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From Hilbert Space to Dilbert Space

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A printer from 1986
minicon ddb

Back in 1986 we bought our first computer, a Leading Edge Model D 8088 system with 2 5-1/4" floppy drives and 256K of memory. With it we bought a new Epson FX-185 9-pin dot matrix printer.

Epson FX-185 Printer

We discarded the Leading Edge when we left Chicagoland in 1998, but brought the printer with us to Minnesota. This past week I connected it to a Compaq Pentium 4 with 1.5 GB of memory. The computer is a dual boot Windows XP/Ubuntu Linux system. When that printer came out Windows 1.0 was less that a year old. The first release of Linux was 5 years in the future.

The printer works fine with both XP and Linux. Ubuntu recommended installing the Foomatic/epsonc driver, but I found that the Foomatic/epson9high driver worked better. Of course, it make more noise than modern printers. I found that when it is running I cannot hear the upstairs telephone ringing. I am not sure that is a problem :-)>

There are a couple other living fossils in the picture. In the upper left there is a plastic template from Digital Equipment Corp., defunct since 1998. Behind it is a slide rule case. The slide rule in it took me through my M.S. in Applied Physics (Stanford, 1974). It also still works fine.

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Back in 1989 WE bought our first computer, an 8086 assembled in-store by the husband of a ballet classmate, with 5" and 3.5" floppies and a 20MB hard drive, along with a dot matrix printer. If you want the latter, it's yours; it still worked fine when the 8086's hard drive died.

P.S. You forgot to mention the compass hanging on your wall.

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