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6 June 2006
Speaking of silly keyboards, this TI-99/4A (which at least has the letters in the right place) pre-dated the delete key. What did you do if you mistypes a line? You re-typed it. They all started with line numbers anyway.
I always though that the TI/4A was the first computer with a delete key, but that must have been a later model. Why they display the one withOUT the important innovation, I can't say.
The slightly later model that had delete was my first computer. I used to write extremely simple-minded BASIC programs on it.
The white strip over the keys is removable and is designed to be written on. The computer took cartridges and had no nonvolatile storage devices (read: no disks, no floppies, no way to save). I used to just leave it turned on, but for my dad, who was a more serious programmer, the solution offered was a modem-type port to which you could hook up a tape recorder. The extremely slow-baud modem would thus write casette tapes.
My dad used to listen to them to make sure they encoded the data. For some reason, when he did this, he turned the volume ALL the way up. The screeches and buzzes and strange noises were AUFUL to my second grade ears, but now, man, I would love to have those tapes.
Maybe the Musée des Arts et Metiers will let me save some BASIC programs.


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