I continue to be unable to play, due to an injured finger.

So, I am writing this, instead.

I would like to back up for a moment and explain some things which are little known and even less understood.

The computer mania was really born of two prior manias.

The one being the stereophile and the other being the hot rodder.

Both groups were very active in electronics.

The great quest in the stereo world was to have the highest fidelity possible with the most noise-free recording and playback possible.

All of the filters and envelope generators and oscillators of which a synthesizer is composed will all find a prior counterpart in the world of stereos and high fidelity stereo recording.

In the automotive world "the need for speed" is forever the mantra, year in and year out.

In the case of computerization it proved to be particularly invaluable for contolling precise timing and placing of extremely precise amounts of fuel and lubricant, etc. where they are needed when they are needed.

They can control a braking system so that as a car begins to slide out of control the appropriate course of action between the four wheels will happen automatically.

The uses multiplied far faster than component makers could ever hope to keep up with.

Out of this was born the world of the desktop personal computer (remember the first IBM PC was sold in 1980).

And, all of a sudden, the same wars which had been going on between stereo manufacturers and automotive parts manufacturers were now going on between manufacturers of the first personal computers.

For in the world of stereo and sound fanatics (myself definitely being one of them) most users of high end equipment were coming to the conclusion that it was an extreme advantage to the consumer to be able to buy  components seperately and then find a way to match them and wire them together (and hope that they do not blow up in your face, which they sometimes do).

To a person today this sounds like a perfectly reasonable way to do things, as if it is self-obvious and there could be no other way.

But, in fact, it was just the opposite.

For example, if you wanted a stereo you would typically purchase a huge piece of furniture called a cabinet, in which would be contained all of the stereo components which had been assembled at one central location (typically the factory).

One did not, normally, go out and buy a separate turntable, amplifier, pre-amp, speakers, and crossover networks to assemble one's own stereo.

Instead you bought a Magnavox, or an RCA cabinet full of relatively mediocre electronics components being sold for top dollar by puttihg them in a pretty lititle piece of ticky tack "furniture".

Then entire living room furnishings would be designed and built around these hideous monstrosities.

It didn't take long for the labor to become more specialized as one company would become the best turntable manufacturer, while another would be the best maker of power amplifiers, and yet another the best maker of speakers and speaker cabinets.

The problem was always how to wire all of these things together and to make the components match one another.

For the regular consumer the ease of using the cheaper components far outweighed any benefits about which he may be concerned.

The completely lunatic stereo and recording fanatic, on the other hand, always strives to have better equipment and more advanced knowledge base and technological advantage, just like breathing and eating.

So, this became the hotbed for thinking regarding such matters as whether to have a modular stereo system or a "proprietary" system.

In the proprietary system the manufacturer would pretend to be making all of the components and then assembling them as perfect matches designed from the ground up to work flawlessly and seamlessly together.

Well, as anyone who works in electronics knows, high quality components simply cannot be made cheaply.

And that means that budget-priced stereos that are claiming to be made of high quality components simply cannot be, as a matter of physics and science.

Added to this charade was the fact that they were not making all of the components as pretended, but were purchasing moderate and low quality components from manufacturers in foreign countries on a regular basis.

People who worked inside the business continuously have a need for the highest quality components which money can buy.

So, this created a sort of permanent market struggle between the two competing forces with the one pretending to be selling quality product, when in fact it is not, while the other party has a real need for a high quality product and will pay whatever is necessary in order to get it.

So, at it's heart, the fight over modularity in the world of stereo systems was a fight over the use of the highest quality components available for those willing to pay whatever price is reasonably necessary in order to get the job done.

As a result of this numerous niche markets came into existence for the purpose of serving the needs of the serious stereofile.

It was likewise in the world of automotive electronics.

A lot of small operators making extremely unusual pieces of manufctures for a very small group of persons with very precise needs.

As this type of niche manufacturing had aleady become commonplace in both the automotive and consumer stereo world, it was only natural that this should become the model for the building of the first fully modular personal computers, which one would typically buy out of someone's garage. 

There were no computern stores in existence. 

And we could only dream that some day there would be a big supermarket of electronics. 

We have been fortunate to see that day come.

I will take a break.
11;20 p.m.
Ventura, California, USA-