Patrick’s First Computer

Conversation from 24 March 2017 in which Patrick describes his first computer while Ivonne makes a delicious dinner in the background. Sadly, you can hear his groans of pain during the conversation. I posted the recording a while ago, which I’ll now delete because this version has the transcription.

JP: [To Ivonne] Smells so good!

JP: [To Patrick:] What, what was your first computer?

Patrick: I didn’t know the name of it. But it had, 40 mega…

JP: 40 megabyte hard drive?

Patrick: Yeah or less. It was 40 something. I bought it in a furniture store. Where that’s the first place they started selling computers.

JP: In Spain?

Patrick: Yeah, in Palma. It all worked with diskettes. First thing I did was blow away the operating system, trying to get rid of some of the stuff that was using up the memory.

JP: Yep.

Patrick: But you just put it the…

JP: DOS diskette? Format C: and do it again, with a /s.

Patrick: It was a slow process to get it.

JP: Yeah.

Patrick: Didn’t really do much with it really.

JP: I used to race against the guy who designed the disk operating system, the early DOS, a guy named Tim Patterson.

P: Mhmm.

JP: And he… it was his operating system up until… he did it all the way up to DOS 2 or 2.10, but then they changed [in DOS 3.0] the structure to make the storage, the sectors and the tracks and all of the underlying hardware architecture, a little more… It used space, it squeezed more data out onto the existing space onto magnetic media.

Patrick: Yeah

JP: And then how long ago did you get your first laptop?

Patrick: I’m not sure how long ago that was. Can’t remember.

JP: yeah.

Patrick: I think… Jack and Vera, no, let’s see, how did it go? Stephanie went online and found used laptops. And Jack and Vera, sold me a used Mac.

JP: Uh-huh.

Patrick: And then some kids in the village when I put those things up for sale, because I didn’t find them useful. They came down and took a look at it, and then, before they left they fixed it so that nothing would work.

JP: Oh, okay.

Patrick: And then, they were stolen two nights later from the studio.

Patrick: [To Ivonne] Not so much [food], remember?

Ivonne: Sorry about my rice.

Patrick: Muy poco.

Ivonne: Si, poco, y [a question I don’t recognize in Spanish]

JP: [To Ivonne] Oh that looks good!

JP: [To Patrick] More after dinner.

2 Replies to “Patrick’s First Computer”

  1. Interesting hearing your dad talk about something like computers, then the smell of food wafting from the kitchen changes the subject to something more important!

  2. I remember Patrick telling me during a visit to Cincinnati with Stephanie a long time ago that he had a laptop stolen from their hotel room in New York City.
    They stayed at our house that we purchased in 1987 so it must have been in the late 80’s or early 90’s. It was a time of great prosperity for them because they found goods in the USA that they said were cheap and they spent money like drunken sailors on shore leave.
    Patrick had a new laptop and he searched for and found a software program ( I think it was called “Symphony or Ovation” or something like that) at a small computer store. He bought so many books that he had to buy a new suitcase to carry them back. Similarly, Stephanie found metal lanterns at a flea market and bought them all to use on the walkways for their concerts. Those, along with 7 pairs of Easy Spirit shoes also required another suitcace.
    It was a great time for all of us.

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