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DoctorPepper
August 8th, 2006, 03:06 AM
With the 25th anniversary of the PC looming up on us, I thought this might be a good time to reflect some on the past.

What was your first computer, when did you get it, and how old were you?

Mine was a Commodore VIC-20. I got it in mid-1982, and I was 22 years old at the time. I was in the U.S. Navy, on my second tour of duty, teaching the F-14 Tomcat Avionics to new "Tweaks" as we were called. Several of us decided to buy the VIC-20, and for a while, we had a nice little user group there.

alexkerhead
August 8th, 2006, 03:10 AM
I was 14yo, it was in year 2000. It was a Zenith 386DX 20MHz with 4MB RAM and a 80MB HDD...lol

kb2syd
August 8th, 2006, 04:43 AM
The first one I owned was a Tandy Model 1000a with 2 floppies and 256k RAM. Around 1986 or 1987. This was not the first computer experience I had (by a long shot), just the first computer I owned.

atari2600a
August 8th, 2006, 04:45 AM
The first computer I USED was a Pentium 1 Packard Bell, & I think it ran Windows 3.1. I can remember the countless hours I spent playing games on it when I was 5-9...

DoctorPepper
August 8th, 2006, 05:02 AM
That's cool, the first "PC-compatible" (well, almost) I owned was a Tandy 1000. The original unit with the black floppy drive bezels. I bought it in 1985, and my "career" with computers started.


The first one I owned was a Tandy Model 1000a with 2 floppies and 256k RAM. Around 1986 or 1987. This was not the first computer experience I had (by a long shot), just the first computer I owned.

Erik
August 8th, 2006, 05:17 AM
My first machine was an IBM PC, in fact. It arrived at my house around Christmas of 1981. :)

bbcmicro
August 8th, 2006, 05:54 AM
First I used was a BBC Micro, in reception at primary school, around 1994 when I was 3-4.
First I owned personally, was an Time AMD machine, no idea which one, with around 60mb RAM runnning windows 98 in 2002, when I was 12.

Vlad
August 8th, 2006, 06:12 AM
The first one I ever used was an IBM PS/2 something. The all in one 386.
My first on that I owned was an AST Advantage Adventure! 575. (socket 7 Win 95. I loved it and miss it.)

Luke
August 8th, 2006, 06:53 AM
My father's first computer was 286 with amber monitor that I have now.
It was used at first by him and me :p. I was 3-4 (!).
It has propably 20 or 40 MB MFM disk and HD 1.2 MB FDD.

I played games. I remmember O&X, Prince of Persia and game that was the best for me at the time... I don't remember the title.
Maybe someone here know game where you are a robot and you are killing monsters.
Dad said, that it had 'cyborg' in title, but I couldn't fing such game...
It was working with hercules card and as my dad said it was working slow on that 286.

First my own computer was I think 800 MHz Celeron when I was 12 or 13.

atari2600a
August 8th, 2006, 07:00 AM
http://www.abandonia.com/games/en/828/RobotOdyssey.htm

^^^That game?

DoctorPepper
August 8th, 2006, 07:10 AM
So, I guess you're really going to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the PC, huh?


My first machine was an IBM PC, in fact. It arrived at my house around Christmas of 1981. :)

I think my next aquisition will be a 486 computer. I have a Packard Bell Legend 316-SX 386-16 system, but it is quite limited (4 MB of RAM is it's max), and I'd like to run Windows 3.11 on it. Yeah, I know you can run Windows in 4 MB of RAM, it just isn't pleasant! Sort of like running Linux on a 16 MB system. It can be done, but you'd better give up any thoughts of running X.

nige the hippy
August 8th, 2006, 07:40 AM
First micro I programmed on was an ITT 2020 (apple ][ clone) bought to replace the teletype at school. yummy, graphics!

My first computer was a ZX80 bought as a kit in 1980 for 80, used for a while on an old TV with much eye strain, till the keyboard(?) started dying. Modified with relays etc to do bits & bats on train set, and finally given up on.

dongfeng
August 8th, 2006, 08:06 AM
I was born in 1981, so I'm about the same age as the IBM PC ;)

The first computer I used was an Atari 2600, which was given to my Grandfather by his company supplier, and he then gave it to me :D I was very young, so my father used to play it frequently. The first game (and indeed the first computer software) I ever bought was Laser Blast!

After that, my Grandfather's supplier then gave him a VIC-20, and that was also passed to my family! My Grandfather (from the other side of the family) used to write me educational programs to play. The VIC-20 was the first computer I really learnt to use and program on.

I am pretty sure these where around 1983-1984ish.

The first "real" computer that I actually did anything productive was a Commodore Amiga 500, which my parents purchased at Christmas 1988! It had a Philips RGB monitor, second disk drive and a Citizen 9-pin colour printer. It also came with a memory expansion that upped the 512kB memory to 1MB, and also had a RTC. I think the only upgrade after that was a secondary disk drive.

At the time, a full Amiga setup like that cost 750, which was about a third of the cost of a PC.

That Amiga lasted until 1996, when it was replaced by a Pentium 1, 166MHz!

I still have all of the above computers, along with complete documentation, original packaging and software :)

At school, the computers we used where BBC Micro, and later Acorn Archimedes. My middle school had a room of old IBM PC's which I can remember completing my business studies coursework on.

Interspersed in amongst the home computers where a 486, a 286 (might have been 386) which I never got running right and a couple of other oddities. I never did much with them due to lack of software - all of my friends had Amiga's!

NUTTY
August 8th, 2006, 08:11 AM
Mine was a Spectrum 48k....Early eighties,I was only 10 or 11,Oh the countless hours waiting for the tape to load,to find out at the end that it stopped loading or there is a syntax error:rolleyes:

The Good Old Days:D

dongfeng
August 8th, 2006, 08:12 AM
I think my next aquisition will be a 486 computer. I have a Packard Bell Legend 316-SX 386-16 system, but it is quite limited (4 MB of RAM is it's max), and I'd like to run Windows 3.11 on it. Yeah, I know you can run Windows in 4 MB of RAM, it just isn't pleasant! Sort of like running Linux on a 16 MB system. It can be done, but you'd better give up any thoughts of running X.

My 486 has 4MB of RAM. Windows 3.11 work reasonably okay, but as soon as you add something complicated like a sound card, then it complains and refuses to boot. I did up the processor from the original SX 25 to a DX 33 I had to hand, but it hasn't made the slightest of difference :rolleyes:

DoctorPepper
August 8th, 2006, 08:43 AM
Mine was a Spectrum 48k....Early eighties,I was only 10 or 11,Oh the countless hours waiting for the tape to load,to find out at the end that it stopped loading or there is a syntax error:rolleyes:

The Good Old Days:D

Hehehe. That's why I got rid of my VIC-20 and bought the Commodore 64 with the 1541 disk drive. I was at home (my apartment) one Saturday, trying to load a game from tape. It took (what seemed like) forever! Just as it was almost done, some nit-whit from another apartment drove by and keyed-down his CB, which must have had an amplifier on it, and it reset my VIC-20! I turned it off, disconnected it and put it away. When payday came around again, my friend and I went out and each purchased the aforementioned C-64.

DoctorPepper
August 8th, 2006, 08:46 AM
My 486 has 4MB of RAM. Windows 3.11 work reasonably okay, but as soon as you add something complicated like a sound card, then it complains and refuses to boot. I did up the processor from the original SX 25 to a DX 33 I had to hand, but it hasn't made the slightest of difference :rolleyes:

My first 486-33 came with 4 MB of RAM. It was fine for pretty much everything else, except for Windows 3.1. It would run, but sloowwwlllyyyyy. After upgrading to 8 MB (and after replacing the crappy graphics card with a Diamond SpeedStar card), it ran quite a bit snappier.

I remember when I wanted 16 MB of RAM. I had to replace all the system RAM I already had on-board, and the whole thing cost me almost $1,000! It still amazes me at how cheap RAM is today, compared with the early 90's.

ribbets
August 8th, 2006, 09:48 AM
CoCo II with 5 1/4 external drive and the cassette recorder
STILL HAVE IT

DOS-Master
August 8th, 2006, 09:50 AM
sinclair zx81 I was 23 when I first got it. lol it had a membrane keyboard! that pissed me off when I had to type files :mad:

Bill_Loguidice
August 8th, 2006, 10:14 AM
Let's see, I'm 33 now, so that puts me in the somewhat "old" category. In the late 70's my parents had a Sears branded Pong system that I got to play with sometimes. When I was around 8 or 9, I purchased an Atari VCS with my Communion money. Not too long after that, my parents got me a Commodore Vic-20, my first computer. Not too long after that, it was sold and I got a Commodore 64. And not too long after that, I got the 1541 disk drive with money collected and burgled from a paper route I had, kickstarting real computing for me (since I could finally save/copy stuff). I never looked back and have been doing a combination of procuring and collecting computers and videogames ever since... (just an FYI, the first system I ever specifically had in mind to "collect" was a Coleco Adam in the mid-80's, bought from an ad in the newspaper)

Nick_Zravre
August 8th, 2006, 10:17 AM
My first computer was a Tandy 2500 XL/2, which I received from dad when I 9, 5 years ago, I have ended up paying for it through work. I have to find another Tandy FDD for it however, but it works.

