20 years at the personal computer

Expensive utilities

In 1981 the IBM PC was introduced to the world and seemed to be the revelation for small businesses to have, though they were very expensive.  Too expensive for private use or for a small private business like my Dance Archive and Artist Management office ‘Danscontact- Dansarchief” or my dance company ‘Rubicon’.

The first computer to run Microsoft software which presented itself as the First Mini Computer was the Altair, introduced in January 1975. It took an other two years before the real start of the personal computer got going with some pace which in the 1990ies became a picked up speed like the devil was behind it.

We were confronted with the punchcards but I mostly kept working with my filing cards and using the scissors to cut all the paper-clippings which my wife was willing to glue on the filing papers. Thousands of index-cards and many maps full of newspaperclipings, filled my study-room.

Handwork and preservation for the future

My ballets and those of others I wrote manually down. Also all my teaching-notes and balletscores I wrote with the hand. Program-notes and official papers were written out by the secretaries. All the international dancemagazines were read and articles manually indexed. I spend hours and hours reading and indexing for years, next to my choreographic and teaching job in the arts schools.

In 1993 one of my students sold me her second-hand computer, so my electronic adventure started. At that time still having to pay for an internet connection per second and, because of its prize, keeping it as short as possible.

When I got immobilised for some moths, in 1999, I could not do anything on my computer and was unable to work on my archive, so that work became much much way behind, so that I could not keep it up any-more.  With pain in my heart, I had to leave my ‘child’ behind, but wanted all the magazines, personal letters, photographs, personal and other material of international dancers stay together. Some dance libraries in the United States of America, Switzerland, France and Holland were interested to buy bits and pieces, but I decided to give it to the Vlaams Theater Instituut VTi (Flemish Theatre Institute or Institute for the Performing Arts), and the technical material, scores and recordings to my niece who also had become a balletteacher. The VTi now presents the archival collections and links to the many records about people, organisations and productions: photo and video, press cuttings, books and periodicals, archival documents and ephemera. Their computer-system could also link the data with other archives in the world.


Yvonne Georgi (1903 – 1975) German dancer, choreographer and balletmistress

Personal letters, photographs and books from my old friends and teachers like Harald Kreutzberg, Yvonne Georgi, Hans Brenaa I still kept in the house with some of my most precious balletbooks and some special photos of the Ballet of Twentieth Century.

One period in life coming to an end

While revalidating, after six months absence, I went back to teaching and did no choreographies any-more for professional dancers.

In 2009, when I got retired, the ballet chapter became closed, which gave me so much grieve that for some years I could not speak or sea much of ballet or theatrical dance. Now I am getting back the flavour. A few days ago I started to Pin some Mastery of movement.

In the mean time my spiritual work had demanded lots of my time.

Communities on line

In the 1990ies the MSN network hosted online communities. Those communities were very popular and many groups tackled the religious subjects. I also went onto Messenger and got until a few months ago a “messengeruser.com” account the predecessor of “hotmail.com”. When it became the free email service “Outlook.com” I thought it was time I changed my old messenger address to the new outlook.com address. (My Tiscali and fulladsl addresses became scarlet addresses)

The softdisks computer was soon changed for a new Compaq computer with diskettes but with a useless Windows Millennium system. That computer had a short time. In 2002 I asked my nephew to make myself the strongest computer at the time, in an acceptable budget for my purse.

He created a pc with Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition (Version2002 Service Pack 3), because several programs I wanted to use could only run on Windows and not in the better  free open-source Linux. The desktop he created for me was/is with AMD Athlom 64 processor, 3000+, 2.00GH, 2.00GB of RAM)Desktop computer early 21C

Last year I started to have the first big problems on it and now I am facing some programs not able to run on this computer and it running very slow. I can not use Logos Bible Software any more, which mean I even can not reach our own Christadelphian Library. Therefore I am looking to buy a new desktop computer and also a laptop or notebook so that I would be able to work outside as well, or take it with me to meetings and to the service of my ecclesia (or church).

