If you were around for the beginning of the personal computer, this is a site for you. You’ve noticed the illustration, right? Yes that’s a screen shot from the IBM of around the early 1980s…Well, actually it’s an emulation, and what’s more, the emulation is done in JavaScript!

http://jsmachines.net/

Try it yourself.

Once the ancient machine boots, emulated in the speed of the day on a 4.77MHz processor, just tap the Enter Key twice to accept the default date of January 1, 1980 (You want the whole retro experience, no?)

There it is. BASIC and the flashing cursor just waiting for you to type a command.

Try this: (USING CAPS LOCK ISN’T NECESSARY, BUT IT’S REALISTIC.)

ENTER EACH LINE, FINISHING WITH THE ENTER KEY.

10 FOR X = 1 TO 10
20 PRINT X
30 NEXT

RUN

Wow, right?

Have we made progress? Maybe.

Now pat yourself on the back. You are a novice BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code)  programmer.

If you are even more “adventurous” work on figuring out how to load Adventure and play that. I’m told you can try the original VisiCalc, too.

Update: This thing could take off. Old software running in emulation might make it possible to actually get access to that ancient data that nobody converted. Dave Winer of RSS fame has an old outliner program, ThinkTank, that is now available on the emulator.

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