My very first computer. A Bondwell 12. This beauty. O, God seeing it again opens my heart and lets the 5 1/4 floppy disks in.
|Isn’t she beautiful?
It was in the mid 1980, 1984, 1985 when I had my first real portable computer. With a Z80 microprocessor with a clockfrequency of 4 MHz, 64K RAM Memory, 4K ROM, Two floppy disk drives (one for your program disk, another for your data and a 24 lines 80 character set display, yellow on black. It run on CP/M 2.2.
It was a portable PC, but a real, real heavy one. I could not find how much it weighed, but I can tell you, it was quite a bit.
What is now all click-and-go was in the time of two big floppy disks not as easy as all that. First you had to learn all the commands. For instance to copy a file from disk A: to disk B: you had to:
To copy the remaining files from disk 1 of 2, enter the
following PIP command.
This PIP command copies all the files in your disk directory to drive B from drive A. PIP displays the message COPYING followed by each filename as the copy operation proceeds. When PIP finishes copying, CP/M 2.2 displays the system prompt.
As easy as all that. The DOS generation (the next generation of operating systems) worked with similar commands. You recognize old people that have worked with DOS because they all know these weird * ? .not more than 8 letters before point.three letters behind point filenames. The flexible 5 and a quarter inch floppy disks were expensive, and fragile. You wanted to keep your hands away from the hole where the disk was visible and the computer heads read the data on the disk.
Now everybody uses Word, well, a lot of us anyway, but in those days Wordstar was THE PROGRAM. By May 1983 BYTE magazine called WordStar “without a doubt the best-known and probably the most widely used personal computer word-processing program”. And it was. Everbody who had a computer knew Wordstar. And Wordstar came with my Bondwell 12 computer.
To move the cursor to the left you pressed the control key and typed S. Your cursor went over the text one character to the left. Magic! Control pressed and A and you went over to the next word!!! It is a revolution. And there is that menu screen that helped you typing. OK, it reduced your screen to 15 lines or so, but it was a small price to pay.
Wordstar, Ah, seeing the screen brings back a lot of memories. That’s right, control J is the Help. MicroPro’s Wordstar was without a doubt the world leader in Word Processing software.
With my Bondwell (along with Calcstar a pre-pre-pre Excel version of a spreadsheet program) came Datastar. And I fell in love with Datastar. I fell hard for it. I thought it was the greatest program ever written. Datastar was – due to the file limit restrictions – divided in three small programs:
Formgen -> to make your database layout
Datastar -> if your layout was ready you could fill in the data
Reportstar -> to make all kind of reports of the database.
It was so great. The power Formgen gave you to force the user to type a certain type of character into each letter-field of your input screen. It was a dataorgasm. Really it was. Ah, I wish I had still that program. I loved it. Who needs a woman when you have Datastar?
And so computing came to be my hobby in the eighties. I have so many wonderful memories of my first Bondwell. I only had it for two years,after that I bought an IBM PC XT. A real one, not a clone. But more about that later.
Those were the days.