General discussion

  • Creator
  • #2180808

    What was your first computer?


    by jasonhiner

    This week’s TechRepublic poll asks, “What was the first computer you owned?

    – Apple/Mac
    – IBM-compatible PC
    – Other”

    Let’s hear the details on your first computer:

    What model was it?
    Where did you buy it?
    How much did it cost?
    What kind of stuff did you do with it?
    How long did you have it?
    What did you eventually replace it with?

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3159952

      first pc

      by it girl

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it? clone
      Where did you buy it? my mum had it built
      How much did it cost? not a clue
      What kind of stuff did you do with it? games, school project, music
      How long did you have it? about 4 years i think
      What did you eventually replace it with? a system i built myself

      • #3159245

        First one didn’t have a harddrive! MS-DOS v1.1 on a Floppy! Wooo!

        by shamusoneil06

        In reply to first pc

        The first computer didn’t have a hard drive and I needed to put the MS-DOS v1.1 GW Basic disk in the 5.25 inch drive to boot the sucker up. Then take it out and put in my application.

        Tandy TL2 Intel-286 8MHz. 640KB of RAM(upgradable to 768KB HAHAHA). 40MB HD(an extra 100 bucks to get 20MB more)

        Yes… those were the days. 馃檪

        • #3159243

          My first had NO drives

          by oldmaven

          In reply to First one didn’t have a harddrive! MS-DOS v1.1 on a Floppy! Wooo!

          The Altair I started with had no drives at all. I built a punched-tape reader from a kit, for programs my friends passed on to me (and for the vital bootstrap program) but relied on several unsatisfactory storage solutions using cassette tape. Then I bought (probably at TCF) a drive for 8″ floppies and an interface board so I could use it. It never worked right, so I took it to the authorized service shop in downtown Manhattan. He plugged the interface board into a computer, and we heard a faint pop, then noticed that most of the ICs on the board (and, as I recall, some of those on his computer) had tiny craters where there active elements had been. Turns out, he’d plugged the board in backward.

          So I kept using cassettes until I traded up (down? sideways?) to my TRS-80, with its single-density 5″ drive. Eventually, I traded up from the Model I to the TRS-80 III and 4P, and splurged on an external hard drive. It cost me $995 and held, I recall, a whole 5 megabytes! I thought I’d NEVER fill it up, and I was right — by the time I’d used up 4 MB I switched to a used Heath/Zenith 386 PC.

        • #3151588

          The Apple II

          by ozziea1

          In reply to My first had NO drives

          I guess I bought it in the mid 70s with two clunky drives and a green screen monitor. I loved it. I could open it and add cards as needed. In time, I upgraded to the II+, the IIe, and finally the GS. That was where Apple and I parted. I never made the jump to the Mac simply because it would not offer me the choice NOT use the graphic interface like the GS allowed me to do. I was used to the command line speed and versatility, or so I thought.

          My first PC was a Zenith portable, hardly a laptop in size or weight, but it served it?s purpose for a while.

        • #3165757

          Another old timer!

          by stan20

          In reply to My first had NO drives

          My first computer was one I designed (at the chip level, not plugging together some one else’s boards) in late 1974 (about the same time the first Altair was being designed). By early 1975 I has it working, with a huge 1k of RAM! Eventually I expanded it to 64k, making it a huge micro computer for its time!

          After I wrote a loader and connected a paper tape reader and punch salvaged from an old Western Union teletype, I wrote a simple monitor program, then a rudimentary real time operating system.

          Fond memories!

        • #3146771

          First I worked on, not owned

          by rhomp20029

          In reply to First one didn’t have a harddrive! MS-DOS v1.1 on a Floppy! Wooo!

          My first one to work on was an IBM 1401 with 4K of storage. We did the payroll for the Pentagon civilians on that sucker back in 1962.

          Now I have a PC with more storage than the big IBM Stretch 7090 computers that the Weather Bureau used and I carry it with one hand. Amazing how times have changed. I actually at one point worked on a computer that used vacuum tubes. Imagine the cooling that one needed.

          I still remember the first PC I even used at all. It was a Tandy TR80 (?). The guy who owned it was trying to decide whether to stay with the Tandy or move to a Commodore or an Amiga. As soon as you bought one in those days it was out of date and you started saving for the next one you would buy. Some things never change. Right now I have a computer with an AMD Athlon 64 xp and now I read that they have the AMD 64 Dual core. At some point I will have to decide just how much computer I really need for what I use it for. Not into gaming so there is probably no need to go any further than I already have but I know I will keep looking anyway. What was that old saying about Big Boy’s Toys?

      • #3159515

        Eagle IIe

        by n6ach

        In reply to first pc

        Z80 64k (2 5 1/4) floppies CPM Machine
        cost way too much
        Stuff, spreadsheet (had one single page sheet that took a half an hour to calculate)
        Kept about 2 years
        replaced with a Tandy 1000 w/ 10 meg hd (10 meg, will never need to add on 馃槈

      • #3161348

        I started on an 8086 machine!

        by wkt37211

        In reply to first pc

        It wasn’t even 100% PC compatable and I often had to run patches to get the DOS programs to work correctly. It was a “High End PC” it even had 2 5.25 disk drives. Later I added a 300 baud modem (baud vs bps another story) and I was hot stuff. Went to college and learned basic on a “Trash 80” TRS 80 from Radio Shack. I guess I am older than dirt!

      • #3165698

        Guess I’m a real old timer too!

        by teeville

        In reply to first pc

        My first PC was an Apple II+ with 4K of Ram. It had no hard drive, no floppy drive, only came with a cassette tape with one program — Lemonade Stand.

        I kicked it up to 48K eventually. It had a green monitor and the display was all caps. The floppy drives I added were one sided 5 1/4″ and held 720K (We thought they were huge).

        Wrote my own programs with Applesoft Basic since there wern’t too many out there. Used “VISICALC” which was the predecessor to Lotus 123.

        They were fun days.

        Eventually worked my way out of Apple and into the Intel/Microsoft world. with a XT 33 mhz.

        I still have the old Apple II+. I’ll use it as an anchor one day.

      • #3144695

        Burroughs 6700

        by oisleach9

        In reply to first pc

        My first computer in college was a mainframe called a Burroughs 6700 it was programmed with a Tektronix green-eyed monitor using CANDE, Command AND Edit.
        After graduating with a Degree in Chem Engr. I bought a Personal Computer an Apple ][ with no hard drive an audio tape to save the text. No floppy was affordable at that time.

    • #3159951

      Tandy 1000 SL

      by ccthompson

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first computer was a Tandy 1000 SL, I bought it from my cousin who upgarded to a newer PC. I did some word processing and played around with installing and re-installing programs.

      THe main thing i did with it was play a game called Police Quest I, that game kicked a$$. Other popular games back then were Kings Quest, Space Quest, ect…. They were all great.

      Mind you, my parents allowed me to buy this beastly Tandy 1000 SL for the purpose of learning how a computer works. I mostly played games, but hey, i was only 12 or so.

      • #3159388


        by noyoki

        In reply to Tandy 1000 SL

        AAAH! Kings Quest was awesome! “Alexander takes a mint.” *Fits of giggles* Was the person that did the voice the same guy that did Worf on Star Trek TNG? (Michael Dorn) They sound soooo similar…

        Hero’s Quest was cool too. “This is a pixel… This is ONLY a pixel!”

        Okay, I’ll shut up now. :p

      • #3159383

        I remember those

        by w2ktechman

        In reply to Tandy 1000 SL

        games AND computers
        My dad had purchased several Tandy systems a long time ago. But, my first computers were
        I dont know if it counts — Super Pong
        Atari 2600
        Texas Instruments personal PC
        then Tandy’s when I visited my dad

    • #3159945


      by maecuff

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My brain.

      What model was it? Unique, highly advanced.

      Where did you buy it? Came with the body.

      How much did it cost? My parents paid for it.

      What kind of stuff did you do with it? Burned up some cells, filled it with nonesense.

      How long did you have it? Still using it.

      What did you eventually replace it with? A wet sponge? I’m not sure, I guess when medical science advances to ‘brain transplants’ I’ll look into a replacement model.

      • #3159893

        I had one of those!

        by charliespencer

        In reply to Other

        The OS became obsolete and won’t run any of these new apps. Also, the drives started crashing on a regular basis and I was losing data. I replaced it with a two unmatched socks and a handful of dryer lint.

        • #3159889

          Good idea!!

          by maecuff

          In reply to I had one of those!

          I have an abundance of dryer lint and unmatched socks. Working out good for you, then?

        • #3159838

          Works great.

          by charliespencer

          In reply to Good idea!!

          I haven’t had any problasdf as as asdf asd;f jaijioz Ssd fmj;s jZ:SD j AP Sfj .

        • #3159815

          Great minds..

          by maecuff

          In reply to Works great.

          You know, I was just saying the SAME thing to my husband the other day..

      • #3159803

        How much memory did it have?

        by jasonhiner

        In reply to Other

        Was the drive floppy or hard?

        • #3159761

          It started out floppy

          by maecuff

          In reply to How much memory did it have?

          But eventually became hard. The model name is Anterior Fontanel.

          The memory started out good, but it starts getting spotty after 40 years of use. Fortunately, it has a ‘selective memory’ feature, which helps me win arguments with my husband.

      • #3146716

        TS 1000

        by frankmv

        In reply to Other

        My first computer was a Timex-Sinclair 1000…that lovable little black wedge that held all of 2K RAM! I got it for $35 at K-Mart and I had a ball with it. The screen was unique in that it was a plastic membrane placed over the CPU, and each key had no less than 5 (yes, five) functions. Its language was Basic, and it came without a monitor (you hooked it up to your TV), disk drive, or printer.

        I immediately bought a 16K RAM expansion module, a tape drive, and a small thermal printer for it. Total outlay for the peripherals, $120+…but I had a computer!

        What was so ironic was that I was working on an IBM System 38 at the time, and I literally tried to construct programs on my TS 1000 that mimiced those I wrote in RPG on the S38…needless to say, I was not too successful – but I had fun trying!

        I later graduated to a Commodore 64, then a 128, and finally a Mac.

        Today…fuhgedabodit…I have several machines, including laptops, across different platforms (XP, Linux, and Mac).

        Ahhh…for the good ol’ days…


        • #3165776

          Sounds like my own background

          by roykendrick

          In reply to TS 1000

          I too started with Sinclair (and still have a Timex version with original box + most of the accessories), graduated to the VIC-20 and a C64 and still have a couple, also a Coleco Adam (the “family computer”), finally several with OS of Windows 3.1,95,98SE and now XP (along with Lindows version of Linux, and an Apple PowerPC. Never used anything from RadioShack. Played with a Pong in the beginning but never owned one.

    • #3159897

      TI 99/4A

      by charliespencer

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      I think my Texas Instruments 99/4A ran me about $900 in 1982. A business professor was an authorized retailer. I did some BASIC programming and ran a few games. The version of Space Invaders is still one of the best. I think I ditched it after about five years when I got a job that allowed me to work on more capable machines. I didn’t replace it immediately, but it’s eventual successor was a Hyundai 486/66 with Windows 3.1.

      I recall when TI was getting out of the PC business and marked the systems down to about $100. Another company was offering fat discounts of several hundred dollars if you traded yin for their new one. People were buying 99/4A’s for $100 and trading them in still in the box.

      • #3159401

        TI 99/4A

        by j sheesley

        In reply to TI 99/4A

        The TI 99/4a was my first computer as well. I was one of the ones who got it at $99 right before TI quit making it. The base machine wasn’t useful for very much. You needed the big expansion box to do any useful work with it.

        I wrote a few BASIC programs for it, but that’s about it. It was too limited. It’s long lost and gone now.

        My first REAL computer was an original Tandy 1000. I still have it and it works great.

      • #3146624

        TI 99/4A

        by dhays

        In reply to TI 99/4A

        Our first was the TI 99/4A , in fact we still have it and my Father-in-law still has two in the box unopened! I ran some basic programs, ran some games, never did spring for the floppy drive unit (as my FIL did), just used the cassette tape interface. We eventually replaced it with a Packard Bell 386SX-16, then with an HP P-90, now with an HP MCPC. Amazing how things have changed over the last twenty years or so. You can now buy a handheld calculator that would run circles around the TI 99/4A, in fact they probably would put the 386 to shame as well!
        We had some of those IBM compatibles with no hard drive at work, some later models with a 10 M hard drive…

      • #3166306

        TI 44a again

        by Anonymous

        In reply to TI 99/4A

        As i recall, I went to a showing of a condominium in Albuquerque, N.M., and in exchange for taking the tour with a half trained blowhard, i got the computer. It was just the consol. I had to hook it up to a tv, add a portable tape deck and type in all my programs in Basic (not even DOS). I recall it had something like 8K of memory built in. I didnt get the expansion box and eventually gave it to a church school after trying to remove some of the words i had put into a game of spy (guess the right letters in a word in so many tries) just to get rid of the thing. I dont recall when that was, but must have been about that time. My next was a 286 with all the bells and whistles, like a monitor, a 20K hard drive, 5 1/4 floppy and some ability to be modified.

    • #3159887


      by jdclyde

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Quickly upgraded to the model II and then the modle III.

      Radio Shack of course! (anyone remember the Superman comic where he breaths in powered kryptonite and so the two kids on their TRS-80’s save the day by making calculations for him? 馃榾 I bet I still have that! )

      What did [b]I[b} do with it? Played chess and king tutts tomb. (remember the charcter based descriptions, and you just had commands move, eat, drop, search….. ?

      The parents were into computers, so that is why we had them. Both were programmers, and I used to get boxes of cool cards to draw on all the time! (keypunch) B-)

      We then upgraded to a 386sx33 and MAN did that scream! (built).
      486 then to the P150. (just found the 486 in the basement the other day!)

      • #3159354

        Me Too!

        by it cowgirl

        In reply to TRS-80

        That was a great experience when I got a TRS-80. Those 8″ floppies were so cool.

      • #3159198

        Mod I, Level 1 or Level 2?

        by deepsand

        In reply to TRS-80

        I bought the Mod I, Levels 1 and 2, used the II, III, IV, 12 and 16, then bought a 4P and a 1000-A, both of which I still use.

        Backgammon on the Mod I was a family favorite.

      • #3146560

        TRS-80 Model I 4k mem

        by inquiredresults

        In reply to TRS-80

        Only had it for three months and took a soldering iron to it. Added Level 2 bios on top of Level 1 with a toggle switch. Added 16k mem(maxed out at the time). Overclocked the processor to 1.2M and doubled the storage speed of the cassette player. Wrote a book keeping program for it and used it for my taxes. Want to trash a computer board today? Touch it with a soldering iron. Next computer?… S100 bus with fortran. You should have seen the hard drive on that!

      • #3156043

        Ahhhh memories

        by dkspivey

        In reply to TRS-80

        Wow! Now this brings back memories. I got my TRS-80 for Christmas when I was 10 or 12. I also received a subscription to a magazine that had code listings for all these great games that you could create with the TRS-80 Color computer or a C-64.

      • #3156626

        Started my hacking career on a TRS-80

        by rayjeff

        In reply to TRS-80

        …in MIDDLE SCHOOL!?!!? Me and a few friends of mine would be in the computer lab alot playing that most wonderful of games, “Lemonande Stand”. We’d be in the lab all the time at recess playing it. I don’t know, for whatever reason, the teacher who was in charge of the computer lab (who would become my 7th grade science teacher) would allow one of my friends to load the programs from the server onto the network to load onto the other computers. I’m assuming that it was a client-server network because there was an TRS-80 that the had the big ass 8.5 floppy drive and all of the programs that would be used by the other TRS-80s would be accessed after the floppy was loaded. Anywoo, because my friend had access to the server and the programs, he load Lemonade Stand for whoever wanted to play it. And I know how, but I picked it up on how he did it and sometimes we would take turns loading games…until I asked the teacher “officially” if I could do it.

        I had my Tandy Color Computer II at the time, but I didn’t have a floppy drive, I had the tape recorder. Needless to say……I have my friend to think for the path I’m on today…kinda reminiscent of Robert Redford & Ben Kingsley in of my favorite movies *ROFL*

        • #2663816

          8.5″ floppy or more of a vinyl record? Yeah, things were huge back then

          by maniacman

          In reply to Started my hacking career on a TRS-80

          I still remember using some of those old 8.5″ inch disks as frisbees when they’d go bad.

      • #3207148

        Mine had a Cassette Player for storage

        by tomapot

        In reply to TRS-80

        I’m not sure what model I had, but there was no hard drive. I’m thinking of digging through my parents basement to dig it out.
        Does anyone remember Dancing Demon?
        We upgraded to an IBM PCjr.

        • #3207040

          Cassette storage

          by oldmaven

          In reply to Mine had a Cassette Player for storage

          Early on, when floppies were exotic and hard drives unthinkable for home budgets, many computer makers offered modem-like analog output for recording on everyday cassette recorders. Formats proliferated, until finally a group of manufacturers agreed to something called the Kansas City Standard.

          There was also at least one cassette portable that had a digital input (serial, I think); presumably it had a A/D converter and put analog signals on the tape. I had one.

      • #2663821

        I rember using those back in HS. We called them the Trash 80 :^0

        by maniacman

        In reply to TRS-80

        That thing was located in the library and had nothing but problems constantly. It also didn’t help when some malicious students were constantly infecting the machine with boot sector viruses.

      • #2663626

        Heck, I used to Sell TRS-80s

        by robo_dev

        In reply to TRS-80

        Til I got fired, but that’s another story…

        • #2663619

          I’m sorry to hear that :-( At least they made good paper weights :^0

          by maniacman

          In reply to Heck, I used to Sell TRS-80s

          That’s about the only good thing that came out of using them.

    • #3159878

      Commodore 128

      by jdmercha

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Cost me about $600, I think. I added an external floppy drive and monitor for another $300 or so. I also had a thermal printer with it. All from Sears. Basically only used it for games but I played a little with basic.

      Eventually I replaced it with an IBM PS/2 486SX, also from Sears, for about $2100.

      • #3157847

        Oh, those were the days….

        by keizan

        In reply to Commodore 128

        Oh, how I miss my Commie 128 馃檪

        You got it from Sears? Let me guess, the thermal printer was an Okidata, right? Had one myself.

        Used the Commie for school work, games, and playing on the BBS’s. Even ran my own BBS on the Commie.

        Every now and then, I pull it out and play with it when I feel nostalgic. Would have been interesting to use the commie on the net, wouldn’t it?

        • #3157323

          The net’s overpowering for them

          by mark miller

          In reply to Oh, those were the days….

          It’s not that they’re incapable, in theory, of running on the net. It’s just that the content on the most simple web pages today would overpower them. I used to run a GIF image converter on my Atari 8-bit. I would download GIFs off the internet (using a Unix account I had at the time) and have this converter program convert them to Koala Pad or RLE format. It was EXTREMELY slow by today’s standards. Watching it run was like watching paint dry. Even small images I’ve seen on web pages are about 64K in size.

          I don’t know how large a TCP/IP stack would be, but I imagine it would take up a good chunk of memory.

          I suppose something like Lynx, the text-only HTML browser, would be feasible on a 128K 8-bit computer, but it would be a spartan experience.

          Some years back I heard a rumor of somebody who had rigged up an Apple II as a web server. It only had enough memory to serve up a single static web page though. Something like that. Not very useful, but a neat project I guess.

          The only “retro” projects I’ve heard of that have had any success creating a decent experience on the Net are on 16-bit computers. And they get better if they’re on 32-bit machines. I’m talking Commodore Amigas or Atari STs.

      • #3157383

        Great Machine!

        by obviator

        In reply to Commodore 128

        i had one too. My first computer. i bought it ’cause it would also run CP/M and i could play with dBase and Wordstar besides running games on it. It cost me about $300 and i bought a tape deck and external drive for it. i had a Star printer for it that’s still in my garage. i ended up selling it to help finance my next box, a Northgate 286 that morphed into a generic 486 box that i still have.
        Things were MUCH simpler then, even though they still managed to confuse the bejeebers out of most folks.

