DC BUG

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My trusty Commodore 64. A gem from yesteryear

In the 1980s a Commodore 64 was the personal computer to own. Not only did they perform as advertised, owners enjoyed unsurpassed support.

Using a word processor software known as Easy Script I generated text for a host of magazines and journals. However, the C-64 came with drawbacks – usable RAM

As advertised, it came out of the box with 64k of RAM. But after the operating system, which was burned onto a chip, was loaded and the cursor was flashing only about 35k remained. I don’t recall how much memory Easy Script required. I only remember by planning ahead I could squeeze out 14 pages of double-spaced text, about 250 words per, or 3,500 words. The manufacturer had addressed that issue. By naming the end-of-file (EOF) in a correct manner my data on the floppy provided a “daisy chaining” effect.  As the disk drive finished one file it automatically fetched the second, a third, etc.. Perhaps that is why IBM coined the logo “Think Ahead” with the last letter, the D, hanging over the edge, about to fall off.

All of this planning and involvement of the operator created a unique operator-machine companionship, for lack of a better term. And out of that grew the Commodore User Groups and a host of Electronic Bulletin Boards. From that evolved a sub-group, a cooperative of three Electronic Bulletin Boards – Dr, Rom, Comm-Line, and Billboard which became known as DC BUG.

DC BUG quickly became an in-your-face social media where we shared computer knowledge, pizza, and fun. It also created a fiction, unstable character known as Doctor Rom. But that’s another story 

There are more facets to DC Bug adventure that are forthcoming, but for now I’ll share a fistful of 35-year-old photos of a DC BUG Picnic.

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Dale, the Driving force behind the entire DC Bug Adventure.

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Leo, a man of many voices, doing his Punch and Judy Show.

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We spread out two bails of straw and then tossed in coins

totaling $30. The activity was like Christmas morning.

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One of my granddaughters announcing

she’d found some money.

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