When History Makes You Feel Old

I went to the Smithsonian Museum of American History today.  They had an exhibit for one of the Tucker cars, which is a car that failed due to fraud and business mismanagement.  Car is stunning though.  That is the actual color.

There was also an exhibit called American Stories.  Dorothy’s red shoes from The Wizard of Oz was in the exhibit.  They made news because the Smithsonian did a Kickstarter to raise money to restore them.  The exhibit also had Archie and Edith Bunker’s chairs and Ernie from Sesame Street.

It also had one of the first computers that came out.

I remember getting one of those.  My father was a computer engineer and he was trying to come up with fusion, so he bought a Heathkit H-89 about 1980.  In those days, you could go to the Heathkit store and buy a product like a computer or a stereo or a clock and build it yourself.

The computer was all one piece–screen, keyboard, and floppy disk drives.   It was so new at the time that he didn’t have the hard drives we’re used to now.  Instead, we booted up the computer with the floppy disk.  The ones that immediately followed it were pretty primitive by today’s standards.  I had a Commodore-64, which I used to write screenplays.  Absolutely no redundancies or error protection.  I was writing along, tried to save the file, and computer informed me there wasn’t enough room on the disk and aborted.

It’s a long way from the ones of today.

But seeing computers like what you owned in a museum … oh yeah, I feel old!