Early Geek.

Data Terminal Systems Model 440 cash register

Last night I dreamed about working in a grocery store. In my dream I was my current age, with all the knowledge and such (the such including my Dad-bod) associated with being a middle-aged man but I was working in the Acme grocery store in my hometown. The Acme went out of business in the early 1980s but the building was quickly used as a Super Duper and later a “Big M”. The later incarnations were locally owned supermarkets.

I never worked for any grocery store in my life, though my sister worked at the “Big M” when she was a senior in high school, so I don’t know why I was dreaming about this experience but nonetheless there I was, stocking shelves, pricing items and running the cash register. I was happy, I had few cares and life felt good. Perhaps this was a way for my brain to destress. Maybe I was dreaming about grocery shopping for holiday meals.

The geek in me vividly remembers the part of the dream of me working the cash register; there was no scanning or anything but the cash register was electronic. Upon waking I could still hear the very familiar sound of the printer and I remembered how the cash register worked, since I studied these things as a young lad. I’ve mentioned before that my interest in electronic calculators and cash registers led me into my very strong interest and associated career in computer related fields. The cash register was a Data Terminal Systems Model 440, a very popular cash register found in many, many stores and other retail outlets in the mid 1970s to early 1990s. When I worked for ARC in the early 1990s, the nearby Great American grocery store still used these cash registers, but the dream definitely didn’t take place at Great American. I was definitely at the Acme.

Even though one can find just about anything on the Internet, I can’t find much in the way of Data Terminal Systems, a company that was based in Maynard, Massachusetts. This is kind of odd to me because their systems were everywhere in the 70s and 80s but one doesn’t even find systems on eBay or anything. There must be landfills loaded with these things and that’s a shame. I know that DTS was eventually sold off to National Semiconductor. I did some very brief contractor work for National Semiconductor in 1990 before moving on to my next challenge in life.

I still can’t figure out the purpose of the dream other than apparently enjoying a simpler existence, but the geek in me has enjoyed musing about the DTS cash register system this morning.

I guess I’m first and foremost a geek.