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Acquiring A 20th Century Word Processor

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  • #16
    Originally posted by caz View Post
    What took you so long?



    Apparently not as much as you may have been hoping for.

    True story now (I'm ashamed to say) regarding a second-hand knitting machine I bought - very unwisely - in the early 90s, when my daughter was small. I'm sorry I didn't keep the receipt to show everyone. It was the original, which the owner had thoughtfully supplied with the machine.

    Anyway, I couldn't get on with the bloody thing, the wool kept slipping off and the language got pretty ripe, so in the end I sold it on to some other poor devil. My daughter noticed it was gone straight away and said: "Mummy, where's your fvcksake?"

    Love,

    Caz
    X
    hahaha. that's a great story.
    "Is all that we see or seem
    but a dream within a dream?"

    -Edgar Allan Poe


    "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
    quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

    -Frederick G. Abberline

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by DirectorDave View Post
      I'm still laughing from the thread title.
      I'm glad that someone appreciated it! I was thinking of "Acquiring An Elizabethan Word Processor" or even "Acquiring A New Elizabethan Word Processor" but felt that someone would inevitably challenge the validity of describing our era as "Elizabethan" or "New Elizabethan" and that it could potentially start a pointless argument that lasted forever and a day.

      But it seems that starting one's own "Acquiring" thread is now de rigueur for any self-respecting Casebooker, even where that thread is unnecessary, but hey jealousy is a terrible thing!

      Comment


      • #18
        Just Fancy That!

        14 March 2018

        "I'd be surprised if Tony would ever have used the f word in front of young Caroline, assuming they ever met, as he had three daughters of his own and Liverpudlians in my experience [don't groan at the back there] may swear in the company of other men, but are quite puritanical when it comes to hearing or using bad language when women or children are present. If a naughty word does slip out it is usually accompanied by a profuse apology or at least a "pardon my French""

        17 April 2018

        "True story now (I'm ashamed to say) regarding a second-hand knitting machine I bought - very unwisely - in the early 90s, when my daughter was small…I couldn't get on with the bloody thing, the wool kept slipping off and the language got pretty ripe, so in the end I sold it on to some other poor devil. My daughter noticed it was gone straight away and said: "Mummy, where's your fvcksake?"

        Standards must different around the country, and for different genders, I suppose.

        Comment


        • #19
          For the benefit of the official representative for the perpetually befuddled and confused, who seems to think that the invoice tells me "Apparently not as much as you may have hoped for", I can confidently state that it tells me exactly what I hoped it would tell me. A brief history of the background as to why I was asking for it demonstrates this conclusively.

          On 20 August 2017, in #508 of the thread "25 YEARS OF THE DIARY OF JACK THE RIPPER: THE TRUE FACTS by Robert Smith", a person going by the name of "Caz" posted this (from Keith Skinner):

          "Here is Keith again:

          'Reference could also be made to my taped interview with Mike Barrett in Liverpool Library on April 14th 1994 (pp.84-85) of Inside Story. I listened to it again the other day and reminded myself that I had only received the research notes on April 12th 1994. On the tape I specifically asked Mike whether, by any chance, he had kept his original notes and could he explain the background to his research and the word processor?'

          [On checking my time line I can confirm that a receipt for a word processor purchased from Dixons and dated 3rd April 1986 was faxed to Keith from Shirley Harrison on 22nd February 1995.]

          Keith writes:

          'As I recall, it was purchased second hand with money given to Mike and Anne by Anne's father? Mike's story was that he made so many handwritten notes which were strewn all over the house much to Anne's annoyance when she came home from work and also that his handwriting was very bad. So it was decided to put everything on to a word processor – Anne showing Mike how to use it – but as his spelling wasn't good, Anne tidied this up. Mike said he threw all his handwritten notes away
          .'"

          In response to this post, on 30 August 2017 (#519), Trevor Marriot made a rather pertinent observation, asking:

          "In 1986, did Dixons sell second-hand Amstrad word processors?"

          On the same day, #521, I replied to Trevor as follows:

          "A decent question Trevor. It seems a bit unlikely, and the 8256 model, which Mike is supposed to have had, was only launched in September 1985."

          In a further post the next day (#526) I said:

          "Regarding the word processor, I think the question is more whether Dixons traded in second hand goods. I don't remember them doing it in any stores I visited in the 1980s but I suppose it's possible, if unlikely, that the Liverpool store did. Seeing the sale price on the invoice would certainly help. As the advert I posted earlier shows, £399 was the cost of a brand new 8256 in 1986."

          That was the first time I had suggested it would be nice to see the invoice. My reason for wanting to see it was clearly expressed. The following day I made another post asking for the invoice to be posted:

          "Now there is one thing that should be a certain fact and that is that Mike purchased his word processor on 3 April 1986. At least one hopes it is a certain fact. Presumably Shirley Harrison has the original sales receipt, or invoice as it has been described. Does one have to rant and rave and beg and plead for an image of this single page document to be posted on this forum? Then we can, perhaps, work out for ourselves if Mike somehow managed to acquire a second hand PCW from Dixons on that date."

