What was your first computer?

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Doc Dan
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What was your first computer?

Postby Doc Dan » Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:06 am

What was your first computer? I started learning on 8088 computers and then 286 machines. I bought my first one when I went to graduate school and it was a Toshiba Laptop 386. It was the only laptop (they invented it) at the time and was fairly thick (extremely by today's standards). It had a tiny hard drive by today's standards, but large by the standards of the day. It also used those floppy discs. My next computer was a Gateway 486. It was very powerful and anticipated today's pads and etc. by many years. It was small enough to close and put in my overcoat inner pocket. I also had a portable Canon printer that fit in my outside coat pocket. So, off to class I would go with my electronic gear and print out my assignments to turn in and type all of my notes.

My wife and I have transitioned to Macs, now.
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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby Evil D » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:10 am

Well I go all the way back to Commodore 64 but MY first computer was a 266mhz AMD home built job. It had a ridiculously huge 4gb hard drive that seemed like all the data in the known universe could fit on it. The second PC I built I put a 20gb drive in and it just seemed like limitless storage. It's amazing how technology has advanced. In those days a cellular phone was something only rich people had or the military, and now the phone I'm posting this on has a more powerful processor than the computer I had 2 builds ago which is within the last 10 years.

I've only had 2 "store bought" computers my whole life and they were both absolute junk. It cost a bit more to build your own but you know what you're getting component to wise.
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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby remnar » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:26 am

The first computer that I bought for myself was a Macintosh Performa 638 CD. It was very good at the time that I purchased it but we know how that goes with computers. :D

Here's what EveryMac.com says about it:
"The Apple Macintosh Performa 638CD features a 33 MHz 68LC040 processor, 8 MB of RAM, a 350 MB hard drive, a 2X CD-ROM drive, and TV/Video functionality in a compact desktop case."

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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby The Deacon » Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:05 am

My first computer was what I believe to be ITT's one and only venture into the "home computer" market . Same case (and probably the same motherboard) as their 3030 "professional computer" but running MS-DOS 2.11. It had an 8086 processor, 512K of ram, two 5.25" floppy drives and a 16 color 13" RGB monitor.
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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby bh49 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:20 pm

The first PC I expirieced in 1989 was Bulgarian made machine without hard drive (5.25" floppy disks) and B&W monitor using MS-DOS.
My first computer I bought in 1996. I was custom built by no name company with I gb hard drive and 14.4 modem and 14" monitor. Modem was to send faxes. It cost me only $1500. That computer went through many upgrades before I gave it way years later.
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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby OldHoosier62 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:05 pm

First ones I used were in the Corps, 8086 and 8088 models as glorified word processors and to order parts.

First one I built was a 486DX50mhz with 8mb of RAM, 240mb HDD, Sound Blaster card, a 2mb video card, 5.25 and 2.5 floppy drives, a Panasonic CD-ROM drive, 14.4 modem and a 15in. monitor...LOL, state of the art in 1993. It was the envy of all my computer literate friends, cost an insane amount of cash compared to today....$1800

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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby rodloos » Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:02 pm

Bought my first computer in 1979, an Ohio Scientific C1P, paid extra to double the memory from 4K to 8K! No Floppy or hard drive, you were supposed to use a cassette tape recorder to save data, though it wasn't very reliable. Though my first programmable device was a Texas Instruments TI88 purchased around 1977, I did start to learn about programming sequences with that.

My 2nd one was a Texas Instruments TI 99/4. Then finally my first *real* computer was a Kaypro running CP/M operating system. That came with the Word Star word processing program. I *still* the WordStar keyboard layout on some of my programming editors: Ctrl-Q Ctrl-R to jump to top of file, etc.
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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby SpyderNut » Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:36 pm

OldHoosier62 wrote:First ones I used were in the Corps, 8086 and 8088 models as glorified word processors and to order parts.

