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First Computers

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the thanks-for-the-memories dept.

Hardware 614

theodp writes "You never forget your first love. Or your first computer. Good Morning Silicon Valley readers share fond memories of their first computers, including SuperELFs with 256 bytes of RAM, $99 Timex Sinclairs, 26-pound 'portable' Osbornes, 'high-speed' 300 baud modems, Apple IIs running COBOL, and even a Mattel Aquarius (complete with Microsoft Aquarius-BASIC 1.0!)."

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Everyone remembers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7797910)

their first first post (and their first failure)

My first first post. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7798044)

I'll never forget it. Until then I thought first posting was only something for those "power users", something that could never be acomplished by a mere mortal.

Then one day, I visited Slashdot and there it was: A new story with no comments! I became super nervous and quickly clicked my way through to the reply button. Okay, now I had 20 seconds and absolutely no idea what to write. So I just typed "Heil Hitler and death to the USA!", clicked submit and reloaded the comments page. I had done it! My stupid post throned above all others!

Boy was I proud! From that day on, I was hooked.

The "Home Computer Museum"... (4, Informative)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797912)

...has a list of most of the candidates [] , including the Mattel Aquarius [] .

No TRS-80 pics, though... odd...

The Anti-CoCo conspiracy (5, Funny)

RevMike (632002) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798019)

No TRS-80 pics, though... odd...

I sometime get the feeling that the computer industry is trying to deny that the TRS-80 Color Computer ever even existed.

Re:The Anti-CoCo conspiracy (4, Funny)

telekon (185072) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798090)

My uncle has two of them!! The evidence cannot be silenced!! I will show the world, there WAS a CoCo.

I'm scared. Do you think their assassins are coming now? Go, my friends, find the CoCos. Trust no one. The truth is out there.

Commodore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7797913)


Atari! (4, Informative)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798140)

Everyone remembers Apple II and C64, but does anyone remember Atari 400/800?

I dug this up in my closet recently. Very amusing little book: /

I never had an Atari, but they had neat graphics ability. It was more of a C64/128 competitor than an Apple II competitor. I do remember the 810 disk drives being gawdawful slow, and only holding around 90K per disk. Apple II drives held 140K!

We're fricking' SPOILED now, folks. }:)

Trash-80 (1)

manganese4 (726568) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797916)

Cannot beat those vertical drives where the spindle would fall on disk when powered down!

Re:Trash-80 (1)

lquam (250506) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798012)

I had to save up for a year for my disks, muddling along with my cassette recorder. Boy, wasn't I styling once I got the 64K upgrade and the floppy!

Re:Trash-80 (1)

manganese4 (726568) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798072)

Yeah and I bet the first thing you did was cut a second write protect slot and spin speed hole in the other side of the disk to make it double sided just like those expensive Verbatim disks.

Re:Trash-80 (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7798079)

Boy, wasn't I styling once I got the 64K upgrade and the floppy!

No, you weren't.

The girl who never wanted to go out with you in school

Re:Trash-80 (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798138)

He said:
I had to save up for a year for my disks, muddling along with my cassette recorder. Boy, wasn't I styling once I got the 64K upgrade and the floppy!

Hmm, been down that road. But along the way we got an exabyte stringy floppy which was a high speed tape drive , it blew the cassette away! Also, before epson dot matrix printers ( I still love that sound, thank you Homestar Runner for my weekly dot matrix sound fix), my dad picked up a surplus teletype machine and hacked together a rs-232 interface for it.

Re:Trash-80 (2, Interesting)

Teddy Beartuzzi (727169) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798132)

Ah yes, Junior High, the first computer I ever used. Being the geek, I quickly discoved the programming end of things. It still astounds me to this day that the BASIC interpreter on the TRS-80 had two strings for storing text. A$ and B$. I thougt they were just examples, and I could use C$ or D$. Nope. I remember being flabbergasted that Scott Adams could write whole adventure games with two strings.

I'm sure somewhere Bill Gates was crowing about how two strings ought to be enough for anyone.

First kiss? (5, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797918)

Some remember their first kiss. However, for the 43 year old virgin still living with mother (and who salivates over Galactica remakes), this question will do instead.

