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What was your first own computer?

Andreas
creator. developer. consultant. freelancer. javascript. php. python. css. husband. dad². guitarero. climber. retrogamer.
Updated on ・1 min read

When I was a kid, we had a computer since the mid-90s and my whole family was using it for playing games or later dial into the Internet (when you're at least my age, you know exactly how that sounded 🖀😅).

I got my first own computer later - it was an Acer Travelmate 220 laptop with both floppy and CD drive! It was a great feeling to have an own computer right on my own desk 😲!
Because you paid Internet per minute back then, I downloaded the whole selfhtml website to get a local copy and be able to teach myself HTML. I also took my first steps in Javascript on that machine!

What was your first computer?

Discussion (64)

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eljayadobe profile image
Eljay-Adobe

My first computer was an Apple //e, which had just been introduced, in 1983. I'm not counting the Commodore C64 computer I got in 1982, since it was a loaner, and I returned it when I bought the Apple //e.

My parents's first computer was a Commodore CBM 8032 in 1980, where I had learned to program in 6502 assembly.

The first computer I programmed on was a HP 2000 minicomputer, in HP 2000A Time-Shared BASIC, in 1976, over a 110 baud acoustic coupler modem on a Teletype Model 33, used by TIES. My first program I worked on was Oregon Trail on that machine. I didn't create Oregon Trail, it was pre-existing from 1971. I just didn't realize the changes I was making to the program was changing everyone's shared copy.

Fun fact: three of my coworkers had also worked on later incarnations of Oregon Trail at various times, when it was part of MECC.

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devmount profile image
Andreas Author

Sadly I'm too young to know most of the computers you mentioned. What kind of software was Oregon Trail? A game?

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tomfern profile image
Tomas Fernandez • Edited

Yes, it's a game that has been ported to death to multiple systems:

youtube.com/watch?v=QH2aDpjBSso

If you like old stuff, check that youtuve channel, it's gold!

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opensussex profile image
gholden • Edited

mine was the Amstrad CPC 464

Image here

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devmount profile image
Andreas Author

Thanks for sharing a photo! I love the keyboard, although the position of the arrow keys is a bit... unusual 😅

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opensussex profile image
gholden

It inspired my current custom mechanical keyboard.

Take a look

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devmount profile image
Andreas Author

Beautiful! 😍
What kind of switches do you use for your keys? Cherry MX?

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opensussex profile image
gholden

that's right - went for Cherry MX Brown . Got the keyboard from WASD.

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devmount profile image
Andreas Author

Very nice! I have the brown switches too (best typing feeling so far), but my keyboard is just black without those awesome colors. Thanks again for sharing!

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alohci profile image
Nicholas Stimpson

Love the built in tape drive. Didn't know you needed to power it off a microwave though :-)

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Michael Wronna

Mine was a "Schneider CPC 464", i think the same as the "Amstrad". Bought it together with my brother, started to program "basic" ;-)

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gholden

Yes, it's the same machine :) I loved that computer, I still have one up in the loft (no monitor though). I'm tempted to get it up and running again for the kids :)

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1zero3tech profile image
1Zero3Tech • Edited

Texas Instruments TI99-4/A, with a cassette drive. Christmas 1981.

I still have it, in the original box.

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alohci profile image
Nicholas Stimpson

I am jealous. I lusted after one of those for some years, but they were out of my price range of the time.

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devmount profile image
Andreas Author

Wow, that's awesome! Must be great to have such a worthy reminder of the beginning of the digital age!

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair • Edited

One of these bad boys:
zx81

A ZX81. Later, with the 16k RAMPack (as shown).

Oh. My. God. This thing was amazing.
Reading and typing in and learning from the magazines, and even the intruction manual which was more amazing left me palpitating for more.

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manxbiker profile image
Andrew Reid

Me too. I loved my ZX81.

Memories of cassette storage and playing Mazogs.

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Seanmclem • Edited

I built my first PC. It was the first I'd ever built. Bought components, case, put it all together. It had an AMD Athlon X2. Which was one of the earlier dual core and 64 bit CPUs. I built it just run games like Half Life 2, Doom 3, etc.

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devmount profile image
Andreas Author

It's awesome, that your first own computer was built by yourself! Are you still using it?

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seanmclem profile image
Seanmclem • Edited

Oh no. That was almost 15 years ago. I built a few more over the years mostly updating gaming rigs. But it's an expensive hobby so now I just use carefully selected laptops even as my desktop. And consoles for gaming.

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Michel Renaud

A Commodore 64 back in the summer of 1984.

