APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2007-09 > 1189326366
Subject: Re: [APG] 1982 NGSQ Article on "Getting Involved With Computers
Date: Sun, 9 Sep 2007 3:26:06 -0500
I'm enjoying reading all the stories of the early use of computers in genealogy. Until moving back to Pennsylvania in 1999, I lived for 18 years in Santa Rosa CA and my first computer, bought in 1982, was a Morrow. It was a CP/M machine with two 380KB 5.25" floppie drives and came with a Star Micronics dot-matrix printer, WordStar and a database program called Pearl, which worked pretty well for some of my genealogy data. I still have the entire system, in the original boxes, with the manuals, software (most of which still works), and a long run of the Bay Area Morrow Users' Group journal, which later amalgamated with the CP/M Users' Group. Looking through those now, it's amusing to read articles on how to create little sub-routines for those old programs which would make doing some tasks easier. With today's modern hardware and software, we execute hundreds, if not thousands, of similar operations daily without even giving it a thought. Those earlier machines were cer!
tainly more hands-on, active engagement than the increasingly intuitive models we use now.
Why did I keep this ancient machine, especially after the Mac came out in 1984? And, why did I haul it back across the entire country when I moved? Well, what is outmoded technology for a few years becomes an antique after a few decades. I've seen Morrows now being offered on eBay for prices I wouldn't have expected. It seems that there are collectors of early working personal computers out there and they are willing to pay. Now, in just a few more years.... !
Norman D. Nicol, Ph.D.
Professional Genealogist/Family Historian
Specializing in NE Pennsylvania, England, esp. Cornwall, and Scotland