Terry Yager
August 8th, 2006, 10:18 AM
After a couple of 'false starts' with a C= 64 & a TRS-80, my first 'real' computer waz my beloved Kaypro II.

--T

Bill_Loguidice
August 8th, 2006, 10:23 AM
My first computer was a Tandy 2500 XL/2, which I received from dad when I 9, 5 years ago, I have ended up paying for it through work. I have to find another Tandy FDD for it however, but it works.

My school system for some reason was standardized on Tandy computers. My first programming class involved Tandy Model III's. My second involved Tandy Model IV's. My last involved Tandy 1000's. I would have wanted to collect them all anyway, but for that reason I particularly wanted them (especially since I kept my old class disks and notes!).

The Tandy x000 line of systems were very interesting. They were originally designed as PCjr clones and competition, which is why they got such good graphics and sound relative to other PC systems. When the Tandy 1000 was released, it became it's own standard since the PCjr was discontinued for good by IBM not too long after. Still, it had better PC compatibility than the jr and Tandy had one of the best selling PC compatible lines for years to come. It was the norm for games to support IBM and Tandy standards on the box.

Bill_Loguidice
August 8th, 2006, 10:29 AM
After a couple of 'false starts' with a C= 64 & a TRS-80, my first 'real' computer waz my beloved Kaypro II.

--T

I find that a bit odd. I own all of those systems and certainly the Kaypro II is very professional and solidly built, but it's hard to argue with the massive amounts of stuff available for those other systems, particularly the C-64. The CP/M standard has the distinct disadvantage of no graphics, no sound and no external controller options as well. Of course as a programming system and a word processor (among other productivity software), it was certainly top notch...

"Funny" story, but I remember when I reprogrammed Avalon Hill's football game (it was written in BASIC like many of their games) to work with SAM (a software speech synthesizer) on the C-64. My dad showed one of his friends what I did and my dad's friend took him aside and said he should get me a "real" computer, an Apple II. I had a friend with an Apple IIe and a friend with an Atari 800XL. We were always competitive for our favorite systems. I'm glad I outgrew all that and favor pretty much all systems equally these days...

Terry Yager
August 8th, 2006, 10:39 AM
Back around '83, '84, I bought the C= 64. I was still working full-time (12 hours, most days), running the garage, and I took a notion that a computer would somehow help with that effort. After a week-or-so, I realized that the thing was utterly useless to me since I couldn't do anything without spending a lot of time learning to use it and a lot more money on peripherals & software. So, I sold it to the guy who owned my building, who was also becomming interested in computers.

The TRS is a whole 'nother story...

--T

Bill_Loguidice
August 8th, 2006, 10:48 AM
Back around '83, '84, I bought the C= 64. I was still working full-time (12 hours, most days), running the garage, and I took a notion that a computer would somehow help with that effort. After a week-or-so, I realized that the thing was utterly useless to me since I couldn't do anything without spending a lot of time learning to use it and a lot more money on peripherals & software. So, I sold it to the guy who owned my building, who was also becomming interested in computers.


Interesting. I had/have a program from Imagic on the C-64 called "Injured Engine", which, along with "Crime and Punishment" was an unusual type of edutainment "game" to say the least. "Injured Engine" showed a cutaway of an engine and basically taught you about the different parts and challenged you to diagnose computer problems. It wouldn't have been much help to you then, I'm sure, but it triggered the memory.

I can definitely see how a Kaypro II would be more useful to a business, particularly with things like bookkeeping. Besides speed, it had a plethora of professional applications. The C-64 had even more, ultimately, but few that could be considered professional grade.

NathanAllan
August 8th, 2006, 11:52 AM
My first was a C64 when I was real young, about 9-10.

Dare I ask, Bill, what is Communion money? What/Who were you communing with that you got paid for? Seriously, I'm at a loss.

Nathan

Bill_Loguidice
August 8th, 2006, 11:57 AM
My first was a C64 when I was real young, about 9-10.

Dare I ask, Bill, what is Communion money? What/Who were you communing with that you got paid for? Seriously, I'm at a loss.

Nathan

That would be the Roman Catholic Holy Communion that you get around 7 or 8, if you're into that type of thing...

Chris2005
August 8th, 2006, 12:19 PM
the facts are shrouded in obscurity, but I'll try to recount as best I can...
Very first experience with puters was on the membraned (-brained?) keyboards of the Atari 400. Joy to the world. They moved us up to these paper terminal things on which I "learnt" COBOL (not COBAL or even SNOBOL) and FARTRAN. LOL LOL LOL @ FARTRAN. At that point I had had enough of puters for a while...
Well...graduated h.s., got bored, started putzing around with the puters at the librarty (had TRS-80 model 3's first, then a True Blue PC, and even added a Mac...land o' goshen! The Mac was cool, come on y'all. I'm leaving something out. This guy I became friends with late in my senior year used to putz around with the Trash-80s, and was even somewhat accomplished w/regards to programming them. I guess I found that impressive. Hence I started to putz...
Ok, saved my pennies through the fall following graduation, and bought a Tandy 1000 just prior to Christmas. I upgraded to the "better" moniotor, so I spent something in excess of $1200. Discovered BYTE, and learnt I could have gotten a much better deal, especially concerning a monitor. Returned the 1000. Eh, about 1.5 years later methinks, I bought a TANDY 2000 while on sale, about $560 + shipping from Arizona? Bought a Multisync II several months later, about the same price or a bit more.
The rest is history. I won't bore you or myself with the details...

NathanAllan
August 8th, 2006, 01:43 PM
Okay, gotcha. I was raised Catholic but didn't get any money for my first communion. I'm trackin now.

Nathan

80sFreak
August 8th, 2006, 05:49 PM
Like dongfeng, my first computer I played games with was the 2600, back in the late 70s... Then the computer I started to learn programing on was a Commodore PET (not sure if it was a 4032 or 8032) that a person who was living with my grandparents had. Then my parents bought a C64 with 1541 and later on I saved my pennies and bought an Amiga 500. I actually wanted an Amiga 1000 because of it's corded keyboard, but was told by the saleperson that I should get the 500.

Cheers,

80sFreak

dreddnott
August 9th, 2006, 06:38 AM
My first computer was a TRS-80 Model I, but I ended up with it after it was pretty much obsolete (I was born in 1983!).

I remember running a prime number generator, watching LIFE go by, playing SARGON, and hating CLOAD in general.

Later I had a CoCo and then dad built the 386 in 1990, belatedly moving us into the world of MS-DOS.

Mad-Mike
August 9th, 2006, 04:41 PM
My first was the Tandy 1000 SX I got in 1997 from my sister as a going away gift. It was 6 MHz, 384K RAM that I upgraded to 640K out of Radio Shack's 10 year old parts catalog in the mall, and had 2 360K drives. I used to get up on Sunday mornings and grab a cup of coffee and Play Ultima VI: The False Prophet on that thing in it's 16 color 3 channel DAC sound glory, all the while cursing diskette changes (INSERT DISK 11 TO CONTINUE), and wondering why this game ran like the Avatar was on geritol and had a bad pacemaker battery.

After that was the Flight 386, which I still have. It started off a 25 MHz 386 SX, then I put a 486 board in it after having it for 2 weeks, then upgraded it to a 100 Mhz 486 after half a year. This year I upgraded it to an AMD K-6, it does several jobs as a file server, print server, and my backup workstation, as well as my DOOM box.

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/creepingnet2001/flight386sx/flight.jpg

dreddnott
August 10th, 2006, 06:11 AM
No fair, I was going to post about running Ultima VI on my 386!

I had 256-colour graphics on my PC version. I didn't have an Adlib card so I was stuck with *BEEP* and *CLICK* for the sound effects. Of course, I also bought it in 1990.

I did the floppy swap for a while too, until dad bought an ST-251 HDD.

Mad-Mike
August 10th, 2006, 08:14 PM
No fair, I was going to post about running Ultima VI on my 386!

I had 256-colour graphics on my PC version. I didn't have an Adlib card so I was stuck with *BEEP* and *CLICK* for the sound effects. Of course, I also bought it in 1990.

I did the floppy swap for a while too, until dad bought an ST-251 HDD.

What's so funny about Ultima VI, is that that was back when Minimum System requirements really were the Minimum System requirements. You could run Ultima VI on an IBM PC 5150 assuming you could get the full 640K on it by one mean or another.

A 386 running Ultima VI is actually the ideal thing. My sister had a 386 SX that I played the game on first, and that's how I got into computers into the first place as a week kid. Funny part was it was "my" game because it was given to me for my birthday.

Bill_Loguidice
August 11th, 2006, 04:24 AM
What's so funny about Ultima VI, is that that was back when Minimum System requirements really were the Minimum System requirements. You could run Ultima VI on an IBM PC 5150 assuming you could get the full 640K on it by one mean or another.

A 386 running Ultima VI is actually the ideal thing. My sister had a 386 SX that I played the game on first, and that's how I got into computers into the first place as a week kid. Funny part was it was "my" game because it was given to me for my birthday.


