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What was your first computer ?

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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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Guest ComputerBob
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.

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

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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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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
reformatted. No text changes.

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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Guest genaldar

First computer I used was an appleII in school. Ah the joys of oregon trail, number munchers, word munchers, paper airplane, lemonade stand and that fishing game. First computer I used outside of school was my buddies parents gateway 2000 (pentium 90). My first computer was a pentium 166 (non mmx). I bought it used in the fall of 98.btw computerbob your video problem may be what version of xfree you chose. Mandrake 9.0 had 3 options, one with experimental 3d. The tnt 2 is most definetly a 3d card. Also most printer problems are because most cheap printers (i.e. the most common printers) are windows only. Most don't even support mac, so linux has an uphill battle. Same thing with modems.second btw, the reason there are 2 different mixers that have to be up is one is a "linux" mixer, the other is a kde mixer. Turn just one up and its like turing up the individual volume in windows, but leaving the master volume down. Just part of the reason linux is so hard to use (same thing in gnome, most window managers only use the "linux" stuff, but the desktop environments (or de) like to feel important so they reproduce most settings).Could be worse, at least there are drivers that ship with distros for your sound card. Mine requires what I would call "hobby" drivers found on sourceforge. Mandrake mentions the website on install, but can't just install the 100kb drivers (obviously that would require another cd, I mean 100kb, thats huge). But at least they mention the site. Redhat, peanut, phat, iceberg, dragon and debian didn't bother even doing that.

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A TI calculator that cost a small fortune and had only 6 functions...
B) I remember taking calculus and trig in college and we were not allowed to use that. Had to use slide rulers because not everyone could afford the calculator. Boy does that bring back memories.

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I'm forgetting the brand, but it was 1980 or so and ran WordStar. Now it's an 800 mhz athlon t-bird built by a repair shop in LA.

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I don't go as far back as some, don't remember a world without Microsoft, but it's been a while... '88 i believe. My first system... whitebox 8086, came with Dos 3.21. Trying to be out front, I had both 5.25 and 720Kb 3.5" floppies and I went all out and got a 10Mb hard drive too. Had a ball with that one. Currently running XP Home on a 1GHx box, 512 Mb Ram, 100 Gb storage. 3 others going back to a P-75 still up and running. I've spent the years between repairing pc's, servers, laptops and printers, and continue to be amazed at the speed at which the technology grows and changes. And to me... the reliability has increased at almost the same rate, although i'm sure a lot of users will disagree.

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Oh, the sorrow of it. My first computer was a TRS-80 model 1. I bought the machine with extended basic (12K bytes!), and an additional 16K of memory (for $300 above sticker). I also had bought RShack's printer, but then I saw it at the only West Coast Computer Faire held in Silicon Valley (the rest were in SF). The printer was a brick sized abomination that only printed what was on the screen and did it on 3 or 4 inch wide heat sensitive silver paper.I cancelled my order for the printer an replaced it with an order for a floppy disk drive. I added the expansion interface, but I can't remember if I did that for the additional memory (you could get your box up to it's max 48K of RAM) or if the floppy drive required it. The expansion box became a major headache. It was connected to the keyboard/CPU unit by a ribbon cable. The ribbon cable attached to both boxes with an edge connector. If you just jiggled the keyboard a little, the ribbon cable would move enough to cause a reboot. I learned to "save early and often".So, why do I say the "sorrow of it" above? Because my first love was a SOL-20 from Processor Technology. Unfortunately, the only way I could afford a SOL-20 was to build a kit. And I am lucky if I can pick a soldering iron up from the correct end.~sigh~I moved from TRSDOS to LDOS, which was an excellent 8-bit OS. Also had C compilers and learned Z-80 assembly language. Never could get the hang of Intel's 8080/8086 assembly language.

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Keuffel & Esser slide rule (bamboo core/etched faux ivory), no-name 4-function LED calculator costing $99, TI programmable calculator, Apple ][+, Apple GS (first mouse), Gateway 386 (DOS 4/Windows 3.0/8 MB RAM), Gateway 486, Gateway P120 (now a 200), Dell PII-450 (now a Celeron 1.2GHz), and my current homebuilt Athlon XP 2100+ based on Asus A7M266. What a ride over three decades! I have a feeling that the next three decades may be more fun than the last three.

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My first real computer was one you’re not likely to have heard of: The BIT-483 by Business Information Technologies. It was made with all 7400-series ICs - many hundreds in a nice rack cabinet. I helped some schools get these to play with when the mfgr went under, and I ended up around 1975 with most of the technical documentation, code, and spare cards. But the device that got me interested in computers was even a bit earlier: a Dura Mach-10 paper-tape-operated Selectric typewriter, logic performed by scores of little cubic relays. One was given to a community group I was running so I taught myself to fix Selectrics and extended the logic functions with scores of additional relays and pounds of solder. The mfgr was going over to cassette storage and the local reps wanted to get the old paper-tape units out of circulation and off maintenance, so they helped me wangle a bunch of them to salvage enough parts to be usable. I remember once coming into a trailer-truckload of paper tape and using all the rolls with the wrong widths as party streamers. I think I still have my old Sol and Xitan computers in the attic, along with a spare tube of 16Kbit RAM chips (that seemed incredibly huge) and dozens of S100 cards. I currently use an old P3-800 with a 10Gb drive, and less often a cute Sony LX920 (with stylus-sensitive screen), but I have a P4-2.53/200Gb/1000Mb system still in a box since Christmas waiting till I get time to set it up. My LAN also has a P4-2.53 system my kid uses, an aging ASUS P2B P2-450 Mhz system I’m planning to make into a backup storage device, and a little SFF P3-500 system I am just starting to use to control a CyberGenie phone system and maybe other dedicated USB devices. I am an occasional experimenter, not an expert of any kind, and mostly familiar with Unix though thus far the home systems are all Windows (about which I know barely enough to find forums such as this).

