• Anonymous (unregistered)

    Oh God, I remember that crap - "95% IBM compatible". Great, but that 5% makes a whole heap of difference...

  • Tarval (unregistered)

    Never underestimate the power of the potential of hot lab assistants to help drive ingenuity and invention.

  • Anonymous (unregistered)

    Not exactly a WTF but interesting reading nonetheless, cheers.

  • Tarval (unregistered) in reply to Tarval

    Pre-coffee commenting without previewing not recommended... Two extra words turn sentences into ugly.

    Tarval:
    Never underestimate the power of potential hot lab assistants to help drive ingenuity and invention.
  • Booboo (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:
    Not exactly a WTF but interesting reading nonetheless, cheers.
    Not even _slightly_ a WTF. Wonderful stuff.
  • Dingbat (unregistered)

    All this lab kit, and nothing running on IEEE-488 into a HP-85?

    300 baud modems at the age of the 286-AT seems a bit retro too.

  • Ollie Jones (unregistered)

    Umm, young fellas, those are "foxy" lab assistants. The word "hot" is soooo 90s.

    And the VAX text editor was indeed a miserable crock. It was called teco.

  • Code Dependent (cs) in reply to Ollie Jones
    Ollie Jones:
    Umm, young fellas, those are "foxy" lab assistants. The word "hot" is soooo 90s.
    Anything "female lab assistant" is soooo seventies. Why are the women all relegated to subordinate roles in which their main feature is appearance? What would be really cool is if "Gary" was instead "Mary".

    Oh, wait... this was way back when, wasn't it. Nevermind.

  • GreyWolf (cs) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:
    Oh God, I remember that crap - "95% IBM compatible". Great, but that 5% makes a whole heap of difference...

    Oh how we laughed in the Old Days at IBM, at Those Others with their Some Percent Compatible! We used to tell our customers that Compatibility is Like Pregnancy, Either You Are or You Aren't.

    Then the rat fink customers looked at the price lists and decided 95% was close enough.

    Of course, they wailed and gnashed their teeth later. For us, the worst bit was not being allowed to say "I Told You So".

  • Kensey (cs) in reply to Ollie Jones
    Ollie Jones:
    And the VAX text editor was indeed a miserable crock. It was called teco.

    Then again, that miserable crock motivated the creation of what eventually became the OS we know as emacs, which lacks only a decent editor to be useful.

  • kinz (unregistered)

    "Hitchcock" River sounds a lot like the Cuyahoga...

  • Old TOPS-10 Dude (unregistered) in reply to Kensey
    Kensey:
    Ollie Jones:
    And the VAX text editor was indeed a miserable crock. It was called teco.

    Then again, that miserable crock motivated the creation of what eventually became the OS we know as emacs, which lacks only a decent editor to be useful.

    I remember TECO. I hated TECO. OTOH, I did like that you could produce useful results in your text buffer by starting TECO and just whacking the crap out of the acoustic coupler. Random line noise made a fine command stream for TECO.

  • MetalPig (cs)

    It woud be funnier if Ed's name were Jay.

  • g (unregistered)

    Ed's primary female contact on the job was the overseer of the Vax mainframe – a 67 year old grandmother with anger management issues, who would frequently throw fits, slamming a binder full of the source code on the monitor whenever she suspected someone of meddling with the system.

    hahah!

  • Anon (unregistered)

    I'm pretty sure that hot lab assistants only exist on CSI.

  • Kef Schecter (unregistered) in reply to Kensey
    Kensey:
    Then again, that miserable crock motivated the creation of what eventually became the OS we know as emacs, which lacks only a decent editor to be useful.

    I laughed -- it's so true!

  • KattMan (cs) in reply to Anon
    Anon:
    I'm pretty sure that hot lab assistants only exist on CSI.

    Lies! They exist on NCIS also. Oh wait, Abby isn't an assistant is she?

  • Matthew Watson (unregistered)

    The Central Laboratory Information Terminal?

    Interesting acronym...

  • Bob (unregistered) in reply to Old TOPS-10 Dude
    Old TOPS-10 Dude:
    Kensey:
    Ollie Jones:
    And the VAX text editor was indeed a miserable crock. It was called teco.