      • #3023661

        C-128 was a big step up for me.

        by k james

        In reply to Commodore 128

        I started on a C-64

    • #3159875

      Pocket Computer Model

      by ed woychowsky

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      RS Pocket Computer Model I with 1.4K.

    • #3159811

      BTW … I wrote a blog post about my first one

      by jasonhiner

      In reply to What was your first computer?

    • #3159779

      The first computer

      by mjd420nova

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first was actually built on a bread board,
      was the 4004 series and was used to collect
      switch position data and level data for a
      continous feed process on a plastic extrusion
      machine. The first PC was an Ohio Scientific
      Super Board II. I used it to run a scrolling
      letters advertising display. I have owned
      every level of processor, from 6502, 8088,
      8086,80286,80386, coproessors and paralell
      processors. Pentium MMX, and finally to
      a P4 at 3.0 GHZ. It’s been a long ride, but
      it has just scratched the real limits and
      much more is to come.

      • #3146851

        Owned versus used.

        by jamesrl

        In reply to The first computer

        I started off in university on a mainframe. One of my work terms,I used Dec terminals and a PDP 8. I used an Apple II clone belonging to a friend quite extensively – my first word processor.

        I also used the first PC and the first Mac (and the first Compaq luggable) when they hit the scene.

        But the first computer I bought with my own money came years later – it was an Apple Macintosh SE. I traded it months later for a Mac II. Shortly thereafter I bought a clone XT box and had two computers for many years. I even had a VGA A/B switch so I could use one monitor for two computers.


    • #3159712

      TI 99/4

      by tonythetiger

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Learned basic (programs saved to cassette tape), played games

      Still have it in a closet somewhere

      IBM PC (1981, still have that too)
      dual floppies, upgraded to 640k ram, NEC v20 CPU, 4 meg ems card, no Hard Drive. I ran a BBS on it for 5 years (everything fit on one floppy, which I unarced (pre-zip) to a ram drive then ran from the ram drive, and updated the floppy at the end of every call.

      • #3205958

        IBM PC and Forums

        by cvcollins

        In reply to TI 99/4

        Gee, remember when back in the days of 300 baurd modems and Compuserve forums. You could read hundreds of responses on any given topic in about an hour. Today I have a Broadband connection and I’m lucky if I can read 50 in that same time with all the other junk that has to be redisplayed on my screen. PROGRESS!

    • #3159706

      XT clone

      by nerdy_gurl

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it? IBM XT clone/CGA display
      Where did you buy it? A friend gave it to me in ’93 after I decided I wanted to learn about computers.
      How much did it cost? Free
      What kind of stuff did you do with it? Word processing and fooling with DOS. I tried to upgrade it, but failed. The new monitor I bought wouldn’t work (connector had too many pins); that’s when I really started tearing the XT apart and learning about hardware and software. Waited more than a year to use the newer monitor with the next upgrade machine…
      How long did you have it? Still have it…display is gone.
      What did you eventually replace it with? A 486DX w/Windows 3.1 that I configured myself from a second-tier vendor. Still have it…thinking lately about trying to boot it up…

      I have never regretted the initial time I spent learning and using DOS. Came in handy soooo many times later…

    • #3159698

      Was my first computer really a computer?

      by jrapoport

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first so-called computer was an Apple II with 16MB of RAM, two external hard drives and a tape recorder by which you played a tape that entered the program into memory. We had a 300 baud modem, and used the Apple to play WIZARDRY as well as get on Bulletin Board sites. We had the Apple for 3 years, and got it from a V.P. of Apple that visited my dad’s electronics business. It was replaced by a IBM clone when those became popular.

    • #3159391

      Apple ][e

      by noyoki

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it? Apple ][e – 2 floppy drives (till my mom smoked one… and I wonder where I get the beta testing skill from…) no modem…

      Where did you buy it? No idea
      How much did it cost? No idea (come on, I was *3* years old when we got the thing!!)

      What kind of stuff did you do with it? games and word processing mostly… I started to try to program a game… Copied the stupid thing out of a book from the library, but there must have been a typo or something, cause it just refused to run…

      How long did you have it? Heh… come on! I [i]still[/i] have it! Still works too

      What did you eventually replace it with? An Intel PC, no idea what the actual specs were, I want to say a 386 or 486 proc… though I do remember it being run on Dos, cause I remember switching to Win 3.1… it was painful…

    • #3159362

      AT&T 6300

      by av .

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first PC was an AT&T 6300. It was an 8086 with 640k of ram. I think it had a 20mg hard drive. It had a 14″ color monitor. It was so cool back then (early 80’s) because all the monitors/crts were black and white, green or gold.

      I had great programs like Wordperfect 4.2/5.0, Harvard Graphics, Dbase, and Q&A. I had some cool games too. Leisure Suit Larry! Battle Chess (one of my favorites back then), Jeopardy, Family Feud.

      At the time, I worked for a college, did a little consulting and used the PC for that, and for playing games. It cost me $1200, refurbished. I had it for about 4 years and passed it on to someone that just needed it for wordprocessing.

      I replaced it with an IBM PS2.

      • #3159240

        Battle Chess !!! You had that too?

        by dawgit

        In reply to AT&T 6300

        I loved that game. I wish I could find it now. There has never been anything like it. Do you still have it?

        • #3159062

          I still have it

          by av .

          In reply to Battle Chess !!! You had that too?

          I haven’t played it in a long long time, but I’m sure it still works. I’ll send it to you if you want.

        • #3157868

          Battle Chess

          by doug m.

          In reply to I still have it

          By golly I think I still have a copy of that somewhere…man that was cool back in the day!

        • #2663759

          I have a copy of Chessmaster, but yeah battlechess was a hoot

          by maniacman

          In reply to Battle Chess !!! You had that too?

          It was more fun to watch the chess pieces killing each other than to actually play chess.

      • #3144488

        AT&T 6300 Plus (first touched TSR 80 Model 2

        by wolfendbd

        In reply to AT&T 6300

        It had TWO High Density Floppies, no hard drive, it had 1 Meg memory and that above 640 KB was a pain to use. I had the CAD/CADM high desity Black and White monitor.

        I got the AT&T dot pin matrix printer too. High Impact but lasted next door to forever! I am still on my replacement printer an HP laserJet 6L!! (( Slow to upgrade? had way more computers than printers. ))

        I had Battle chess back then too.

        2nd computer was a self built 80486 machine and I WISH it had the dirty bit for memory refresh like the 80586. I STOPPED writing assembler code with this machine.

        First machine I ever touched and programmed on in High School was a TSR 80 Model 2.


    • #3159356

      Atari 8-bit

      by mark miller

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Ah, Jason. You are a man after my own heart.

      What model was it?

      An Atari 130XE with a MOS 6502 CPU, running at 1.8 Mhz and 128K RAM (, and a model 1050 5-1/4″ disk drive, which stored about 127K of data on one side of a disk.

      My mom got it for me, using some of her money, plus what I had saved up for it, around the time I graduated from high school.

      I had used other models of Atari 8-bit before this one at my local library for years, since it took a while for me to save enough money (as a teenager) to buy one.

      One thing that got me about the 8-bit technology is that the disk drives were always about the same size as the computers themselves! The Apple II being the exception.

      Where did you buy it?

      From a local, independently owned and operated Atari store (it sold both video game systems and computers).

      How much did it cost?

      The earlier models (Atari 400 & 800) cost about $500-$800 each. By the time the 130XE came out, the price had come down to about $180, I think. The disk drive I got with it cost as much as the computer, or more, as I remember.

      What kind of stuff did you do with it?

      I was an avid subscriber to Compute! Magazine. It had type-in programs for applications, games, and utilities. It was a great software hobbyist magazine. They came out with a new issue each month. Every month I’d find programs I liked and I’d type them in to my Atari. The BASIC programs they published were a great way to get me comfortable with programming. They published machine language programs too, which were not instructive at all. You just typed numbers in all day. I wish they had used assembly. I had been doing this long before I bought my computer. This was one way I built up my technical skills. I also wrote a few of my own programs (I did my most prolific programming on Apple IIs they had at school).

      I got a word processor for it and used it to write papers for college. I got a P:R: Connection from ICD and hooked up a Panasonic dot matrix printer to it, and an Atari 1200 baud modem (don’t remember the model). Eventually I upgraded it to a 2400 baud model. And of course I played games on it. My favorites were Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus from Lucasfilm Games, The Great American Road Race (from Activision I think), and The Halley Project (from Mindscape I think). The Halley Project was cool because it was kind of like a flight simulator in space. They modeled the size, distance, and motion of the planets accurately. They had a hyperspace feature in the game, otherwise it would’ve literally taken YEARS to go from one planet to the other! The planets were totally featureless (what do you expect?), but they were 3D objects in the game. They even had shadows.

      While in college I became resourceful. I was a computer science major and I wanted to access the computer science Dept’s systems to do my work from my dorm room. I needed terminal emulation. By searching on the internet via. newsgroups and FTP (specifically Atari Archive at the University of Michigan), I found an 80-column VT-100 emulator, “VT-10-Squared”, that ran in Graphics Mode 8. Fortunately I had a black-and-white TV for my display (a monochrome monitor would’ve been better I suppose), or else looking at the text onscreen would’ve been impossible. What I remember is I had to go through a sequence. I had to first load an RS-232 handler (essentially a device driver), and then load the VT-100 emulator. It worked! I also got a commercial VT-52 emulator, “Chameleon”, that gave me X-modem binary transfer capability so I could download binary files from Unix to my computer, or vice-versa. I used my connection to the school’s Unix systems to send/receive e-mail and read/post news on the “text internet”. I’ve been on the internet in one way or another since 1989. I didn’t hear about the “world wide web” and “browsers” until about 1995/96.

      Typically I used the extra RAM (the higher 64K of memory) as a RAMdisk.

      Once I learned C in college, I thought it would be neat to try programming in it on my 8-bit. I found CC8, a fairly complete C compiler on Atari Archive, and tinkered with it. I used MyDOS with it so I could set up subdirectories on my compiler disk (there were a lot of files involved), and I used a RAMdisk to house some of the compiler/linker tools, since they loaded slowly from physical disk. Plus I kept my source code on a separate disk, and disk swapping was a pain. Once I got it set up it was a joy. I wrote a series about my experience in Atari Classics magazine.

      I also undertook writing the documentation for CC65, an open source C cross-compiler for the Atari 8-bit written by John Dunning. Last I checked CC65 along with my documentation is still on Atari Archive.

      How long did you have it?

      I still have it. No joke.

      What did you eventually replace it with?

      An Atari Mega STe…of course. 馃檪 I got it in 1991. My memory is fuzzy, but it cost me around $1,200-$1,400 w/ monitor. I got it from a small Atari/PC dealer called Run PC. They’re still around.

      It had a Motorola 68000 CPU, running at a switchable rate of 8 or 16 Mhz, 2 MB RAM, and a built-in 3-1/2″ MS-DOS-format-compatible floppy drive that stored 720K per disk. And I got a color monitor. It ran on TOS 2.06 (the name of the operating system was TOS, or “The Operating System”. Original, huh?) burned into 256K of ROM. In actuality what Atari called TOS was CP/M 68k from DRI. It also used the GEM GUI from DRI. Ataris were using GEM long after it died on the PC.

      I eventually upgraded it to 4 MB RAM and a 40 MB SCSI hard disk. I used it for word processing and terminal emulation. I brought over the 2400 baud modem and the dot matrix printer from my 8-bit. Eventually I upgraded the modem to a 14.4Kbps model. The graphics/sound demos for it were pretty cool for its day. The most exciting thing I did with it was load MiNT on it (the name stood for “MiNT is Not Tos”), an open source pre-emptive multi-tasking OS-9-like adjunct kernel to TOS (quite a mouthful). I did some C programming and data processing on that using GNU tools.

      I didn’t get my first PC until 1996. It was an old, used 33 Mhz 386DX with 4 MB of RAM. I expanded it to 8 MB. It had DOS and Windows 3.11 on it. I brought over the 14.4Kbps modem from my STe, installed a RS-232 serial card, and installed Trumpet and Netscape on it. I signed up with an ISP and I finally got the “world wide web” experience on my home computer. It was pretty darn slow going though. I continued using my STe until 1997. I still have it…and the 386, though I hardly use the 386 anymore.

    • #3159334

      My first computer

      by jellimonsta

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My First computer went as follows;

      What model was it? Commodore Plus 4 (circa. 1984)
      Where did you buy it? Got it for Christmas from parents.
      How much did it cost? Probably around $350 (was in UK)
      What kind of stuff did you do with it? Played games and some programming in basic.
      How long did you have it? Had it for around 2 years.
      What did you eventually replace it with? Parents brought me an Amstrad Schnieder 128K for Christmas 2 years later.

    • #3159320

      Commodore C64

      by pennatomcat

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      I used it for games, BBS’s, spreadsheets, and word processing. I had 2 floppy drives, a ram drive, and a color monitor. I replaced it with a screaming Packard-Bell 286.

      • #3159282

        C64 also

        by the ref

        In reply to Commodore C64

        It was a great computer, with a massive 64K of ram.

      • #3165694

        Yeah, Me Too…

        by armandocanales

        In reply to Commodore C64

        Had 1 Floppy, & a 300 Baud Modem. Around ’83/’84? Had some games but used mostly to type in Basic & Assembler. Used to log into Texas A&M’s PDP/11? to run Fortran homework from home at 3am then pick up output on the way to lab. Replaced w/C=128, then Amiga 500. Good memories…


      • #3023660

        Me too.

        by k james

        In reply to Commodore C64

        Glad a few others can remember these. I feel so old 馃檪

    • #3159310

      late owner, quick learner

      by ozzylogic

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      – IBM-compatible PC

      What model was it?
      Unbranded,Pentium 3,866 Mhz.

      Where did you buy it?
      UAE, some computer store

      How much did it cost?
      AED 1700 = 461 $

      What kind of stuff did you do with it?
      Watch movies, college project work, read eBooks, play games, listen to music, evaluate software, write articles/reviews, email…

      How long did you have it?
      Bought it in October 2001.Still do,though I’ve upgraded it extensively

      What did you eventually replace it with?
      Haven’t replaced it yet, though I use my office laptop too.

    • #3159306

      Depends on what you call a computer

      by deadly ernest

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      The first computers I interacted with were mainframes and I had to calaculate the data, then punch the cards to be fed into the thing. Then go through the reports and check the output, make adjustements and do again. That was in the 1970’s.

      Shortly after that I bought one of the first Commodore 64s sold in Sydney, Australia.

      I also used a Superbrain – no hard drive or tape drive everything went onto 5.25″ floppies and it had a wopping 64 KB of RAM.

      In the 1980’s my work had a Apple IIe and an IBM that I worked on. I bought an IBM clone for my own use when MS DOS was first made available here.

      Since then I have used a range of systems at work, with mostly Intel PCs at home, had a couple of AMDs but they went west shortly after warranty ran out.

      Most of the time I used the Commodore for games and simple word processing. Much of my home computer use until 1996 was games, word processing and spreadsheets with a bit of database work. Since I started accessing the Internet in 1996 it has had an ever growing usage of my home PC time, but games is still a biggie.

      Funnily I still have 4 of the 5 computers the computers that I bought since the seperation in Feb 1994, those before vanished when my ex walked out while I was away at a conference – two conferences of a weeks duration per year I have to go to and I come home to a totally empty house. :_|

      Don’t remember how much most of them cost, but the first one I bought after the seperation was at a really discounted rate of A$3,600 for a 486 50 mhz with 32 MB RAM and a 1 GB SCSI hard drive with software – 15 ” monitor.

      All my personal gear except the Commodore were plain Janes – vanilla jobs. Three were replaced as my son wanted a computer to run his favourite games when he was with me, if mine was sufficient I updated mine and he used my old one. One was replaced as the AMD chip blew. The last was bought to try the 64 bit CPUs – big mistake.

    • #3159295

      Duplicate post :(

      by jardinier

      In reply to What was your first computer?


    • #3159294

      You will love this

      by jardinier

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      At a garage sale I purchased, out of curiosity, an early IBM “Personal” Computer which looked like and weighed about as much as a mooring buoy.

      The vendor supplied me with the original invoice. These figures are all in $AU so reduce to about 75 per cent to get $US.

      7th December, 1987

      IBM PS/2 MODEL 80-041 ………… $17,102
      IBM 1 MB RAM EXPANSION …………. $872
      IBM PS/2 MODEL 50-021 ………….. $3,862
      IBM 8503 MONOCHROME DISPLAY $1,101
      IBM DOS VERSION 3.3 ………………. $184
      IBM BASEBAND ADAPTER/A …….. $2,127
      IBM LAN PROGRAM VERSION 1.2 … $286
      IBM PS/2 5.25 IN DISKETTE DRIVE $505
      IBM PS/2 5.25 IN DRIVE ATTACH …. $85

      TOTAL (EX-TAX) …………………. $26,191

      Allowing for two decades of inflation, you probably could have bought at the very least a Mercedes Benz with this money.

      • #3159616

        Conversion Rate

        by henkenm9

        In reply to You will love this

        Jardinier uses the present exchange rate.

        In about 1980 you received about $US1.80 for $A1.00.

        American and UK magazines were dirt cheap.

        The Australian dollar nosedived after an ex Prime Minister gave us the depression we had to have.

        He is now an ‘elder Statesman’. lolol

    • #3159287

      Kaypro II

      by jardinier

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Twin 5.25 in floppy drive, green-on-black CRT.

      The fully-featured word-processing progam used about 32 kb. Unfortunately the monitor died, and I had to “upgrade” to Windows 3.1 on IBM Clone.

      I found this interesting article about the Kaypro II on the net:

      • #3159242

        Kaypro II, Meet Kaypro 10. Now get on speaking terms!

        by oldmaven

        In reply to Kaypro II

        Toward the end of my TRS-80 days, I somehow acquired a Kaypro 10, which I didn’t use much. Then I got engaged to a woman who had a Kaypro II, was running a small PR agency from home, and was about to hire an assistant. I brought the 10 to her so each of them would have a computer (strictly sneakernet, of course).

        But there was a problem: Word-processing files recorded to floppy on the 10 were invisible to the II; files recorded on the II were visible to the 10’s operating system, but not its word processor. I spent an evening working on the problem, asked all my Kaypro-owning friends, and got no answers.

        Finally, after a few weeks of poring over both machine’s manuals, I found the problem: user levels.

        CP/M, probably to keep different users’ files from getting mixed up, had 10 “user levels”; Files could be transferred from level to level, but the only files you could access were the ones on the level you were currently using. The II, by default, put all its files on UL 1. But the 10 had a different UL for each program–the word processor was on level 6 or thereabouts.. So the only way to transfer word processing files between computers was to move the files to the level where the other computer did its word processing.

        • #3159165

          Learning Kaypro II

          by jardinier

          In reply to Kaypro II, Meet Kaypro 10. Now get on speaking terms!

          Mine came with a complete of manuals and software, so it was relatively easy to learn how to use my first ever computer.

          I don’t need to tell you how efficient and comprehensive the word processing program was. Using just keyboard commands, I could work through and edit a document much faster than is usually possible with a mouse.

          I understand there was at one time some software that enabled conversion from CP/M to DOS, but I never located it.

          Actually I still have a Kaypro II which I bought at a garage sale, but have never bothered to connect it up. A few years ago I reluctantly chucked out all my Kaypro manuals, software and documents.

      • #2663627

        I found one of these at the City Dump in 1979 and took it home

        by robo_dev

        In reply to Kaypro II

        Unfortunately “drive 0” was bad, so it did nothing but spew errors, so it went back to the dump

    • #3159275

      first computer

      by colnorth

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      my first computer was a atari 800xl,,cost about 250
      and i played games,,i had it for about 5 years and then brought a packard bell computer,,,then replace that with a emachine,,replace that with hp’s computer

    • #3159269

      My first Computer.

      by michael_orton9

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      1/ Amstrad transportable, lcd screen, 300 baud modem, two floppies, like a keyboard hinged along long side.
      2/ Replaced with a some Italian firm, well known but can’t remember. Ran at 10 Mhz, CGA screen 20 meg HD, DOS, came with “First Choice” office suite.Still have it in the loft. The keyboard was integral.
      3/ Omni Digital 486 DX-33 80 meg HD win 3.1
      later installed a massive 500 meg HD.Added CD-rom.
      It cost ?999.
      4/ Local built P1 MMX 200 meg 64 meg ram, win 95.
      This cost ?850.
      5/ Local built 2 ghz P-IV triple boot 98se/XP/SuSE
      8.1 HDs in caddies, DVD Burner. Cost ?450, + ?40 for Gateway VX1110 21″ monitor, which I think must have been a counterweight on a Jumbo-jet.