First one I built was a 486DX50mhz with 8mb of RAM, 240mb HDD, Sound Blaster card, a 2mb video card, 5.25 and 2.5 floppy drives, a Panasonic CD-ROM drive, 14.4 modem and a 15in. monitor...LOL, state of the art in 1993. It was the envy of all my computer literate friends, cost an insane amount of cash compared to today....$1800
That sounds remarkably similar to the first PC my folks purchased in 1994. It was a stock Dell and came with a 1x speed CD-ROM, 8mb of RAM and a small monitor. M6 folks splurged and purchased a color printer too, which was a mistake because my siblings and I quickly blew threw a crap ton of ink! :D
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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby Donut » Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:42 pm

I might have first learned about computers in elementary school or something. I had a couple of Apple II's.

I had some sort of second hand 8086 that wasn't capable of doing graphics period. I would go down to the store, look for the lowest minimum requirements I could find, and it wouldn't do monochrome graphics at all.

I would say my first "real computer" was a 486sx-33 with 4 megs of ram. SX meant it didn't have a math co-processor (it was pretty slow). I remember when the first big box electronics store opened up in town, I saved up money and paid $200 for an 8 meg memory chip and went from 4 megs to 12 megs of ram. Doom 1 Shareware ran a lot better with that. :)
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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby awa54 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:50 pm

I had ready access to a friend's VIC 20 and later C64, but the first computer I actually had any ownership of was a Mac Plus that my ex got while she was in college, back then it spanked MS DOS machines so hard it wasn't even funny... unless you needed color that is ;) No more Macs for me though, Windows does just fine now.
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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby JAfromMN » Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:57 pm

Still never had one.

I do everything by smartphone. Always have

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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby bdblue » Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:13 pm

In college I used a CDC 6600 mainframe. In undergrad we used punch cards but then in grad school we were able to use dumb CRT terminals. I started college with a slide rule, went to an HP35 calculator, then in college I had an HP25 programmable calculator.

At my first job they had an IBM 1130 small minicomputer. It had a hard drive with swappable disk packs, about 1MB each. It only worked with punch cards. The computer, keypunch and printer filled a room. Just before the PC era, my office bought a new minicomputer based on the Motorola 68000 processor and Unix.

My first computer was a Commodore 64, connected to a cassette player and TV. I could program it but didn't write any elaborate programs.

In the early 1980s I bought one of the first IBM PCs, with dual floppy drives and 256KB of memory. A few years later I bought a hard drive kit for it from a very small store in Austin called Compushop. They grew to a nationwide chain then shrunk to nothing. The drive was 20MB for $450. I didn't think I would ever use all of that space but later I added another 20MB drive, then swapped those for a single 60MB drive. At some point I also bought a used Toshiba laptop but I think it was 8088-based. I rigged up a serial port network to connect this laptop in my living room with the IBM PC in the bedroom and basically used it as a terminal. I started running Autocad on the IBM PC. (Funny that back then you could install Autocad off of 8 or 9 floppy disks and now it probably takes 100MB on a DVD.)

My next computer was a 386DX homebuilt by a friend of mine. From there I started building all of my own, going to a 486DX2-66, then worked up to an AMD at about 1GHz.

When the Intel Core2 duo processors came out I started building machines again and built a dual core machine for my office, overclocked to 3.8GHz, and a quad core for my house that also managed to run at 3.8GHz. I still use that machine. I later built a batch of CAD machines for my office using i5-750 processors at 3.5GHz.

I had to get a new job a few years ago. My new machine at that company was a Dell workstation with dual Xeon 4-core processors. After 3 years that machine got swapped out for a Dell Precision laptop, with an i7 at about 2.7GHz and 64GB of RAM.

My first laptop was a Dell. It was fairly slow but I used it a lot. I gave it to my mother and got a Dell Latitude with a dual core processor at 2.5GHz. This machine is pretty old now but I upgraded it with an SSD and clean install of Win7 and it is still a pretty fast machine. These days it is my most used machine at home. I have a small Toshiba that I bought for travel, and I have my wife's old small Toshiba laptop that I rejuvenated by installing an SSD and Win7, but we don't use it for much. So altogether I have 4 Win7 machines that I use at home and one at work.

