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Re: What was your first computer?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:25 pm

My Dad's Ohio Scientific Superboard II, we had the posh 8KB model and was housed in a cut down bread bin!

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Re: What was your first computer?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:45 pm

I first learnt to code in CESIL and JBAS on hand-written coding forms that were local sent to the local council's ICL mainframe. Back in the days when we were taught to code at school. Used to get the results back a week later - real bummer if you got a syntax error on line 10!

I still have an RML380Z, 8K Chicklet Pet, ZX80 and maybe a dozen or so other 8bit micros, mostly kept since the 80's rather than collected.

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Re: What was your first computer?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:26 pm

BBC Mk1... awesome piece of kit!

Although being a kid at the time, I was just interested in playing Mr.E and Chucky Egg!

Cheers, Scott. - - - YouTube Channel

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Re: What was your first computer?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:36 pm

Born in 1983, the first computer my family owned was a Tandy 2000. This computer resided in our kitchen, and was used for some basic home accounting and text file editing...mostly purchased because my dad thought this new technology was cool. I started hacking on it during the early 90's. When I was 10 or so I would ride my bike to my Grandfather's construction company's main office and dial in to a BBS hosted 20 miles away (and long distance) using his IBM PC Model 5150 and download games local enthusiasts wrote in BASIC. My public school had programming classes starting around 6th grade using Hypercard and then moved to Pascal in 7th and 8th Grade, C/C++ in High School.

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Re: What was your first computer?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:42 am

An Atari 600XL. Still works. After that a Macintosh LC. Still works also. :ugeek:
1x RPi 512MB (China model B rev 2) • 2x RPi 256MB (UK model B rev 1)

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Re: What was your first computer?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:08 pm


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Re: What was your first computer?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:19 pm

Sinclair ZX Spectrum +2...wanted a Commodore Amiga of course, but that meant robbing a bank in 1987 ;)

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Re: What was your first computer?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:53 pm

I first experienced computing at college in 1968; some ICL behometh running the George operating system. I handed in a deck of cards (in FORTRAN) and got a printout back. (yawn!)

My first hands-on computer was a PDP8S when I worked at a University. The boot code was toggled in on a set of switches on the front panel.

I also met my first microprocessor there, building and debugging several Motorola development boards with a whole 128 bytes of RAM.

At home, my first computer was hand built using a 4 MHz Z80A processor, a handful of TTL logic, 1kbytes of static RAM, and a self written monitor programme. I learnt a lot about computers with that rig.

My first commercial home computer was a BBC Model B.

Since then I have built several PCs, and bought laptops, an NSLU and recently an Asus Android tablet.
The RPi is the latest of a long list, and looks like being fun.

(Maybe I should add that I started off as an electronics technician working with valves (vacuum tubes) and am now an IT mamanger/ software developer, so computers have been involved in 40 years of my working life.)
1st Batch Model B (256M) running Raspbian, Pibrow case, with RaspiCam.
Model A (256M) running Raspbmc, caseless.

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Re: What was your first computer?

Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:44 pm

My first... a SEGA SC3000, obscure would be one word for it :)

from there is was nothing for a long time then a 386DX40

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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:51 am

commodore 64

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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:27 am

Spectrum 48k

Bought second hand , for 180 pounds , from a guy up around the corner , ( it was a birthday present from my parents , I think I was 8 at the time )

It came with a box of games , a box of speccy magazines and programming books .
It also had a cheetah talkbox

Loved it , got the keyboard circuit replaced when it went , but when the Power supply went , that was it , never got it to boot again properly after that .

Still in a box in the mothers attic .

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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:22 am

My computer history is:

Amstrad CPC 464 with a color monitor.
(Also tinkered with BBC micros, Electrons and Archimedes at school)
Intel 386sx25 (family computer but was allowed to tinker as long as I fixed stuff afterwards)

Then I owned lots of PCs, all self built:-
486DX4-100, Intel P75 system, AMD K6-2 200, Dual socket BP6 with 2x Celerons 400Mhz, AMD Athlon 1.2Ghz (which I still have), Athlon 64 3500+ (Parents have it), Core 2 Duo 2.66Ghz (Still around), Intel i5-2500k o/c at 4.5Ghz.
and finally a Raspberry Pi which is the most 'fun' one :)

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Re: What was your first computer?

Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:55 pm

My first computer was a plastic one called a Digicomp II, which was vintage 1968. I knew binary, AND plus ORs at age 10. Clock was hand operated.

My first *real* computer was the schools Digital PDP-8E, which had 4K of memory, a paper tape reader/punch and used an ASR33 Teletype as it's console. I programmed it in PALIII assembler and can still remember a lot of the instruction set (having spent hours toggling the boot loader, code and patches in on the front console switches). Luckily I managed to leave grammar school on the Friday, and started work for Digital on the Monday. Spent 17 very happy years there - trainee programmer to running their UK Software Products business, leaving in 1993 after Ken Olsen was ousted.

Given DEC stuff was the original hackers paradise, I know quite a bit of history of the Microcomputer industry from its beginnings. However, I try not to bore people too much with it...

Ian W.

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Re: What was your first computer?

Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:22 pm

Not strictly a computer, but I first learnt to program on a Casio FX502P calculator (which is still working and on its third set of batteries in 30-odd years).

Later I moved on to a ZX81, a Sharp MZ-80K, then many BBC model B computers.

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Re: What was your first computer?

Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:14 am

I bought a ZX81 with my winnings from a premium bond to find out what a computer was and did. Amazing that it cost £50 then (sometime in the late seventies) - that would be the equivalent of several hundred pounds now. And what you got was I think 1kb of memory and a power adapter that would fall out with the slightest movement and lose everything you had laboriously typed in. Then I got a BBC micro and had the most fun with that. Does anyone else remember the nervewracking task of plugging in new ROMs without bending their pins?.

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Re: What was your first computer?

Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:33 am

My was a HP87
My dad worked at HEWLETT-PACKARD
87.jpg (4.56 KiB) Viewed 9871 times

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Re: What was your first computer?

Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:18 pm

This needs to be paired with the "introduce yourself" thread somehow. hehe.

Apple iicx (mom's) and a non-memorably branded 286 (dad's).

First of my own was an Apple PowerPC 2600, unless you count the TI-86. I recently revived my Apple LaserWriter 4/600PS after getting sick and tired of modern ink-jet throw aways. Yes, my home network has appletalk devices! (and very few Apples). One of my for fun projects will be to get the custom CUPS stuff copied over to the raspberry for nostalgic grins from my generational piers. Fruit goes well together after all.

For the generation before that I plan to print some fun raspberry propaganda on one or all of 3 pen plotters I own. Roland DXY-1100, HP-7550A, or HP-DraftproEXL.

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Re: What was your first computer?

Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:02 pm

Couldn't afford a computer till the early 90's so before then I was at friends houses playing around with theirs. The first computer I've used was a C64 and first computer my family bought was a Packard Bell 486SX with 4Megs of RAM and sexy 2speed CD-ROM and internal 2600baud modem. I still remember how mad my mom was when my dad brought it home. My father being a electrical engineer saw computers as the future and it was important that I learn how to use one and mother hated technology, we didn't get a microwave till about 1994.

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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:55 am

C64 It still works...but the screen colors are messed up Learned Basic on that. I then got a AMD 386 with a math processor(Gateway Desktop Box) Learned Pascal. Got a Cyrix 486(Desktop Box) Learned C, C++, Java and Assembly, Pentium I(Desktop)TLC , II(Desktop)FoxPro and III (Asus Notebook), AMD Sempron(Desktop Box) Building firewalls and Digital PBX VOIP, Intel Centrino Duo(Lenovo Notebook), Intel i7 (Lenovo Notebook) I had an old Apple somewhere between the C64 and the 386. and a New iMac. Most of the stuff still works and is around the house. The 386 isn't alive I turned the CPU into a key Chain a few years ago. Read about the new Cray supercomputers that are large Desktops and was thinking of getting one but couldn't think of a use for it that a Powerful workstation wouldn't do. :evil: :lol:

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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:38 pm

The first computer i used on a daily basis was a lenovo t400. It was a school laptop that i later sold to get my current laptop: an alienware mx14

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Re: What was your first computer?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:11 am

howdy folks

The first time I ever had anything to do with
any computer of any kind was when we punched
( blindly according to teacher instructions as we really
didn't know what it was were actually doing)
some program cards for something called
miniwaft ( I think this is actually a very old
computer package based on the Fortran language
but as to what computer it ran on I have no idea
but possibly it would have been some kind
of old mainframe or minicomputer)
and this was in an electro technology
optional elective unit/class that I did in my
final years of high school way back in the
late 70s.

