This Was My First Computer

personal, tech 0 comments suggest edit

TRS 80 Color Computer Via Rory’s post here, I’ve discovered the Obsolete Technology Website.

The fact that this site evokes nostalgia only reinforces two facts about me, that I am a total geek and I’m getting old. I love the write-up of my very first computer (which I still own and have laying around here somewhere).

The gray/silver color scheme was fetching for the original TRS-80 Model I computer, but it just doesn’t work on the Color Computer - it has to be one of the ugliest computers ever.

Ahhh yeah!

Commodore 128Later, when several of my friends were riding the Commodore 64 wave, I jumped one step ahead with my second computer, the Commodore 128 (one-piece model). In sense, this wasn’t a step ahead at all as the Commodore 128 was just a glorified Commodore 64 with a nicer looking case. Just about nobody jumped at the chance to write software that took advantage of the C128 Mode or the CP/M mode. I pretty much spent most of the time using it in C64 mode.

Amiga 500 My third, and last computer before switching over to the Wintel universe, was every geek boy’s wet dream at the time, the Amiga 500. Unfortunately the site doesn’t have a write-up of the Amiga 500 specifically, but you can read up on the Amiga 2000 which came out the same year.

Ahhh memories…

UPDATE 2013-06-24: Turns out I still have that TRS-80!

phil-with-trs-80

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82 responses

  1. Avatar for Greg
    Greg June 6th, 2005

    This was my family's first computer. My dad chose it because he wrote computer programs and for him this was the purist way to do it at home. Because my sister and I complained all the time, he purchased TI Logo, but it was nothing compared to the Apple IIe version. Some things I remember:

    1. Dad programmed games for us and saved them to tape. No disk drive for us, we had a Radio Shack tape recorder that could record his programs. Loading my favorite game, Jungle Jim (a poor knockoff of Pitfall programmed in TI Extended Basic) took nearly 15 minutes to load. And we get mad now when a webpage takes more than a second to load.

    2. Parsec was the best game available on the TI. It was like Wing Commander for the Flock of Seagulls.

    3. The TI joystick was terrible. IT would often stick so we had to pause the game to pull out the connector and blow on the interface. My sister learned to play Munch Man (Pac Man, except you shat out a chain to fill in the maze instead of eating power pellets) by only turning left since our joystick often didn't go right.

    4. We bought a 13 inch color portable TV to use as a monitor which I suppose was overkill becaise the TI only supported 16 colors.

    5. We entered a whole new world of computing when we bought the 32k memory expansion card. Sweet!

    6. One thing people oftern forget, the TI was portable. You could plug it into any TV and it only weighed about 8 pounds. It was just a pain carrying the tape recorder around.

    7. We replaced the TI with a 25 Mhz 386 SX with 1 mb of RAM and a 40 mb harddrive. My dad proudly said, "Son, this is more storage space then you'll ever need!" Ahh, the good old days!

  2. Avatar for Spiridon
    Spiridon June 6th, 2005

    Mmm, I missed out on all the C64 stuff and Amiga systems.



    I hardly remember my first computer, it was a XT cpu but I cant remember the clock speed, same as RAM memmory, but it had a 20MB hard disk, and I had like 50 games on it as well, also the main thing I did on it, play games.



    Yeah, and now I have 600 GB in my system+server and still not enough :P

  3. Avatar for mike
    mike June 8th, 2005

    I also had a CoCo for first computer at home. Before that I had to put the phone receiver into a portable coupler and dial into local university's computers.



    Those cartridges were a life saver so did not have to wait to load stuff from CASSETTE! We had a subscription to some "magazine" that sent us a new cassette each month with a bunch of programs on it. It was fun having to Fast Forward to a certain counter to get to a specific program to load.

  4. Avatar for astrid
    astrid June 9th, 2005

    Wow! Happy, frustrating days! I initially was taught on one of these. Christ they were slow. I was taught by a really BORING computer teacher with brown socks, brown sandals, brown beard and boring brown car. All I can remember was how slow and complicated it was just to start writing a document. But I persevered despite the fact he kept talking gobbledegook and sending us home with big handouts covered in code commands in 6 point type.