Ultima VI was the first Ultima game not originally developed and designed on the Apple II. It was the first game in the series designed with DOS in mind as the target platform, really starting to take advantage of the extra features possible. Of course the various Ultima ports from I - V all had varying degrees of enhancements more or less on platforms like the C-64, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST and Amiga, but generally speaking, up until VI, the PC version was generally the worst. Of course the same can be said for most PC games up to a certain point.

dreddnott
August 11th, 2006, 10:19 AM
Yeah, Bill, I read once that Ultima VI was originally programmed for Apple ][ but halfway through developing the game Mr. Garriott decided to start over from scratch using the PC as a base.

If I remember right Ultima VI ran a little bit too fast on our 486DX2/66 but I got to hear the in-game music for the first time.

I've never really stopped playing the game. The first time I beat it, it took six months of in-game time. Report your feat to Lord British indeed!

Mad-Mike
August 11th, 2006, 06:22 PM
Shoot, I'm totally crazy over Ultima VI still all these years later. I have two installations of DOSbox to run it in Tandy and normal modes. I also visit Doug The Eagles it-he.org site for all kinds of cool utilities to modify and change various things in the game, on down to making your own map.

pls
August 13th, 2006, 07:07 PM
Like nearly everyone else, the first computer I actually bought was a C-64, in 1984 or so. I was actually selling them at the time in a Montgomery Ward store in LA (Panorama City), along with Atari 2600's and Coleco Adams (gaaah), and I'm here to tell you that the quality control at Commodore was so bad at the time that I brought home perhaps a half-dozen - and they all fizzed after a few seconds or didn't start up at all. (The infamous power supply was to blame.) Finally, I took the floor demo model; all was well, and I still have it (although I fried the power supply by accident when I had to replace the keyboard; I'd literally worn the keyboard out).

I had used an Apple II and a home-built keyboard (probably an S-100 or equivalent; it used 8-inch floppy drives on which I used WordStar, the most gawdawful WP known to man and nerds); eventually the C-64 was replaced by a Mac Plus with a 20 mb hard drive, and I was hooked on the Mac - for life. No, I don't have the Plus, although I have several others; I sold the Plus for something like $700 to another teacher and replaced it with an LC, which I also turned around and sold for around $800 and replaced with a Quadra. I still do have the Quadra, though - one of my favorite Macs, another being the much-maligned Portable.

chuckcmagee
August 13th, 2006, 09:15 PM
Well, I didn't own it - my first one that I programmed was a "Bendix G15". It used vacuum tubes and a drum memory (yep, 1 head per track, only had to wait for the info to come around the drum again, which was not real fast). I was learning to wire IBM Unit Record equipment at the same time (402, 407. 029, 088, 519, etc.). I learned the IBM stuff just in time for it all to become obsolete (1968). Oh ya, I programmed the Teletype to print out square roots to 90 decimal places. That was fun, it would sit there for about 1 minutes then come to life, printing long strings of numbers. The first one that I owned was a Vector Graphics/1 with a 4 Mhz Z80 in it in 1979.

jersy
August 14th, 2006, 08:38 AM
First I used was a BBC Micro, in reception at primary school, around 1994 when I was 3-4.
First I owned personally, was an Time AMD machine, no idea which one, with around 60mb RAM runnning windows 98 in 2002.

EddieDX4
August 15th, 2006, 01:37 PM
My first computer was a TI 99/4A that my dad got me and my sisters when I was about 2 ~ 3 years old. A whopping 16kb of memory and the coolest sounding storage media on earth (I used to put the casettes in my sister's stereo to annoy her).

Then later on (few years later), he bought an IBM PC XT with a 30 meg MFM drive and 2 half-height 5.25" floppy drives and 640kb. I remember filling up the root directory with games before I learned to create sub-directories (after finding out the hard way that FAT didn't like that many files in the root). :oops:

I remember being jealous of one of my friends a few years later when he got a brand new Tandy 1000 RLX for his birthday! I mean, wtf? :mad:

rmay635703
August 15th, 2006, 05:00 PM
The first PC that was mine to keep was a good Ol Tandy 1000RLX in its 256 color glory, at the time the only games we could find in the stores that would run in 512k were Jill of the Jungle and Test Drive II around 1992/93. Ran right off the floppy on everything, loved that slow machine and used all the built in software, I made that thing do amazing things.

The first machine I ever got to play on a little was when I was about 4 or so, it was the original IBM PC green screen, my uncle had it because of his admin pos at the boys ranch. I played many games of the original Paratrooper game were you shoot the stick figure paratroopers and airplanes.

At home my first video game was a Fairchild channel F circa 1976ish. Played that thing until the wire for up broke (first in controller 1 then in 2) and still figured out ways of playing.

At school I grew up on daisy chained C64s they all shared one set of floppies and I remember how frustrating it was to wait literally 5minutes or more for the next screen to load because someone else got ahead of you.

EddieDX4
August 15th, 2006, 11:48 PM
The first PC that was mine to keep was a good Ol Tandy 1000RLX in its 256 color glory...

You just had to rub it in, didn't you? :rolleyes:

bbcmicro
August 16th, 2006, 07:39 AM
My first post this week;
Nobody noticed that spam in this page? :razz::eek:
A gold star if you can spot it.

dreddnott
August 16th, 2006, 07:58 AM
jersy - account's first post, verbatim copy of your earlier post in this thread, links to commercial European sites in signature.

I think you noticed it first because he copied you! :)

bbcmicro
August 16th, 2006, 08:01 AM
Hurrah!
Well done dreddnott, first prize. All the rest of you, sit in the corner for the rest of the day.

Erik
August 16th, 2006, 09:17 AM
Nice catch, guys. I missed it twice myself.

Fixed now. . . :)

Computer Collector
August 16th, 2006, 09:11 PM
I was in grammar school in the mid 80s and all I knew was the Apple IIe. We had apple IIs in school, and would use them there. I was just a young kid, and wanted a computer. I think I was only like 7 or 10 or something, and asked for a computer for christmas. Well, christmas came and I was ready for my new Apple computer. But thats not what we got. My Dad got us an Amiga 500. It was just released. I never saw one before, and was absolutely amazed. It blew away those apples, which seemed like boat anchor, pathetic junks in comparison to me. The Amiga was the first computer I ever saw to have a mouse. I didnt know anyone who had any other kind of computer previously, but at about this time many other people were starting to get computers. Most friends had gotten IBMs, and I thought they sucked, too.
I was SO proud of our Amiga. It was a very good computer and we used it for years! Finally in the early 90s, like 92 or so they got an old Windows based Gateway 2000, and that was my parents new computer. I still liked the Amiga better, though.

DoctorPepper
August 17th, 2006, 02:43 AM
I was in grammar school in the mid 80s and all I knew was the Apple IIe. ...

Man, you make me feel old! In the mid-80's, I was finishing up my second three year tour of duty in the Navy! :-(

terminalcollector3000
August 17th, 2006, 11:18 AM
i was quite young, it was a power mac (i think quadra?) running os7

Starshadow
August 17th, 2006, 06:56 PM
In 9th grade my electronics teacher gave me an old Mac Classic II that the school retired after they got some new LC's and IIsi's. I had found a 14.4 modem, some Internet software and used the little Mac online for 5 years. Not long after the Mac i recieved a AST Bravo 4/25 486 with 16 mb of ram. Both Machines were used back then for various things and i soon relised how reliable the Macs were and how finicky Win9x machines were. I still have "old Reliable" as it is now part of my Vintage B/W Mac collection.

TroyW
August 28th, 2006, 06:17 AM
Ok, first computer I got to use, that was BOTH an Atari 400 and a Commodore Vic 20. Neither of which were mine, they were both my fathers - the Atari 400 was his "toy" to play games on (and he had quite a collection) and the Vic was so my brother and I could grow up and not be afraid of computers, learn to program, etc. Somehow we managed to go through 3 Vic-20s in the space of a few years, I do remember my brother sticking toast in the cartridge slot.

This was back in 1983/84/85 and I was just starting school (the tender age of 5 in 83) and could already "program" the Vic-20 when I started school, which my father would proudly tell anyone who showed any sign of listening. Mind you, that meant I could key in a basic listing, save it to tape, load it back in, run it, and make a few very minor changes, but to be fair, the groundwork had been laid.

Then in 1988, my parents seperated, and my father kept his "toys", so my brother and I had no access to a computer, asides from at school, Apple IIe machines with those horrible green and black screens that seemed so primitive after the colour displays of the Commodore and Atari machines.

Fast forward a few years to about 1991, and I purchased another Vic-20 off a friend of mine, complete with tape drive.

Not long after, we were given a Amstrad PC2286/40 - wow, 1Mb RAM, 40Mb Hard disk, 12MHz 80286 Processor, 14" VGA monitor and even a mouse! That seemed like a super computer, but my bother and I constantly fought over whos turn it was to use it. I still remember the two of us paying half each for a guide book to the police quest games so we could finally complete PQ1 on that machine. I also remember that it came with DOS 4.01 and Windows 2 286, and we even tried to run Windows 3.1 on it once, but that was not a good experience - it wouldn't run for more then a few minutes without crashing, and you could watch it draw each individual line - it took it a matter of seconds to just draw the outline of a window. My brother and I also paid half each for a Sound Blaster card and a set of speakers to go with it, and thought that was awesome!

