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Your First Computer?

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#26 half meter

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 06:46 PM

Radio Shack Color Computer (1982). I advertised in Color
Computer magazine to sell a "software spooler" I wrote and
sold for $14.95. I wrote it in assembler and it was basically
a ring buffer that stored printer output and used timer
interrupts to feed the very slow Radio Shack 600 baud dot
matrix impact printers of the time. "No more waiting for
your slow printer", I recall the ad read... I sold over 200
of them on cassette tape :lol:

First program written: 1968 on a GE timesharing service teletype.

#27 oldsalt


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Posted 10 March 2006 - 07:47 PM

Slide rule
Timex Sinclair
C-64 I still haveit and it works
Amiga 1000 still have it still works

#28 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 09:56 PM

c64 was the first machine I owned. I loved that thing. I had the 1541 floppy and a BW tv. rock on!

#29 llanitedave


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Posted 11 March 2006 - 04:19 AM

Atari 800. I learned BASIC on it, had had hours of fun.

#30 stevecoe


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Posted 12 March 2006 - 11:54 PM

Apple II plus, 2 5.25" floppy drives and 64K of RAM, what more could anyone want???

Below is a photo of my 286 machine, 256K of RAM, 10 Meg Harddrive and two big floppys. I was on top of the world that machine only did what I told it to do, ah DOS 3.3; those were the days. AND, all the color display you could want, I picked amber, you could also have green. I think I took this for insurance purposes, you think I could get anything for it if it was stolen today?

Steve Coe

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#31 BRCoz



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Posted 16 March 2006 - 08:16 PM

Mine was Atari 400 16k ram then expanded to 48K.
It was like an IBM 8088 processor running at 4mhz.
I also had one of the 800XL with 128k of ram.

First computer I operated was an IBM 360 and it had 512K of ram. It very large.
They just keep getting faster and faster and smaller and smaller.


#32 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 06:04 PM

My first was a Commoder Pet. 6502 1mhz proc, 8k ram, built-in tape drive and monitor. It also had a horrible square keyboard. I got it around 1978 for about $500. I loved that computer!!

#33 Ben Ritchie

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 10:03 AM




#34 klee


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Posted 23 March 2006 - 08:55 PM

Mine was built in 1984 , is I still have it , a compaq deskpro 8086 w/ 8087 co processor ,640k ram ,20 mb hard drive , microsoft bus mouse , 320 baud modem , Amber hi res moniter , 40mb hard card, dos 2. something upgraded to compaq dos 3.31 and running GEM as the desktop gui. The 40mb hard card died several years ago but everything is still running great. Oh its now running windows 1.01.

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#35 Trevor Durity

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 09:19 AM

A Commodore 286at with 1MB RAM, 20MB HDD and a whopping 256KB of video memory ;-)

Always though it hilarious that there was a turbo button that could be depressed to bring the CPU down to 4MHz!


#36 jgraham



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Posted 25 March 2006 - 01:23 PM

Ahhh, yes, my first micro computer was an Apple II+ I bought in 1980 (before that is was Fotran IV and punch cards on the local university's Univac). I remember waiting for the price to come down. I jumped in when the price hit $2,195 (about $6,000 today). That got you the CPU (1MHz 6502))/keyboard, 48kB of RAM, a single-sided 140kB 5-1/4" floppy drive, a beautiful green-screen Apple /// monitor w/stand, a copy of ScreenWriter II, and by far the best darned set of manuals I've ever had with anything I've ever bought before or since.

I still dearly love to hack code on my Apple IIs just for fun (I have at least one example of every model of the Apple II built, including an original II). Once upon a time I had a fairly successful shareware business selling (what else) astronomy software for the Apple II, and one of my all-time favorite hardware hacks was a primordial 4-bit image scanner that worked off of the game port.

What an exciting time that was.


