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What was your first computer ?


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#51 OFFLINE   Jeber

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Posted 07 April 2003 - 01:40 AM

I approached computers the wrong way around, as usual.  The first computer I used on a regular basis was a 1975 circa Cray supercomputer.  My workstation then I would compare to a P1 today.  I was in the Army at Ft. Meade in the 70's and 80's.  We had "stacks", 6 to 12 gold, 12" wide plates on a spindle with a handle on top.  Dropped the stack into the reader from above like some kind of weird jukebox.  The reader floated on shock absorbers because the read/write heads were so sensitive to movement.  The cray we programmed with punch cards.  And yes, I dropped a handful now and then.  Thank goodness they were numbered.  All our intercepts came through on 1" wide magnetic tape loaded on a 12" glass reel.  I used one piece of software then that was just like the Matrix display.  Lots of fun...and good training in analytical thinking.  Look at the results.

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#52 OFFLINE   hkspike

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Posted 07 April 2003 - 01:56 AM

Quote

to start running the petroleum industry...
and you seem to live in the States where they all but give away gas/petrol - you'd certainly get the rest of the world interested in that proposal!!But we digress, back to the history of designed-in obsolescence...
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#53 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 07 April 2003 - 08:57 AM

ComputerBob, on Apr 6 2003, 04:57 PM, said:

I went to the nvidia site, downloaded the newest driver, and read their instructions for installing it, as well as the nvidia installation tutorial site that someone posted in a different thread here. Even the "easy to use" tutorial was way over my head. I don't know how to do any of the things that any of the instructions assume that everyone knows how to do.
Computer Bob,I just checked the instructions on Nvidia's web site and it seemed simpler before they offered their latest drivers. But the process is similiar, though. We should move this thread to the Linux forum.But, getting back to the initial thread about first computers: I first installed Linux on my 486 in 1994. It was fairly difficult at the time since there was very few CD-ROM distributions or ISOs to download. I remember getting the Slackware 2.0 package by ftp'ing into a Linux mirror site and downloading 1.44MB floppy images for each package I wanted. What a pain that was, especially on a 14.4K modem. After many tries, I eventually managed to get it installed and XFree86 up. To me, it wasn't a useable system and Windows 3.1/95 was always there for me. I had no clue how to navigate the filesystem, the config files were more cryptic than any Windows .ini files I'd ever come across. But, I have tinkered with various installations on and off since then with each new computer I built. I quite like Red Hat 8.0; I've had the most success with that. It has helped made learning Linux much easier. I am fairly comfortable with Linux terminology now (and I need to out of necessity, since I have to support it in my job, now.)

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#54 OFFLINE   T_Downey

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Posted 07 April 2003 - 05:20 PM

My first (computer)  :) was a Compaq 486sx25, 25 mhz, 4 meg ram, 256k trident video built on board so I could display Windows 3.1 in 16 glorious colors on my 13" vga monitor. Also had a built in 2400 baud modem which I later made use of becoming an early Prodigy member. I enjoyed playing with it so much, actually learning a lot just trying to get DOS games to run, that I decided to go to school to learn computer networking. My most recent pc is one I built from scratch last fall. A P4-2.53 with 1 gig of pc1066 rdram, Geforce 4 ti4600 video, Windows XP professsional.....can you tell I'm a gamer?  :)  I now work as a computer hardware specialist and network administrator and have done so for nearly 7 years now. You can read the entire story here if you like. I'm also admin at a gaming community and you're all welcome to visit and post. Since this is my first post I also want to thank Scot for the 15 minutes of fame. My name has been mentioned in his articles a couple of times. First was a couple of years ago dealing with Outlook Express and just recently dealing with the Outlook calendar missing holidays beginning in year 2003.

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Posted 07 April 2003 - 08:28 PM

T_Downey, on Apr 7 2003, 04:20 PM, said:

Since this is my first post I also want to thank Scot for the 15 minutes of fame. My name has been mentioned in his articles a couple of times. First was a couple of years ago dealing with Outlook Express and just recently dealing with the Outlook calendar missing holidays beginning in year 2003.
Welcome, T-Downey! I'm one person who used that Outlook calendar tip to add the holidays to my calendar! :)

#56 OFFLINE   abeagler

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 06:23 PM

ComputerBob, on Apr 6 2003, 05:58 PM, said:

I remember the Timex-Sinclair!
My first computer was the Sinclair Spectrum, as it was sold in the UK. 48K of RAM, 8 colors, and envy from thsoe who had the ZX81! I learned to program in BASIC, and found that much of what I learned transferred when, 13 years later, I had to work with Visual Basic!

