Your First Computer?

DGates wrote on 3/23/2006, 6:14 PM
With the Dell thread bringing up the many variations of computers used, what was your 1st computer? Your 2nd? etc.

Mine have all been desktops, and tend to be on the lower-end side.

1st - Wang. Anyone else ever have one of those? Got it at Wal-Mart.
2nd - Packard Bell. Got it at Incredible Universe
3rd - Compaq - From Staples
4th - HP from Best Buy (first one I used for editing. Still using it)
5th - HP from Circuit City. Also using it for editing.

I obviously have no store loyalty =p


jrazz wrote on 3/23/2006, 6:21 PM
First was a gateway laptop that took 6 months to get to me and multiple multiple excuses (and lies) from gateway employees before it finally arrived... outdated and overpriced. Payed 2200 for it 433 mhz proc, 15" screen, etc and by the time I got it, 1ghz was out for less than what I payed for this one. Needless to say, I don't buy from gateway anymore.

Every computer since then I have custom built.

j razz
Dach wrote on 3/23/2006, 6:26 PM
I have had a half of dozen processors..... because I have always been with custom built systems.

Started withe a 286... 486... Pentium... K62... Athalon 1200... Athalon 1900... Athalon 3400.

Sure I have swapped out motherboards, memory etc accordingly but have always had the opportunity to always reuse some piece of equipment.

John_Cline wrote on 3/23/2006, 6:32 PM
My first computer was a MITS Altair 8800, which was not only my first personal computer, it was THE first personal computer.

Harold Brown wrote on 3/23/2006, 6:50 PM
The first was an Apple II in 1978.
MichaelS wrote on 3/23/2006, 6:56 PM
Timex SInclair 1000.

I still have it.

...Now where did I park my walker.
Chienworks wrote on 3/23/2006, 6:59 PM
Lessee ...
1) RadioShack MicroColor computer. (6803 @ 400KHz)
2) Apple //e enhanced (6502 @ 1.023MHz)
3) Apple //gs (65816 @ 2.8MHz)
4) Compuadd 433 (486DX2 @ 66MHz)
5) home built (AMD K6/2 @ 350MHz)
6) home built (P3 @ 866MHz)
7) home built (Celeron @ 2.6GHz)

My current computer has a clock speed 6800 times faster than my first one. It has over 39,000 times as much RAM. The display has 17 times the resolution. Persistant storage (can't say hard drive space 'cause the first computer used cassette tapes) is 7.5 million times bigger. And the most interesting statistic ... my current computer only cost about 3 times as much as the first one, and less than half what i paid for the second one!
johnmeyer wrote on 3/23/2006, 7:04 PM
My first was the HP 9830 "calculator," which may even predate the Altair, although it was never officially recognized as a "computer." It had ROM BASIC, a single line display and a cassette tape for mass storage. I have a picture on my wall I'm looking at now of me in front of it in 1973. I used it to control racks of test equipment when I worked at Hewlett-Packard back in the early 1970s.

First computer at home was an IBM PC 4.77 MHz processor, with 160K single-sided 5 1/4" floppy drive and 64K of memory.

I still have my first laptop, purchased in 1987, which is still turned on 24 hours a day (and has been since 1994) logging phone calls from my PBX. It is a Toshiba T1200 which has an 8086 6MHz processor, 24 line half-height LCD display 640K memory, 10MB hard drive and 3 1/2" floppy.

dibbkd wrote on 3/23/2006, 7:07 PM
1st - Tandy TRS-80 4P
2nd - Tandy 1000TX (or EX, can't remember...)
3rd - home built 386sx with 256MB RAM
30th (or so) - HP 2.4GHz AMD 3500 1GB RAM

And I miss my Radio Shack PC's with TRS-DOS.
kentwolf wrote on 3/23/2006, 7:20 PM
1st: Compaq 486 DX2 50 Mhz. 4MB RAM (Worked well back in the day.)
2nd: HP P2, 450 Mhz

I had a few incarnations of home-built PCs with various speeds AMD Athlon XP processors.

Present... Home-built AMD Athlon 64 3500+. As with my Athlon XP processors, excellent AMD machines.

