andrum99
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:25 pm

My first computer was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum+ 48K with an Alba cassette recorder.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:28 pm

ejolson wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:40 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:23 pm
Hmmm... I suppose I ought to mention that the first machine my sisters got to write programs on was an IBM 7094. Card decks were loaded to tape on a 7040. The tapes were then run on the 7094 and the output tape was taken back to the 7040 to print the outputs.
If it didn't run Linux or at least BASIC could it really be considered a computer?
Considering that it pre-dated unix and BASIC, let alone Linux...

dustnbone
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:24 pm

First computer was a Coleco ADAM, 80KB RAM (read it and weep C64 people), and "high speed" digital cassette storage.

As you may know that platform died a horrible death and was possibly the worst purchasing decision my parents ever made.

Next was an XT clone with 640KB RAM and a 20MB hard drive, followed by a 386DX/25 with 4MB of RAM and an 85MB HDD. That was my first Linux computer, somewhere around 1991/92, installed Slackware from 3.5" floppy images I downloaded at 14.4kbps from a local BBS. It was also the first computer I ran OS/2 on, but it struggled a bit with low RAM. Windows 3.x ran alright for what it was but I was never happy using it.

I just realized I've been avoiding using Windows for essentially as long as it has existed.

Around that time I started earning my own money delivering newspapers and fixing computers (mostly fixing computer users), and eventually saved up for a 486DX2/66 IBM Aptiva with 12MB of RAM and a 1.2GB hard drive.

With this I ran mostly OS/2 because of it's stability and multitasking capabilities, being able to download files from a BBS while playing a game at the same time was very impressive stuff for a PC in those days.

Windows was absolutely terrible at that kind of stuff, OS/2 was actually substantially better at multitasking DOS/Windows software than real DOS/Windows was at that time, provided that you had enough RAM. And using native OS/2 software was a dream scenario for me, there was a reasonable amount of it around at this time as IBM was actively promoting it as an alternative OS. This ended pretty abruptly soon after Windows 95 came out, as OS/2 never gained the ability to run 32 bit Windows applications.

Some time around the late 90s I switched to mainly running Linux on my workstation, OS/2 was basically dead despite being an excellent platform for TCP/IP networking that was starting to become prevalent, and Linux distributions were really starting to shine. X-Windows based desktops became practical for everyday use as 16/32MB RAM machines became affordable, and for my job at the time (admin at a 1,000+ line dialup ISP) the tools available in the GNU world became indispensable to me.

pidd
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:02 pm

Science of Cambridge (Sinclair) Mk14 kit, in 1977, still got flattened finger tips to prove it. Sold it about twenty years later.
1.1MHz, 256Bytes RAM

I think the list of my main usage computers then went on something like ....

Sinclair ZX80 in 1980 had it very briefly, part exchanged it for the Ohio
3.25MHz, 1KB RAM, cassette storage

Ohio Superboard II in 1980 - greatly modified over time, still got it and it still works.
1MHz 2KB RAM, cassette storage. Eventually ended up 2MHz 48KB RAM, cassette storage

CP/M 8080/Z80 rack machine based loosely on a Kemitron design, still got it, dare not switch it on because I don't want to see it smoke.
2MHz, 16KB RAM, eventually ended up 4MHz, 64KB RAM, 8" floppy storage

Premier 386DX PC/AT in 1988 - my first PC
12.5MHz, 1MB RAM, 10MB hard drive


Loads of other toys along the way, some of which I still have.

Syntax Error
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Re: What was your first computer?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:04 pm

First machine was a Sharp PC1211 pocket computer, after that came a Sharp MZ-80K. Eventually traded the Sharps to get an Apple II+, the most enjoyable machine I ever owned and changed my career path. A whole list of machines and devices then followed, till I returned to Apple around 2005... Raspberry Pi, is a welcome change and cheap, so I can have more of them. Moving over to Linux more and more (not a huge step from OSX)

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Hackswell
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Re: What was your first computer?

Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:57 pm

6502 Atari 400 (16KB RAM), with BASIC cartridge and cassette player for loading programs. The Atari had a flat keyboard that was awful.