Religious work on the Message Board

The church-work has become the main work for me, in real life now and on the computer.

MsngroupsTo some religious people in the Low countries, who wanted to be independent it looked a good idea to start a  MSN group with a default message board called “General” and an other message boards for other topics, giving the opportunity to all sorts of members to participate in the group by adding messages and replying using the same interface as used for creating a custom web page. Alternatively, an e-mail could be sent to the group’s e-mail address and the message appeared on the General message board. I started with Bijbelonderzoekers (Bible researchers) and together with some friends we constructed a.o. Vrije Christenen (Free Christians)  which got some nice following and many replies on the articles placed by several administrator members and some active normal members.

Bringing people together

On my “site” and my groups I promoted the message to unite, and to step over the borders of denominations, sharing the same message of the coming Kingdom of God.

Cd Bijeenkomst AC Leuven 22102006

Christadelphian meeting at the AC Leuven (2006)

We organised meetings or came together to have a service praising God and reading the Holy Scriptures together. For the music in the service we took much attention so that the lyrics would not interfere with the believes of one or the other. As such trinitarian texts, taking or talking about Jesus being God, were avoided.

This way we managed to have very nice communal meetings. But as often happens nice songs do not last long. Some leaders of the group became too muddled by the differences of the different believers and other religions that they gave up their beliefs in Christianity (one becoming a Muslim and an other an atheist).

From MSN to Multiply

On the MSN Groups there were a few other foreign groups who also tried to bring a message of peace. Our and their voices got muffled in 2006 when Microsoft announced (officially October 2008) the MSN Groups Service would close down on February 21, 2009.

Multiply Bijbelonderzoekers

I took the given opportunity to migrate my data in 2006 to the social website Multiply which was launched in March 2004 . Marcus’s Space, Bijbelonderzoekers and Christadelphians found their place on Multiply but never got as many readers like on the MSN Groups, though Quantcast estimates Multiply had 2.47 million monthly U.S. unique visitors at their peak on July 30, 2012. Much time was put into the publication of material but I got nearly no responses an no members. If I remember well Vrije Christenen (Free Christians) had at one time 1700 members. Now, on Multiply, I had to do with a handful. They did not multiply.

Multiply Christadelphians

Multiply was headquarterd in Boca Raton, Florida but moved to Jakarta, Indonesia early in 2012 and switched to e-commerce, dropping the social networking aspect entirely.

As soon as I got the news about Multiply going to close down I looked for other possibilities to continue to bring my ideas forwards and to comment on certain situations in this world.

Transfer again

That way I encountered WordPress which offered a much easier way to publicise and seemed to generate many more readers. The Multiply articles I transferred to my Blogger account with the idea to place all the messages on to WordPress, but that looked too much work so I left them their and noticed they also got better views than on Multiply, so I continued placing religious related messages on Christadelphian World. (In its 6 months of existence it got already 6.896 views)

The Messenger Live and Windows Live Spaces texts, I transferred December 7, 2010 to WordPress, where you could find me now.

My intentions did not change much. Mostly I just want to give some impressions from my heart. For the religious sites I mainly place articles about subjects of interest at that moment and for use in the ecclesia or churchmeeting. (My Christadelphian Ecclesia and Broeders in Christus)

Messages of Hope and Peace

Peace Love WriteOn all the websites I do keep I want to bring a message of hope and peace which will not disappoint us. I would like to share the idea that we can work together to have more people living together in peace in a nice unpolluted environment.

I sincerely believe it is possible to congregate people from different nations and from a wide spectrum of socio-economic backgrounds, cultures and creeds to constructively create a nice environment where many can work and live together in peace.

I am convinced we should get to more people fostering international understanding. I also believe that we should bring youngsters more together showing them how conflict and hostility could be overcome by learning from each other.