Intel's socket-of-the-month club precluded me from pursuing the ever-changing socket processors of Intel.
JohnnyRoy wrote on 3/23/2006, 7:35 PM
My first computer was the Apple ][+ 64K RAM 32K ROM w/2 80KB 5 ¼” floppy drives. It has a 1Mhz 6502 processor and I coded MIDI applications in 6502 assembler and BASIC using a Roland MPU-401 MIDI interface. Later, I added a Z80 card so I could run CP/M. I still have my Apple ][+. (you can’t just get rid of your first computer now can you) ;-)

After that as best I can remember it was:

- IBM PC 8086 4.77Mhz
- IBM PS2 Mod-30 (286) 6 or 8Mhz 4MB RAM
- IBM PS2 Mod-80 (386) ??Mhz 16MB RAM
- Micron Millennium Pentium II 450MHz 256MB RAM w/DC10 card (first video editing PC)
- Dell 8100 Pentium 4 1.8Ghz 512MB RAM
- Home Built Gigabyte/Intel Pentium 4 3.0Ghz 1GB RAM
- Home Built ASUS/AMD Athlon64 X2 4600+ 2GB RAM

Next PC will probably be Dual AMD CPU’s w/Dual Cores. You can never have enough rendering power.

Former user wrote on 3/23/2006, 7:38 PM
1. Radio Shack C10 color computer (little thing with chiclet keys)
2. TI99-4a (I still have it :-)
3. TRS Model III
4. TRS Model 4P
5. Tandy1000
6. Tandy1000 Color (with a 10meg Hard-drive!)
7. Tandy 2000 (80126)
8. Leading Edge XP clone (8088)
9. Amiga 2000 (with a Video Toaster)
10. Shamrock 386 (with DX math co-processor)
11. Compuadd 486 (still have it)
12. Micron Pentium 233mx (still have it)
13. IBM Intellistation (dual P2-450's) (still have it)
14. Deskstation Raptor (DEC Alpha) (still have it)
15. Currently a self-built P4 - 2.4.
Coursedesign wrote on 3/23/2006, 8:00 PM
Altair 8800 first personal computer?

Nope. It was introduced 26 years after the first real personal computer!

The HP 9830 was a better guess and it really was a personal computer, but still not the first by far.

Here's the whole story again:

The first personal computer.

My first computer was one of HP's first mini computers, but I quickly abandoned this very primitive sucker, and went wild with an IBM 360/91 ("the IBM 360 covers all angles!") and later a 370/158.

The first personal computer I paid for out of my own pocket was my own one-board wire-wrapped design using an RCA CDP-1802 CMOS CPU with 2K of RAM, a Motorola OEM CRT monitor, and a delicious Keytronic keyboard with a ribbon cable connection to a basic parallel data port that was sampled one single wire at a time...

No sooner had I finished inputting the monitor (BIOS) by hand in hex one byte at a time, tested that everything was working, and then proudly fallen asleep, than I was awakened by my wife's vacuuming. Where had she plugged in the vacuum cleaner??? We only had one single outlet in this room...

Oh, that one...

Well, it only took a couple of hours to get the computer up and running again, and I quickly started work on a "mass storage device." This took the form of a simple tone modulator and PLL to decode the "bit music" that came off an ordinary cassette deck that was started and stopped manually...

Later I designed a Z80 computer, after Ralph Zimmermann of Zilog visited my office in 1979 with a new chip in his pocket that he said "would revolutionize the microprocessor market." Well, it is still in production today (although updated a bit).

After a number of personal computers (the ABC-80 was a very hot seller, grown-ups called at all hours and said, "I don't know what I'm gonna do with it, but I gotta have one"), my first "IBM-compatible PC" was the original IBM PC with a 4.77MHz 8-bit 8080A and 2 floppies, followed by an IBM XT with an 8 MHz 8086 16-bit turbo-CPU and a 5 MB hard drive that just seemed absolutely impossible to fill up.

And perhaps 50 more computers of all kinds after that...
GaryKleiner wrote on 3/23/2006, 9:27 PM
For me, it was the Commodore 64 :-)

DavidMcKnight wrote on 3/23/2006, 9:49 PM
1. Tandy MicroColor Computer, paid $15 for it on clearance.
2. Tandy ColorComputer 64 k, connected to the TV set. Two floppy drives as well. Traded it in for the 128k model. Had a midi interface for this that you had to enter notes in in step time only.
3. Mac SE with 2 floppies AND a 40 MB hard drive, an unusual combination at the time. With extended keyboard, paid over $3000 for it. Midi interface and Performer software, version 1 I think.
4. 486 built by a local shop and upgraded by me
5. Some kind of AMD K7 homebuilt
....too many after that, currently have 3 running at home.
JackW wrote on 3/23/2006, 10:22 PM
First was a Tandy TRS-80, with 32K of RAM in 1979.

