John had to work all day today – so I had a nice, laid back, do nothing day. I slept in until 9:00am then promptly called John to rub it in that I was able to sleep late (evil sig. other moment).
I spent most of the day watching the “BBS: The Documentary” on DVD. The documentary was very well done and it used interviews spliced together to tell the story Bulletin Board Systems on computers. The first Bulletin Board named CBBS went online on February 16, 1978 in Chicago, Illinois. I did most of my BBSing when I was in College at Robert Morris College in Carthage, IL from 1987 to 1989. There was a computer lab that were were allowed to use in the evenings and one evening we discovered a live phone line in the drop tile ceiling. We connected it up to a modem in an IBM XT clone and starting dialing away. The instructors eventually found out and really did not care so we kept calling them up – at one point we even had our own BBS system up and running for a short while.
The documentary explained how almost the entire BBS scene went away within 6 months and being replaced by the world wide web and internet… this was in 1996.
I hope John will watch the DVD’s because he was also into BBSs – he would dial into one called “The Enterprise” that was hosted in Appleton, WI. I think it is still up and running at http://enterprisebbs.net. They use Telnet to connect the Bulletin Board computer to the Internet… I could be wrong about all of this – I’m sure John will let me know….
I spent the rest of the day working with the Epson PX-8 computer. I ordered a cable that I can use to connect it to my PowerBook G4 to enable disk drive emulation. The goal of all of this is to be able to download CPM programs from the internet and load them into disk images that the Epson can then read and run.
I’m also learning about how to use the CP/M operating system – it seems simple enough – there are 6 commands in memory and 8 more stored on a rom chip that you can use to manipulate files and other basic system tasks. I was able to write a program in BASIC, save it to the ROM disk and then save it to micro-cassette tape using the CP/M PIP command….
I want to write a version of the Sudoku game for the PX-8, but I’m not sure how I can get a 9×9 grid of numbers to appear on a LCD screen that only has 8 rows.. Perhaps I can do it all in graphics mode and make the numbers small enough to fit….
When it started to cool off (around 6:00pm) I decided to get some exercise and went geocaching. I found all three of the caches I was trying for. I’m up to 77 caches found – only 23 more until I make it to 100. To reward myself for getting 100 caches completed , I will purchase a geocaching t-shirt or something from their online store..
Tonight is our last evening of having DSL internet – Dawn will be leaving in the moring and the internet service will be turned off…. I will miss having the fast connection. It will be back to the Verizon EVDO card….
Tomorrow it is back to work and converting insurance forms…. I found out that one of my co-workers will be leaving the “Major Insurance Company” and going back to India to take care of her family. I hope they will be able to find a replacement soon….