      At Work Amstrad 20 Meg HD with gem,(1987) then IBM Ps/2 with network, windows 3.1, Paradox db, db4, etc.(1990)
      The IBMs cost the firm almost ?1000 more than the more powerful home computer made by Omni Digital.

      Now the home Pcs are built from scrap bits and new bits and get rebuilt quite often.
      Work had a policy, IBM and Microsoft only, then you wouldn’t have any problems!
      Of course the IBM Pcs were Microchannel, which was supposed to mean that they were blindingly fast, almost magic. In the real world, they were just expensive and the add-ons cost a fourtune and IBM soon give up in microchannel.Their performance wasn’t up to much either.

      But my first mainframe was in 1960 STRETCH, a whole building of it, all 93 K yes K, ram, of which 86k were available to user. I used Firtran-2.
      Then an IBM 360 using hacked Cobol programs, blatently altered as I had no intention of writing anything from scratch.
      I also used an old IBM that had all of 8 k of memory and IBM punched cards.

    • #3159263

      My 8-bit dinosaur

      by oldmaven

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Back in the early ’70s, when I was at Popular Mechanics, I did a piece on a guy named Mitch Bogdanowicz, who had a computer at home — an old PDP, using a Teletype as a terminal, with punched paper tape for storage. Shortly thereafter, Popular Electronics ran its cover story on the Altair 8800, and i resolved to do a sotry on that. I went down to MITS (and met their software dept., a young fella named Gates), I wound up writing and editing a couple of pieces (which got me fired for being so crazy as to think home ocmputers would come–a month before the PET was announced) and getting an Altair 8800b. For my troubles getting that up, see “You’ve come a long way, Altair,” at
      I later got a second S100-bus computer (an ithaca Intersystems). The main thing I did with the Altair was to try and teach myself programming by decoding the ROM-based operating system (I think it was by Roger Amidon), and I eventually brought my system up to a whopping 56K or RAM and ROM, pretty close to maxing out its 64K capacity. Bought a cantankerous daisy-wheel printer, too. But I never got anything useful done until I switched to a TRS-80 Model I eventually sold the Ithaca and gave the Altair to the Smithsonian.

    • #3159251

      NEC “TreK”

      by bentremblay

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      In the era of Vic-20, TI-99, and C=64 I bought a pair of these … they were orphaned and I got a whole box of peripherals thrown in. Including a floppy drive! 16K on board with 32K plug-in … Z-80 at 1.2MHz … quite the box.

      Built in basic, a very programmable sound chip … the manual even included a listing for an assembler so I got into machine language.

      Bottom line: Commodore had a thousand times more magazines and support, so the 64 trumped it bigtime. But what I’d learned got me ready to work with the 6502, so it was certainly a good experience.

    • #3159244


      by paqofu

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Remember the machines you didn’t have to worry about!? They had the opsys built in!
      My first machine was a Commodore 16, that’s 16 kb of memory. Paid about $79 for it. Upgraded to the C64 a couple of months later.
      I programmed and wrote games with a friend of mine. Aah the good ole’ days…

      • #3159541

        64K of RAW POWER

        by thisisfutile

        In reply to Commodore!

        Remember Compute’s Gazette?

        Remember NOT having a backup device?

        Remember typing in hundreds of lines of code from Compute’s Gazette only to have the power go out. AAHH, I did that several times before my dataset backup drive (cassette backup). That thing was painfully slow (I had a flight simulator that took an hour to load)

        LOL, the good old days are sounding not so good…AH, but then I got the 1541 floppy drive. THAT’S when I started programming and found the REAL power of the C-64. 8 simultaneous sprites…16 if you learned how to rotate them, 3 sound chips, and 64 KILOBYTES of RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY… *Insert barbaric Yalp here*. I could type AND save. Then I could load, type, and save again. I programmed so much, I used to wake up in the middle of the night with code running through my head on how to solve my dilemma and I’d be up for another 3 or 4 hours at my monitor (I mean, TV) entering and troubleshooting my “dream” code…most of the time it worked. In fact, I still do that…just not as excited to get out of bed anymore! LOL.

        Thanks for the post, and the walk down memory lane!

      • #3161255

        UNIVAC 1050-II

        by suavebob0

        In reply to Commodore!

        I used a UNIVAC 1050-II for 3 1/2 years (1967-1970) and got a chance to go to the back room to see the mainframes and learn how to use the card puncher and get on the internet befor it was even DARPANET while I was in the Air Force. In the 80’s I got to use the IBM PC-XT and the VAX VT-100. The first computer I bought was the HP 75D and got a 75C as a backup. They lasted 10 years. My Amiga 1000 lasted about 10 years. I still have it but it hasn’t been used for about 10 years. I still have my HP 200LX but my Journada died on me after a coupleof years.

    • #3159241

      IBM Aptiva 486

      by ssmaguire

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Mine was an IBM Aptiva 486, with 8 MB of RAM, Windows 3.11, 2400 baud modem, and a really small hard drive. That was bought in 1994, for $2,000.

    • #3159237

      other – Timex/Sinclair ZX81

      by techwriter5

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      with 16k ram extender.

      It was a learning experience…
      Replaced with C64, which got expanded, then replaced by C128.

      Also had Epson PX-8, and assorted odd devices.

      • #3159173

        Sinclair ZX81 kits

        by oldmaven

        In reply to other – Timex/Sinclair ZX81

        The original Sinclair computer was available as a kit . Someone from the company told me that some customer had built one and it didn’t work, so he sent it in for service. The problem was obvious: The guy had managed to coat the entire bottom of the circuit board with solder–after which, he sanded the solder smooth, rounded the edges, and lacquered it. “Totally misguided, of course,” said the Sinclair tech, “but so beautifully done that we sent him a new one–assembled, of course.

        • #3156730

          ZX-81, O-1a, Morrow 7p, NEC 8801, ….

          by overcharge

          In reply to Sinclair ZX81 kits

          Okay, my first computer was a kit–but it just didn’t have much kick–no storage at all.

          Second was a Osborne O-1a, which I had in pieces the first week to put in a DD board and screen pak–dual 160k and 104char on a 5″ screen. I was dropping 3,000 pieces of mailouts per month (1st AF recruiter with his own personal computer in the office.)

          Then I really got the bug–The Morrow portable, an NEC that did CPM, Dos, and NEC Basic (5.25&8″). Then I built a clone with a 10M hd. Then a Heath 386 (got Xenix with it.)Then a Sharp laptop….it just doesn’t stop, does it?

      • #3161154

        Me too

        by the computer doctor

        In reply to other – Timex/Sinclair ZX81

        Yep those were the days. My first computer was a Timex/Sinclair with the 16K ram expansion also.

        Storage was done to cassette tapes that regularly didn’t save/load the program properly.

        I don’t remember what it cost. I haven’t used it many many years but I still have it.

      • #3165761

        Timex/Sinclair ZX81 clone – Microace

        by dbwood

        In reply to other – Timex/Sinclair ZX81

        My first computer was the Microace, a kit-version of the TS ZX81. I used it to learn digital electronics: designed and built a 16K (huge!) memory board and an interface for a real keyboard.
        I reverse-engineered the 4K ROM and learned to call the OS routines from Z-81 assembly language routines (I wrote an assembler in Sinclair Basic).

    • #3159221

      Tandy Color Computer

      by mythicalme

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      A friend introduced me to the Coco in 1980. The first model came with this terrible chicklet keyboard, 16K for $395.00. It’s real strength was the Motorola 6809 microprocessor which, even though it was 8 bit, when registers were combined made it act as a 16 bit. My first project was to upgrade to 64K, which had to be soldered in. After about 2 years use I upgraded to a Coco 2 w/128k memory, it used bank switching and was the first computer that I owned that was able to use multiprocessing under OS9. The chicklet keyboard was replaced in the Coco 3 w/512k (my 3rd computer).

      • #3161237

        Another Tandy Color Computer 2 user

        by rayjeff

        In reply to Tandy Color Computer

        My first computer as well. Didn’t know much of anything about computers.All I know was that every time i went to the Radio SHack store, I would go look at it and mess with it.

        I had the keyboard, the deluxe joystick, the tape recorder, 3 games and 2 programming books; one on BASIC for the Tandy and the other was BASIC programming for the and & the VIC 20 I think.

        Most of the time all I did was play the games I had. Then slowly, I started going through the books and learning to program. The first program I wrote was one that played “Slient Night” form the tape recorder. I thought it wa so cool.

    • #3159213

      First computer

      by wjbernard

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      IBM Displaywriter in 1980.

      My wife needed to do heavy typing for her business and the PC was not yet out. This thing was delivered on a palette, including a monster of a dot matrix. The operating system was CPM-86, we also had bootleg copy of Supercalc and, of course, the IBM Display Write software. Bought directly from IBM, think the cost was in the area of $5,000, long time ago. She did typing, business plans for clients, letters, proposals, the like, and eventually, spreadsheets.

      My wife took off on a business trip to NY and told me “learn it”. Had never touched a computer, wasn’t much of a typist but I was fascinated to learn the OS and loved the simplicity, accuracy and calculation abilities of the spreadsheet. The system came with a B/W monitor, a huge keyboard and a disk drive size of a toaster – eight inch floppies, no hard drive. One learned patience but it was faster than writing in long hand, easier to correct documents and the end product looked great. We kept that thing for about four or five years and replaced it with and IBM PC, dual floppies, no hard drive, probably 64K, B/W monitor.

      Great experience!

    • #3159204

      Transam Triton

      by neilb@uk

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      UK magazine 8080 design. Built it from a motherboard and chips and sourced half of them from the US. 2K BIOS, 2K BASIC and load your programs via tape cassette and run it to a TV. I gradually improved it to 56KB RAM with my own design RAM boards, added floppy disk and CP/M and replaced the 8080 with a Z80 and doubled the clock. Wooo! Then I disassembled the BIOS with pen and paper and rewrote it, optimised for my specific hardware. Back then I wasn’t even in IT. I couldn’t do it now, my brain has more bad blocks these days than my old floppy disks.

      It cost a FORTUNE!

      My current home system is a kickass Dell with VMWare and it’s not half so much fun.

    • #3159196

      Atari 800XL

      by roger

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      And I stillhave 2 of them
      an Apple III and a Commadore
      Some of us just can’t part with our toys

    • #3159182

      Commodore Vic 20

      by conshus

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it?
      Commodore Vic 20

      Where did you buy it?

      How much did it cost?
      couple of hundred bucks

      What kind of stuff did you do with it?
      Games, Music, Wordprocessing, BASIC programming

      How long did you have it?
      3-4 years

      What did you eventually replace it with?
      Commodore 64

      • #3156833

        VIC 20 was the first and ran all the later C= models

        by dmanager

        In reply to Commodore Vic 20

        That was my first computer too. I can still hear the “Radar Rat Race” tune in my head.

        From this machine i made a progression through all the later Commodore models.

      • #3143369

        I had VIC20 as well

        by welcomebeenie

        In reply to Commodore Vic 20

        These days I hear alot of people who say that “I HAD A COMMODRE 64” immediately after everytime I tell them I had a VIC20. It’s like they are bragging about how they found money on the street AFTER I did it! Well, anyway I was happy with my VIC20, and my brother and I filled its 20K RAM one time after another. We made programs that were too advanced so we were dreaming of putting more memory in it, which at the time cost 150 dollars for 8K. We were dreaming about the extension card that had 8 slots in it and putting 8*8=64K more RAM in it. We were dreaming, but didn’t have the money. Eventually we sold it, which I regret sometimes, but it made a career for me, and here I am in this business making well over 150K per year on something I love. Thanks Commodore!

    • #3159179
      Avatar photo

      Owned is easy though not necessarily correct

      by hal 9000

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      I bought a VIC 20 with the full expansion pack for the kids to play with when they first came out. Because I was working with the [i]Heavy Iron[/i] I got it at a massive reduction in price but I can’t remember why or where I bought it or how much I paid for it. The kids used it to play games and I still have it here though I couldn’t lay my hands on it easily.

      That was replaced by a 286 several years latter which eventually had the Electronic Capacitor leak and destroy the M’Board so I replaced it with a 486 DX100 if I remember correctly with a 500 MB HDD running DR DOS which was a left over from the 286. I can still remember that 486 as the salesperson tried to talk me out of the 500 MB HDD saying that it was unfillable and attempted to sell me a 100 MEG RAM Drive which where anything but reliable. 馃檪

      As time went on I moved through all the Intel stuff till I started using a Linux OS and found that I could use Dual Processor M’Boards I think that the first one was a Tyan Dual Pentium 200 MMX with separate RAM Banks for each CPU a really clean design that one and I know exactly where it is as I’m still using it today. Well running it anyway though it doesn’t get much use unless one of the kids comes over and wants to play something on it.

      This unit currently has a Dual P3 setup installed but it’s in the process of being replaced by a Dual Xeon Setup with 2 Gig or RAM per CPU as I’m now using Windows on these Multi Processor Boards that limits the type of hardware that I can use as a work station and I would have loved to have picked up one of the Quad Xeon’s but XP will not play nice with them so I settled on my second choice and just went with the Dual CPU setup. :_|

      But as I’m still building this unit as a Multi Boot system I don’t think that I’ll be using Windows much and I stick with what works best.

      I’ve had several AMD units along the way and found all to be too unreliable and while the CPU’s are OK the M’Boards cark themselves on a regular basis and it doesn’t matter the maker they just die all too often for my liking.


    • #3159149

      BBC B Micro

      by waity85

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      with tape drive, didn’t get a disk drive for 3 years afterwards

      • #3156065

        Me to

        by chris.paulson

        In reply to BBC B Micro

        Never got a disk drive. I used to try and write games on it.

        Wrote stuff in basic (sprite editors etc) and 6502 assembler for the game engines.

    • #3159118

      ZX Spectrum

      by choppit

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first was the Sinclair ZX Spectrum (16K) bought from Tandy back in 1983 for ?99. I used it mainly for gaming and some BASIC programming (mainly copied from magazine listings). It also gave me my first introduction to spreadsheets and databases (can’t remember what software I used). I replaced it in 1987 with a Commodora Amiga A500 (512K).

    • #3159060


      by ken1san

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Mine was a Franklin Ace 1000, Apple clone a wopping 64kb of memory. It was hot with a 5 1/4 floppy, and a green monitor.

    • #3159056


      by fcometa

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      If I remember right, my first computer was a Tandy 1000, with an 8086 processor at 8Mhz, 384k RAM, a 5.25 floppy drive and a CGA monitor. No hard drive. I really don’t remember where my father bought it. It was 1990. After that, I upgraded it to 640k of RAM (wow, this is scorching fast!), a 3.5 floppy and a 10MB hard disk card (what am I going to do with all that space?). The machine came with GWBASIC and a software called Deskmate (which provided a graphical front end for some applications… kinda like a stone-age windows, huh?). Also was a Basic and DOS reference manual. I learned DOS and Basic on it (and of course hardware), and my primary use was programming like a madman. I started with Basic and later QuickBasic, and then Pascal. I had it until about 1992, when I sold if for a 286 with a Hercules monitor. That Tandy served me well, it took it’s hard knocks and kept on ticking. After that, all clones.

    • #3159688

      Apple 1?

      by oldmaven

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      I never had an Apple I, but I’ve seen it. It came at a time when Apple was small enough that Wozniak (and Jobs, as I recall) came personally to East Cost computer fairs to pitch it, but big enough that they could afford the trip.

      It was one of the most complete computers of its time: a big circuit board that held the processor, memory, and video circuits. So all you had to add was the display (a TV set as I recall). And the keyboard. And the power supply. And the case. I don’t think Apple sold any of those, so you had to make your own.

      But about a year earlier, Processor Technology had introduced the Sol, as a project in Popular Electronics (which had also debuted the Altair). Like the Altair, it had an S-100 bus; unlike the Altair (which came with no I/O save the front-panel switches), it had a keyboard, a video output (again to feed a TV set, as I recall), plus parallel and serial terminals. Pop Electronics didn’t call it a computer, though; it was an “intelligent terminal.” According to a reference on the Web, that was because the publisher didn’t want more articles on computers. However, what Les Solomon told me, a few months later, was that it was to enable corporate employees to get one. “In a lot of companies, there’s a data processing department that has to approve all computer purchases–which they won’t do unless it’s a mainframe or at least a minicomputer. But they will allow people to buy terminals. So…”

    • #3159685

      ColecoVision Adam

      by daenabean

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      I give my Adam computer credit for my career in IT! 馃檪

      Adam was an add-on computer system that connected into my Colecovision game system. Don’t laugh–I bought it at Toys-R-Us in the 1980s. It cost me around $300.

      It was powered by a Zilog Z80 8-bit microprocessor and data was stored on cassette data tapes, although you could spring for the external 5.25 floppy if you had lots of cash (which I didn’t). We bought a small 10″ Quasar TV to use exclusively as a monitor. A COLOR display in 1984. Imagine that! I was hooked.

      What’s amazing is what you could do with it. I learned word processing, spreadsheets, programming in SmartBasic, SmartLOGO and Turtle Graphics, (which included programming music and designing graphics pixel-by-pixel), and my favorite, playing Buck Rogers and the Planet of Zoom. I miss that game!

      We kept it as long as we could–almost 10 years, but eventually sold it for $150 (believe it or not) through an ad in the paper.

      Along the way we moved up to a Franklin IBM clone with two floppy drives (no HD) and MS-DOS with green-screen monitor while still using Adam for the fun stuff. When Adam left us and Franklin became outdated, we climbed the ladder of IBM-compatibles from 286 to 386 to 486, etc. etc.

      Today, I am an IT consultant with degrees in support, systems admin, and graphics & multimedia.

      Thanks, Adam! Without you I’d still be working in data entry…

      • #3166302

        Planet of Zoom still around….

        by radams36

        In reply to ColecoVision Adam


        If you really liked Buck Rogers, it is available on the MAME arcade emulator software, and can also be found for use with the Adam/Coleco Emulators that are currently available. The MAME version is a LOT better than the Adam version (to be expected, of course).


      • #2663824

        Me too….cool. Did that annoying daisy wheel printer drives you nuts?

        by maniacman

        In reply to ColecoVision Adam

        I know it did because when I started to print something, the neighbors downstairs would bang my floor with a broomstick, thinking I was tapdancing or hammering something into the wall. The noise was surely annoying to say the least. Eventually, the entire unit crapped out and I then went to an IBM XT clone at a whopping 8Mhz in speed with dual 5 1/4″ inch floppy drives and no hard drive. Those were back in the 80s’, the good ole days.

        • #2663809

          In the summer of 1981

          by jamesrl

          In reply to Me too….cool. Did that annoying daisy wheel printer drives you nuts?

          I was working for a member of Parliament for the summer. He had seen on my resume that I had a programming course, so when there was a seminar about bringing word processors to Parliament, he sent me.

          They had limited email, and a word processor. They came with daisy wheel printers, and a huge sound absorbing cabinet to put them in. We got used to the drone of them, but when someone opened them up to retreive a letter while something else was printing we all did a headshake. They were very very noisy, sounded like a machine gun.

          Of course later that summer we had a filibuster, and a special kind where the speaker was compelled to keep the bells that ring in the halls to call the MPSsto a vote ringing. They went on for weeks. We stuffed the bell with paper between the dome and the clanger.

          So it wasn’t a quiet office job after all.


    • #3159681

      First pc

      by narina

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Mine was a 386 IBM compatible (can’t remember if it was a dx or sx). My dad got it so price wise I really don’t know but it was sometime in the mid 90’s. Just typed stuff on it. Replaced it with another IBM compatible PC (P4). Last year.

