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What was your first computer?

felipperegazio profile image Felippe Regazio ・1 min read

I Remember the day my grandma bring me what was the beginning of one of my biggest passions: she gave me an IBM Pentium II Slim Tower with 64Mb Ram and 10GB HD, came with Win95. There was a nice "turbo" button on it haha. I was 7 y old and still remember the first time i looked at paint and after a few hours i asked myself: "god damn how they do that?"

How about you, what was your first computer? :)

Discussion (71)

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Adam Piechocki-Brown

Sinclair ZX81 with 1k of RAM. I pimped it up with a 16k RAM pack later on. Happy days!

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Christopher Miller

mine was the ZX Spectrum 48K, but I later owned the ZX80 and ZX81. Those were the days, when we counted programs in literal BITS of code! It taught me some amazing stuff about management of ram, and making the most of the available usage. I actually had some of my programs etc published in some of the spectrum magazines. back when you would buy a magazine and literally type in the source code from the pages.

Oh, how i reminisce over the tape loading! 30 minutes of ADAC loading (Analogue to Digital Audio Conversion) for a game like paperboy!

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Adam Piechocki-Brown

Typing in code with hieroglyphic REM statements was always a joy...

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Felippe Regazio Author • Edited

1k of ram? 1k of RAM? Gsus man, cant even imagine haha. Nice ;P

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Ben Sinclair

You remember the Atari 2600? Not a computer in the sense we know it because the end-user couldn't write software for it, and you got your games on cartridge so they didn't take up any memory - but the machine itself had only 128 bytes of RAM...

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Adam Piechocki-Brown

My neighbour had one. Looked like it was partly made of wood. But it was great!

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Adam Piechocki-Brown

It was crazy. But somehow it worked!

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Zvika Meiseles

I stated out with a ZX spectrum 48K as well.
I remember tuning the tape cassette to maximum treble to get it to load the games properly :-)

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Ben Sinclair

Same here :)

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lepinekong

me too except with 32Ko if not 64Ko can't remember :)

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Adam Piechocki-Brown • Edited

Just remembered the RAM pack came with Velcro to prevent the dreaded "ram pack wobble" which would crash the whole machine.

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Dan Benge • Edited

Commodore Vic-20. :)

Vic-20

This was a Christmas present that was replaced by a C-64 a year and a half later. :)

I had the Datasette with it and the 3k expansion cartridge. Wrote lots of text adventures. :)

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Maricris Nonato

That's the first computer I got to use! 💖 I loved playing load runner there 😂

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Ben Halpern

My first computer was an original Mac...in about 1994. Wasn't exactly the hottest machine on the scene but I had fun with it. It wasn't "my" computer but it was in our house. I didn't have my first computer of my own until college.

My brother bought me the classic white MacBook

I ran that machine into the ground before moving to my next machine after college 😄

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Valentin Baca

The first laptop that I bought was the same Macbook going into college. 2006, Core Duo, 32-bit, came with 512MB of RAM. I think I got the "upgraded" 80GB HDD over the base 60GB lol. Bought it with a $1k small scholarship. For the longest time, it was the first thing I ever owned that I had worked for and earned.

If I recall, the processor was the only 32-bit processor ever put in a Macbook. I remember the palm rests being constantly dirty and the edges would eventually splinter giving you great cuts on your wrists. The bottom could get so hot you could fry an egg on it. I drove that thing into the ground but also kept upgraded it along the way. Upping the RAM, HD, and eventually replacing the battery.

But boy do I miss that laptop. It was what go me through my first few years of college and what I wrote my very first programs on.

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Felippe Regazio Author • Edited

uow, start to think there are always sweet stories about first computers

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Hans de Wolf • Edited

Not my personal property, but the first computer I really worked on was a DECSystem 10, running TOPS-10 operating system. Kind of PDP11. Late 1970’s. TENEX Shell? Programming in FORTRAN. VT52 and VT100 text terminals. DECwriter printing terminal (132 chars wide. Monochrome vector graphics on Tektronix 4014 storage tube display, with thermal paper hardcopy unit.

