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Do you still have your first "retro" computer?

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In this thread about the very instant you knew you just had to have a PC, @davidcalgary29 mentioned he still had his Atari 800 from BITD while he has recycled his AT clone.  Got me thinking, and wanting to not derail the thread.  I still have my family's first TI-99/4A from 1984-ish, my first Commodore 64C from 1989 (which technically is not my first 64 as it replaced my Commodore 64 bread-bin from 1987,) and Commodore 128 from 1991.

 

I still have my first Amiga 500, but it only survives as its case as the logic board has been upgraded from the original Rev 5, through the Rev 6, and finally the Rev 8a.  I do not count the computers I picked up in later years, only the ones I got when they were still active -- when I got each of these first computers, you could still go out and buy accessories and software from a local retail outlet.  When I got my Commodore 128D... yeah, fuggedaboudit.

 

What about you?  Do you still own your first "retro" computer*?  Does it function?  Do you use it?  I admit all of my firsts work but I keep them out of regular use.  No idea why.

 

* I am not certain if there is an official "retro" definition, but for purposes of this thread I am restricting retro as: 90s era and earlier; Mac 68k and early PPC before the "G" CPUs; PCs pre-32-bit.

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My first computer was a TI SR-56 programmable calculator from 1976. I sold it in 1978 to buy a TI-59, which I still have. In 2010 I got another -56 off eBay, replaced the batteries, and still use it often.

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Yes I do - my Apple IIc from 1985. It broke a while ago and I replaced the motherboard with a NOS one, so now it works again.

 

I use it every once in a while, but it's more of a nostalgia token. I have a IIGS that I keep hooked up for actual use, since it can do everything the IIc could and more.

 

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I still have the case and keyboard from the PC I bought in 1989.  The 386sx motherboard is gone but I still have the boxed ati vga wonder that computer came with.  I also have the sound blaster pro and its box that I bought a year or so later.

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I haven't modded my 800 at all. It still works well, even though it's been on a couple of transcontinental treks, was stored in the Bahamas for ten years (in a house that was flooded repeatedly by hurricanes; I'd kept it stored high up on a shelf in the garage, but still -- all that moisture), and then another fifteen in an unheated Quonsett hut here in northern Alberta. Those things are absolute tanks. :)

 

Still have my original 410, too, and -- ugh -- those awful Dorsett Educational tape series that my Dad bought to go with it.

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I meant to include games consoles, considering everything what sits under the umbrella of Atari.

 

I also possess my family's original Sears Tele-Games Atari VCS clone, as well as all of our original cartridges.  I think I might stage a "family photo" of my firsts as I am cleaning up my office.

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I still have my ti99 from 1981. My parents bought it shortly after release, and paid through the nose for it. Still works too! Somewhere in storage I also have an RCA Studio II and some cartridges for it that my parents got in the late 70s. 

 

I still have (and am using right now on my Win 10 desktop) the same IBM Model M keyboard that I got back in the late 80's. Those things are indestructible, so I never bought a new keyboard, just kept using the same one for over 30 years.

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Still have my 1981 Model III since new.  Works perfect and I use it all the time.  Started off as a 16K cassette based model.  All upgrades were done by me in the 80s and internally it's still all very early 80s technology.  Behind it is an original Orchestra 90 music synthesizer and an old Wang modem to the right.  The box on top with the key switch is a FreHD and it takes the place of 6 monster hard drives daisy chained together from back in the day.  It's the only modern technology attached to it.  And the little round thing is a speaker/amp for game sounds.

 

As you can clearly see, it was the best early 80s computer available, and till today it still tries hard to keep up. :lol:

 

mtrs1.jpg

 

 

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The only original console or computer I have from BITD is my NES.

 

My first TI 99/4A got traded for a monitor for my CoCo 3. My CoCo 3 I sold to a friend to help pay for my first IBM/PC clone (heavy steel 8088 with 20 MB hard drive, 5 1/4 and 3 1/2 " drives, Herc graphics and amber monitor) I got from Convenient Video. I forget what I did with that PC-it had a Sound Blaster 8 bit card and a nice VGA card when I was done with it.

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I have pretty-near all of 'em. More than one TS1000 (my first) bit the dust, though I kept the carcasses. Same for my TI99/4As I upgraded to. While I did use them hard for fun and hacking, both systems were essential to my photography business, running a timer program for darkroom processes. For that reason, I always kept a backup system (or two+) at the ready in case of a crash or something more serious.

 

Hard to say if the ones I have now are the "first." Other than a couple dead duck TI consoles I sold on for parts, I've pretty much hung onto all of it so far. Even when I moved to Mac, the TI still pulled regular darkroom duty until I closed the business when photography became primarily digital.

 

Still have all my old Macs too, for that matter. Same philosophy,  keep the last system in case the current one failed. I've had to fall back more than once, best to stay prepared for all eventualities, right? ;) Plus I've retained any orphans that came my way. Waaay too many to list, what a heap of retro-puting I have in my shed!

1000IBM.jpg

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No.  Not even close.

 

My first "retro" computer was a VIC20.  I sold it in 1985 to help pay for a 1050 disk drive for my second "retro" computer; an Atari 800XL.

 

The 800XL was destroyed around 1995 when I plugged in a Commodore PSU by mistake.

