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The First Computer You..

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    Got your hands on that ended up turning it into the lifelong obsession that finds you here reading and posting today..

    The real reason I'm asking is because I'm hoping one of you all out there will have an idea of what mine might have been. I've wondered for years..

    My guess is that it most likely came from Sears sometime around '75. Thinking back on it now, it probably had a whole 2KB memory. Just joking, but about all one could do was program in something along the lines of "Hi, World". ("Hello, World" would have overloaded its circuits. Smiley )

    No monitor. It plugged into the family black and white.

    On thinking back some more, my first guess is that it could have been some kind of spinoff of the blip-blip ping pong games of the day..

    Sound familiar to anyone?


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    My first computer was a 286. It had a whole 1mb or RAM, and we got the delux with a 40mb hard drive.. We had both types of floppy drives... 

    I find it really strange listening to people talking about z80, acorns, etc etc...


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    Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48 (a couple of them as they tended to burn out quite quickly), one of them was even 48+ with black keyboard (

    Commodore 64 next. Cool stuff, especially with GEOS. My first steps in assembler.

    x86 next. First with DOS/win 3.1, then OS/2 and linux (man I hated W95, it was - still is - crap), addicted to windows since NT/2k.


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    My first computer was an IBM with Windows 3.11 and all I used to do with it was play games like pacman and tetris. Good times. Now all I have is a really fast laptop with pacman 3D.

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    Well my first computer would have had to either been a Commodore A followed by an IBM AT...Then the IBM PC JR CLONE. And there were some Commodore 64/128 along the way. Upgraded the AT to an XT... Then a IBM M46....Ibm personal/2 M30 286... then a few assorted ones here and there.

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    I got my first computer in the 80s: a Toshiba MSX-1. It didn't have a monitor, you plugged it in in your televison set. No permanent storage either, programs were stored on (audio) cassettes and you loaded them with a linked tape player into the 64Kb memory. I wrote some BASIC programs and played games. Good old days, when Flight Simulator was a text screen full of 0, +, - and = characters.

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    my first comp was 286... still rememeber it.. when it came home.. I nvr thought computer will be like this.. I always had a somekind of imagination for computer like.. it will be a kind of robot.. having legs and hands and what not.. ha ha.. and then I was 8yrs so you can imagine my imaginations.. it was back in 1992. and when got computer in home, I was looking at it.. hardware ppl assembled it.. and started it.. but before that they were opening boxes.. and taking stuffs out.. so when they took out CPU.. I thought that must be a stomach or something like that.. when they took out keyboard.. I thought that must be used to give commands to computer and also it might be including hands.. monitor I imagined as  a face.. and when whole computer got assembled, I was like .. huh.. is this a computer? but then also I kept my patiens and thought they might not have done everything.. and I was waiting.. they taught my dad computer.. and they left.. and I asked my father.. is this a computer? lol.. I still laugh on that thing.. and today.. heh.. ppl calls me Comp genius.. heh.. having my own software company.. lol.. those days were really cool.. I still like to go back to those days..

    also I have read a book The Making of Microsoft, your post reminds me of those days.. altought I was not born in those years.. but then also I can imagine that...  I born in 1985..

    but good to know abt that Hi, World and Hello World thing.. I think thats why Hello Wolrd then become to test the application.. or coding.. isn't it?

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    BBC Micro Computer - when the BBC in the UK sold computers. I think it was a project to get people into computers. I wonder what a BBC computer would be like if they did one now?

    It was based on Acorn technology and once had 60% market share -

    What ever happened to Acorn, Commodore, Atari and Amiga computers? They never really took the advantage when they were at their peak - Atari now do games and there is an Amiga OS.

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    • Sinclair ZX80
    • 1 Kb RAM
    • Tape drive (i.e. my tape recorder)
    • Television as monitor
    • Plastic "flat" keyboard

    My father bought it for me when I was 12. I learnt BASIC and Z80A machine code.

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    The first computer I touched was a Commordore 64 I was about 10 years old and it was love at first sight.  We went to my Aunt & Uncle's house for Thanksgiving and I was instantly glued to the keyboard.

    That Christmas my parents (santa) hooked me up with a Commodore 16.  Thinking back my parents probably purchased it because it was silver and black, the colors of my favorite football team the Oakland Raiders.  I taught myself BASIC.  I remember having to plug catridges into the back of the keyboard to load certain things as well as saving data onto cassette tapes.  This also hooked up to a b/w TV.

    Around the time I was 14 or 15 my Dad brought home an Apple II.  A person he worked with was selling it.  I continued to teach myself new things such as word processing, spreadsheets and databases.

    Once I started working I bought a 486.  As the years have gone on I have numerous computers.

    Now I am in computer heaven as I am the sole person responsible for everything IT in our office.  I consider all the hardware MINE...LOL

    My primary machines are laptops.  Yes I have two.  A few weeks ago the display went on my Dell laptop, from what I have been hearing this has been happening to quite a few people.  Let's just say Dell was less than responsive to my situation.  I rely on this machine for everything from developing to e-mail and Dell could seem to care less that they would be taking my business away from me.  So I needed something to use while the Dell was out for repair.  I purchased a Gateway laptop, you all can stop cringing now, I have had and continue to have a great experience with Gateway machines.  One of the reasons I went with Gateway is that needed something ASAP I couldn't wait for something to be delivered from Dell or someplace else, not to mention at that momement I was rather annoyed with Dell (still a little annoyed today). 