#57 OFFLINE   Scot

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 07:19 PM

Hey, I used the Wang VS system for six months on the job in the mid 1980s (when Wang was dying out). Not really a microcomputer, and not really the computer you're talking about, Paracelsus.The first personal computer i ever saw was the Burrough's Redactron (professioanl dedicated word processor). The year was 1978 (or thereabouts). I worked for a small custom electronics engineering firm (TRT Data Products). Our engineers were all working on their own microcomputers on the side. They'd show me stuff. I was the guy who "purchased" parts and equipment. A college puke, working part time. I bought chips, tools, drafting accessories, whatever anyone needed. I faxed stuff (almost no one had fax machines then) and I learned how to send Telex's and TWX's and all that stuff. It actually wasn't a bad job. But I didn't know spit about computers. That was the beginning of my education.  B) -- Scot
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Posted 08 April 2003 - 07:26 PM

Does anyone besides me remember seeing the original Apple computer being sold as a kit in the back of Popular Science magazinie?If I remember correctly, it came with all the electronic parts and keyboard, plus plans and instructions for building its low-slung, flat-topped case out of wood.

#59 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 08:43 PM

ComputerBob, on Apr 8 2003, 07:26 PM, said:

Does anyone besides me remember seeing the original Apple computer being sold as a kit in the back of Popular Science magazinie?If I remember correctly, it came with all the electronic parts and keyboard, plus plans and instructions for building its low-slung, flat-topped case out of wood.
Not sure specifically what magazine ... I went looking and found this:http://oldcomputers.net/appleii.htmlI am interested to see whether they have specific info on it...I too remember it.UPDATE:I may have found something here but not sure about it:http://members.tripo...e_1970s/pc.html(beware the popup ads on tripod)

Edited by LilBambi, 08 April 2003 - 08:51 PM.

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#60 OFFLINE   tntoak

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 04:43 AM

The Apple I was the kit model, followed up by the Apple II, which lasted for eons in computer terms before being closed out.

#61 OFFLINE   ENTWIEDEMALA

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 09:18 AM

Tie - I worked on an IBM System/23 at the family business and I also had a Commodore VIC-20 for personal use at home. The IBM System/23 had a 40MB external hard drive that stood about 2 1/2 feet tall and weighed about 80 lbs. I still have that hard drive and the System/23 in my basement. B)

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 10:04 AM

tntoak, on Apr 9 2003, 03:43 AM, said:

The Apple I was the kit model, followed up by the Apple II, which lasted for eons in computer terms before being closed out.
That's what I thought, too, but I think maybe the first Apple might have just been called Apple instead of Apple I. It's currently unreachable, so I can't confirm it, but I think LilBambi's first link in her message (above) has a sidebar that says that the Apple II was also available as a kit.

#63 OFFLINE   EdR

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 02:51 PM

An LGP 30...don't remember who made it but the 2-nd was an IBM 1620.....Yes it's been awhile....Ed.R.

#64 OFFLINE   Temmu

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 01:24 AM

tandy 10002861mb ram20mb hdcga color monitorstar dot matrix printer w/color optionstate of the art, dude.the best machines at work had 10mb hd's, mono monitors, and slower 286's.
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#65 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 12:33 PM

My first comfuser was a CoCo II with a whopping 32K of memory ... My Jim had one with 64K of memory and he had started out with cassette storage and later got several 5 1/4" drives to go with it ;)

Mine just used cassettes for storage, and some cartridges for games.

Jim's also had OS9 as its first modular based OS ... quite impressive for its day.

We also had LOGO, remember that one?We connected to BBS with 300baud modems with a dialer program that Jim wrote.

I got my fill of typing code .... from the back of Rainbow Magazine, then Jim would have to debug them (between me going cross-eyed and typing errors from all the lines of code on the page, and the magazine writers errors in replicating the original code).  Lots of fun!  But it was wonderful to see it all come together and the program work for the first time!

My very first introduction to computers was before that though, when a neighbor got their first computer, a Commodore64 with cassette storage.Anyone remember a game called Fire! Fire! .. I think that was the name??

