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    Griffon

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    Default What was your first computer?

    The idea for this thread mostly comes from wanting to answer this one with something that would actually be totally off topic, though it seems reasonable from the thread title:

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...-very-first-PC

    Actually, mine wasn't. The first computer I ever used was possibly a DEC System 10 (or maybe some 6800 based micros in the psych lab, but I never actually did more with those than be a subject of reaction tests).

    The first computer I owned was a Grundy NewBrain https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grundy_NewBrain, what I wanted was something that was capable of printing texts, and it turned out that though it was capable of generating an 80 column display on an ordinary b/w tv, the serial port it had wasn't what was needed for printing.
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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    Mine was a Commodore Vic 20.
    I think the first computer Dad had at home was an FTS88 (twin 8-inch floppies - those were the days) and I think my brother's was some form of commodore Pet.

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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    My first own had Win98 and 8 gigabite hard drive.
    I think it had a 200 Mhz CPU and a TNT2, that was the card before the first Geforce.
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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    Sinclair ZX-81

    No storage, if you wanted it to do anything you had to type the program in every time. Which I was too young to do more than once or twice. I rarely got further than

    10 PRINT "HELLO"
    20 GOTO 10

    Which was the classic all purpose BASIC program.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    Amiga 1000.

    Dad managed to procure a 2 MB RAM expansion to complement the 0.5 MB on board RAM, and it was a game changer, as well as the second disk drive.

    I have the fondest memories about that computer. It was fundamental for my mental and educational growth.
    I started tinkering in BASIC when I was 10 years old. Every game was in English (I'm not a native speaker) so I had to learn if I wanted to play. The Lemmings taught me Logic. Defender of the Crown taught me to hate Normans and woo saxon ladies. Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards taught me to woo EVERYBODY - and fail.

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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    The first "computer" I used was in the 1970's and was what we now call 'calculators', but I remember that on the box it said "personal computer", the next would be the first video game I played which was at The Federation Trading Post (where I saw William Shatner in person once!) off Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, the screen was small, but the machine was big, and IIRC it played sort of like the later Asteroids game of the '80's.

    Later at the Lawrence Hall of Science I messed around with some late '60's early '70's computers that instead of a screen used big rolls of paper that would gather on the floor as they were used.

    In the late 1970's and early '80's , also at the LHS, for a class I used at Commodore PET which had a screen! (Green color lights only), which is the earliest computer that I used that I remember the name of

    Our "programs" (typically would show an endless repetition of "I'm so bored now" on the screen) were stored on cassette tapes.

    Sadly (for my future) computers back then just seemed useless to me, as Pong was the best of what I could see them used for.
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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cicciograna View Post
    Amiga 1000.

    Dad managed to procure a 2 MB RAM expansion to complement the 0.5 MB on board RAM, and it was a game changer, as well as the second disk drive.
    Defender of the Crown taught me to hate Normans and woo saxon ladies.
    Terribly important lessons

    My dad had an old amber-screened something or other he did basic spreadsheeting on (IIRC he created a tool to track his office's NCAA basketball tournament bracket results), but the first thing I remember doing anything on was a Win 3.1 + DOS IBM-alike. Usuallly killed the Windows overlay and took it into DOS for anything I actually wanted to do with it, since all the games I wanted to play weren't compatible with the Window interface of the time.
    Last edited by tyckspoon; 2019-04-18 at 12:55 PM.

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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    We had a Compaq Portable when I was a kid. Dad also had various machines that his work had him bring home depending on what particular work from home policy was in place at the time (this changed back and forth several times at his job throughout the 80s - I have a feeling it came down to an ongoing fight between the mainframe people, the desktop people, and the finance people over whether or not the mainframe people needed a work computer to dial in using if the mainframe went down outside of work hours), but the Compaq was ours rather than work's so I could use it unsupervised and play games on it.

    I mostly remember playing the first few King's Quests, a Winnie the Pooh exploration game, a solitaire game that had the really useful feature of a "tournament" mode where they'd give the same initial deck conditions on two play through so you could play against someone (we'd later set this up on two computers in the same room, each play through the entire set of games on one of them, swap computers, play through on the other computer, and combine our total scores to see who won), a program that made greeting cards, and making a lot of ASCII art nonsense in Bank Street Writer, which was not WYSIWYG so it would always need to be re-formatted with carriage returns so it would print properly since the screen would otherwise wrap at different points than the print output.

    I still have that Compaq Portable, actually. I have no idea if it still works.