It is not ill striving against the stream

In this twenty-first century, tragically, there are still wars to protest, and refugees to embrace. We all can see the many horrible things going on in the world. Knowing that it is part of the human race and has always been there in history does not mean we should not react against it or not pull a good oar.2864e-makelovenotwar-tyedie

Conflict still seems to be a part of the human condition, but it is surely within the grasp of educated young people to make a difference and perhaps it can be ill striving against the stream, but I am sure when many people could join hands it matters and changes for the good, can be brought forward.

Transcending the narrow ideologies that plague the world

I am convinced that people can transcend the narrow ideologies that plague the world. It will demand an attitude which requires voluntary work and effort to dedicate oneself to matters which go beyond personal interest.

An all-out effort can make a noticeable difference.

To my mind together we can do much more and should make more efforts in joining forces, crossing borders, conniving with a league of lovers of peace.

Combining the many ideas to make a better world with the concerted action of several individuals and organisations their joint effort, we all could shift the lines and displace our many limitations.

You can perhaps utter what a cheek to have the conscience to take the lead to raise an army of bearers of love and peace. We should know the time of the day and understand something has to happen before the world is going to laugh on the wrong side of its mouth.

Lots of people may bury their head in the sand and prefer to live in their own little cocoon. I would rather be one of the many small grains of sand which can form a lovely inviting beach where people can find themselves at ease.


Click here to Join the Bloggers For Peace

Give Peace a chance

Looking out for the next step

I could use all the help to sort me out to have some descent tool to get me in the next decennial, able to prepare the exhortations, sermons and my documentation and preparations for my theoretical studies and articles.

For the Logos software program the company recommends:

  • Intel i5 Processor (or AMD equivalent)
  • 6GB+ RAM
  • Windows 8 Pro (“RT” Not Supported)
  • DVD-ROM drive (only required for non-downloadable items)
  • 1280X1024 display
  • 1GB+ DirectX11 Compatible Video Card
  • 30GB Free Space – Internal HDD/SSD Only
  • (May require additional space depending on your library)
  • Broadband internet connection

No wonder the program update does not work any more on my system with my 2GB pc, though there should be still 40 GB free space on it, but the RAM is clearly not sufficient to do normal contemporary work.

I got to hear that Vista is not good, but others also say that Windows 8 is made for touch screens and is not so good for desktops, which would give me the choice for a Windows 7.

Any propositions?

Up to the next 20 years

Am I still running behind or not believing enough in the more recent tools like iPads and tablets, which perhaps could do a lot of work as well or even better than the desktop? When I see the younger people constantly busy on their iPad I must acknowledge that those modern devices are easy to use, mobile, and can do most of the things that people want. That makes them a fashionable, if not fully functional, and perhaps could make them a replacement for a new PC. Though when I look the bad body position and no ergonomic keyboard I do not think it would be interesting for me writing long documents or exhortations. My pc takes about 12 minutes to start up, while another one in the house only a few minutes and the iPad of my son only a few seconds.

It would be nice if I could get some useful machine that can do lots of work and store enough information to have a big library at my doorstep, of my chair.

I look forward to get enough inspiration and to make new contacts from all over the world, sharing ideas and some nice works.

That all that passed by will enjoy their stay at one of my websites and would feel at ease to share their ideas as well. I do hope some new computer this Summer will enter again fast working connections with many different writers and thinkers, willing to share their texts, photographs and drawings.

Let us stay connected in good and bad times, sharing a friendship and spreading lovely thoughts, making peace and no war.

peace not war


Additional reading material or places to look at:

  1. My main website for the Belgian Christadelphians
  2. The Ecclesia-site of the Belgian Christadelphians: Ecclesia Brussel-Leuven
  3. The Flemish Brethren in Christ or Christadelphians: Broeders in Christus or Christadelphians
  4. Marcus Ampe on Pinterest
  5. A move in Spaces
  6. Ending Multiply relationship
  7. Transfer site opened to the public
  8. Historical Ziegfeld and other Multiply Groups
  9. Hope does not disappoint us

Bloggers For Peace BannerKozo & Cheri asks that you further spread the message of peace