Oh yea... (2, Funny)

JawFunk (722169) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797922)

I'll never forget playing Leisure Suit Larry on an orange screen computer, God knows the specs, I was too young. But the PG-13 content kicked ass.

Re:Oh yea... (1)

captaink (589612) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797986)

must have been an XT or 286?

hehe, that game sure was amusing at that age :P

Re:Oh yea... (1)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798118)

lets see we usedto play this on an IBM XT think it was a 286. This was in teh computer lab at school that only had one computer. The screen was green though. It amused me hwo you had to answer these question that only a middle aged american would know in order to start the game.

My first computer ran Linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7797923)

it turned me gay

my first computer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7797925)

was an athlon xp 2600+. no wonder i'm a lame troll. goatse rulZ1f3omv4

Bah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7797934)

Most current slashdotters' first computer was probably a p3 or p4.

Atari /||\ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7797939)

you can keep your Amiga, when STE and Cubase rocks every studio in the land

with a GEM of a desktop

Ti-99 4/a (4, Interesting)

georgeha (43752) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797940)

with Parsec!

I co-oped at a Federal Agency that tried to use these, back in 1987, it was to laugh.

Re:Ti-99 4/a (1)

spotter (5662) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797977)

My families 99/4a still works (beyond that, we have like 3 spare "keyboards").

parsec, munchman, and "advanced basic" (as your basic basic wasn't good enough).

Re:Ti-99 4/a (1, Redundant)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798100)

Let's not forget terminal emulator II (never saw terminal emulator I), which wasn't only required to get a damn modem to work, but was required for true text to speech. Unlike Extended basic where speech was based on a very limited vocabulary. I remember for my spelling I had to use regular basic as my vocabulary words were not in extended basic.

And one of the fastest tape drives of the time period. I don't remember it's baud rate, but I know it was faster to leave programs on friends answering machines then it was to setup a modem to modem transfer.

But needless to say, the TI was a hot little machine for it's time period. It still makes me sad that TI dumped it. I'm sure I still have that P.E. box around here somewhere, purchaced from BEST after the fall of TI price marked down as no bugger would spend that much money on it.

Re:Ti-99 4/a (5, Funny)

kenjib (729640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798047)

I see your Ti-99 4/a and raise you a voice modulator. "Fuelling station ahead" in a lusty female voice... Who needs to remember your first kiss, anyway, when your first computer sounds totally hot?

Re:Ti-99 4/a (1)

telekon (185072) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798051)

TI 99/4A with Speech Synthesizer was the best. That barely comprehensible voice echoes with warm childhood memories... I still have mine. Actually, I have four. I don't know what to do with them, but I can't bring myself to dump them. My first coding ever was in BASIC on those things... 80 lines of code that just made the screen do pretty things, and that I had to retype every time 'cos the thing didn't come standard with any kind of storage... then I got the cassette tape "drive."

*sniff* (5, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797942)

Apple ][+ in 1980. 48K RAM (later upgraded to 64K with a US$99 16K card I bought on a trip to Las Vegas), two 143K floppies, TV with composite in. No cassette, I was a rebel even then :) Oh, bought an Apple Super Serial Card to drive my external, manual 110/300 baud modem (dial, listen for the carrier, flip switch, hang up phone). Oh, I got a printer with it too, an Epson MX80 which was driven by a Grappler card in the Apple. That printer was an absolute battle tank and still works although it's out of use now.

In 83 or 84 or so I got a 10 MB hard drive for the Apple and thought I'd never need more.. how quick we forget. :)

Re:*sniff* (1)

RevMike (632002) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797989)

Oh, I got a printer with it too, an Epson MX80 which was driven by a Grappler card in the Apple. That printer was an absolute battle tank and still works although it's out of use now.

For me, it was an Okidata 182. NEAR LETTER QUALITY!!!

Re:*sniff* (2, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798115)

In The Day I was looking quite seriously at a device which clamped to an IBM Selectric typewriter. Basically it was a box with a load of solenoids which "typed" the data it received from the computer. True letter quality. Heh, thinking about that stuff now is almost embarassing.

Trash-80 anyone? (2, Interesting)

oroshana (588230) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797944)

My first 'puter was a Tandy TRS-80. It had 8 colors! I hooked up a radio-shack tape recorder as a storage device. I wrote a 10k line Tangrams program! And I was 8 years old. Beat that! (Okay, so my dad helped with the program.. but still!)