After that I did my first computer/IT course
( Associate Diploma in Digital Systems and Computers
which covered analog and digital electronics,
microprocessor based systems, communications,
software languages from machine code, assembler,
1st, 2nd gen etc languages and on, hardware
build, software design and many other things
computer and IT related - very good
comprehensive course)
over two years in 1980/81 at the
Western Australian Institute of Technology ( WAIT)
which is now Curtin University here in
Bentley Perth WA.

On my computer/IT courses at WAIT
we first used one of the old
Intel MDK-85 trainer SBC microprocessor
boards which had an old Intel 8085
processor ( ran 8080 machine code also )
and we were learning the Intel 8080
processor machine code which was of course
compatible with the 8085.
That SBC had a HEX keyboard for input
and program input display/output and a nice RED
LED HEX display as well as a prototyping area
and some other general I/O capabilities.

We also used the facilities of the WA Computing Centre
which was an independant facility based on campus
which supplied distributed computing facilities to
WAIT, business and government and other orgs.
They had a DEC10 mainframe and possibly also
a PDP11 minicomputer ( also other PDP11s
elsewhere on campus).
Students at WAIT including me programmed
these computers using various interpreters
and compilers and languages such as
BASIC, PASCAL and Fortran.

There were many good kit oriented
and other old microcomputer systems
and home computers of many kinds
in those days such as Tandy Radio Shack
TRS80/1000, Pet Commodore/64, Exidy Sorcerer,
Dick Smith System 80, Hitachi Peach
and of course the Apple 2 etc and many others
but as a student I had little money and had to
wait for my first year of employment
in 1982 when finally I could afford something.

So finally in 1982 I bought my first computer system
which was actually based on a Dick Smith Electronics
kit computer called the Super 80 which was already
nicely built up by an electronics engineer I met
up with through my first computer job
i.e. I built it ready assembled by Jim from Texas USA
( who I only met a couple of times and he worked
for a firm in Osborne Park [can't remember their name]
and I haven't seen Jim since then.
His soldering/assembly work was good and the system
worked fine and it cost me around 80 dollars Oz ).

My Super 80 had a Zilog Z80 microprocessor
( not sure of speed ) with around 48KB of system RAM
and an in ROM ( or maybe EPROM not sure now )
monitor control program and BASIC
interpreter as well as very basic B/W TV display output
( had UHF modulated and composite outputs for video )
a cassette interface for storage and various other I/O
capability. Of course it had a standard qwerty style keyboard
of the day. It also had one S100 bus slot for various S100
expansion add on function boards. S100 was still very
popular back in the early 80s ( although mainly used
a lot back in the 70s when people were using things like
CP/M and CDOS etc ).

I built a nice pine wooden case to house my
Super 80 mainboard and also made the keyboard
covering/overlay from plyboard.
My brother inlaw was a Telecom ( Telstra now )
technician/electrician back then and he
provided a nice piece of clear plastic plexiglass
which was appropriately bent to the shape of
my wedge shaped case design and it screwed
on top of the wooden case.
It was great as I could observe all the cool
internal electronics as I used my Super 80.

I had a lot of fun with that first machine.
I did some BASIC programming and also messed
with the Z80 machine code and monitor program.
I didn't do that much programming but what I did do
taught me a few tricks about binary and hex code etc..
( wrote a block move machine code program
and other things ).

I wish I still had that old machine as I am into
old retro 8/16 bit micros these days.
Unfortunately I had to sell it years ago
during one of my many accomodational moves.
( that's life we all eventually have to move on).