Finally upgraded to an Atari 800XL with 64 KB RAM and an Indus floppy disk drive!!! WOW!

BrunoA
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Re: What was your first computer?

Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:20 pm

My first computer (actually my family's first computer) was an original IBM PC which we purchased in September 1982, I [Spamlink removed] it was. We didn't get the Epson MX-80 printer that was standard with the IBM PC though--instead my parents sprang for a Brother letter-quality printer (yes the old daisy-wheel type!). Boy that setup seemed space age.I still have the original books that came with it, along with an original copy of DOS 1.1.
Last edited by BrunoA on Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: What was your first computer?

Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:23 pm

I keep waiting for someone to post in this thread that their first computer was ENIAC...

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davidcoton
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:53 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:23 pm
I keep waiting for someone to post in this thread that their first computer was ENIAC...
What we really want is someone who worked at Bletchley Park during WW2 ...
My parents worked for Lyons in the LEO era, but neither had any direct dealings with LEO.
Location: 345th cell on the right of the 210th row of L2 cache

pidd
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:43 pm

Far too modern, we need someone from the 13th century involved in the Castle Clock.

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rpdom
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:52 pm

Stonehenge. A marvel of modern silicon chunk technology.
Unreadable squiggle

W. H. Heydt
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:05 am

rpdom wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:52 pm
Stonehenge. A marvel of modern silicon chunk technology.
...silicate...

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rpdom
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:58 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:05 am
rpdom wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:52 pm
Stonehenge. A marvel of modern silicon chunk technology.
...silicate...
Obviously not a Pratchett fan :(

(OK, so it wasn't Stonehenge in the books...)
Unreadable squiggle

woolsey
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Re: What was your first computer?

Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:15 am

My first computer was a TIMEX/Sinclair 2068. It had a Z80A microprocessor and used a cassette recorder for saving programs.

Dragontail281
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Re: What was your first computer?

Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:44 pm

My first computer was Texas Instruments Ti99/4a.
If I remember correctly, my Dad got it when they first came out in '81, which would have made me 10 at the time.
I remember doing BASIC with it and using a cassette recorder to load/save the programs.
We had a few games, and then got the voice simulator when it came out, and a couple more games to work with the simulator.
I still have the computer, simulator, and games, but not the cassette recorder, but I think I have the cable to connect them together.
My plan is to one day get a new recorder that will work with the "remote" cable so the computer actually controls the play/record functions.
I will try to incorporate it into me teaching my son, now 3 years old, about computers and programming, along with my Pis.
My Dad even says that he still has some of the old computer mags that we used to get programs out of. ;)

Jiff44
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Re: What was your first computer?

Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:23 pm

Prometheus wrote:
Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:12 am
What was your first computer?
An Apple][ with 48 KB of RAM with a cassette recorder as mass storage.

Then came a diskette drive which Apple manual was written in 2 colors: black for questions and green for answers, unfortunately, after page 24, the green was definitely missing from the printing -- which gave me a great taste (and skills) to investigate about hardware functionalities ;)

Looking backward, it is amazing what we were able to make and achieve with so few memory and display, comms, etc limitations ; may be my taste for the Linux command line comes from there - that also lead to a concern about programs always being able to run on older hardware without problems ; something that so called web developers (and many others in fact) should take in account when they develop new "code" on their 128 cores with 512 GB of RAM that can't run under a consumption of 50-100 MB RAM or even more and bloats so much that some can't work correctly if you don't have a recent computer…

Naturally, this lead to SBCs, oddly not so long ago, because I was waiting for such a SBC as the Raspberry Pi 4 with 8 GB RAM with the aim of being able to supply a very-cheap-but-not-that-weak computer to people that are missing the money needed to pay for a x86 - and it's not only these people that are interested in, but also those who do not need 64 cores with half a Tera of RAM because they have the most basic usage of a computer, such as reporters, that mainly have to read articles and thei e-mails, watch videos and TV and write, nothing much more than that.

