Wandering Wednesday

Even though I have been out of baseball for more than a decade, the news of the death of Vin Scully is still sad to me. I had the privilege of speaking with him every now and then during my tenure with the San Diego Padres. He was always most gracious.

As some of you may know from firsthand experience (as I do), many famous people are most unpleasant. They are rude and dismissive of people they don’t know or those they perceive to be unimportant. I’ll pass along something taught to me by a high school English teacher: a truly great person will neither trample on a worm nor sneak to an emperor.


“And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

– John Donne


This CNBC article reports that Russia is facing “economic oblivion.” If that’s true, imagine how much faster that would happen if most of Europe were not still buying huge amounts of natural gas from the Russian dictator. utem itud psin


This post from Why Evolution Is True, the title of which is “Intellectual freedom in STEM: An interview with Anna Krylov,” is both interesting and disturbing. Krylov is a quantum chemist and the Gabilan Distinguished Professor in Science and Engineering and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Southern California. Here is a passage from the first paragraph of the post:


“And we met her because she’s an opponent of the invasion of wokeness into STEM, and because she somehow got an anti-woke paper, “The perils of politicizing science” into the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. That paper got a lot of attention, most likely because it was congenial to all those who deplore the fulminating wokeness of science but are afraid to speak up. (Try getting an op-ed extolling merit over identity into a science journal these days!)”


I think much, if not most, of the world–especially the so-called developed world–is losing its mind.


On this day in 1977, Radio Shack (remember them?) introduced the TRS-80 personal computer. Some users called them the “Trash 80.” My first PC experience (personal computer, not political correctness) was using a TRS-80 in my first job in radio. I had the title of Assistant Producer, but I was a call screener for a call-in sports talk show. I also called guests that were going to be interviewed as well as providing news to the show’s host.

The TRS-80 had a program that allowed me to input the name of a caller and the subject they wanted to talk about so the host could see that in advance. The program usually worked without a hitch. My experience with the “Trash 80” really fueled my desire to have a PC of my own, but one with much more computing power.

In one of the few times my father really stepped up for me, I bought a Tele-Video PC from a friend of his who owned a computer store and, technically, we leased it through my father’s gas station. He even made the first few payments. I purchased the PC after the expiration of the lease and then sold it to a friend of mine who, sadly, is no longer among the living. The first four or five PCs I owned more than paid for themselves because I usually was able to get consulting work in lieu of or in addition to a regular job. As I have now owned a PC for about 38 years I have lost track of just how many different ones I have had.

I still prefer using a PC over any mobile device like a phone or a tablet. PC prices have also plummeted, especially in real terms. The purchase price of my first computer was more than $3,000 in 1984. The computer on which I am writing this post cost me about $500. By the way, $3,000 1984 dollars converts to about $8,500 today. Of course, my current computer is orders of magnitude faster and more powerful than my first one. My first PC didn’t even have a hard drive.








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4 thoughts on “Wandering Wednesday

  1. My first exposure to PC’s was in the early/mid 1980’s while working for GE. Had one in my office, as did all management, and was initially used as an internal email/chat (similar to modern texting) system. As time progressed it became usable for other functions and was rapidly replaced by newer, better processors. Before I left GE I bought from them an “outdated” laptop, made by Zenith (yes, THAT Zenith). I ended up using it to tune a drag car I had built, adjusting timing, fuel delivery and boost pressure. In 1990/91 that was novel at the lower levels of drag racing I was in, and always drew many comments.

    The first smart phone I had, a Blackberry, some 10-12 years ago, had easily 10 times the memory and speed of that old laptop. Somewhere in storage I think I still have an old IBM 386 desktop I bought around 1996. It’s probably so slow I could nap during a download, but at the time? Amazing technology.


    1. Thanks, DDM. You have previously mentioned the Zenith laptop that you used to tune a drag car. On a tangent…we were a Zenith TV family when I was young. We wouldn’t consider buying any other brand for a long time.


      1. IIRC, the first color tv my folks got in the mid 60’s was a Zenith. I’m also pretty sure it was still in operation when I moved out in 1975. I was never really brand loyal on a tv, as I really didn’t/don’t watch much. During the 80’s I did buy a GE tv, because I could get a healthy employee discount. It lasted some 20 years so I got my money’s worth out of it. These days I don’t even know what brand of lobotomy box I have. I’m sure it, and the ones I use for a monitor on my camera systems, are Korean or some other offshore manufacturer.

        I don’t even know if Zenith, GE or even Phillips sell tv’s anymore.


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