    • #3159663

      The first PC I ever Owned

      by cubeslave

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Was an origional 8088 IBM PC (I forget what model number) with 640K. It also had the expansion chassis and a full hight 10Mb hard disk. New it was a pricy system. I helped someone remodel their kitchen and I got that and arounf $200 (If I remember correctly).

      I was so pleased with myself when I installed a 286 card and got my processing power up to 1 MIP.

    • #3159646

      My first computer as we know them today

      by rtviper

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Model was TI 99-4A
      Purchased from Texas Intstruments
      Can’t remember price
      Did computer stuff, mostly basic code and then gaming
      Had it about 2 years
      Replaced with a Sanyo (can’t remeber model 550 sounds right though)

    • #3159642

      Acorn Atom

      by rogue leader

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      I think this was unique to the UK, but I’m not sure…

      Anyway, it had a whopping 2K RAM, and 12K ROM – which were interchangeable – you could take RAM chips from one side and put them in the other. If I remember rightly, they were in 512 byte (!) IC’s (Hitachi Semiconductor 2114’2, I think) and each 512 bytes would cost you ?11 (about $21 today).

      There was no mass storage. All software had to be loaded in via cassette tape, and saved back the same way, using a 5 pin DIN connector.

      I used it learn computing, programming and generally mucking about.

      It died after around two years constant abuse, and it was replaced by a BBC Micro Model B. I subsequently (which I now regret) took it apart to try and find out how it worked physically.

      I followed that with an Atari ST 1024, then came the PC’s: a 386 with a 30Mb MFM HDD, 2 486’s, a Pentium II, and now I’m on my second Pentium IV (and have collected a PIII and an AMD Sempron along the way).


      • #3157402

        These were great machines

        by arthurp

        In reply to Acorn Atom

        Back in the 80’s these machines were fantistic for the price, I managed to get hold of one for my younger brother, so that he could run the BBC software on them. The only problem was I spent many a night playing Chuckie Egg, and Reptilion on the thing …

        Before I met a fashion consultant who convinced me that I looked good in greens & DP, I was a member of the team who rolled the Acorn Atoms out to Interflora agents allowing them to be “networked” – in the loosest sence of the word – with their central handling agents. The keyboards were the right size, and many people felt happy using them because they didn’t look like computers.


    • #3159630

      Apple ][

      by doug wombat

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it?
      Not a IIe or even a II+. A plain beige vanilla 1979 Apple II with 32K of Ram, a cassette drive and a rebuilt monitor that started life as a mono TV. After about 4 weeks I decided that I’d either drop it off the side of a tall building or buy a floppy drive as the tape load process was about as fast/exciting as watching paint dry.

      Where did you buy it?
      Computerland, Brisbane, Oz

      How much did it cost?
      In AUS$, it cost about $2500 including the 143K floppy and an extra 16K of Ram (total of 48K). Say $2K in US$$ Ouch!

      What kind of stuff did you do with it?
      A few games at first, and then I discovered typing in programs from PC mags and running them. I was hooked! 27 years later, I still get a buzz from software development.

      How long did you have it?
      Still in the shed somewhere I think…

      What did you eventually replace it with?
      A line of Apples (][+, Europlus, //gs, then Mac II, Mac Quadra) but during this time I started getting into PCs (’82-ish) and found that while people would actually pay money to have programs written, most of them had PCs, not Apples.

      So now, I only have PCs, but Mac temptation still is on the horizon for when retirement looms. :-))

    • #3159621

      Exidy Sorcerer

      by henkenm9

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      That was my first computer!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Imported by Dick Smith and I bought it secondhand for $A700.00.
      It was more advanced than the other 3 models that arrived in Austrlia about the same time.
      It was made by an American manufacturer who catered to the games industry.
      It was the only computer to have plugin cartridges.
      It had 60 columns on the screen.
      The previous owner had put a tapedrive in it.
      I had it for a year and had to sell it because the Basic Language cartridge had a habit of blowing up.
      But it entertained and educated me.
      You had to write your own programs of course although there was a special Magazine for it.
      My love for computers never died.
      Amazingly, the manufacturer never made another computer although the Sorcerer was a top seller.

    • #3159606


      by alkas007

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first computer was bought as a kit in about 1972 and took me 1 year to put together and get running. It had 1K of memory and nixie tube readout. I did little but show flashing lights, but I still miss that on computers. I eventually replace it with a radioshack one.

    • #3159595

      Atari 400

      by bates.jay

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      I wired a standard key board into it and run RS232 for Boudot for telatype over the Ham Radio. I think it was 4k and Atari Basic. I used a cassett tape for storage. Replaced it with a 800 with 16k, then 8086 pc I think.

    • #3159577


      by david.sayers

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      First model was a Timex Sinclair. I bought the 16K memory expansion pack, and it had no hard drive. The program were loaded from cassette tape. I wrote most of the programs I ran on it in BASIC. I still have it, and every now and then I still fire it up for old time’s sake.

    • #3159572

      My first…

      by rtyler

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      An NEC with 5 1/4 floppy and amberchromatic monitor and a whopping 64k of RAM. My first harddrive was a Tallgrass 20 MB about the size of an ATX case and cost 3K. My first “portable” was a Kaypro.

      God, I’m getting old but I still live on the bleeding edge.

      • #3161105

        What ever happened…

        by dawgit

        In reply to My first…

        to those big hard drives? They used to be about the size of a LP Album. They were a pain in the butt to securely remove data (as in ‘destroy’)

    • #3159554

      First computer

      by doug m.

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      While I always wanted to buy one of those fancy Commodore 64’s or 128’s, my brother-in-law said I needed a “real” computer, and gave me his old XT clone with DOS 3.0 on it and some very basic games. It had a whopping 640k RAM and a 4MB hard disk and a 5.25 floppy drive. After awhile I added an external 300 baud modem so I could logon to BBS’s. The good old days eh. Later upgraded it with a sound card and of course faster modems as they evolved. Eventually installed Windows 3.1. (i should have stuck with DOS, lol) This was back in 1989. It cost me nothing by the way, except for occasional addons or upgrades. I kept it until I built a 486 machine later around 1994.

    • #3159546

      Commodore 64

      by rlgoers

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Got it in the 80’s, I think. It had no drives, and I had to cobble up an interface to hook to my cassette recorder, in order to be able to save and load programs.

      After that, I graduated to a Commodore 128, WITH a floppy drive! That was the NUTS! No more tapes. I even had a wand, that you could draw on the screen with.

      Then came CP/M on a Xerox system… I guess I’m dating myself.

    • #3159540

      Timex/Sinclair 1000

      by gsquared

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Early/mid 70s, don’t remember the precise year.

      It cost about $100.

      2k (yes, “k”) of RAM, no hard drives, had plugs to hook a tape recorder to it instead of drives. TV output, black-and-white, no sound card but it could make beeping noises. Bought an expansion pack that took it up to 16k of RAM.

      It was programmable in BASIC. That’s really all it could do.

      I replaced it with a programmable calculator that had 16k of RAM and CMOS flash-type storage. Again, programmable in BASIC, plus full scientific calculator functions.

      Replaced that with an IBM PC-AT Compatible, I don’t remember who made it. 10 Meg HDD, 1 Meg of RAM (wasn’t sure at the time what I would ever do with that much storage or RAM), DOS (I don’t remember the version). Got that in the early 80s.

      Now, I use an Athlon 64, 2 Gig of RAM, 300 Gig HDD and 100 Gig USB HDD, 2 DVD-RAM drives, 512 Meg on the video card, surround-sound speaker system w/ subwoofer, 19″ LCD monitor, ergo keyboard, etc., etc., etc.

      The current machine does seem to have a few more uses and features than my first one. 馃檪

    • #3159493

      my first computer

      by flchuck

      In reply to What was your first computer?


    • #3159488

      Atari 400

      by ddavis

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Purchased an Atari 400 with tape drive, modem kit and 16k of RAM back in 1981. It had a cartridge bay in the top-front and a touch sensitive keypad.

      If I recall correctly, I purchased it at Sears.

      It cost around $650. I only remember that because I had to save about three monthes of paychecks to pay for it.

      Stuff that I did: played around with programming, my own and code that was in BYTE magazine. Wrote some games, played some games, surfed the “internet” via Compuserve. 馃槈 Got addicted to Megawars III.

      I owned it for nine or ten years, but replaced it with a Commodore 64 in 1984.

    • #3159485

      Timex Sinclair 1000

      by geekygirl74

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My dad bought it when I was a kid, I think they went for $199 or less. We also had the 16 Kb RAM upgrade. I wrote my first “hello, world” apps, wrote a little BASIC using a couple of manuals that had example apps like Hangman, and loaded programs and games to the computer using the cassette tape adapter. Eventually we upgraded to the 2068, bought a “printer” (more like a adding machine printer), then I didn’t have another PC until 1994.

    • #3159466

      OSI C2-4P

      by morrisond

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Ohio Scientific model C2-4P
      6502 processor 1 MHz?
      4KB of memory – yes 4 kilobytes. I purchased a memory expansion card and got it up to 8KB
      character graphics
      cassette tape storage
      MS Basic in rom. At one time I wrote Microsoft (1981) and asked about receiving a list of the rom entry points for programming purposes, and received a polite letter signed by Bill Gates explaining that since they charged $5,000 to companies for that information, they would be unable to provide a list. Too bad I didn’t keep the letter.

    • #3159433

      Franklin 2000

      by tink!

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My dad taught me to do basic math problems on it. My brother got an Apple IIe soon after that. That’s the one I learned to type on, at five yrs old. Soon after that we got an Apple IIGS. I grew up with that one, all the way up til after I graduated High School. In fact, I only just tossed it when we moved to our current house in 2004! Tossed all the Floppies too…mostly Infocom games, and the game I learned to type on: MasterType.

      Now we have an HP 9** with DVD-rom & a CD-R drive. The kids are using an old HP Vectra 8 I got from work when I updated them to Dell Optiplex’s.

      I tell you, I’m not that old, but technology sure was different 20 years ago than it is today!

    • #3161114

      My first was an Apple iic

      by peter spande

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Apple iic –

      My parents got it for me and my brother (and my brother quickly spent 90% of his life on the thing) so I had no idea what it cost. I enjoyed the computer but my brother LOVED everything about it. I was almost in high school and had less time to use it.

      How I used it – Mostly games. My brother ended up teaching himself machine language on the thing. As I said, he spent 90% of his life on the thing.

      Had it until I went to college when I moved to a whitebox 80286 pc. Then I started studying music and went to a Mac again (Mac 650 – totally cool) because IBM compatibles didn’t support MIDI natively. Since then it has been a string of ever cheaper PCs, each without much personality but much more reliability and power.

    • #3161107

      ATARI 800 – 1.79MHZ MOSTEK 6502A

      by ewischmann

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Christmas – I was 7 yrs old.
      1200. for the Atari console
      300. for the disk drive
      300. for the TV
      200. for the Program recorder (tape player)
      Atari 800
      1.79MHZ MOSTEK 6502A Processor
      16K RAM – upgraded to 48K…Whew was is fast!
      I would mimic programs out of my PC Magazine to create player missle graphics/graphic routines/basic math computations using BasicA(Atari Basic).

    • #3161101

      My First Time……….

      by federerfan

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Model Oct 1981 BIOS IBM PC
      Purchased From IBM
      Cost about $4500 (it was the modem!)
      It had a 300Baud Hayes modem that cost about a thousand bucks, dual floppies,
      64k on the motherboard
      (“You’ll never use it all!”)
      256k memory add on board
      CGA Card Amber monitor quickly replaced with color monitor
      IBM printer the size of a Toyota
      Used it for downloading from home office of company I represented, word processor and Lotus 123 and after hours Compuserve and local BBS kept the modem working. I kept it until the 286 came out and bought a top of line ZEOS 286. Anybody remember ZEOS?

    • #3161078


      by ~omega~

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      I had a C64, 64K! 2.8 mhz (to put this into perspective, I think keyboard timing chips today run at 8mhz, don’t quote me on it, it’s been awhile scince my A+ cert). That thing was great! Had a top of the line 1200 baud modem (the 2400 baud modems were a little unstable, the serial negotiation was more than the expansion slot could handle) and connected to Q-link!

      And the 1541 5-1/4″DD floppy drive could format a waffle. I think I ran over more than one disk with my chair that still worked. I think some of the 3-1/2″ disk I buy now don’t even work out of the box.

      I eventually got a SCSI-1 40MB HD for it, and a RAM expander. That thing flew. I could load “Below the Root” in about 2 seconds.

      My GUI OS (Geos) ran from two 360K Disks and it had a “Trash Can” instead of a recyle bin.

      Sadly, eventually it got replaced by a 486DX/2.

    • #3147836

      IBM PC JR was the first

      by aer0212

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      The IBM PC JR was my first computer and I remember it came with 128KB of memory. I mainly used it for playing games. I also remember upgrding it to 256KB of memory and thinking that I would never need more memory than that. The PC JR was upgraded to an IBM PS2 Model 30. I now have 2GB of memory on my home computer. I guess I eventally did need more than 256.

      • #3290042

        PCJr Whoo Hoo!

        by brandon.hilgeman

        In reply to IBM PC JR was the first

        My first PC was a PCJr as well. I too used it to play games and learn dos and GW Basic. I was 5 years old in 1984 when my dad bought it for me. I still thank him to this day. After my dad donated the PCJr to my 4th grade class at school he bought me my second computer, an Epson Equity I+. So neither one of my first two computers had a hard drive.

        What games did you play on the Jr? My first game was Kings Quest II Romancing the throne. I also loved Demon Attack.

    • #3161347

      6502 based

      by southern98

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      KIM-1 hex-key pad input and output single board 6502 processor 1mhz based 8bit.(it was a friends but given to me.)
      I did basic assembly programming with it.(17yrs old). 1980.
      I work and save during my summer and bought an Apple II.(16k-no tape drive no monitor, used the RF adapter). I did some sound processing on the Apple using 6502 machine language.

    • #3161337


      by felicia ann

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      I got it for Christmas one year, I think I was 12 or 13. What was the first thing I did with it? Well I took it apart of course! Then I put it back together and played with the air balloon program that came with it. I forget how long I had it, and I eventually replaced it with an IBM something or another.

    • #3161293

      Amiga 500

      by tribezmaan

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first computer was an Amiga 500 with a 1 Mb extension card that connected to a TV. It was purchased from Shands Computers at Dunedin, New Zealand in 1991. It cost $NZ 1,500 back then and was used mostly for word processing, publishing and gaming. I used it up till 1996 when it was replaced with an Intel P3 1GHz PC. The Amiga is still in a box at home and although it still starts up most of the system floppy disks are unreadable.

    • #3161183

      other-Sol 20

      by baum.jay

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      I still have my s-100 bus, 8088 32K RAM (upgraded from 16k) Processor Technologies Sol-20. It has oak side frames, and the keyboard had a great feature: an LED on the cap-lock button. The only drive was a Panasonic audio cassette deck. I couldn’t afford the available 8″ floppy drive. It was a gift from my cousin when he upgraded to a Northstar, and I ultimately replaced it with a 1st generation IBM PC with two floppy drives.

      It played a few games, but in terminal mode, with a 300 baud modem, I used to log into the high school computer. I never got in deep enough to change my grades, though.

      It doesn’t run anymore, but I keep it in the basement just because. And the manuals still sit on my bookshelf.

    • #3161121

      In Memory of my C=128

      by eblank

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first computer as a Commodore C 128. At the time a real work horse, with a whopping _128K_ of memory, a HD 5.25″ floppy drive and amazing RGB graphics with a full ?256? colors!
      Why the Commodore?
      * Great Graphics!
      * Cool Games!
      * My buddy from HS also had one at the time, and we were planning on collaberating on a book (ahh great dreams of youth)
      I got it from a shop just off base from my Navy base in Maine, it came with few games and of course CPM DOS (which I never really figured out what to do with) a blazing *300 Baud* modem, the 1040S monitor (with Sterio Speakers) the integrated keyboard and a 2 button MOUSE! I also purchased an amazing _4 Color_ 24 pin dot matrix printer. blazing fast 1.5 pages per minute? I mean it could print a 20 page document _with colored letters_ in only 1.5 hours!
      Cost? Hey, I was single and in the Navy, who worried about costs! I do know that it was less than the IBM XP systems (8086?) that were being bandied about for business users, and it could do a WHOLE lot more if you didn’t need Lotus 123 or Dbase.
      Eventually, I replaced it with an Amiga 500 (Had to stay aheady of the curve tech wise, and again, the graphics were so far ahead of it’s time, the games that much better and involved, even the word programs were easier and more powerfull)
      Now, I pine for the days of the big C=… It is such a shame that a product as great as this was run into the ground by corporate s***heads who didn’t know or understand what they had.
      I held onto this toy for over 6 years, geting WP programms (Word Star),

    • #3147109

      My first Computer…..

      by jimlp1

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My firsr PC was an Apple IIe, yet I worked on IBM’s all day at work. The two DOS’s were confusing, so I returned the Apple IIe to the Bank. They sold it for what I owed on it. I then bought a “Computer Shopper” magazine, this was in the early 1980’s, and it was huge. I bought all the necessary parts that I wanted from different suppliers, and assembled my own IBM-Compatible. The 1st one I built ran at 4.77 MHZ, that was fast back then. No hard-drive, just 2 5.25″ floppy drives, ran DOS, had BASIC-A ROM chips on board, Monochrome monitor. I forget how much RAM.
      Later I upgraded to a TIGER 286 motherboard, it ran at 8.MHZ and in TURBO mode about 12.0 MhZ. My friends and co-workers would come by to see my “CLONE”, and they would usually buy it, I sold it and built another one better than that one. I bet I built 15 or 20 PC’s since then for friends, family and business’s. Now I’ll tell ya I messed around with AMD motherboards and CPU’s, I always had problems with these PC’s.
      What I have now? I gave Intel a chance, I have an Intel motherboard P4 ready, in mid-tower case, 425 watt power suplly, 1 gig of DDR-RAM, an Intel Pentium-4 with H-T, a 200 gig hard-drive, a CD-ROM, a DVD, and a 3.5″ floppy. The MOBO has audio and video on board, but I’m running a GeForce FX-5500 AGP, and Windows XP-PRO.
      The Intel Pentium-4 runs at 3.0 GHZ with a FSB of 800 MHZ, I play Unreal and Ghost Recon really well, even been on gamers networks to play on line. It’s quite some different the 4.77 MHZ first PC I built back in the 80’s.

    • #3147062

      Just a Keyboard

      by asktheom9

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first computer was when I lived in England UK. Around the late 70’s. It was just a large keyboard which hooked up to the TV…. no monitor!
      I programed simple games, budget spreadsheets and other stuff on it. It came with ‘ping pong’ game on it but that was about it.

    • #3146909

      My First Computer – a TRS-80

      by moran

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      The first computer I purchased was a TRS-80 that I bought from a Radio Shack store. It came with a tape recoder as its storage device. It cost around $500 that I recall.

      I did all kinds of programming, recordkeeping, and text processing with it.

      I had it for several years and replaced it with an IBM PCjr.

      Although criticized by many, I felt that was a very good machine for its day and its price.

    • #3146828

      They don’t make ’em like that any more…

      by emmbe1

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it?
      Sinclair ZX 81
      Where did you buy it?
      Expensive Department Store
      How much did it cost?
      It hurt.
      What kind of stuff did you do with it?
      How long did you have it?
      1 year
      What did you eventually replace it with?

      What was urs?

    • #3146825

      In the Dark Ages

      by haroldrnichols

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Prior to the PC was CP/M
      I owned a Royal Business Computer which had 128K of RAM 2 Floppy Drives and a printer. The processor was a Z-80 and the ensemble cost $500.
      This was purchased in 1980-82 (don’t remember the exact year)
      I could run the WordStar word processor, PeachCalc spreadsheet, and dBase II relational database (2 work areas to relate).
      I had this machine until 1987 and did all of my business work on it.
      In 1987 I replaced it with an ACER XT which operated at the phenomenal speed of 10MHz (My Royal was a respectible 2.2 MHz)
      The ACER had 768K of memory (the last 128 was relatively useless unless you were some sort of power user.) On that I had WordStar 4.0, dBase III+, and Lotus 123 Rel 2.01d.
      These were truely workhorses and many of the functions were as fast as today’s bloated systems.

