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Yesterday it struck me about 6 p.m. Real Coast Time that this week marks the 30th anniversary of my first encounter with a personal computer. It was an IBM-PC 5150 with two floppy disk drives. In other words, the fancy version.

It wasn't mine. The machine cost $1,800 and was one of seven we purchased for the alternative newspaper where I was editor and publisher. Together, they had less computing power than your smart watch. But it was a big upgrade from the IBM Selectrics we were using at the time. We bought them to save money by having reporters type their stories and editors edit and ship them by phone to the "back shop" three miles away. There, the transmitted electrons were turned into "cold type," pages were assembled with Exacto knives and a hot wax machine, then photographed and turned into anodized aluminum plates that were attached to a press, slathered in ink and run at high speed to print 35,000 copies of the newspaper five days a week.

We had wanted to get a mainframe computer with "dumb" terminals. But this was way out of our price range. So, thanks to the smart cookie of a general manager at the paper, an alternative emerged. We could, he said to the incredulous board members, use a set of IBM-PCs, then just a year on the market, for our purposes. Part of that incredulity came from the fact it had never before been done. Part because the price was still high—$1,800 then translates into $4,300 now. And part because we would have to find somebody to build type-setting code from scratch in the DOS operating system because IBM wasn't even close to producing such software itself.

In trepidation, we bit the bullet, scraped together the cash for the PCs, keyboards, monitors and accessories, including the bulky external modems to transmit our coded text to the back shop at 300 Baud. In case you don't know, that is really, really slow. We were ecstatic when we upgraded to 1200 Baud. The floppies were single-sided, single-density 64K diskettes. A self-aware flash-drive would mock them six ways to Sunday.

When the machines first arrived, we parceled them out three at a time to staff members to take home, together with a DOS manual, to learn the ropes. The problem was that only software engineers could actually comprehend those manuals. For those of us, most of us, technology was terra incognita. We had no idea how or why these machines really worked and the cryptic, jargon-filled manuals were unhelpful. The PC sat on my home-office desk while, at 3 o'clock in the morning, my neck muscles were twisted into what felt like steel cables as I tried to figure out what in the world I was supposed to do to make what I thought I was typing on the keyboard turn into amber text on the green screen.

Eventually, we wised up and got some tutors.

Primitive as it seems today, our experiment was soon widely copied at many smaller newspapers. IBM created its own more sophisticated type-setting software and newer machines came into being, including one called a Macintosh on which whole pages, including photographs, could be made "camera-ready," doing away with the knife-and-wax method of getting pages ready for the press.

In three years, I bought my own PC, an IBM XT-286 with a teensy internal hard drive. I've never been without a home computer or laptop ever since. But I still don't know what the heck is going on inside them.

What was your first encounter with a PC or Mac?

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Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Below the Fold

:: COMMUNITY BUILDING UPDATES ::
Let's build communities!

Every region needs a meat-space community like SFKossacks.
We take care of each other in real life.
I urge YOU to take the lead and organize one in your region.
Please tell us about it if you do and we're here for advice.

~
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY

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:: Regions Organizing ::
>>>Instructions on HOW TO FORM A NEW DAILY KOS GROUP
NEW GROUPS IN THE PROCESS OF ORGANIZING:
Send a Kosmail to the organizers and ask for an invitation to the group.
Cleveland and Northeast Ohio Area:  Kosmail: GenXangster

Northern Indiana Area: Kosmail Tim Delaney

Indianapolis Kossacks: Kosmail CityLightsLover

Long Island: Kosmail grannycarol

Northern Michigan: Kosmail JillS

Nebraska: Kosmail Nebraska68847Dem

Westburbia Chicago Kossacks: Kosmail Majordomo

New York Hudson Valley Kossacks: Kosmail boran2

North Carolina Triangle Kossacks: Kosmail highacidity

Caprock Kossacks (Panhandle/Caprock/Lubbock/Amarillo area) : Kosmail shesaid

West Texas Kossacks (including Big Bend Region and El Paso) : Kosmail Yo Bubba

Note to the above new leaders: Feel free to leave a comment any day reminding readers about your new group. Also, tell us about your progress in gathering members. Kosmail me when you've chosen a good name for your group and have created a the group. Then I'll move you to the NEW GROUPS LIST. When you've planned a date for your first event I'll make a banner for you to highlight your event in our diaries and your diaries.
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These are the groups that have started since * NEW DAY * began. Please Kosmail navajo if you have started a group before that.
NEW GROUPS LIST:

California Central Valley Kossacks - Formed: Jul 29, 2012, Organizer: tgypsy, 23 members

