Some nice memories

An email topic at work triggered a search into when and where did I first start using computers.

I did some searching and googled for:
“fujitsu “ministry of education” singapore “monk’s hill”” and viola, exactly two entries came up and the first one[1] was spot on. On page 121 of that pdf, it reads:

“Computer Use in Schools
Computer Appreciation Clubs
The first reported computer appreciation course was conducted by Japanese experts in 1974, using a minicomputer donated by the Japanese government. In the same year, a computer training centre was opened in Monk’s Hill Secondary School (Takasawa and Kobayashi 1977). By 1980, 100 teachers and 3000 students had some hands-on experience in BASIC programming (Loh and Low 1986).”

I attended a BASIC programming class in 1976 (open only for those who could type and were good in Math!). The classes were taught by Mr Henry Kwok and it was held in school over 12 Saturday mornings. We had access to the “minicomputer” (a Fujitsu I believe) sitting at Monk’s Hill Secondary School, to type in our code. They had two off-line teleprinters that would spit out ticker tapes which had then to be fed into the only teleprinter that was “on-line” with the computer. Learned something about good typing skills, taking favours from those who could not type etc. I don’t recall RI setting up a Computer Appreciation Club though :-(.

After that went on to getting an Ohio Superboard II 6502-based computer (complete with 2K of RAM) and helped set up a Superboard user group in Singapore.

That was followed by:
a) VAX RSTS/E on a VAX 750 at the Singapore Polytechnic – writing code in Fortran for my school project (1981)
b) A PDP-11/44 RSX at work using Dibol and PDP assembler (1982)
c) On to MS-DOS 1.0 on a Corona PC (1983/84) (including the luggable shown in the photo)
d) Venix – my very first Unix OS (1984) and VisiON.
e) AT&T 3B2 – 1984/85
f) Apollo Domain, HP/UX, 3B2, Dynix (at Oregon State – ’85 onwards)
g) MS-DOS 2, 3, 4, Windows 286/386, 3.0, 3.11, 95.
h) SLS cica 1992 acquired via UUCP uuencoded mail via ftpmail courtesy of Paul Vixie’s ftpmail daemon at DECWRL
i) Yggdrasil
j) Slackware
k) Red Hat Liunx
l) Now RHEL and Fedora!

I have ocassionally dabbled with Ubuntu, Knoppix and a whole slew of live-CDs and mini distributions.


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