Re:Trash-80 anyone? (1)

actappan (144541) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798038)

My first was a TRS-80 Model IV Portable - this gigantic sewing machine looking, suitcase sized luggable with 2 5 inch floppy drives and a 800 baud modem. Still sitting in my parents attic last I checked . . . but that was like 3 years ago.

It was horrible (1)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797946)

an 8088 made by "Amstrad" or some company that was doomed. See, when I was a kid, my parents insisted that everything you buy at Costco was an unbeatable deal. It was a choice between the Amstrad POS and the Apple IIgs. We ended up with the PC and regretted it from then on.

It had a non-Windows GUI ("Geoworks" or something like that) and was generally a slow, unresponsive, clunky, piece of crap.

I hated it. It's now sitting in my sister's garage, covered in dust.

Re:It was horrible (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7798000)

Was it the Amstrad PC1512? 5,25" disk drives, EGA-type graphics, AA size batteries under monitor for the real-time clock. Almost PC-compatible, but not quite. Ran GEM and had a fucking ugly mouse with a non-standard connector.

Re:It was horrible (1)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798085)

" Was it the Amstrad PC1512? 5,25" disk drives, EGA-type graphics, AA size batteries under monitor for the real-time clock. Almost PC-compatible, but not quite. Ran GEM and had a fucking ugly mouse with a non-standard connector."

Yes, I do believe that it was it.. the mouse was f-ugly..

Re:It was horrible (1)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798060)

in '88 I think my dad purchased an amstrad 2400 I think. it had an 8088 with 512k of ram and two 5.25" floppies. It had a basic gui type interface very simular with windows 1.0 which came out much later. it could run quite a few games including test drive. I've seen Apple IIe that dont even come close quite honeslty

My first PC (3, Interesting)

Isopropyl (730365) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797949)

Wow, all those oldtimers and their 1970s era computers. We've got a Commodore 64 in the basement, but our first home computer (at the ripe age of six) was an IBM PS/1, with a 386 processor and an 80mb hard drive. It's taken the years rather well, and I still tinker with it. I've put Slakware on it and use it as a journal.

First Wilhelm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7797953)


My First PC (2, Interesting)

mt2mb4me (550507) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797956)

My fist pc was back in 1989, I know, not too old to some of you, it was a HP Vectra ES-12, 12Mhz 286 /w 640k of ram, and a 40MB IDE hard drive, VGA graphics. I'll tell you it was neat to see that they used IDE instead of MFM. We eventually bumped it up to 4 meg of ram, and added a 1x cd-r and 80 meg hard drive. That computer took forever to boot, to count all the way up to 4096 bytes of ram. and windows 2.11.

Re:My First PC (0, Troll)

Doomrat (615771) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797995)

4096 bytes, eh?

Re:My First PC (1)

mt2mb4me (550507) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798080)

yup, i'll tell you, it had lost of games though, and HP PAM (Personal Application manager) really my first computer was a apple //c. nothing like plaing path tatics on a green screen.

Microsoft and Mattel.. (3, Funny)

fanatic (86657) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797962)

now that makes sense...

My first... (4, Interesting)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797965)

... was a Toshiba T-100 with two, count 'em two, 5 1/4" floppy drives, running C/PM on an 8bit Z-80 processor, with a whopping 64k of RAM. It didn't take long for them to discontinue it, since MS-DOS was taking over the world at the time.

I blame that computer for my being a professional developer today. I had to write software if I wanted any, being discontinued, and local shops only carrying DOS and Apple programs.

This line from the article cracked me up...
Next one was a Toshiba laptop, secondhand from my brother, running OS/2. How's that for dating myself? Barely opened Web pages. I remember looking forward to OS/2. Hell, I remember looking forward to the Lisa and __ducking__ to Windows 1.0. Web pages? What were those?

mine was an Apple ][e..... (1)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797968)

and it's still around.... every few years i power it up to play some games with the Mach2 joystick.... . Beachhead, spy vs spy etc... AH the memories! too bad the internal modem burned up many years ago (literally... smokey and melty).