    • #3146816

      My First Computer

      by kerrykergan

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      The first computer I had was a Timex/Sinclair. It cost $100.00 Canadian and had 1k of memory. It could be programmed only in Basic. It hooked up to a T.V. and was very laborious to progam. It was very sensitive to static and after spending hours to get one page of code in with no errors in the syntax, it would crash and I got to watch all of my work disappear line by line many,many times.

    • #3146398

      An Osborne – but not Ozzy

      by pfister1

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      It was an Osborne1 running CP/M. Ahhhh, here it is,

      My parents bought it for me for around $1500. Using BASIC I programmed a mini-version ‘centipede’ and started on some business software for my cousin’s liquor store. I had it for a couple of years before replacing it with several years of slacking before going back to school and then getting a real job.

      • #3146724

        Mine, Too!

        by psomerset9

        In reply to An Osborne – but not Ozzy

        I bought an Osborne I from a mom-and-pop shop in 1979, a couple of months before IBM introduced its PC. It cost $1795. Originally, it had two 85 Kbyte 5-1/4″ floppy drives, but I sprang for the double-density upgrade when it was offered a year or so later. I guess I’m just greedy, because I thought I needed the 185 Kbytes that the upgrade provided. I was without my computer for a couple of weeks while they worked on it in California.

        I still have it! It sits in my garage. I pull it out every once in a while just to see how far we’ve come. Part of the reason it’s still working is that I built a fan unit for it. It’s made of printed circuit board material and hangs over the front of the unit and sucks air from the vent above the monitor.

    • #3146266

      First PC vs. current PC

      by sir_cheats_alot

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Let’s hear the details on your first computer:

      What model was it?
      HP Pavilion 6646c:
      500Mhz AMD k-6 2
      intergrated 8Mb generic video card.
      4x CD-rw drive
      2 USB ports(one of which only works half the time)

      Where did you buy it?
      Sam’s Club(walmart)

      How much did it cost?
      More then the PC i built. somewhere around $700 give or take 100.

      What kind of stuff did you do with it?
      played starcraft, and a few other games, surf the internet, photo editing…that’s about it.

      How long did you have it?
      i’ve had it about 7 years, and still do in fact.
      need to replace CPU though…just have to get that stupid cooling fan off so i can.

      What did you eventually replace it with?
      The beast of a PC i built. Granted it’s not top of the line but it’s good enough for me…for now.
      160Gb WD Hard drive(main)(i forget think it was about $70 before or after rebate)
      20Gb quantom fireball(slave)(pulled from system that was hit by Lightning…a HP in fact)
      Micro Advantage dual-layer DVD RW drive($90)
      standard 52X CDROM (pulled from non-working PC)
      128MB ATI 9200(AGP)(it was a gift from a friend)
      512MB RAM ($80 or so)
      2.8Ghz Intel P4(northwood) w/ 800Mhz FSB hyperthreading(of course)($177)
      8 USB v2.0 ports(two of which aren’t hooked up)
      a firewire port(not hooked up)
      integrated SiS 900 PCI fast ethernet adapter.
      QDI superb 4FX-6AL Mobo ($25…gotta love Ebay)
      the Tower itself was $60(has a cool carrying handle on top, and a see through removable side panel)(again ebay is great)

    • #3146158

      Oh, my first PC

      by sundaramgm

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      The model was Apple Macintosh SE
      I bought it in India
      About INR 65000
      I was doing Desk Top Publishing and Graphic Designing
      I got 20 MB HDD and 2 MB RAM and also an AppleTalk connector to my diskless node Apple Macintosh Plus
      I was having it for 7 years or so.
      I sold it off. But later I was using Power Macintosh and of course, now I am using IBM PCs.

    • #3147190

      My first was a Tandy as well

      by hmahdy

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      The first computer I used was a Tandy as well but I don’t remember its model right now but I do remember that it had 128K RAM – which my elder brother upgraded to 640K RAM later on. It had two 5.25 FDD and of course no hard disk 馃檪

    • #3147162

      i had an IBM once…

      by xygnal

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      it was a 386 pc/at model. man, it had a very small hdd cap(can’t remmber, but i know its stuck in the MB region) and had 2 5′ floppy drives, i even played games such as centipede and jeopardy on it. the bad thing is, the monitor looked so crappy it resembled a ice box or cooler or something, and the whole thing wheighed like a ton!!!

    • #3146765

      Mine was an Atari

      by trmartin

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Since I had just graduated college (working as a computer operator at a large IBM 360 site), and was going to start teaching Computer Science at a local college, I needed a computer. I researched the TRS 80, the Apples, the Commodor, etc., but ended up with an Atari 800 (the IBM PC had not come out yet). With an extra memory card, I had a whopping 48K of RAM. I added a printer, but since it came with an RF adapter that worked with the TV, I didn’t need to purchase a monitor. That put the cost somewhere near $2000 (a ridiculous price to pay for a computer today). It used a cassette recorder for program storage. I had a word processor program so I could compose the tests for my computer class. I learned the BASIC computer language and wrote many “practical” programs for my own use (checkbook balancing, record collecting cataloging, recipe cataloging, etc). I had it for about 5 years and didn’t get a new pc until about 15 years later (didn’t really need one since I was a career computer programmer). When I did get a new one, it had a 486 processor and was much light years ahead of my original Atari.

    • #3146754

      later than most

      by browolf

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      my parents didnt(dont) believe in game consoles or decent home pcs for a long time. my dad had an appalling amstrad 2086 (twin 3.5″ floppy drives) for years. the next pc he got was when i gave him my old p2 the first pc i had. i had upgraded to a p3/450. he had that until last year when he got a dell celeron.

    • #3146733

      My first computer was …

      by emparpar

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      It was about 1981 or so when I bought my first computer: a Northstar running CPM. I used it to deelop business software, writing programs in CBASIC and then in the earliest releases of C that became available.

      I bought it in partnership with a friend with serious plans to create a Freight Forwarding Software System for resale to Freight Forwarders.

      But that friend never did his share of the required software development, and so my dreams faded away as the months passed and he didn’t do his share.

      It was a great computer! CPM was great, as were the versions of CBASIC and C which I used. Using the Northstar, I became an expert in CBASIC and then in C, and that expertise helped me launch a wonderful 25 year career in the I.T. industry.

      I don’t remember any details about what happenned to that computer; I vaguely recall that we sold it to someone else about 18 months after bought it.

      — Eva

    • #3146710

      First? how about entire history?

      by leonard j rivera sr.

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      When all of my friends were enjoying the Commodore 64, My father went out and decided on the TI99/4a which immediately isolated me. Eventually adding the Tape drive and voice synth. I used it for games but when TI decided to halt production, I had no choice but to learn TI-Basic so I could write my own games which eventually led to writing my own music and animation. It kept me entertained for many years until I received my next computer, an Apple IIe.

      All I did with the Apple IIe was play games.

      Those were the only two computers I ever owned from 1980 – 1990, then I made my first computer purchase. An Amiga500 which I had for many years. I had several Amiga 500 computers. I would hack the heck out of them with DYI upgrades and retro fitting into PC cases. I refined my music and animation skills as well as using it for games. Amiga, My most favorite computer I ever used, even to this day.

      Sadly, when commodore went belly up I had to choose between a PC (clone) or a Macintosh. A pivitol moment for my unknown computing future. Once all of my Amiga stuff was sold, I had a whopping 500 bux to spend.

      I was able to purchase a 486DX2 66 deesktop with color monitor, 1200 Baud modem, CD-Rom and 32MBs Ram. I learned MS Works on it with WFW 3.11 and did a lot of BBS’ing, also used it for games.

      Then I went threw Windows 95, 98, 98se, NT, Pentium 60, Pentium II, III and now…

      Here I am many years later with Pentium 4 Dells, dual AMD processors and an iBook.

      Still playing games, still doing music, still doing animation and now video. No More BBS’ing, there is the internet. No More Dial Up, etc…

      And yet, only 2 years ago, I found myself looking up Amiga stuff and purchsed (still updating) Cloanto’s Amiga Forever, so now I can run an exact Amiga Clone on my modern day PC hardware. but this wasn’t enough, last year I found myself bidding on Amiga 500 computers again. Now I have a fully functional A500 like when I was a kid. So while I was at it, I purchased and Atari 2600 with 86 cartridges. Can’t seem to break free of the good old days…. I even went as far as building my own MAME cabinet.

      As great as modern day computing is, there’s a majic that exists in the good old days before virus, worms, and spyware took over the front pages of every computer magazine.

      It feels good to time travel back to those days once in a while.

      • #3156729

        Viruses existed then too

        by mark miller

        In reply to First? how about entire history?

        They didn’t exist in the 8-bit days, best I can tell, but they certainly existed for 16-bit computers like the Atari ST, Amiga, and PC. They were on the Mac, too.

        I can remember when I got my Atari Mega STe, the friggin’ system disk had a virus on it, right from the manufacturer! It shocked me at first, but the virus turned out to be harmless. It was a “key” virus, one that stayed hidden until a “key” in some program activated it. No key had been found though, from what I read about it. There were hundreds of other ST viruses out there as well, but I never got them. The popular medium they spread around on were floppy disks, and inside programs. Another kind of virus for the ST were “link” viruses. They’d embed themselves inside otherwise legit programs. Every time you ran the program, it would infect another application, or copy itself to whatever floppy disk you had in the drive.

        PCs had plenty of viruses too, similar in type to the ones that attacked Ataris. I’d imagine they were more numerous. I remember the Michaelangelo Virus made headlines on the nightly news. It was a “time bomb” set to go off on a certain date. There were a lot of fears about it totally wiping out hard disks on PCs, but as I remember when the day actually came nothing really happened.

        I had a few Mac disks since I used Macs at school. One day I went over to a friend’s house and used his Mac. When I used them later on someone else’s machine, the antivirus software they had picked up a BUNCH of viruses on my disks. Yikes! Again the mode of transport was on floppies.

        Viruses existed back then, but by and large they were pretty harmless. That’s what I remember.

        • #2663620

          My first encounter with a virus was the Jerusalem.B boot sector virus

          by maniacman

          In reply to Viruses existed then too

          back on my dinosaur IBM XT clone machine. Yesm, it was an 8 bit bus machine and viruses were plenty back then but they were primarily the boot sector infecting kind. It wasn’t until the 386 or so came out that we saw our first nasty case of a BIOS embedding virus that would fry the motherboard. I forgot what that virus was called but it originated from Russia.

      • #3157337

        CosMac Super ELF

        by rtracy77

        In reply to First? how about entire history?

        My first computer was a you-have-to-build-it-yourself, by soldering in all parts, a CosMac Super ELF. With an 1802 uProcessor from RCA, 8K basic in ROM, TV modulator, ASCII Keyboard, and audio casset for program storage. CPU case was real wood with hex keypad and LED display.

        Kaypro’s, Epson, Amiga, Mac, VAX, HP, IBM PC’s all came afterwards.

        • #2820910

          CosMac Super Elf

          by baseaurora

          In reply to CosMac Super ELF

          Wow. You had the upgraded Super Elf.. I didn’t ever get the ASCII keyboard and I always had trouble using my cassette tape player to save and load a program. Most of the time I would have to key the program in manually on the hexidecimal keypad and verify everything on the 4 digit hex LED display.

          After soldering the whole thing together and having to call the company to find out the printed circuit board they had sent was flawed and I had to cut a particular foil .. the computer actually worked. I played with it for a few months, including the huge program (machine only had 256 bytes of memory) of 243 bytes which caused a block image of the USS Enterprise to slowly crawl across a television screen, after which I sold it for enough to buy a TRS80 model I with a whopping 4K of memory!!

          Those were the days.

      • #2502247

        The Classic Gaming Network (BBS)

        by brian07002

        In reply to First? how about entire history?


        I run a Retro Gaming Entertainment bbs located in Bayonne, New Jersey. You can check it out at any of the following addresses:


        Btw, nice site you got here.


    • #3146709

      Commodore 64

      by kbrindle2002

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it?
      Commodore 64

      Where did you buy it?
      Not sure, my parents bought it when I was in 4th or 5th grade

      How much did it cost?
      Again, not sure

      What kind of stuff did you do with it?
      oh man, I played Lemonade stand and Kings Quest for hours!!

      How long did you have it?
      I’m pretty sure it was about 3-4 years

      What did you eventually replace it with?
      A decked out IBM PC 286 with a 40MB RLL Hard drive …I can not remember how much memory but god it was top of the line and I know it cost about $4000 in 80ish!!

    • #3146665


      by calithor

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first computer was a Kaypor running CPM

    • #3146654

      How ’bout the Sinclair ZX80?

      by barklessdog

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first computer was a Sinclair ZX80 that I built from a kit. It later became the Timex Sinclair 1000.

      In 1982 I went to work for Circuit City and sold many of the Timex Sinclair 1000’s along with the TI99/4a (my second computer), the VIC-20, C64 and the Atari 1200XL. In 1990 I bought my first “clone” – an AST 386SX and I got “on-line” with Prodigy.

      Those were the GOOD OLE DAYS!

    • #3146642

      My First Computer

      by shawn_r26

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it?
      An AT&T 8088 (used…it was actually part of our high school’s network for our computer club)

      Where did you buy it?
      I won it through a contest in high school

      How much did it cost?

      What kind of stuff did you do with it?
      Hardly anything…was only good for word processing. (I did installed DOS 5 on it though)

      How long did you have it?
      Maybe a year or two

      What did you eventually replace it with?
      A Packard Hell (I forgot the model, but it had DOS 6.2 and Windows 3.1 installed), then a HP Pavillion (I Think it was a 4440….it had a AMD K6 processor, 64 MB of RAM, a 4Gb hard drive with windows 98 (not second edithion) installed).

    • #3146620


      by jack-m

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My 1st was a gift from my Dad for Christmas 1980.
      A Timex Sinclair computer. Neither a Mac nor a PC it had a language all its own. If I remember correctly about all I could make it do was be a clock. Fascinating machine though. It sparked my interest and led to a long career in computers with the old Bell System and subsequent telecom companies.

    • #3146619

      My firsts

      by quagmire

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Believe it or not:

      Apple III
      Introduced: May 1980
      Released: Spring 1981
      Price: US $3495 w/128K RAM
      US $3815 with monitor
      How many? 65,000 TOTAL (four year)
      CPU: Synertek 6502A, 2.0 MHz
      RAM: 128K, 512K max.
      Display: Color composite video
      16 colors at 280 X 192.
      16 shades at 560 X 192
      Ports: Two serial ports
      External floppy port
      Expansion: Four internal slots
      Storage: Internal 143k 5-1/4 inch floppy
      External floppy drive
      OS: Apple SOS (Sophisticated OS)


      Osborne 1
      Introduced: April 1981
      Price: US $1,795
      Weight: 24.5 pounds
      CPU: Zilog Z80 @ 4.0 MHz
      RAM: 64K RAM
      Display: built-in 5″ monitor
      53 X 24 text
      Ports: parallel / IEEE-488
      modem / serial port
      Storage: dual 5-1/4 inch, 91K drives
      OS: CP/M


      Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
      Released: June 1981
      Price: US$525 (without monitor)
      How many: 2.8 Million
      CPU: TI TMS9900, 3MHz
      Memory: 16K RAM, 26K ROM
      Display: Video via an RF modulator
      32 characters by 24 lines text
      192 X 256, 16 color graphics
      Ports: ROM cartridge (on front)
      Data storage cassette
      Audio/Video output
      Joystick input
      CPU bus expansion
      Peripherals: Speech Synthesizer
      Peripheral Expansion Box
      Data storage cassette
      300 baud modem


      OH YEAH i also have a Working Commadore 64 in the orginal box still

      Commodore 64
      Introduced: January 1982
      Released: September 1982
      How many: ~17 million
      Price: US $595.
      CPU: MOS 6510, 1MHz
      Sound: SID 6581, 3 channels of sound
      RAM: 64K
      Display: 25 X 40 text
      320 X 200, 16 colors max
      Ports: TV, RGB & composite video
      2 joysticks, cartridge port
      serial peripheral port
      Peripherals: cassette recorder
      printer, modem
      external 170K floppy drive

    • #3146488


      by annthieleman

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      A Commodore 64 with a cassette tape drive. I would spend hours on input, and the end result was balloons floating up and off the screen….we have come a long way, indeed.

      • #3144814

        Same here…

        by kcapman

        In reply to Pre-floppy….

        My parents won the computer. I was in second or third grade and the envy of my friends.

        The first computer we purchased was my starter for college. An 8086 with 1MB of memory and a 20MB hard drive.

    • #3146456

      Another TRS-80

      by water slosher

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it? Model I, low serial number. Upgraded cassette to Stringy Floppy – wow! Stringy Floppy was still a tape drive, but used a high speed answering machine size tape.

      How much did it cost? More than the 2 Dells on my desk now.

      What kind of stuff did you do with it? Programming, early Usenet, Ham radio – send and and receive Morse Code and packet, initiating a divorce, speech synthesis and voice recognition.

      How long did you have it? Did?

      What did you eventually replace it with? Added 1 Model III, 2 CoCos (stacked RAM hardwired to 64K), 1 Micro CoCo, Model II w 4 8″ drives, eventually a BSR 386 . . . Still have them all. And all issues of 80 Microcomputing magazine.

      Those were the the days of tight code.

    • #3146449


      by em dubyah

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      I’m embarrassed to admit my first number crunching powerhouse complete with UBER graphics was the ((insert dramatic drumroll here))

      THE ATARI 400!!

      I swear that membrane keyboard was going to drive me nuts. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to type out basic programs that I would see in Compute! magazine and only to screw it up a million times because it was IMPOSSIBLE to type on that thing!!
      Complete with whopping 16K ram, and a 32K ROM (i think). Gawd I so don’t miss that datasette recorder. Take 20 minutes to load a 48K game!
      I thought I was on top of the world when I upgraded to the Atari 1200XL! Commodore 64 after that. Then the computer to end all computers: The Commodore Amiga. Damn if that computer wasn’t the bomb! Puzzles me how something so good, winds up in the dust. Last I heard Gateway bought the Amiga tech stuff from somebody in Europe and haven’t heard anything about it since.

      Oh well.

      Nowadays I have a small LAN in my apartment to geek on. Linux on some, Windows on others. Fun stuff.

      Little did I know what I was stepping into when I got my first computer.

      It’s a bad hobby! Never stop spending money!!! Never have enough RAM, MHZ, or Gigabytes!

    • #3157028

      Early 80’s

      by fvrba

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      I don’t remember the year I bought my first PC but the first one I ever owned was one my landlord had. He was fairly well off and very generous. He decided to buy a computer because he thought they looked like fun and for him that meant buying 2. I went over to play chess with him one day and he sent the second one home with me. Of course I was totally captured by the computer age from then on.

      It was a Commodore 64. For the next year or so I purchased several games and books. I learned how to program in machine language (which I had no use for since I live in small town, rural Nebraska). When Commodore started shipping a 128, I bought one. Wow it was blazingly fast!!! 2 MHz. I still have this machine and it still works. We’ve set up a demo a couple times to show a short computer history.

      Next came an Epson Equity I, my first IBM compatible. This one also was the lucky one to have me purchase my first hard drive. 10 MB I didn’t know what to do with all the room. After a year or so I bought an Epson Equity I+. At this time I also sold my first new machine as a reseller. It was an Epson Equity II with an 80286 CPU.

      Then came a Compaq 486/50. I was amazed at the speed with each new computer. I also got a fancy new 15″ flat screen. It came with 2 MB of RAM which I then added 2 more for only $105 each, for a total of, hang on; 4! This was my first Best Buy purchase too. Altogether, almost $3,000 for this whole setup.

