Car Play Clean-Up Shuffle – #1LinerWeds

No, that’s not the name of a new dance. Actually, it’s three different things that got tangled up between the weekend and the first two days of the week. I finally managed to get four desktop computers, dating back to the late 1990’s, “processed.”

Processing requires booting up the old machine. That required finding little connection doodads that let me plug a USB mouse into a 5-pin connector. In most cases, it also required setting the date in the BIOS and hoping that the IDE, ATA or SCSI drive parameters are still valid. I remember the days of setting up Master and Slave drives – I shake my head at the fact that the industry chose those terms – adding, removing and resetting jumpers and DIP switches. I’ll stop. If you’ve been there, you recognize those terms. If not, it never mattered.

Once the old machine was running, the process continued by exploring and extracting anything of value. I mentioned earlier, copying digital photos. But there are other items of value. Program files, documents, utilities I wrote, a Yahtzee game I wrote for Faith when she was little that still runs and is still fun to play – yes, I lost about 45 minutes to that. I will probably discard most of these files, but I’ve found a couple that are worth keeping.

After spending three days reminiscing over 20-year-old technology, I had to take my car in for service on Tuesday. I plugged my iPhone into the car’s USB port – something unimaginable 20 years ago – and I pressed the “Media” button. The iPhone’s CarPlay interface is set to “Shuffle” songs randomly. After Fleetwood Mac’s “Say You Love Me” finished, “Truckin’” by The Grateful Dead started to play.

I don’t have personal experience with all the lyrics, but some things certainly ring true. Lines like:

“Chicago, New York, Detroit and it’s all on the same street”

And,

“Sometimes the cards ain’t worth a dime
If you don’t lay ’em down”

But the one line that caught up with me after this weekend’s task was the last line of the chorus.

“Lately, it occurs to me
What a long, strange trip it’s been.”


This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner, I’d encourage you to join in on the fun. You can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.

93 comments

    1. I was so sad when HP bought Compaq. The first really function laptop I ever had was a Compaq and it was wonderful. The track ball was built into the side of the screen, which was surprisingly comfortable.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I told you that my husband was a DEC/Compaq/HP employee. The HP employees were furious when they brought Compaq techs into the fold. My husband came home many days just exhausted b/c when he called in for backup on some difficult computer issue he was working on, the HP techs were ‘too busy’ and would not help. It was not a good time in our computer world.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s awful. I was sad to see HP buy Compaq. I really felt like I had made a great choice when I had chosen Compaq as our primary vendor. We endured horror story after horror story with our servers after the acquisition. The standard answer was “this is under warranty, but we can’t get the part. We’ll give you a discount on a new HP box.”

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  1. Starting the day with that song in my head is a big improvement from the (very short) night of fitful sleep. Now all I need is a cup of coffee and I’ll be truckin’ with the Doo Dah Man.
    First, how cool that you wrote a game for your daughter back then. I’m glad you were able to keep it. Secondly, there was a lot more work than I realized when you first mentioned processing the old computers. I’m sure it feels good to get that done. Happy hump day.
    Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Teagan. All four of them are safely and securely in a bin at the recycling shed of our Public Works department depot. I feel very good. I sent Faith a screen shot of that game after I started playing. I even built in a “cheat” button that let you take as many rolls as you wanted (but it counted how many you took).

      Enjoy your coffee. Sit down and patch your bones 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m on cup of coffee #2. Hopefully I’ll make it to the grocery store later (my weekly goal). More hopefully — yesterday I wrote a “ufo hint” scene for the beginning of Wheel of Fortune”. I’m feeling good about that revision and hope I can get on a roll. But lack of sleep is already catching up with me.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Your youth and mine. See how lucky you are your hubs collects rusty stuff in a barn? These were all part of a complicated sequence of events. Mostly work related. Work is gone and the machines are gone.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhhh…memories of old technology, blue screens and Windows XP. The latter saved me from the horrors of Vista and you have saved yourself from being on “Computer Hoarders,” if there ever was such a show. It appears you are using your retirement to good use, Dan, even though MuMu doesn’t approve of your glasses on her shelf. Have you not learned by now? ;-)

    Happy Wednesday to you, the Editor and the furry beasts that make demands and steal your place on the couch.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mary. Each time, these machines needed more time than I had. There was always something that wouldn’t migrate, that couldn’t be installed on the new box. Always a reason to keep it, but no more. They are gone, blue screens and all. XP was my happy place for a long time.