My first computer... (2, Funny)

petesmart (317037) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797971)

A commodore+4, I think (correct me if I'm wrong please), this was released in the states as the vic 20. The plus 4 reffered to the MASSIVE 4Kb of extra RAM, this made it ideal for "Business Applications". It's currently in a loft in Scotland in my mothers house, but still works with the original tape deck and everything!
...Sorry, got carried away.... god I miss her.(the Commodore, not my mother!)

Re:My first computer... (1)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798029)

The VIC-20 was nowhere near a Plus/4. The Plus/4 was closer to a C64. Unless the Plus/4 moniker was the European equivalent.

Re:My first computer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7798076)

You're quite wrong. The Plus/4 is a different beast than the VIC-20. The VIC-20, I believe, had 2.5 Kbytes of RAM, and the Plus/4 had 64. The "4" in Plus/4 referred to the four applications (a primitive office suite, basically) included in ROM. It was never a success.

Re:My first computer... (1)

petesmart (317037) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798139)

"It was never a success"

That really hurt you know...

Timex Sinclair (4, Interesting)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797973)

I know most slashdotters are too young to remember this marvel. First, it had a lovely membrane keyboard. Second, its memory was so low that every time you typed a character the entire screen had to noticably refresh which was really hard to look at. My friends and I were kids at the time and all getting our parents to buy us computers. Well, except for one of us. So, being kids, the rest of us made fun of him because he didn't have a VIC-20 or TI/99-4A like we did. He begged and begged his parents to get him a computer so he wouldn't be the odd man out. They finally relented and bought him ... a Timex Sinclair! Oh boy, if you thought we teased him badly before...


Re:Timex Sinclair (1)

ratell (521728) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798046)

I actually had a sinclair (ordered mail order before the deal with timex to sell it). Ahh, the hours spent trying to get my tape recorder to actually load a program into the .5k of memory. That and trying to pretend it had sound by poking random addresses hoping for feedback that made a tone.

Re:Timex Sinclair (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798092)

My cousin had one of those! If you were actually trying to write any code on it, and got down to below half of the page, each character typed refreshed the screen. It was painful to write on that thing!

You mean ZX-81? (5, Interesting)

Chazmati (214538) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798116)

I loved my ZX-81. It was cooler BEFORE Timex jumped in and put their name on it. I tricked mine out with a memory expansion pack, 300 baud modem, and custom (real keys) keyboard. Wish I'd taken some pictures of it. It's probably across the country in my mom's basement.

Oh, and the speed... it was awful. So I started learning assembly. None of the cool programs were in BASIC; they all looked something like this:

10 REM !@#(*~>8A6$^Q@#&@!(... ETC)
20 CALL 16514

The assembly code was stored in a REMark statement, the first line of the program. The second like would jump into the BASIC program storage area. The reserved words were all tokenized, so 'REM' was just one byte at memory location 16513, and 16514 was the first byte of the comments - your assembly program!

Ah, thanks for the trip down memory lane. Almost forgot about that machine.

ADAM (2, Interesting)

Stingr (701739) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797979)

My first computer was an ADAM. They stopped making it right after I got it so the only programs I ever had for it was a word processor and a Buck Rogers video game, both of which ran off of cassettes.

Ahh that brings back memories.

I used to do my homework on it and I got in trouble because my teacher thought the computer was doing it for me. To this day that still makes me laugh.

Re:ADAM (4, Interesting)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798025)

Ah yes, another blast from the past. This system consisted of a keyboard, a CPU/drive box, and a daisy-wheel printer. And guess where the power switch for the entire system was? On the printer. I shit you not. So, if your printer ever broke down and needed repair (a not-to-uncommon occurance for daisy-wheel printers), you were SOL for however long it took them to fix the problem and mail your printer back to you. You couldn't even play your Buck Rodgers game. Who the hell puts the system power switch on the PRINTER???


Connecticut Leather Company (5, Interesting)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798052)

What else do you expect from a computer made by the Connecticut Leather Company? I kid you not. Go look up that "CoLeCo" means.

Re:ADAM (0)

Stingr (701739) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798064)

I had completely forgotten about that. Man I wish I still had that thing. My parents threw it out years ago. I think it still worked too.

I used to have a laser 128k... (1)

asparagus (29121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797992)

...and man that thing [] was badass.

You just plugged it into a tv and you were up and running. Sort of an early portable. And even cooler, if you didn't have a system disk in it when it started up, you could just start programming in basic. I've still got it somewhere. Damn thing still works. Take that, modern hardware!