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Mine was waaaaaayyyy back..... an RCA ELF II!! This one came out as one of the first home computers that didn't require you to flip toggle switches to enter data and programs. It held a whopping 256 BYTES of memory, a hexidecimal keyboard, an LED (red), and two 7-segment readouts. I later added a 4Mg memory board, and got a kit to build a tv output so I could run 'TINY BASIC'. All of this I had to assemble myself, soldering it mind you! I now have 4 computers networked, one with LINUX. I have a 266Mhz, a 500Mhz, an 850Mhz and a 900Mhz, 2 burners, cable DSL, a router, and alot of misc hardware which will either be used, or will decorate my computer room. 25 Years of computers can teach you alot. Has anyone worked with an older? Oh yah, I also have an IBM 5110 computer, 5103 printer and a 5114 8" dual disk drive. (the drive unit is 18" wide, 22" deep, and 28" high!) SNOOPY

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My first computer, my parents got for me when I was 13. It was a 486dx33. it had 4megs of ram, 120mb HD, and dos 5. Haha, I had so much fun running Wolfenstein on it!

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B) I've still got the original Wolfenstein on 5 1/4 floppy, it runs so much better on a 486 DX4 100 than it did on the 486 SX33.Joy

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I didn't think that anyone else ever had a ELF II besides me. I bought mine for Christmas in 1977. I got the one with 256 bytes of memory, hex keypad and display and that was it. Later on I got the I/O card that had a parallel interface and more importantly, the cassette interface. I also added on the 4K memory card. I ran most software in machine language, but did some in the CHIP-8 language and Tiny BASIC. That was a lot of fun, but it took a lot of time soldering everything together. I also used the parallel port to hook up another hex keypad that I made from the first calculator that I ever had (a Wards 4-function, was about $100.00) so we could play games against each other using two controllers. I still have it out in the shed. Maybe I'll set it back up and see if it still works.The first computer I ever got to use was a Harris /7 sytem that was at the local college (Serial number 3 - I think it was the last one made). This was through an Explorer Scout troop in 1975. It had a couple of DecWriters attached to it, if you could get to them. If you couldn't, then it was punch cards. I remember later on, they added a video terminal, but most of the students didn't know how to use it since it didn't have a RETURN key. We figured out how to use it, so most of the time it was all ours to use.The next computer I got was an Apple ][+ in 1980 or 1981. 48K memory, tape storage, no floppy and I used an old B/W TV with an RF modulator for a screen. Later on I finally had enough money for a 5.25" floppy disk drive. 135K unformatted capacity for $625.00. I thought that it was the greatest thing that ever came out, it was so much faster and easier to use than the cassette tapes. Later on I bought a C.Itoh ProWriter dot matrix printer and a parallel card, a second floppy drive, and a 16K memory card to expand it to 64K, A MicroSoft Softcard so I could run CP/M - I had WordStar, MultiPlan, dBase and a ton of other software for it, a Copy II+ card to copy 'copy protected' software, A Super Serial Card, and finally some 3.5" floppy disk drives. A friend of mine actually had a 5MEG hard disk drive for his. This thing was about 14" wide, 12" tall and 24" deep and cost about $2500.00. The whole drive looked like a bunch of 135K floppy drives to the computer. I guess that's an early version of partitioning.I have also owned a Monroe CP/M system (I forget the model number), An Apple Macintosh SE, An Apple //e, a Timex Sinclair 1000, An Apollo DN460 UNIX workstation (dimmed the lights every time it started it up), a NorthStar Advantage, and then came the PC. I've had a 286-16, 486DX2-66-later a 486DX4-100, Cyrix P150+ (That was a mistake), Celeron 300A (OC'd to 450), Athlon 900 and now an Athlon 1700+. Every PC system has been homebuilt with parts from all over the place. I keep ripping old stuff out and replacing it with newer and better.When I go to garage sales, I will usually pick up an old computer if it's cheap. I'd love to find an Apple I for about $25-$100.00 that someone didn't know what it was. Thanks for the thread, it brought back a lot of memories.

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IBM PC Jr.Then the IBM PS2 8550 with a 20MB Hard drive and 10MB of RAM (actually 8192KB on a adapter card and the 2 MB that came on the system)Chris

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My first computer was an all in one Commodore/CBM (Commodore Business Machine) model with an external dual floppy drive bay and tape reader.For fun I put together one of the heath kit machines that was on a board with exposed circuitry and a 20 character display. My first program was hangman that took me about 2 hours to type in for 10 minutes of fun!The consistent thing that I have noticed is the price point for computers has stayed between $1000 - $2000.I bought a 8086 machine for just under $2000 (it was at the high end before the XT's arrived!) and today a great machine will run about the same price!

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