General discussion


What was your first computer?

By jasonhiner Moderator ·
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?

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Tandy Color Computer

by MythicalMe In reply to What was your first compu ...

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).

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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.

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First computer

by wjbernard In reply to What was your first compu ...

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!

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Transam Triton

by neilb@uk In reply to What was your first compu ...

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.

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Atari 800XL

by roger In reply to What was your first compu ...

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

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Commodore Vic 20

by conshus In reply to What was your first compu ...

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

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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.

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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!

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Owned is easy though not necessarily correct

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to What was your first compu ...

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 Heavy Iron 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. :)

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.


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BBC B Micro

by waity85 In reply to What was your first compu ...

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

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