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What Was Your First Computer?

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the you-never-forget-your-first dept.

News 1485

michaelmichael writes "News.com.com is running a special report, asking readers to tell everyone what their first computer was. This was prompted by another article commemorating the 60th anniversary of ENIAC." I started on a trash 80 in like 5th grade. And although I did a lot of programming and games on 8086s, it wasn't until I got a 286 in middle school that I really considered a machine "Mine".

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1485 comments

Commodore 64, baby! (4, Interesting)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705871)


I also did a lot of work on the TRS-80 when I was in junior high (yikes...just dated myself there). I put in a lot of late days and managed to write a few cheesy games (press play on tape :P). But the first computer I actually owned was the Commodore 64 (in bold because it was awesome).

(BTW, don't try to chat on IRC with a 300 baud modem and a 40-character-wide screen. It causes brain damage.)

Re:Commodore 64, baby! (1)

Nurseman (161297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705964)

Commodore 64 and Radio Shack tape deck on my little 9" Back and White TV.
I actually found it about 12 years ago,and ended up giving it to someone geekier than myself.

Re:Commodore 64, baby! (1)

Schnee (743890) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705978)

+1 on the C-64 awesome-ness. But my first was actually the VIC-20. Had it for two weeks before bumping into its limitations. It was replaced by a C-64.

Re:Commodore 64, baby! (1)

LeeItson (943487) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706008)

Ohhh yes....the good ol' 64. My first pc was Commodore 64. My first game....Soccer which used a cartridge. That machine was what got me started on the pcs. I remember playing games like Alice and Wonderland, Below the Root, and then of course the mastery that was Zork.

Re:Commodore 64, baby! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14706038)

> I also did a lot of work on the TRS-80 when I was in junior high (yikes...just dated myself there).

and I'm sure you did then as well.

Re:Commodore 64, baby! (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706041)

I (and my dad) distinctly remember me having a device called a 'Commadore Plus 4', that loaded games on tape very slowly while the screen went funny colours. Could someone in the know confirm whether this really did exist or not? I dunno if it was unique to the UK or something. It's so rare I even seem to have trouble finding info about it on the net. I have a feeling it was a precursor to the C64.

If I'd got a NES would I be working in Pizza Hut? (5, Interesting)

MBAFK (769131) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706052)

My dad wouldn't buy me a console when I was little, he thought you should be able to do more with a computer than just play games so I got a Commodore 64 for Christmas when I was 7. By boxing day I was bored shitless with Rambo and read the manual, after "10 print "Commodore 64 "; 20 goto 10" I was hooked.

Sometimes I wonder what I would be doing now if he had given in and bought me a NES.

Amiga 500+ (5, Insightful)

Use Psychology (873643) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705875)

mine was an Amiga 500+ - ah, those were the days.

Re:Amiga 500+ (1)

an_unknown_soldier (908273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705965)

Mine was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 16k Model that could only do black & white (I think it was branded as Timex in the US). But my mate had a ZX-80 before me. The game of "Pong" consisted of a '>' on the left side of the screen, a '' on the right side and the ball was a '.'. The first one I ever bought myself was an Atari ST 512k Model with 1MB 3.5" FDD about 4 years later. an_unknown_soldier.

Texas Instrument (1)

C-Diddy (755183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705880)

The good ol' TI 99/4a to be precise. It has cartridge basis. Those were the days.

Re:Texas Instrument (1)

portforward (313061) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705991)

Did you have Parsec with the speech synthesizer? I thought I was in hi tech heaven when the computer said "Good shot pilot". I also remember that game "blasto" with the tanks. I wonder if that is on an emulator anywhere.

I also remember trying to program and store my programs on that silly tape that never worked. I really don't miss doing that.

Re:Texas Instrument (1)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706051)

I may have gotten the tape drive to work ONCE. I was 5 and didn't bother reading the instructions. I could save things just fine but I could not figure out the correct arguments for opening files off tape.

