Tech Friday: Word processor WordStar in 1980 for the Apple II

Posted By on April 3, 2020


Above is a graphic sent by a friend, who knows of my long time Apple addiction … and it had me pondering the Steve Jobs vs Steve Wozniak struggle when trying to grow Apple Computer back in the early days (watch the Danny Boyle Macintosh_SE_1987movie called Steve Jobs). One of the founders was an advocated for a closed system (Jobs) and the other, the engineer (Woz), believed that computer geeks wanted to be able to expand their computers. Both views had their merits.

Initially the early Apple computers were expandable, but by 1984 when the Apple Macintosh arrived, the slots were gone, the box (or unique all in one case) was buttoned up and Macintosh OS very restrictive. My first Mac was the SE with a 20MB hard drive and thankfully I found a way to “open it Apple3_5Disksup” and install a Radius accelerator card and full page external display. In my opinion, that was still one of the greatest advancement in my computing life as it help my Consolidated Printing and Publishing Co. along with software like Aldus Pagemaker grow and compete by “desktop publishing.” At the time others relied solely on typesetting companies and artboard oriented graphic artists to pasteup pages and flats … which we were doing too.

Although I can’t claim to have been an Apple II advocate back in the day, I did want one. At that time I was only familiar with mainframes, card decks and a borrowed TRS-80 Tandy with a cassette tape deck (when I took over classes at Miami University as a graduate teaching assistant for a professor on sabbatical). Eventually I did buy my first computer, a Compaq computer running MSDOS (which I still boots up).


All in all, it is interesting to have had a front row seat to personal computing history … thanks for the forwarded graphic, Jeff!      

Was life really simpler when backpacking? #TBT

Posted By on April 2, 2020


With “stay at home” orders issued for 3/4 of the U.S. population, my good friend Jeff Pitts has been obeying the directive and working from home. It is also giving him time to do those “I’ll get to it someday” chores like cleaning out a spare room and finally throwing stuff away. RichBackpackingNCwJeff1990ish

One of the items he ran across was a photo of yours truly from either the late 1980s or early 1990s while on one of our North Carolina trips. He lived in Florida and I was in NE Ohio, so we would meet “halfway” to go backpacking (in college we planned on tackling a section of the Appalachian trail each year – that never happened, but we did later go with the family!)

A favorite destination was the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests (map) and the many trails outside of Ashville NC, particularly near Linville Falls … which is where I think the photo above was taken? It makes for a great Throwback Thursday #TBT post and memory!


April 1 is no joke this year, yet I am counting our many blessings

Posted By on April 1, 2020

April 1st is usually a day reserved for lighthearted jokes (April Fools’ Day), but the mood is just not there this year … at least for me. Thankfully we are still operating Coronavirus-free as a family, but no doubt as this pandemic makes its way across the country and envelopes the world, someone in the family will be touched. I pray that it will be only lightly and well after the initial onslaught… Annalyn_BompaWorkshopArt200329and after a life-saving medical protocol is fully in place (it is coming).

We did receive a prayer request yesterday from my brother-in-law regarding Jessica who is in California finishing online classes and a law school externship at Pepperdine University. She is showing a few signs of “some kind of sickness” … a cough, slight fever, etc. Of course it is also allergy season … yet most of us are paranoid regarding COVID19 (my January post) at least until quick and convenient testing arrives. Nevertheless, Brenda and I are praying for her.

On to something a bit more cheery … and some fine art from my granddaughter (photo left) – she calls it Bompa in his workshop.” Irresistible! Another photo for the Echo Show! 😊

Every since Katelyn and Drew gave us an Amazon Alexa Echo Show for Christmas this year, I’ve been updating the device’s slideshow feature with photos, usually Annalyn and Ellerie each month. Since yesterday was the 31st, Brenda and I now have a bunch of new photos to look at when working in the kitchen.

Of course, I’m going to include a couple of the latest ones on MyDesultoryBlog below!


How big is the largest volcano? On Mars it is as big as France!

Posted By on March 31, 2020

Olympus Mons is the tallest mountain and largest volcano on any planet in the solar system. It is about the size of France (or the U.S. state of Arizona) and is a shield volcano 624 km (374 mi) in diameter, 25 km (16 mi) high, and is rimmed by a 6 km (4 mi) high scarp. A caldera 80 km (50 mi) wide is located at the summit of Olympus Mons. To compare, the largest volcano on Earth is Mauna Loa. Mauna Loa is a shield volcano 10 km (6.3 mi) high and 120 km (75 mi) across. The volume of Olympus Mons is about 100 times larger than that of Mauna Loa. In fact, the entire chain of Hawaiian islands (from Kauai to Hawaii) would fit inside Olympus Mons!


Olympus Mons is the youngest of the large volcanoes on Mars. It and was likely formed during the Hesperian Period which lasted between 3,700 million years ago and 2,000 million years ago and has been known to astronomers since the late 19th century.

It’s a shield volcano (similar to the volcanoes than make up the Hawaiian Islands). Olympus Mons covers an area 300,000 km2 (120,000 sq mi), roughly the same size as Italy.


Looking for something positive amidst the #COVID19 Pandemic

Posted By on March 31, 2020

Although few of us really want to be tracking the exponential explosion of the COVID19 spread, a friend asked me if there was a preferred site to go to for updated information. I responded with or Department of Health here in Ohio as trusted sources, but then suggested that if he was like me, the information wasn’t necessarily as up to date.

So for something closer to real-time, I’ve been ReportedCasesGlobally200330using’s pages and the Reuter maps and graphics which have been pretty accurately reporting on the Coronavirus. Unfortunately the news does not look positive no matter how it is presented.

In looking for something positive in the numbers, I found a “Daily cases” chart that seems to indicate that the number of “Cases outside Mainland China” daily reported “globally” has ticked slightly downward. Who knows if we are at a turning point –let’s hope we are.

It also looks as if we are making inroads as to treatment protocols that will hopefully lessen the need for ventilators/respirators in the hospitals (although still a shortage as hospitalizations rise) and that Johnson and Johnson is gearing up to produce 1 billion doses of a vaccine once we have one available and tested. It can’t come soon enough for world health and our economy.


I’m gong to end this depressing post with a something positive shared with me by my daughter Katelyn. She is currently home on maternity leave from her pediatrician role with Promedica at Bay Park Hospital in Oregon, Ohio, but stays in touch with her co-workers. One of them sent her a photo today of people lining up in their cars to pray. The thought gave me chills and renewed my faith in Americans who have come together in times of crisis for generations. As a Christian who believes in the power of pray, I was so encouraged to see the community rally around their health care providers and praying for those impacted by this terrible virus.


Music Monday: Neil Diamond #COVID19 contribution

Posted By on March 30, 2020

Neil Diamond sings “Sweet Caroline” with updated lyric for safety during Covid-19 pandemic. Stay safe out there!

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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