      I put my glasses up there when she isn’t around. Then she bounces in, grumbles and dispatches then with a paw or her nose. She liked to show who’s in charge of the shelf.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ally. Several years ago, I posted a question on Facebook – “what in the world ever became of sweet Jane.” A friend of mine (named Jane) must have gotten a notice. She quickly replied “she lost her sparkle.”

      Sometimes, they nailed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hard drives, really are hard. Is there a special place to drill those holes? I love that caption: ‘This machine was never meant to see this date.” lol
    I planted some crocus, despite being told they don’t grow here. A friend of mine had 2 magnolias after being told they didn’t grow here too, and his trees are gorgeous (and quite old now) Hoping these crocus are able to deal with our current yo-yo weather temps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks GP I still though the round section (where the drive platters are). We planted over 100 bulbs years ago. Chipmunks snd squirrels ate most of them, but the crocus keep coming back. I hope yours go well.

      My dad had a magnolia in Pittsburgh. He was told it wouldn’t grow. My brother had one in Iowa!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m the one who is just very glad I always had people like you who did all of ‘that’ for me, and now I have a grandson. He would have loved to have spent the day with you while you did that task. :-) Now, comes my #1 question – where did you have all those old computers stored? I’m guessing the Editor was not sorry to see them all go. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They were in a quiet corner in the basement family room (where I want a new TV to go). They shared one monitor, keyboard and mouse. They used to be in a desk. I got rid of the desk, a few years ago. Now these are gone. No one was going to do this for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved the looks at your old computers, Dan. I confess that I still have my first computer, a Kaypro II that used the CP/M operating system that predated DOS. I remember operating my first software programs, mostly WordStar, off of 5 1/4 inch floppies. I went straight from there to Apple machines and it was only much later that I started to dabble with the dark side (Microsoft). Now I have a foot in both camps. I loved your crocus shot, especially because it shows the ways that these early blooming flowers often burst forth in areas covered by leaves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike. I still have my first programmable calculator. I went from that to an IBM PC (64k) and I’ve been embroiled with the dark side ever since. I had Apple for a while (in addition to Windows) when I was writing iPhone apps from scratch. I just couldn’t make the switch.

      The leaves gather on both sides of the step at our side door. The wind swirls them up the driveway and into those two corners. That’s where the only surviving crocus lives. I guess they have some insulation.

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    1. A remarkable machine for its time. These all had something “critical” that couldn’t be installed on their replacement machine. I remember what some things were, but I no longer care. I’m glad to have them sitting in the recycling center.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. hahaha. I felt so smart because I could pronounce all those words in the beginning of your post. I have no idea what they meant though. I think I work at Maddie’s speed. Perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have no idea what my current machine’s capabilities are much less the “antique” ones, lol. Sometimes I wish I had been more of a computer geek when they first came out, then maybe I wouldn’t need to take classes on how to use the one I have. ;)
    Love all your pictures, Maddie is so gorgeous!
    I also love your one-liner…so relatable!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan–this was great! I gave my husband a tour of your photos. What a trip down memory lane for him! But he especially got a kick out of MiMi and the ‘disappearing glasses.’ Such a good song to end the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m technically challenged, having been born in the early 1950’s. My first exposure to a computer was at the university. It was housed in its own air-conditioned room and one had to book a slot to work on it. IOf course, one first had to learn FORTRAN

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sorry, this comment could not be posted. Ahh technology. Something ate my first comment. Like that poly crocus along side the one with six petals. Glad Mimi is teaching you cat propriety. The nerve ! You act like that house is your’s ! As for the hard drives I have always used portable drive enclosures to get the data. My hat is off in honor of firing up those old machines. Happy hump day Dan ! Now will this comment process ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John. I didn’t even notice the different in the Crocus blossoms. As for cat propriety, I get it. My standing in this house is solidly at the bottom. Bringing these machines back to life let me connect over a network and copy the 10% of the drives that I wanted. It’s funny, along with the computers, I took a SCSI external drive bay to the recycle bin.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I didn’t understand a word of what you plugging in and adapting to get the programs running so you could transfer and save files and images, but He-Man would. I’m so thankful he gets that stuff!

    I love Yahtzee, but no one in my family does so my game sits waiting. I did buy a handheld version that I can play by myself. It’s ancient by today’s standards. I think it’s so neat that you wrote a game program for Faith!

    I wondered how long those glasses would be sitting on her shelf. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I limited the techie portion to one paragraph.