    The first computer that was just "mine" rather than shared use for the family was a Windows 98 box my family bought for me to take to college. I had it set to dual-boot Red Hat Linux, but I couldn't get drivers for my network card (or possibly the modem - I know my dorm room had dial-up internet my freshman year, then DSL at the start of sophomore year with ethernet getting installed that spring, but I also remember that we were running some kind of weird in-room network my freshman year to share the dial-up connection between multiple computers, and I no longer remember which specific piece wasn't working in Linux) so I ended up not being able to use the Linux partition much since I needed to access the CS department server to actually get most of my schoolwork done.
    Last edited by Algeh; 2019-04-18 at 01:03 PM.

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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Sinclair ZX-81

    No storage, if you wanted it to do anything you had to type the program in every time. Which I was too young to do more than once or twice. I rarely got further than

    10 PRINT "HELLO"
    20 GOTO 10

    Which was the classic all purpose BASIC program.
    Actually, you could save your programs to cassette tape, but the ZX80 and ZX81 systems were notoriously sensitive - you had to get your recording/playback levels exactly right. My tape recorder had a label on the volume control to denote the exact level to use.

    Mind you, with the basic 1K of RAM it was sometimes quicker to retype the code. When I upgraded to a Commodore 128 I made a point of getting a disk drive.

    I went on to learn Z80 machine code (the only way to get real speed out of it, and the only way to get a large-ish game in 1K) and even made my own joystick for it. And, of course, we had maths bugs before the Pentium chip made them famous.
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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    My dad had a couple computers for work, including a green-screen remote terminal of some kind, and a black and white mac laptop of some kind.

    The first computer we owned that I got to make regular use of was a Macintosh Performa 450. I played a lot of Civilization and Sim City 2000 on that thing.

    From there I got a used Dell from one of my mom's friends when they upgraded, and played lot of Starcraft and emulated games in the following years.
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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    I don't know the make, but it ran Windows 95 gloriously.

    Well, I wouldn't have known the difference between that and running it poorly. But it could play Arkanoid: Revenge of Doh, so it was pretty exciting.
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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    My dad borrowed an Apple IIc from his school over one summer (High-school Calculus/Trig teacher). There was a tie-fighter-shooting game, and something called "Dragon Maze" where you, a small green square, attempted to escape a maze you discovered only as you came up against walls, with a larger red square coming after you (which could climb over the walls). I think this was 1980, or 1981.

    The first computer we actually owned was a Commodore 64. There was cartridge game sort of like Space Invaders, and all the games we could program in from Compute! and Compute's Gazette. The computer I learned the basics of the BASIC programming language on.

    In second grade, my elementary school got four (yes, that's FOUR) Apple IIe computers! WE were so excited!
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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khedrac View Post
    Mine was a Commodore Vic 20.
    Same. But I was around 3 or 4, and I remember being very frustrated at some of the game cartridges we had for it, which were too fast paced and frustrating at that age, so I didn't ever actually do much with it.

    The first computer that I really used a lot was the second computer, a Commodore 64, which we got a couple years later. It had a cassette drive that took forever to fast forward to your program, though eventually we got a floppy disk, and later a modem. I taught myself to program on that starting around age 6. My parents went to community college and studied to become programmers around that time, which is why they got the computer, and I used their textbooks to learn as well. I surpassed them by around 10 or so, since as soon as they learned enough to get jobs with it, that was good enough for them, but I wanted to learn to make games and learn for its own sake.

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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    Mine was an IBM 5150. Mom worked for IBM at the time in their home computer division and got to bring one home for testing, so I had it about 8 months before it was for sale. That trend stayed true for most of the 80s.
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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    IBM 8088. At first, it had 2 5.25" drives, and you had to load up the OS on a computer every time you turned it on ("Non-system or disk error"). Later, we replaced B: with a Hard drive. We could only keep a couple games at a time on it, though... but it was a lot easier than switching out the 10+ disks something like Quest for Glory could require.
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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    The first computer I used was a terminal at my high school in 1971 or 1972. I have no idea what the computer was, or even where it was. It ran Basic, and had a chess program. I won a little minor notoriety by beating the chess program. It wasn't superior chess skills. I eventually figured out that it looked exactly two moves ahead. So I set up a swindle -- a rook sacrifice that led to checkmate in three moves, and it didn't see it.

    The first computer I owned was an Apple II+, which cost $2,000 in 1981 or 1982. I thought about how much memory to buy, and my wife convinced me to pay an additional $200 to upgrade from 16K to 64K, because "You might as well go ahead and buy all the memory you will ever need."

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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    I grew up with a Commodore 64 and a Tandy 1000, loading everything from floppy disks (the Tandy had a hard drive, but I wasn't allowed to use it). I vividly remember drawing on the C64 (with GEOpaint), and having to delete pictures whenever they reached the tremendous size of one kilobyte on one of my small number of floppies.


