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What was YOUR very first computer?


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#26 rmo70 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:20 PM

... it had TONS of memory!

Mine had ounces of memory, about 1/4K user RAM. Bought it senior year of high school with my summer job money. Loved it!


That's very cool

#27 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:40 PM

Well, I may have posted this earlier. But it seemed appropriate to re-post it here.

I recall one brisk and blowy autumn day, I got the TRS-80 PC-1 Pocket Computer. I also got a few books to go with it and such. I also got the cassette interface and some tapes and batteries too. The whole package cost around $400 - $425. This "system" afforded me my first exposure to BASIC, and I learned the concepts from a Model I (Level-1) book, the big yellow one with an even bigger plastic spiral binding thing. The one with the cartoony computer that would call out important points from time to time. But with BASIC being BASIC, much of the basics transferred over to the PC-1. I learned things like line numbering and variables and general program flow. The PRINT and INPUT statements and the +-*/^() math symbols. You know.. As the days turned from fall to winter my skills at programming in BASIC became quite formidable. And I was programming in all my math assignments. The teachers at school didn't know what to make of it all. Some liked it, most didn't.

Well, one day, being a spoiled brat and a snotty kid I threw a tantrum when I spent the entire previous afternoon laboriously hunting-n-pecking in a Lunar Lander game and it didn't work. Somehow, either I made a mistake or the listing had an error - because the LM kept crashing 30 FT above the lunar surface. Boy was I pissed!

I reviewed it over and over got even more frustrated. My mom finally asked my gramma to take me down to the Radio Shack Computer Center in Northbrook and see what the trouble was. Just so I would shut up and do my homework! Because if I didn't get this fixed, there wouldn't be any me-doing-my-homework. Ohh no sir!

Some guy there (a salesman I guess) actually took the time to review what I had typed into the computer. I remember him having spent about an hour or two going through each line and consulting with another programmer there. I don't recall where the error was, in the listing or my typing. But he found it and fixed it! Myself and him made notes so that I could re-type it later if there was an issue with saving and loading from cassette. We tested it right there, on the spot, in the store. And I was elated! It worked!

It was just about winter and the last of the thunderstorms was coming in, it quickly went from rain to snow just in time to cancel school the next day. Because of impending icing. So I stayed up all night with junk food and stuff like that, sometime after watching Battlestar Galactica or a Star Trek re-run I pulled out the PC-1 and got to playing. I played Hi-Lo and days-between-dates and numerology. And I loaded up the Lunar Lander game too. My complaining and tantrum efforts paid off big time.

I huddled up under the covers with the lights low and flashlight by my side. I played Lunar Lander all night long. Refining my approach and trajectory better and better!

It was great, I could imagine Neil Armstrong right beside me telling me "..a little to left" and "ease it down now.. Good good! Engine off!" "Tranquility Base here THE EAGLE HAS LANDED!" Delusions of grandeur permeated the night. And I was a happy camper! I fell asleep to some other sci-fi rerun or something, Salvage-1, or 6 Million Dollar Man.. And the next day, with school canceled, it was an Atari 2600 & Intellivision day. All day.

I gotta tell you, days like that are few and far between, when everything just comes together just right.

---
I still have all my notes and a baggie full of printouts and listings and such. Of course including the original PC-1 and tapes and accessories and stuff.

It was great that the salesman consulted with some other guy and between the two of them they got my Lunar Lander game going. And that was just so cool. You will never see service like this in this day and age, not unless you fork over some extra coin. And even then, if it is outside of your prescribed duties, as an employee, said employee probably won't take this kind of time and effort. Not at the consumer level anyways.

That is what was special about the Computer Centers RS ran back in the late 1970's. Fantastic customer support, even for a bratty 9 year old.

Alas, I would continue my efforts on an Apple ][+ and that became my main system with which I learned telecom and modeming and BBS'ing. Not to mention warez. But I did acquire a PC-2 and paraphernalia. I seemed to have permanently associated Radio Shack with Pocket Computers and after the PC-2 came a PC-4. And I still have those as well.

#28 krslam OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:04 PM

First I ever used was whatever mainframe the University had when I took a Fortran class. I remember those stacks of cards with no fondness whatsoever.

First I used extensively was an HP9825, sort of a hybrid calculator/computer thingie.

First I owned was a C64, although that was a couple years after getting a VCS.

#29 Amstari OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:06 PM

My family got an Amstrad CPC464, I think it was in 1983. It had a colour monitor, Z80 processor at 4MHsz, 64KB memory and a built in tape drive. It was a great home computer and had some awesome games. The version of BASIC was great too.

In the late 80s we got an Amstrad 1512, which was an IBM compatible, and eventually the CPC464 was sold.

I continued to play CPC games on emulators and eventually I got another CPC464, and now I've got a CPC6128. There is still great games being made for it like Orion Prime and a R-Type remake.