New England Kossacks - Formed: Aug 6, 2012, Organizers:
Clytemnestra for Lower New England (Conneticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island)
GreenMountainBoy02 for Upper New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont), 116 members

Houston Area Kossacks - Formed: Aug 7, 2012, Organizer: Chrislove, 20 members

Kossacks in India - Formed: Aug 14, 2012, Organizer: chandu

CenTex Kossacks - Formed: Sep 9, 2012, Organizer: papa monzano, 8 members

Central Ohio Kossacks - Formed: Sep 26, 2012, Organizer: VetGrl, 16 members

Kansas City Kossacks - Formed Oct 15, 2012, Organizer: kj in missouri

Phoenix Kossacks - Formed Oct 16, 2012, Organizer: arizonablue

Chicago Kossacks - Formed: Oct 31, 2012, Organizer: figbash, 23 members

Koscadia the Pacific Northwest coast from Northern California to Alaska  
- Formed Oct 17, 2012, Oganizer: Horace Boothroyd III based in Portland, OR

Boston Kossacks - Formed: Nov 7, 2012, Organizer: GreyHawk

Motor City Kossacks South East Michigan (Detroit) Area - Formed: Nov 10, 2012, Organizer:  peregrine kate

Pittsburgh Area Kossacks - Formed: Nov 12, 2012, Organizer: dweb8231,
Current diary: After a "Brief Delay" Pgh. Area Kossacks Gets Rolling

Salt Lake City Kossacks - Formed: Nov 17, 2012, Organizer: War on Error, 19 members

Twin Cities Kossacks - Formed: Nov 17, 2012, Organizer: imonlylurking
Current diary: Twin Cities Kossacks-when should we meet? Poll included!

Dallas Kossacks North Texas - Formed: Nov 21, 2012, Organizer:  chancew
Current diary: Dallas Kossacks, I need suggestions!

The Southern California Inland Empire Kossacks - Formed: Dec 3, 2012, Organizer: SoCaliana

Los Angeles Kossacks - Formed: Dec 17, 2012, Organizer: Shockwave

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ESTABLISHED GROUPS LIST: (List will grow as we discover them)

SFKossacks Founded by navajo, Formed: May 2, 2005, More than 80 members

Maryland Kos Founded by timmyc, Formed: Feb 23, 2011, More than 54 members

New York City Founded by Eddie C, More than 58 members - Contact the group organizer for meet-up events: sidnora

Baja Arizona Kossacks Event Organizer: Azazello, 90 members

Three Star Kossacks Tennessee, Founded by maryKK, Formed: Apr 8, 2011, 46 members

Nashville KosKats Founded by ZenTrainer, Formed: Jan 30, 2012, 28 members

Virginia Kos Founded by JamieG from Md, Formed: May 3, 2011, 85 members

Kos Georgia Founded by pat208, Formed: Feb 13, 2011, 18 members

Colorado COmmunity Founded by Leftcandid, Formed: Feb 13, 2011, 25 members

New Mexico Kossaks Founded by claude, 13 members

Philly Kos Founded by mconvente, Formed: Aug 29, 2011, 15 members
Currently organizing: Kosmail asterkitty to sign up

DKos Florida Founded by ThirstyGator, Formed: Feb 14, 2011, 33 members
Currently organizing: Kosmail Vetwife to be included in next event.

Oklahoma Roundup Founded by BigOkie, Formed: Feb 13, 2011, 12 members
Currently organizing: Kosmail peacearena to be included.
Okla-homies, let's get together (new regional organizing group)

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:: Events Currently on the Books for ALL Kossacks ::
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Heal Utah Rally January 10, 2013 1230PM Salt Palace
Thursday, January 10th

Salt Lake City Kossacks' Attend UTAH CITIZENS DEMANDING CLEAN AIR Rally

TIME: 12:30 PM
LOCATION: Outside the Salt Palace Convention Center
Corner of 200 South and West Temple • Salt Lake City

ORGANIZER: Send War on Error a kosmail for details on connecting there.

RSVPs:
1. War on Error
2.
3.
Maybees:
Latest diary: SLC Action Item - CLEAN AIR RALLY Jan. 10, 2013 @ 12:30 PM
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Friday, January 11th

KOSCADIA hosts Ojibwa as he blesses quilts for the Community Quilt Project

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: Sara R and winglion's home
Address given upon RSVP • Portland, OR

ORGANIZER: Send Sara R a kosmail for details on connecting there.