Where I went from there during the next 20 years is to be found here.

Spot|DSE wrote on 3/23/2006, 10:29 PM
First one ever worked with was a Zilog that was customized heavily by Tom Stockham.
First one ever owned was TI99.
Then Commodore 64/128, then
Commodore 64 luggable
Amiga 500
Apple II
Apple Lisa (first touring computer, roadcases alone could break your back)
8088? Forgotten this one, but was my first "PC" in an ATT box.
486 system
Too many since then to recall...The Commodore luggable is still my fave to point out to people though, and it was a great machine for sequencing music.
I wonder how many of us have "museums" of our personal growth in computers. My doorstop is an old Tomahawk drive. Weighs more than my current laptop and holds .01% as much

DGates wrote on 3/23/2006, 10:46 PM
"Timex SInclair 1000. I still have it."

A friend had one as well. Came with a whopping 2K of RAM, expandable to 64K.
PeterWright wrote on 3/23/2006, 10:50 PM
Sinclair ZX81
Tandy TRS 80
Commodore 64
Amiga 500
Atari 1040STe (what a machine!)

then, from 1996 onwards, various PCs from P200 to AMD2000 ...

bw wrote on 3/23/2006, 11:13 PM
TRS-80 with 4k of ram?????. Played around with Vic 20s and comodore 64s, purchased a Sinclair Spectrum 64. In 1985 I put an Apple 2 into a sawmill, sorting the logs off the debarker for size and 'little or big end first'. All in Apple basic. Was still working last year when the mill closed. Think about it, no fan, no spinning hard drive, no heat, program loaded about once a month from a floppy (160k). Only real prob was when a mouse took up residence (wasn't toilet trained!!!).
First real efforts were made from scrap, an XT 4meg board in a Wang case, 10meg drive. Then progressed to 486,100meg before building 'proper' cases.Trouble is I still have most of the stuff cluttering up the sheds.
First computer involved with was at work in a paper mill circa '72. Sales pitch was" I know that 64 Kb is overkill in ram but our new core memory is smaller and will fit in a standard 8' X 8' room with standard air cond for cooling"
Bob Greaves wrote on 3/23/2006, 11:24 PM
1) radio shack pocket computer.
2) radio shack color computer
3) Kaypro 2
Jay_Mitchell wrote on 3/23/2006, 11:49 PM
My first computer was purchased in 1981 for $3600, and I still have it. It is an Epson Equity II with DOS, only. It came standard with a whopping 20MB hard drive,with an option to upgrade to a monsterous 40MB HD. The sales guy said at the time that the 20MB would last me a lifetime, and that I would never be able to fill it up.

We've come a long way in twenty five years.

Jay Mitchell

FrigidNDEditing wrote on 3/24/2006, 12:17 AM
Color Computer 2 then Color Computer 3

Then it was a long time till I had another computer

Homebuilt AMD Athalon 1Ghz

then i bought an Inspiron 9100 laptop a little over a year ago.

This year will bring the second homebuild - either a higher end single proc dual core - or possibly a dual daul, unless the quad comes out in time.

garo wrote on 3/24/2006, 12:27 AM
Amstrad 8080 - 16mhz A and B disk stations - no hard disk - Absolut ZERO GUI
BTW, that's where "B" came from in case anyone wonders ... you had your programs and DOS on A and you files on B - ah, the simplicity of it back then ..... no "Gates" no viruses - not much of anything really :-)
Mahesh wrote on 3/24/2006, 12:42 AM
A Z80 based computer with a calculator chip doing the sums was a dual processor design that appeared in 'Wireless World' in 1976. I built the computer in 1976 which had full 2K alloted to operating system and 1K to a version of BASIC called BURP (Basic Using Reverse Polish)
Replaced with TRS80 clones in 1982.
Amiga 100 in 1983
IBM Clone at 4MHz
I still have clones running at 50MHz, 233MHz, 500MHZ, 1700 MHz and 2400MHz.