Edited by LilBambi, 18 September 2012 - 10:00 AM.
reformatted. No text changes.

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#66 OFFLINE   kevin s

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Posted 11 April 2003 - 09:05 AM

A white box 286-20mhz with a 60mb hd, partitioned into 3- 20mb whoppers!2 mb mem, 256k video

#67 OFFLINE   badcat

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Posted 12 April 2003 - 11:12 AM

A Gateway 66 MHz 486 with 8 MB's and a 850 MB HD of ram running Win 3.11. Now running a Dell 1 Ghz box with 512 MB's of ram and a 20 GB HD dual booting XP Home and 98SE. I'm also running a new Toshiba laptop, 2 GHz P4, 512 MB's of ram, 40 HB HD, running XP Home. Both machines have CD burners, and the laptop is also connected via 802.11b to an access point connected to a broadband router. It's a little different from the 14.4 dial-up days. My father in-law got me interested in this stuff, (I blame him anyway )  :unsure:  He had some of the really old, oddball stuff, a Timex, a Coleco (sp?) , an old Epson, plus a couple that I can't recall. We've come some distance, eh?Chris

#68 OFFLINE   No Spam Please

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 09:24 PM

First one I programmed: IBM 1620First job: IBM 360/50First "personal" computer used: a single-user electronic calculator (HP ?) about 4 feet high and 500 poundsFirst programmable calculator owned: HP-25

#69 OFFLINE   irkregent

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 04:41 PM

I started with a hand-me-down Timex/Sinclair that used a normal cassette recorder for storage.    I got so frustrated with that thing that I quickly bought a Commodore 64.

#70 OFFLINE   GTFan

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 10:22 PM

Yeah that TS1000 was a nasty bugger if you had the optional 16k RAM expansion cart, the connector was a little flaky and if you jiggled the box just the wrong way you reset the computer, and all your hard work typing stuff into the BASIC interpreter went down the drain....  Cheap box and you got what you paid for.  Very useful doorstop tho with that nice wedge shape, small and light enuff for frisbee use too.My computing timeline:1980 - I wuz 17 and discovered Trash-80's in high school so I thought I'd own me one.  Put money down at the local Shack then had to get my stepfather to get me out of the finance deal when I discovered that my convenience store job was not gonna pay for that $2K hunk of iron.1980-81 - Bought a Cosmac Elf II homebuilt kit and soldered that sucker together.  Hooked up to a TV and you programmed it with a hex keypad.  Just a toy, really, but good for getting that sweet solder smell jones satisfied...  :D must have had something to do with all those plastic model kits that I put together with the toxic version of Tester's glue in the 70's.  Confirmed this instability by getting the aforementioned Timex Sinclair 1000 and actually using it as a doorstop after one too many resets.1982 - Still brain damaged, purchased a Commode-ore Vic-20 then unloaded it a year later on some unsuspecting schmuck for $250.  Man the glory of 40x22 char screens (IIRC), it just don't get any better than that.1983-84 - Finally bought a real computer, first an Atari 400, then an 800, finally a 1200xl.  Man I must've sunk $2K into these things plus the games, ValForth and MAC assembler software, disk drives, CP/M subsystem, etc.  Then I got smart like everyone else and bought a Happy chip for my 1050 drive so I could pirate everything like everyone else.  This really killed Atari and I am ashamed of it to this day but back then *everyone* pirated Atari stuff.  Also discovered BBSing at this time, many fond memories of 300 baud acoustic coupling.  Um, yeah and the BBS' were cool too  B) .  Lots of late nights online here, the father of the internet for PC junkies.1988 - Wow what a jump, finally came to my senses and realized Atari was dead for real no thanks to my glomming (I did spend a lot of money on Atari software, really).  Bought a DAK AT clone for $2500 with 1MB of ram, 286/10, 14inch NEC Multisync monitor, Epson FX-85 printer.  Hot stuff then.1991 to present - You all know the deal, 386/486/Pent I/II/III/IV, all homebuilt, diff stuff inside, gave the old ones to family.  DOS memory mgmt, cussing Winblows, loving Linux, etc.  Currently use Coyote Linux to power an old P100 as my internet router/firewall.  I mostly buy Dell nowadays cuz I can't build the base machine for cheaper than they can most of the time.  Then add whatever vid etc. that I want.Thanks for the trip down memory lane, I mostly game lightly and surf alot and don't need the latest stuff nowadays.  Man if I knew how much I'd spent on this little hobby I'd....  I'd.....  I'd.....do it again!Dave in ATL