Re:Texas Instrument (1)

Kismet (13199) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706030)

Same here. Still have mine too: TI-99/4a with speech synthesizer, casette deck, and expansion unit (so that it can run TI-Logo).

You made me a programmer (5, Interesting)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705887)

My first computer was a Sinclair ZX-81 which I got when I was twelve. Much more deeply than the actual computer I remember the moment when I had first switched it on and typed "print 2+2" on that piece of membrane pretending to be a keyboard ("print" was actually a function key, you couldn't type it letter by letter). I still remember my astonishment when I pressed the "New Line" field and the number "4" appeared in the top left corner of the screen. It was something radically different from a pocket calculator. Or so I felt. Since this moment the fascination of programming has never left me again.

Re:You made me a programmer (1)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705942)

Ever play Mazogs?

I must add that I still have that same ZX-81, and last I checked (3-4 years ago) it was still functional.

Re:You made me a programmer (1)

querencia (625880) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706026)

I had the Timex Sinclair 1000 [oldcomputers.net], which was the North American Version of the ZX-81 [oldcomputers.net]. 2K RAM, 3.25MHz. I would program text adventure games as a crazy long series of if-then-goto statements. At the end of the day, my father would make me turn it off. No permanent storage -- poof, gone. It was awesome.

Re:You made me a programmer (4, Insightful)

Tet (2721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706035)

My first computer was a Sinclair ZX-81

I was depressed by how many of the people in the article listed an IBM PC as their first computer. There was a magic about the early 8-bit micros that captured the imagination, and that was just completely missing on the PC. I, too, was brought up with the joys of wobbly RAM packs, dead flesh keyboards, and progressed up through the C64 and onto the Amiga before finally migrating to a PC compatible in the mid '90s. People that only had access to a PC have no idea about what they were missing.

Mine? (3, Interesting)

overshoot (39700) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705891)

Well, the first that I owned was a SOL-20, but that was only because the prices finally came down to where I could afford one of my own.

Although, that DEC PDP-8 was pretty sweet at the time.

TI-99/4A (2, Funny)

breadlord (827860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705894)

Used to do my FORTRAN homework in BASIC, get it working then translate back into FORTRAN at UIC. Ran upstairs from the basement screaming and danced my mom around in circles when I got the modem working. After many months, I simply neeeded to cross pins 2 & 3 on the serial cable. Yeah, I was a lamo.

first computer (1)

nefus (952656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705896)

I had a battleship gray 16k coco with a chicklet keyboard. One of my first. The coco was a user name for the color computer from radio shack. I miss my my cocos.

Re:first computer (1)

lizzardo (612322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705963)

I got a Kaypro 4 went I went off to college. I programmed on several different computers in High School, but that was the first that was really mine. Still have it, even though I haven't fired it up in about twenty years.

Re:first computer (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705992)

My first was CoCo's little brother... the MC-10. I had it up to 20K RAM with the memory module upgrade. :) Great fun those days.

After that was CoCo 64k, the 128K, hacked one to 512k, ran OS-9, added a hard drive using a PC RLL controller and MFM drive... almost completely useless but fun to play with.

Mac 128K (4, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705899)

Purchased on January 24, 1984, from, of all places, a Dillard's department store in Dallas, TX.

There it is, next to a NeXT Cube and a CHRP box, on the top shelf in my office:

http://das.doit.wisc.edu/nostalgia/CHRP_128K_Cube. jpg [wisc.edu]

Also present are a 20th Anniversary Mac and a PowerBook Duo, with dock:

http://das.doit.wisc.edu/nostalgia/20th_Duo.jpg [wisc.edu]

And over 22 years later, I'm still using Macs. Even found a wife who loves Macs too. ;-)

NEC Z-80 with 32K of RAM! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14705903)

And Microsoft Basic. And no tape drive to store anything, so once you turned it off, your BASIC masterpiece was gone forever. It was a couple years old by the time my dad brought it home from work, but perfect for me at age 5.