When I started with actual PCs of course they were running MS-DOS. My employer was resistant to spend the money to buy a bunch of PCs but we eventually inherited some from an associated company. Our PCs mostly ran MS-DOS but eventually we ran Windows 3.1 for the few programs that required it. I never needed Win3.1 at home but I did run DesqView for awhile. I was big in using bulletin boards and with Desqview I could be downloading stuff in one window while writing programs in another window. I started using Win95 at home when people reported that it actually worked well, then went to Win98 at home and at work. All of the machines that I use now are Win7. I'm thinking about upgrading my spare laptop to Win10 for a test, and my employer is going to do the same thing.

In engineering school I programmed in Fortran. I used Fortran after college, then when we got the Unix machine I learned C. When I got my first IBM PC I learned Turbo Pascal and also used Turbo C. Running Autocad I also had to learn AutoLISP. I bought a cheap version of visual basic and learned a little bit of that. Now most of my programming is in Borland Delphi.

I bought a Mac Mini and tried my hand at iphone programming but then I had to switch jobs to another company and now I don't have time for that.

Since I've been through all of these different computers, between home and 3 different jobs at least 18 different PCs, I finally decided that I should consolidate and organize all of my files. I put a 3TB drive in my old desktop computer and started copying files to it. Then I spent almost a year sorting them and removing duplicates. I finally boiled it down to about 1TB of files and created some proper backups.

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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby valenciamanu » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:25 am

A Spectrum + 2.
128k with cassette.

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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby Doc Dan » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:46 am

I did not get into computers until I got out of the military and finally went to college. I got so tired of writing papers, getting some girl to type it, then getting a lesser grade due to typos. I could prove they were typos and not my doing by my original but a couple of profs did not care. So, I took typing at the college on an 8088 or 8086. After that, I bought a word processor and typed my papers. When I got to graduate school some buddies introduced me to the wonders of computers and the rest was history.
I Pray Heaven to Bestow The Best of Blessing on THIS HOUSE, and on ALL that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof! (John Adams regarding the White House)

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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby awa54 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:20 am

My first computer *use* in the early 1970s was Middlebury college's PDP-11 mainframe, I played "trek" and "dungeon" on a 150 baud traction feed print terminal, or green-screen monochrome text terminal... used to get in trouble for that too, since even those incredibly basic games ate lots of clock cycles! Later on in the 80s I helped my ex (who went to the same college) do linear magnetic tape backups of the system (at that point it was an IBM AS/400 IIRC), those huge reels of 1" tape probably held a few hundred K of data, by the time she graduated the fridge sized reel tape drives had all been swapped out for microwave sized cartridge tape drives that likely held whole MBs worth of data!

Amazing how either of those systems' capabilities are dwarfed by a basic smartphone.
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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:29 am

An Atari with TAPE DRIVE. No kidding. Ofcourse, that was *my* first computer. Parents had an old Tandy that you had to plug into a television monitor. Do you all remember the days of the 386 and 486 computers, when internet searches were all text and not graphical?

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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby Doc Dan » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:23 am

I remember that very well. I still remember email coming in.
I Pray Heaven to Bestow The Best of Blessing on THIS HOUSE, and on ALL that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof! (John Adams regarding the White House)

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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby TomAiello » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:44 am

Apple II. With 32k of RAM. Bought the "extended memory" card to add another 16k, and was rocking with a whole 48k of RAM. :)

I remember when I bought my first modem. 300 baud. That was cool. Except that I had to get another phone line so I could use the modem and the phone at the same time.

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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby Bigman » Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:58 am

Hi The very first computer I owned was an Atatri and built my own tape drive out of a radio shack tape recorder. Guess I'm showing my age there :) Then came the C64 and so on and on and one. Seems ever Pc that I've ever owned has be a rebuild by me. Exceptions are tablets and laptops are always brand new never really got into moding them as much as PCs

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Re: What was your first computer?

Postby demoncase » Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:32 am

The Amstrad CPC464 with a greenscreen monitor and tape-drive...64k of screeching majesty.

Then we got the modulator that allowed it to be plugged into a colour TV- a device which got hot enough to warm mugs of coffee.
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