WDP — My First Computer

Write about your first computer.

Back on September 1, 2020, PCGuy IV posed this question in his Truthful Tuesday post. So I’m just going to copy and paste from that post for my answer here.

My first computer (circa 1982) was the original IBM PC. It came with an 8088 Intel chip that ran at a whopping 4.77 MHz. The operating system was PC-DOS, it came with two 5 1/4 inch floppy disk drives and no hard drive. I upgraded it with something called an AST Six Pack, which added a clock and calendar so I didn’t have to enter the date and time every time I logged on, plus some additional RAM, a parallel port, and a serial port. Then I added a 10 Mb hard card, figuring that a 10 Mb internal hard drive would last me a lifetime. I also bought an RBG color monitor from Princeton Graphics and an Okidata dot matrix printer.

From the software perspective, I got WordStar for word processing, VisiCalc for my spreadsheet, and Microsoft Flight Simulator for fun. I soon added a blazingly fast 300 baud Hayes modem and discovered online bulletin boards and, eventually, something called Prodigy, on online subscription service that was a precursor to America Online (AOL).

Personal computing has certainly come a long way sonce the early 1980s, hasn’t it?

SoCS — I Promise I Won’t Do This Again

When I read that Linda’s instructions for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt were to start our posts with “Once upon a time,” I couldn’t resist going to a chatbot, ChatGPT, and asking it to write a story starting with “Once upon a time.” Here is what the chatbot delivered:

Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, there lived a brave young knight. He was exceedingly loyal to his king, and was well respected for his bravery and courage.

One day, the knight was sent on a quest by his king. His mission was to find a magical item from a secret location deep in a distant forest. The knight set out on his quest with two horses and a faithful hound. As he travelled along, he encountered many strange and wondrous creatures. He bravely faced them all without fear, and eventually made it to his destination.

There, amidst a clearing in the dark woods, stood a magnificent tree. At the foot of this tree was a small chest. Within it held the magical item the knight had been sent to find. He grabbed the item with both hands and opened it. To his surprise, a beautiful necklace made of silver and gold was nestled inside.

The knight returned to the castle, where he presented the magical item to the king. The king was very pleased and awarded the knight with a wealth of riches.

The knight lived happily ever after with his family and friends. He never forgot the magical necklace that had started it all, and kept it with him for the rest of his days.

I read it and I thought it was, well, awful. I think, given the same instructions, a second grader probably could have done a better job.

I decided to run the story through a program that detects writing generated by a chatbot. Sure enough, the AI detector found a 99.91% likelihood that this story was written by a chatbot.

Okay. I’m done thinking about, posting about, and experimenting with ChatGPT AI chatbots. I promise that I won’t do this again. Well, in the short-term, anyway.

More About AI ChatBots

There have been quite a few posts in our WordPress community recently about ChatGPT, artificial intelligence chatbots, and whether or not such chatbots have the potential, at some point, to be good enough to take the place of us human bloggers.

I was curious about the AI-generated content, ChatGPT, and chatbots, and whether they are all that they are cracked up to be. So I downloaded an app called Genie to my iPhone. Genie is an OpenAl ChatGPT powered by GPT-3. I opened up the app and typed “Write a story with the words premonition, trance, vinyl, scud, sock, and trendy.” Here’s the post that the chatbot generated.

I also posed this question, “What would happen if Al surpassed human intelligence?” on this week’s Provocative Question prompt, which generated some interesting responses. One such response was this one from blogger Kajmeister. It’s long, but informative, interesting, and if you are at all intrigued about AI chatbots, well worth the read.

One interesting experiment Kajmeister conducted was to run a few paragraphs of my entirely chatbot-generated post through an AI detector model to see if it picked up on the AI-generated content. And the results were interesting.

Yes, the bullshit AI detector determined that the probability of those paragraphs having been written by a chatbot were 99.98%. Excellent detecting work, AI detector.

So, I decided to take two recent posts of mine that I actually wrote without the assistance of a chatbot, and run them through this AI detector. Here are the results below.