10 PRINT "(little brother) SUCKS!!!"
20 GOTO 10

Good times.

Re:I used to have a laser 128k... (1)

drakaan (688386) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798123)

If that had been a C-64, VIC-20, PET, or CBM, I'd have added the following at the beginning:

5 POKE 144,88

Bonus points for anybody who knows why my intro to BASIC teacher hated that command...

For me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7797997)

It was the APF Imagination Machine.

8k of memory. I wrote a cassette basic program that took about a several minutes to load into memory. It was a graphical/musical Christmas card. :-)

Good days (1)

after (669640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7797998)

Ah, the smell of nostalgia.

I can still remember the day when I was running Duke Nukem on some ancient 30 MHz processor - and still being gallous that on of my friends had a Intel Celeron 60 MHz that got around 30 fps in the game (I was getting around 2 fps - but I remarkably still beat the game without any cheat codes (which I later discovered - and ruined my gaming experience))

I don't have any really old computers here, but I "own" a Sun 4 SPARCstation with 110 MHz processor that I will make a web-server once I get a 50-pin SCSI hard drive for it.

Re:Good days (1)

root:DavidOgg (133514) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798125)

There was never a 60 mhz celeron

My first. (1)

Raven42rac (448205) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798002)

Commodore 64 with two 5 1/4 inch floppy drives, and , wait for it, the Commodore 128 cartridge. Man, I thought I was the coolest kid on the block. Blue screen, green screen. Took me an hour to program games in basic that I never got sick of. I still have a book on basic game programming, now I am going to go home and do it. I also remember, and feel free to correct me if I am wrong, a children's science magazine that used to feature a basic game for kids to program in the back. I can not for the life of me recall the title. It may be 3-2-1 Contact but that doesn't sound right, same vein though.

Re:My first. (1)

Raven42rac (448205) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798030)

Specs=1 mhz proc and 8k of RAM.

Commodore 64! (1)

DarkHand (608301) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798009)

Who could forget the good ol' Commodore 64!
I got mine for my fourth birthday, and was making simple basic programs within a few weeks. Had it not been for that little hunk of plastic and silicon, I would probably be working in the automotive industry, my other hobby. Things as small as a birthday gift can change someones life forever!

Re:Commodore 64! (1)

jayft (721670) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798086)

Hours, hours and more hours spent in front of the old C64. Sometimes, once in a while I open up an emulator and play my old favorites, Summer Games, Hardball, or one of the may others that I still have collecting in my basemant. load"*",8,1

Timex.. BAH! ZX-80!! (1)

jkeegan (35099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798011)

I remember my first computer vividly - a Sinclair ZX-80. I bought the upgrade kit to make it into a ZX-81 (which consisted of a new internal chip and a membrane keyboard overlay that had to sit on top of the original, unbelievably making the membrane keyboard even worse.

When I heard that Sinclair was teaming up with Timex to sell the ZX-81 with a new name (and a double the memory - upping it to a whopping 2K) I remember thinking it could make computers more popular.. :)

Don't forget, lots of nostalgia like this is discussed by many in the BBS Documentary [] that's in the works.

Ahh, the good 'ol days.. Imagine a typical slashdot post loading at 300 baud? Eugh..

Tandy (1)

haydenth (588730) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798014)

My first was a 286 Tandy from Radioshack. I used to play Space Quest 1 and Kings Quest 1 on it. I learned DOS using that box. Good times.. We sold it for 5 bucks at a garage sale, and somebody later tried to return it because it wouldn't boot into windows so they thought we ripped them off.

Re:Tandy (1)

the Man in Black (102634) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798117)

But I bet it ran DeskMate [] like nobody's business, didn't it?

I remember keeping a journal in whatever the word processing program in DeskMate was. Printing up banners and such with another one of the programs. Having to switch disks to load up the calendar app.

The DAYS, jack!

Speccy! (1)

Zerbey (15536) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798015)

My first video games device was an Atari 2600. Not really a computer, but I loved it. A few years after I got it my aged cat peed on it and it never worked properly again. :-)

My first real computer was a ZX Spectrum 128 +2B [1], the funky non-standard thing Amstrad put out after they bought Sinclair Research. I still have it, and it still works perfectly!