          On 5 September 2017, I made the following post (#549):

          "One thing that amuses me is that Anne's father is supposed to have given Mike the money to purchase the Word Processor (worth £399 brand new) in 1986. No-one bats an eyelid at this claim. Yet when I asked why Anne's father couldn't have given Mike the £50 to buy the Diary at auction in 1992 the idea was pooh-pooh'd as incredible!"

          I had to phrase it like this, i.e. "worth £399 brand new", because in the absence of the invoice it wasn't clear what Mike had actually paid for it. Perhaps it was only £40 second hand which would have undermined the point I was making."

          I continued to chase the invoice/receipt in a series of posts over the next few days and on 12 September 2017 a message was posted on behalf of Keith Skinner (dated 8 September) in which he said (to Caz):

          "Re the receipt for the Word Processor...from memory I think you have all the detail on our timeline which, I’m assuming, must have been taken from a photocopy of the receipt which I provided? My Diary Archive is down with Bruce – so unless you have a photocopy of the receipt, I’m afraid David will have to wait."

          In response, I posted on 26 September (#1565)

          "So no sign of a copy of Mike Barrett's receipt for the purchase of his word processor on 3 April 1986 and Keith Skinner doesn't have a copy in his possession. But, as I understand the position, it was Shirley Harrison who originally obtained this receipt and faxed a copy to Keith Skinner on 22 February 1985. So Shirley Harrison will have an unfaxed copy (or original) of this receipt in her possession. The best copy in other words. But perhaps she is scary and bites which is why she hasn't been asked for it."

          Then on 11 October (#1684) RJ Palmer responded to me by saying:

          "David, I don't think Shirley Harrison ever had this receipt. If memory serves, the receipt for the Amstrad 8256 was actually uncovered by Allan Gray, a private detective that briefly investigated Barrett's forgery claims. This information was then released to the public by Melvin Harris. I could be wrong, but I believe that is the way it 'went down.'"


          To which I responded on the same day (#1685):

          "That seems perfectly possible but Shirley must have received a copy of it at some stage because we were told earlier in this thread that a receipt for a word processor purchased from Dixons and dated 3rd April 1986 was faxed to Keith Skinner from Shirley Harrison on 22nd February 1995.

          A question mark was also raised earlier in this thread as to whether the word processor could have been second-hand (as we have been told it was) if it was bought from Dixons. Sight of the receipt should answer that question and tell us what Mike paid for it."


          Then on 27 January 2018, in response to me asking him if there was any joy in finding the lost copy of the invoice of the purchase of Mike's word processor (#563), Keith Skinner posted the following to me in the "Acquiring a Victorian Diary" thread (#693):

          "Incidentally, your request to have sight of the receipt for the Amstrad Word Processor purchased by Mike Barrett has not been ignored. The bulk of my huge Diary archive is down with Bruce Robinson. I’m relying on memory here but I seem to think Shirley Harrison photocopied the receipt and faxed it through to me. I believe the issue is around precisely when and why did Mike Barrett purchase his word processor? A year of 1986 has been cited by Pinkmoon in post #652 and I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of this date – so am assuming there is a hard source which I’ll try and identify.)"

          My reply on the same day (#696) was as follows:

          "I don't suppose the receipt will reveal why Mike bought a word processor but I think some of us would like to know where Mike bought it and how much it cost."

          So time and time again I made the point that I wanted to see the invoice/receipt to establish the purchase price of Mike's word processor in order to work out whether it was bought brand new or second hand and, if purchased second hand, whether it was at Dixons (which did not normally sell second hand goods).

          The invoice I have posted in this thread (technically labelled a "certificate of purchase and guarantee") has clearly answered the question I was repeatedly asking. We now know that Mike paid full price for the word processor (at £399 plus VAT) and bought it brand new from Dixons.

          It shows just how generous Billy Graham could be towards him. That's the same person who Mike claims gave him the money to acquire the guardbook, although when I first mentioned this, the idea that Mr Graham would have given Mike such a sum of money to acquire the guardbook was pooh-poohed by the usual suspect.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
            I'm glad that someone appreciated it! I was thinking of "Acquiring An Elizabethan Word Processor" or even "Acquiring A New Elizabethan Word Processor" but felt that someone would inevitably challenge the validity of describing our era as "Elizabethan" or "New Elizabethan" and that it could potentially start a pointless argument that lasted forever and a day.
            I'm a Scotsman, the current Queen Elizabeth is second to no one!

            But it seems that starting one's own "Acquiring" thread is now de rigueur for any self-respecting Casebooker, even where that thread is unnecessary, but hey jealousy is a terrible thing!
            I've been here about a decade, and only now I am being told this?

            Don't want to saturate the acquisitions, I'll leave it a bit before I do my own!
            My opinion is all I have to offer here,

            Dave.

            Smilies are canned laughter.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by DJA View Post
              You simply removed the module.

