Those were the days... 😍

When you installed the DOS drivers it played a Michael Jackson tune at the end of the process.

Also, text-to-speech just blew my mind as a 13 year old in the 90s. My computer was suddenly talking to me! (in a rather creepy voice)

@fribbledom "pv zk pv pv zk pv zk kz zk pv pv pv zk pv zk zk pzk pzk pvzkpkzvpvzk kkkkkk bsch"


My first computer had mac-in-talk installed on it.

Every time an error message popped up, it would say "Alert!" or "It'snot myfault!"


@fribbledom the other day i had to scan something, and discovered that my scanner's default software can play a midi file while you scan. it made me remember what ux was like back in the day

@fribbledom I remember plugging my soundblaster into my phone's mic input and calling people up...

@fribbledom The magic values everyone knew back then were IO Port 220 and IRQ 5.

I had no idea back then what they meant but I knew everything will be alright when I set them in AUTOEXEC.BAT 😃


'text assist text assist is a text to speech really neat hard to beat its a real speech feat type it in type it in and the voice will say how are you? I am here to stay.'

Sung to Overture from 'William Tell'

Haha Text Assist was amazing I'm sure that was included with the soundblaster at some point. I might have mis-remembered the text, by but it was sung and I learned how to control it and wrote funny stories for it to read.

@fribbledom I've been trying to find a copy of that TTS program for years. Any chance of some imgs?


I would have to get hold of an external floppy drive. I'll see what I can do.

No idea if the disks are still working tho 😄

@fribbledom @nat

USB floppy drives are pretty easy to get.

I had to get one to go through my grandpa’s genealogical files when he passed away last year.

@nat @fribbledom Should be on here:

At this point, pretty much every driver disc, demo disc, magazine cover shareware collection cd, pretty much anything that was ever put on cd-rom in the 1990s can be found somewhere on

Never been a better time to download PCEM and go time-traveling.

@fribbledom I’ve been watching all these posts and wondering if anyone knows what a floppy disk is.

In this image, I used the large 8” disc at work on a Xenix system in a Bernoulli drive. They were called that because someone realized they could float the read head on a cushion of air over the magnetic media. All drives before SSD were Bernoulli drives, just more dense media.

Then, what was really called a floppy disc were the middle 5-1/4” discs. They were floppy. It was said if someone could create one where the magnetic media wasn’t exposed and was tough enough to throw across the room, they’d make millions. Someone did and that’s what you’re calling a floppy disc. The inventor made nothing. (Sort of the start of open source, eh?)

Floppies were a vast improvement over the tape drives used before, which were just audio tapes, cassettes. But, you do know, floppy disks are floppy, right?


Sure! I don't think I have any 8" disks in my personal collection tho.

@fribbledom The middle ones, 5-1/4” were what we called floppies. Only high end systems used the large ones, like the Xenix I told you we had at work. Unix was super expensive and needed very expensive hardware to work on. On Xenix, terminals were just that, a keyboard and monitor. All the calculations for what to show on every screen were done on the server. All text, of course. When the mouse and graphic displays were invented we were all on the 5-1/4” floppies.

@fribbledom MSDOS was $30 and Unix was about $2,200 dollars, plus a system to run Unix was ungodly expensive. BSD and Linux changed that.

@epic @fribbledom Oh, I dunno about the hardware being ungodly - there were reasonable System V implementations for PC hardware (e.g., Dell UNIX) and even Amiga at the time.

@PCOWandre The Bernoulli Drive was before that, so that’s when I was talking about, for the 8” disc. 5-1/4” hadn’t been invented yet. The business I was at used Trash 80s (TRS-80) terminals from Radio Shack. 😀 Cutting edge! @fribbledom

@epic @fribbledom Oh, I remember the Bernoulli Box and the similar drives from SyQuest. Very cool at the time when they worked.

@epic @fribbledom And I say "similar" SyQuest drives, but I guess they were exact opposites -- flying head vs flexible media pulled towards the head.

@fribbledom i liked how my BBC Model B pronounced 'treasure'


@fribbledom Text to speech still blows my mind even to this day.

@fribbledom I remember using one of the early speech recognition systems to generate pascal code blocks.... Though I didn't allow it to talk back 😉

@fribbledom And in the year 2020, I needed to chase down a SB sound font library so I could play a MIDI file "properly." it's amazing how far some tech /hasn't/ come.

Remember when pres Reagan accused Japan of flooding the market and slapped a 100% tarrif on Japanese RAM that caused a market reaction that fucked up the whole RAM market for nearly 4 years?
@muesli I've seen the matching sound card for your drivers a while ago in my parent's attic.

@fribbledom Good memories! I did a long trip thru the city to get my soundblaster clone and a couple of speakers, it was so cool

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!