After that I got a 486-33 PC. I requested an Acorn 3010 (remember those?) for Christmas this year but the asshole salesman talked my parents out of it :( Oh, well!

[1] +2A with the distorted sound problem fixed, says +2B on the underside and is in a black case.

Commodore Vic 20 (3, Interesting)

the Man in Black (102634) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798016)

Coding up adventure games out of my "101 GW-BASIC Adventure Games" (or whatever it was called) whiled away quite a few hours. Had a cartridge slot, and I remember wishing to high heaven that I had the external tape drive for it.

20 GOTO 10

At least I think ';' is the "no hard return" character in GW-BASIC.

Ahhhh, memories.

Things got more interesting when I stepped up to the high power Tandy 1000 from Radio Shack (YEAH, baby!). I still remember upgrading the RAM from 256K to 640K. I thought I was the MAN!

5 1/4" floppy drive. No hard drive. Playing The Bard's Tale I, II, and III (Mangar's Mind Blade RULES ALL), Space Quest I-III, King's Quest I, a handful of Zorks, countless others. All by swapping those 5 1/4" floppies to and fro at several points during the game.

Those were the DAYS, baby! The DAYS!

386DX (1)

fastidious edward (728351) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798017)

20MHz, 10240KB, 40MB HDD, MS DOS 5.0, 14" NEC monitor.

It kicked ass.

It had Word Perfect, Sword of Aragon, Wing Commander and QBASIC. There have been few computers better.

My HP11C (1)

warpSpeed (67927) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798021)

My first real long term girlfriend gave me a HP11C [] . It may not be a _real_ computer, but I have fond memories of it. I kept the calulator, and use it to this day, but the girlfriend dumped me (wow, over 16 years ago). At least I got to keep the calulator, and my wife does not question me about it :-)

ahh yes (1)

tazanator (681948) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798023)

the days when windows wouldn't recognize over 12 of ram and 200 mb of hard drive was more than enuff space. I miss a game on only 2 floppies (easy to back up too..) and the pride of having that 15" monitor. and leet speak was simple talking computer spec's. :sniff: I miss it

old systems? (1)

serfx (655219) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798035)

i can hardly rember my first system, i know it was a PC, 808g 64k ram.. 2 5 1/4 floppys..
but first class 3.0 .. hell i still do typing on it.. with the glorius dot matrix printer..

makes for the fiance wanting to kill me.. soemthing about a collection (3 to 7 on at any time) of early to mid 80's computers networked with tokin ring that don't really do much of any thing i think..
but not bad for a 2-bedroom appt. i do say.

and the glorius 486DX 40Mhz (with turbo) as a firewall/mailserver is the best bet you'll find for $5.00 at a swap meet hands down.

Heathkit and Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7798037)

My very first computer when I was 12 yrs old (even had 8" floppies) and a DEC writer for a printer.

Still have my Apple IIe, wish I kept my old Bell & Howle Black Apple. This system still reads disks from back in 1981 with the hole puncher double sided disk trick. Those write protect labels still do not like to come off easily.

What ever happened to Beagle Bros? Remember those old 1 and 2 line program contests?


IBM-1620 (1)

studerby (160802) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798042)

The "20" was the amount of physical memory, a whopping 20 kilobytes! And those were 6-bit bytes, with one bit used for parity.

Integer math took another bit for sign, and performed operations with decimal arithmetic; binary 00101 + 00101 = 00000 (plus overflow).

Hard to believe you could get a playable 3-d tic-tac-toe in 20k...

My first computers (1)

cluge (114877) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798045)

Ahh my first loves, that PDP 11 [] that was on the other end of the 9600 baud dedicated circuit when I was 10. Then came our first home computer, chicklet keyboards, basic and I got it at Radio Shack - wow - what a stunner, color graphics and everything. Yes my 6809E powered Color computer []

It all went downhill from there - in the room with me now are 3 alpha powered multias. [] Including the First box [] I ever ran Linux on. Now I'm surrounded by obsolete sparq boxes, some old X86s and somewhere around here is a []
dragon 32 I've been thinking of playing with for X10 stuff. Eventually I'll have to get a pdp 11, just so I can say I've come full circle.