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Sam J Watkins

My parents bought a C64 back in 1982. After two weeks of gaming on it my mum insisted we all worked through the manual and its programmes. By the time we finished it, I wanted to be a programmer :)

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Andreas Author

Your mum is awesome! Kudos to all parents who encourage their children to do more than gaming on their computer!

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jordan M.R

My first computer was a really awful dell Inspiron laptop that i got when i was 12. it had a cheap CPU; no GPU and probably just about 2gbs of ram. But at that time i didnt know anything. the only reason i got that laptop is because the screen was 17 inches and i thought bigger screen mean a better laptop. 🤣🤣🤣

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citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl • Edited

probably just about 2gbs of ram

I had to save for quite a while to upgrade my 486DX from 4 to 8MB of RAM, so this made me chuckle.

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devmount profile image
Andreas Author

Exactly what I was thinking! If it's much or little memory always depends... Today, 2GB are fairly little - but back in the 80's 2GB were everybodys dream!

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Thomas H Jones II

First household computer was 1977 time-frame (when I was 7). Learned to write BASIC and 6502 assembler on it. I was only 7 when computers first started coming into my house, so, it wasn't till after college that I got my first computer. That was a home-built PC that I ran Linux on. At the time (early 90s) Windows wasn't really even an option and Apple was well out of my price-range (pricing and overall availability aside, neither Apple nor Microsoft OSes really did IP-based networking at the time). I needed something that had TCP/IP networking built in so I could use the [rudimentary] internet services then available.

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Vincent Grovestine

While there had been computers in the house for years prior, my first computer was a PC clone:

Intel 486SX-33, 4 Meg RAM, 240 Meg HD, one each 3.5" and 5.25" floppy, 14.4K US Robotics modem, 1 Meg video card, MSDOS 6.22, and Windows 3.1; all wrapped in a in a classic early-90s beige desktop case, with a chunky 14" CRT monitor.

First upgrade was an Adlib MIDI sound card which was quickly replaced by a Creative Labs SoundBlaster 16 and 4x CD-ROM drive combo.

...Simpler times.

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alohci profile image
Nicholas Stimpson • Edited

An Amstrad PC1512. The opportunity to buy a IBM PC-compatible for £400, when previously they'd cost over £1000 was too good to miss.

I was already a professional software developer by the time I bought it.

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Nicola Erario

C16 first, then C64 as upgrade!

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Sam J Watkins • Edited

I first programmed on a Commodore 64 but the first one I bought (in Nov 1995) was a Commodore Amiga 1200 (later accelerated to a 40MHz 68030EC with an extra 4MB of ram).
Did a lot with CPP, REXX and shell programming including animations and IDE production to help with my coding.
I actually worked out a CPP representation of the FFT on it for my final year project before swapping to Borland to be able to hand it in.
I built a serial modem with a mate one Saturday afternoon in 1993 which didn't work very well but was a big fan of FredFish disks (early open source).

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citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl

REXX on an Amiga <3

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tomfern profile image
Tomas Fernandez • Edited

Commodore 64 here. I father was a BASIC teacher so we had two Commodores, one color and one B/W. We didn't have floppy drive, only a dataset with and a bunch of cassettes with many programs and games. I only remember playing two games on it: Gianna Sisters (a Mario clone) and Zaxxon. They were pretty cool for little 6 year old me.

A few years later my father bought a XT 256 with a monochrome hercules monitor. It didn't have a hard drive only a floppy disk. You had boot with a MS-DOS disk. That was our first IBM compatible PC.

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devmount profile image
Andreas Author • Edited

So cool to have had the privilege to grow up with such amazing machines! Do you still have them?

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tomfern profile image
Tomas Fernandez

I don't think so, I'll as my father next time I see him, but I don't think he kept those, it's a shame. I really would like to have one of those now to play with.

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citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl • Edited

C=64, more specifically the Commodore 64C, which was functionally a C=64 but modeled after the C=128. 0.985 MHz (in the PAL version), 16kb of RAM, a 1541C floppy drive (​5 1⁄4-inch) and a sleek (for the time) Commodore monitor. Here it is in all its glory:

Commodore 64C

I'm not sure I liked any of my later computers quite as much, except maybe for my trusty AMD Athlon II X4 650 custom built tower that stayed with me for many years and was my Linux/BSD test system for a long time.

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Anthony Bouvier

Built my first PC from reading a magazine on how to do it.

Some early Pentium chip (I or II), 33.6 modem (eventually 56k!!!), some fat chunky CRT.

It was fun to figure out.

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Patryk

My dad had some kind of Atari, but I was too young to remember, or use it. The first one I used was a Compaq "Portable" II, Model 3. 640 KB RAM, 10 MB hard drive, 6-8 MHz processor, and a built-in screen that was either green or not green. Damn thing weighed half as much as I did - I was only 4 years old.

