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What was your first computer?

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What was your first computer?

MaryWeilage Editor
TechRepublic members, please tell us about your first computer. We're planning on putting together a Geekend post and gallery on the topic, and we would like to include reader input.

If you have a photo of your first computer that you're willing to share with the community, please email me the photo at mary dot weilage at cbs dot com, and I'll feature it in the gallery.

Thanks in advance,
Mary Weilage
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    boxfiddler Moderator

    was my first computer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tandy_1000#Tandy_1000_HX

    Right down to the printer. No mouse, no joystick. Deskmate Pro for spreadsheet, word processing, and a simple database.

    (edit to add, the HX pictured)

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    Tink!

    Or...apparently...Franklin ACE 2000.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Electronic_Publishers

    I was 5 years old and it was the family computer. My dad taught me how to do simple math calculations on it and I learned how to type using a 5" floppy disk game called MasterType. (When I say "type" I mean real "touch typing". I was typing 60-90 wpm by the time I was in grade school.)

    Ah the memories.

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    Tink!

    http://japan.cnet.com/news/biz/story/0,2000056020,20373125-8,00.htm

    Although I don't remember ours having that much black on it or 2 floppy drives. I just remember a big beige box.

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    OP Gene

    My first computer was a TRS-80, Model 1.
    It used a casette tape drive for storage.
    I wrote a program in micro-basic to balance my check book.

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    ganyssa

    I wasn't old enough to have a checkbook, though, so I wrote programs centered around my Algebra homework. It would have been faster to just do it.

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    arpboy

    I remember this one - my first computer. I had one of the early one's (serial number was around 4,000). 4K RAM, 4K ROM, and the early one's blew their power supply at any voltage spike (ask me how I know this). I remember getting the expansion chassis, then 1, then 2 floppies; the loudest and slowest dot matrix printer known to man, and finally 48K RAM!

    I found a hardware modification in a magazine that allowed lower case - I added it, and it worked great (after you loaded a driver), except my p,g,and y characters didn't descend below the line - they were tall.


    I learned Assembler on that little machine; once I got that figured out, there was actually quite a bit I could do on that machine!

    I remember when LDOS came out - a really elegant operating system for the day. This machine led me to staying with the platform for a long time: the Model 1, Model 3, Model 4, Model 4P -- until I finally jumped to IBM with the Model 1100 (their XT clone - with color CGA graphics!! oooh!!).

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    jmajette

    I bought my TRS-80 Model I on November 21, 1979. In the spring of 1980 I upgraded to 16K RAM and Level II BASIC (the numeric keypad was part of the upgrade). I added the Orchestra 85 sound module in 1981. I wrote a program to automate my personal phone book in BASIC. The program allowed you to enter a name and it would search the cassette tape storage for the results. After nearly 4 years of service, I sold the still-functioning system to a travel agency for $200 in the summer of 1983. Fond memories!

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    santeewelding

    Into things with blinking lights was:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Type.jpg

    I was terrified of the thing.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    That you never learned anything about the error of your ways and continued with these devices trying to understand what made them work right?

    Well I'm here to help you understand how they work it's called Electricity. Like most things in our society it needs electricity to work and without it it's just a piece of useless junk.

    Only good thing with the advent of Silicon Circuity it started using far less electricity than the older multiphase systems used to require. It almost made it economical for the average person to have one in the cost of Electricity to run it. Of course the cost of the Shrink Bills to cure yourself from what the computer did to you is a different story. :^0

    Col 0:-)

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    jonathanwood27

    My First intro to computers was the Sinclair Spectrum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_Spectrum)that my family had.

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    smittyjk

    Kaypro 8088 Dual Floppy with a 14 in monitor. Had Windstar. Upgraded to a Zenith Z-100 with Lotus and Condor. My first laptop was a Zenith 184. Actually comunicated with office with DOS.

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    MaryWeilage Editor

    I thought that we polled members about this topic before, and I just found a discussion that Bill Detwiler started on this topic in 2005. Check out what members told us: http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=5&threadID=179885&start=0.

    [newsletter id=e023 copy=Automatically_sign_up_for_our_Community_Central_newsletter!]

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    NexS

    http://www.tablix.org/~avian/blog/images/blog/20080126t110727-img_4543-m.jpg


    hehe
    But really, I remember the Windows 3.1 OS and Prehistoric Man, and Jazz Jackrabbit, and Wolfenstien.
    It was a 386 of sorts.

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    RufusCat

    These were brilliant machines.
    The CPM operating system was tidier than the early MSDOS and enabled easy machine code writing (8080, Z80) and the hacking of small Utility Programs.
    This was a good entry path to get to know the electronics behind the computing and the mode of operation of CPUs.
    I also built a breadboard machine based on the RCA CDP1802 COSMAC Microprocessor. I may still have it somewhere!

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    CG IT

    and a whopping 1mb of memory [640k plus UMB]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_PC

    the hard drive was retrofitted in ..lol

    the old AT IBM PCs no soft power on..

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    maxwell edison

    It had (if my memory is accurate):

    - 80286 processor.
    - Math coprocessor (an upgrade from standard).
    - 512K RAM (upgrade from the standard 256K).
    - 20 MB hard disk drive.
    - Color EGA graphics card.
    - 14" color monitor.
    - 5-1/4" floppy disk drive.
    - Wide-format (11") dot matrix printer.
    - DOS 2.0
    - DeskMate

    $4,500 in 1987.

