What was your first computer?


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by tomf » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:42 am
ah no i was quite young maybe shouldn't have plugged it in again (the pc) think batman whizz bang smoke oops. the atari was fine but the Parents then decided to allow me go to a saturday computer class in the local college (much safer )
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by exartemarte » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:43 pm
mahjongg said:


... I had been building one from scratch, but never progressed beyond building the memory system, (512 bytes) which I could load with a bunch of toggle switches, and read out with LED"s.


Eons ago I had an Open University computer like that! It had no operating system at all and no non-volatile storage. Programs were entered using switches on the front: set up an address; set up the data; press the store switch; set up the next address and so on, byte by byte. It had a hexadecimal keypad, but to use that you had first to enter a program to read it, using the switches.
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by Jongoleur » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:29 am
exartemarte said:


mahjongg said:


... I had been building one from scratch, but never progressed beyond building the memory system, (512 bytes) which I could load with a bunch of toggle switches, and read out with LED"s.


Eons ago I had an Open University computer like that! It had no operating system at all and no non-volatile storage. Programs were entered using switches on the front: set up an address; set up the data; press the store switch; set up the next address and so on, byte by byte. It had a hexadecimal keypad, but to use that you had first to enter a program to read it, using the switches.



Now THATS what I call a computer!

I've a copy of Personal Computer World from about 1980, long before the days when they tried to compete with BYTE by going an inch thick and doing group reviews of identical PC clones.  Anyhow, there's an article in it, describing a switch programmable Z80 computer, about 4K static RAM, everything toggled in and LEDs on the databus for output.....

I never built it (See page 1 of this thread for my first computer) but I've probably got most of the parts so it wouldn't be difficult to have a go at it yet!
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by exartemarte » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:09 pm
Jongoleur said:


exartemarte said:


mahjongg said:


... I had been building one from scratch, but never progressed beyond building the memory system, (512 bytes) which I could load with a bunch of toggle switches, and read out with LED"s.


Eons ago I had an Open University computer like that! It had no operating system at all and no non-volatile storage. Programs were entered using switches on the front: set up an address; set up the data; press the store switch; set up the next address and so on, byte by byte. It had a hexadecimal keypad, but to use that you had first to enter a program to read it, using the switches.


Now THATS what I call a computer!


I found a picture of it - it was called Opus. I was wrong about the keypad - it was numeric. Surely I can't be the only one around here who cut his teeth on one of these?

Opus

It was a good introduction. By the time I got my first "proper" computer (a Nascom), I knew about binary, hexadecimal, instruction sets, memory maps and low-level programming; the difference between RAM and ROM, the purpose of a monitor program and why it was a really good idea to have one.

This was about 1978/9 and the course was TM221: The Digital Computer.
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by Jongoleur » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:58 pm
exartemarte said:





I found a picture of it - it was called Opus. I was wrong about the keypad - it was numeric. Surely I can't be the only one around here who cut his teeth on one of these?

Opus

It was a good introduction. By the time I got my first "proper" computer (a Nascom), I knew about binary, hexadecimal, instruction sets, memory maps and low-level programming; the difference between RAM and ROM, the purpose of a monitor program and why it was a really good idea to have one.

This was about 1978/9 and the course was TM221: The Digital Computer.


By 1984ish the OU had upgraded "The Digital Computer" to TM222 and issued an 8085 based micro called Hektor II to go with it, so I missed Opus.  Hektor had a user port module rather similar to the Gertboard for experiments in I/O programming.
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by exartemarte » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:26 pm
Jongoleur said:


exartemarte said:



... This was about 1978/9 and the course was TM221: The Digital Computer.



By 1984ish the OU had upgraded "The Digital Computer" to TM222 and issued an 8085 based micro called Hektor II to go with it, so I missed Opus.  Hektor had a user port module rather similar to the Gertboard for experiments in I/O programming.


I followed the link - Hektor was a tremendous advance on Opus, but then that was typical of the times. I'm surprised that the OU withdrew and destroyed them: my experience was that if you had kit the OU wasn't going to use again they either let you keep it or let you buy it if you wanted to for a nominal amount.

I/O programming would have been interesting (to me, anyway) and useful. I did a bit of that with my Nascom, but the Beeb was the machine that really lent itself to experimenting with computer control.
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by n31l » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:34 pm
Sinclair MK14 256bytes of ram, just seen one on Ebay for £450! whish i'd kept mine now.
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by gordon@drogon.net » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:37 pm
n31l said:


Sinclair MK14 256bytes of ram, just seen one on Ebay for £450! whish i'd kept mine now.



I saw that... Thought it was a bit steep for one that's not working.... I still have mine:

Working MK14

A bit scruffy, but it's working...

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Gordons projects: https://projects.drogon.net/
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by JordanCClark » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:51 pm
Ah, good times!