      This was the end of the fun stuff. I started a computer business in 95 and new computers came regularly after the Compaq. The exhileration from one to the next just isn’t the same anymore. It seems that everyone now just expects their new one to be faster and many times people are disappointed because they thought it would be so much faster than the old one. After about 1 GHz speed just isn’t as apparent as it once was. Now everybody just wants to run an application or game better. Oh well, time marches on.

    • #3157010


      by elrsmith

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first computer was a Sinclair – I bought a kit, but by the time they sent it to me it was a “computer” all put together. It used a TV screen and required a tape deck to record any programming. Any slight jarring would knock out that programming pretty quickly. I moved to a genuine Mac in 1984 – started with nine others the Mac SIG of Washington Apple Pi – we grew from ten to a couple of thousand in one year.

    • #3156918


      by jkameleon

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      > What model was it?

      > Where did you buy it?
      Purchased parts here and there, out of the Western Block during the Cold War. Critical technology export restrictions? Ha!

      > How much did it cost?
      It was affordable enough.

      > What kind of stuff did you do with it?
      Programming for fun & profit.

      > How long did you have it?
      If my memory serves me right, it must still be buried somewhere in the cellar. Maybe it even works.

      > What did you eventually replace it with?
      IBM PC, 16 MHz, a couple of 10 MB disk, I forgot how much memory it had. Must be a couple of 10 kilobytes. I used it mostly to run cross compilers & Borland Turbo C. Very good tool. Simple, fast, and reliable as a nail.

    • #3156867

      Toshiba with 8 inch drives

      by jasonran

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it? Toshiba business class with a Z80 processor, 2 8 inch floppies and 16K of RAM. small (maybe 8 inch?) green screen and drives, all in a nice, neat little 125 pound package.

      Where did you buy it? 1991

      How much did it cost? Free, took it out of an old veneer lumber mill.

      What kind of stuff did you do with it? Learned CP/M, computer basics and wrote a highly successful (just kidding) piece of software for printing images on a daisy wheel printer (using various letters and numbers. WOW!)

      How long did you have it? 14 months

      What did you eventually replace it with? IBM PC/XT with 640 KB of RAM and an AST Six Pack card which would actually keep the system time alive when the machine was turned off (DOS 4.3, buggy stuff).

    • #3156846

      HP 9825A and TI 99/4A

      by lindsayau

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      The first was my first job in my first posting during my apprenticeship with a telecommunications carrier – get it working. The first program I got going was Lunar Lander and the next was Collosal Cave. It was a 16K RAM, mini data tape, single line LED display, daisy wheel printer output, calculator with delusions of grandeur(sp?). We eventually used it for what is was bought for. The second was my home computer, and it wasted many hours of my time teaching me how to design and program graphics-based games. Brilliant little machine, destined for the dungeon of no return thanks to Intel and IBM. Ah well. Cost of th eHP was of no interest to me. The TI I seem to remember being around $300AU, but then that was a number of years ago and my memory is a bit vague.

    • #3156820

      My first computer

      by teekay

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it? ? Olivetti laptop with twin 720K floppy drives – no hard drive and forgotten memory
      Where did you buy it? Somewhere in London UK in 1991
      How much did it cost? 450 pounds sterling
      What kind of stuff did you do with it? Word processing; spreadsheet and database design and development. Develop VB projects such as an automated ordering system for greengrocer olesalers.
      How long did you have it? About ten years, but used in conjunction with a desktop purchased in late 1991 on return to Australia.
      What did you eventually replace it with? Compaq Presario 2500.

    • #3156762

      KIM-1 6502 Processor w/256 Bytes Memory

      by dale moss

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      KIM-1 – Key Input Mode Single board computer. It cost something like $400, so I borrowed one for a few weeks from a professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA in the late 70’s. It had a hexadecimal keypad and two 7-segment hexadecimal digit displays. I spent an afternoon writing a program about 137 bytes long that could divide 1 binary coded decimal (BCD) number 8 digits long by another one of the same length, and place the result in a 16 byte buffer. I had to hand translate the mnemonics into hexadecimal bytes and enter them into memory through the hex keypad. It took half an evening to test the program, but it worked! All the hard work was lost, of course, on power off. My next computer represented a gigantic step forward for mankind: An Apple II+ for $4,000 in 1980 w/48K memory, 2 floppy disk drives, a monochrome monitor, and Applesoft Basic. Heavenly!

    • #3156706

      1st computer was

      by gkrew

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      A commodore 64. I no longer have it but it was memorable.

    • #3155246

      IBM 360/20

      by dwardell

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first machine encounter involved renting time on an IBM 360/20. It had 64k of “core,” and used decks of cards or paper tape for input. We thought it was a wonderful machine.

      We paid by the machine cycle and the clock hour (very expensive). It made sense to try hard for programs that would execute in fewer steps.

      We wrote our own applications in what was called BAL–until someone sold us on the merits of this nifty thing called COBOL.

      • #3157994

        Did it have the MFCM?

        by deepsand

        In reply to IBM 360/20

        The Multi-function Card Machine was billed as being the jam proof; and, accordingly, it had very limited access to the card path, with the result that much time was spent with a card saw, trying to clear the frequent jams that actually occurred.

        It very quickly became known as the “Mother f***ing Card Mulcher!”

      • #3165742

        first encounter: PDP 8 ~ 1973

        by baldwinleo9

        In reply to IBM 360/20

        OK – this one I did not own, in fact I never saw it. At my high school, computer programming involved marking Hollerith cards with a pencil. Once a week (!) – talk about batch processing – the teacher would drive to the next county, pick up last weeks printout and cards, and submit this week’s cards for processing. (we typically rotated 2 decks of cards). All for no extra money, not even milage (teachers were more dedicated back then, and just as poor).
        Cost: N/A, Model: PDP 8, Use: education, Replaced with: N/A

    • #3156011


      by dadomaddy1952

      In reply to What was your first computer?


    • #3156266

      Radio Shack TRS-80 Model III

      by scohrs

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      It had a whopping 16 K of memory, and loaded programs from a tape recorder. I remember writing little BASIC programs like a variant of Lunar Lander. And I bought 5 1/4″ floppy drives for it.

      Utility was limited, so I bought a Franklin 1200, an Apple II clone. Apple was the way to go in those days, and the Franklin was tricked out with dual hard disks and at least 64K of RAM. I bumped it up to 128K and added a few things like a CP/M card…

      Apple had their chance with the Apple II GS that I bought next — and blew it. Apple advertised it as the crossover machine to the Macintosh, so I bought one — and then they didn’t deliver. The II GS was actually a nicer machine than early Macs, but they let it fade — and my confidence in them went with it. I moved to Wintel boxes in the early Seventies (a dealer-constructed 386SX) and never looked back…

      • #3142975

        Radio Shack TRS-80 Model III

        by oldmaven

        In reply to Radio Shack TRS-80 Model III

        Are you sure that was a III? The one with the CPU, CRT, and keyboard all in one cabinet? I wasn’t aware that one was sold without a floppy drive.

        I had one, with floppy, which was my workhorse. I added a few enhancements, though: A green-phosphor CRT in place of the black/white (or rather, gray/gray) original; an improved OS (L-DOS, as I recall); a third-party enhanced version of Scripsit; my first HDD (External, $1,000, which bought me a whopping 5 MB! Thought I’d never fill it! (and come to think of it, by the time I might have, I’d switched to a PC).

        One additional enhancement was because of my cat. Tigger liked to sit on top of hte monitor, where he could keep me company and keep his belly warm. When he stepped down, he’d invariably hit the red button (power? reset? I forget which), and I’d lose my unsaved work. The button was in a recess, but his paw was just the right side to go in. So I made a guard flap from a file folder, and taped it over the recess. Problem solved.

    • #3156116

      One of my earliest memories in life…

      by crabbyabby86

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      …is sitting in front of my family’s full Commodore64 system, with a sheet of paper my older brother printed out at school. He told me to just type it all in… turns out one of the first things I vividly remember ever doing was programming a little connect-four style computer game. I must have been 5 or 6 years old. That would have been about 14 years ago.

      It was only a short time after that, maybe just a year, when we got our Acer. All I really remember of it was the sleeve of CDs that came with it, four or five of which were games appropriate for my age. Some coloring book and a MathBlaster. I also vaguely remember running out of hard drive space a lot. That’s what happens with two adults and three children sharing less than a gig of hard drive space.

      The real revolution for me was when my brothers showed me Hotmail. I still have the same hotmail address from when I was 10 years old. I think those were still Acer days.

      And then: the dark ages. Compaq Presario. WinME. Ugh. I rather lost interest in computers for a while.

      Anyway, I just thought it was most interesting that, after thinking about it, I’ve probably had a passion for computers since before I can remember. Neato.

    • #3156095

      IBM P/S 2 Model 60Z

      by smallbiz-techwiz

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      It had a 60MB ESDI hard drive and I upgraded the RAM to 8MB a year later.

    • #3156075

      IBM 360/20 . . . . . . . . .

      by a.techno.geek

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Well, yeah it was an IBM 360/20. I was 16 at the time (1967) and learning how to wire up Unit Record Equipment (to you young duffers out there, it is equipment that utilizes IBM/Hollerith cards 80 columns plus. Hollerith worked for the U.S. Census Bureau in the 1890’s that needed a quicker way to do the Census. They used wires to poke through the punch holes to find data). Since I had graduated from the school (I nternational D ata P rocessing I nstitute otherwise known as IDPI, even before I graduated from High School), I had vowed to own my own computer, even if it But if we are talking personal computers, my first computer was a Trash 80 (TRS 80 level II) level II. I had previously learned ANSI BASIC so when I got to my Trash 80 I was a little ahead of the game. In 1979 I went to college for Computer Information Systems and graduated in 1984. After that I had purchased several personal computers and now I build and my (baby)sister build our own computers.

    • #3156663

      NEC PC-8001

      by jmccomb

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      This was 8 bit computer. I payed about $4,000 it had 2 floopy drives(160K) 64k ram and RGB color monitor.

      Replaced it with custom S-100 computer with main
      boards from Siera Data System (Z80 and 64k ram)it ran on CPM and had 2X 1.2meg 8″ 1/2 hieght Qume drives.

      and still have them.

    • #3156636

      VIC20 and then a Tandy Coco 3 with 128k of RAM!

      by unclerob

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Those were the days.

      The Vic20 was just a pig, tape drive, black & white 12″ tv for a display, huge text, basic was the programming language you would type thousands of lines of basic code just to get some crap text based game to function but it was the bug that bit me and got me interested in computers to begin with. A couple years later, I got a Tandy Coco 3 with 128K Ram for christmas (I was maybe 11 at the time), it boasted real color, lots of color, varying levels of display resolution and I believe it had a top resolution of 640×480 which at the time was unheard of, I had a monthly subscription to Rainbow (magazine for Coco computer owners), it basically completed the transformation from regular kid to geek all in a few short months. The weight gain and corrective lenses came afterwards, no doubt from lack of physical activity and staring at a color monitor 6″ from my face for several hours at a time. Computer & keyboard were the same thing, but it was an actual color monitor, not a tv, a 5 1/4″ floppy disk drive, a dot matrix printer, and the rest they say is history.

      • #3156499

        A Gateway 2000

        by apres ski

        In reply to VIC20 and then a Tandy Coco 3 with 128k of RAM!

        What model was it?
        Gateway 2000, floppy 3.5, 5.25, external CD-ROM
        1 gig RAM, 40 or 60 hard drive, & 20 inch monitor. I laugh now at what we thought was sooooooooooo hot & now, this would hardly do for a Disney CD/DVD!! WOW! Have things changed or what!

        I bought a Canon 7000 inkjet printer. One of the best printers still. But I recently bought a i70 Canon portable printer to go with my laptop. The laptop didn’t last long. It burned out within 8 months.

        It arrived in 3 black & white boxes with cow patches on it. It was very cool. I still have the big box even though now, it’s in storage with my Gateway 2000. Like my childhood, it brings back good, fun, fond memories of the early 90’s and all the stuff I was learning at the time.

        Where did you buy it?
        After shopping for hours using newspapers, magazines, Gateway catalogs, I ordered it over the phone.

        How much did it cost?
        About $6,000! So my mother says because she paid for it. I ordered a 1 gig for the hard drive, and in those days, I was king of the hill!! HAHAHA! It cost plenty to put that on, but their eyes lit up when I asked them to.

        What kind of stuff did you do with it?
        It’s what I DIDN’T do with it!! School, work, started a business with it, DTP, you name it, I did it!

        How long did you have it?
        I had it about 1993-96, by then Windows 95 came out & I was forced to upgrade.

        What did you eventually replace it with?
        I replaced it with a Dell XPS 2 in 2003 because of a class I was in. I thought I could bluff my way through Word & Excel 2003 and I found out the hard way I needed a new computer.

        I did have 3 generic substitutes in between. I was forced to run out & buy the first thing i saw because I was in the middle of a DTP project. But for shear power, speed, and the work I do, I knew I needed a gamers PC.

        Right now, I’m shopping for a gamers laptop. I know it will be either a Dell XPS or Alienware.

      • #3165746

        Coco ROCKS! Multitasking OS!

        by baldwinleo9

        In reply to VIC20 and then a Tandy Coco 3 with 128k of RAM!

        Did you know OS-9 was multitasking? I went to school in Waterloo, ON, home of Volker Craig, a maker of computer terminals. They had these junk sales on the weekend. A friend of mine had 9(!) surplused Volker Craig terminals all hooked up to 1 CoCo running OS-9. Fantastic! Why? Because he could!

    • #3157916

      My first PC

      by rd4554

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it? Commodore VIC20
      Where did you buy it? Computer Store
      How much did it cost? around $100
      What kind of stuff did you do with it? Games and BASIC programming
      How long did you have it? probably three years
      What did you eventually replace it with? Commodore 64

    • #3157879

      Work – private

      by pkr9

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first computer was an IBM 1400 punched card machine. It was the size of a decent house, and I have forgotten everything about ram etc. You programmed it by connecting holes in a honeycomb plate with small wires. It had the big advantage that when something crashed, you could SEE the crumbled cards, repunch them, put them back and press ‘go’. Sorting was the big thing, as mostly you used an ‘update’ stack of cards against a ‘master’ stack of cards. If the master file suddenly went berserk reading and outputting cards like h*** and nothing else happened, sure thing was you had a sequence error in the ‘update’ file. It was easy to see on the output stack from the masterfile where the error started – the edge of the stack looked different. So you loaded back from the master output to the master input, noted where you were in the update stack, resorted it, placed it back in the update, and ignored errors about mastefile being out-of-sync with update until the next – correct – update card was read.
      Later I moved to a Bull something with 16k (bits – not bytes) core store, 8 tapeunits and – in 1970 – a 1200 lpm printer. Staff was 1 boss, 3 programmers, 1 planner, 8 operators and 12 punchers. Operation was 3 shifts. The punchers were a real asset as they were all female, mostly young, adding a lot to the atmosphere and raising the value of office parties.Then I changed to IBM360/25 and followed IBM until the iSeries hwich I left in 2001, to concentrate entirely on project management.

      First PC was an IBM PC-G with a 6 needle printer which I still have and it still works. Current one is a Shuttle full of nice goodies dualbooting into Linux/XP – with a strong preference for the first.

    • #3157338

      First computer

      by jwolf

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it? Sinclair
      Where did you buy it? Order via Philtron
      How much did it cost? Can’t remember,
      What kind of stuff did you do with it? Programming
      How long did you have it? 2 years
      What did you eventually replace it with? Commodore 64

    • #3157519

      Sinclair ZX80

      by arthurp

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first computer was a Sinclair ZX80, which at the time was a very advanced piece of kit, with ?kb of ram. But sadly this could only handle integers …

      Over the next year I did any odd little job that a schoolboy could do; paper round, returning glass pop bottles for the 10p deposits, digging gardens in the summer, and repairing bicycles so that I could afford the ?80 for the ZX81 kit.

      Having sent the postal order off to Sinclair, proudly announcing that I would like to order a ZX81 kit I sat back in anticipation of its’ arrival. Then on my birthday in early November my grandfather made me sign for a box from the postman. When I opened it, I was over the moon, and totally confused because the kit that I had ordered appeared to be a fully assembled computer – little did I know that my gandparents had ordered the ZX81 two days before I did.

      With 1kb of RAM – WOW – and able to handle absolute numbers this was a powerful machine.

      Two days later my kit arrived, and I sat down with a friend of the family & my granddad over the next two weeks soldering the thing together in order to finally screw the case together and power it up on the small portable TV just in time to go to bed for Christmas Eve. For what it was the ZX81 represented a leap in home technology, I could record my cassette collection within a database, I could fly a flight simulator, and spend hours typing in programs only to watch it crash when I pressed save. Even worse, was realising that you had failed to connect the cassette recorder to the thing and knowing that you had lost 4 hours worth of work.

      Over the next couple of years I progressed to the Comadore Pet that was in need of repair; and stumbling across a Comadore 710 – which looked as though it actually belonged in some futureistic episode of Space 1999 – before buying an Atari 510 which was used as a word processor, replacing my 9-pin Epson FX80 with another printer.

      It wasn’t until the late 80’s that I progressed into PC’s with my first XT, and then 8088 (AT), before buying my first laptop, (a leading edge 486 with a colour screen), with a 30Mb HD and 2Mb RAM whilst I was in Tampa back in the very early 90’s. Truthfully I think the guy who sold it to me thought I was rich. What I didn’t tell him was that I had a UK credit card & that the exchange rate was nearly $2:?1 so I had a bargain – the guy even gave me a 10% discount because I was English.

      I still have the ZX80, and both ZX81’s which work; yet I wonder whether we’ve really advanced with computers. Yes both the power and functionality of the systems have improved within the last 26 years. But have we ?

      23 years ago the Geek was found loitering within the broom cupboard or somewhere within the basement amongst the cobwebs, I was 16 and writing programs for school children so that they worked in less than 32kb; yet today this is not enough to hold some sound files; and memory is measured in Gb, rather than Kb’s. Nibbles have faded into a distant memory, and are now regarded as small bites of your food, and other than the Older geek just how many new techies could explain the use of a 3 dimensional array within the program code, and not a database; not to mention the difference between an Operating Environment and Operating System ?

      The first program that I downloaded was back in November 1981, with my cassette recorder pressed against the speaker of the TV, and it was from BBC’s Tomorrow’s World. Not that it worked, but it was fun …


      • #3145459


        by mark miller

        In reply to Sinclair ZX80

        I read your story with rapt attention! I guess I could relate a little. When I got started with computers, I was always using computers owned by someone else. Neither I nor my single mom could afford them. This was in the early 1980s. It took a while, but eventually they came down in price to the point that we could actually buy one for me.

        I also had some mishaps with typing in programs on an 8-bit computer, whether it was an Atari, or C-64 (my friend’s) and then losing them when I tried to save. When my friend first got his C-64, he didn’t have a storage device. He just played games on the cartridges he got with it. Eventually he did get a 1541 disk drive, but before that I wanted badly to see some C-64 type-in games run. I knew I wouldn’t be able to save, but what the heck. I spent a couple hours typing in the BASIC code, played the game for a while, then turned the computer off and lost it all. I seem to recall having some mishaps even after he got the disk drive…

        I really enjoyed this part:

        “The first program that I downloaded was back in November 1981, with my cassette recorder pressed against the speaker of the TV, and it was from BBC’s Tomorrow’s World. Not that it worked, but it was fun …”

        Wow! You know I had a similar experience. Back in the 1980s we used to get a LOT of UK pop music here in the U.S. One of the groups I used to hear a lot, and kind of liked, was Information Society. I can’t remember how I heard this. I either was listening to someone else’s Information Society tape or their CD, and it’s last track was some digital data converted to analog! I listened to it and it sounded like a 300 baud carrier signal, followed by modulation representing data. I never got the chance to try and pipe it into something, like a 300 baud modem. I remember imagining how I could do it, like play it through someone else’s stereo, have them call my modem on my computer with their handset phone, and see if it came out with something intelligable. I used to wonder what the heck that last track was. Was it some message? Maybe it was supposed to be loaded into a TS or a BBC Micro at the time.