Apple IIc (1)

Live_in_Dayton (805960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705904)

The best part about my Apple IIc was that it had a handle to make it seem portable. Unfortunately, the monitor was not attached and was not portable. It seems Apple is better in the design department these days.

Sinclair ZX-81 (1)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705907)

First computer owned.

First computer I've ever operated, don't know, but its interface was a paper terminal, circa 1975.

VIC 20 (2, Insightful)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705909)

VIC 20 was my first, the predecessor to the Commodore 64 (which I also got). We were green with envy for the kids whose parents had gotten them a Commodore 128.

Then... Amiga 500, Amiga 1200, then I got my first PC, an IBM BlueLightning, specifically to play Doom.
Unfortunately all I did on all of those machines was play games. Had I started programming earlier...

Re:VIC 20 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14706060)

how could you have had a vic20 or commodore 64 without programming? It is not possible. I had both and can only recall 5 games on the 64 that were purchased and none on the vic20. Everything else was programmed in (mostly copied from the commodore magazine) and saved to cassette.

First Computer... (1)

nastybastard (918354) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705910)

My first computer was a Commodore 64 with a blazing fast 300 baud modem. Nothing like dialing up a BBS, waiting for the modem to scream in your ear, then pull the phone cord out of the headset and plug it into the back of the modem. Ah, those were the days.

Next up: (0, Offtopic)

famebait (450028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705911)

Watch this space for the exciting followups "what is your favourite movie?" and "what did you have for dinner last night?"

OK, so it was a BBC model B.

Re:Next up: (1)

MadJo (674225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706018)

I had a Japanese takeout meal last night...

Now seriously, my first computer I actually owned was a Commodore Vic-20 (Did some minor programming on it, though didn't delve much into it)
Later came the Philips MSX 2 (only for playing games) and the first actual PC was a 8086 with a CGA-color screen.
Much later that got upgraded to 286, 386 (+ coprocessor 387), 486SX, 486DX4, pentium, pentium 2 and now an Athlon XP.

DEC VT320 dumb terminal (1)

t35t0r (751958) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705912)

which I used to connect to internet services such as archie, veronica, and gopher on a remote VMS system.

First computer (1)

pwnage (856708) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705916)

My first computer was a TRS-80 "Pocket Computer," which was a little gadget the size of a small ruler, about an inch thick, with a two-line, 40-character (?) display. Followed by a Timex Sinclair and then an Apple //, but I can never forget the glee when I typed something that I saw on the display of the TRS-80 pocket ("run") only to have it start beeping and ask me to play a game (forget what the game was). That got me hooked on computers.

Beam me up C64 (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705917)

I had a Commodore 64, it lasted about 2 years before it died. My favourite game was Bruce Lee where you kick ninja butt incessantly.
Also did some BASIC programming with it.

Captain Kirk was a great salesman. He could have sold Valentine's Day cards to a Vulcan.

First computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14705922)

Vic-20, taught myself 6502 assembly on it by poking bytes into memory (did write an assembler eventually though :D). Plus/4 followed, then the mighty Amiga...

Apple ][+ (2, Interesting)

LoadWB (592248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705928)

It was in school, our GATE program had an Apple ][+, and I had a subscription to COMPUTE! Magazine. Later that year my parents bought a TI-99/4A. I want to say this was around 1980/1981, I was about 6. Later that spring I wrote my first video game on the TI.

Laser 128 (Apple IIe clone) (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705933)

Yeah, that was the first computer we had at home. Technically it wasn't mine, but I did spend the most time using it. Later my dad got an Epson Apex (XT clone, /w 20MB hard drive), followed several years later by a family IBM PS/1 (486SX-25, 2MB RAM, 120MB hard disk).

Finally, around the latter half of 7th grade, I got the first machine that was 100% mine:
Custom-built 486DX2-66, 8MB of RAM, 540MB disk
(ran OS/2 2.1, had DOS/Win 3.1, eventually wound up tinkering with Linux and Win95 as they became known/available to me.)

Uh, like what? (0, Offtopic)

Uber Banker (655221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705936)

I started on a trash 80 in like 5th grade.

