Thursday, February 7, 2013

Quicken, DOS, Windows, Internet

QuickenI was talking about financial programmes to a friend on Facebook. I said I had been using Quicken for 20 years. I am actually not sure if that is accurate. I used to use MYM or Manage Your Money in DOS format and did so for a number of years. I liked that software very much. Then Quicken started to appear and at about the same time Windows also started appearing, both of which I hated. They had pictures of offices and you had to click on file drawers or various other things showing on the screen to get somewhere or other. Having used DOS for a number of years, it was so cumbersome and everything took so long to happen. Gradually MYM became out of date, they did try one WindowsWindows version, but it didn’t really work for some reason and so Quicken took over as far as I was concerned. Today it is a pretty slick product, but I would probably never have switched if MYM had stayed the course. Now I rely on it for all my financial information. It took me quite a while to get used to Windows and their early versions were pretty cumbersome. Most of the computer users of today wouldn’t be able to use DOS at all, but in the early days we had both that and BASIC which was a programming language. Once upon a time I could write very simple programmes but once Windows came on the scene, it was no longer necessary. One year, for Hallowe’en, I copied a programme from a magazine I read and turned the screen to face out of the window, I had a man’s head turning into a werewolf and the kids were fascinated.

My first real computer was a Commodore 64 (I had a cassette tape version before that, had a couple of great games on it too) which I bought in 1987, it didn’t even have a hard drive, I had to get one installed, I think it was 500 Mbs – not all that many people had personal computers then but I had been using them at work. One system had a stack of instruction books to go with it. I was sent to IBM for a week to learn to use it and to read the books. Before this work places had large systems which had to have programmers to work them and punch tapes. A colleague told me I would never be able to use computers because I was no good at math. Guess he was wrong; computers changed, not my ability to do math. I first started accessing the internet around ‘88 to ‘89 I think. In those days it was very rudimentary and there were very few AOLservers, AOL was one of the first, I can’t even remember the name of the ISP I used. It was expensive too because you not only had to pay the server, but the cost of the phone call to the server so one didn’t stay online for very long. We were living in North Carolina at the time and there were very few computer stores. Now the place is littered with them. One repair guy I had came to me one day, amazed, and told me about 1 gig hard drives - we couldn’t believe it, now I have something like 240 thousand gig on my laptop and 400 thousand on my desktop and that is nothing compared with what some people have, especially if they are gamers. Hell people’s handhelds have a lot more power and storage than my first PC.

The next day or two we are supposed to get a fair amount of the white stuff. Especially tonight I believe.

Here’s a somewhat decadent breakfast. Think I might put Nutella on it.

Brandy Sour Cream French Toast

Active Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Yield: 2 4 pieces

You wouldn't guess how easy this decadent-tasting breakfast really Brandy Sour Cream Toastis.


2 beaten eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tbs. sour cream

2 tbs brandy

Good crusty French bread


Whip all ingredients except bread well.

Slice bread about 1 inch thick.4 slices

Soak in wet mixture.

Heat griddle and coat with butter. Cook bread until nicely brown on both sides and cooked through.

Serve with favourite syrup or homemade apricot jam

Have a great day



  1. Scary how big computers are now. And think my first one was a Packard Bell.

    1. You are somewhat younger than me Alex.

  2. I'll make these this morning, minus the brand (kids( and sour cream (I don;t like it). Drench generously in real maple syrup!

    1. Pity about the brandy, maybe you can try another day when the kids aren't around.