    Then again, that miserable crock motivated the creation of what eventually became the OS we know as emacs, which lacks only a decent editor to be useful.

    I remember TECO. I hated TECO. OTOH, I did like that you could produce useful results in your text buffer by starting TECO and just whacking the crap out of the acoustic coupler. Random line noise made a fine command stream for TECO.

    I remember EVE on VAX boxen, wasn't tooooo bad.

  • Code Dependent (cs) in reply to Ollie Jones
    Ollie Jones:
    Umm, young fellas, those are "foxy" lab assistants. The word "hot" is soooo 90s.
    And "foxy" is so... oh, goodness, let me think, when did Hendrix come out with that song? Oh, yeah... 1967.
  • shepd (cs)

    Just FYI, laplink and netware both came out in 1983, so it is somewhat possible that a laplink-based network would have come first.

    Somewhat.

  • Code Dependent (cs) in reply to Matthew Watson
    Matthew Watson:
    The Central Laboratory Information Terminal?

    Interesting acronym...

    Thus rendering the subsequent sentence relevant:

    "Some of the newer female lab assistants never seemed to understand the snickering among their male colleagues whenever the terminal was discussed."

  • bohica61 (cs) in reply to Ollie Jones
    Ollie Jones:
    The word "hot" is soooo 90s.

    All you have to do to give it a 21st century cachet is change the spelling: "hawt".

  • Crash Magnet (unregistered)

    Would that local university be in a southern state on the banks of the Mississippi River (not New Orleans)?

    The story about Ed's well funded arch-rivals with Mac's, GC's, MS's, and female lab assistances sounds a little like our group at XXU.

  • Aehiilrs (unregistered) in reply to Matthew Watson
    Matthew Watson:
    The Central Laboratory Information Terminal?

    Interesting acronym...

    He just wanted to be able to say he was the CLIT Commander.

  • valerion (cs)

    CLIT? Pah. The Committe for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitation Into Society - now there's a real acronym.

    </red dwarf>

  • Code Dependent (cs) in reply to valerion
    valerion:
    CLIT? Pah. The Committe for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitation Into Society - now there's a real acronym.

    </red dwarf>

    Nothing terrifying about that. I had it licked the first time I encountered it.

  • mauhiz (unregistered)

    That's how real men do PC networks. Do not try this at home, kids.

  • T (unregistered)

    I don't understand. What's the WTF here? This is just plain awesome. The guy's a freakin' hero!

  • TakeASeatOverThere (cs)

    More stories like this one, all the nostalgia is just awesome.

  • Vilx- (unregistered) in reply to T

    Yup. Have to have some positive stories too once in a while, no?

  • Bob (unregistered) in reply to KattMan
    KattMan:
    Anon:
    I'm pretty sure that hot lab assistants only exist on CSI.

    Lies! They exist on NCIS also. Oh wait, Abby isn't an assistant is she?

    Abby doesn't fit the criteria in the first place. Forced-adult-goth is more irritating and saddengingly fake than her just being normal. Take out the obvious and overwhelming stereotypical goth stuff about her, and then she'd fit just fine.

  • Rasomuro (unregistered)

    Some detail is anachronistic (and I'm not talking about the hot lab assistants)... How is it possible that, well within the IBM PC era, somebody could find the name "Apple" strange for a computer?

  • pjt33 (cs) in reply to Rasomuro
    Rasomuro:
    Some detail is anachronistic (and I'm not talking about the hot lab assistants)... How is it possible that, well within the IBM PC era, somebody could find the name "Apple" strange for a computer?
    Good point. It's no stranger than Apricot or Dragon.
  • Consultuning (unregistered)

    This is one of the best stories I've read so far in TDWTF. Well written, and it managed to bring fond memories of the time when I was doing similar things, challenging the status quo of computer technology using those new "personal" computers (and the PC was not the dominant player so you had a lot of variety to choose) Long gone are the days where one could radically change the way people worked using technology.

    Today, everything has become so standarized that one wonders if there is actually room for innovation anywhere. We're using technology as a commodity, and probably missing a million of opportunities to make people lives easier.