AngryPeopleRule []

My first computer was... (1)

PaulK (85154) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798048)

a TRS 80, mod III. I remember playing a flight simulator on that beast. It used periods for the runway.
My father was a DP Manager when I was growing up... I remember visiting the Univac every Saturday morning, and playing startrek. Sorting cards occasionally earned me a buck.
The original definition of PC compatible was whethere a computer could play MS Flight Simulator" 1.0.
We've come a long way.

Apple ][e ! (1)

ellem (147712) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798049)

I loved that thing. I became a man on that computer... so to speak.

My dad, latex gloved and static wrist banded just couldn't push the 8k memory chip in... he was afraid of breaking it. But I needed (_needed_) to play F15. So I unceremoniously shoved him aside and snapped it in with satisfying, manly, click.

The next was an A500... best computer ever. 4096 colors _and_ half brites!

BASIC rules. (1) (20754) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798053)

TRS-80...the old big grey one, 4k with 2k usable. Mine had everything!

My home system now has a color printer, scanner, external storage, modem and network. The only thing my TRS-80 didn't have was networking. I had a 110 baud modem that I ran a 'nighttime only' news bbs on for friends, a 4-color pen-type plotter on 4 inch roll paper, a barcode scanner that required 3 scans for every read for accuracy control, an external cassette drive and a floppy drive. That thing was HOT, man! I upgraded to the white 64k CoCo2 just after they came out and didn't find it necessary to upgrade the modem!

My SWTP 6800 (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798054)

..was more hefty than the one in the article, mine had 24k ram and 8K BASIC on tape (dual cassette interfaces). Never did have money to buy a printer for the thing. I think terminal was vt-52 clone, but not sure since I've worked on so very many vt's in past 22 years.

A Tandy 1000 (1)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798062)

Brought home in October 1985, as an early Christmas present when I was in 7th grade.

128K RAM, single 5.25" floppy, no HD, running DOS 2.11 or so. What a piece of shit that thing was. It wasn't even 100% PC-compatible, it was more like 85-90%. And of course most of the stuff I really wanted to run on it needed that extra 10-15%-- I remember saving up for weeks to buy a copy of F-15 Strike Eagle, only to find out it wouldn't run. Man, was I pissed off that day.

In late 1990 or so I upgraded it with a 640K 3rd-party RAM upgrade and 10MB hard drive on an expansion card. One year later I got a Mac LC as I prepared to start college, and 10 minutes after getting it out of the box I knew I'd be an Apple customer for life.

The Tandy was relegated to the closet, and then I later threw out all but the motherboard and keyboard. I screwed them together and hung the thing on the wall in my office because, hey, it was my first computer.


Super Elfer (1)

t0qer (230538) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798065)

Father bought it as a kit, i was like 5 or 6 at the time, mostly I helped put the keys on the keypad.

For those wondering WTF is a super elf, or what kind of stuff it did, well it could do a lot for the time.

Old man programmed some sort of music synth on it. We also spent hours typing in programs (stuff like that stupid cowbow game) I was too young to understand what was going on internally, I just knew it was the closest thing I had to an atari 2600 at the time.

First computer....1991? (1)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798067)

256K VGA
STAR 9-pin dot-matrix printer
3-1/2" and 5-1/4" floppies
14" CTX SVGA Monitor

$1450? Looking back on it, I think my stepdad got hosed, he bought one for us and one for his other kids. No mouse, no CDROM, no SoundBlaster...I had to add all that crap later on. I guess it got me to to this job today. Later we bought various PackardBell, Dell, Compaq computers, but that first one was just a plain white box.

We played JetFighter, Family Feud, Oregon Trail, some shareware games....Fun times.

And Bill Gates once said... (1)

sameerdesai (654894) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798068)

that 640 KB hard disk would be enough for everyone... Who knows what is going to come up in the future.. quantum computers.. molecular computers... and to remember your first old computer argh... I don't want to... Now Battle Star Galactica won't be too encouraged by this eh?

IBM PC Jr. (1)

Alyeska (611286) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798069)

With a typewriter printer the size of Montana.... Many wasted hours with Basic & Hitchhiker's Guide....

