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The State of Computers Today

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

At this point computers are useful though no one is convinced that anything, but mainframes are the future. Mainframes can "time share", splitting their CPU time between many dumb terminals. Punch cards are still the norm. Personal computers are targeted at the hobby electronics market such as people who build their own shortwave radios. You know the type. Tandy (the leather crafts company) hit the jackpot with the TRS-80. It can only type in uppercase letters, but it will remain useful for years to come. Then comes the IBM PC. IBM wants a piece of the action, but they figure this computer fad won't last long. They design the machine to maximize profits, and save a couple of chips. It limits future development, but who cares? It's a toy! The Apple II is also a toy using a CPU that was selected more because it was cheap. But as the computer market doubles and doubles again it is clear that people want something more. Enter the Commodore 64. It uses an expanded version of the Apple II CPU. It has sound and real color graphics (32 colors!). It comes with an amazing 64K of memory. (Who can even think of using it all?) It costs $595 (around $1460 in 2015 money), but it hooks up to your TV so you save money on a monitor, and you can add peripherals as you go along. The Commodore 64 is the greatest selling single model computer ever built. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
FYI, for a short time I sold Commodore 64 computers. It was an amazing little machine. Even though I never made a living programming the C-64, my first steps in learning to program began there. It helped me get a job later because they needed someone who could convert C-64 code to an IBM PC. Those who know programming realize that I am simplifying a great deal, but I parlayed knowledge of a video game computer into a full time job making more money that I could have seriously imagined. (Un-seriously I could imagine quite a bit.) I wasn't planning my life around programming computers. I was rebuilding my life after some tough times. I couldn't see the horizon, so I put one foot in front of the other and took the next indicated step. Frankly, the field was so new, I don't think I could have mapped out a career in computers that wouldn't have changed yearly. I trusted that if it didn't work out I could do something else. I already had marketable skills in other areas, but I tried this new field and it worked for me.

Mexico owes too much

Contributed by Southpaw Ben

In the early 1970s, the world economy was growing, and many Latin American countries were rapidly industrializing. Due to the timing, many private banks were receiving large amounts of money from oil-rich countries, allowing them to lend to Latin American countries, as sovereign debt was seen as a safe investment. As a result, these countries ended up having external debts equal to about half of their GDP. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the world economy slowed, causing interest rates to increase. At the same time, Latin America's economy was hurt with word trade being reduced. In August 1982, Mexico declared that it would no longer be able to service it's debt, which caused many other banks to stop lending to other Latin American countries, and many loans were due immeadiatly, rather than having a refinancing option. The result was the per capita GDP of Latin America shrank almost 9%. [3]

My Take by Southpaw Ben
One of the big mistakes by the Latin America countries was assuming that the good economic times would continue indefinitely, and planned their borrowing accordingly. When the economy corrected, this hit their economies hard and caused Mexico to be unable to pay their loans, and caused a domino effect throughout all of Latin America. This applies directly to the individual, with many Americans racking up debt that can be supported by their current salary, planning on at least maintaining this forever, and not anticipating any changes, such as a pay cut or a layoff, which could cause them to default. On a side note, some economists think the reason for this crisis wasn't high levels of debt, but was the fact that US law forbid banks from lending over 10 times their amount of capital, which forced the banks to cut the access of developing countries to loans.

The Iron Lady Kicks Argentina right in the ...Does a Country Have Those?