Then I started earning my own money, and decided it was time to get my very own computer. So I looked around at what was available, and the Commodore Amiga series of computers caught my imagination. 4096 colours when the Amstrad 286 could only do 256! Stereo sound when the Sound Blaster was mono! Multitasking! IBM and Mac compatibility with suitable add-ons! Then the Amiga 1200 was released, with the improvements it brought (14MHz 32-bit 68ec020, 2Mb RAM, 262,144 colours on screen at once, etc.) and my mind was made up, I wanted an Amiga 1200.

But I couldn't afford one, it took me months to save up for my first mountain bike, and that was only $150.

Then Commodore Business Machines Australia went under.

On my way home every night after school, I used to always go into the local second hand store and look through what computers they had. Stock changed fairly rapidly, and I saw lots of computers I had never heard of. Atari 600s, Sega Computer 3000s, Commodore C128Ds, and so on. Then one day, I went in there, probably a few weeks after Commodore had went under. There, in the corner of the shop, setup and running, was an Amiga 1200HD40 with a 1084S stereo video monitor. It was exactly what I wanted, and even came with a disk box full of various disks. I straight away paid the deposit so they'd put it away for me until I'd paid it in full, and then every day I was back there paying however much I'd earnt since I'd last been to the store. I walked everywhere instead of catching the bus or train, so I could put those dollars towards my new computer.

Finally, I finished paying for it, and took it home, telling my brother he could have the 286, I've got my own computer. It was very interesting, some games ran much faster on the Amiga (for example, Syndicate), yet others ran much faster on the (technically slower) 286, such as Civilisation. That got me interested in why that would be so, and regained my interest in programming. I figured out that the port of Civ to the Amiga was a poor job which hadn't been converted very well to run on the Amiga.

But I was happy, in general use the A1200 ran rings around the 286, and compared to what software could be run on the 286 (particularly gfx and sound) it was years ahead.

Since then, I've owned almost every model Amiga (A1200HD40, A2000, CD32, A500, A600, A4000/040), as well as several different Macintoshes (SEs, LCs, Quadras) and various PCs from that Amstrad 286, a 486sx33 (which I upgraded to a 486DX33, then a 486DX2/66, which I then overclocked to run as a 486DX2/80, then a Pentium 100, Pentium 233MMX, AMD Athlon XP 1800+ and then my current Athlon XP 3200+. I also still own the Amiga 4000/040, and will one day replace the dead hard disk and floppy drive, re-install Workbench and all my old programs, and marvel at how little progress has been made since that machine was made in 1992. :cool:

Oops, that was a bit of a long post, sorry. :lookroun:

DoctorPepper
August 28th, 2006, 12:27 PM
Oops, that was a bit of a long post, sorry. :lookroun:

Hey, no problem! That was a great story and I enjoyed reading it.

Flack
August 30th, 2006, 05:13 AM
The first computer my family owned was a TRS-80 Model III. We had two neighbors that had Model I machines. When my dad went to buy one we were told that the Model III was "just around the corner", so they (our local Radio Shack) put our name on a waiting list, and we got the first one that came into town. I believe that was the summer of 1980, so I would have been six-years-old, about to turn seven.

We had a lot of "family" computers over the years. The first machine that was really MINE was my Commodore 64 that I got in 1985.

EvanK
September 1st, 2006, 09:33 PM
Let's see, I'm 33 now, so that puts me in the somewhat "old" category. In the late 70's my parents had a Sears branded Pong system that I got to play with sometimes. When I was around 8 or 9, I purchased an Atari VCS with my Communion money. Not too long after that, my parents got me a Commodore Vic-20, my first computer.

I guess we central NJ guys all have similar stories! I'm 31 (almost 32), started with Intellivision (only had the Pong game for it) in the late 70s. Then we got a VCS (before it was called the 2600) in the early 80s, and then we moved to an Apple IIe in the mid-80s. LOL, the only difference between my story and Bill's is that it was Chanukah money for me, and the Apple was a bar mitzvah present. :)

Me and half of my friends all had some variety of the Apple II, with the other half of my friends all having some variety of Commodore. There was one strange kid who had an IBM (sorry Erik!)...

mbbrutman
September 2nd, 2006, 06:59 AM
Jersey again .. I detected a bit of attitude in your posts, and now I know why .. ;-) [Note: I'm from Queens]

To keep this on topic:

Timex Sinclair 1000 (1981)
PCjr (1984)

No game consoles really. I vaguely remember a TeleStar (made by Coleco) much earlier, but those weren't built very well and it didn't last long. I was too young to appreciate it as well.

ahm
September 2nd, 2006, 08:02 AM
First computer I used was an HP 2000, via dial-up on an Andersen-Jacobsen acoustic coupler and a Teletype. Disk storage was so expensive that we after we'd typed in and debugged our BASIC program assignment, we were required to punch it to paper tape, then delete it off the system.

Later I homebrewed a CRT terminal with some sort of terminal board, a Keytronics keyboard, a surplus 12" green CRT (no case) and a MicroMint 300 baud modem. (I think I still have this modem board if anyone's interested). I spent quite a bit of time on The Source and CompuServe with that one.

For quite a while, my only computer access was whatever I could connect to with my Lear Siegler ADM3a (drove over an hour one-way to pay $300 for it and thought that was a steal). It was uppercase only until I found a "lowercase kit" and installed that. While I could suddenly see lowercase characters on the screen, there were no true descenders so letters like "g" and "y" rode higher in the line, disturbingly so.

I think the first computer I owned was an Apple ][+. All my friends had Apples, so we all ultimately filled every card slot: 16K RAM board, Hayes Micromodem ][, 80-column video, Z80 card, Super Serial card, etc. and a color composite monitor. I'm pretty sure all we did was play games and call BBSes.

RichCini
September 2nd, 2006, 03:22 PM
With the 25th anniversary of the PC looming up on us, I thought this might be a good time to reflect some on the past.

What was your first computer, when did you get it, and how old were you?

Mine was a Commodore VIC-20. I got it in mid-1982, and I was 22 years old at the time. I was in the U.S. Navy, on my second tour of duty, teaching the F-14 Tomcat Avionics to new "Tweaks" as we were called. Several of us decided to buy the VIC-20, and for a while, we had a nice little user group there.

Hmmm. The first computer I "used" was either a TRS-80 Model I at the local Radio Shack or a Commodore PET when I was in junior high school. My parents bought me a VIC-20 in 1981 or 1982, and that was the machine I used until I graduated from high school.

The first machine I bought myself was a "Fat Mac", and that was in May, 1985 when I graduated from high school. I remember...I paid $2795 for the unit, $495 for the ImageWriter I, and $495 for the 1200-baud modem. I bought MacTerminal, the 68k Development Software, Microsoft Word, Microsoft MacBASIC, a bunch of cables, the numeric keypad, the carrying case, and an external floppy drive.

All told, I think I was into this system for almost $5000. I used it for 5 years until I had to buy a PC because no one in the financial industry at the time used a Mac.

It was a lot of fun. I still have that system in the shop, along with an SE/30, IIci, and a //+.

Mike Chambers
September 2nd, 2006, 03:35 PM
I was 14yo, it was in year 2000. It was a Zenith 386DX 20MHz with 4MB RAM and a 80MB HDD...lol

wow, somebody gave you a 386 in the year 2000? lol, whoever gave you that is a sadistic bastard. even pentium 1's were obsolete by then! :D

Mike Chambers
September 2nd, 2006, 03:38 PM
my first computer i got in 1988, when i was 4. it was a Leading Edge brand 4.77 MHz 8088 (without a x87 coprocessor) with an ultra-leet CGA graphics board.

i remember playing games like Janitor Joe (aka Jump Joe) and pacman on that thing with an old school Kraft brand joystick. i also used a word processor program called Electric Desk quite often. anybody remember that program? i don't know how popular it was.

the next comp i had was a 12 MHz 80286, which incidentally was also a Leading Edge. that's when i finally got a VGA card hehe. i remember playing Ultima 6 for hours and hours on that system.

the_pope
October 11th, 2009, 04:12 AM
January 1995: 486 SLC 33 MHz with 4 MB of RAM. 264.1 MB of hard drive. Trident ISA video card with 512 KB video memory. No sound card (for about a year, when I got a Pentium 133). Came with DOS (probably 5.0) and Win 3.1.

cgrape2
October 11th, 2009, 04:24 AM
It was in the early 1980s I got my C-64.I worked as a freelance writer and it proved to be a very good word processor.We can't forget the games it ran either Ultima,Wasteland,Zork and my all time favorite WWII submarine sim "Silent Service".
I used that PC until the early 1990s when it was replaced with a Compaq 486DX2-50 with Windows 3.1.
cgrape2

MaTel
October 11th, 2009, 05:25 AM
at christmas 1983 I got my first machine... a Commodore 64 with Datasette. At september 2009 i have it back in my colletion :D

carangil
October 11th, 2009, 09:45 AM
My first computer was a commodore plus/4 when I was in second grade. It was 1991/1992, and my dad had already moved onto the IBM PC. He had a 386 for his own use, and the 'family computer' was a 286. After I learned some basic, my dad introduced me to gw-basic on the 286. After that I was set. I loved that machine, and used it as my primary computer until 1998. I was a freshman in highschool, typing essays on Geoworks! (My friends made fun of my for not having windows 95 on it!)

