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What was your first computer ?


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#226 OFFLINE   Manitoban

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 06:28 PM

I wrote my first computer program on a Packard Bell 250 in 1963.  I demonstrated an aircraft interception.  Input all the courses and speeds at the keyboard, and got the results as a typeout.  All text mode, of course, using a Flexowriter with a paper tape reader for input and output.  Later I did my mortgage on the same machine.  Fun!!!!Bill

#227 OFFLINE   greengeek

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 09:20 PM

Looks like I missed out on some fun machines by starting with computers later in life. :)

#228 OFFLINE   blizzard89

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 02:09 PM

Zeos 386 with 4 megs memory and a 85MB hard drive running Windows 3.0 Paid way to much money for it then but we all had to start somewhere.

#229 OFFLINE   daveydoom

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 05:16 PM

486 DX 40 with 8 Mb RAM

#230 OFFLINE   Angelo

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 03:13 AM

wow long time back but, as I remind it was aHewlett Packard 486 MMX with Microsoft Windows 3.1Back then this was state of the art so it is pritty fun to see how much thingshave developed over the last couple of year's. I also had a Matrix Printer, man... that was awesome ^^

#231 OFFLINE   striker

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 05:57 AM

:w00t: You needed ear protection covers when using that printer. :hysterical:
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#232 OFFLINE   RonCam

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 09:15 PM

First computer, used mostly for word processing:TRS-80 Model I, Exatron Stringy-floppy, TRS-232 simulated RS-232 port from cassette output, serial handshake implemented with machine-language driver feeding cassette input, Xerox Diabolo 1740 (serial model), BASIC language word processing software.First laptop:TRS-80 Model 100, with SuperROM and memory expansion.First IBM-PC compatible:PC-XT clone, 20MEG drive, built-in "Turbo" overclocking option, NEC-V20 CPU upgrade, 2MEG LIM-EMS memory, to permit running Software Carousel.WordPerfect's 1640/1740 driver gave such nice text output with a carbon film cartridge in the daisy wheel, that people asked if I had a laser.  In fact, the quality was better than the first lasers (the toner was shiny on these) and I was able to make carbon copies on onion-skin paper.

Edited by RonCam, 10 November 2007 - 09:23 PM.


#233 OFFLINE   Urmas

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 04:29 AM

HP-87.Posted Image ;)

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#234 OFFLINE   Citadel80

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 06:51 PM

My first computer was a TRS-80 Model I (affectionately called Trash 80). My dad bought it for me in 1979 as a college graduation present. It had 4k RAM, a black & white monitor, a keyboard and a Radio Shack tape recorder to install programs. I typed in programs from magazines and then saved them via the tape recorder.In 1982 I bought a Radio Shack Color Computer. It also had 4 K RAM and a 6809Eprocessor. It was a computer and chiclet keyboard combined with a slot on the right side that accepted cartridges with programs. Later I bought another keyboard and installed it and eventually upgraded the RAM to 64 K. Upgrading the RAM was the tricky part because you bought the RAM and then they gave you instructions on how to solder wires to the RAM chips and then to the motherboard. I had a color portable tv as a monitor but I then bought a green screen monitor and had to follow more soldering instructions. I also bought a one-sided 4" floppy drive - floppies held 180 K of information. If you wanted to use the second side of the floppy you had to cut a notch in the floppy and flip the floppy to the other side. Eventually I bought a double-side floppy disk. I used that computer from 1982 - 1990 and I must have put close to $2000 in accessories to get it to run the way I wanted. Initial cost of the COCO was $399. Man, those were the days!!

#235 OFFLINE   kgwagner

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 10:07 PM

My first computer(s) weren't what you'd call "personal" computers. They were embedded systems. Started with the 4004, and by the time I'd left that company we were using Z-80s.My first "personal" computer was a hand-built unit I made using an 8080, an 8155 PIO chip, 2K of RAM, a 6 digit 7 segment LED display, a hex keypad, and all the associated glue logic you needed back then. Spent about a 100 years wire-wrapping that stuff up on a breadboard. Ugly little rascal - and fragile as a baby bird <grin>Next system was a Heath H-8. Basically a formal production version of what I'd already built, but it gave me a bus to use for expansion and was enclosed in a case that made the thing more robust. I played with that for maybe 6 months before getting an Altair 8800. This was arguably a step down from the H-8, but it had the "standard" S-100 bus for which numerous people were providing aftermarket cards.Not too long after that, Commodore came out with the C-64, and I had to have one. That was a lot more computer than the Altair, with a much smaller footprint. Made the wife happier, as we were living in an apartment that was getting overrun with terminals, etc. <grin>In 1981, IBM came out with the PC, and I've used that design ever since. Started with a Compaq portable, and went forward from there. In the immortal words of the Grateful Dead "Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it's been."