    Still, the store has a certain literary smell. I, for one, never saw new technology attracting female lab assistants matching certain physical features. Perhaps it was just me, that would explain a lot of my assumptions about how woman behave according to their looks.

  • Da' Man (unregistered)

    ..and the best thing is:

    With the help of a few coloured marker pencils you can even draw something that remotely resembles an Apple logo onto these PCs.

    Captcha: amet (remind me to ask some priest if it is still valid if misspelled)

  • Sutherlands (cs) in reply to Code Dependent
    Code Dependent:
    Ollie Jones:
    Umm, young fellas, those are "foxy" lab assistants. The word "hot" is soooo 90s.
    Anything "female lab assistant" is soooo seventies. Why are the women all relegated to subordinate roles in which their main feature is appearance? What would be really cool is if "Gary" was instead "Mary".
    No, what would be really cool is if the story come with pictures.
  • clum1 (unregistered)

    The Central Laboratory Information Terminal?

    Even with an AD and GB ethernet, I still have trouble finding it on the network. The hot female lab assistants get so frustrated.

  • TadGhostal (unregistered) in reply to MetalPig

    OMFG!!! I was thinking exactly the same thing! (except I was thinking Pete)

  • TadGhostal (unregistered) in reply to MetalPig
    MetalPig:
    It woud be funnier if Ed's name were Jay.

    OMFG!!! I was thinking exactly the same thing! (except I was thinking Pete)

  • Gnubeutel (unregistered)

    hahahahaha. "Central Laboratory Information Terminal." hahahahahaha

  • Ranxerox (unregistered)

    Ah yes, paper clips to hold cables to the ceiling. I did that back in the 80's because the company wouldn't allocate resources to run them in the ceiling and the walls. I had them running across hallways and such.

    Then the fire inspector came. Suddenly there was budget to do the job right. ;-)

  • eric76 (unregistered)

    In the late 70s, someone at a certain well-known oil company had two PDP-11's next to each other and was wanting to network them together.

    Someone suggested, not very seriously, that since the tape drives of the two machines were side by side, they could cut a couple small holes in each cabinet, splice a tape to make it continuous, and let it run.

    They never actually did that, of course, but the thought of it has made me laugh whenever I think about it ever since.

  • eric76 (unregistered) in reply to Ollie Jones
    Ollie Jones:
    And the VAX text editor was indeed a miserable crock. It was called teco.
    I used to use Teco on PDP-11's, but I dont' remember ever even seeing it on a VAX.

    I've often wished I had a copy I could use on my OpenBSD machines.

  • amischiefr (cs) in reply to Code Dependent
    Code Dependent:
    Ollie Jones:
    Umm, young fellas, those are "foxy" lab assistants. The word "hot" is soooo 90s.
    Anything "female lab assistant" is soooo seventies. Why are the women all relegated to subordinate roles in which their main feature is appearance? What would be really cool is if "Gary" was instead "Mary".

    Oh, wait... this was way back when, wasn't it. Nevermind.

    Because objectifying women is fun? </shrug> What are we supposed to look at, their personalities? Fuck that. Show me some titties!@

  • Bob (unregistered) in reply to amischiefr
    Comment held for moderation.
  • webhamster (cs) in reply to Matthew Watson
    Matthew Watson:
    The Central Laboratory Information Terminal?

    Interesting acronym...

    I once wrote something I called the "Purchase Management System" (totally not noticing the acronym) until the (female) accountant quietly suggested I think about the name...hence the "Purchase & Expense Management System" was born...although the "E" part of the code didn't actually exist until version 2.0.

  • Charles400 (cs)

    While reading this story, another memory was was playing out on another thread in my head. Scotty was in the engine room patching together a warp coil...

  • An Onymous (unregistered)

    This story is more of a WTG than a WTF.

  • JamesQMurphy (cs) in reply to Dingbat
    Dingbat:
    All this lab kit, and nothing running on IEEE-488 into a HP-85?

    300 baud modems at the age of the 286-AT seems a bit retro too.

    Seems about right to me. The AT came out in 1984, and I was still playing with my acoustic 300 baud modem at the time.

    Remember too, Gary didn't have the 286's, he had the hand-me-down 8088's, so it's likely he had hand-me-down 300 baud modems as well.

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