    • #3157387

      Timex Sinclair TS-1000

      by frank_boston

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first real (?) computer was a Timex Sinclair TS-1000. As a poor college student, I bought it used for $35. I also had the optional 16K addon memory pack, about the size of a pack of cigarettes. Programs were saved onto an external cassette tape deck (not included). You hooked it up to a TV, and the pixels were about 1/8″ in size, as I recall. Despite that, I managed to write several programs to demonstrate underground seismic waves reflecting back to the surface. I was sad when it died!

    • #3157377

      mine was a QL

      by mike.harcourt

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first computer was a Sinclair QL with a blistering 128k memory….ah what memories, I spent many long hours writing my first novel on this machine until it eventually died, taking with it my literary aspirations!

    • #3165844

      My First Computer

      by johnpaulm

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Actually my first was a minavac 601 I found in the alley, had lites and buttons didn’t do much.

      My next was a Commodore 64.

      My first real computer was a IBM XT I think it had a 10 meg hard drive, and a Princeton Graphics color monitor. That about all I can remember about the spec.’s. I do remember it cost me $10,000.00 brand new.


    • #3165768

      Commodore Pet/Vic-20/C64

      by krustykanuck

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it? Commodore Pet and Vic-20 (My cousin and I also shared a Sinclair ZX81)

      Where did you buy it? Pet in Edmonton, Canada and Vic-20 in Cold Lake, Canada

      How much did it cost? Pet = $800, Vic-20 = $300

      What kind of stuff did you do with it? Pet was my fathers for business use. Vic-20 was mainly for gaming and learning BASIC programming

      How long did you have it? Pet for 5 years, Commodore Vic-20 for 2 years, Commodore 64 for 6 years.
      What did you eventually replace it with? Commodore Vic-20 to Commodore 64 in 1985, Commodore 64 to IBM 486DX33 clone in 1991

      I remember being able to copy loads of freeware and shareware games on to my tape drive. Every kid on the block was coming to our house (and leaving their blocky Atari VCS/2600 in the dust). Games like Snackman, Choplifter, Omega Race, the Space Invaders ripoff, Froggee, Night Driver, Lunar Lander. Stayed up late at night sometimes writing programs from Compute! magazine to see if they would work. Also had the 16k memory expansion. Got to use my Dad’s Pet for typing assignments on.

      When the Commodore 64 came out I bought the C64 first for $300 and then later the 1541 disk drive for another $300 with paper route money. Even more games were copied with this machine thanks to hacking software from Europe. The Commodore dot matrix printer was very slow and noisy but it at least would print the fonts that were found on the GEOS Commodore windows interface. Anyone remember GEOWrite? or GEODraw?…..With 64k those programs struggled…The games were great though with titles like Summer Games from EA, F15 Strike Eagle from MicroProse, H.E.R.O, Donkey Kong, Lode Runner, Jumpman, Miner 2049er, Karateka, Castle Wolfenstein, etc… you just had to be patient with the 5.25″ disk drive; Load “*”,8,1 and return…

      I sold the C64 computer, disk drive, monitor and printer for $250 back in 1991 to save up for a IBM clone. When I got my 486 I learned a lot about PCs when a roommate of mine introduced me to the art of ugrading computers and online bulletin boards, before the advent of the internet as we know it..

      • #3165754

        Remember the bouncing ball?

        by dmthornton

        In reply to Commodore Pet/Vic-20/C64

        Do any of you remember the basic programs that came with the Vic-20 manual (I think this is where they came from). My first experience programming was typing in and modifying that program that bounced a ball around the screen. I still remember the excitement I felt. I’ve been programming ever since.

        Compute! magazine was great as well. There’s probably so many people who got inspired to program through this magazine.

        • #3165727

          Early programs on Commodore

          by krustykanuck

          In reply to Remember the bouncing ball?

          Yeah, I also copied that bouncing ball program… and my first Compute program was the meteor game where you type any key on the keyboard to shoot a block at a square meteor (as they would call it) before it reached the bottom of the screen. The game flickered so bad we often wondered if anyone who had epilepsy (not as a joke) would be effected. I use to poke and peek characters and sounds to change some of the games so that graphics would be skewed (like putting PacMan in a skirt and making the ghosts look like body parts. I had a hard time figuring out the machine language compiler that Compute! developed though. Took a year of attempts to get it to work..

        • #3145453

          Yep. Remembering Compute! Magazine

          by mark miller

          In reply to Remember the bouncing ball?

          “Compute! magazine was great as well. There’s probably so many people who got inspired to program through this magazine.”

          I don’t remember the bouncing ball program from the Vic-20, since I didn’t have one, but I was an avid subscriber to Compute! while it published type-in programs. I was a subscriber to their multi-platform magazine just called “Compute!”. They stopped publishing type-ins in it in 1988. I remember I was so depressed, because this magazine was the only one IMO at the time that published good type-ins and descriptive technical articles for the Atari 8-bit. They said most of their readers weren’t interested in type-ins, but just wanted to be educated about how to use PCs. They continued type-ins for their platform-specific magazines, until it became infeasible to keep them going. Later I discovered “Antic”, another magazine that lasted for a bit longer, which published type-ins for the Atari.

          Compute! was a part of the inspiration for me to become a software developer.

          Is there an equivalent of this experience today? I haven’t seen it. For me, having to type in the programs was more educational than just reading the code. There was quite a bit of the code I didn’t understand, but as I typed it in, some of the routines used in the code would “sink in”, and I would understand what they were intended for and what they were doing. Secondly, at least in “the early years”, they published descriptive articles that outlined the parts of the code, giving summaries of what each part did. I never quite understood this, but frequently they published type-ins that had bugs in them. Didn’t they test them first? Every month they had an errata column called “Capute!” (pronounced “Ka-put”) where they published corrections to prior months’ published programs.

          In “the early years” the acompanying articles to the type-ins were very descriptive, with technical information. Later on they didn’t do this so much and that watered down the experience. The artwork for the magazine was great, too. It helped give it a friendly, inviting touch.

          What they published more and more towards the end were machine code programs–just raw numbers, which were utterly useless in educational value as far as I was concerned. I never understood why they didn’t publish them in assembly. At least then I might’ve had a chance to get something out of them besides just typing them in to use them.

          Compute! passed through a few different hands through its life. Richard Mansfield, one of the former editors for Compute! wrote for up until a year and a half ago. He wrote an article that raised a lot of hackles, “OOP Is Much Better in Theory Than in Practice”

          He’s also written around 30 technical books, many of which he wrote after leaving Compute!. As best I can tell he’s only written about Microsoft technologies since.

          Incidently, Tom R. Halfhill, one of the editors at Compute! back in the day is still around. He has a website at He now writes for Microprocessor Report and Maximum PC.

          Doing a web search I happened to find an article on Robert Lock. I forget, but my impression is he was the founder of Compute!. Maybe he was editor-in-chief as well. Anyway, I found an article about him on a non-technical subject, “Magazine publisher goes back to his roots”:

          One of the other major figures at Compute! was Charles Brannon, though I could not find a website for him.

          Ah. Neat stuff! 馃檪

    • #3165752

      RCA1801 2 chip CMOS 2MHz ~1976

      by baldwinleo9

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Well, that was just a chipset (2 chips, Register and Control). Nomnally 2MHz but would single step (i.e.: use a debounced momentary switch instead of the clock – handy for debugging). Needed a “few” external chips to make a computer, including a few 7-segment LEDs!
      Bought: mail order
      Cost: chipset – a few dollars ($20?) everything else? $200+
      Do with it? first, a multi-setting alarm clock, later morphed into a darkroom clock (hey, the red LEDs were “safe” for paper.
      How long? until I scraped the darkroom in 2001
      Replaced with? Nothing – no film, no darkroom, no timer. Or you could say I replaced it with a digital camera, a flash card, and a Pentium Laptop running PaintShop Pro 9 (my virtual darkroom, but it still needs no timer).

      • #3143480

        SuperElf, heavily modded

        by andrew.beals

        In reply to RCA1801 2 chip CMOS 2MHz ~1976

        The people who designed the SuperElf board were right-handed so I had to fix that as I was building it, and it ended up in a nice walnut case with a smoked Plexiglas top, with about half the machine wire-wrapped.

        These kids with their pre-built computers!

    • #3165748

      Kaypro II, 1982, if an RCA 1801 doesn’t count…….

      by baldwinleo9

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      See above for RCA 1801 blather, but is this really a computer by todays standards? No screen, no QWERTY keyboard etc., so in that case…. Kaypro running CP/M and WordSTAR 1.1 on dual 5″ Floppies. Love that 9″ green screen. Used if for term papers, lab reports and resumes. Had my first wife (and my friends wife) typing up term papers and resumes on it for extra $$$. Bought a 24 pin Toshiba printer for high-quality output (first 24pin printer is the age of 9-pin and Daisy-wheel printers). I think the printer cost more than the computer, and we had to write a driver for it.
      Model: Kaypro II
      Bought: local computer store for about Cdn$2K.
      Did: Word processing, a little spreadsheet stuff, a little programming in SBASIC.
      Had it: 2 years.
      Replaced it with: IBM PC clone.

    • #3165736

      My first computers

      by bshodges3

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Started with unit record equipment in the ’50’s. First programmable computers were IBM 1620 and CDC 1604. Migrated through the entire CDC family: 3L00, 3U00, 6×00 and 7600 writing Fortran and assembly language.

      First home computer: Microdata 800, 4k memory, paper tape and ASR-33 (teletype)

      Second owned computer — Osborne I, purchased in 1981, 64k memory, dual floppies, came with Wordstar, SuperCalc, MBasic, CBasic and CP/M OS.
      Cost $1,995. Still have the first box of 10 SSDD floppies – $67.00! The Ozzie is STILL IN USE at my office and is used to drive a Qume Daisy Wheel printer. I use this system to print continuous one-up mailing labels and company checks. Software which I had for the Osborne includes: Cobol, Fortran, Personal Perl and compiled Basic.

    • #3165730

      Commodore 64

      by jkozura

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      …unless you count the BASIC Programming cartridge for the ATARI 2600.
      The 64 was bought at Dillard’s, I believe. I think including monitor, printer, and floppy drive it cost about $1200 in 1985. Eventually, I got another floppy (2!) a 1200 baud modem, 9 pin printer, Koalapad, etc.
      I used it to the max and finally replaced it with an Amiga 500.

      • #3143561

        Commodore 64

        by mitch

        In reply to Commodore 64

        My first puter was also a 64, unless you count Intelivision or even TV pong,,,lol
        In 84 I bought an IBM pc at Computerland in NYC. It was about $3500, 2 large floppies, and also bought few programs that cost $500+ each, d’base, wordstar, and lotus 123.
        A green screen monitor and dot matrix printer came with the package.
        In 89 I turned to Mac, the grayscale 9″ screen all in one SE box was awesome compared to IBM’s dos based systems. You had 2mb of ram, a 20mb hard drive, 250kb of video, and even a mouse. Let the clicking begin,,

    • #3165725

      Computer or PC ?

      by udippel

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Jason has a list of Apple/IBM/other.

      My first computer was a PDP11/34; way back. Not my own, as you can imagine; but I was the single user; in Research.
      My first own computer was a used ZX81 that I bought 21 years ago and sold it for the same price a few days later.
      My first PC was an IBM ‘sewing machine’; portable with a green, built-in monitor (forgot how many inches, 8 or so), 286, 640kB of RAM, 20 MB of harddisk. Did all of my work on it.
      My last PC was and is a DELL Inspiron 8100 (I like the portable ones, you see); five years old and still working (though DELL had to replace almost everything: Hard disc (3x), keyboard, floppy, motherboard, CDROM, power supply; so it won’t be a DELL again).
      As long as it runs, I’ll keep it. With P-III 866 and 256 MB it runs Debian great and fast.

    • #3166409


      by kswamy

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      I first purchased a laptop manfd. in Hongkong with 80MB hard drive and 64KB memory in 1989. but later I wanted to change battery and increase thememory but when I wrote tothe manufacturer letter returned that the addressee left. I purchased it at that time at about US$4200. I used it for word and excel.then I have to throw it out when my assistant spoiled the computer by dropping it on the floor.I am now usign only desktops and do not use laptops.

    • #3166344

      Programa 101

      by manitobamike

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Wasn’t mine but our school had one. Big box 2.5 ft square 1ft tall. Not floppy or HD. Programmed on numeric keyboard. Stored programs on a magnetic card. Got me interested in computers then (Late 1960’s). Saw one again 4 yrs ago in landfill site.
      Anyone else remember these?

    • #3143575

      Tektronics 8K Programmable

      by cruelmcc

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Really a large programmable calculator–programmed in octal (base 8) saved to 1/4 in tape. Later upgraded to 8″ SSSD for storage. One could load in a 2000 ‘word’ core, and then bring in overlays at 6000 a pop–all on an 8K machine. Output was paper tape, later a Diable typewriter–all hooked together with a cable-50 twisted pairs! Wish I still had it.

    • #3143540

      My first Computer…

      by ___._

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      ZX Spectrum (81)

      16k of the highest quality memory!
      (Later featured 48K!!!!)
      Featured rubber keys!
      It was the size of a laptop keyboard!

      Done a bit of BASIC programming and played defender.

    • #3143441

      First PC

      by tryten

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it? Commodore 64

      Where did you buy it? Local Shop

      How much did it cost? Dont know, father purchased

      What kind of stuff did you do with it? Games mostly….

      How long did you have it? Still do, well pieces of it.

      What did you eventually replace it with? A hammer, then a Commodore Amiga 1000.

    • #3144699


      by carldavidtodd

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      The first computer I helped design, build, and use was a system we built at Auburn Research Foundation as a top secret developmental project for the Air force in 1952. Cost was about $2,000,000 The first computer that I personally owned was a Redcor in about 1965. Cost was about $5,000. Used it for network analysis, word processing, and accounting.

    • #3144689

      i can only just remember my first computer

      by gazzbo999

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Well not counting the abacus or my first programable calculator that had a magnetic data reader that used a piece of wood like a nail file with a piece of magnetic tape stuck to it, my first real machine was a sinclair ZX80, not to be confused with the 81, which sold in the zillions.
      this machine as i recall had 1k of memory on board for everthing and no data storage facility, hence program it and switch it of and then start all over again.
      when a line of basic was input the screen went off while it was processed because of the shared memory, not much different now with xp pro 2gig of ram and working on a large photoshop file.
      ANy way this unit was the princely sum of ?99.00 back in 1979.
      This soon had to go and was replaced by an early pet, then a trs80 by radio shack then a sharp mz80k, so who remembers any of them.
      Apricot F5 (5 megabyte hard drive)
      Atari 800, atari ST later and we ended up with a early IBM xt.
      the rest is history, todays homebuilt machine using and AMD 64 bit (my first AMD chip in 28yrs of computing)
      Here we are with 1000 time more ram than my first hard drive.
      where will we be in anither 10 years

      Garry Kirby
      Computer lover and consultant in the UK

    • #3144678

      Radi Shack Colour Computer 3

      by oreamnos_americanus

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Radio Shack Colour Computer 3

      Radio Shack

      Don’t remember what it cost but I remember I maxed the memory (individual DIP chips), bought a floppy controller from a friend, and hooked it up to a surplus DEC chassis with two 5.25″ floppies. The CoCo OS (never did put OS-9 on it) treated each side of a floppy as a drive so it had four 180k ‘drives’.

      Mostly played games on it

      After a year and a half I bought a Commodore 10/20, an IBM/PC clone with a 5.25″ & 3.5″ floppy, EGA, a 20 Mb HD and a 2400 baud modem.

    • #3144675

      TI 99-4A

      by rigginsa

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first was a TI 99. Had to type in programs and save them to a cassette.

    • #3144668

      Commador 64

      by blfalcon45

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Commador C 64
      Purchased in Ft Bliss TX for 129.99 in 1984. I learned to change IBM program commands so they can run on the commador. Played a lot of games load”*”,8,1. Replaced it with an IBM 1088

    • #3144659

      A toy? Some said so.

      by lynnblumenfeld

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      !983- an Adam by Coleco. It had a tape drive and I used an A-B switch so my TV was my monitor. At the time, Knight-Ritter had a hook-up that was the internet before the internet. Most people didn’t understand what I was talking about when I spoke of emailing others on the network. They thought I had completely lost it.

    • #3144651

      Old Timer

      by poordeth

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      How about an ATARI XE with 1 drive with 5-1/4 disks

    • #3144623

      an IMSAI 8080 …

      by mc11

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      I bought it from the manufacturer for $400, and it had 24 LEDs & switches for I/O and 4KB of memory in 1978.

      I took a Freeden Flexowriter (a Punch-Paper-Tape Electric typewriter) and hacked it so I could use the PPT reader & writer as storage, and the typewriter as a printer. It was slow, but at that rate, it would ‘last forever!’

      I expanded the memory to 64KB, and then to 2MB. And I added an 8″ FDD (128KB) and of course I had to make my own Video Display (16-lines x 64-chars)

      I had it until my x-wife called and said: “The dumpster is leaving on Wednesday, and you can have ‘anything you want’ before then.” I retrieved it, but then sold it to a collector in NY for $400 (+S&H).

      It was supplemented with an IBM 5150 16MB RAM, 320K FDD in 1984. And I replaced it with a 20MHz 386 AT-clone.


    • #3144563

      1ST Computer — KIM 1

      by arobart

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first was a Kim 1 ( keyboard input monitor) with 1.0k of program memory; program input by numeric keypad, model 74 teletype, punched {paper) tape or hi-speed magnetic tape (audio cassets) at approx 2400 baud.
      Expanded unit to 8k and added video output

      The unit still works but I no longer have the teletype console.
      this unit was replaced with an Apple II

    • #3144533

      another IMSAI 8080

      by guygo

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      The first computer I made/owned was an IMSAI 8080 from a kit. It was blown out to 64K(!) of RAM, and had no BIOS to speak of. To boot the thing the first time, I loaded a 37-step bootstrap loader (in hex) into memory via the 16 front panel “Data Switches”, which made it look to COM1 for data, attached to which was my portable cassette player that had a PCM-encoded copy of CP/M 1.2 on it. Push Play, load the OS into RAM, and tell the computer to jump to zero, and boom!, it’s CP/M. Once CP/M was up, I could read the 2 Shugart 8″ floppies I had, and crank-crank away running a home-brew inventory management software package written in Basic (CBASIC perhaps, I forget). It was eventually replaced with an IBM AT with a hard drive (oooo!).

      The good-old days??? I’ll take my dual-core Athlon64 with 4GB any day.

      Thanks for asking. I love threads like this.


    • #3144530

      TRS-80 Model1

      by sykandtyed

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      At the time, 1978, if you owned RS stock you got a 10% discount. The total price for 16k, keyboard, monitor and a floppie drive was around $1800, so I bought 2 shares at 9$. Later, I bought the expansion module and a second floppy and memory to fill the sockets. They cost around $120 for 16k. I filled it out to 64k,4 5-1/4″ drives, telephone modem 300 baud, gold connectors for connecting keyboard to expansion module, Started with MS BASIC on ROM that used around the first 10 or 12K, Dos 1 thru 2 was Radio Shack DOS writen by Randy Cook. Cook couldn”t debug DOS and tried to copywrite DOS. that pissed RS off so they fired him and handed it over to MS around late 79 or early 80. I wrote payroll, inventory and construction estimator all in BASIC. MS sent me a compiler that was supposed to convert BASIC to machine code. but because the Z80 chip had been clocked down. It would take a day or more to finish with so many error lines made it useless. Electric Pencil was the first word program and the dictionary was on a floppy disc. My printer was a Centronics dot matrics @ 15 cps.