#37 JoeF



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Posted 29 March 2006 - 10:46 AM

ITT 2020, a UK built Apple II clone that came in a glorious silver plastic case with dual floppies and B&W portable telly on top.
Then an 8Mhz 286 with 512k RAM card and 10Mb hard drive. Graphics were superb with a Hercules EGA card and colour monitor. This was in an original IBM industrial case which went on through several upgrades to a Pentium 200MMX with bells and whistles and served as a really good Ham radio decoder for Radio Teletype, Fax and Slow Scan TV. Spent hours reading the latest news from Beijing Libya and Yugoslavia!
Now I'm down to a lowly P2 450Mhz... but it's running Linux and does everything I throw at it. It's just a good job I don't play games.


#38 Ricky



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Posted 29 March 2006 - 08:45 PM

1985 Tandy 1000EX w/dual 720kb 3.5" drive, 256kb ram, 12" cga monitor. Used Apple II and KayPro II at school.

#39 Hillbilly_Gazer


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Posted 29 March 2006 - 10:54 PM

Anybody who fondly remembers playing around with their Commodore 64 might want to check out the CCS64 emulator.

If you were fond of gaming on the C-64, your next stop should be WWW.C64.com I think you will find a lot of fun things there that works with the above emulator.

#40 rboe



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Posted 30 March 2006 - 09:34 AM

Anybody here ever use, play or own a KIM-1? We used several in college.

#41 ClownFish


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Posted 30 March 2006 - 11:57 AM

Back in 1977 I was given a whole 8K of RAM and 32K of tape storage at Dartmouth college's Kiewit computer lab. This was the same lab John Kemeny invented BASIC at ... long before Bill Gates was out of diapers, but by the time I was there the language was very well fine tuned, although there was no commercial instruction manuals. While I was leaning BASIC (on a revolutionary time-share system on a Honeywell 66/40A) most of our computers used a PRINTER instead of a screen.. and what monitors we did have only displayed text. Still... we had adventure games (Adventure - XYZZY) and even a multiplayer StarTrek game called Multiwar! Remember.. this was 1977! My contribution to Multiwar was to add the transporter and cloaking device.. the whole module took 2K! Boy those where fun days!

Then I moved to England and bought a Tandy Radio Shack desktop computer with 16K of ram... and used a regular audio cassette recorder to save files.. yes I remember "CLOAD"! Every computer magazine out there (3?) included BASIC and Assembler program listings that you had to manually enter to get some free software.. that was the highlight of the magazines! What few companies were selling software.. often packaged it on a cassette tape wrapped in a sandwich baggie!

Then in 1981 I saw an Apple ][ and I haven't looked back since. Oh yes.. the floppy drive, costing me $650 was a marvel at the time. While my employers always went with PC's (MDOS and then Windows) I followed the Apple route in my home. To be able to watch how the technology went from Mac to PC with about a 1 year lag was amazing. Apple would commercialize some technology... and within 1 or 2 years MS or some PC manufacturer would include it too. Mice, windows, 3.5" disks, CDROM, High resolution color graphics (although Atari pushed those limits, sound too), personal laser printers, video etc...

All in all.. it's been a fun ride and now with the duel OS Macs (non-emulation OSX / Windows) just around the corner (hackers have done this already on the new Intel Macs) I can't wait to see the next 10 years will bring.


#42 Hillbilly_Gazer


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Posted 30 March 2006 - 04:44 PM

Anybody here ever use, play or own a KIM-1? We used several in college.

Never heard of that one. I had to look it up. Found this
and this

#43 Rusty



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Posted 30 March 2006 - 10:29 PM

Anybody here ever use, play or own a KIM-1? We used several in college.

Nope the first computer I ever programmed was a Univac - in GOTRAN....1960.

#44 ngc6475


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Posted 30 March 2006 - 10:51 PM

I had friends with Commodore 64 and Atari computers, but I held out for a 486-33 that my brother in law pieced together from parts he salvaged from dumpsters behind a VA hospital!

