diverG wrote on 10/24/2011, 1:19 PM
Nascom 1 based on zilog Z80 chip (circa1979).
First introduction to assembler & machine code.
Later BBC &Vic 64 for kids.

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VanLazarus wrote on 10/24/2011, 1:22 PM
Atari 400 (with tape reader), then Atari 520ST, then an IBM 286 (with 40mb hard drive).
Former user wrote on 10/24/2011, 1:35 PM
1987: A Tandy 1000 (8086) with 128k of RAM I purchased from a grad student who was upgrading to a 286. Cost me my last $1000. Didn't start sequencing music on a computer until I got an Atari 1024ST with a floppy, and later an external HD. I still think EditTrack Gold was WAY ahead of its time and STILL a feature-laden sequencers/midi editor. Even today I still use some of my old files in an emulator on my main system.
Steve Mann wrote on 10/24/2011, 2:52 PM
I wrote many a program on the 9825.

It was called a calculator because it was made by the HP Calculator Division in Corvalis Oregon.
Former user wrote on 10/24/2011, 3:10 PM
I guess my first real PC was a TI 99/4A. In fact, I still have it along with the data cassette deck, voice synthesizer, 2 joysticks, art tablet, ~20 cartridges and even the original box. I took it out the other day and it fired right up. It seems strange to have a computer boot within a second or two ;-)


Geoff_Wood wrote on 10/24/2011, 3:30 PM
Sinclair ZX81, Spectrum, QL , all with DIY and purchased maximal expansions.

Then somebody leaving Baghdad in 1990 gave me some wonky Apple thing which I quickly gave away to a local.

Then PCs - the first one custom-built for me by a company that did that sort of thing, and subsequent ones all self-assembled.

ReneH wrote on 10/24/2011, 3:42 PM
My first experience with computers came via Honeywells compliments of the US Army. We had it all, Winchester platter drives, image a 4 drawer filing metal cabinet and you get the picture of the size of those things. We also backup up the data on tape drives, we had about two of them, real nice equipment. This was about 1982.

Soon after, the Commodore 64 was being sold at KMART and it was my first personal compuer followed by a 386 later on.
dalemccl wrote on 10/24/2011, 3:48 PM
TI 99 4A, followed by a Commodore Vic 20, Commodore 64, and Commodore Amiga 500.
johnmeyer wrote on 10/24/2011, 3:49 PM
Wait a minute, John. The question was about personal computers.Yes, I know. My contention is that the 9830 was the first personal computer because it had every single thing that an Apple II or IBM PC had, except that the BASIC language was embedded in ROM.

Now if by "personal" you mean one that I actually paid for with my own money, then no, this wasn't my first personal computer.

I wrote many a program on the 9825. It was called a calculator because it was made by the HP Calculator Division in Corvalis Oregon. No, it was called a calculator because HP made a very conscious decision, for marketing reasons, to avoid the word "computer." They thought this would make the product appear to be too imposing and difficult to use, and would hurt sales.

Also, it was designed and manufactured in the Loveland division back then. The Corvalis calculator division didn't open for many more years, and in fact the early hand-held calculators, such as the HP-35, HP-45, HP-55, H-65, & HP-67 were manufactured in California. The Corvalis division didn't open until 1976, long after these hand-held calculators and the various desktop calculators, including the 9825A, had been on the market.

John_Cline wrote on 10/24/2011, 3:50 PM
Why I asked the question was that I watched the piece on Steve Jobs last night on 60 Minutes and it got me all nostalgic about that period in computer history. I was involved in the MITS Altair 8800 project here in Albuquerque, I spent many hours will Bill Gates, Paul Allen and a few other friends writing snippets of code in a basement in a funky house across from the engineering building at the University of New Mexico. We had four or five Altairs hooked up to Teletype Model 20 terminals. My Altair had 16k of memory and that's when 1k of RAM was $400 (in 1975 dollars.) Bill asked me to join Micro-Soft but I turned him down, I was pretty successful in the local music business and computer programming wasn't as good a way to meet girls.