RSVPs:
1. Sara R
2. winglion
3. Ojibwa
4. Ojibwa's wife
5. kaminpdx
6. kaminpdx's spouse
Maybees:
 BlueJessamine
Latest diary: Quilt Blessing with Ojibwa on Friday
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Sunday, January 13th]

KOSCADIA Meet-up

TIME: 4:00 PM
LOCATION: Caps and Corks
1000 Northwest 17th Avenue • Portland, OR

ORGANIZER: Send Horace Boothroyd III a kosmail for details on connecting there.

RSVPs:
1. ?
2.
3.
Maybees:
Latest diary: [Diva is waiting]
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DailyKos readers who live and/or work in New England
(Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)

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Saturday, January 12th
New England Kossacks MEET-UP

TIME: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
LOCATION: Fire and Ice
One Providence Place • Providence, RI

ORGANIZER: Send Clytemnestra a Kosmail to RSVP.

RSVPs:
1. Clytemnestra
2. Knockbally
3. CTLiberal
4.
5.
Maybees:
aaraujo
gchaucer2
annieli
Moody Loner
mommyp00ka
Littlep00ka
RubDMC
bjedward
dlcmassage
dlcmassage's partner
dopper0189
rugbymom
Latest diary: New England Kossacks: January meet up NEXT Saturday
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Saturday, January 12th
Los Angeles Kossacks MEET-UP

TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION:  Casey's Irish Pub
 613 South Grand Avenue  • Downtown Los Angeles

ORGANIZER: Send Shockwave a Kosmail to RSVP.

RSVPs:
1. Shockwave
2. Dave in Northridge
3. occams hatchet
4. equern
5. delphine
6. Neither Nor
7. Gay CA Democrat
8. SanFernandoValleyMom
9. susans
10. Joe Bacon
11. jakedog42
12. BruinKid
13. navajo
14. navajo's guest
15. Flowingone
16. pucklady
17. dannyinla
18. Zack from the SFV
19. homogenius
20. gmats
21. Ducktape
22. jared the bassplayer
23. mooremusings
24. nyceve
25. Jeff Lieber

Maybees:
1. Dretutz
2. Floja Roja
3. eztempo
4. RLMiller
5. joemarkowitz
6. byzantium
7. PDX
8. cynfowler

Latest diary: It's happening! LA Kossacks meet next Saturday at 2PM downtown
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Saturday, January 19th
Southern California Inland Empire Kossacks MEET-UP
TIME: 12:00 Noon
LOCATION: The Old Spaghetti Factory
3191 Mission Inn Avenue  • Riverside

ORGANIZER: Send SoCaliana a kosmail to RSVP

RSVPs:
1. SoCaliana
2. jakedog42
3. pucklady
4. RedlandsDem
5. OjaiValleyCali
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Maybees:

Latest diary: Inland Empire Kossacks
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Saturday, January 19th
Houston Area Kossacks: Meet-Up

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: Cafe Adobe
2111 Westheimer Road (River Oaks) • Houston

ORGANIZER: Send Chrislove a kosmail to RSVP

RSVPs:
1. Chrislove
2. Crabby Abbey
3. doraphasia
4. suesue
5. suesue husband
6. Delilah
7. nomandates
8. cosette
9. PDiddie
10. PDiddie wife
11. Texdude50
12. icelus
13. Kellybee
14. krwheaton
15. htowngenie
16. Tacey (Honorary Kossack)

Maybees:
VinaMist
Chrislove's BF
miscanthus

Latest diary: Houston Area Kossacks: Meet-Up Scheduled for Saturday, January 19!
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Saturday, January 19th

Salt Lake City Kossacks' Meet-up

TIME: 4:00 PM
LOCATION: Oasis Cafe
151 South 500 East • Salt Lake City

ORGANIZER: Send War on Error a kosmail to RSVP

RSVPs:
1. War on Error
2. jlms qkw
3. MT Spaces
4. Patate
5. middleagedhousewife
6. rmonroe
7. BoiseBlue
Maybees:
TAH from SLC
Latest diary: SLC Kossack Meet up - January 19, 2013
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Saturday, January 19th

Dinner & Karaoke with Dave in Northridge

TIME: 6:30 PM
LOCATION I: Chow Church
215 Church St. (Market) • San Francisco
LOCATION II: After dinner, The Mint, for karaoke!
1942 Market Street (Buchanan) • San Francisco

RSVPs:
1. navajo
2. Dave in Northridge
3. Steveningen
4. scaboni
5. Lusty
6. side pocket
7. lineatus
8. norm
9. FogCityJohn
10. cooper888
11. gotmooned
12. sfbob
Maybees:
Lorikeet
slksfca
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Sunday, January 20th
New York City Kossacks Welcome Onomastic & Yasuragi!