Have you ever tried text/file editing on a printing-only terminal - use TECO (Text Editor and COrrector). Or maybe with SOS: Son Of Stopgap. Really, that was a text editor.

Old conventiona for storage: log in with Programmer-Project Number (PPN) + password. PPN looks like [143266, 127001]. Filenames 6 character + 3 for extension. No subdirectories. Full filespec looked like DSKA:[143266,127001]FILNAM.EXT. Not case-sensitive.

Word processing was even possible with runoff.

Texas Instruments SilentWriter as a portable terminal to work from home. Looked like a portable typewriter with rubber cups to put the receiver of your telephone in. Speed about 110 baud. 300 baud if you were very lucky. Printed on thermal paper, so you always have few rolls of paper available. Expensive! But happy to use it, because you could work at home in the weekends, eliminaties hours of communting to do a five minute check progress of a large batch job.

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Felippe Regazio Author • Edited

think that those who saw the early times of computers must have acquired a nice background to a better understanding what exactly is a computer

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Hans de Wolf

I cannot claim that I really had a good understanding then of how the computer worked. It was a tool on which you ran the necessary applications. What we now see as severe limitations was then regarded as just normal. Learned more about it later. But the experiences from then gives you perspective, and makes you more aware of what has changed. Sometimes experience from the past can be misleading: you may focus on compact, efficient code even when resources are abundantly available; other factors are more important now.

When I use modern ICT tools (Mac, iPhone, internet, iPad, Homekit, WiFi) I do understand how it works (at least the principles, not all details), but it leaves me still with a feeling of using magic — in the sense of Arthur C. Clarke’s statement: “Any sufficiently advanced form of technology is undistinguishable from magic”.

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Kasey Speakman • Edited

My first family computer was later than many of y'all's. It was a 386 that my dad had replaced with a 486 at his business. Specs were probably in the range of single digit MB of RAM and tens of MB of hard drive. I was 12. The very first thing I did with it was play a Sierra game called Hero's Quest on 4 floppy disks. I had to call my friend because I didn't even know how to start it. After that, I was hooked on computers.

Things I remember saying as tech progressed:

"A CPU that needs a fan has something wrong with it."

"Nobody will ever fill up a 1 GB hard drive."

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Felippe Regazio Author

"Nobody will ever fill up a 1 GB hard drive." haha, like gates saying '640K is more memory than anyone will ever need.'

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Paul Grossman

Same here from cousin who said I'd never need more than 64k

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Patrick Cole

Atari 520ST

My parents purchased it shortly before I was born and I would sit on my Dad's knee while he played video games on it. Still have it to this day and will always remember how it got me started :)

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Slick3gz

My mom picked up a Tandy Color Computer 2 from a yard sale in 1991. It had the 2 prong UHF connector that hooked up to the back of your TV. Came with a book that had BASIC examples. I made multiplaction tables for my little sister with it. GOTO 20.

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Ivan Pozderac

I did not owned this, but this piece of hardware was popular in my country and was used in schools in late 80s / early 90s.

it is peculiar piece of computer history and that is why am i sharing this with you guys.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orao_(comp...

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Robert Myers

Depends on what you mean by first. First actually purchased? TRS-80 color computer. That broke in 2 weeks, got another, that broke in two weeks, took the hint.

First that I had long term, was the VIC-20 I got after that.

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Erhan Kılıç • Edited

Ah good old times.
I used a computer which runs basic. There was a "Basic Programming" book and I was trying to read it and understand it. Well, I was too young (12 years old) and I hadn't any knowledge about computers, there were no adults who can help me so it didn't go well. In the end I was trying to draw images with keyboard :)
My first computer was awesome. Pentium MMX 133Mhz cpu, 16MB edo ram, 1 MB GPU (can't remember which card), 2gb quantum hardrive... Lol, I learned lots of things with that computer :)

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Károly Balogh

I first met the lesser known Commodore 264 series (C16 and Plus/4) in school (around '88, these were used as school computers in Hungary, where I'm from) and wrote simple BASIC programs for them, before getting a Commodore 64 at home a couple of years later, with a lone tape deck (a.k.a. the Datasette). Then my first PC was a 386sx, 40Mhz, 2MB RAM and 40MB HDD around '94, which was quite a low-end box by then, but hey. It was still good enough to extend my programming knowledge into assembler, and a bunch of other languages.