    I installed:

    AutoCAD version 2.5
    SMART Word Processor
    Various games

  • +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    was my first computer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tandy_1000#Tandy_1000_HX

    Right down to the printer. No mouse, no joystick. Deskmate Pro for spreadsheet, word processing, and a simple database.

    (edit to add, the HX pictured)

    +
    0 Votes
    Tink!

    Or...apparently...Franklin ACE 2000.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Electronic_Publishers

    I was 5 years old and it was the family computer. My dad taught me how to do simple math calculations on it and I learned how to type using a 5" floppy disk game called MasterType. (When I say "type" I mean real "touch typing". I was typing 60-90 wpm by the time I was in grade school.)

    Ah the memories.

    +
    0 Votes
    Tink!

    http://japan.cnet.com/news/biz/story/0,2000056020,20373125-8,00.htm

    Although I don't remember ours having that much black on it or 2 floppy drives. I just remember a big beige box.

    +
    0 Votes
    OP Gene

    My first computer was a TRS-80, Model 1.
    It used a casette tape drive for storage.
    I wrote a program in micro-basic to balance my check book.

    +
    0 Votes
    ganyssa

    I wasn't old enough to have a checkbook, though, so I wrote programs centered around my Algebra homework. It would have been faster to just do it.

    +
    0 Votes
    arpboy

    I remember this one - my first computer. I had one of the early one's (serial number was around 4,000). 4K RAM, 4K ROM, and the early one's blew their power supply at any voltage spike (ask me how I know this). I remember getting the expansion chassis, then 1, then 2 floppies; the loudest and slowest dot matrix printer known to man, and finally 48K RAM!

    I found a hardware modification in a magazine that allowed lower case - I added it, and it worked great (after you loaded a driver), except my p,g,and y characters didn't descend below the line - they were tall.


    I learned Assembler on that little machine; once I got that figured out, there was actually quite a bit I could do on that machine!

    I remember when LDOS came out - a really elegant operating system for the day. This machine led me to staying with the platform for a long time: the Model 1, Model 3, Model 4, Model 4P -- until I finally jumped to IBM with the Model 1100 (their XT clone - with color CGA graphics!! oooh!!).

    +
    0 Votes
    jmajette

    I bought my TRS-80 Model I on November 21, 1979. In the spring of 1980 I upgraded to 16K RAM and Level II BASIC (the numeric keypad was part of the upgrade). I added the Orchestra 85 sound module in 1981. I wrote a program to automate my personal phone book in BASIC. The program allowed you to enter a name and it would search the cassette tape storage for the results. After nearly 4 years of service, I sold the still-functioning system to a travel agency for $200 in the summer of 1983. Fond memories!

    +
    0 Votes
    santeewelding

    Into things with blinking lights was:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Type.jpg

    I was terrified of the thing.

    +
    0 Votes
    HAL 9000 Moderator

    That you never learned anything about the error of your ways and continued with these devices trying to understand what made them work right?

    Well I'm here to help you understand how they work it's called Electricity. Like most things in our society it needs electricity to work and without it it's just a piece of useless junk.

    Only good thing with the advent of Silicon Circuity it started using far less electricity than the older multiphase systems used to require. It almost made it economical for the average person to have one in the cost of Electricity to run it. Of course the cost of the Shrink Bills to cure yourself from what the computer did to you is a different story. :^0

    Col 0:-)

    +
    0 Votes
    jonathanwood27

    My First intro to computers was the Sinclair Spectrum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_Spectrum)that my family had.

    +
    0 Votes
    smittyjk

    Kaypro 8088 Dual Floppy with a 14 in monitor. Had Windstar. Upgraded to a Zenith Z-100 with Lotus and Condor. My first laptop was a Zenith 184. Actually comunicated with office with DOS.

    +
    0 Votes
    MaryWeilage Editor

    I thought that we polled members about this topic before, and I just found a discussion that Bill Detwiler started on this topic in 2005. Check out what members told us: http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=5&threadID=179885&start=0.

    [newsletter id=e023 copy=Automatically_sign_up_for_our_Community_Central_newsletter!]

    +
    0 Votes
    NexS

    http://www.tablix.org/~avian/blog/images/blog/20080126t110727-img_4543-m.jpg


    hehe
    But really, I remember the Windows 3.1 OS and Prehistoric Man, and Jazz Jackrabbit, and Wolfenstien.
    It was a 386 of sorts.

    +
    0 Votes
    RufusCat

    These were brilliant machines.
    The CPM operating system was tidier than the early MSDOS and enabled easy machine code writing (8080, Z80) and the hacking of small Utility Programs.
    This was a good entry path to get to know the electronics behind the computing and the mode of operation of CPUs.
    I also built a breadboard machine based on the RCA CDP1802 COSMAC Microprocessor. I may still have it somewhere!

    +
    0 Votes
    CG IT

    and a whopping 1mb of memory [640k plus UMB]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_PC

    the hard drive was retrofitted in ..lol

    the old AT IBM PCs no soft power on..

    +
    0 Votes
    maxwell edison

    It had (if my memory is accurate):

    - 80286 processor.
    - Math coprocessor (an upgrade from standard).
    - 512K RAM (upgrade from the standard 256K).
    - 20 MB hard disk drive.
    - Color EGA graphics card.
    - 14" color monitor.
    - 5-1/4" floppy disk drive.
    - Wide-format (11") dot matrix printer.
    - DOS 2.0
    - DeskMate

    $4,500 in 1987.

    I installed:

    AutoCAD version 2.5
    SMART Word Processor
    Various games