RPI4 was quite a shock either visually speaking, you see many pictures, even of a RPI4 in a hand, you take a graduated ruler to imagine the thing, but you (well, I) do not realize how small it really is until you see unbox it - the second shock was the raw power it can deliver. When I think back about 6502 (reasonably speedy at… 1 MHz) or Z-80 or even MC68000, I was far from figuring correctly how powerful CPUs would be more than 40 years later and how much it would be interesting to have a GPIO onboard for people wanting to learn a bit of electronics and/or realize what they have in mind.

George441
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:12 am

Pentium 4 ;)
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"Save a Tree - Save The Environment - Save Your Life "
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butchkemper
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:45 pm

The very first computer I used was an IBM 1401 with 4,000 characters of memory. It was 1967 and there were 3 systems installed in the Data Processing Center at Texas A&M University.

One 1401 was installed in the main computer room to make input tapes from card decks submitted for batch processing on the IBM 7094, while simultaneously reading an output tape to print reports and punch cards. The machine had a 1402 card reader/punch, a 1403 chain printer, and two 729 tape drives.

Two 1401s were installed in the secondary machine room and were used for backup and overflow for the first unit. They were also used for special tasks requiring extra tape drives, special card processing with punched card output, and tape copying. Each machine was equipped with a 1402 card reader/punch, a 1404 chain printer which also could read and print cards, and four 729 tape drives.

In 1968, an IBM 360/65 with 512K bytes of memory was installed. The system had eight 2314 removable disk drives each with 29.2MB space, sixteen 2401 tape drives, a 2540 card reader/punch, and two 1403 chain printers. It was on this system where I learned 360 Assembler Language and became a Systems Programmer.

Butch

W. H. Heydt
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:19 pm

butchkemper wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:45 pm
In 1968, an IBM 360/65 with 512K bytes of memory was installed. The system had eight 2314 removable disk drives each with 29.2MB space, sixteen 2401 tape drives, a 2540 card reader/punch, and two 1403 chain printers. It was on this system where I learned 360 Assembler Language and became a Systems Programmer.
They didn't go for the 1403N1?

Heater
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:40 pm

butchkemper wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:45 pm
The very first computer I used was an IBM 1401 with 4,000 characters of memory. It was 1967 and there were 3 systems installed in the Data Processing Center at Texas A&M University.
...
That all sounds just wonderful.

It was about 10 years later that I first programmed anything. I don't even know what it was, some machine far away on the end of a telephone line that we talked to via acousticly coupled modem and a teletype.

Later they would not let us near the ICL 2960 in university.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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butchkemper
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Re: What was your first computer?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:18 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:19 pm
butchkemper wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:45 pm
In 1968, an IBM 360/65 with 512K bytes of memory was installed. The system had eight 2314 removable disk drives each with 29.2MB space, sixteen 2401 tape drives, a 2540 card reader/punch, and two 1403 chain printers. It was on this system where I learned 360 Assembler Language and became a Systems Programmer.
They didn't go for the 1403N1?
Over the years, there were many upgrades and changes. However, the IBM 1403N1 came out in the early 1970s and we acquired four N1s and later, two Xerox 9700 laser printers with cut sheet and duplex print. Things were always in a state of change.

Butch

W. H. Heydt
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Re: What was your first computer?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:53 am

butchkemper wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:18 am
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:19 pm
butchkemper wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:45 pm
In 1968, an IBM 360/65 with 512K bytes of memory was installed. The system had eight 2314 removable disk drives each with 29.2MB space, sixteen 2401 tape drives, a 2540 card reader/punch, and two 1403 chain printers. It was on this system where I learned 360 Assembler Language and became a Systems Programmer.
They didn't go for the 1403N1?
Over the years, there were many upgrades and changes. However, the IBM 1403N1 came out in the early 1970s and we acquired four N1s and later, two Xerox 9700 laser printers with cut sheet and duplex print. Things were always in a state of change.
Snazziest one I ever worked with was an IBM 3800.

WZ9V
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Re: What was your first computer?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:45 pm

Timex Sinclair 1000 (TS1000)

smminc
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Re: What was your first computer?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:25 pm

I always enjoy reading these 'historical' hardware lists and memories...

My first was an IMSAI 8080 kit that I built myself... 1975 was the year... now a Pi4 fits in my shirt pocket... damn...

angine
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:12 am

I'm not sure but I think it was Commodore 64

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