POST 33. 8088 … huh? April 19, 2024

 8088….       huh?


It’s not possible to keep up with computer technology or even to predict what it will look like in another century!


Some are frightened of a future where AI is everywhere and in everything.


Will cyber threats be the rule? Will wars happen without shots  fired?  Will artificial organs include the brain? Will vehicles no longer use fuel … or perhaps we won’t need vehicles at all. Time travel instead?


Use your imagination, and it will happen. 


Some of us of an age have lived through the first, second, third, and fourth generations of computers. We are already in the fifth generation of smart phones, tablets, smart watches, and so on, all since around 1940!


My first home desktop arrived at my doorstep in a humongous box!


It was 1982, and I realized almost immediately that I’d done it again … I had bitten off more than I could chew.


Its microprocessor was a type known as an 8088, but it wasn’t set up. Instead, it came with a manual called DOS which was the computer’s operating system. I had no clue what that meant!


Oh, no, it meant that I had to set it up myself!


So … I stayed up all night reading the 300 page manual for DOS.


My husband and friends were prompting me to take a class, saying that it wasn’t possible to learn an operating system without proper instruction.


But I stuck to my guns, and continued studying until DOS made enough sense that I could do the basic programming needed to set up the 8088 computer! Success after 48 hours of brain convulsing effort!


But now what?


I held the keys to the computer world … a magical floppy disk!


But to unlock it, I had to master another enormous manual. It was a utility called Word Perfect.


I guess you could best describe it as the olden version of something akin to Microsoft Word.


But the setup instruction sheet failed to tell me the most important information: where to put the floppy disk! Aargh, frustration!


After all my hard work, I’d met my nemesis in the form of a 5.25 inch floppy! Sputter, grunt, cough, scream.


I looked on the top of the computer. I looked on both sides, just to find where the floppy disk should go. I even turned the heavy computer over. I just couldn't find where to put the floppy!


In the end I found it, in the form of a very thin slot on the front of the computer!


It was like trying to find your car keys when they're right in your hand!


Problem solved!

This is what a document looked like using WordPerfect


I had been able to set up and operate my first computer … all by myself!


Persevere! Believe in yourself! You can meet any goal you set!


I hope you liked this story, too! Share your thoughts!


I’m listening!








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