Anyways I loved that 286, and I still have it's case. It's currently occupied by a k6-2 with a real voodoo card. I just use it to play Glide games in native mode :-)

linuxlove
October 11th, 2009, 10:06 AM
Toshiba satellite 200CDS. Pentium laptop. Windows 95. 1GB hard drive. 40MB RAM. First computer i ever used was probably either a late 486 or early Pentium system.

TomFCS
October 11th, 2009, 11:26 AM
An Apple ///. A freebie discarded from a local insurance company. External 5 1/4, Visicalc, Prodos, 48k Apple II+ emulation disk. Used it for about a year or so until the keyboard quit responding and I tossed it in the alley. Been kicking myself ever since. I remember it had a nick in the anti glare mesh right in the center of the screen. Drove me nuts.

Fallingwater
October 11th, 2009, 03:21 PM
The first computer that I consider mine was an Olivetti PC1 (http://www.old-computers.com/MUSEUM/computer.asp?c=182&st=1). Technically it was my dad's, as he bought it for his office; however, a combination of his inexperience and the system's lack of user-friendliness caused the PC1 to never really be used in the office. I had to fight hard, but ultimately it went to me - and I still have it, fully working! :D

The year was... well I dunno really, but it had to be the early nineties. Computer technology used to come to Italy very late back then...

I was... eight to ten years old, I think.

Lallander
October 11th, 2009, 03:43 PM
My first computer was the Apple ][e. I must have been about 6 or so.

tezza
October 11th, 2009, 03:50 PM
My first was the Dick Smith System 80 (http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/collection/system-80.htm) (a TRS-80 Model 1 clone). I was 22 at the time.

Tez

Darshevo
October 11th, 2009, 04:48 PM
Mine was a TRS-80 MC-10. Must have been about... 84/85 or so - I was 11. Just recently found a nice one on eBay in its original packaging, its actually on display in the house :)

-Lance

Vint
October 11th, 2009, 07:28 PM
The question was, as originally posted Aug. 8, 2006
What was your first computer, when did you get it, and how old were you?

Well, my 1st machine was the Radio Shack Model 1.

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/picture.php?albumid=14&pictureid=357

I bought it in 1978 when I was 34. Spent all my time with my nose in this book learning how to use it.

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/picture.php?albumid=14&pictureid=356

Unknown_K
October 11th, 2009, 08:17 PM
Timex 2068

Securix
October 11th, 2009, 10:35 PM
I was first exposed to computers back around 1979 or so when my class took a field trip to a local university's computer center. One of my classmates' father worked there so we got a cool tour. They had a mainframe (don't recall which one) but we got to play with the card punches and we played some games on a TTY there. I distinctly remember seeing a baby blue ADM-3A on a console.

In 1981 when I started middle school the school got two TRS-80 Model III's. I'd hog them during math class and after school so much that I got yelled at for not sharing :(

I had an Atari 2600 and wanted the BASIC cartridge for it, but what I really wanted was my own computer. So in March 1982 for my birthday I got my first computer - a VIC-20. I remember one of the coolest things was one of the BASIC programs in the owners manual that used the keyboard to play notes. I started hacking the program to make different sounds for it and ended up soldering my own speaker output so I could record it. That's around when I started getting heavily into electronic music, like Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk. Then in 1984 I got a VICmodem for it, and my friend introduced me to BBSes. I also got my first synth, a Korg Poly-800. Thus my first two hobbies were born: computer/electronic music, and BBSing. That was also pretty much when I decided I wanted to get into I.T. and networking.

In 1986 I got a C64 when they were starting to go really cheap and ran several BBSes on the 64. After high school, I went to a 2-year tech school before starting college and they got me a job with a start-up company that made a laser foil printing system. Their original design used a bare 286 motherboard, hard drive, printer controller, power supply, and floppy drive, all built into a god-aweful ugly formica cabinet. They had lots of old motherboards around from various R&D experiments, so I took them home and built my first PC clone. I've built my own systems ever since.

NathanAllan
October 11th, 2009, 11:39 PM
In about 1987, a C64. After that I started using the Apple machines at my school. But first was our C64.

lutiana
October 11th, 2009, 11:56 PM
My first computer was an IBM XT, it had a CGA display, 360k 0Drive and IIRC a 10Mb HDD and was running MS DOS 3.3. That would have been in 1990 (I was 10). And I seem to think that it was actually an 8086 processor (not an 8088 ).

Where there any IBM machines that had 8086 processors or is my memory a bit off on that point?

I tore it up on that machine, mostly writing GW Basic programs and batch based menus. I don't think I ever even realized there was Rom Basic on the machine.

digger
October 12th, 2009, 02:34 AM
My Dad bought the first computer in our household in 1987: an Olivetti M24 (known to the American forum members here as the AT&T 6300). 8086 CPU, 2 5.25" drives, no hard drive, CGA (plus proprietary high resolution 2 color) graphics.

It was gradually upgraded over the years:


Had one of the 5.25" drives replaced for a 3.5" 720KB drive
Added a joystick controller
Added an Intel AboveBoard EMS card (1.5MB)
Added a hard disk card
Addd a serial mouse
Swapped the 8086 CPU with a NEC V30 CPU
Added a 8087 coprocessor
Briefly added a sound card


As for the first computer I technically owned myself, that was a 486DLC clone (somewhere between a 386 and a 486 in performance) that I proudly built myself. That must have been some time around 1991 or 1992 or so. Ah, memories.

The clone is long gone (gradually upgraded and replaced over the years), but our M24 is still running fine, and will always have a special place in my heart. As a matter of fact, in my spare time, I'm still looking to add a few more upgrades to it: upgrading the ROM BIOS to the latest version, adding an EGA-compatible video card, and possibly also a CompactFlash drive as a hard drive replacement, hooked up to one of those spiffy new XT IDE cards that are being developed by the fine people on this forum. ;)

strollin
October 12th, 2009, 06:38 AM
The first computer I programmed was an HP 2000. It was about 1976, I was 23 and was working on an AA degree in Electronics. I took a class on computer repair where we used the HP with no peripherals whatsoever, all we had was the front panel. We had to program it in machine language in Octal thru the switches on the front panel then hit run and watch the blinky lights. Our only feedback as to whether our program ran successfully was if we got an RC of 0. I came out of that class thinking computers were useless.

In 1984 at age 30 I took a management position at IBM and was given an IBM PC to use. It sat in a corner of my office for months unused until my boss "ordered" me to learn how to use it. I started fooling around with it and became fairly proficient with DOS and Lotus 1-2-3. I then decided computers were pretty cool so I bought an IBM PC for home, within months I gutted the PC and built a clone 8Mhz "Turbo" XT. Since then I've owned and used countless computers.

Anonymous Freak
October 12th, 2009, 04:48 PM
Way to revive an old thread! :-P

It all depends on how you define "first", of course.

The first computer I ever used was an Apple II in elementary school. (Not sure, but based on the timing, it was probably an Apple II+.)

The first computer I had in the home was a Leading Edge Model 'D', one of the early 8088 PC clones. My dad paid $500 to upgrade from 512 to 640 K of RAM; and another $500 to upgrade to CGA. Later when more computers entered the house, this one became my personal computer in my bedroom. Sadly, my dad got rid of it when I was away at college.

The first computer that was indisputably "mine" was a Compaq Portable II. My mom brought it home from work when they were getting rid of it, and I got to have it in my room. (Later replaced with the Leading Edge when we got a 486 as the 'family' computer.)

Finally, we move to the first computer that I paid for with my own money. A Pentium 90 MHz system from a local builder that I paid for with earnings from my first job. It was subject to the Pentium FDIV bug, which I actually experienced; in that my CAD program would randomly throw lines around on screen from time to time. When I got my replacement from Intel, that oddity went away. By then, I was disassembling computers and rebuilding them just out of curiosity, so I could have just bought the parts and built it myself, but decided to pay the extra $50 to have them do it.

Dwight Elvey
October 13th, 2009, 01:33 PM
Poly 88 with cassette. I modified an old TV to be a video
monitor. Always fun loading 12K BASIC from tape.
Dwight

nathan
October 13th, 2009, 02:18 PM
My first was an IBM PC 5150 that my family got in (I think) 1983 when I was 6 years old. It came as a dual-floppy model but we upgraded to a Seagate ST-225 and 640K not long thereafter. Video was IBM CGA to a 5151. My dad used to run Ashton-Tate Frameworks on it, and I can remember playing Spectrum Holobyte's GATO with him. I also spent many long hours teaching myself how to program in BASIC using the brown manual that came with the machine. I still have a file folder full of printed out program listings that I made way back then on the Panasonic dot-matrix printer. I also have a copy of a story that I wrote in 2nd grade, that I produced on this machine and illustrated with crayons. :)

Pretty much the only other game besides GATO that I had was a copy of MS Flight Simulator II that I got for Christmas one year. I remember being frustrated that I could only play in monochrome on that 5151! I also had a copy of Professor DOS, which was actually very effective in teaching me what I needed to know about the command line. I have tried to find a copy of it recently though, to no avail.

My grandpa was a mentor to me for things computing, and had an AT&T 6300 (boy, I'd like to find one of those someday). He gave me XTree Pro and showed me how to use Lotus 1-2-3. He also gave me the disks and manuals to IBM Writing Assistant, a quirky piece of software that I used for maybe an afternoon before going back to good old Frameworks.

