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This article was posted to the Usenet group alt.hackers in 1995; any technical information is probably outdated.

Backwards (was: Need Help With Phone Pranksters)

Article: 7446 of alt.hackers
Newsgroups: alt.hackers
From: (Gavin Sallery)
Subject: Backwards (was: Need Help With Phone Pranksters)
Sender: (Usenet Administration)
X-Newsreader: Archimedes TTFN Version 0.36
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 1995 12:11:54 GMT
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Lines: 52
Status: RO

> In article <3i4ub2$>,
> (chandler howell) wrote:

>> ObGottaHaveAHackToExplainMyLastAdmittedlyBadHack:
>> In a previous job (life?) the office I worked for was pretty
>> technologically backwards--only three computers and one print
server were
>> networked[snip]

>    You want backwards?  At my current drugery, nothing's networked, and
> Word 5.0 is hot software.  Windoze 3.0 on 3 machines, and we've been
> running DOS 3.3 for the past 3 years.  Anyone wanna gimme a better job?
> =)

No, but I can give you an equally backwards situation; here at home, we have
two Acorn Archimedes and one Risc PC, plus one palmtop (Pocket Book; bit like
a Psion series three). *None* of these are networked; the only electronic
file transfer to take place is between the Pocket Book and the Risc PC over a
*9600* baud serial link... ugh. Mind you, it's better than my school. they
had a room full of PC clones (about 32 of them (the IT coordinator is a
*FOOL*)), none of which were networked. Not one. And the school has installed
a fibre optic telephone system; think of how much data they could put over
that sort of link! And yet to transfer a file from the CD ROM drives in the
library to the IT lab means copying to disc and transferring it manually. OK
for less than 1.44Mb, but a lot of stuff isn't. Plus the IT admin. has
removed the clipboard and other useful utilities (well almost usefl; it is
Windoze :-) ), such as the control panel. This means if you want to do
anything in the slightest bit unusual, you have to supply your own copy :-)

Same school, same library, same IT fool. There is an RM Nimbus (naff PC
clone) in the school library, connected to a CD-ROM drive. The system runs
Windoze, fairly slowly. The graphics driver is VGA, and there is sound
hardware somewhere in the machine. There's about 5Mb of RAM. And yet, the IT
guy has configured the system so that it does not acknowledge the presence of
the sound hardware, or any display better than EGA. When asked about this, he
responded that there was not enough memory to usably run Windows at the same
time as all the other stuff. For example, you could have sound, but only if
you removed the CDROM drivers.

With a friend, I checked the configuration files. Sure enough, the command to
initialise the extended/expanded/bodge memory is the *last* command in the
CONFIG.SYS file; all drivers have to be loaded into standard RAM, and then
the system grinds to a halt because there's not enough memory left to start
loading Windows. This was quickly remedied, and an "informative"
note left
for any passers by to notice. He looked dead surprised to see his system
running Windows, with sound, and VGA graphics.

 ______  _________
/__     (_        \ Hertfordshire, England
\_|avin __)allery  \______________________
... If at first you don't succeed, you're doing about average.

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