P4 (5, Funny)

WordUpCousin (735088) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798070)

"My first computer is a P4 3.2 GHz, 1 Gig Ram, 2 120 gig HDs, a 20 inch LCD monitor, ATI Radeon 9800 XT and a 8x DVD-R Burner"

If a 10 year old kid said this to me I'd give him a high-five for having a nice computer, and then punch him in the nuts for being spoiled. (Mine was a 8086) =)

Re:P4 (1)

serfx (655219) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798105)

and how!

TRS-80 Color Computer 2 (1)

valkenar (307241) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798084)

Ah, radio shack's great computer. I spent many an hour at age 8 playing Dungeons of Daggorath. Always will have a soft spot in my heart for that computer, as I learned to program (yes, in BASIC) on it.

Re:TRS-80 Color Computer 2 (0)

GerbilSocks (713781) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798112)

I wrote my first BASIC karaoke program on the TRS-80 singing along to Madonna's "Isla Bonita" music video.

Ah the memories... *sniffs

Ohio Scientific 6502 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7798099)

Cassette initially then expansion to a single floppy. Composite video output. 8K memory. Built in Basic. Parallel and serial ports.

My second computer was a Xerox 820 with Z80 and
CPM for $3000. Not much better then the Ohio

No more little metal rf modulator box... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7798102)

Soon kids will be able to plug their computers into the TV again as their display, just like the ol' vic 20 and c64 pioneered in the "before time".

Only now they will be plugging into the DVI port on the 42 inch plasma HDTV set in the living room.

Radio Shack Color Computer (1)

MauMan (252382) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798111)

My CoCo had a glorious 32k of ram and a .87 MHz 6809 processor. With a poke you could copy the rom to ram to reveal another 32k of ram (oooohhh-aaaahhhh) and with another poke you double the CPU speed.

memories (1)

mabu (178417) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798113)

The first computer I actually owned was a TRS-80 Model III. I was quite excited when I learned to program the graphics of this 128x48 display.

TRS-80 (1)

alyandon (163926) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798120)

My first computer was a TRS-80 Model I Level I with a whopping 4k of ram. Good times.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7798126)

One of the earliest computers around was WEIZAC [] (picture here [] ).
Not much to say about it.

Osborne 1 (1)

jvagner (104817) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798128)

...and through the Osborne Users Group I met a friend I've had ever since.

That 300 baud modem was so slick the way it fit into the floppy storage tray. My amber monochrome monitor was so beautiful. I spent all my allowance / grass-cutting money on those 5.25" floppies, and so much time with the hole puncher making them doublesided. What a boon!

My friend had a Kaypro.

Then I migrated to a Northstar Horizon and I discovered ZCPR/3. That was slick. The hard drive in the Northstar would occasionally honk like a train and require a quick smack to set it straight.

Anyone remember "pip"?

IBM PCjr (1)

eples (239989) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798129)

How could they overlook the PCjr?
16 colors, TI 3-voice sound..
Mine even had a v1.0 Microsoft Mouse.

It was even "portable".

Mine was... (1)

Stween (322349) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798133)

... and Atari 520 STe. I still have it, too.

The `enhanced' sound has been dodgy for years unless there's a piece of card placed carefully under the unit (which has suggested to me for a while that there's a slightly dodgy bit of solder in there somewhere).

That said, I've still got it, and it still runs. It's filled to the brim with 4MB RAM, a 2.5" 170MB internal IDE drive (which the unit was never designed for), and an upgraded serial controller to allow for a 56kbps modem to be connected.

Of all the computers I've owned, it's taken the most abuse, and has definately been the most reliable. Two or three years ago it failed once, due to a dead PSU. Fortunately, I found a replacement quickly and cheaply, and brought it back to life :)

Anyone remember the BBC Micro? (1)

dspyder (563303) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798134)

I could look it up, but I guess I'm just more curious if I was the only person who grew up with one. We had one at home in England (my dad has been in the computer biz since the beginning). Our school got one and I had to teach all the teachers how to use it. It was then I realized that there was money to be made doing this stuff! :)


TI-99/4A! (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 10 years ago | (#7798147)

Texas Instrument 99/4A [] was my first computer. My father bought one so I could learn to use a computer except I learned to use it for games. I was into Atari 2600 [] games and arcades (e.g., Pac-Man).

Recently, I finally got TI99/4A to work in MESS emulator. The instructions can be found here [] in case anyone is interested. Some of those games still rule! :)
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