TIME:  Noon
LOCATION:  Spitzer's Corner
         101 Rivington Street (Ludlow) • NYC

ORGANIZER: Send Sidnora a kosmail to RSVP

RSVPs:
1. Sidnora
2. Onomastic
3. Yasuragi
4. belinda ridgewood
5. plf515
6. joanbrooker
7. rubyr
8. blue jersey mom
9. ask
10. Design the Future
11. kishik
Maybees:
mconvente
matt129
Ian Reifowitz +kidlet
Its the Supreme Court Stupid
Latest diary: NYC Meetup 1/20: Ono? Oh yeah!
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PRESIDENT'S
Monday, January 21st
Watching the 2013 Inauguration - Swearing-In, Inaugural Address, and Parade

TIME: 8:00 or 9:00 AM - Noon (TBD)
LOCATION:  Kestrel's place in Sacramento
Directions will be provided by private email to those who RSVP

ORGANIZER: Send tgypsy a kosmail to RSVP

RSVPs:
1. Kestrel
2. tgypsy
3. cooper888
4. gotmooned
5. paradise50
6. norm
7.
Maybees:
mrsgoo
Latest diary: Central Valley Kossacks: Two Meet Ups in One Diary
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obama-sotu2010
Tuesday, January 29th
Watching the 2013 State of the Union Address

TIME: 5:30 PM
LOCATION:  cooper888 and gotmooned's place in Sacramento (Natomas)
Directions will be provided by private email to those who RSVP.
ORGANIZER: Send tgypsy a kosmail to RSVP

RSVPs:
1. Kestrel
2. tgypsy
3. cooper888
4. gotmooned
5.
Maybees:
Latest diary: Central Valley Kossacks: Two Meet Ups in One Diary
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DKos Florida Banner
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Saturday, February 9th

First Time Ever DKos Florida Kossacks Meet-up!

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: Fort Cooper State Park
Recreation Hall
3100 South Old Floral City Road • Inverness
$3.00 per car entry fee
Pets welcome but not inside hall
NO alcoholic beverage allowed in state park
Food for event will be covered potluck

ORGANIZER: Send Vetwife a kosmail to attend and volunteer for potluck.

RSVPs:
1. Vetwife
2. JaxDem
3. ObamOcala
4. FloridaSNMOM
5. whatgodmade
6. gulfgal98
7. PHScott
8. puzzled
9. Subo03
10. lady blair
11. taxmancometh
12. Russ Jarmusch
13. Brian1066
14. Ricochet67
15. pamelabrown
16. KayeB in Florida
17. OleHippieChick
18. YaNevaNo

Maybees:
 just bob

Latest diary: Saturday Feb 9th? OK? Fl Meetup
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DailyKos readers who live and/or work in New England
(Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)

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Saturday, February 16th
Northern New England Meetup in Portsmouth, NH

TIME: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
LOCATION:  Margaritas Mexican Restaurant
775 Lafayette Road  • Portsmouth

ORGANIZER: Send GreenMountainBoy02 a Kosmail to RSVP.

RSVPs:
1. GreenMountainBoy02
2.
3.
4.
5.
Maybees:
Latest diary: Northern New England Meetups in Portsmouth, NH
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Graphic Mash by Papa Manzano
Saturday, March 2nd or 9th
Lone Star Spring Texas State-Wide Meet-Up in Austin

TIME: TBD
LOCATION:  TBD • Austin

ORGANIZER: Send nomandates Kosmail to RSVP.

RSVPs:
1. nomandates                    
 2. teknohed
 3. papa monzano
 4. Chrislove
 5. Chrislove's BF
 6. glorificus
 7. politik
 8. anotherdemocrat
 9. Odysseus
10. suesue
11. blue armadillo
12. texasmom
13. texasdad
14. htowngenie
15. navajo (honorary TX Kossack!)
16. afisher
17. manoffire
18. Wino
19. Mrs. Wino
20. VinaMist
21. doraphasia
22. Urban Owl
23. Texdude50
24. icelus
25. mr pea
26. entrelac
27. Mr. entrelac
28. JayRaye
29.
30.

Maybees:
 1. Mosquito Pilot
 2. Over the Edge

Latest diary: Turning Texas Blue: Lone Star Spring Meet-Up
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Send navajo a kosmail if you post a diary about an event so we can update our round-up.

Okay. Floor's open.
Tell us what you are doing on this NEW DAY?

Originally posted to Connect! Unite! Act! on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:30 AM PST.

Also republished by SFKossacks.

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