99.98% “real” on the first sample, but only 89.19% “real” on the second sample. Maybe my post comparing Dunkin’ Donuts to Krispy Kreme doughnuts was a bit more robotically written. Or maybe the AI detector was pissed that I prefer Krispy Kreme to Dunkin’ Donuts.

Next on my list of things to waste time doing is to write a post and try to see if I can fool the AI detector into thinking it was written by a chatbot. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Thursday Inspiration — Getting Started

For Jim Adams’ Thursday Inspiration prompt this week, we can use the prompt word start, or by going with the above picture. I’m bypassing a musical response this week to focus on technology.

The landscape in today’s world of operating systems can be confusing. For laptop and desktop computers, there’s Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and Chrome OS, to name the major players. And for smartphones, it’s mainly Apple’s iOS and Android OS.

Each operating system has its own idiosyncrasies, but their common job is to manages all of the software apps and hardware on the computer, tablet, or smartphone. They perform basic tasks such as file, memory, and process management, handling input and output, and controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers.

But having devices with different operating systems can be a hardship when you use multiple devices. For example, my almost seven-year-old Dell laptop runs on Windows 10, whereas my smartphone runs on Apple iOS. My wife’s Macbook uses the latest Apple’s Mac OS, but her smartphone is an Android OS device. And these device-specific operating systems behave differently.

So why am I telling you this? It’s because my wife’s five-year-old Macbook has seen better days and she was thinking about replacing it with a new one. But our son, who is a brazen Google fan — he persuaded my wife and daughter to abandon their iPhones in favor of Google’s Pixel Android smartphones — advised my wife to get a Chromebook, which uses the Google Chrome OS, instead of a new Macbook. He ordered one for her as a Christmas present and it arrived yesterday.

So my task today, which I’m about to start, and, hopefully finish, is to help my wife set up her new Chromebook and migrate her data files from her Macbook to her Chromebook. Our son assured us that if we run into problems, we can call him and he, as an expert in all things Google, will serve as our trainer if we run into any snags.

We’ll see how it goes. Wish me luck


Written for these Daily prompts (in addition to Jim’s Thursday Inspiration prompt): Word of the Day Challenge (landscape), Ragtag Daily Prompt (chrome), My Vivid Blog (idiosyncrasies), Fandango’s One Word Challenge (hardship), Your Daily Word Prompt (brazen), and The Daily Spur (trainer).

The Genuine Article

You may remember a few weeks ago when I posted here about taking my iPhone into a cellphone repair shop to have its battery replaced with a new one because my iPhone’s battery was running out of juice by early afternoon. I didn’t want to spend over a grand on a new iPhone, so when I found out that I could purchase a new battery and have a technician install it for under $100, it was a no brainer.

Unfortunately, the battery the tech put in my iPhone was not an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) battery. In other words, it was an off-brand battery. And Apple doesn’t like to have non-genuine Apple parts used in Apple products.

The off-brand battery worked okay, but I kept getting an annoying pop up on my iPhone reminding me that the battery in my iPhone was not a genuine Apple battery. And by installing a non-Apple battery on my iPhone, I was a very naughty boy.

I called the tech at the shop that installed the battery and he admitted that he did not use an OEM battery. He said he did so because I sounded “very eager” on the phone to have the battery replacement done ASAP. He explained that, “due to supply chain issues,” it would take him a week to ten days to get a genuine Apple battery, so he chose to install a non-Apple battery because of my desire to have it done quickly. Without telling me first.

He also said that the only way to get rid of that annoying pop-up about a non-genuine Apple battery in my iPhone would be to open up the device, remove the battery he just installed, and install a genuine Apple battery. But it could take up to ten days for him to get one in.

Fast forward ten days. The tech called me yesterday and told me the OEM battery had arrived and I could stop by and he’d install it at no charge.

So now, with the genuine Apple battery installed in my iPhone, I’m a happy camper once again. Well, sort of, it’s 4 pm and my genuine Apple battery, which was at 100% charge when I first woke up at 7 am, is already down to 42%.

Did they install a used genuine Apple battery in my iPhone, I wonder.