My twenty years with computers – Part 1 – by Jakey G3JKY

Around 1984, XYL Joyce and #2 stepson, Chris, bought me a Commodore 64. I hooked it up to an old Ferguson black and white portable TV and tuned in the signal. Next I opened the handbook and started off by typing in one of the simple programs given as examples.

I told Joyce what was going to happen, as she was quite interested in this new toy. When I typed “RUN,” the screen was supposed to show a ‘ball’ bouncing from one side to the other. I probably expected too much at this stage as in my experience a ball will not travel horizontally in mid-air for long. However, this one not only travelled in a straight line, it seemed to have the power of multiplication. Every time it hit an edge of the screen, it left behind an offspring. After several trips back and forth, the screen was full of them! I don’t think I’ve ever heard Joyce laugh so much!

After several other disappointments, when I tried to show off my keyboard skills, I thought it best to wade through the list of “Errata” and correct the handbook where necessary.

What followed is best described by copying a letter I sent to the Managing Director of Commodore. Incidentally, I share his surname (but not his income!)

I purposely wrote in very short phrases. (I got this idea from ‘Mad Magazine.)

Dear Sir,
I received a C64 as a birthday present.
It came with a User Manual.
And an Errata sheet.
The text in the Errata does not correspond with the manual.
For instance, page 45 refers to ‘input.’
Page 45 in the Manual is nearly all blank.
It is a chapter heading.
I wrote to Commodore about this.
And pointed out an error on page 18.
I received another copy of the same Errata.
I said my book is dated 1984.
Can you guess what happened next?
Of course you can!
My third Errata sheet is the same as the other two.
Perhaps there is no Errata sheet for my Manual.
Does anyone know?
The suppliers, (Dixons) were no help.
I am not impressed.
I am fed up.
I ask myself if I am wasting my time.
Next year I shall ask for a pair of socks.
Yours sincerely,…..

It worked! At last I received the corrections for my User Manual!

Return to the index of Vital Spark articles.

Jakey – (G3JKY). From VS August 2006.

G3MGQ’s Month on the Air

Prepared by the clubs RSGB trainer, G3MGQ, you will find the latest DX contests including the ones to shoot for as well as ones to give a wide berth. Why not download the latest edition of Month on the Air and enjoy your DX just that little bit more.

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Vital Spark Archive

Vital Spark newsletter articles

Take a look through a large selection of articles written by club members over the years which have been published in the monthly Vital Spark newsletter .

Used Ham Radio Equipment

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UK repeaters

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Popular pages

Get your amateur radio licence - Find out more about amateur radio licence training.
Month on the Air - G3MGQ's popular monthly DX contest/expedition list.
Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup - The clubs annual operating event in the memory of Wilf Gaye M0GYE.
St. Richard's College Buildathon/STEM/ARISS - HERC attends St. Richard's Catholic College for their various events surrounding the Tim Peake ARISS contact.
G3BDQ - John Hey's Rare QSL Cards.
Sussex Electronics Radio Fair - SERF Sussex Electronics Radio Fair 2016.
Vital Spark - A selection of articles re-published from the Vital Spark.
RSGB News - Find out how to get RSGB news on your mobile or PC.
Experimenters Corner - A selection of Proteus projects by Bob Gornal (G7DME)
BBADL - Bath Based Distance Learning Course.
Conquest Hospital Radio - Presented by HERC member Antony (G4CUS).
Radio Rallies 2016 - An up to date list of radio rallies scheduled for 2016.
Club QSL Cards - A selection of QSL cards the club has received over the years.
Other Newsletters - Excellent newsletters and magazines from other clubs.
TX Factor episodes - Take a look at the TX Factors YouTube videos.
John Taplin - A bio of the late John Taplin.

Amateur Radio Resources

Other Radio Clubs & RAYNET

BSARS - Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society

RAYNET - The Hastings and Rother RAYNET Group.

HERC members sites

Sigord - Gordon Sweet
Hastings Radio Comms - Andrew Haas-Campbell
Hoofbags - Liz Costa