Then many years later, I ended up as a retrocomputer person, so I have piles of old/retro hardware around these days, Amigas, Ataris, all sorts of C= 8bit machines and expansions. But sadly, I don't have my first computers any more, those got sold to buy expansions for the PCs which followed that 386sx.

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Paul Grossman

I'm still getting paid to write code in BASIC - vbScript. Loved my Amiga.

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Joel Rivera-Pintado

Macintosh 128K, was my father's computer but it was my first experience with one. Funny thing, at that time my father would warn me that "I could break or damage the computer", nowadays he's the one calling me to fix theirs.

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Frank Carr

A Pickett N600-ES slide rule.

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Kurt Hoyt

Compaq Deskpro - 640KB RAM, 10MB hard disk. Used the 16-bit 8086 instead of the 8-bit 8088. Amber monochrome monitor. Had it for 7 years.

It was a better buy than the more expensive IBM PC AT with its 80286.

It was also Compaq's first desktop - they were known only for their portable (luggable) PCs at the time.

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Raja

In 97 we got a Compaq Presario that ran windows 95. I was in love. Maybe even more enchanting than the 56k internet at the time (AOL) was the Encarta 97 encyclopedia CD-ROM. I was learning so much faster that I just knew it was something special.

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Felippe Regazio Author • Edited

uow, AOL times haha, or the 35k from telephone lines ;P

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Phil Ashby • Edited

Gonna get a lot of response to this I think :) My turn:

First contact

(things that were not mine)

  • Research Machines 380Z, running M/PM, with a pair of 8" floppy drives. Borrowed from his work by Dad!
  • Soon afterwards at school: Commodore Pet 2001, owned by the maths dept.
  • Next school (6th form): Many Sinclair ZX81's & another RML 380Z, while running the computing club.
  • University: Sun Microsystems 3/50 - fabulous way to learn things I use to this day :), Lucas Nascom (project machine) and a borrowed Zenith Z-181 8088 powered laptop in 1986!
  • Girlfriend's Dad: Amstrad PCW512, Acorn Electron.
  • At work (BT): DEC VAX, IBM PC/AT, PS/2, 386SX, 486DX, various embedded boards!

First purchased

(after several years of signing kit out from my work)

  • Home-built 486DX system with 1MB RAM, 40MB drive, EGA + colour monitor :)

Seriously lost count of the bits since then...

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S. Markidis

An IBM Pentium II 233mhz 16mb ram.. we pressed the f1 key for setup for hours and couldn't figure out what to do.. till dinner; where we restarted and left it and it just go past the bios ini screen and finally into windows 95.. crisis averted:)

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Thomas Leathers

IBM PS/note 386 with MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1 running in 386 enhanced mode.
It had a whopping 80MB hard drive. :D
and a fancy 3.5inch High Density floppy drive built in.
It had a massive Epson dot matrix printer attached to it.

it was VGA, but sadly it was displayed on a screen that would look bad on a graphing calculator XD

sadly, as it was old when i got it, it didn't make it to present day.

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Aaron Endsley

Commodore Amiga

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Scott Hannen

Radio Shack TRS-80 Model III with 16k of RAM and a cassette player. I used to write text adventures and simple video games.

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Robert Reid

Tandy Radio Shack TRS-80 model 3. Slurged for 48KB of RAM and two 5.25" floppy drives along with a magnetic tape cassette player for larger storage needs. At school at the time I used TRS-80 model 1s and original Apple IIs.

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Felippe Regazio Author

really beautiful and nice to see the respect and historys behind the first computers we had. for me, remember those times is to remember the passion most of us have about what we do. thx for the answers ;)

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Vasilis Lourdas • Edited

My first computer was a Atari 65XE (64KB of RAM). 8-bit of course, with Atari Basic. I coded my first programs, silly ones, but got me in the world of programming. And of course the games. I had to wait for at least half an hour (at best) or maybe 1,5-2 hours for bigger games to load from the tape... But it was my first computer.