#30 DanBoris OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:53 AM

I still have the invoice from my first computer system:

800 16K Computer $679.00
810 Disc Drive $449.00
850 Interface $169.00
410 Recorder $76.00
Joystick $20.00
Video Easel $35.00
Star Raiders $60.00
Epson MX80FT Printer $559.00
Printer Cable $30.00
32K Expansion Board $159.00
Touch Typing $20.00
Atari Word Processor $159.00
Breakout with Paddles $43.00
Graphit $17.00
Statistics $20.00
Visicalc $169.00
Atari 800 dust cover $7.99
1 box floppy disks $36.00

#31 Asaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:35 AM

Oh, also at some point, I picked up an Aquarius from a yard sale. Didn't have any carts or tapes or anything, so all you could do was doodle around in BASIC and not save it. It must've been after the PC Jr.s, because I wasn't very interested.

Some guy there (a salesman I guess) actually took the time to review what I had typed into the computer.


What tomfoolery is this?? That doesn't sound like the RadioShack I know. Surely you mean you asked for some computer help, and he said "Um...I don't know. Would you like to buy a cell phone today?"

Edited by Asaki, Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:36 AM.


#32 ClausB OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:45 PM

... it had TONS of memory!

Mine had ounces of memory, about 1/4K user RAM. Bought it senior year of high school with my summer job money. Loved it!


That's very cool


The TI SR-56 came with a book of programs to key in, including a lunar landing game which I modified. Then I wrote some astronomy programs and a few more games, including tic-tac-toe. I also translated an HP25 program from Popular Electronics called Space Flight by Paul Lutus. Great fun!

#33 jetset OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:51 PM

TI99-4/A
I don't remember the year but it was when the price of them went to $99 bucks with a $100.00 rebate. I waited in line with my mom for HOURS at Playworld for it. I used to LOVE buying the books and inputting programs line by line and saving them to cassette. Good times!

#34 Seob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:33 PM

My first computer was a Schneider CPC-464. Ah those memories. Typing in a zillion lines of basic, and then there was a error in the code.
My first PC was a Philips P2230 286-12.5Mhz, 1Mb ram, 20Mb Hdd, 1.44Mb Fdd and CGA monochrome display and covox sound. Later a adlib 8 bit soundcard and 256Kb Vga display adapter and 40Mb Hdd where added.
Then 386sx-16, 386 dx-33, 486sx-25, 486dx2-66, am5x86-133 (486dx4-133), pentium 120, pentium 166 mmx, pentium 2 233, celeron 400, amd k6-400, pentium III 700, amd athlon xp 1800+, amd athlon 64 2200+, and currently a intel i5 750.

#35 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:44 PM

Oh, also at some point, I picked up an Aquarius from a yard sale. Didn't have any carts or tapes or anything, so all you could do was doodle around in BASIC and not save it. It must've been after the PC Jr.s, because I wasn't very interested.


Some guy there (a salesman I guess) actually took the time to review what I had typed into the computer.


What tomfoolery is this?? That doesn't sound like the RadioShack I know. Surely you mean you asked for some computer help, and he said "Um...I don't know. Would you like to buy a cell phone today?"


Haa! yes indeed. I kid you not! Back in the 70's and 80's *THIS* is what it was all about. Making it work. Whomever was at hand gave it a try. Whether it be the engineers or salesmen, or whomever! Things were so new that corporate dogma hadn't yet degraded the scene significantly.

Today all they *can* do is sell cellphones. Which brings me to another point. Why do they "publish" new cellphones jut about every day. What you bought last month, 50/50 says you can't buy it this month because it's outdated. And same shit with new laptops, chances are, what you bought 2 months ago, you can't buy again, because marketing says it's outdated. Well, let me entertain the marketing gurus for a moment and bunch up their panties with a 10 year old laptop, which is now about to be updated to Windows7..

Shit. When Woz made the 2 series, it(the series) what, started out with a 1MHz 6502? Yes.. This CPU remained the standard of the 2 series lineup for 10+ years. Granted, we had the 65C02 and 65c816 and some 4Mhz variants and exotic hacked accelerator boards going to 16MHz. But the core of the Apple 2 lineup ended with the //e Platinum. The IIgs isn't really part of the 2 series at all. It's some other funky 16-but machine with 2 series compatibility slapped on. So the 65c816 doesn't really factor in. And with all things considered, the 2 series had the same microprocessor since day one.

Today you get components with a market life of 4 months, and then it is outdated and destined for the trash. And that's what I liked about my older systems, some permanence.

Edited by Keatah, Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:47 PM.


#36 high voltage ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:47 PM

That's why I love my P4 3.4 GHz HTT, 3.5 GB RAM, 10 years old but still perfect.
Posted Image



In 1990 my first PC (after an Amiga 500+ stint) was a Olivetti PC 286, piece of crap.

After three months I traded the Olivetti for an HP Vectra 386. In 92 I added a CD-ROM to it. Since the CD didn't fit into the PC, I had to tape it to my desk. WOrked a treat.
Posted Image

Edited by high voltage, Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:19 PM.


#37 Seob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:54 PM

That's why I love my P4 3.4 GHz HTT, 3.5 GB RAM, 10 years old but still perfect.
Posted Image



In 1990 my first PC (after an Amiga 500+ stint) was a Olivetti PC 286, piece of crap.