    • #3144518

      First Computer

      by alpreston

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first computer was a homebrew Z80/S100 system
      running first SOLOS, then CP/M, which I started building in
      1978. Cost by the time I was donw was about $4000
      including peripherals. I used it for going online (BBS’s and
      internet)m, for keeping personal records and a couple of
      databases and for word processing, and general hobby stuff.
      I kept it until about 2 years ago, though it hadn’t been used
      much since I got my second computer (a Z80 SBC from a
      small Toronto manufacturer) in the mid-80’s,

    • #3144516

      First Computer???

      by hippyray69

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My Very First Computer Ever Was The Atari 2600, Laughing Well Seriously It Was A Commador 64 in the early 80’s however i was taught in the mid 80’s on the APPLE II,IIE & IIGS i never used a windows machine until 2000 i started on webtv in 98 and pc in 2000 my very first computer was custom built windows 98 64 mb ram not sure about the hard drive im guesisng 2 gig it was nothing fancy lol hehehehe

      my second pc ever was a HP 540n which had in it P$ 1.6 256 mb pc 2700 40 gb hd cd-rw win xp home In 2001
      Then in 2003 it was a dell 4600 ,P4 2.4 40, GB HD, 256 PC2700 DDR,Windows xp home cd-rw/dvd rom paid 900.00 for it, still amking payments lol

      2 weeks ago built myself an amd sempron 2800 with windows xp home 1 gb pc3200 100 gb hd dvd-rw combo floppy 8 usb 2.0 ports optical mouse keyboard speakers all for a fee of 350.00

      before that built a socket 775 Pentium D 2.8 with 1 gb DDR2 Memory 80 GB HD DVD-RW Windows XP Pro Cost Of 550.00 Sold For 1000.00 Not Bad Huh I Played With It For 2 Months Before Selling It

    • #3144492

      Timex Z81

      by netquest

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first computer was a Timex z81, cost $49.95 bought it at a supermarket.

      Next were:
      Timex-Sinclair z100
      Tandy Color Computer
      IMB PCjr
      Pentium I
      Pentium II
      Pentium III
      Dell (don’t remember the model)
      Dell Workstation
      2.8 gig Build myself

      Darn just sat here adding up how much I have invested in computing since 1982, and I could buy a new car…..

      Oh well, life goes on for another year or two and then another computer? Probably.

    • #3144444

      Amiga 1000

      by zclayton2

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      * with the memory expansion.
      * from a “white box” store.
      * $ – don’t remember
      * programming, word processing, BBS, early internet, games
      several years. turned it into a lugable unit when I replaced it with an:
      Amiga 2000. and eventually a 3000.

    • #3144423

      IMSAI 8080

      by dave.sanders

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Judging by the posts so far looks like mine might be the oldest. It was the IMSAI 8080 in kit form. Basic kit was about $550 and that was without any memory. The memory was three 4K Static RAM S-100 boards made by Processor Technology and cost $130 each, again in kit form. Eventually got it up to 60K with serial I/O, dual 8″ FDD (running CPM Ver 2.2), TeleVideo monochrome monitor and a Diablo 1620 printer. Took about 3 years to get it to the final configuration. Total cost for this project was over $10,000. Used it to play and write games and do word processing. By the way I still have it and it is still operational. Eventually replaced it with an IBM clone 80286 with 640K RAM and a 10M hard drive

    • #3144248

      Texas Instruments

      by rickydoo

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Wonderful machine! 4 KB RAM, cartridge slot and external audio-tape cassette drive.
      And a 26″ colour monitor! Okay, it was the living room TV.
      My dad bought it so I have no clue as to price.
      “Hello World!”
      Eventually got replaced with a Tandy Trash80, which eventually got replaced with a clone 386 with 4 MB RAM and a 203 MB HDD when I got back into them again.
      Oops, forgot about the PC w/20 or 30 MB drive AND dual floppies. that was short lived and forgettable. Great for playing Galactic Empire on Shoreline BBS though.

    • #3144237

      My first computer?

      by jeff dray

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Was an IBM 286 with 256k of RAM and a 5 meg hdd

      Used for wordprocessing and playing a green and black golf game. Happy days!

      Cost a bloody fortune, about 6 times what I paid for this new all singing and all dancing model.

      Had it for four years, replaced with a home built 486 with 8Meg of RAM!!!!! Seemed like a supersonic fighter in comparison. (Now I’ve shown my age, it’s time for others to fess up.)

    • #3144235


      by beilstwh

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it? Texas Instruments TI-99/4
      Where did you buy it? Mail Order (snail mail)
      How much did it cost? around $500.00
      What kind of stuff did you do with it? Mostly goofed around, wrote games and small utilities.
      How long did you have it? 6 months
      What did you eventually replace it with? Can’t remember

      The interesting thing about the TI was that it used a cassette recorder for storage, the TV for a monitor, and it only had 16K RAM of memory. The only thing nice I can say about it, is that it was my first (you always remember your first 8-; )

    • #3144178

      a long time ago in a land far far away

      by crashoverider

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      IBM-compatible PC actually a 486 DX with a huge 32 Megs of ram, 400 MB hard drive, Sound Blaster 16 and a “Turbo” button. Got to love the Turbo button it just looked cool.

    • #3144157

      ibm 286

      by v10charlie

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      my first was a ibm 286 and a 5plus inch floppy . what a snail by todays standards can’t even remember what else it had. i know one ols one had a 512 hd as thats still around the house loaded with dos and win 3.11.
      infact i still have the ibm os1 discs floating around also. they may have come with the 286 machine

    • #3144946

      1977 – IBM 5100

      by chomps

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first PC was the IBM 5100 that I borrowed, lugged really, from work for a project. Used it for about 10 months to run APL and Basic strategic planning work. Was replaced with an IBM 5120 then with an IBM PC1 with a 5 meg ‘hard card” drive.
      The 5100 was a wonder for its time – well ahead of other early systems.

    • #3144758

      First Computer

      by rgeiken9

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Sperry PC bought in 1985. No Hard Drive, 512K of ram. Very Crude 12 inch color monitor. Used Volkswriter for my Word Processor. Didn’t have many other programs for it. Dot Matrix Printer. Those sure weren’t the “GOOD OLD DAYS” for me. I have a 200 gig sata drive and 2 gig of ram, 19 inch Samsung LCD monitor with a Intel 930 processor now, and that isn’t even top of the line. I also have two Epson color printers!!!Thank god for Technology!!!!!!

      • #3141455

        First Computer — Update

        by rgeiken9

        In reply to First Computer

        I just remembered that this computer had a 40 meg hard drive. In this megagig era, that is almost laughable. Also the cost was about $2800. Just imagine what kind of computer you could get for that amount today!!!!! Also, I added a board to it so I could get the ram amount up to 8 meg. Ram was sure expensive in the late 1980s!!!! Ha! Ha!

    • #3145439

      old timer from 1955

      by bobjorg

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Our computers in 1955, when I started, used punched cards and were programmed by plug boards. IBM 602A calculator, 407 tabulating machine, 082 card sorter, etc. It was a big improvement when we went to an IBM 650 with stored memory (4,000 words) on a magnetic drum, then to the 1401 with a massive 8,000 bytes of core memory and 4 tape drives, but still no disks. (They were also available with 16,000 max.) In 1960 we were in heaven when we got an IBM 360/30 with 64,000 bytes and 4 disk drives that held 7 MB each. We ran payroll, inventory, cost accounting, accounts payable and receivable, personnel, and a bunch of other applications on it and felt like the kings of the world. We programmed in assembler languages and really knew how to use the internals of the machines then. Three shifts of operators kept it going on a 24/7 basis and we couldn’t use it as a typewriter as it was too expensive for that. Yes, I’ve seen a few changes, but some of the problems that I read about in these discussions bring back memories. The more some things change, the more others stay the same.

    • #3164539

      First computer

      by pyewackets

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Timex Sinclair 1000. My Mom saved up $50.00 in grocery reciepts from the local Pick-n-Pay and got it for free. I joined the “Sinclair club at school” and my History teacher gave me a thermal printer for it. I remember typing a program in for eight hours straight and having a very basic clock for all my effort.

      Joe Nimrichter

    • #3271159

      Apple ][+

      by danson9

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first computer was an Apple ][+, that I purchased through a friend who worked at Apple. (He owned Apple ][ SN: 768!) I had it fully loaded with 64K of memory so that I could write my Master’s Thesis in the Pascal language editor, and use an “in house” (from Apple) print formatter.

      In those days, the Apple only had upper case display, and in Pasca, showed capital letters with inverse video. I added the “one wire shift key mod,” then later a display chip that did upper and lower case. Because we bought it to do my thesis, we also got a Qume Sprint 45 daisy wheel printer (huge!).

      Along the way, I wrote programs in Apple BASIC to do statistics, including an Analysis of Covariance program, which graphed the results, then printed the hires graphics to my daisy wheel printer. (If the pixel is on, type a period. If not, move over 1/72 of an inch, and look again. End of row? Drop down 1/72 of an inch!)

      I think I had the first computer based Master’s Thesis in the Health Sciences at University of Washington. While other students were paying $50 per page for professional typing, I’d use cut and paste to rearrange content, then just hit the print key to produce the next draft.

      I kept the computer for about 4 years, then moved up to an Apple IIe, to match the machines at work (the plus had a non-standard keyboard), then to an Apple IIgs, and a Mac IIsi. I still have both of those: the gs is a “Woz machine,” one of the first 5000 produced with “Woz” on the cover!

    • #3270011

      Kim I, then Fat Mac

      by bfepistle

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      My first computer technically was a Kim I, which was a motherboard with 8K RAM. It had a calculator keyboard with calculator display. Dad fastened it to a wooden box he built, which contained a power supply. There was a pair of 1/8″ plugs to connect it to a tape recorder, for mass storage. I only used it a teeny bit, and I still kick myself for not learning assembly and taking advantage of that incredible opportunity.

      My first modern computer was a “Fat Mac”: a Macintosh with 512K RAM. It cost $3000, and I bought it in December 1984.

    • #3143984

      Used – IBM 704; Owned Commodore 64

      by chmoss

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      The Commodore 64 @ $600 had more memory than the floor filling, air-conditioned, no transistors with dedicated motor generator set IBM 704.

    • #3142778

      First love

      by x mad x

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it? Commodore 64
      Where did you buy it? From a friend
      How much did it cost? Bargin price $800
      What kind of stuff did you do with it? Wrote every dam program i could get my hands on. Even wrote a few of my own.
      How long did you have it? 4 or 5 years.
      What did you eventually replace it with? Sega Console + games & eventually back to Pentium 3 866.

    • #3206041

      My first computer I owned was a….

      by xwindowsjunkie

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      S-100 Z-80 CPU kit from Itacha Audio with a 4K RAM board I built and slowly added RAM as I could afford it. I started with 1K. I/O was a serial TTY terminal that I gimmicked with an EPROM to read and write ASCII. I programmed the EPROM with a set of switches since I didn’t have a way to program EPROMS. I think it was a 2708.

      My first programming experiences though was in 1968 in Fortran on a Univac 1108. Lots of punch cards. Lots of wait time until the batch job with my card deck in it ran. Tons of frustration when the printout would reveal where I screwed up each time I submitted the program deck! It was enough to make me swear and swear-off a career as a programmer!

    • #3206020

      XT 86

      by jim_p

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Yep, XT 86 with the green monochrome monitor, I was cheering, had Dos 3.3 on it. 馃檪
      WordPerfect 5.1, Lotus Spreadsheet, about that was on it. 20MB Hard drive i was cheering.
      I replaced it with a 286 board so I could use a 3.5″ floppy drive instead of my good old 5.25″ Double Density drive. Then moved up to a 386 SX, I think by this stage I had a 80MB Conner hard drive.
      Then I jumped to a PI 75Mhz, with 400MB conner HDD, then moved up to a PII 450Mhz, now I have a P4 3.0Ghz HT PC.
      Mind you it was the year 1994 when I first got my XT PC, it was great. I would have to say, if it wasn’t for me getting that old computer, I wouldn’t be in the I.T. Industry today. 馃檪

    • #3205981

      8086 PC

      by riverwind

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Mine is IBM-compatible PC

      What model was it?
      model forgot, Epson PC, 8086 CPU

      Where did you buy it?
      Epson store

      How much did it cost?
      around 20k hk$

      What kind of stuff did you do with it?
      play games, do some “logo”, “basic”, “MASM” programming

      How long did you have it?
      5 yrs

      What did you eventually replace it with?
      another PC whith AMD CPU

    • #3205944

      First machine……

      by senlac_hill

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Back around 1981 I purchased an Atari 400 with a membrane keyboard. It wasn’t too long before somebody came out with a “regular” keyboard that you could wire into the 400. Shortly, I got ahold of an Atari 800 (Whopping 48k RAM), so I could run this “Spreadsheet” program… (A what ??? at the time… lol…) The spreadsheet was Visicalc… the first for the home I believe…. I mainly used the machines for home office odds and ends, and of course, games. Can’t remember what the first, the Atari 400 cost but the main component of the 800 cost 500 bucks. After getting a couple floppy drives, a 300 Bps modem, and the data cassette recorder I had about $1400 tied up. I used Atari’s in different “flavors” until about 1987 then it was like the old warnings of the progressive use of drugs…. 286, 386, 486… ad infinitum….

    • #3208353

      Pentium1 PC! LOL

      by zahidworld

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Pentium 1 – 133 Mhz
      HDD – 5 GB
      RAM – 64 MB
      CD-ROM – 8X

      Printer – HP Deskjet 690C

      Bought it in Kuwait for ?935 in 1996

      Sold in 2001 for ?153!!!

      Loss = approx. ?700! OH SHIT!

      Then, in 2001 , bought a DELL 2350 for ?600. DELL was and is still shit , so upgraded it.
      P4 2 ghz
      512 MB RAM
      80 GB HDD
      NVIDIA FX5200

    • #3214735

      Late starter

      by cely

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Although I’ve been a user(abuser) of PCs since ’78, I never flet the need to buy my own home system till ’98. A budget PC that I was so disgusted with when I found I couldn’t upgrade the cpu after 6 months that it prompted me to learn to build my own… and now look where it got me… 8 years later, an A+ and staring at the N+ study books! LOL

      What model was it? Cyrix MXII 300MHz
      Where did you buy it? PC WOrld…. urgh!
      How much did it cost? Too much
      What kind of stuff did you do with it? Word processing, surfing, games.
      How long did you have it? Still got it 8 years later…
      What did you eventually replace it with? I build a 1GHz system using an AMD Thunderbird on an ABit KT7a mobo with 512Mb Ram.

      • #3214733


        by cely

        In reply to Late starter

        The only thing I was able to do with it was increase the EDO-Ram to the maximum 128Mbs and put in a PCI graphics card and soundcard. It connected to a 56k modem via a serial port.

    • #2528832

      my first computer?!

      by n1qaw

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      well after the VIC-20 and the Sinclair? lol These were difficult to run and program, so I count my first computer as the Tandy 1000ex 256k ram? luxury! 1 5 inch floppy and 128k ram and a vm1 mono monitor which set me back 600 dollars.

    • #2589150

      Apple ][+

      by gregoryew

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it? Apple ][+
      Where did you buy it? Wichita Kansas
      How much did it cost? not a clue
      What kind of stuff did you do with it? games, school
      project, programming
      How long did you have it? 1987
      What did you eventually replace it with? We also got a
      128k Macintosh when it first came out I can still
      remember how impressed my teachers were with my
      school papers.

      Those were my family’s computers. I personally bought a
      Macintosh SE with my own money from my first Summer
      job. That job was were I created my first database
      application to track nuclear waste in teaching laborities
      for the US government. That program ran for 15 years.
      That same year I created and published as shareware a
      computer game called Minitorian which is still on the
      Macintosh Garden.

    • #2663831

      Venerable Timex Sinclair ZX-81

      by mark.e.rohrer

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Bought September 1980 for $199+SH from an advert in Popular Science. It came with 1K RAM and a phenomenal tokenized BASIC language. Still, four lines of coding ate up 1K in a heartbeat. Thus, I learned how to program in assembly language on the Z80. Two months later, I bought the 16K RAM expansion module for $99; with it and a cassette tape recorder, I developed a program for Dungeon Mastering an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons role playing game. I still have the computer, which was eventually supplanted by a Commodore 64 computer, monitor, and diskette drive in 1982 for $1200–again programmed for Dungeon Mastering and various lotto wheels and statistical programs. It was a dream machine for assembly language programming as Commodore published an excellent user manual documenting all the kernel routines, including manipulating its fantastic SPRITE graphical system. The 64 was replaced with a LaserTurbo XT epanded to 1.6 MB RAM in 1988, which was replaced by an IBM AT in 1994, then an Acer Aspire Pentium 120 in 1996, followed by an IBM 550MZ Pentium in 1999 that was supplanted by an HP Athlon 1200 in 2003 leading to my existing HP Athlon XP 3800 with 4GB RAM and 1TB disc drives, 480W power supply, ATI 1800XT graphics system, Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 4.0, two ItechCD DC300 150 CD/DVD carousels, Xitel adapter connecting audio stereo system for converting cassettes and LPs to MP3s and subsequent burning to CDs and DVDs, Logitec surround sound system, wireless headphones, wireless broadband Internet access, wireless interface to TiVo box, wireless networking with two desktops and two laptops and Lexmark printer, Seagate 10GB tape drive backup system, local Epson RX500 photo printer, Logitec camera, cell phone interface, wireless camera surveillance system running the Windows XP Pro, Windows Ultimate Vista, Linux, and BEoS operating systems as well as the capability to run multiple virtual operating systems with VMware, all firewalled with Windows Firewall, ZoneAlarm, and D-Links’ router firewall and monitored by the Snort intrusion detection system. Woo-hoo.

    • #2663746

      Ashamed to admit

      by gsg

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      The first one I ever used was an Apple IIc. The teacher liked me so I got to use the state-of-the-art Apple IIe with dual floppy and ::gasp:: color monitor. Gotta love programming with Apple Basic.

      Many years later, I bought what I could afford. I also qualify this by saying that I was not working in IT at the time and had no intention of an IT career. I’m ashamed to admit that I had:
      Packard Hell, 75Mhz, 1GB HD, and 8mb of RAM
      Purchased at Best Buy
      Homework,work stuff, Solitaire, Internet
      It’s still sitting in a closet 11 years later
      Custom built PC, then another better, custom pc, and now my 2nd laptop.

    • #2663636

      My first computer…

      by boxfiddler

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      What model was it? 1988 Tandy HX something or other.

      Where did you buy it? It was a gift. Radio Shack is likely where it was purchased.

      How much did it cost? Unknown.

      What kind of stuff did you do with it? Not a lot! 馃榾 Good amounts of word processing, some spreadsheet use. This was one of the first ‘small’ floppy drive machines. It had no hard drive and I loaded a minor gui called DeskMate Pro from floppy to ram, then placed a blank in the drive to store my files. The good? I had to get comfy with spreadsheets and formulas with a program that didn’t offer ‘autosum’. The bad? No mouse, access and navigation via arrow keys and keyboard shortcuts (things which I had no clue about at the time!). No games, no internet. Um… no hard drive.

      How long did you have it? 10 years.

      What did you eventually replace it with? 1998 – eMachine, Win98FE, crappy, crappy, crappy Cyrix processor. This is where the learning truly began!

    • #2663629

      Compaq Portable II then PS/2 Model 50Z

      by robo_dev

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Compaq Portable II

      The size of a sewing machine
      Weight about 50lbs
      286/12, 640mb ram, 20 meg hard drive
      9″ green screen
      Cost only $1950 (was a demo model, normal cost was around $2700)

      Ran the wonderful all-in-one PFS First Choice combo word processor, spreadsheet, address book. Also had a early copy of WordPerfect. Would use it’s internal modem to dial into CompuServe as well as those amazing BBS services, including viewing the first Internet porn pictures, which did not look good, even on the external CGA monitor attached to the machine.

      Was sooooo cool as I brought this to use for group projects in grad school.

      Had it for about three years; was able to run Windows 286 on it.

      Later upgraded to a desktop PC which was an IBM PS/2 model 50Z with an aftermarket 120meg hard drive (woo-hoo), another 80286 processor, that could now run Windows 3.0 and had the amzing IBM 8514 VGA monitor and adapter.

    • #3023663

      Commodore 64

      by k james

      In reply to What was your first computer?

      Bought it used for $50.00. Then bought a whole box of the things for $100.00. Thought I’d really hit the big time when I got a working Commodore 128. Boy, that really dates me!

Viewing 168 reply threads