 

The Acorn Electron I bought second-hand in 1986 for a night-school class where they wanted projects done in BBC BASIC, I sold on when I graduated the class.   The Atari 520ST I bought in 1987 I sold in 1989 because I wanted money toward a PC.  The TI99/4A I bought at a car boot sale in 1994 I threw out, because it had that weird 6-pin Y/R-Y/B-Y output and getting composite out of it was too hard, plus none of the software I had seemed to run any different than on the NTSC 99/4A, and the UK machine's brushed metal finish was bent and looked like crap.

 

The oldest retro machine in my collection is my Atari 800.  Bought it used in 1986 because it came with a heap of (pirated) software, and because I just always loved that funky 70s design.   I sold it to a neighbor's kid to help pay for the ST, but bought it back from her when she was done applying sparkly princess stickers to it and got bored with it.  I still have it, sans sparkly princess stickers, in the original box with foam inserts.

 

 

 

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I sold my first VIC-20 in order to finance a C64. For many years I thought the later was broken but it turned out to just be a bad PSU (that hadn't gone bad in the modern way of it frying things). However I swapped the motherboard for another board some 10+ years ago so in principle I own the box + case of my second computer, but not the interior. I also sold my Amiga 500+ but still own my Amiga 1200 which would be my fourth computer. After that it is pointless to count. I still own a number of G&W handhelds though, original owner.

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I still have my original CoCo 1, but I sold my Amiga 2000 when I bought an Amiga 3000.  I still have the A3000, and my parent's A500.

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On 5/26/2020 at 2:21 AM, Ed in SoDak said:

I have pretty-near all of 'em. More than one TS1000 (my first) bit the dust, though I kept the carcasses. 

1000IBM.jpg

Looks like a TI keyboard there. I noticed the TI keyboard's matrix is very similar to the TS1000/ZX81's, making the substitution fairly easy. Was that a common mod in the day? Where's your TS1000 board, under the wood? Any more photos of that setup?

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Yup, the TI kbds were about $5 in surplus for a number of years. They're similar, but it still took a fair amount of surgery rerouting the key matrix. Compared to the flimsy membrane of the Timex, typing and programming was a breeze. I'd write programs in FAST mode and include the SLOW code in the program for running it.

 

I dubbed it IBM for I Built Mine. I soldered the RAMpack, added a power switch and a more secure jack for the wallwart, also a meter to set the LOAD level. Big air space kept the temps in check. No more badly-timed crashes! Made the Timex actually useable!

 

The packing tape and masking tape that held it in place, with the aluminum foil shielding added a certain panache to the scrap plywood enclosure, don't you agree? :-D

 

 

EDO_4460.JPG

EDO_5857.JPG

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Yep.  Still have my TI-99/4A.  I occasionally think about replacing it, as it's not the most aesthetically appealing TI-99/4A out there.  But it still works (and I use it literally every day, with almost no exceptions). 

 

I don't have a lot of carts from the 80s.  I never tried to collect any but the ones I had regular use for.  And those were few enough.  Extended BASIC and Terminal Emulator II account for about 95% of my TI-99/4A usage. 

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My first computer was a big fat old black samsung laptop, whose name I have no idea, because this was back before i didn't care. I'd imagine it had a Pentium IV, and it had a pirated copy of Windows 7. It used to be my parents' old laptop, but they replaced it with something newer, and they gave it to me. I remember watching so much movies on that thing, mainly the Back to the Future trilogy, and I carried it everywhere and watched movies and played games and stuff. I can kinda claim I still have it, as it is in storage in my grandma's house.

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2 minutes ago, OLD CS1 said:

@bluejay Not "retro" :P

damb

fine, my first retro computer was a vic 20, but it hasnt been that long since i got it. I fried it, but I do still have it.

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I still have my original C 64 still packed away complete in original box. The computer works fine but I have tried my drive in ages. Scared to try at this point.  I also have my next computer Amiga 500 complete in box.  Loved both of them, but didn’t have a ton a software for my Amiga. 

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I have my original 800XL that my dad bought in 1984.  This was not utilized by my dad very well as he didn't ever buy any disk or cassette drives or any other peripherals.  I used it mainly as a game machine for cartridges and did some basic programming on it.  I still use it on occasion as I keep it out for my kids to play games.

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I have my family's c64.  The 6 key has fallen off, and one of the function keys is outright missing, but other than that it works. I have a SD2IEC hooked up to it and it's still quite fun.

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On 5/25/2020 at 1:19 PM, Turbo-Torch said:

As you can clearly see, it was the best early 80s computer available, and till today it still tries hard to keep up. :lol:

 

mtrs1.jpg

 

 

 

If yer gonna Photoshop it, think full screen!  😉

 

IMAGE.thumb.JPG.59800cbc71949d87a35f20b00693cc16.JPG

 

 

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3 hours ago, Omega-TI said:

 

If yer gonna Photoshop it, think full screen!  😉

 

IMAGE.thumb.JPG.59800cbc71949d87a35f20b00693cc16.JPG

 

 

Except mine isn't a photoshop. :)

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Still have my original Apple II material from the 70's. Most all the peripheral cards survive, as do the documentation and software's baggie-inserts. 

 

Also have my first IBM PC-compatible too. Last year I did complete internal cleaning and spiffing of the insides. And also gave that onboard battery some TLC by taking it off-board. But still keeping it in-circuit and all that by using appropriate connectors and a holder. It's all factory OEM stock except for the expansion cards added throughout the years. Naturally.

 

There was a short time when I had the opportunity to upgrade it to Pentium-90 with new motherboard. I did that, didn't feel right, got rid of the P90 and put the 486 back in. In retrospect a wise choice.

 

 

 

Edited by Keatah

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