  • Change Computer History Forever: Well, Here We Are (ascii.textfiles.com)
    Through these terabytes (!) of software, the whole of the software landscape of the last 50 years is settling in. But since software is just that, programs and materials, it’s best to have some documentation and writing regarding it as well.
  • Apple Inc. (AAPL), Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ): Personal Computers Are Now Dead, Who To Invest In? (insidermonkey.com)
    Research firm IDC recently reported that personal computer (PC) shipments were off by nearly 14% in the first quarter. That’s a massive and worrisome decline that took a toll on just about every PC related stock. It looks like tablet computers are killing PCs, so consider buying PC makers.
  • Want to bring back Windows Live Messenger? Here’s how (neowin.net)
    Microsoft recently killed off Windows Live Messenger in favor of Skype, leaving many of us without years’ worth of chat logs or the familiarity that MSN brings. Skype, while good, doesn’t have the same stability as MSN and adds a lot of unwanted clutter. Microsoft have blocked MSN from working for many users, but some new software from a Microsoft MVP allows you to bring back Messenger in a few simple steps.Messenger Reviver 2 is a free piece of software that installs, repairs and modifies Windows Live Messenger ’08, ’09, ’11 and ’12 to allow them to sign in, despite Microsoft’s block. Currently, when you access Messenger you’re prompted to “install the newer version in order to continue,” but Reviver installs a patch that allows WLM to continue to be used.
  • The Future is Here: The Neuromimetic Processor (storiesbywilliams.com)
    when it comes to Neuromoprhic processors, computers that mimic the function of the human brain, scientists have been lagging behind sequential computing. For instance, IBM announced this past November that its Blue Gene/Q Sequoia supercomputer could clock 16 quadrillion calculations per second, and could crudely simulate more than 530 billion neurons – roughly five times that of a human brain. However, doing this required 8 megawatts of power, enough to power 1600 homes.
  • What is SAAS (Software As A Service)? (workzone.com)
    As cloud computing begins to dominate the development landscape, more and more companies and websites are turning to SAAS in order to fulfill their business needs. SAAS, or software as a service, is a distributed software management system that sees programs installed on mainframes in “the cloud”. These programs, such as data entry or sales software for everything from small businesses to multi-national corporations, offer many advantages over traditional, locally installed applications. While on-demand software has been available in many forms since the inception of computer networks, it has only recently gained prominence in all modes of computing.
    Software as a service instead allows data to be checked and updated on-the-fly, whether from a tablet, notebook, smartphone, or desktop PC. Enterprise data programs such as the ones deployed and distributed by salesforce.com enable sales teams to move to the forefront of their markets without worrying about compatibility or other traditional software woes.
    Is It Time for Your Project Management Software to Move to the Cloud?
  • How to Reconfigure and Rename Windows XP Home in Your Workgroup (smallbusiness.chron.com)
    Windows XP Home Edition can connect to and share files with other workstations on a network via a workgroup. The other computers in the workgroup locate the Windows XP machine using its IP address or host name, also called its computer name. You can rename and make other changes to the PC without it impacting its presence in the workgroup, but workstations that have a network path to a shared folder on the computer will need to update the location with the new host name.
  • Microsoft: Almost 25 percent of computers are still unprotected from viruses and malware (digitaltrends.com)
    Although the majority of users got the memo to proactively protect their machines with antivirus software and possibly even setup a firewall, an average of 24 percent of computers around the world are still unprotected and therefore vulnerable to cyber attacks. There are many free options like AVG’s antivirus software available online, so there is really no excuse to not setup some sort of Internet security on every computer.Just because you’re running an out-of-date version of antivirus software on your computer, doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods, either. You’re basically making your computer vulnerable to the latest malware that your software wasn’t designed to handle, but that’s a relatively easy fix. All you have to do is update your antivirus software or look to pay for a more recent version.

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
This entry was posted in B4Peace, Ballet + Dance/Dans, Christendom, Dagboek = Diary, History and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to 20 years at the personal computer

  1. Each individual has enough power in him or her to take steps forward and to make little changes if they can not be big. We should not worry that we are not able to change the world, nor may it inhibit us to start doing something.

