Found While browsing: The Terak

I followed a a stray through while browsing on the internet and re-found the Terak.

The Terak was the Micro Computer I used in my first college programming
class – CS302 Honors Intro to Computer Programming (using Pascal). While I had done some programming with BASIC on Apple 2s and a Dec PDP11, this was my first “real” programming class.

Found at the informative :

It is an early personal computer made by the Terak Corporation of Scottsdale, Arizona. It was sold from about 1979 until 1985.

One of the first models was the Terak 8510/a shown above. It was based on the popular PDP-11/03 processor, a 16-bit CPU. The Terak 8510 could have as much as 128K of RAM with the PDP-11/23 option. For storage, it has big eight-inch floppy drives that go klunk-klunk, in IBM 3740 format, holding roughly 256K, 512K or 1 meg each. Hard disks of five to forty megs were available. The Terak featured both RS-232 and 20 milliamp current loop serial connections, so you could connect to the printers and teletypes of the time. The keyboard included a numeric keypad and arrow keys arranged in a vertical column.

The Terak was advertised as a “Graphic Computer System.” It featured a monochrome 320 x 240 square-dot display and relatively advanced video features such as a purely bitmapped display, allowing a customizable character set, the mixing text and graphics on the same screen, and raster operations like continuous smooth panning and scrolling. The system included a twelve-inch composite video monitor. It even had programmable sound and a two-inch speaker. The main system box was robust metal, weighing about forty pounds.

Wait, WTF?

The Terak was popular for teaching Pascal to college kids. As such, all the oldsters who were in college then and used this computer have a great affection for it, meaning they can no longer remember how slow they were.

Oldsters? F*cking whippersnapper.

Anyways, I like how the author of the above got his:

I have several Terak 8510/a and hundreds of floppies. I bought the first one in 1990 for about $25 at a University of Wisconsin–Madison Surplus equipment sale. At one time, the UW had about a dozen Teraks in the computer science and math departments, including about eight that were available to students in entry-level programming classes.


Netbook Purchase?

I am thinking about buying a netbook to replace a long dead laptop. Any suggestions or counter-suggestions?

Reference: Intro to Programming for Kids aka Growing a Young Computer Geek

Not Basic but look interesting. Designed for Kids.
Intro Book for Kids:


Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a teaching tool for introductory computing. It uses 3D graphics and a drag-and-drop interface to facilitate a more engaging, less frustrating first programming experience.


Alice is a teaching tool designed as a revolutionary approach to teaching and learning introductory programming concepts. The Alice team has developed instructional materials to support students and teachers in using this new approach. Resources include textbooks, lessons, sample syllabuses, test banks, and more. Other authors have generously joined our efforts, creating additional textbooks.


BASIC-256 is an easy to use version of BASIC designed to teach young children the basics of computer programming. It uses traditional control structures like gosub, for/next, and goto, which helps kids easily see how program flow-control works. It has a built-in graphics mode which lets them draw pictures on screen in minutes, and a set of detailed, easy-to-follow tutorials that introduce programming concepts through fun exercises.

For Beginners:


Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share your creations on the web. Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create and share Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.


Script Basic

Real Basic

Basic 4GL

Free Basic

Oracle buying Sun Microsystems

So, Sun Microsystems will be no more.

I used admin lots of Sun servers which were acting as various types of internet application servers or network operations servers. They were good solid Unix Servers. Their apps where pretty good too. The rise of Linux running on Intel platforms took care of their fat profits (yeah capitalism).

I am not sure what Oracle and its shareholders get out of this. Bigger, yes. Better (more profitability), I imagine not.

Answer: “I will blow a hole in your eardrum with the power of my voice if I have to”

Question: What did Purpleslog just yell at an ISP vendor this afternoon?

Found On You Tube: A Complete “Intro to Computer Networking” Class

You can watch the courses in turn here.

Here is the first lecture:

They have lots of engineering classes here.

A reminder of why companies need to block outbound SSH

Noted in a comment at SlashDot:

One day, I set up a PPP over SSH tunnel between my home computer, and my desktop at work. Transferring large binary files from my office network to my home computer was much closer to the original 3Mb/s speeds.

There is no legitimate reason for the above. I t would be a great opportunity for a malicious insider (e.g. to transfer proprietary data, to bypass access controls) or just a dumb-ass insider (e.g. to get around content filters).

Some sub-set of internal users may need SSH access to the organization’s servers that might be past the firewall. The right thing to do is have to have firewall rules to support that explicit user group and their destinations.