First one I used was a Commodore PET 2001. The first one I actually owned was a Commodore VIC-20, followed by the C-64 and then the C-128 (which you could also dual boot as a C-64-- way ahead of it's time)

In high school my CS teacher and I built up a (very-small) Zenith something-or-other with six dumb terminals attached. I remember the full-size ISA card used to expand the memory up to 1MB.
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by leol » Thu May 24, 2012 2:16 pm
Nascom 1 followed by Nascom 2
Used it to create an eight channel by ten loudspeaker switching matrix for Royal Shakespeare Company's Pit theatre at the Barbican. Written in Z80 assembler in 2kB of RAM.
I belive it was in use for many years.
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by Ed Raket » Thu May 24, 2012 10:02 pm
Hmmm, if i remember correctly.... it would have been like...;

C64 v1
C64 v2
Sega megadrive
Amiga 500
Amiga 600 HD
8088
80286
Accorn elektron
80386
Overheating SIS chip...
80486 SX
80486 DX2
P1,P3,P4 (clone wars ;))
core 2 duo
core I5
Arm11 ? (if RS will let me...) ;)

From all of these here systems, only a few have been FUN! and i hope the last one will be just that!
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by woodinblack » Thu May 24, 2012 11:41 pm
The pet was the first one I used, that and whatever the local polytechnics mainframe was. However, at home I loved the mk14, it was a good machine but was sadly lost. It was the start of a long line.
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by morphy_richards » Fri May 25, 2012 7:25 pm
I asked Santa for an Amiga and I got an MSX (although the model I had was this one)
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by Gert van Loo » Fri May 25, 2012 8:32 pm
Eltec Eurocom II with two 9" disk drives each could store 1.2Mbytes (That in the time the floppies could just about do 360K)
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by redhawk » Fri May 25, 2012 10:45 pm
My first computer was a Commodore 64 with tape driver I instantly feel in love with this machine the games that you could buy for it.
The audio and graphics were simply amazing I guess this kind of inspired me to learn programming although I never did take this up as a profession.
Apart from BASIC I also I learnt how to write programs in MOS6510 (6502) machine code simple stuff although I could never get my head around ADC and SBC.
Then came the age of the PC emulators in the late 90s where you can image your tapes with software and instantly load them and playback like the old days. :)
The only let down of the C64 was the BASIC interpreter I think the BBC Micro rule in that department although not with the audio "beep" "beep".

Does anyone know what *fx255,1 does on a BBC I've forgotten??

Richard S.
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by redhawk » Sat May 26, 2012 7:31 am
or was that *fx200,1??
(wasn't able to edit original post)

Richard S.
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by oztrailrider » Sat May 26, 2012 8:13 am
My first PC was a bit more modern than most of the machines the people in this thread first used. It was an IBM 286/AT with DOS 5.0. I remember the days of playing duke nukem and commander keen, as well as learning DOS commands from a book I bought. I also fondly remember the Model M keyboard. Great fun.
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by natstott » Sat May 26, 2012 8:18 pm
I used to write mark sense punch cards in cesil, and school posted them to the local college to get a printout back. Then the school got a teletype to connect at 10c/s.

Wanted a NASCOM 2, but never got my own until the ZX Spectrum. Before this at one stage I had a Z80 processor, some EPROMS and breadboards convinced I was going to clone my friends TRS80, but never did. Had teenage arguments with my mate who had a PET over the merits of 6502s against Z80s, then went QL, CPC, PCs, MAC.
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by fernan13malaga » Sat May 26, 2012 10:34 pm
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by Grumpy Mike » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:27 am
Back in 1975 there were no designs for a micro computer published, so I had to design my own. I used the 2650 Signetics chip and it has 256 bytes of memory.
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My first computer
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by Tracer » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:52 pm
My first computer was a VIC-20. I saved my pennies to buy it. I eventually got to meet and work with the guy who created it. His name was Vic, and an absolutely great guy. He said he wanted to help get kids into programming and computers, but once he sold the design, he didn't have much feedback about it. I got tell him that his vision was successful, at least in my case!

Tracer
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by thexman » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:58 pm
in order

Zx81 in 1982 not the build it your self one thou
followed by Rubber key Zx Spectrum 48k
had an AMX mouse kit in 1986-7 for a birthday present
Commodore 64 with 5 1/4 floppy disc drive woot.
atari ST 520FM with the now common 3 1/2 drives and midi. and midi keyboard
Amiga 600 with Viper 68040 card and 4mb 72pin sim the 4mb cost me over £120 pounds back then and a Squirrel SCSI PCMCIA adapter and CD rom
Commodore CD32 .
mega Drive and Magic drive attachment to copy roms to floppy 3 1/2s cough..
Pentium 1 90Mhz. with win 3.11 and followed by win95 upgrade when it was released
several self built Pcs to this day had a dual processor motherboard for a while with 32Bit SCSI card and several 10000rpm SCSI3 drives speedy at least
Roland G3 midi controller and oxygen keyboards

currently i7 4.3Gz Asus Mobo 16GB memory ddr3, SSD 128gb drives 3 of, and 2 SLi Graphix cards with dual 19" monitors
one armed controls engineer, my grammar is bad but lets face it most keyboards don't suit a one armed man
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by bigsi111 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:19 pm
Zx80, ZX81, Spectrum, Commodore 64, Dragon32, Atari ST, then boring PC's
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by mxcum167 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:21 pm
Mine was a Texas Instruments TI99/4a
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by mraltair » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:11 pm
I feel so young I feel out of place in this thread. I missed the days of serial ports and 8" floppies. I do remember taking my work to school on a 3 1/2" though.

My first PC was the family PC when I was 10ish in 1999. It was a 1999 'Time Computers' computer. From a little Googling it looks to have been a 500Mhz AMD CPU with a 20GB HDD. It cost in the region of £1,000.

I remember being very excited about getting a computer I took the "How to Use a Computer" booklet to read in bed even before we had the actual PC. My only previous experience had been seeing the ones my mum and dad used at work, on those days they couldn't get a babysitter. My mum worked at the local hospital, and from my hazy memory, I think it could have been running Windows 3.1. That is one of my earliest memories though, it could have been Windows 95.

Since then we had a PC made by a local IT guy. Then when I was 18 I got interested in computing and built my own PC with a Core 2 Duo which I've upgraded to an i5 2500k.
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