After three months I traded the Olivetti for an HP Vectra 386. In 92 I added a CD-ROM to it. Since the CD didn't fit into the PC, I had to tape it to my desk. WOrked a treat.
Posted Image

My 286 had only space for 1 hdd, so i had to tape the second hdd inside the case.

#38 high voltage ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:02 PM

Hehe yeah people were very resourceful during those days.
From my CD-Rom a thick ribbon cable had to be attached to a huge ISA card inside the PC so I had to cut a hole into the back of the PC casing and feed the cable through. Fun times indeed.

Edited by high voltage, Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:03 PM.


#39 Cebus Capucinis OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:43 PM

IBM PCjr with 64K internal memory and 32K in sidecars..... 96K! Monitor, full chiclet keyboard, that thing was awesome, despite what some say about it. It certainly paved the way for my computing habits. I played Ghostbusters on disk and Touchdown Football for hours without stopping. :) Such a fun little machine, too bad IBM didn't do more with it to keep it up and running.

#40 chuckwalla OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:53 PM

VIC-20 with a Datasette recorder and a b/w monitor with burn-in.
I was so fascinated with it I played Skramble all day long.

Something like a year later my Dad bought me the C64 and a little while after that the 1702 Color Monitor (woo-hoo!) and a 1541 Disk Drive (giant freaking hot brick) to make the setup complete. At that point, friends of the family came over to copy tons of software and games for me and it was super cool.

#41 ToddUGA OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:59 AM

The first computer I owned was an Atari 600XL. A few months later I sold it to my aunt and a year later my parents bought me a Commodore 64 and a 1541 diske drive. Loved my C64. I eventually sold it and bought an Amiga 500, which I later sold and upgraded to an Amiga 1200. I used the A1200 up until around 1997 when I finally bought a PC. These days I own a Mac and couldn't be happier.

#42 thegamezmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:12 AM

My first computer was the Atari 400, don't remember the year due to CRS syndrome. Also the Entertainer package, and Star Raiders which is why I got a 400, during the early eighties price drop. Wish I still had but got another one because got one dirt cheap. Great memories.

#43 Official Ninja OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:37 AM

My family had a VCS 1st.... but the 1st "Computer" was a ti-99/4a with Hunt the Wumpus cart.
Soon replaced with a TRS-80 Color Computer 2 with a Canyon Climber cart.

#44 Oge OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:11 AM

A breadbin Commodore 64 with a Datassette, connected to a small TV.


Cheers,
Oge

#45 DesertJets OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:01 AM

The first computer in my family (it was technically my brothers) was a no-name IBM PC-XT clone. 512k ram, MS-DOS 3.2, one floppy drive, CGA graphics card and monitor, and a no-name dot-matrix printer --- all roughly $1200 in 1987. Over the next few years I remember my brother doing a few upgrades.... memory to 640k, a 2nd floppy drive, first an external 300baud modem, then an internal 2400baud modem, mouse, joystick, a better printer (a Panasonic).


My first computer that was my own I got during my first year in college. It had an AMD K6-2 350, 64mb ram, 8gb hdd, CD-rom, 8mb graphics card, Windows 98. Unfortunately I don't think it was a terribly well made computer --- bought it from a local computer shop and it was probably built with pretty shoddy components. It needed replacing/upgrading a lot sooner than it should have.... ultimately I replaced it in my second year in grad school with a cheap Celeron based rig from Gateway. For as little as I spent on that one it held up remarkably well. Which I can't say of the computer that replaced that one and I still use.

#46 telengard OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:41 AM

Through a pledge drive I did on my paper route, I raised enough money for my 7th grade class to get a Commodore Vic-20, but my first personally owned computer was an Atari 800 XL. First console was an Atari 2600 w/ Asteroids.

#47 Classic Pac OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:50 AM

My very 1st computer I admit I found in a dumpster. It was a Radio Shack Color Computer 2, along with it was the manuals, 2 controllers, and a bunch of extras. I admit I learned a lot about computers, and that Color Computer has worst graphics than a 2600.

#48 SEgamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:31 AM

Technically my first computer was an Apple IIe handed down from either a school or someone we knew, but we gave it back after 2 weeks since it was 1996 and I wanted a Win95 machine to play the latest games like SimCopter. I now have a IIe again and have been playing games on it more than my main PC though :D

Edited by SEgamer, Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:32 AM.


#49 edweird13 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:59 AM

Got my 2600 in 1980. The next year I got a TI-99 4/A. After hearing me complain for the next 2 years I got a C=64 and pretty much abandoned the 2600 and the TI

#50 BydoEmpire OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:09 PM

The family's first computer was a Commodore 64 - I think we got it in '84 because that's the first year of Compute!'s Gazette I still have. Good stuff. We got it with a 1541, and added a print a year or two later. I still have it, and despite a missing 6 key, it still works (haven't checked the 1541 in a while, though). I never got very good programming it, though, because I was using Apple ][s at school and that's where I spent all my programming time. Amazing games, though.

I'm a little surprised how many people mention their TI 99/4A, but it's cool to hear.

Edited by BydoEmpire, Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:10 PM.





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