So it was like 5th grade? Was it 5th grape, or was the submitter abducted by aliens?

But in seriousness, I'm worried about the use of 'like' in such a fashion in colloquial speech. It emits a lack of confidence of the writer, afraid to commit opinions, facts or asertation.

Very similar to saying "You..." when the speaker really means "I...". Try it. Try dropping 'like' and 'you' used in these contexts and see how more confident and clear your thoughts become to the listener.

Would you believe ... (1)

s20451 (410424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705939)

the Timex Sinclair 1000 [oldcomputers.net] was my first. Black and white TV output, no lower-case characters, a membrane keyboard, and a whopping 16 kilobytes of memory made it a wonder that I didn't move to a shack in Montana and foreswear all technology.

It's doubly surprising since my second computer was the ill-fated IBM PCjr [magnaspeed.net] (which, to be fair, was a decent computer once the infamous chicklet keyboard was replaced).

ZX Spectrum (1)

Zerbey (15536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705944)

The first computer I ever used was a BBC Model "B". I spent the next few years lusting after one, but my parents could never afford it. The first computer I ever owned was a ZX Spectrum +2B (the black case without the scewed up sound), complete with weird Amstrad modifications. I hated Amstrad for years afterwards, especially since my first PC was an Amstrad 486SLC, with weird Amstrad crap hardware and no upgradeability.

Now, the first machine I every actually paid for myself was an AMD X5-133 the served me well for 4 years before the motherboard finally gave in.

my first computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14705948)

was a Franklin Ace, apple II clone.
It was given to me by the elemtary school I was attending at the time, someone had donated it and they didn't need it. They were even considerate enough to provide me with pirated copies of all of the software that they had at the time. (mostly terrible 'educational' games)
man I wish I still had that thing.

Coleco Adam (1, Funny)

DanCentury (110562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705949)

I'd used Trash 80's and Apple ][e's in school, but my first computer was sadly the Coleco Adam (Bomb). It lasted, oh, about a week.

Atari 1040ST w/20 MB external hard drive (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705951)

Hell, I even wrote some code using GFA Basic, which wasn't a bad little package, actually.

My first 386 wasn't far behind, though. I recall a friend of mine (who worked with big machines for EDS) saying, "What could you possibly need with an entire 386 at home?"

POO ! P00 ! kekekekeke Poo pOOOO !!! (1)

BisexualPuppy (914772) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705953)

A poo I was using as a counting frame !!!! kekekeke !!!! (ho, and computer are korea you know) (you all shits)

An PC, AMD Athlon 1500+ (1)

DHalcyon (804389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705956)

So I am sorta kinda still young, so what? ;)

... though the first machine I really used was my fathers olb box, some IBM thing running DOS.

First encounters with modems is more interesting. (5, Interesting)

XorNand (517466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705959)

My first computer was a Packard Bell Legend II AT (286), purchased by my father in 1988. The interesting thing is that my parents were absolutely steadfast about not allowing me to have a modem. My father was overly concerned about me calling Sydney Australlia (always Sydney for some reason?) for hours at a time. My solution was to illicitly buy second-hand 2400 bps modems from the kids at school who were, at the time, upgrading to expensive new 14.4kbps ones. And I do say "modems"--I went through three of them after my parents kept discovering them. I would get up at 3am and run a 100 foot telephone cable from our living room to the basement, where I would spend about three hours a night chatting and playing Tradewars 2002 and Legend of the Red Dragon. Always by dialing only local BBSs of course. Kinda funny that 15 years later I would help found a VoIP company, which helps people save on calls to Sydney. ;-)

Vic 20 (4, Insightful)

coldtone (98189) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705961)

Followed by the great Commodore 64. I got my mileage out of that machine!
And then about 8 years later the Amiga 500. Then I decided to slum it with the rest of the world and got a 286.

I really wish they would make a console system that could be programmed out of the box. That's why I'm a programmer today, because I was able to write my own games as a kid. But the kids with the consoles can't program it out of the box. It think it's a real shame.

