Some memes and ads from ‘back in the day’… Enjoy!!!

And for those of us who remember WLS, especially at night… From my senior year in high school!!!

Did this more that a few times… @#$%% cheap ass timing gears in Pontiac engines… At least I had access to my grandpa’s shop with a real a-frame and chain fall! 

And who can forget the TRASH 80???


TBT… — 29 Comments

  1. I still have my old Trash-80 Model 4. I’d probably need to replace every capacitor on every board to get it to fire up again. Or I could just go get an emulator, or better yet, I could just admit that the computers we have now beat the pants off of what we had way back when. Still had fun with that old stuff though.

    Saturday morning cartoons and a bowl of cereal. Yeah, those were good days – long before the censors got a case of the vapours about cartoon violence, and hacked and slashed all the good parts out. Pansies.

    In “No Parking Hare” (Looney Tunes, 1953), Bugs Bunny defends his home against a construction company that wants to build over it. At about 5 minutes in, Construction Guy is going to try to destroy Bugs Bunny’s reinforced hole by dropping a lit stick of dynamite down into it. Scaffolding is involved (don’t ask, it makes sense by this point in the film) and bugs blows a lit match up the pipes, prematurely lighting the dynamite being held by Construction Guy. The dynamite blows up in his hand, sending all the scaffolding to the ground as disconnected pipes. It’s a cartoon so of course Construction Guy survives (somewhat stunned.)

    In the edited-for-television version, all you saw was Construction Guy assembling the scaffolding, climbing up and then the pipes all falling to the ground. Lame.

    For those who want a trip down memory lane, here’s the unedited full version:

    • You may not need to completely recap the boards. I’ve heard in retrocomputing circles that you can often get a working machine by by just replacing any RIFA capacitors in the power supplies and any electrolytics that look compromised.

  2. Sunday nights after church during high school: Car full of friends (later, just the girlfriend-now wife), drive to the next town over for pizza and a movie (or bowling). Listen to WOAI/AM or WLS/AM on the way home.

    Wanted/coveted a Trash 80 so bad, but just couldn’t afford one.

    Had a composite cam gear strip on an almost new Firebird. Worst automobile I ever owned.

  3. My geometry teacher in high scruel had a double throwdown TRS80. It had 4 floppies as I remember. I learned BASIC at his house after scruel. I spent about as much time at his house as I did at my own. He was prescient: “I figure if you can’t use a computer in twenty years, you’ll be functionally illiterate.” That was in 1978.

    Dad told me to learn to type in scruel. He said if I got drafted, it was better to be a clerk than a sandbag. I took both pieces of advice and it worked out pretty well for me. I was a sandbag clerk most of my career!! 😉

    And the 1974 Plymouth Fury’s 360 had fiber timing gears, too. I replaced them with steel. I didn’t worry about them shearing off again. Non-interference engines for the win.

    • The TRS-80 emerged a little before I did. I learned BASIC on the Commodore VIC-20. Amazing what could be done with those little Z80 and 6502 based home computers. So much weirdness in some of the home computers of the day due to FCC regulations and the manufacturers working to get around them and still keep their distributors happy.

  4. Early in my law enforcement career, the cars only had AM radios. On the midnight shift you could get WWL from New Orleans, WHAS in Louisville, WBAP in Dallas, and WLS Chicago. It was News/Talk overnight and the traffic reports fascinated me with all the expressways. Little did I know it was the same expressway that just changed names every few miles…

    I first heard about the Desert One disaster in 1980 on WLS.

  5. Sorry guys, the blog’s too good at translating hyperlinks and what should have been human-only text into actual embedded video frames.

    I’ve sent OldNFO an email asking him if he can save me from my stupid. Never doing THAT again…

  6. Still remember drooling over a fellow student’s newly acquired TRS-80. He had a phone MODEM with coupler. Dial phone, wait for funky sounds and final shshshsh, put handset in coupler …
    “You mean you do not have to go to the computer room to submit cards or use a terminal? , Ooooh!”

  7. And those cards had be punched … I feel old.
    Yes, I also used punched paper tape.
    Now I feel old …

  8. Ag- No biggie…

    All- Thanks for the comments! Yes, Mike, weather dependent you could get all those in Arkansas, and XERB down in Mexico with Wolfman Jack too!

    Jamie- Yep, IBM 1190 punch cards… sigh

  9. We also had UNIVAC card punchers, with memory. Run a card with a typo, edit mistake (overwrite/insert) and re-punch to new card. Of course, where to position to begin edit was helped by a column counter.

  10. WNAX Your Five-state Farm Station! 570 AM, still use it as a radio beacon. If you were flying, it became a 7 state farm station. (With the Family Radio Rosary at 10:00 PM and the Evangelical show at 0600. Always closed off the All-Night Truckers’ Radio with “Turn out the Lights, the Party’s Over.”)

  11. While watching videos on how to power up and IPL old mainframes (what a trip down memory lane), I found the following video which I knew would go over well here. From 1967, the Navy Satellite Navigation system. https://tinyurl.com/3thnd9x6

    (Now using TinyURL to avoid automatic embedding)

    • While training at Mare Island, CA for some Navy stuff, I picked up WLS on the car radio. I was terribly excited. Nowadays, the idea of an extra nap excites me. 🙂

  12. Local radio stations used to play the latest 45 records which was how new songs were introduced, I don’t do much music now but as far as I know music is now introduced on CDs or streaming like Amazon! Our introduction to home computing was the Apple 2C because my wife was working as an aid at school and that was what they had. I remember the time in college when the chemistry grad student fell down the stairs with o couple boxes of punch cards for the main frame and had to hand sort them before his prof could run the program!

    • Thick rubber bands were your friend with the Hollerith card decks IIRC. It’s been a minute since I had to deal with ’em.

  13. Yeah, that ain’t a Pontiac. But does start with a “P”.
    And you can’t buy either of them today.

    Navy, I suspect you’re too damn young to remember “Dick Biondi”.
    “Greasy Kid Stuff!”
    Man, I AM old.

    • I grew up listening to Dick Biondi (“On Top Of A Pizza”…), Art Roberts, Clark Weber, and Larry Lujak.

  14. Wow. What a song list! I vaguely remember it as a child being driven around Milwaukee at the time. And great engine shot.

    I feel life was better then and that we’ve devolved. But perhaps this trend will reverse.

  15. Those kids were healthy. Find a couple 18 year olds that look like that today. Took a government program to get us all as fat and sick as we are. “Food pyramid” AKA big base of grains/carbs, veggies in the middle, meats and fats on the peak and a nice little diabetes capstone waiting to be placed..

  16. I graduated HS is June, 1969, and was living in the Chicago area. I remember every one of those songs, and cruisin’ to them in my ’69 Charger R/T.

    I used to listen to the Lew Dean Show on WRVA at night.

    If you swapped out the nylon gear in a 389 for the steel gear from the 4-cylinder Pontiac they’d last forever. Or just buy a Cloyes from the auto store.

    Never had a Trash 80, but I still have a fully functional Commodore 128 system.