Friday, 6 December 2013


My first computer was a Commodore 16, but my second computer, and the first one I really programmed on (in Pascal) was my Atari ST, and I love the story of how the ST came together... I wish there were a book, or a documentary about it, as there are for the Amiga 1000.

But anyway, one source of the history of the ST is Dad Hacker...

On the first part of his ST History posts he makes this statement:

Stress: A number of us learned how to juggle. One of the DRI people had a nervous tick in the form of a "quacking" sound, and this spread through the group (a year later some of us were still doing it a little). The word "fine" became a pejorative: "Don’t worry, everything will work out just fine." How are you feeling? Fine, okay?

And it had me thinking, I worked in a particularly stressful place during my degree, and I developed a nervous Coooing...

Like a pigeon, I'm sure if Paul, Leon or Dave are reading this they'll remember me cooing.  They took the piss, but I really could not help it at times, sometimes I was totally oblivious that I was doing it.

I think I developed it out of a kind of mental juggling act I was carrying out thinking about the servers being looked after, stressing if the phone would ring to make me have to drop whatever I was doing and do an IT support run, or just the incessant clatter of the mechanical machines knitting on the factory floor, from which we were separated only by a 1.5 inch plaster board wall.

Whatever it was, I didn't quack, I cooed... And really well, I'm cured now, and can't impersonate a pigeon at all, so where my brain came up not only with that sound, but the ability to do that sound, is beyond me.

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