DAVE BECKERMAN PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG

Photographs of New York ’cause that’s where I am

Subscribe in a reader

Another RSS Feed Issue

28 August, 2008 (00:30)

I had a wrong setting in wordpress so that only summaries were being put out rather than the whole post, and that prevented readers from getting the images. I just checked and now google reader is getting the images as well as the text.

Funny how the web works.  I wasn’t using a reader at all until people started to say they were having problems reading my feed.  So now as I get it fixed, I get into the Google Reader and start adding a couple of feeds and man - this is cool.  In other words - the “learning curve” of the web is back and forth.  You ask me something and I learn something from you.  That is a great thing.

I’ve often wondered what would’ve become of me if I didn’t have the web as a technical and commercial platform.  You have to remember, I didn’t see my first computer until I was 28 years old.  Ancient in today’s terms.  And that computer was the blue Kaypro which I bought for $2500 with money I made from selling a screenplay called, Uncle Lou.

I think the first IBM PC was just about to come out.  I remember the salesman saying, you’ll want DOS so that you can communicate with other computers.  Why would I want that?  The main reason for buying the Kaypro was that I wanted to use it for writing screenplays which had and still have a very fixed format.

The first thing I bought was a program called, Smart Key, which was a way of reprogramming the keys with macros.  So I reprogrammed most of the Kaypro keys so that for example if you pressed the Control-I key, it would type: INTERIOR.

If you pressed CONTROL-F it would type: FADE-IN.

Or something along those lines.  Eventually, I was so enthralled with reprogramming the keys in WORDSTAR (yes - WORDSTAR) that nothing did what it was supposed to do.

And that was how I got into programming.  It was also how I screwed up a job.  You see, my screenwriting money was drying up and I was headed down the old poverty road again.  So I saw an ad in the paper looking for someone who knew WORDSTAR and I went in to take a WORDSTAR test.

I sat down in front of the computer - by then it was an IBM PC - or maybe a COMPAQ (do they still exist?) - and I was given something to type and none of the keys worked correctly.  At home, I had reprogrammed the CONTROL-S key to do something else.

I remember saying to the woman who was giving the test: No, really - I do know Wordstar - it’s just that I reprogrammed the keys at home.

She gave me the blank stare and asked me to leave.

So eventually I removed the Smart Key re-programming, learned the correct key combinations, and began to get temp work doing Wordstar.  In the meantime I was experimenting with the database program which I think was called, dBase.  And that took me into another realm, so that when I was working for an architecture firm that designed prisons - yes prisons - they needed someone to write a database program to help with the design work and I volunteered to do it in dBase.

Anyway, it goes on from there.  Eventually I went to Columbia University in their adult education division (still exists) to learn the C language and Assembler.  My final project was a recreation of DOS written in C.  It was a simulator.  In other words, it didn’t really do anything at all.  It just looked like DOS.

It showed a fake list of files if you did a file list; and it would pretend to delete files, or type file etc. And had a bunch of the most common tasks.  My teacher, when he first saw the program demonstrated in front of the class didn’t understand what I had done.  He thought I was just doing DOS commands.

That is until I showed him about 100 pages of C code that blew him away.

Well - that was chapter one in my programming career.

For many years, I thought that pc’s were in a rut.  Everyone was waiting for the new killer app.  It seemed that PCs were still doing the same three things that came with the Kaypro: Word Processing, Database, and some sort of spreadsheet (Visicalc).

I think the next big thing was the graphical interface and with it programs to deal with images (PSPaint?)

And after that - the web.  Not a program really - not an App - but a new platform.

Jim - you should be able to get the images in your email subscription now. At least for new posts, and maybe for all posts. Let me know.

Anyway - what I wanted to say was that the RSS feed is working properly, and that I’m enjoying playing with the Google Reader.

No tags for this post.


« Painter - Metropolitan Museum

 Night Walk »

Comments

Comment from Eric Jeschke
Time: August 29, 2008, 3:42 am

Thank you!! Now I see the images in my feed reader (bloglines).

Write a comment