Acorn Electron (2, Interesting)

seti (74097) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705966)

My first computer was the Acorn Electron, I used to write games on it (including my very own Spaceballs adventure game.. ahem).

Mine was a 8086 (1)

Vivek Jishtu (905067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705967)

I started on a 8086 in school. The first PC I bought was a 80386 :)

Re:Mine was a 8086 (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706027)

Yeah, but was it an 8086 Turbo? 10 Mhz or screaming fun. And yeah, there was a little orange button labeled "Turbo" that kicked the CPU from 4.77 Mhz to 10 Mhz. Oh, and a 10 MB hard drive.

A1200 (4, Interesting)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705969)

The first computer I ever played with was my friend's C64. We also had those at school in the sixth grade computer class. My brother also had an IBM PS2 at about this same time which I also played with.

My first computer, however, that was mine and mine alone, was a Commadore A1200. It had the stock 68020 running at 14 Mhz and 2 megs of RAM. I splurged and spent $600 upgrading it with a expansion board with a 68030 CPU and FPU both running at 50 Mhz! I also got an 8 meg simm to bring the memory up to 10 (the simm was half of the $600). That plus an 80 MB HD meant that I never had to worry about space;-)

Whatever. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14705972)

I started on a trash 80 in like 5th grade.

Like, whatever. That was like, before the word "like" was even invented.

KIM-1 (2, Funny)

Engdy (124179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705976)

My first was a KIM-1 [6502.org]. The level of excitement I experienced playing Hunt the Wumpus has rarely been matched since.

Breadboarded 4004 (1)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705982)


A breadboarded 4004 with gobs of 74xx series support goo to make it act like a computer. Then an IMSAI 8080, with the coolest front panel ever.

--MarkusQ

Sinclair ZX-80 (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705983)

Essentially the same machine as the ZX-81, but it came as a kit. Unlike "building" a PC nowadays, you actually needed to solder all the parts onto an empty PC board. This was the first machine I actually OWNED.

The first machines I did any work on were Commodore PETs and Trash-80s in Junior HS.

1st computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14705993)

TRS-80 at school, while Dad had a portable (suitcase size) Compaq at home, my first machine to program on was an Atari 400 with the integrated keyboard, etc. "Hey, bro, throw me that BASIC cartridge..."

Wow - I feel like a young'un (1)

endrue (927487) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705995)

Mine was a 486 with 33Mhz. I loved the "Turbo" button that allowed me to power down to 8Mhz for running older applications (that way I could play "Red Baron" and not have the plane moving too fast).

oh yes those days... (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | more than 8 years ago | (#14705999)

I remember riding my bike to the local Radio Shack when I about 13 and sitting in the display window loading programs from the cassette drive and learning BASIC. My dad had an *original* IBM PC with 64k ram, TWO 5.25 floppies(!) and that screaming 4.77MHz processor, and of course the 300bps modem to connect to Compuserve...

MY first real machine was a Atari ST, and what a great machine that was...so far ahead of its time, a full-color GUI interface in 1985. I can still remember the buggy BASIC that came with it almost caused my to fail a CE course because the chip simulator I wrote with it kept giving some random result! My prof was a ST fan at that time, and it took an hour in his office for me to prove to him that my code was indeed correct and that there was a bug in the interpreter...

For those TI-99/4A lovers in Chicago... (1)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706003)

...you can still them at work at the Museum of Science and Industry. For all the changes that place has been going through, they've left the west balcony pretty much undisturbed, which means that the physics displays are still running on their original TI-994/As. You can even see them through a clear panel; some are black, some are that strange ash color (did these actually exist for purchase?)

As an added bonus, they're showing the Game On exhibit again (all video games from Spacewar to the present) for a double dose of nostalgia.