#71 OFFLINE   stretchr

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 10:25 PM

I haven't seen it mentioned here yet, the first computer I ever used was one of the networked BBC Micro's at High School.  Heady stuff in those far off years!  But I also used to go to my best friends house after school and mess around with hi Commodore Vic20.I can remember at one stage being in love with the Amstrad model that had the cassette player/reader built into the keyboard ... anyone remember that one?The first computer I ever owned was a clone Pentium 166MMX which I was so proud of!  In fact, I am still using the 17" Mitsubishi monitor I bought with it.  Now running a self-built Celeron 466 ... yes, i know, I should upgrade ..... B)

#72 OFFLINE   Keith

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 04:09 AM

486sx /w 2mb RAM, 5mb (I think) hard drive, DOS 6, no Windows, CGA monitor.  Paid about $493 for it all, used. This was in March of '94.  It was all I could afford. :)  Basically, it was a P.O.S.... know what that stands for? :)The first computer I ever used was an Apple II in high school, grade12 computer science, 1982.  It had 1 (and only 1) redeeming feature-- a keyboard that was a pleasure to use..... you knew when the keys went down, you could feel them.

#73 OFFLINE   Hawkfan

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Posted 07 May 2003 - 08:31 AM

First computer was a Timex/Sinclair 1000 with the 16k memory expansion pack with a tape recorder that was given to me by an uncle.  Tape recorder didn't work well for very long so I was forced to type programs out of magazines to do anything.  It was a few years before I got another computer but since then it's been the ol' computer upgrade syndrome for me.   ;) Current main box is a AMD Tbird 1.2Ghz CPU with an AMD TBird 1.4Ghz and AMD K6-2/500 sitting beside it on the network.

#74 OFFLINE   jbredmound

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Posted 08 May 2003 - 05:14 AM

A Vendex; I had it upgraded to 286 and put in a 10 Mb HD (I don't remember what it replaced).I needed the 286 to make stat analysis with my Minitab software work in a realistic time frame (like, I could leave it running overnight and have my answers in the AM).Another major upgrade was the joystick.  :lol: Internet? Didn't need it; I would play pool with grad students, betting cash against a free internet search for my next paper.  :D We are not going to discuss how I got my papers typed.

#75 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 08 May 2003 - 07:27 AM

First computer used: IBM 370 as a student- we submitted stacks of punch cards, rubber banded together and got back cards plus those big, wide tractor-feed printouts. If you got careless and dropped your card deck, you got to play 52 card pickup and try to put them back in order. Sometimes you got that right on the first try, sometimes not.First computers owned: A homebuilt Ampro Little Board CP/M computer and later a Sinclair ZX-81 built from a kit. I did little with either. I was more into amateur radio.Later owned: Commodore VIC-20 and C-64, but used them strictly for an application- ironically they were emulating dumb terminals in an amateur radio VHF packet network setup. LOL!My first 'real' home PC: 486-66, 16M RAM, 420M HD, Win95- it was 1996 and I had arrived! Used- retired probably from an office environment. Reasonable price. Maddeningly slow to do everything. Later upgraded to 20M RAM, still later to a whopping 36M of RAM. I actually used this machine for 1-2 years to surf and email, and for numerous amateur radio control applications like VHF packet and radioteletype.Then: a P2 333MHz, 64M RAM, 4.3G HD, Win98. Bought at a local computer show from small local PC build firm. Reasonable price. Soon upgraded to 98SE and up/down anywhere from 384 to 512M RAM. Tons of software and did a lot of things with it for 2-3 years. Added a 30G 2nd HD. Learned _so_ much on that box! Still have the original Win98 install it came with running pretty good with SE overlayered, 4 years later. Amazing! Keeps on tickin' like a Timex. Some day will reformat and do it right this time. Yeah, right! LOL!Present box: P4 1.6GHz, 512M DDR RAM, 40G HD, Win98SE. Built it myself from a 'bare bones' special from CA internet firm plus various mix/match hardware. Excellent price! Still quite happy with it a almost a year later, will probably keep a good while, may put XP on it but no big hurry. Added 2nd 30G HD.  Computers now steal most of my time and have become the dominant hobby.




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