Monday, October 29, 2007

New computer

I bought a new computer the other day, HP D350 (or something similar). It's new to me, but not new to the world: apparently there are companies that lease top of the line computers for two or three years and then return them to the suppliers. These computers are then sold second hand at very good value for money prices - the computer cost $230, including a license for Windows XP. The processor is 3GHz and the disk 160GB, making it four and bit times faster and larger than my previous computer.

I bought my first computer in the late spring of 1986: 512 KB memory, dual 360KB floppy drives, 8088 processor, CGA graphics card. Oh, those were the days! Considering what was happening in the personal computer world at the time, Israel was a few years behind America, which means that it was a few generations behind. I shortly made two significant purchases to improve the computer: increasing its memory to 640KB and replacing the processor with a V20 chip which I bought via regular mail from America. At the time, I was the only person on the kibbutz with a personal computer at home, which just goes to show the mindset of the time.

There had been occasions when I had borrowed an Apple 2 from the local school in order to program examples for a book I write entitled "Introduction to Programming with Turtle Graphics", but the Apple seemed a bit esoteric.

Later I was to update that computer with a 186 board (probably the only one in the world) and then a 286, and then a 386.... I think that my new computer is about my tenth!

I transferred most of the files from the old computer via network cable over the weekend, and started re-installing programs. I religiously keep installation programs for stuff which I use, but my son doesn't. Half of his game programs don't seem to need Windows installation as they work with DOS extenders and similar, but he's not having too much success in running them, even though all the files have been copied.

The major problem at the moment is that my musical keyboard doesn't connect to the new computer as it has a built-in sound card with no game port. The keyboard has a MIDI/DIN connector on one end and a strange game port connector on the other. I have ordered (via Internet) a MIDI/USB cable which hopefully will solve the problem.

I've decided that my rendering of "Mist Covered Mountain" needs major correcting; as I have no keyboard, I have to write the corrections manually into the sequencer which is exceedingly painstaking. I worked this way for maybe a year when I first started working with MIDI and before I found a controller, and it makes life very difficult, especially when one is trying to sequence chords!

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