Atari 65XE

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Steve Belovarich • Edited

Custom build with Pentium i386 chip, running Windows 3.1. I can remember writing first lines of Basic, C++ and JavaScript on that computer and saving assignments on floppy to take into school. PowerMac 8500 running MacOS 9 changed everything for me and haven’t had a dedicated PC since 2002.

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Ivan Pozderac • Edited

Athlon X II 1ghz, 512mb sdr ram, crt monitor, radeon 9200, win98SE. this is first that i owned. I remember my sister having spectrum II, and i also did some logo and qbasic in early 90s on so called '286' with green/black monitor

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Marco Pergola

Philips MSX :)

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Chiesa • Edited

Pentium II 233MHz, 24MB RAM and 8GB HD. Came with Windows ME but after some months I installed the Windows 98SE and upgraded to 128MB RAM.

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Wanda Evans

It was an HP something lol. Distinctly remember it having a 4GB HD. Maybe a 333Mhz processor? This was in 97/98. Mom even got the extra phoneline for dial up.

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tangerinedev • Edited

Saw the future in the Apple Lisa 1984. First computer the following year: Mac 128k, light years ahead at the time. Mac

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Afroze Kabeer Khan. M

HP Pavilion. Now X360 Simply love it! 😅😅

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Fida Muntaseer

Intel Celeron Processor, 128 MB RAM, 32 MB Graphics, 40 GB HD, 15" CRT Monitor.

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Claire Pollard

BBC Micro. I got to play Elite or watch my Dad program sprites that danced about on the screen.

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Phil Ashby

Yay! - first BBC on the thread :)

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koduki

My first PC is mmx pentium, RAM is 32MB, OS is win98. I studied many things from this computer. programing, upgrading h/w, linux, and so on.

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Christopher Miller

ZX Spectrum 48K. I absolutely loved that machine.

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Ceri-anne

Sinclair ZX Spectrum+ (48K). My first introduction to gaming and programming. Loved it!

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BKerrigan1

The fantastic Commodore 64...

make sure you flag the disk drive run command with ,7,9 or get the dreaded 'press play on tape'!

classiccmp.org/dunfield/c64/h/comp...

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Hans de Wolf • Edited

1981: TRS-80 Model 1. 16 k RAM. Cassette tape storage. 64 chars x 16 lines of text monchrome monitor . Character graphics 128H x 48V. 1MHz Z-80 processor. Floppy disk storage, RS232, hardware clock, memory expansion to 64 kB max were expensive additions.

Before that Texas Instruments TI-58 programmable calculator - I do nit know if you regard that as a computer.

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Alessandro Ronchi

Not mentioning the mythical Atari VCS2600, I had my first computer in 1988, it was an Olivetti PC1, with 512KB of RAM and 8 MHz 8088 compatibile processor. No HD, only 1,44 MB floppy disks :)

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Jes Daigle

I don't remember the model. All I remember is that it had Win 95 on it and I thought Win 98 was amaaaazing. LOL

I'm a diehard Mac user now.

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Felippe Regazio Author • Edited

i started with windows. then, i soon discovered linux, and i loved. and i still love. but dude, the mac <3

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Blaž Šelih

ZX Spectrum, still have it, still love it!

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Douglas Lise • Edited

Pentium MMX 233MHz, 32MB RAM, 2.5GB HD. Kit multimedia!

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JanGroot • Edited

An ATARI 520 ste, with the monochrome monitor and coax out for playing on tv, It was epic. I used to vcr my games as proof for my brother if I got hoghscores :-)

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Sumant H Natkar

Pentium 4 with 256 MB Ram and 80GB HDD.

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Paul Grossman • Edited

Commodore 64, 1980. My older cousin, who was the only tech geek in the family, told me 64k of RAM was more than I would ever need in my lifetime. My current system is 16GB.