That machine was great fun and it sparked an interest in computers that I've maintained ever since...

barythrin
October 13th, 2009, 02:56 PM
:-) It's been a great read and fun revived thread for folks who didn't post the first time. I've blabbed about mine a bunch so I'll try and keep it shorter this time.

First computer (was a family computer) was a Zenith Data Systems Z-151 with two 5.25 floppies and I'm not sure about the RAM. I think it was 1985 making me 6 years old. Funny enough I just recently was at my folks and my mom was going through a picture scrap book and found a picture (Polaroid) with the label "A guy and his computer" which was my dad right after buying the computer! lol. It I think had some CGA demo (typing something in all 16 colors) up in the background to look impressive :-)

We lived in a small town when I was in school so no computers in school until middle school which had Apple IIe and Apple IIc systems for typing and programming class. So I took programming in 7th grade (first time I ever could) and learned Basic on the Apple IIe and tried to take that home and type it into our Zenith in gw-basic which never worked lol then my dad found our old Zenith Basic manual so I started reading that and started writing my own stuff at home and when we got our family 386 system the Zenith was given to me in my room. I am lucky enough to still have it and working to this day.

Later we upgraded to a 486 and due to my interest in music for my birthday we went out to a computer store and shopped around for a new sound card and midi setup. So Adlib ability and gaming took off and finally competed with Amiga's which I had seen and taught computer animation on for a while (assistant teacher/tech as a kid).

First one I bought with my own money was a 386 laptop in high school with money I probably saved by not eating lunch at school. I think it was a Toshiba 386 from my neighbors garage sale. Pretty sure he was asking 300 for it but knocked it down to 100 for me. It was great and insert Ultima VI addiction and story heh.

(sorry for the long post, I love the stuff and always rant heh)

saundby
October 16th, 2009, 01:04 AM
My first computer was a homebrew analog computer I built in 1972 when I was about 10. I had a broken speedometer for my bicycle that I used as a data source. I was constantly working on it to add new functions or improve its accuracy. It'd calculate average speed over time, save peak velocity and acceleration and that sort of thing. I got the circuits from a Linear Applications book that an adult friend had given me to see what I'd make of it, since I was the neighborhood's cheapest radio and stereo repairman at the time (parental permission to work on TVs had been withheld.)

I got my first exposure to a digital computer two years later when I got to use an 026 keypunch to program an IBM 1130 in FORTRAN. It was in use for a summer school class for high school students, one of whom I'd followed to class one day. I guess I was well enough behaved that the instructor didn't mind me being there. I just remember the impact of the obligatory ASCII art on the walls--Spock holding a model of the Enterprise, Snoopy saying "Curse you, Red Baron!" My first program printed out a phaser on the line printer.

Later I graduated to the heady ranks of those allowed to use the 029 keypunch!

The first digital computer I owned was a COSMAC Elf in 1976. 256 bytes of memory, dual digit hex display, later a TV video interface--though my mother forbid me from using it on our television for fear I'd mess up the TV, even though I was part-time help in the local TV repair shop at this time. By this time I was interested in a digital computer which I could reprogram with software, rather than having to rewire to program. It spent some time strapped to the handlebars of my bike in place of my latest analog computers before it settled down to life as a tabletop system.

My first store-bought computer was a Vic-20 several years later, after a number of homebrew projects using different processors as well as a small business in assembling kit computers for others. I'd been looking at the Commodore Pet the prior summer (two friends had them), and was flush with cash from a new job as a draftsman (using paper and pens, back then.) The simple design, easy to access I/O, and bone-simple color video caught my interest. At first I had no mass storage for it, I'd just type in programs as I used them. When I typed in The Devil's Dungeon from Stimulating Simulations a roommate got hooked on the game.

We left the computer powered up all the time to keep the program in memory. One day we lost power. My friend wanted to play, but I had to go to work so I handed him the book. When I came home, he'd actually got the program in and running though he'd never used a computer for more than playing the game over the past few weeks. Not only that, he'd figured out what the program was doing and added his own changes, giving the game a sort of twisted humor.

I went out and bought a Commodore Datasette just to save his version of the program.

olePigeon
October 16th, 2009, 09:33 AM
I was spoiled. My first computer was an Apple //e. It was pimped out because my dad used it for work. We had everything except a sound card. 80 Column card, several serial cards, color monitor, dual floppy, joystick, mouse (with MousePaint! :)), 128KB RAM, color dot matrix printer, and voice coupler.

I don't remember it, but my dad says he used to yell at my brother and me when he was trying to use the voice coupler. When my brother and I were little kids (we're twins), we'd laugh or yell when playing; apparently our screams or laughs were of some of the same frequencies as the voice coupler, so it'd cause it to mess up and he'd have to dial again.

My neighbor ran a pirate board for Apple II and Commodore. I don't think I bought a single game for that computer. *shifty eyed*

65535
October 19th, 2009, 05:58 PM
My first computer was an apple ][+
I had used Apples in skool and always wanted one. I wished for the //e professional system, that was the 128k enhanced mode, duodisk drive, and the monochrome display. In 1987, I saw an ad in the paper for a ][+ for $150 I think. My dad helped me get it. The disk drives were not included though but it had a language card and an aftermarket encoder board so it could do lower case, autorepeat, and keyboard macros. It took me a few weeks before I could buy a controller card and Mitac disk drive for $150. Eventually I got another disk drive, a 300bps modem, and an 80 column card for it that let me run appleworks. Eventually, it started having problems due to bad RAM chips. I still have it though and need to enjoy it sometime.

alexlloyd54
May 6th, 2010, 03:35 PM
My first computer was a commodore Vic-20, I bought it from an electronic shop in London in 1983 (during my summer vacation), at that time I was 22 y/o and working as an application programmer on IBM 4341 mainframe (DOS/VSE) !

I still remember carrying the box at the airport (there was a picture of little boy on the cover)

I spent alot of time playing with it's built-in BASIC language


In 1990, I bought my second PC, It was an IBM-AT clone, and started to learn Assembly language and the internals of the DOS operating system

do i have to continue? :)

Raven
May 6th, 2010, 03:44 PM
Home-built "586" as my Dad always referred to it as (at least at the end of it's upgrade cycle).. I imagine that that means it wasn't a "Pentium" but more likely a 5x86 of some kind - most likely the AMD variety. It was the first computer we owned, not the first I used. Played all kinds of DOS games on it, and eventually it was the first machine I ever played StarCraft on - the demo sometime between 1993 and 1995.. I played it over and over, inventing my own objectives to add replay value.. I played StarCraft lots between 1997 and 2003 or so.. I still play it a fair amount, but back then I'd wake up, play StarCraft, goto school and write/talk about StarCraft, come home, play StarCraft, goto sleep, and dream about StarCraft - rinse and repeat. I was nuts... but those were the days. :D

We had a Commodore 64 and Atari (of some kind) as well, but I don't think I used the Commodore until I'd already used the "586" a ton, and I didn't even know it was a computer, either... I thought it was just a game console, such as a NES at the time.

ajcc
May 6th, 2010, 05:10 PM
A lovely 133MHz Pentium PC with a floppydrive, 2GB harddrive and a 14" CRT. Got it from my father because they sold it very cheaply at the local computer store, first update was a CD-player and then a Soundblaster :)

Agent Orange
May 7th, 2010, 07:03 AM
My first "play pretty" was a Tandy Model 1 hand held which dates back to 1980. It was thinner than a pack of gum and about as long as a dollar bill. It sported a single line LCD display, 'qwerty' keyboard, abbreviated Tandy built in BASIC, and 1.4 K of RAM. All of this was powered by a host of hearing aid/watch type batteries. I found a NFL pointspread BASIC program in some computer magazine and instantly became the office prognosticator. When it hit it was very, very close, and when it missed it was by a country mile. It came with a small docking station that let you interface it to a Radio Shack cassette recorder (cload/csave), which I still have.

Our company, for better or worse, was acquired by the LA Times-Mirror group in 1985. This came with a corporate discount coupon, whereas you could purchase the Model 100 laptop for $495.00 - about a $200.00 savings at that time. I thought I had died and went heaven. No longer did I have schedule my computing time for lunch, after work, and Saturdays, on the office Tandy Model II (four 8-inch floppy drives and an IMP dot matrix fanfold only printer, which was seemingly always coming back from warranty repair. Almost overnight the Model 100 accessories and assorted paraphernalia appeared on the scene. Naturally I had to have the 3.5 inch "hard drive", which was cleverly concealed in an external floppy case from Purple Computing. That thing cost almost as much as the Model 100 itself. Next came the 32K RAM upgrade kit, Tandy Scripsit word processor, and a DOS OS (Acutronix or something close) which somehow or another managed to stay afloat in a totally BASIC enviroment. I'm still quit taken with that process. Did I forget to mention my first printer? It was a Gorilla Banana dot matrix and it sold for the unheard of low price of $99.00. It was a tractor feed affair with no lower descenders on the character set. When it was printing, it sounded like a bunch of little kids swatting flies on the kitchen screen door. The 100 lives on today, still looking good, and performs like it did when it was new. As far as the Gorilla Banana goes, only the box survived - full of my wife's old Danielle Steele paperbacks. When 1986 was ushered in, it came with the Tandy 1000SX and a DMP-130 printer. The 1000 is up and running as I type this and let it be known that it has every enhancemrnt that I could cram into its alloted real estate and 5 slots. The DMP-130 will undoubtedly out last me (years ago I bought a case of sealed ribbons from some distributor that was going under).