      Yahtzee was a pretty easy game to write, and it was fun. We used to carry a backgammon game with us when we traveled, but this was fun to have on a laptop.

      I keep putting my glasses there because it’s a perfect spot – until MuMu arrives. I thought she was going to ignore them, since I was scratching her.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Dan, I have no idea what you were talking about regarding old computers. I had an Apple way back then and don’t remember a thing about how it worked. I loved the photos of Maddie & MuMu. And yeah, the songs, lyrics. and the crocuses. Spring is just around the corner. Sounds like you are keeping busy with fun projects. Good to know!
    📚🎶 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thanks Yvette. No, none of the images go that far back, although I have fond memories of DOS. These all either came with Windows XP or had been upgraded to XP. Still, that’s old buy any standard.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Who knew Jerry Garcia would still be relevant in 2020? What a long, strange trip it’s been, indeed. I can remember my first computer – an Apple IIC. I don’t even remember if the “two” is a “2” or a “II” anymore. They became obsolete FAST!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was so funny dealing with the collection of older technologies and then hoping in the car with my phone. It just hit me that it really has been a remarkable journey. I’m glad that I’m no longer the responsible tour guide on this strange trip for a company, but it’s still fun to watch. I actually recovered a file off of a 3¼” floppy. Someone had asked me if I could retrieve it for them and this was my last chance. IT seemed to take forever :)

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  14. I have a drawer full of hard and floppy discs from my husband’s consulting days. The computer that used them is long gone. I hate to throw them out! Why? I don’t know. And about city streets, all the downtowns I’ve seen, north, south, east and west all look the same to me.

    Sent from my iPad

    >>

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. I think they were ahead of their time with that observation – it’s all the same street.

      I will keep the disks until I can render them unreadable. There’s still too much useful information on them to let them fall into the wrong hands. I know, that’s crazy talk, but…

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  15. I went through a similar process a couple of years ago. I outsourced it to the Eldest Son. Not that I didn’t know how to do it but why take up my limited time when I have a child studying IT who seems to be perpetually on holidays? I think one of ours might have been on a Pentium III.
    It’s kinda nuts how much the world has changed in my lifetime and, really, I’m not that old. I travelled overseas in my early 20s and if you think about how I communicated and took photos then and compared it to people travelling in the 60s, it wouldn’t have been a lot different (mailing letters, reverse phone calls from payphones, film cameras) and yet if you go 30 years the other way to today, it’s a whole different world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. That change was the subject of a presentation I used to give at schools and at a local university to IT students. Up through the 90s, even the best cell phones were still just phones. Laptops were available but were diminished in capability when untethered from their base. Digital cameras were expensive and didn’t take very good pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh, my gosh, those screens are SO familiar! I remember when I got my first 512MB machine. The salesman told me I would never use that much space in my lifetime. I hope you saved your glasses from the shelf monster.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It’s been a long strange journey indeed.

    Once upon a time I knew my way around a DOS prompt, but I think I killed all those brain cells a long time ago. Now that I’m a member of the Apple Cult, I’m happy to simply press buttons and then throw up my hands in dismay when things don’t work as planned.

    I love the first photo of Mimi(?) looking at your glasses. I can just imagine the thought process .. “Dan, Dan, Dan. Will he EVER learn?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was proud to understand all the ins and outs of those old operating systems, DOS, OS/2, Windows 95, and Apple but in the end, what we want is to accomplish something, and the software that runs the computer should be in the background.

      That’s MuMu about to “move” my glasses. It’s her way of reminding me that it’s her shelf.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks for crawling through all these posts! Pet pics are all I have some weeks, especially when it’s been cold and rainy. Cold and snow makes for good pics. Cold and rain…blah.

    Like

    1. Thank you! It’s funny, I actually copied some files of a floppy disk before I recycled these machines. One of them had a working floppy. I couldn’t believe how long it took to get that little bit of information. And I remember when 3½ were a breakthrough.

      Like

          1. I remember the first time we got a mouse for the computer. It was pretty mind-blowing, one of my brothers was a budding software engineer and we were the first people were knew to get a computer. That monitor was humongous!

            Liked by 1 person

  19. I am glad that once you retired you found time to go through the old PC’s, it gives me hope and purpose! I will hold onto the 4 PC’s I have in the attic for the next 15 odd years till I retire when, I am sure, I will also find time to go noodeling and get the valuable data form them. If my wife complains, about :”those old junk machines” I will blame you :-)

    Thanks
    Les

    Liked by 1 person

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