    Sometimes I look at a hundred-gigabyte microSD and get a little freaked out.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    My first computer was a Mattel Aquarius:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattel_Aquarius

    Needless to say, this was purchased as a Christmas present by my parents, who wouldn't have known a computer if it jumped up and bit them, which is why I ended up with this rather than, say, a ZX Spectrum. The Aquarius required a plug-in cartridge to be able to save and load from cassette tapes, which we didn't have, so it literally *was* a "type the program from scratch" every time you wanted to do anything.

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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    I love the design, straight from Star Wars.
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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    Actually, you could save your programs to cassette tape, but the ZX80 and ZX81 systems were notoriously sensitive - you had to get your recording/playback levels exactly right. My tape recorder had a label on the volume control to denote the exact level to use.
    You could. If you had a compatible tape recorder.

    Which I didn't get one of until I upgraded to a 48k.

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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    A TRS 80. It had both a tape recorder and a cartridge for games. The games were all knock offs like a copy of "Asteroids" called microbes.

    I learned how to program in basic on it.

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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    Mine was an Atari, but I don't remember the model number. I thought it was a 1600 XL, but most of the pictures I'm seeing online don't match. The device itself was shaped like a keyboard, which attached to a TV screen. There was no disk or tape drive (there might have been a way to attach one, but we didn't have one), just a cartridge slot (which didn't match the cartridges for the 2600, which was what everyone else had). If you started it up with a cartridge in it, it played a game, and if you started it up empty, it put you in a BASIC programming environment (into which you had to re-type your programs every time, because of the lack of storage).

    After that, we got an Apple ][e, along with a vast library of educational games from a teacher who was retiring.

    When I was in high school, my dad gave me an HP 48G calculator (which was probably a more powerful computer than the PDP-10s some folks in this thread are mentioning), and when I went off to college, I got a 486 PC.
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    You could. If you had a compatible tape recorder.

    Which I didn't get one of until I upgraded to a 48k.
    You said that it had no storage. It had no built-in storage, I grant you, but that was not exactly unusual - most of the home computers of the time had no built-in storage. Instead, like many* other home computers, it used a standard domestic tape recorder, models of which were widely available.

    Actually, I am hard pressed to remember a computer of the day that did have built-in storage - at least one of the PETs did, and the C64 had its dedicated tape drive (although I can't remember if it came with the the C64 or was brought separately), the some of the Amstrads and a couple of the Sharps). I don't think built-in storage really become common until the Amiga/Atari ST era, when they started shipping units with built-in floppy disks.

    * Some models did have external disk drives available, but they were expensive...
    Last edited by Manga Shoggoth; 2019-04-19 at 09:35 AM.
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    I love the design, straight from Star Wars.
    Believe it or not, if anything, it's the other way round--the Commodore Pet was first shown off in January 1977, and the first Star Wars movie didn't come out until May of that year.

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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Believe it or not, if anything, it's the other way round--the Commodore Pet was first shown off in January 1977, and the first Star Wars movie didn't come out until May of that year.
    A PET shows up in Star Trek II, primarily because of the exotic appearance.

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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    I really can't remember for sure. It was the mid-80s, and I was about 4 or 5. I do remember it having an amber monochrome screen, and it either came with Pitfall installed (not at all like the Nintendo Pitfall; you had to move your little guy around as you were literally falling down a pit, gather asterisks and avoid smiley faces) or my dad loaded it up first thing. I'm guessing it was an early Apple, but it could have been something else.
    Last edited by Telonius; 2019-04-19 at 03:40 PM.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    TRS 80 coco 3.



    we went all out and upgraded it to 512 KB RAM ...

    yep, KB .. O.o

    wheeeee. :)

    my favourite game at the time:

    Dungeons of Daggorth:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQKQHKdWTRs

    :)

    Man, did we punish the keyboard with that game ..

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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    I grew up on an Apple II, then when I was a pre-teen my parents bought me an XP when the system had just come out. It was so fast, the mouse had TWO buttons, and everything easy to access. I played Shogun and Medieval Total War along with Age of Empires II, Starcraft and Warcraft II. RTS games were in, I went to lan parties frequently where we carried towers down to the basement of someone's parent house and then the room would become 100 degrees due to the teens and computers being crammed into it.
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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    The first computer I owned, was/is the Delta-S, one of the many soviet Spectrum clones, 48K variant. It's still in a drawer somewhere, still functioning to the best of my knowledge, although finding a TV that accepts video signal over a 5-pin DIN connector can be a bit challenging nowadays. Same with audio for loading something, and the rest of the peripherals.
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    Default Re: What was your first computer?

    Spectrum 48k.

    Followed by Atari ST and finally by the first PC.



    Well, in our household, anyway; the first computer I personally actually bought that was technically mine (i.e. the house primary) was the PC in 2007-ish with the money Grandad left me when he died.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2019-04-20 at 02:02 PM.

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