text editor for mac and a few other programs: resedit was great to translate programs. i learned photoshop, xpress, and played a few games, mostly rpg ones. later i bought the macsbug book to learn motorola assembly from its debugger and the motorola 68030 was just fantastic. at that time, i was also programming my hp48gx using assembly and the motorola 68030 was the platform to which i ported all my hp48 assembly programs, and i found that internally that processor was especially gifted to implement "stack-based" programs (which was later confirmed by the experience of david feugey whom also programmed in assembly the 68030 - david was the chief editor of the login magazine where i worked for three years later: a great acorn fan and fantastic dude!)
1996, powerbook 190 the 190 was my first laptop and still a macintosh. i bought it because it was an offer as the product build was stopped so the price was very attractive. this is also the last 680x0 machine that apple build before moving to the powerpc. i could not afford the color version so i went for the grayscale display (: codenamed omega, the 190 used a low-cost motorola 68040 without fpu and runned at 33 mhz as its bus speed. the data path was 32-bit and the mac rom was 2 mb. the hard disk was huge to me: 500 mb. it first worked with 7.5.2 then 7.5.3 and ended with 8.1 ; that machine followed me when i joined the army and even in the "chiffre" (which takes care of protected communications and storage for classified levels of information up to secret-defense). after the few monthes it took to train me to the chiffre and military cryptography, i was sent from the 43rt of achern to the 18gc of saarburg (both in germany) and worked there. the army would probably get very mad if they had knew i was connecting through their phone line from the communications protected center to france telecom to grab my emails, but as soon my knowledge improved in radio-electric surveillance i stopped doing that, it was too dangerous. while being a bit heavy, the laptop was rather strong and followed me everywhere. since all this work is classified, let's move on (: using macos was a bit annoying so i started looking around to find some unix i could use there, but the lack of fpu was a critical problem. but after a month of search i found something that would work : tenon. tenon is a company that ported unix (from the bsd sources, i'm not sure) to macos. you keep macos installed, and to launch unix it was just a program to start. it did load a kernel that mixed itself with macos (you had to reboot to remove it, once launched it cannot be stopped anymore) and it allowed to use x window from macos. this was wonderful. i could reduce my macos to a minimal os with the bare minimum stuff, and load the unix part and work from there. the tenon was sold for quite an expensive price but offered a 4.3BSD based on Mach 2.5; X11 was R6 with plenty libs like Motif 1.4 (it was not freely available out of MachTen). long before people booted macos x and enjoyed running BSD through a Mach kernel it was already available back in 1996 and i was using it everyday. the tenon box was filled with huge books: printed man pages, notes about how it interface with macos network and other components, and the venerable x window documentation itself. that software made that 190 become a fantastic development machine for me, and almost all my code was centered on cryptography and analysis programs. from the day i installed tenon, the machine was never shutdown but always in a cycle of power on/sleep until i bought a more powerful laptop before going to bosnia.
[ previous page ] [ next page ]
*last update: Mon Apr 5 21:03:56 UTC 2004