Computer Ease

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This page documents random thoughts, observations, reviews, criticisms, rants, anecdotes, tips, tricks, and discoveries by Blake Nancarrow. The notes here pertain specifically to information technology. They are dated and arranged in reverse-order, the newest items at the top.

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | the '90s


Index of Postings

the '90s 1pixel.gif (807 bytes) 1pixel.gif (807 bytes)
? - Web Explosion
Dec 99 - what'll happen?
Aug 99 - 5mx (Psion, EPOC)
Nov 98 - big Mac!
Jun 98 - 169 / d
Jan 98 - first web purchase
May 97 - Psion services (EPOC)
Mar 97 - LCII
Apr 96 - Series 4 (Psion, EPOC)
Aug 95 - domain registered
Jul 95 - full net access
Mar 95 - Mosaic
Sep 94 - super fast modem
Jul 94 - 25 million
Jul 94 - lost and found
Jan 94 - postscript
Jul 93 - Computer Ease born
Jan 93 - my first Psion (EPOC)
Dec 92 - I killed it
Nov 91 - taught for Ivy
Oct 90 - first organiser

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late '90s? - Web Explosion

The content of the world wide web (WWW) is doubling every 53 days...

Improve your searching skills!

[source: I forgot; exact date: I forgot]

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31 Dec 1999 - what'll happen?

Everyone's on pins and needles.

Will the world survive the Y2K "crisis?"


But I'm a little anxious, I hope you understand, given that my 1.6GB hard disk just crashed and took all my company data with it!

Do your back ups today...

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30 Aug 1999 - 5mx

My new Psion arrives. I'm now using a Series 5mx which is markedly faster than the Series 5 (which I dropped and now it has a busted screen)! In particular, the calendar agenda program is much quicker on the new processor, which is very good news for me as my agenda is HUGE!

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10 Nov 1998 - big Mac!

I was gifted a powerful Mac today. My friend Beth gave me her Apple Macintosh IIci with Daystar 68040 daughter board, 80MB of RAM, and 1GB hard disk. This blows the doors off my other machines!

Later I will turn it into my graphics workstation for scanning photos and documents and testing and developing web sites.

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9 Jun 1998 - 169 / d new!

While doing some research and course preparation, I found the results of a study. Unfortunately, I did not note the source.

The important thing the study said is that the average worker receives 169 communications per day.


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14 Jan 1998 - first web purchase

I bought a portable modem today from a nice man in Florida. I think he couldn't get it to work (probably because it was an unusual make) so he offered it cheap. He discovered I was interested in a compact modem from my Psion web site!

This, long before I'd make a purchase on eBay...

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3 May 1997 - Psion services

Today I sold a Psion to the man who introduced them to me. Chris Wiles sold me my first Psion in '93.

I now offer a full range of Psion services: sales, support, training, mild repair, rentals (for evaluation or during repairs or recovery), information web site, client newsletter, running of local user group. High times!

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2 Mar 1997 - LCII

Bought my first colour Apple Macintosh today, used, from a friend.

The LCII is a modest little machine. In fact, it has very limited memory capabilities. Still, it offers me a chance to learn System 7.

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9 Aprl 1996 - Series 4

My Psion web site, curiously called Series 4, appears in Yahoo! My email inbox and phone go red hot with orders, pre-orders, info requests. Finally the Canadian distributor calls to ask what the hell is going on! I explained it is simply a site name, what I decided to call my Psion information web site. We get a good chuckle out of it.

Little did I know that the Psion Siena was about to be launched!

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21 Aug 1995 - domain registered

The "paperwork" for the Computer Ease domain is submitted to the interNIC for approval. I've applied for which appears to be available.

A week later it will be approved so that the company becomes a presence on the internet.

The first generation web site is launched!

About one month later, the site is listed in Yahoo!

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28 Jul 1995 - full net access

Set up my full internet account with -the-wire-, small but highly recommeded shop downtown Toronto.

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10 Mar 1995 - Mosaic Netscape

Installed and started using the Netscape world wide web browser software by Mosaic.

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25 Sep 1994 - super fast modem

Bought a US Robotics 28.8k fax modem today!

This replaces my 19.2k modem.

USR makes great modems. Easy to setup. Very compatible.

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25 Jul 1994 - 25 million

The Internet reaches nearly 25 million users.

--Time Magazine

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4 Jul 1994 - lost and found

I lost my Psion palmtop a few times. Believe it or not, it was returned. This was due in part to having an ID sticker on the outside with my contact information noted.

But on 24 Jun I ran out of luck. I left my wallet and palmtop at a restaurant in a less-than ideal neighbourhood.

Today I picked up my replacement palmtop (thanks to my home insurance policy and Bell Mobility): a Psion Series 3a.

The new machine features 256KB of internal memory!

I also picked up a larger SSD memory card, 512KB! Woo hoo!

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17 Jan 1994 - postscript

Bought an Apple Personal LaserWriter Select 360 printer.

It featured a parallel printer port so I could connect it to my Windows 3.1 computer. It featured a LocalTalk port so I could connect it to my Apple Macintosh SE computer.

It offered 600 dpi which was pretty good for the time. Not cheap though.

It also featured one button: on/off. Nice and simple!

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26 Jul 1993 - Computer Ease born

Registered the company name as a sole proprietor in Ontario.

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19 Jan 1993 - my first Psion

Funny timing...

Chris Wiles, a fellow co-worker at OMAF, a reseller of these strange portable handheld industrial computers by Psion, told me that UK manufacturer had just launched a clamshell unit with a QWERTY keyboard.

Within a month of destroying my Sharp, I had a new machine (a Psion Series 3) in my hands.

Little did I know it would be the beginning of a love affair! And that within 3 weeks I would buy a (proprietary) 128KB RAM SSD memory card.

Belated Merry Christmas!

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25 Dec 1992 - I killed it

My Sharp organiser died. I had dropped it, sat on it, tossed it, spilled drinks on it, generally abused my organiser.

It was acting a little weird, so I opened it up. And broke some ribbon cables.

I had killed it!

Merry Christmas.

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30 Nov 1991 - taught for Ivy

I delivered a couple of computer course for Ivy Computer Centres. This would mark the beginning of my "new" career, leaving the worlds of technical support, help desks, and programming, for instructor-led training.

Ten years later I would realise oddly, suddenly, that I was not burnt out! I had finally found work that I really truly enjoyed...

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22 Oct 1990 - my first organiser

I bought a Sharp ZQ-5300 electronic organiser from Willson Stationers, after evaluating loaner Sharp Wizards and Casio Boss machines, provided to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, where I was working at the time.

I also bought the PC data transfer cable.

It featured a QWERTY keyboard. If I remember correctly, it had 64KB of memory. In short order I ran out of space. So my frequent backup was escalated so that I could delete old data...

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This page was last updated on 26 February 2013.
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