              That is the point,it wasn't sold with a color monitor.

              In fact one could also use a separate module to run a color TV as a monitor.
              But it wrecked your TV if you did. I know because I hooked up a Commodore 64 that way.

              Meh,I actually sold the things.
              Did you warn your customers that using the shortcut they'd nuke their tube?

              Paddy

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Paddy Goose View Post
                But it wrecked your TV if you did. I know because I hooked up a Commodore 64 that way.



                But it wrecked your TV if you did. I know because I hooked up a Commodore 64 that way.
                The Commodore 64 has an inbuilt modulator that connected to a TV by an RF cable.

                My square wee portable showed no effects of 5 years of lengthy C64 use, or 4 years of an Amiga with an external modulator.

                I can't see really how hooking a C64 up to a TV would damage the TV, I knew dozens of people who had a C64, not one of them had a Commodore Monitor and I don't recall any incidents of TV's blowing up.

                I'm loving that we are discussing C64's in relation to the Ripper case however, still two obsessions of mine!


                ==

                The only way Dixons would sell anything close to "Second Hand" would be a display model, and Mike seems to have paid full price for his, I think it was just another lie of Mike's to downplay his competence, spending this money on a WP in 1985 was a serious investment.

                The Amstrad 8256, was a serious machine with a much higher spec than the CPC, 4 times the RAM for a kickoff, 256k in 1985? That was Huge!
                Last edited by DirectorDave; 04-17-2018, 05:57 PM.
                My opinion is all I have to offer here,

                Dave.

                Smilies are canned laughter.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Interesting I too sold these things, I’d always been told it was a W/P.

                  But turns out it was a P/C according to the receipt.

                  It included, here in Aus at least, Locoscript (think that was the one) W/P software and ran its own propriety operating system.

                  It was at the time (again I can only speak for Aus) seen asa cheaper alternative to say a MS PC or something like an IBM or Olivetti W/P.
                  G U T

                  There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    It’s closest competitor would orabably have been the Tandy trash-80.
                    G U T

                    There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by DirectorDave View Post
                      I can't see really how hooking a C64 up to a TV would damage the TV, I knew dozens of people who had a C64, not one of them had a Commodore Monitor and I don't recall any incidents of TV's blowing up.
                      Hi Dave, it didn't blow up, it degraded the picture after about 6 months of use. It was a large color TV, American made. I was warned it could happen. And sure enough it did. In fact, everybody said "Whatever you do, don't hook up the Commodore 64 to your television, buy the monitor." But I did anyway. I cheaped out. So when DJA said that, it forced up from memory an episode seared in my brain for all time - I ruined my own TV. Now I have some point of reference to replace the blankness I experience when people go on talking about The Diary From Farm to Table.

                      But this obviously has no bearing on UK TVs and computers and Mike Barrett's did not cause his TV to blow up, as you have explained.

                      Wow wouldn't it be something if the author of the Diary blew up while writing it. I bet even Bruce didn't think of that one. By the way, does his book come with a CD of organ music? You know, the spooky kind.

                      Paddy

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                        Standards must different around the country, and for different genders, I suppose.
                        Indeed so, David, although I'm not sure that was even a sentence.

                        I do know jealousy and mockery are not synonyms.

                        Don't you fvcking know anything??

                        Love,

                        Caz
                        X
                        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                        Comment


                        • #27
                          computer geeks. lol
                          "Is all that we see or seem
                          but a dream within a dream?"

                          -Edgar Allan Poe


                          "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
                          quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

                          -Frederick G. Abberline

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post
                            computer geeks. lol
                            This was Dixons in the mid-1980s, where geeks went bearing gift-vouchers.
                            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                            "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                              It might be helpful if I re-post the advert for the Amstrad 8256 from 1986:
                              So someone bought a word processor and immediately (cough cough) produced the thing he'd bought it for. Or waited about six years. All seems to tie together nicely and point towards the inevitable conclusion that Mike and Anne Barrett between them wrote the journal of James Maybrick which to this day cannot be disproven. One off instance excepted, of course, whilst we await the evidence that it was perfectly likely that James Maybrick wrote it or could have indeed written it.

                              Seriously. Word processors. Ink pots. Pens and pencils. Who cares?

                              Maybrick was your man.
                              Iconoclast
                              Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                                So someone bought a word processor and immediately (cough cough) produced the thing he'd bought it for. Or waited about six years. All seems to tie together nicely and point towards the inevitable conclusion that Mike and Anne Barrett between them wrote the journal of James Maybrick which to this day cannot be disproven.
                                That wasn't the purpose of this thread or of me posting the invoice and I certainly haven't stated that it is an inevitable conclusion as a result of the purchase that Mike and Anne Barrett between them wrote the diary. I was essentially wanting to establish whether or not Mike bought a second hand Amstrad (as had been stated) in order to establish, in turn, what he paid for his word processor. I've set this out at some length in #19 but perhaps you missed it.
                                Last edited by David Orsam; 04-18-2018, 02:20 PM.

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