#236 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 10:15 PM

Wonderful to see this thread revived! It's great to see so many of us have been in computers a very long time! ;)
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#237 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 09:07 AM

Well, maybe it wasn't revived, but maybe we can revive it again. What was your first computer? Here's the link to my first computer entry in this topic.After 24 hours this thread was hopping back when Bruno first posted it April 5th 2003:

View PostBruno, on Apr 6 2003, 08:48 PM, said:

This is fun !  Starting this thread really seems to have hit a cord. ( 46 replies, 329 views in 24 hrs )  Don't we all just love to talk about our "toys" and the good old day's ? It's a joy to read all those reactions and a perfect way getting to know the people on this forum.  It's clear to me that Scot managed to bundle an exceptional resource of knowledgable people. Scot: Kudos and thanks to make us all feel at home here on your site.  And thanks to all of you who participated and made this thread such fun to read !  Keep posting your adventures with old/new computers.  Bruno Amsterdam       B)
Let's keep Bruno's thread alive!  B) I bet with so many new users since this topic was started 5 1/2 yrs ago, I bet we could revive it again! Help keep Bruno's topic going!
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#238 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 12:04 PM

Amazing how many single- digit posters are in this thread. This is probably about the most universal topic in the entire  Forums. Very interesting. I noticed that a large number of posters were single digits, i.e. they didn't stick around the Forums very long. A number of them show 1 post- or 2 or 3.I had a chuckle to realize that a lot of folks mark their 'beginnings' in terms of their earliest hand held calculator. B)  Mine would have been the famous Heathkit IC-2001 four function that I soldered together. Then I got a fancy, fancy Kingspoint SC-70 scientific with beaucoup functions on it. My engineering education was on the cusp of the slide rule to calculator changeover, so I learned to use both. We students had a 'benchmark' for calculators. A 'calculator race', as it were. We'd hit the function buttons simultaneously on the calculation

Quote

69!
(sixty nine factorial). Turns out that 70 factorial is 'too large', producing an error display because the exponent exceeds ten to the hundredth power. Some of those older scientific calculators would need several seconds to crunch the numbers. :hysterical:So we engineering students were some of the earliest to produce 'benchmarks'. B) ;)

Edited by Cluttermagnet, 12 October 2008 - 12:15 PM.

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#239 OFFLINE   mlangdn

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 12:17 PM

My first computer was an IBM 486 DX 33mhz with 4 mb of memory and a 250 mb hard drive. It ran Windows 3.11, and I forget the DOS version. It booted to DOS, and then you had to type "win" at the prompt to get 3.11 up and running.It had no cd drive, and no modem, but did have both a 5 1/4 and 3 1/2 floppy drives. Oh yea, it was given to me at work because it was obsolete. I think it was 1992.I bought a cd drive, and an ISA modem, and took it to Staples to get them installed. Cost me 30 bucks, and the tech still could not get the modem to work. I watched the installation and vowed then that never again would I ever spend money on something so simple. I called tech support from the manual for the modem, and had it working in about two minutes.   This thing was called a desktop, and they weren't kidding!  B)  It took up a lot of space and you could use the top for holding lots of stuff. I built my next two computers myself. The first an upgrade to 100mhz using a PNY quick chip that also required a bios flash. That was a bit daunting knowing I could fry the daggone thing!  B)   The second was an 800mhz AMD with 250mb of memory and a 13 gig hard drive. TNT2 video card. I thought I was blazing!Now I have an Acer 4400+ 64x2 with 2 gigs of ram with lots of other goodies. I bought this one just to have a legal copy of windows. I never even use Windows. I run Slackware exclusively anymore, with the always experiment of different distros.

#240 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 12:23 PM

Back in 1985, my mom bought me a Tandy 1000 for like $2500 USD from RadioShack. This thing was a "powerhouse" with all these features:Intel 8086 4.77 MHz Processor  128K Ram  640K MAX2-5.25 floppy drives Tandy 16 color CGA    Video Chip Set25 Watt PowesupplyDeskMate 1.0/MSDOS 2.11No mouse/ Tab InterfaceI had to look up the specs since its been awhile but I wonder if I could run linux on this thing. I think I might buy one off ebay and try it out. It would be fun to play with it anyway. Here is a pic I found off the net. Posted ImagePosted Image         Posted ImagePosted ImageI forgot to list my latest machines. I have detailed specs on all my machines in my profile2 desktop and 2 laptops) but my most powerful is a Quad Core 6700 @ 2.20 ghz overclocked to 2.9ghz, 4gb ram, and a 1.5 TB harddrive. Big difference from back in the day. HeheheThanks

Edited by securitybreach, 16 September 2010 - 11:41 PM.

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#241 OFFLINE   Urmas

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 02:19 PM

View PostCluttermagnet, on Oct 12 2008, 07:04 PM, said:

A 'calculator race', as it were. We'd hit the function buttons simultaneously on the calculation

Quote

69!
(sixty nine factorial).
You too, huh?  B) (I do remember that Sharps were notoriously slow...)

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#242 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 05:34 PM

Back in the early 80s, I had an Commodore SX-64 briefcase computer. It was pretty cool. It had 64K RAM, one 5 1/4" floppy disk drive, a cartridge slot, a 300 Baud modem, and a 5" color monitor.