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

Currently Argentina is being run by a military junta. It's not a lot of fun, but given the previous chaos, it has been better than nothing... until now. Great Britain currently owns the Falkland Islands which is about 300 miles east of the Argentine coast. It's been a money sink hole for Britain, so they have been trying to offload it on Argentina. Unfortunately Argentina doesn't have the money, or at least they don't want to spend the money to buy it, but they do have the money to take it by force. Now, this is a large island group filled with people, and if other nations thought that they could take anything they pleased from Great Britain without consequence, it would present difficulties in the future. Margaret Thatcher realizes all this and sends a task force to retake the Islands. It seems like a bit of a joke. Argentina has these really super-sleek French Mirage jets, but all the UK has are these clunky Harrier Jump Jets. Sure, it's cool to land a Harrier like a helicopter, but these aren't helicopters fighting each other. These are fighter jets. Yet the Harrier is going to kick the Mirage right in the backside because a Harrier can stop in place while the Mirage goes zooming by. Then it's one missile up the tail pipe and good night nurse. It's not going to be easy but Great Britain is going to take back the Falklands, and the Argentine military junta is going to fall. [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will get the nickname of "Iron Lady" after this war, and for other things having to do with standing up against the Soviet Union. The Soviets are on their way out. They just don't know it yet, and it will be due to Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Pope John Paul II. Also the Falkland War really helped sales for the Harrier Jump Jet. You can test and test and test, but you never really know how well your hardware is going to work until you are forced to use it in battle. Life-on-the-line proven performance means sales. Yes, siree. [6]

Notable Births

  • Dennis Moran (died 2013, age 30 of a heroin overdose): Computer hacker who brought down Yahoo with a denial-of-service attack. (That is when you overload the system with multiple requests. To take down Yahoo would take a HECK of a lot of requests.--alexshrugged) [7] [8]
  • -- In Movies: Seth Rogen, Anne Hathaway, and Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane in Spiderman). [7] [9] [10] [11]
  • -- In TV: Jessica Biel (Mary Camden in 7th Heaven) and Elisha Cuthbert (Jack Bauer's daughter in 24). [7] [12] [13]
  • -- In Music: LeAnn Rimes, Adam Lambert (American Idol), and Kelly Clarkson (American Idol). [7] [14] [15] [16]
  • -- In Sports: Brandon Jacobs (running back for the NY Giants), Tara Lipinski (figure skater), and Danica Patrick (stock car racer).

This Year in Film

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: With child stars: Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore. [17]
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: "KHAN!". (It is Moby Dick... IN SPACE!--alexshrugged) [17]
  • Poltergeist: A real estate agent builds a house over a graveyard. [17]
  • Tron: Jeff Bridges is trapped in a video game. (The graphics were amazing for the time.--alexshrugged) [17]
  • Bladerunner: Mind-bending Sci-Fi from Philip K. Dick who will give you Total Recall, and The Adjustment Bureau. [17]

This Year in TV

  • Late Night with David Letterman: TV talk show. [18]
  • Knight Rider: David Hasselhoff talks to his car. [18]
  • Remington Steele: A woman private detective must hire a man to front for her. She names him Remington Steele. (It's Pierce Bronson, the future James Bond.--alexshrugged) [18]
  • Police Squad!: This comedy crime show will be canceled after 6 episodes, so naturally they will make it into a movie. [18]

This Year in Music

  • Eye of the Tiger: Survivor. [19]
  • Ozzy Osbourne bites the head off a live bat: He thought it was rubber. [19]
  • John Belushi of the Blues Brothers dies of a drug overdose: Cathy Smith admitted that she injected him with the fatal overdose. It was an accident. [19]

This Year in Video Games

  • Pole Position: A racing game that offers pseudo-3D graphics. Dual Z80 processors do the trick. [20]
  • The Commodore 64 computer is released: It is an amazing advance using a modified 6502 CPU. (FYI, I was in business selling these things and programming them.--alexshrugged) [20]
  • Atari releases the absolutely terrible E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: More than any other single video game this spells the end of Atari. (They maintain no quality standards for their video games.--alexshrugged) [20]