    The Gateway laptop has the wide display sort of like the iBook.  The display is super crisp I am very impressed with it.  The Gateway laptop is now my "coding" machine and I use the Dell for my everyday

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    My first computer was a Kaypro, untill an electrical surge got the best of it.  Then it was a Kaypro II.  It was "portable" and had the best game ever, ladder.

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    I was 12 years old when my father told me my grandmother wanted to buy me a computer for my birthday. She gave him the green light to proceed, with a predetermined budget. He asked for some ideas, and I immediaty told him about the Apple II. I also mentionned the Commodore 64.

    Later this week, he came back to me and said the Apple II was too expensive. I understood... I told myself I'd still have fun with my C64.

    At my birthday, when I opened the box, it was a Vic20... Oh boy, what a drop!

    A few months later, I already mastered quite well my Vic20. I was writing a program (a game, where char pixels where replaced to create bitmaps) and as I entered a new line, the computer echoed "Out of memory". I could not add a single new line of code without getting this message. I tried saving my program on my cassette deck (yes, a cassette deck), and got the same message. I had to remove a few lines of code just to save my program!

    I started saving my money and worked hard that summer to buy myself MY OWN Apple II+... Though my Vic20 was great introduction, it's my Apple II+ that gave me that coding sting.

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    Cronan wrote:
    • Sinclair ZX80
    • 1 Kb RAM
    • Tape drive (i.e. my tape recorder)
    • Television as monitor
    • Plastic "flat" keyboard

    My father bought it for me when I was 12. I learnt BASIC and Z80A machine code.

    Smiley..exactly the same here....kinda forced you to do z80 assembly didn't it, cos you couldn't do anything in 1k of basic....
    z80 was interesting to code in, as you had to write the assembly on paper, convert to the hex opcodes, working out jump offsets etc, write a big REM statement with all the hex in, and write some strange GOTO statement that jumped to the first byte in the REM ( i think, it's a long time ago )...

    I remember getting a 1k expansion pack for xmas ( i think it cost $40 back in 1977 ) and getting all excited that i'd doubled my ram..

    the zx80 was also special as it couldn't refresh the screen and accept a keyboard interrupt, so the screen would flash every key press ( on my system anyway, maybe it was just the way we built it )...i remember serious eye strain after 10 hours of that...

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    Had the old BBC Micro, had a few like 2 or 3,  that was back in late 80's early early 90's i was very small then.

    moved on through the years, i guess real PC would be a 286, then moved to 386 which broke and got replaced witha  486 which is in the loft right now, then got a pentium which is in the loft.  I think we skipped P2's and gotr a P3 450, then moved to a P3 700 later in 99, Athlon 1ghz followed, on a 2200+ athlon at the moment and my PC is a 1700+ Athlon which i'm looking to upgrade over summer.

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    Richard Acton

    • Acorn Electron (The BBC Micro's baby brother). No disk drives, External tape deck, 64k Memory.
    • 286 12mhz, 1024mb extended memory, 5.25 and 3.5" FDDs and 10mb HDD. Windows 3.0
    • Upgraded to 386sx 18mhz 3mb ram, 10mb and 20mb HDD (double spaced!). Windows 3.1
    • Cyrix 5x86 100, 8mb ram (later upgraded to 32mb), Windows 95, 800mb HDD.
    • .. some more..
    • current: Athlon Barton 3000xp, 1024mb duel channel ram, WinXP pro sp2 rc1, radeon 9600pro, Dell 2001fp, and some silly amount of HDD space.

    To this day, some of the most fun i've had with computers was on my 386, tweaking the config.sys and autoexec.bat files to free up enough memory to load Frontiers Elite 2 with the sound blaster drivers loaded.

    Those were the days. 

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    The first computer I ever used was (like a couple of posters here) a Sinclair ZX80 at school.

    A year later they bought a room full of ZX81s with 16k RAM packs (oooh, the luxury!) for the Maths department. The idea was to use them to run educational maths quizzes that the head of the maths department (an ex-RN by the name of Captain Roberts IIRC - although that's completely beside the point) had written.

    Because of course there was no network, they came up with a novel idea for loading the programs - there was one cassette recorder that was wired to every ZX81 in the room - at the appropriate time, the pupils were told to issue a LOAD "" instruction and play would be pressed on the tape recorder. It actually worked suprisingly well!

    The first machine I actually owned (and where my programming days *really* started) was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k. I taught myself the basics of (ahem) BASIC and Z80 assembler before moving to my favourite of all the old 8-bit systems, a BBC B+ 128. Now, that was a machine!

    I briefly flirted with 16-bit systems (an Atari ST and an Amiga 500) before jumping into PCs with an Amstrad PC1512. Barring brief dalliances with 'other' systems, it's been x86 ever since.

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    My first was an Atari 400, followed by an Apple //c, then an Amiga 500.

    I used the Amiga until 1996 until I dummped it for a pentiumn 166.

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    Like several others here, the Sinclair was the first computer I owned. I even bought a 32kb RAM module for it. From there I moved on to the Radio Shack Color Computer (aka CoCo) and then into the Intel/DOS world.

    The first computer I ever programmed was Control Data Cyber mainframe over a teletype terminal over a 110 baud acoustic coupler connection. This was at the college I attended where I took an "Introduction to Data Processing" class to get math credits. We wrote BASIC and FORTRAN programs. The highlight of the class was programming the paper tape port to print out message banners.

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