Floppies_only
May 12th, 2010, 05:11 PM
My first computer was a Radio Shack Microcomputer Trainer. It had about 70 bytes of RAM, several programs in ROM, a hexadecimal keyboard with an extra row of contol keys, and binary and single digit hex displays. I bought it in my senior year of high school, but the musical exercises at the front of the workbook were so boring that I stopped playing with it. A few years ago I bought another one and got about a third of the way through the workbook before it got set aside and not used since. But it was fun.

The next computer that I had was an IBM PC/AT with 1.2 meg floppy, 21 meg hard drive, and CGA monitor. A long search for the 'right' software ensued, ending with the discovery of Microsoft Works for DOS version 2.00a. For some reason I got rid of the AT, but owned in succession several PCs, XTs, and a Compaq luggable, which I typed the document to prove my wartime disability on.

Before all of that, my father bought a TRS-80, Level I, 4K RAM. He upgraded it to Level II and 16K and I remember spending most of a Summer vacation playing games on it. I also used Radio Shack's manual to learn some of BASIC (although I still don't know the finer points). After the Apple ][ came out, dad sold the TRS-80 and bought one. Wow, color games! He had the 48K model with floating point BASIC, and a card with a switch to boot up with integer BASIC instead (better for games).

Sean

MV75
May 12th, 2010, 06:59 PM
My first computer was a Dick Smith System 80.

I still have it, sort of. I still have the computer, but I don't know what really happened to the box of tapes and tons of books I had. I think they got turfed out several years ago.

My first "modern" computer was a 8088 8mhz xt. EGA graphics, 640KB memory, dual 360KB floppies, it was a system I gamed on. Later upgraded it with a 10mb hard drive.

dinosaurdave
May 13th, 2010, 02:51 AM
A TRS-80 Model 1. I still have it. This was in '82. I was 38 at the time (late to the party; as usual)
I did an electronics course not long after wards and was berated by the guy in charge."You need to write user-friendly programs, your's are positively user-antagonistic". i remember replying that if he had only 4 K to work with his programs would also be lean and mean.

Dave

Ken Vaughn
May 13th, 2010, 07:32 AM
I bought my first personal computer in 1977, I was 38 at the time and had been working in the computer industry for 16 years. My first personal computer was an IMSAI. I added a Northstar disk, then a second disk, upgraded both to double side. Added memory until I maxed out at 64K. Installed an IDS IP-225 7 pin impact printer. Still have everything and it all works -- even the printer!

Bought an IBM PC in the fall of 1981. Have lost count of the number of PCs and laptops/notebooks that I have owned since 1981, but I upgraded on average every 2 to 3 years. Still have my original 5150 and it works fine.

Own several programmable calculators including a TI-59, and a Sharp PC-1500 with memory expansion module. The Sharp was a handheld computer with a limited graphic display and built in BASIC. Kind of an interesting toy!

Professionally, I started with first generation mainframes -- UNIVAC File Computer -- vacuum tube technology, drum memories -- fill half a gymnasium and heat a small city. Worked for UNIVAC and later Control Data Corp (25 years). Worked mostly with large mainframes and super-computers, played with personal computers at home.

BuggZ
May 13th, 2010, 11:30 AM
First computer was a Packard Bell Legend 316 (386SX). The ex decided it was her's when she left so I picked up an IBM 5150 at a junk shop for $25. That is the first computer I ever did repairs on. When I got it home and opened it up I found it had been somewhere that had a serious cockroach problem. The keyboard and case were so full of nastyness that I had to take them apart and wash the everything in the tub. I didn't think it would ever work but after drying everything completely, the computer worked like a charm.

southbird
May 31st, 2010, 07:37 AM
The first computer that was bought for family use (back when this was enough) was a Packard Bell "Axcel" 386SX-25... something like 2MB of RAM and a 100MB HDD. But boy we did everything with that 100MB... later upgraded it to 4MB I think... I remember being mad that it didn't increase that 640KB conventional memory (hey, I was a kid, I didn't know why that barrier existed yet) because that's what I was constantly fighting with most of the games we played. Ah, back when Windows was considered a space consuming memory hog that no one needed... most of that's still true. :)

z8coder
May 31st, 2010, 07:57 AM
Hey Guy's,


My first computer I built when the very first release of the Z80 CPU came out. That little beasty had 16K ram and I managed to add in a 9" green CRT from a circuit that I built up, bought a bare keyboard (no circuitry just the ribbon) and etched out a keyboard circuit and there you have it. This system had 6 parallel ports and 4 serial ports on it. Never got a floppy drive unit on it until much later when they got alot cheaper to buy. Back then the EPROM programmer I had I built from scratch and you programmed it by flipping switches to set the address buss and the data that was to be programmed into it and then toggled another switch to program that location. Yep one byte at a time! try that on a 4K eprom now and see how far you get. But somehow I managed to get it all programmed and up and running. The only storage I had then was a tape backup system that I interfaced into the system so I wouldn't have to keep rewriting everything. didn't know about C back then, long before I even knew of the existance of the INTERNET! I built a 300 baud modem for that same computer and connected to BBS's and thats how we chated back then like fast mail, alot faster then the post office even today! LOL Yep I remeber to good old days when things were alot better in alot of ways!. Today it's all done for ya.

later guys!

z8coder

Rick Ethridge
June 14th, 2010, 09:19 PM
My first computer was a TRS-80 Model 1 with expansion interface. I still have one!

rvsjimbo
August 26th, 2010, 10:00 AM
My first computer was an International Semiconductors SC-MP II system, built to a design in Elektor magazine by a friend of my Dad's. It used an Elekterminal (15 lines of 66 uppercase only characters), output to an old ICL 7610(?) mainframe console monitor. I still have it all, but the last time I turned on the monitor, it worked, but started smoking :-(

Anyway, originally had 4K of RAM, but I while back I found the chips to fully upgrade it to 28K. Uses NIBL (National Industrial Basic Language). And only has 16 bit two's complement storage for integers - no floating point. Strings are possible, but difficult.

My first branded computer came immediately afterwards and was a CBM VIC-20 :-)

