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View Full Version : Anybody ever use HP Access Timeshare Basic systems



vbriel
May 7th, 2005, 02:45 AM
Back in the mid 70's when I was in Jr. High I used a Decwriter terminal with an accoustic modem to dial into our school district mini, an HP2000 Access system with Timeshare Basic. This was the first computer I used and this is the system I learned to program basic on.

You could play adventure, startrek, print out pictures of snoopy with a calander, or any number of other games that were available in the library. Anybody else use these systems?

Vince

ahm
May 7th, 2005, 08:35 PM
Yup. Sophomore year, we had an ASR-33 Teletype and an Anderson-Jacobsen acoustic coupler so that we could dial into an HP2000 a couple of towns away. I remember you had to say HELLO to log in, and the system banner said something like "FASTCOMP SYSTEM 004, AT YOUR SERVICE". Only juniors and seniors were allowed to take computer math, so I stayed after school and taught myself BASIC. We weren't allowed to save programs to disk, because disk space was too expensive. So we'd have to type our program in, test it and then punch it to paper tape. That was 1973.

Andy

Terry Yager
May 7th, 2005, 09:27 PM
You were fortunate to have access to a computer back then. In '73, at the school I attended, their idea of a local network was 2 cans & a string (for wide-area communications, they used jungle drums, IIRC)..

--T

ahm
May 9th, 2005, 09:56 AM
(I hope this doesn't degenerate into "Well, we lived in paper bag in the middle of the road...")

Since I would generally hang out near the classroom with the terminal in it, I happened to be there when the computer math class was taking their final exam. I'd gotten to know the computer math teacher pretty well, so I asked her if I could take the exam "just for fun". I scored a 91.

I think a large influence at that time was when Creative Computing magazine came out, as well as David Ahl's book "101 BASIC Computer Games". I know we spent alot of time typing in the games that we found interesting and we probably learned alot about debugging that way. I'm not sure the kids nowadays get that opportunity any more, because everything can be downloaded from the net.

BTW, David Ahl is quite a character. I didn't realize how much until I happened across his web page, http://www.swapmeetdave.com/

CP/M User
May 12th, 2005, 12:26 PM
"ahm" wrote:

> Yup. Sophomore year, we had an ASR-33 Teletype and an Anderson-
> Jacobsen acoustic coupler so that we could dial into an HP2000 a couple
> of towns away. I remember you had to say HELLO to log in, and the
> system banner said something like "FASTCOMP SYSTEM 004, AT YOUR
> SERVICE". Only juniors and seniors were allowed to take computer
> math, so I stayed after school and taught myself BASIC. We weren't
> allowed to save programs to disk, because disk space was too
> expensive. So we'd have to type our program in, test it and then punch
> it to paper tape. That was 1973.

Sounds like the designer wanted a bit of HAL in him. Disk space must of been small too. Do you know if this machine had an ASCII character set?

CP/M User.

vbriel
May 13th, 2005, 03:04 AM
Yes, they used ASCII character sets. Punch cards were a pain, my school didn't use them. They would actually give us our own accounts with a small amount of space if we asked.

Back then, there were only a handfull of students using the computer so our school didn't abuse the system. There were other schools that handed out accounts like candy.

There is a SIMH emulator of 2000 ACCESS that people are running. The user group for it is on yahoo groups. You can get the address and telnet in over the internet! Search yahoo groups for HP2000.

Vince

CP/M User
May 13th, 2005, 04:19 AM
"vbriel" wrote:

> Yes, they used ASCII character sets. Punch cards were a pain, my
> school didn't use them. They would actually give us our own accounts
> with a small amount of space if we asked.

From what I hear, Punch cards were unreliable, more unreliable than Read Errors found on a tape system, or needed to be setup properly, for the program to be read in correctly.

CP/M User.

couryhouse
October 7th, 2005, 06:53 PM
yes... Computer Exchange Inc. used to sell time on one.. we still have it here at the museum at www.smecc.org

we are always looking for more hp and other early computers to add to the museum.

ed sharpe archivist for smecc

legalize
March 23rd, 2006, 06:38 PM
I used an HP3000 but I think it was similar to the 2000, but a little beefier.

It was 1978, I was 13 years old and I was running the TUT01-TUT25 programs that gave you a self-instructed tutorial on programming in BASIC on the system. It was much more interesting than playing the games!

I remember being particularly perplexed on the tutorial program that showed character graph plotting by plotting a sine wave. Simple functions like

def fnb(x)=x*x gave me no difficulty, but I couldn't understand how a function could give oscillating results with a monotonically increasing input. I hadn't had algebra yet, much less trigonometry!

It was a nice little system though. It was at the University of Delaware.

carlsson
March 24th, 2006, 02:58 AM
Yes, I had similar feelings almost a decade later when playing with SIN, COS and other functions. I considered them a bit magical - but not random - and learned as much as the function will run in cycles for increased input. I don't think trigonometry was touched until college, and then it was more talk about unit circle and formulas for calculating angles in a triangle than sine waves.

nige the hippy
April 8th, 2006, 03:45 AM
The "hello" and welcome message rings a big bell with me too..

I started computing at school in about 1976, we had an accoustic coupler and a teletype with a wobbly leg, in a large cupboard which we used at lunch times - hooked up to the local FE college. Then every thursday night there was an impromptu bicycle race to the college where we had time in the (orange and brown) computing department. those who got there first got to use the newbury VDUs!

This situation continued for a couple of years, until the wobbly leg gave way, and the teletype crashed to the floor spilling it's incredibly complex guts all over the place.... end of an era, and start of micro-computers for me.

Really miss the smell though, hot oil and shellac!

carlsson
April 8th, 2006, 05:22 AM
A bit off-topic, but my big brother (37 years old) confined yesterday that he has never understood how to use or even define Pi, until my six year old nephew in pre-school class had been teached the relation between the diameter and circumference of a circle. That's quite advanced for teaching a six year old, I think.