By the way, I met Steve Jobs a few times back in the day and I didn't like him one bit. (No pun intended.)
Steve Mann wrote on 10/24/2011, 4:16 PM
I visited the Corvalis plant in the early 1980's and watched the 9825's being assembled.
nedski wrote on 10/24/2011, 5:03 PM
May 1984 - Columbia Data Systems MPC-1600 $2700. I don't have anymore but I still have the receipt. 4.77mHZ 8088, 128k ram, 2 360k 5.25" floppy drives, MS-DOS 1.1 and lots of bundled software.

I was researching computers and I heard about Apple's Macintosh, I think it was around the same price. I didn't get the Mac because the answer to the following questions was NO.

"Can I use a larger monitor? Can I use a color monitor? Can I add a hard drive? Can I upgrade the RAM? Does it run Flight Simulator?"

The Columbia PC, referred as a IBM clone in those days, could do all those things and more. I don't regret my decision even one little bit. :-)

My last pre-built PC was a Micron 486. I've built all my desktop PC's since around 1998. I built myself a Hackintosh just to see what all the fuss about Final Cut was... not bad, just not a Vegas killer. ;-)

Steve Mann wrote on 10/24/2011, 5:10 PM
I was living in Cupertino when he, Woz and a few others were just playing with processors on the next street from mine. I was invited to join them because I had 6502 experience, but my job schedule didn't fit, and besides, home-built computers were just too darned expensive.

Darn, darn,darn..... Talk about a ground-floor opportunity lost.......
larry-peter wrote on 10/24/2011, 5:31 PM
Commodore 64.
And I sorely miss that cassette player to load my programs from.
MTuggy wrote on 10/24/2011, 5:36 PM
Same here - Commodore 64 with TWO floppy 51/4 inch floppy drives for programs and storage. It was awesome at the time.

Geez...I'm old.

Randy Brown wrote on 10/24/2011, 5:43 PM
At the risk of being a PITA I feel one of you guys are smart enough to answer
this question
I would very much appreciate it!
PixelStuff wrote on 10/24/2011, 5:51 PM
Although the first computer I owned was a 486, my family bought a used 8088 with an EGA monitor which I used for about 4 years while growing up. That thing was probably pushed to it's limit trying to run Sierra Online games and the first Wolfenstine game.

But, if we are talking about my first video editing computer, then that was on the computer that replaced my 486. An AMD processor, 256MB of Ram, Windows 98, running Vegas Video 2.0.
Jim H wrote on 10/24/2011, 8:28 PM
C64 for about two weeks.
Replaced by Amiga 500... then
Amiga 4000 with a DPS Personal Animation Recorder and a Personal TBC.
PeterDuke wrote on 10/24/2011, 8:30 PM
Oh, yes. I still have a HP-33E calculator in a drawer somewhere. The E suffix (as distinct from C) means that when you turn the power off you lose the contents. Since there was no way to store the program and reload it, I never programmed it much.
Tom Pauncz wrote on 10/24/2011, 9:21 PM
IBM PS/2 Model 50Z...
HYPERION wrote on 10/24/2011, 9:28 PM
First computer was an Apple ][+ with dual floppy drives in 1981. Upgraded to the Apple ][GS which had decent sound output but lacked software options. Switched to a PC clone in 1987 and have stayed in the PC world ever since.

Sunflux wrote on 10/24/2011, 10:43 PM
My parents bought me an Epson Equity II+ when I started 6th grade. Intel 286 12MHz, 640kb memory, 5.25" and 3.5" *HD* diskettes, 40mb Seagate MFM hard drive, Paradise VGA color video card, NEC Multisync II monitor, Epson LQ850 24-pin dot matrix printer. I have fond memories of that puppy, I can still remember the exact sequence of noises it made when booting.

My best friend and I were the only ones to have computers in school for quite a few years. Teachers refused to accept my projects as printouts - they wanted hand writing only. My how times have changed...
NickHope wrote on 10/25/2011, 1:45 AM
As a family we had a Tandy TRS-80. It got used for Space Invadersesque gaming a lot! My school mates used to program in machine code on theirs, but that was all double dutch to me. I last used it in 1990 when I wrote a Basic program on it to calculate the volume of the hulls of a catamaran I was building.

First one I personally bought with my own money was a Mac Plus to write my degree report on. I don't think it even had a hard drive. I had to set up a RAM-disk on it and do everything on floppies.
Robert Johnston wrote on 10/25/2011, 3:28 AM
Tandy TRS-80 Model I Level II with expansion interface with Microsoft MASM as first language software package owned.

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