DOS 3.1 was hard.

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Nir Lanka ニル

It was a Compaq with Pentium 2 350MHz and 64MB RAM. The second computer was a Pentium 2 with 400MHz and 192MB. Slow as heck, but I did all my programming, video editing, animations, music composition and gaming there. And this was not so long ago either. I only got a fast computer with broadband internet in 2011. Until then, this was all I had

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Tim Downey

My family's first computer was an orange Apple iMac (1998).

Orange Apple iMac

I remember at the time I was disappointed in the lack of games (mostly edutainment and Maxis SimCity type ports), but I think this inspired me to learn to mess around more with the computer itself. :)

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AxelleDRouge • Edited

My first PC ? I remember that it was a Samsung, not really powerful, my dad had bought it for university. It was a simple laptop boring to take notes in class. He died when the screen got completly separated from the base (really cheap plastic) And a good thing because he certainly wasn't powerful enough to use the RAM-hungry big architecture software I had to use at that time. I mostly remember the one I had after that (a Dell Vostro 3750) he lasted way longer. And really I am mostly proud of the first PC I bought (and that one is still alive and kicking)

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Raúl Marín

I got my first computer when I was 9 and it was this beauty:
Amstrad CPC 6128. My parents didn't know how to use it, neither had an interest in it but for me it was magical. It came with a BASIC cartridge and several games.

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pavloskl

It was at 1990 when I got a 386sx with 4 colour display (i believe it was called hercules) with a turbo button that made the clock speed from 8hz to 16hz. It had 927kb ram and a 20mb hard disk. My os was MS-Dos 6.1 with a very clever UI application called "Menu" which I used to map different apps with the function keys as shortcuts. It came with a Citizen dot matrix printer. Those were the times. Enjoyed it to the full.

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Melanie Phillips

Grade 4 (not the 4th grade, I'm Canadian). We lived in a small town and my whole family had to drive an hour to go to the nearest computer store (this was the early 90s).

I played so much Solitaire and Minesweeper! No idea of the make or model, but I remember Windows 95 coming out a bit later and what a big deal it was.

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Andreas Author

I played so much Solitaire and Minesweeper!

YES! Me too! Both of them! Solitaire always in Vegas mode with keeping the score and Minesweeper never got boring on improving the best time!

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Matt Ellen

My parents gave me a PC when I went to university. I can't remember the spec, but it was a refurbished machine, so a pentium or something off brand of a similar speed.

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Thanos Kamber

Sadly it's the computer I still use Intel core 2 duo E8200 2.66GHz with 2Gb of ddr2 ram it didn't had a GPU but I got a GT740 amazingly it can run Android studio but build times can reach 20 minutes in a simple project

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Max Ziebell • Edited

CPC 464 / Green screen / datasette

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Jevgeni Tarasov

A all-in-one Pentium 75 with 8mb of RAM. Vikings was the dopest game ever! Woop!

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Evan Roggenkamp

It was no joke a Tandy. I wish I’d have never gotten rid of it. It was an amazing little machine. I can’t remember if that was my first BASIC programming or it was a future iteration.

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Clint

My first computer was a Spectrem plus 48k memory plugged it in the tv

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Mik Seljamaa 🇪🇪 • Edited

75MHz Pentium
I played civ 2 and lara croft on that.
Bought with money from paperrounds. My brother contributed half of the cost from his earnings. I thought I would learn programming and get a job as a webmaster in a year. Oh I was sooo wrong. First year - no net.

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mikcat

Sony MSX, playing salamander cartridge with two people on the same keyboard

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bsitko

Commodore 64! Loved entering BASIC programs and learning how to program games

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Vicente G. Reyes

My first owned computer was a Macintosh SE or a Macintosh 512k🤣

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Itachi Uchiha

It was an Arcelik computer. It had a flat-screen and 512 MB ram + 256 GB storage.

My mom bought it when I was a child. That explains why I love my mom so much :)

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Zoltan Halasz • Edited

PC 286, 1 MB Ram, 40 Mb Hdd, with a 14 " CRT monitor. I received this as a gift in 1993.

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Henry Camacho

Timex Sinclair followed by a coleco vision Adam, then at school using a commodore pet, an apple II, C64 etc....

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Şaban Ulutaş

I bought it exactly at year 2000. It's processor was pentium 2.
I keep it for remembrance purposes.

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jherich

I think the first I purchased was a Mac Power PC 6110. But the first I was was an Atari, followed by a Vic 20, a Commodore 64 and 128.

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Pete

The Wombat in about 1982. Back then it was called Apple II compatible. These days Apple would call it a lawsuit. 😉

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informathemusic

I'm young, so I only experienced XP :/

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