#45 rboe



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Posted 30 March 2006 - 11:14 PM

Anybody here ever use, play or own a KIM-1? We used several in college.

Never heard of that one. I had to look it up. Found this
and this

Yup, that's the one. A couple students had built them using surplus naval gear. Normally we loaded software via RadioShack cassett deck (the professor admonishing us not to use them for playing music as it ruined the player). Each player had a number on it which you wrote on the cassett tape after recording a program since it was sensitive for some reason. Use a different tape player and you stood a good chance of not loading the program.

I installed a program by hand a few times using that hex key pad. :ohmy: Better than fortran cards - by a wee bit.

We used it for Milikans Oil drop experiment (measuring the charge of an electron) and recording numbers off a counter hooked up to a gieger-mueller tube for a Half life of silver experiment.

#46 Kev_Is_Soaked


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Posted 30 March 2006 - 11:46 PM

Started in the early 80's with the Sinclear z81, then the Spectrum 16k, 48k, then a Spectrum+. I got into Amstrad for a little while but went back to my Spectrum after being honestly dis-satisfied with it's performance.

In 88 I got my first PC. It was a Tandy 1000SL, (8086) ran at a whopping 4mhz or could be boosted with the turbo to 8!!! It came with EGA as standard (16 color). No hard drive, one 360k floppy, and a 300baud USR modem :)

Graphics were expensive back then, so my jump to a more powerful 16Mhz machine came with a loss of color... was back to the good old amber monitor, which I later traded off for a green one. This puppy had a full meg of ram :)

I later updated my Tandy with a 30meg hard drive, a VGA adapter, a VGA monitor, and a 1200 baud modem for a whopping $1400 :( It lasted me until my first 286. I've owned several 286's, two 386's, and two 486's. I think I had a Pentium 66Mhz machine, then jumped to a Cyrix 166 next. After that was my AMD 350, then my AMD 500, 800, and 1.2 Duron. A few years ago I had my AMD 2500+ which lasted me a while, now I'm running the AMD64 4000+

I don't want to think about another upgrade for a while.... but hey, computers are my addiction as astronomy is to many of you guys :)

#47 Steve Landry

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 07:59 PM

Commodore 64
Commodore 128
486 DX/2 66
Pentium II 400mhz
Currently P4

I remember the 1st Strike Eagle game. Man, I spent years on that thing. DOS 5.0, windows 3.1. Ah, those were the days

The 486 actually traveled to Iceland and back with me when I was stationed there. I remember having to wipe the entire motherboard with alcohol because of the salt deposits! :foreheadslap:

#48 Sarah88


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Posted 09 April 2006 - 07:17 AM

When I was about 10 or 11 ('98 or '99) I 'inherited' my dad's old 266mhz Celeron, when he built himself an AMD K6 500mhz. (I eventually got that too)

Celeron 266 - 4gb hdd - 32mb ram - Win 95

#49 miniventures


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Posted 11 April 2006 - 10:13 AM

Hmm, I remember the first computer I worked with was an Apple II-C (???) I learned a little bit of Basic on that machine. The first I owned was an IBM PC with the two floppy drives. I remember paying a whole bunch of money for that. The thing that stands out most in my memories of that computer was playing a D & D type role playing game called British Legends on Compuserve at 300 baud. That connection cost $6.00/hour. When Compuserve boosted its baud rate to 1200, BOY was that FAST :ohmy: FWIW, I won that game but I won't share how much it cost over the 8 months it took to win but there were several 24 hour connections towards the end of my run. :ohgeeze:

#50 Beast


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Posted 11 April 2006 - 10:49 AM

Let's see, the first one at home was a no name 80386SX at an incredible 20MHz with 1Mbyte RAM and a huge 40Mbyte Hard drive. Oh yes, a keybaord and mouse (3 button) and a real color display with 256 diferent colors (can you believe that, they were all different) and yes it had sound, it said beep. Life with a computer was simple in those days no hassle with virusses or spyware, fast and reliable (usualy).

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