A Heathkit H-8 (1)

your_mother_sews_soc (528221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706009)

I was in college and loved computer science. I bought and assembled not only the H-8, a wonderful 8080-based machine, but also the notorious H-19 "terminal" - a real monster of a kit that gave me nothing but troubles. The H-8 was an incredible machine, and still ranks among the best experiences I ever had. It had a nice breadboard board that you could have fun with, and an extension card so you could raise the breadboard card out of the chasis and play with it while your machine was running. I miss those days.

The ORIC-1 (1)

DuSTman31 (578936) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706011)

My first machine was the ORIC-1 [old-computers.com]

I was too young to remember ever not having a computer.. but I still have fond memories of its awkward rubber keys, the way you had to hook it up to the hi-fi to load the programs off a tape, and best of all, it's game of frogger.

Strange that in many ways it's the limitations of such machines that you fondly remember..

I'd wager a bet (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706012)

This is going to be one of the threads with the most unique replies and the least moderation tags... Simply 'cause EVERYONE has an "opinion" about it and nobody if anyone has the same as another poster.

But to keep the few people who don't post but instead mod from bashing me with "offtopic" down into the sewer, my first computer was an Atari 800XL. And I STILL say its graphics was way ahead of anything commodore put into its 64!

. o O (Great. Now you get modded down for flamebaiting...)

Apple //e (1)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706013)

I was so lucky to get it!!! In today's dollars that is like buying your kid a $12,500 computer! Good thing my parents were loaded!

Ultima III / IV / V best games EVAR!!!

Laser 128 (1)

gr0k (113968) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706015)

Laser 128k which was a cheap Apple IIe Compatible ripoff... with an orange and black screen!

teletype terminal (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706019)

The high school connected to some local college with a teletype terminal. We had access to BASIC. I wrote a Conway's game of Life in BASIC for my first program. CRT terminals did not become common until 1975 when 1K RAM memories could store a 5x7 pixel display character set.

TR-S 80 Model II for a "desktop" (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706020)

and my first portable computer was a TRS-80 Pocket Computer 2 with (gasp!) 8K RAM. Did anyone else have one of these?

Ah those were the days--writing BASIC programs in the back of math class. I still remember some of the games I wrote using ASCII characters as the spaceships and how "cool" all my nerdy friends thought it was.

Spectrum (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706023)

Sinclair Spectrum 128K +2 with the built in tape player. I must have spent hundreds of hours glued to Elite or writing Basic programs on that machine. Second was a Sam Coupe.

I was but a child playing on my Apple ][ (1)

tradiuz (926664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706028)

I was using an Apple][ to play lemonade stand, and winning, before I could form complete sentences at 6 months old. When my dad saw that, he gave me that Apple][, and then proceeded to buy an Apple][e for himself.

Owned or operated? (1)

Nick Arnett (39349) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706032)

I *think* the first computer I owned was an NEC PC-8201A... and I still have two of them. I mentioned something about it once at a lunch with Bill Gates, who was all smiles talking about how it had the best implementation of BASIC ever. Later, I asked one of the original MS employees what the deal was about that. He said it was probably the last piece of code that Bill actually worked directly on. I haven't seen Bill for years, but if our paths cross again and I want to make him smile, I guess I know how.

The first computer I ever used was on the top floor of Scaife Hall at Carnegie Tech -- now CMU. It was a mainframe, IBM, if I recall correctly. It was one of the university's five computers at that original center. I was part of a research project to see if kids could use computers, a mystery back then (I was 11). We learned some interactive system and later Algol on it.

TI-99... (1)

scheming daemons (101928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706034)

...with the "extended BASIC" cartridge... and SPRITES! God how I loved the TI-99 sprites. Even made $60 as a 16-year-old by inventing a computer game that I submitted to 99-er magazine. Still have the issue where my game appears in all it's GOTO-laden glory. :)

386sx-16 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14706036)

First computer I owned was a handed down 386sx-16mhz in college. 486s were already out and Pentiums weren't too far behind. It worked for what I needed it for. That's right, I used to for IRCing. I remember dialing up to my university's dial up line, annoying my roommates as I tapped away on my clicky keyboard all night long and running MS-DOS. I even tried to run slackware on it, but I had no idea what I was doing with it. And yes, porn. Hmmm downloading porn after I bought a 14.4 K modem, viewing them with cshow. Those were the days.

my first (1)

freedom_surfer (203272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706043)

The first computer I used and learned on was a TRS-80 with the ram expansion for 64k!