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In the early 90s, I had a DX-66 Intel 486 PC. It had 8M RAM, a 3.5" floppy, a 500M hard drive and no Internet access. I used it to play games with, mostly.

In 2000, I inherited from my brother a Pentium I 90Mhz system that I would consider my first "modern" system. It had 90M RAM, a 2Gig hard drive, and a 56K modem. It was the first computer that I ever used to access the modern World Wide Web. I had a helluva lot of fun with this little computer. Wish I still had it, actually.

Ah... the memories.

#243 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 06:22 PM

Ah, yes, those were the days ;)What a great variety of 'where we came from' and where we are, eh? Variety is the spice of life!It's amazing to think that in the later 80s I was starting to learn computers, and on a CoCo, and now I have Windows (various ones), Linux (various ones) and my Mac Mini. So many of us are that way now I think. Able to use a wide variety of OSes and hardware.
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#244 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 08:07 PM

I have two mountains yet to climb... Mac OS and BSD. B)

#245 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 09:15 PM

Yes! You'll love them both for sure. :D
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#246 OFFLINE   striker

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 04:39 AM

My first one was a self build pre-historic model Cosmicos build around a CDP-1802. I spent many hours with that one, you literally had to built every piece of it your self from components from the shop, but it was fun to do and afterward really see something work. The first real computer was a Commodore VIC20 with a separated cassette tape drive as storage media. It took ages to load a program from the tapes. Next was a MSX model, these got quite popular over here in Europe. Followed by a dumped IBM with Windows 3.1, then came around a Packard Bell disaster box (don't ask...) with windows 98SE. I then had it with all those crap and started to build myself again, ended up that time with a self build rig with an Athlon XP1600/Epox mainboard, 1gig RAM and windows 2kPro. Nowadays I have several of these machines, the fastest is a machine with P4 2.4GHz and 2gigs of RAM on an Asus main board which I use as a spare machine. My main system nowadays is a laptop with Core2Duo 2GHz and 2gigs RAM.
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#247 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 02:11 PM

View PostCluttermagnet, on Oct 12 2008, 12:04 PM, said:

Turns out that 70 factorial is 'too large', producing an error display because the exponent exceeds ten to the hundredth power. Some of those older scientific calculators would need several seconds to crunch the numbers. :hysterical:So we engineering students were some of the earliest to produce 'benchmarks'. :thumbsdown: :fish:
Windows Calculator says: 70! = 1.1978571669969891796072783721689e+100

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#248 OFFLINE   DarkSerge

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 11:25 PM

My first computer was the family computer - Compaq 386sx, 4 MB RAM, 96 MB HD, Windows 3.10It was eventually replaced with: Pentium II 300 MHz, 64 Mb RAM, 4 GB HD, Windows 95.  Over time we gave it a few upgrades - 60 GB HD and Windows 98My first laptop: 500 MHz AMD-K6-2, 96 MB RAM, 6 GB HD, Windows 98 which I eventually upgraded to : 192 MB RAM, 30 GB HD, Windows 2000.  For a while it served as an experiment subject for installing Linux.  Currently on my network as a shared hard drive.The old 386 still works at is sitting in my closet back at my parent's house.  It smells funky after it spent several years in the basement.  My laptop still sits on the desk next to this computer.  I use its hard drive on my network for additional backup storage.

Edited by DarkSerge, 19 October 2008 - 04:40 AM.

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#249 OFFLINE   RichardKR

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 09:50 PM

Looks like it's been awhile since a post.  But I love reading them.My first computer was a TRS-80 model III  with an Epson MX-80 dot matrix printer.  Had a 300 baud modem and connected to several bulletin boards that you had to join.  Typed in tons of programs from magazines.  Got Info world, PC Mag, Byte, and I don't know how many others.First PC was a Leading Edge.  8mhz 8088 and 10mb hard drive with a CGA color monitor.  Ready for this?  It cost $3,100 in 1984.  That's about 4,000,000,000 in today's dollars :)    Also had a Tandy Daisy Wheel 410 that produce wonderful copy.  I ran a mortgage broker business with this machine.  Amazing how many hours I poured into it.  Built a flat file DB for the business with a program called Nutshell.  Use Leading Edge Word Processor, which was very good.  Super Calc 3 for a spreadsheet.  Then Paradox for a DB.Here's a laugh the access speed of the 10MB HD on this machine was 156ms.  That's about 2 ms slower than a 5.25" floppy disk.Then a 286 with 20 seagate 20mb HD and a 1200 baud modem and windows 3.1Then .....well that's enough.  Today I use a self built E8400 with an ASUS MB and 4GB RAM and a couple of 500GB drives.  Phew!  what a trip.First computer I worked on was analog.  EX-16 for the F-8A Crusader.  First Digital was a Univac 1108 mainframe.  I'm scaring myself, gotta go take some Metamucil or something. hehe

#250 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 10:25 PM

Awesome! Great to see some fellow early computer users!Thanks for bringing this topic back to life! :DWelcome to the forums!
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