In Other News

  • The Commodore 64 home computer is launched: (This little computer launched Alex Shrugged on his computer programming career.--alexshurrged) [21] (released in August); it becomes the all-time best-selling single personal computer model.[22]
  • AT&T Corporation agrees to break up and divest itself: It was too big to fail so the courts made it smaller. [23]
  • GLOBAL COOLING! Record lows are recorded in cities throughout the Midwest: It is soon followed by Cold Sunday.
  • Unemployment hits a record high in the UK: 3,070,621 which is a post-war record number.
  • The US embargos Libyan oil imports: Libya sponsors terrorism.
  • The Falklands War begins: See 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands. The Argentinians are going to get their heads handed to them, and it didn't have to happen. The UK tried to sell the Islands to Argentina. (But if you take it, the UK is going to make you pay one way or the other.--alexshrugged)
  • 'GLOBAL COOLING! A blizzard in April dumps 1–2 feet of snow across northeastern US: .
  • Spain joins NATO: .
  • July 16 – In New York City, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon is sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined $25,000 for tax fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
  • On a movie set, the Twilight Zone actor Vic Morrow and 2 child actors die in a helicopter stunt accident.
  • August 12 – Mexico announces it is unable to pay its large foreign debt, triggering a debt crisis that quickly spreads throughout Latin America.
  • September 18 – A Lebanese Christian militia (the Phalange) kill thousands of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in West Beirut, the massacre is a response to the assassination of president-elect, Bachir Gemayel four days earlier.
  • September 26Thermals take Australian parachutist Rich Collins up to Template:Convert during a jump; he almost blacks out due to lack of oxygen. He releases his main parachute to fall to lower altitude and lands by his reserve parachute.
    • Poland bans Solidarity after having suspended it on 13 December 1981.
  • The population of the People's Republic of China alone exceeds 1 billion making China the first nation to have a population of more than 1 billion.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1982, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Commodore 64 - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 10 April 2017. “The Commodore 64, also known as the C64, C-64, C=64,[n 1] or occasionally CBM 64 or VIC-64 in Sweden, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International (first shown at the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, January 7-10. 1982). It is listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time, with independent estimates placing the number sold between 10 and 17 million units.”
  2. The Commodore 64, that '80s computer icon, lives again - CNN.com (May 9, 2011). Retrieved on 10 April 2017. “The C64 became hugely popular because it had more memory and was much cheaper than comparable models from IBM and Apple. It could also be hooked up to almost any ordinary television, which served as a monitor.”
  3. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_American_debt_crisis
  4. Falkland Islands - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 10 April 2017. “The principal islands are about 300 miles (483 kilometres) east of South America's southern Patagonian coast, at a latitude of about 52°S. The archipelago, with an area of 4,700 square miles (12,000 square kilometres), comprises East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 smaller islands. As a British overseas territory, the Falklands have internal self-governance, and the United Kingdom takes responsibility for their defence and foreign affairs. The islands' capital is Stanley on East Falkland.”
  5. UK held secret talks to cede sovereignty - UK news - The Guardian. theguardian.com (28 June 2005). Retrieved on 10 April 2017. “Margaret Thatcher's government offered to hand over sovereignty of the Falkland islands at a clandestine meeting with a senior Argentinian official less than two years before the invasion of the British territory, it is revealed today. Colleagues of the British minister involved set up a diversionary cover story to explain his absence, saying he was off to Switzerland to do a little painting with his wife.”
  6. Alex Shrugged Notes: I know I covered this subject in a distant history segment. I can't remember the reason but Passover is coming and I needed to fill in a history segment right the heck now. See ya!
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 1982 Births - Wikipedia.
  8. Dennis Moran (computer criminal) - Wikipedia.
  9. Seth Rogen - Wikipedia.
  10. Anne Hathaway - Wikipedia.
  11. Kirsten Dunst - Wikipedia.
  12. Jessica Biel - Wikipedia.
  13. Elisha Cuthbert - Wikipedia.
  14. LeAnn Rimes - Wikipedia.
  15. Adam Lambert - Wikipedia.
  16. Kelly Clarkson - Wikipedia.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 1982 in film - Wikipedia (1982). Retrieved on 27 January 2017.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 1982 in television - Wikipedia (1982).
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 1982 in music - Wikipedia (1982). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 1982 in music - Wikipedia (1982).
  21. This Day in Geek History: January 7. The Great Geek Manual. Retrieved on 2013-03-25.
  22. How many Commodore 64 computers were sold?. pagetable. Retrieved on 2013-03-25.
  23. Friday, 8 January 1982: What the world looked like - Historical Events. Retrieved on 13 April 2015.
  24. Elk Cloner. SearchSecurity (June 2004). Retrieved on 2012-01-28.
  25. "Bombs Rock I.B.M. Building And Airline Office", December 17, 1982. 
  26. Schenectady Gazette – Google News Archive Search. google.com.

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