    As privileged ‘global citizens’ we need to worry about the fact that good intentions are not enough, and that they can have unintended consequences — but rather than let this recognition make us cynical or passive, we should let it inspire us to become more humble, reflexive, and critically-informed social actors.


  2. cvheerden says:

    Hi Marcus, wow that’s quite a mouthful! Nice to get some background on where you are coming from with your thoughts. A very good friend of mine used to be a dancer and choreographer and now has her own certified Ballett school in Kassel, Germany https://www.facebook.com/pages/SOZO-visions-in-motion/207203105588 About all the computer stuff, Marcus I am sometimes worried one morning we will wake up and Google has assumed world domination. What about all the personal data collected of each and every internet user? Apps like foursquare luring people into “checking in” everywhere for virtual points? If I “like” a picture on a facebook page without first checking if its an extremist page, it could be negative for my future, although it was a mistake? What do you say?


    • marcusampe says:

      Orwell’s big Brother Watching us is already a long time reality. People would be surprised how much information can be gathered about them by certain organisations (from the state or even civic organisations). All the shopping cards or fidelity cards also took care that companies not only get all the personal information of the what and whereabouts but also get to know your consumer behaviour.

      Connecting to people is also becoming a very serious matter of which many are not aware which consequences it can have. Links and connotations can be made easily. Also the use of certain words in the messages, even when not the own words on the own personal side, but on the friends site, can give a wrong impression of the connections and of your own attitude or way of thinking.
      A picture of the person his personality is being made by the connections and by the way of behaviour not only of the person him or herself but also of his or her ‘friends’.

      Christians therefore should therefore even be more aware of the importance to linking to the right people, who would never place the wrong sort of articles or photograph or video’s on their sites. Because we also may not forget that marking them as a ‘friend’ on a social site we are willing to give a sign of association with that person to others and are giving the possibility to others to become confronted with the writings, ideas and postings of that person.

      I do agree I also link to articles of which I not always agree with, but which I do think have something valuable to offer, making people to think. I also believe we may have different opinions and could be totally opponents but respecting each-others different opinions and considering those inequalities no hindrance to be part of the colourful world of humanity.


      • cvheerden says:

        With all the fear of being “associated with the wrong people” people might get paralyzed and nothing of value at all anymore.


  3. tvaraj says:

    I started using a Radioshack PC in 1982 and bought an Apple IIe in 1983.


    • marcusampe says:

      And is that still working ok? That would prove its quality and the well thought out system.


    • Do you use also Windows programs on your Apple, and does it run than everything on Windows, or can you select just some a few programs to run with Windows and the rest in the mac system?


      • tvaraj says:

        The Apple IIe was released in January 1983, and I bought mine in Colombo, Sri Lanka in August 1983. My computer came with a 6502 processor but had the facilities to add two more processors. In 1984,

        I came across an ad in an English computer magazine placed by a firm in Scotland advertising some add-ons for the Apple IIe. So, I wrote to that firm inquiring the prices for an extended 64K RAM and for an Z80 processor pointing out the fact I was teaching computer science to youngsters using Apple BASIC. To my surprised, that company sent me these two items free of cost, explaining that they were happy that I was teaching computer science to worthy students in India almost free. With the Z80 processor I was able to use and teach MBASIC (Microsoft BASIC), FORTRAN, and COBOL.

        There were no facilities for connecting to the internet. The Apple IIe was discontinued in November 15, 1993. However, I used it for wordprocessing and accounting work for some firms including the mighty India Cements Limited, Sankarnagar, India. I stopped using the Apple IIe only in 1997.


        • Thanks for sharing this with us.

          Appreciating also that you tried to bring technological knowledge to the new generation of India, which seems to be very competent now in the IT business.


  4. Boris says:

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your information,
    but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more
    or understanding more. Thanks for excellent information I was looking
    for this info for my mission.


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