Having written my first post, self-inspired curiosity got the better of me and I woke up the Atari ST to find out the origins of Doodle.Prg. (See the bottom bit of said post – in brackets – to understand this.)

Apparently its Version 1.1 of a March 1985 GEM Sample Application from Tom Rolander and Tim Oren, apparently of Digital Research, Inc. (Which is still around and has a really nice glossy website for anyone who wishes to see what came of the basic little drawing programme. Unfortunately the website doesn’t make it clear if these two pioneers of desktop computer software are still with DRI.) It also comes with a picture of a fish on the info board which particularly skilled users may be able to copy. It claims to have 16 colours (0 to F) but they all look mysteriously like black on my computer.

There we go – ancient history in a 3¼” square(ish) bit of plastic.

Nowadays I find Corel Photo-Paint to be of more use for my immediate purposes; Doodle has seen little use in the last decade.

And for anyone who is intrigued, an Atari ST looks something like this:

(The bug and the radio are more recent additions; the radio probably has more computing power than the Atari.)

Good morning


I’m an odd but friendly character called Gawain who, if pushed, tends to market himself as liking railways, bad jokes  and classical music, though I also have eclectic tastes and show an interest in any interesting music, good jokes and other forms of transport. I have a slightly nonsensical website branded as “The Order of the Bed” which is currently sitting on an ex-ntlworld server somewhere; since this is linked into that I should probably market myself as the Order’s lovely Founder. Unfortunately I tend to have better things to do all day than lie in bed just now.

Due to my wonderful interests anything which I write on here will probably be  related to politics or railways – my main fields of interest – with occasional bits on radio, books and possibly something on something I’ve found on iPlayer or a passing DVD lately.

I also take an interest in the wonderful world of computing (an eclectic one, like everything else in my life). Having just finished a degree, I now (temporarily) have some more time on my hands to fulfil an occasional wish during my interesting final year to have a blog. It can now be guaranteed that nothing interesting will happen until after I have work (other than lobbying for the reopening of dead railways) and no time to update this.

I assume hardly anyone will ever read it, but feel free to disillusion me with witty and verbose comments. An Order of the Bed-branded blog floated around on, completely unnoticed, for about two weeks five years ago until someone forgot the username. Or the password. Or both. You might find it somewhere if you look hard…

I’m good at this IT lark really, honest. Been doing it since the days of Doodle.

(Doodle is a bit of software for my early-build Atari ST computer. I’m not wholly certain of the software’s exact origins, but in terms of complexity it’s somewhere below Microsoft’s Notepad. Learning how to make full use of it takes rather less than 5 minutes – useful for introducing 3-year-olds to computing – and taught me what to do in such awkward circumstances as when you want to save a file, rub things out or your mouse reaches the edge of the desk.)