Best Regards,

Paul
~~~~ (who is having to slowly reduce his collection to make way for a wife and baby)

SamTHorn
August 26th, 2010, 02:51 PM
Commodore 64

Visionary
September 5th, 2010, 11:59 PM
1983:
my dad bought us a TI-99/4A (I think that's when TI starting giving big rebates) and that was when I was 8. Dad bought 2 of them so my sister and I wouldn't fight over them I guess.. ;)

1987:
received a Commodore 128 and 1571 for Christmas.. first computer I had a modem with in 1988 and was able to access BBS's and in 1992 dialed up to Ball State's system to play on the internet.. so I have good memories of that system

1993:
bought an Amiga 1200 from a guy who I knew from #indiana on efnet IRC network.. he and his parents had to drive up to Michigan and he stopped by to demonstrate it and I ended up buying it because I WANTED an amiga.. That guy sold the 1200 because he had just bought a used 3000.

1996:
built my first x86 from new parts, the sole purpose initially was to serve some Sun-3's I had acquired for nearly free. Ran FreeBSD initially and later Windows 95 (that was an afterthought but it was more useful for my family, though it was dualboot with BSD for a while)

The Amiga was my main computer until 1998...though I had upgraded it a couple times.. first with a hard drive jan. 94 then with a CPU/RAM expansion card in 96

Still have the 99/4A's, 128, and 1200.. and that first new x86 mb..

commodorejohn
September 6th, 2010, 05:30 AM
Macintosh IIcx. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_IIcx) My dad brought it home one day in 1992, when I was a mere seven years old, and I fell in love with computing. Once he obtained a bootleg copy of Mac BASIC (the real, unreleased one, not the Microsoft one,) I knew that I was going to be a programmer when I grew up. A lot of time passed, I learned that doing any real programming on the Mac required buying expensive tools, and we moved on to other computers (and I learned that doing any real programming on the PC required buying almost as expensive tools, at least at the time,) but I still have a special place in my heart for that machine.

1ajs
September 6th, 2010, 02:43 PM
i duno what my first computer was prolly a 286 that i clamed as my own when i was a kid i have memories of using the heathkit h89 when i was a todler and playng around with the raimbow 100 we had i was born in 87

Caluser2000
September 9th, 2010, 10:30 PM
A clone 286/16 with 1 meg of ram, 3.5" fdd, 5.25" fdd, VGA and 40meg hdd. Came without an OS. Promptly had a friend install Compaq Dos 3.32 I think it was. Then promptly deleted command.com-OOPs. Had it quite a numbers of years. Installed DrDos 6 and GeoWorks upgraded the ram to 4megs of SIPPs and hdd to a 240meg one. Ended its life as a Pentium 133 or thereabouts using bits other folk had replaced during their upgrading cycles. Recycling you know. Kids had great fun with the C64s I bought them. Owned an XT class machine at one point too. Don't really know what happened to that. It just seemed to dissappear.

Chuck(G)
September 9th, 2010, 10:56 PM
Hmmm, no individual "owned" a computer when I started using them. Most were leased and all belonged to organizations (corporations/universities/government) who could afford to run them. The first system I spent any time programming was an IBM 1620...then follows a long string of other big iron, some really big iron and finally my first computer that I owned--a MITS Altair 8800. I used a CDC 6600 to assemble programs for it using my own assembler.

Raven
September 10th, 2010, 07:37 AM
Mine was what my Dad always called a "586" (it was home built). When I was old enough to ponder that, I figured he just meant a Pentium, but with my greater knowledge of now-vintage machines than then, I'm thinking it was likely an Am5x86 or a non-Intel Pentium variety. I should ask him.. I do remember that it ran StarCraft in it's later days, so if it was an Am5x86 it was probably OC'd to 160Mhz - I don't think my Dad did OCing, so more likely it's some obscure chip.. The rest of the system was your typical 72-pin SIMM/SB16/etc. of the time. We had a 2GB HDD though - we were pretty badass. :)

This is the first machine that I, as a member of the family, had a stake in. Prior to that I was too young to hardly talk, but I recall us having a machine that ran Win3x, and before that we borrowed a dual 3.5" FDD laptop (very similar if not identical to the Zenith SuperSport) from a friend for at least one day on which I played my first computer game ever - either ZZT or Kroz, I haven't quite deciphered my memories and matched them up, yet. This was LONG before I could communicate properly, one of my earliest memories.. I've been on PCs since I was barely able to articulate my hands.

Oh, and when I was young we also had a C64 - but I didn't really use it. I was too young and it was too complex, but my Dad and brother would load up games and I played it at least once or twice..

abpccpba
October 16th, 2011, 11:38 AM
Radio Shack Model 100

mikerm
October 16th, 2011, 12:39 PM
The first family computer was an Apple //c with a color TV set.

My first computer was some generic 386, received a little before the 486 below.

The second family computer was an IBM PS/1 486. We lived in Alamogordo, NM at the time, so we had to make the 2 hour drive one way to El Paso, TX to buy it. It was the closest computer store. Then we made another trip later to buy the sound card/cd-rom drive upgrade that came with my all time favorite game, Sim City 2000. :D

GottaLottaStuff
October 16th, 2011, 12:41 PM
I came to this hobby later than most, my first was a surplus 5150 my sister brought home from work when they were clearing out the last of their XT class stuff. (1987?) I still have it. :)

angel_grig
October 16th, 2011, 10:07 PM
The first computer I used was an Apple //c at school..After that I was using a friend's CoCo 2 16k but the first computer I owned was a HC-91 (a Romanian ZX-Spectrum clone)-it's the computer in my avatar

DOS lives on!!
October 17th, 2011, 02:30 PM
My first computer was was a Gateway back in 1996. I remember using Internet Explorer 2.0 on a slow dial-up connection. It had Windows 95 and (I think) 32mb of RAM. We got rid of it a while back, but I managed to save the hard drive. And the sound of that Canon BJC-250 printing, it brings back memories.

My first vintage computer I got was a Macintosh SE. I remember getting it because at that time (I was young and didn't know better) I didn't believe that computers had black and white screens.:) Sure enough, when I got it, the screen was black and white!

JGardner
October 17th, 2011, 02:59 PM
Let's see - Turing-complete & belonged to me... That would've been a
TI-58C, in 1976. Lost a segment in the display after a few months, and
the shop I bought it from let me have a demo TI-59 - They were'nt on
the retail market yet, IIRC... Still have it.

Jack

Compgeke
October 18th, 2011, 04:28 PM
Compaq Presario 5202. Going to sound bad, me saying this in all, but it's the slowest computer I've ever used with a 350 MHz AMD K6-II, 96 megs of ram and a 4 gig IDE hard drive running Windows 98 FE.

Ps2K
October 28th, 2011, 02:44 PM
My first computer was a rev2 IBM 5170 PC AT. 640Kb RAM, 30MB harddrive (3MB in bad sectors), Hercules graphics card (Capable of doing CGA with a switch on the card) in 1992. This machine was sacrificed to my brother who gutted the machine and transformed it to a 486SX-25.
I moved on to a IBM PS/2 Model 30, later a model 70; Finally I bought my first computer with my own money in 1995... 2000 guilders for a 486DX2-66 :D (What a shit machine that was!) A year later I spent 400 guilders (~200USD) on a Gravis Ultrasound Max and another 400 guilders on a Mitsumi Quad Speed IDE CD-ROM drive.

billdeg
October 28th, 2011, 07:15 PM
IBM PS/2 Model 25 was the first computer I paid for with my own $$. Although I used computers growing up whenever I got the chance, I never had one in my home as a kid.

Goggles2114
October 28th, 2011, 08:20 PM
Dell l733r as a going to college thing. Ended up upgrading the ram to 394meg. Put a dvdrom drive in, had an external cd burner, and had a crummy vanta in before I upgraded to an ATI 9250.

Then my brother borrowed it and a month later it was ded from a warped motherboard. I'd cleaned it, inside and out and did all sorts of maintenance as a way of being nice to him. Month or so after he gets it. It's dead. Not just 'dead but i can fix it', which happened many many times before. I mean Dead GONE.

It'd almost made it to the ten year mark. Just another sixteen months.

Tor
October 29th, 2011, 06:05 AM
Difficult question.
I bought myself a Nascom 1 kit when they were introduced, but I never got around to build it. "building" was really just putting chips into sockets, but you also had to provide your own power supply and that turned out to be a difficult snag. +12, -12v, +5v at least, and maybe also -5v - not sure about the last one. And also had to be able to put out a couple of amps IIRC. Couldn't build one, couldn't buy one, summer came, school started again and we had AIM-65 computers to work with at school. But I also used the school's minicomputer (with core memory). And then 2KB of RAM was kind of obsolete so the Nascom stayed in its box, unassembled. So, it was the first computer I bought and owned, but I never actually used it. At least I still own it.

Then over the years I worked with lots of different computers, mini and micro. Apple II, Norsk Data mini, CP/M boxes.. 6809, VAX/VMS. At one point I bought a British-made almost-clone of an IBM PC (I remember I had to call the import company about why I couldn't get it to work with a harddisk - turned out that some interrupt vectors were different in the BIOS. The guy on the phone told me what those differences were, so I just burned a changed version into a new EPROM and it worked).

The next computer I bought was after the AT was introduced, it was a Taiwan-made AT clone with 1MB of RAM and 40MB harddisk. Good computer, and I wish I still had it.. now. I paid an absolute fortune for it. After just a few months the disk was full and I had run into the limit for what it could do. Gave it away to someone in Russia at one point (after it became legal to do so, of course. Wow, all those regulations.. Norsk Data made a 32-bit mini which was modified for export purposes.. some of the address lines were cut so that it couldn't address as much memory).

Edit: Well, I also bought a programmable TI calculator in 1975.. don't know if that counts! :-)

-Tor

AppleIIfan
November 2nd, 2011, 06:34 AM
First computer, My parents bought brand new in 1987 a Macintosh SE with 2.5MB RAM.. Been a Mac user for life.. First system I bought with my own money was a 486/33 so I could play dos games.. I also got an original Macintosh when I was in middle school at a yard sale.. Windows is scary now a days.. very scary. Ive since became an Apple hoarder, I have over 50 machines here.

SiliconClassics
November 4th, 2011, 05:14 AM
Mine was a full-tower 486DX-33 clone with 4MB RAM that my family bought in 1991 (I was 13 years old). My father used it mostly for AutoCAD (which is also how I learned the basic principles of 3D computer graphics) and I used it for word processing and games. I have fond memories of playing Chuck Yeager's Air Combat and X-Wing with my ThrustMaster FCS and dialing into my friend's BBS late at night with our 14.4k modem. Also made quite a few pics using Windows Paintbrush - I've kept them to this day. Back then there was a local store where you could actually rent software - we got our first copy of Microsoft Word (version 1.1 for Windows) that way.

We had a 14" NEC MultiSync 3D monitor hooked up to it (not actually 3D, just the model number). It was a decent CRT but I ruined the casing by placing a desk lamp too close to it - melted a hole right through the top! Thankfully we replaced it pretty quickly. The system originally came with a crappy Trident video card that we upgraded with a somewhat less-crappy video card that could do 256 colors at 1024x768.

Over the years the system was further upgraded (8MB RAM, Sound Blaster, HDD, etc.) and eventually it was replaced by a Micron Millennia P-133 system in 1995. A few years ago I essentially re-created the old 486 out of vintage components and stuffed it to the gills with all the hardware that I never had back in the day (ThrustMaster game card, Roland GM card, CD-ROM).

I have a feeling that a lot of us are satisfying our old unfulfilled childhood wishes now that we've got money and the parts are cheap :) In another 10 years we'll probably be doing it with cars - can't wait to finally get that Ferrari 512TR!

Bassoonbloke
November 4th, 2011, 05:55 AM
Hi All,

My first computer was called a 'Nascom 1', it was a kit form computer that was available in the UK. it was a single board Z80 system that was upgradeable with an expansion bus and many peripheral add on's. Mine came from a shop called 'Henry's' in Tottenham Court Road (a famous shop for may years for electronics components, and many things of interest).
I gave my whole set up away to a work friend about 25 years ago (and really wish i had'nt !!)
From there i went onto a Sinclair Spectrum 48K, which gave many hour of fun.

Cheers,
Alan.