After that my next computer was an IBM PC XT clone
( with Intel 8088 CPU, 64MB RAM, CGA video,
8 bit ISA expansion bus, 20MB hard drive
( yes folks that's 20 huge megabytes of storage.
I have an old rundisk USB thumb drive which has
64MB of storage and this is tiny by current standards)
with dual DSDD 5 1/4 " floppy drives, a dot matrix
printer and it ran MSDOS/QDOS/PCDOS OSes
and software. It had a number of other serial/parralell
etc I/O options and I had a few 8 bit ISA boards
plugged in ( bought in 1989 for over $ 1000 Oz ).

After that I didn't buy another system until 2000
which was an IBM desktop with a Pentium 70MHZ
CPU and Windows 95 etc etc..
I then purchased systems based on the Pentium
60MHZ, 100MHZ and up until I was running
mainly Intel Celeron based systems and Windows
95 and 98 ( all flavours ) and eventually Win Me
and now XP sp3.

I have worked on most IBM PC hardware/software
since the original IBM PC i.e. the XT, AT ( 286 ),
386, 486 (many different flavours), Pentium, Celeron
and other x86 compatible CPUs such as AMD
Duron/Sempron and Pentium.
Haven't done a lot with the multi core systems as yet.

I have worked with CP/M, CDOS, MSDOS, QDOS, PCDOS,
Windows 3.1, Windows 95a,b and c, Win 98 and SE, Win Me,
Win NT, Win2000, Win XP to sp3 and have had some exposure
to Vista and Win 7 ( not Win 8 yet ).
I like all the new smart phones, netbooks, laptops, tablet and
pad computers but have had less exposure here.

I have also worked with too many languages ( machine code,
assemblers, linkers and loaders etc, interpreters and
compilers, command processors ( all kinds ), script stuff,
batch files, 1st gen, 2nd gen, 3rd gen, intermediate etc etc ) to mention and this goes for all kinds of applications/OSes as well.

I have also installed and dabbled a bit with various
Linux distros such as Red Hat, Mandrake, Lycoris,
Linspire ( all this over 7 years ago ) and now
Ubuntu 12.04 ( which is just SO good. It's a pity
we have such a bad rapporte with Canonical
as regards Ubuntu and the Pi as Ubuntu is
a pure delight/dream to use and we should try
to remedy this situation ( fly a white flag or wave
the olive branch and invite Canonical in for peace talks)
if we can).

So now I have my R Pi B with it's Debian "Wheezy"
( or is that Rasbian ?) distro and am looking forward
to checking out other Linux distros on the Pi
( when they are finally ported to the ARM CPU )
as well as Android and XBMC
( someone also said they were looking into
a possible port of XP etc., ?).

Xubuntu with the LXDE GUI desktop looks almost
as smooth to use as Ubuntu so I want to check this
out next.

I am also playing with electronics and arduino these days
and also have my AMD Duron/Sempron
and Intel Celeron and Pentium 4 based systems
( onwards and upwards to multi core land
as well as mobile computing land).




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Re: What was your first computer?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:54 am

I can't believe I've not seen this thread before :-)
I'm very lucky to still have access to a machine of the same type as the first one I used.... ... SL9P4LEPlg
Discoverer of the PI2 XENON DEATH FLASH!
Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

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Re: What was your first computer?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:43 am


Mine was a Timex / Sinclair 1000 which was the North American version of the ZX81. I also bought the optional 16K memory expansion pack.

After that I got the IBM 5150 along with the IBM 5152 printer.
Last edited by stevhorn5 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What was your first computer?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:46 am

Oooo! Luxury. I was given a ZX81, but never had the money to buy a RAM pack for it. On the plus side, I never had problems with RAM pack wobble!! :lol:

I eventually had a series of 8 bit Atari kit. 600XL and then 130XE, with tape drive, disk drive and printer.
The purpose of a little toe is to ensure you keep your furniture in the right place.

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Re: What was your first computer?

Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:22 am

My first computer was a Science of Cambridge MK14, which I assembled myself but failed to really understand. :oops:

I was seduced by the idea of graphics and sound and by the time I realised what a useful device the MK14 could have been, I'd sold it in order to raise money to buy an Atari.

My recent purchase of the Raspberry Pi was because I needed a small, cheap and low power consumption device. The MK14 would have been pushed to its limits whereas my Pi is going to be very bored in its new job.

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