MY first computer was a C-64. Only the best computer of all time! =P

Old HP stuff... (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706045)

An HP 9830 "desktop" computer. It had an integral thermal printer, and the two together weighed about 80 pounds. It had no processor: it was entirely TTL. The screen was a fiber optic display consisting of about 30 9x5 arrays, so it could display one line of text. It had 1K of memory, I believe, and ran a primitive version of BASIC called (informally) Rocky Mountain BASIC, which was an HP standard in the '70's. I think it was released in 1970, and we got ours in 1974, on loan from dad's work. We kept it until the early '80's, when we upgraded to a Series 80 which actually had a DISPLAY and GRAPHICS and stuff. I think the 9830 was the first full-keyboard desktop computer ever produced. It certainly was HP's first.

BBC Acorn Micro (1)

chrispix (624431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706046)

Back in 83 I got a BBC Acorn Micro. Had 2x5-1/4 floppy, My dad got me an adapter for his stero system so I could load tape based games. It ran Basic. I remember having all kinds of games back then. PACMAN, PolePosition, Galaga, Elite, All kinds. Really fun. The word processor came on a PROM that you put into the machine:)

for me (1)

jaywarrietto (720662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706049)

I'm not too old so I can say that my first one was a Gateway 2000 486. All I remember is playing wolfenstein 3d in black and white because it wasn't even a color monitor. After that we upgraded to a Celeron 400mHz system from eMachines. yeah a big jump. but we all loved that old Gateway so much...

My first machine. (1)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706053)

An Atari ST, with the assembler and C compiler that came as part of the Atari development kit. The original machine is long gone (my feckless brother sold it without telling me), but I bought one off of Ebay for nostalgia reasons. It came with Lattice C, which is a pretty decent compiler and even works under the hatari emulator.

IBM 370/168 (1)

McSnarf (676600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706056)

Not mine, of course. The first computer I owned and assembled (years later) was a ZX81 kit. If you were used to 4MB of RAM and MVS , using 1K made you return instantly to the IBM. Sold the kit at a profit and the next box I owned was a home-built 386. Again, many many years later.

Tandy from Radio Shack! (2, Interesting)

ereshiere (945922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706058)

I got a Tandy 1000HX when I was seven or so. 3 1/2" AND 5 1/4" drives! Wow! And DeskMate built-in! Later I received a Tandy 1000RLX, which was my first very own computer. I got a 40 meg HD to play Space Quest 4, the first game I drooled over that required a hard drive... Now those were the days. I still want that DeskMate 3 that came with the RLX; I have dreams about that weird yellow on blue color scheme.

My first.. (1)

techefnet (634210) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706059)

My first computer.. was a family computer, bought on a local auction here in Norway for 3000 NOK. It had Windows 3.11 on it. I believe it was a 486. Then, my first own computer, was a Duron 850 mhz. I believe I paid 8000 NOK for it at QXL.no (auction).

back in the stone age (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706061)

our school got 4 trash 80s when I was in 10th grade.. but the
first I owned was a early edition AppleII w/48K!  And then there
was that dec2060 I 'owned'

Apple ][+ (1)

ralf1 (718128) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706062)

With the grappler for printing those cool asci images. Also had two floppy drives, so I could play Ultima without that annoying "Insert Data Disk" message.

An Atari 800 (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 8 years ago | (#14706063)

My first computer was an Atari 800 with a tape drive. I later got a floppy drive for it and there was much rejoicing. To be fair, I did have to share it with my Dad. My Dad liked to type in programs from Compute! magazine, which was quite annoying when we only had the tape drive, as he would tie the computer up for days typing in a long program and and not saving it. ( I wanted to play Crush, Crumble and Chomp! or Temple of Apshai.)
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