    That was in 1985. By 1986 (I think!) I discovered Apple Mac and I never looked back. In fact, I am using one now.

  5. Avatar for chris
    chris June 29th, 2005

    My first computer was a Commodore VIC 20 (1985). My friends all had 64's, which made mine look like a real turd. I had a cassette drive, color tv monitor, and 1 game cartridge--Mission:Impossible. I never solved the game. I could get all the way through it to the last scene with the bomb, and no matter what combination I tried, it always blew up!! I sort of miss those "text-only" games. You really had to concentrate and take good notes. Since then I've picked up an Amiga 500, Amiga 2000 (sucked worse than the 500) and a Commodore Colt from thrift stores. The Commodore's graphics subsystem was FAR superior to the IBM. I don't know what happened there. I still have the monitor.

  6. Avatar for Nchantim
    Nchantim November 6th, 2006

    First computer I ownded was a Timex Sinclair 2068. I went from TRASH-80 (4K) to Sinclair ZX-81 to ZX-Spectrum to BBC Model B before my parents bought me the T/S 2068. My first hardware mod - I put a Spectrum ROM in the 2068! I was another 6 years before I got a "real" pc - A Bleading Edge with a dedicated monitor and two floppies! Of course, I swapped the 8088 with an NEC V-20. It had 512K, a 1200bps modem, and ran MS-DOS!

  7. Avatar for aakash
    aakash March 5th, 2009
  8. Avatar for Rolf Ackermann
    Rolf Ackermann August 8th, 2011

    My first computer was a Sinclair ZX-81

  9. Avatar for hurcane
    hurcane August 8th, 2011

    Our 1982 Christmas present was a 16K ECB CoCo. I tore right through the two learning manuals that came with it, and that fueled my passion to become a programmer. I still think those two books were one of the best resources for beginners of the day to get started with procedural programming.

  10. Avatar for Stuart
    Stuart August 8th, 2011

    My fist was a CoCo just like the gray beauty shown in the post. My sister and I would take turns dictating lines of code from a magazine to get really "fun" games to do things like guess random numbers.
    My dad bought us a chess game, but we had to return it to Radio Shack. We had the CoCo connected to a B&W TV (remember them?) and you couldn't tell which pieces were which!
    My parents made a lot of financial sacrifices to get me into computers as a kid. Now I write software for medical devices. I will always be grateful for their gifts of computer "toys."

  11. Avatar for Neal
    Neal August 8th, 2011

    ZX81 - Classic 1981

  12. Avatar for kdupont
    kdupont August 8th, 2011

    Atari 400....

  13. Avatar for Joel Davis
    Joel Davis August 8th, 2011

    My 48 KB TRS-80 wasn't fast enough, so I bought a speedup kit from some engineer in UTAH. Instead of 1.78 Mhz, it ran at about 5. Ran some basic programs on it and an original PC. The elapsed times were almost equal! Listing a program on it was like watching a flash.

  14. Avatar for Fabrizio
    Fabrizio August 8th, 2011

    First was a C=64 with a brown expernal floppy disk (5 1/4 ") reader and the more common tape reader, some day after buying the C=64 I bought a Sinclair ZX Spectrum, since a friend of mine has one and he would have shared the C16 tapes... ;-) I still remember some of the exadecimal codes for the equivalent assembly lanuage instructions (remember LDA,LDX,LDY,BCC,... and READ-DATA, PEEK and POKE? And the Turbo loader - maybe Rambo was one of the first games having the turbo loader...)
    After that a Sinclair QL (resold some day after I bought...), an Amiga 500 (equipped with a 20MB - 20 Mega Bytes - external HD!!!), an Amiga 1200, an Amiga 4000/030, a Macintosh 5200, a Compaq Pentium 166, a Macintosh 6300, A Packard Bell PIII 650, a PowerPC G3 (gray) an IBM ThinkPad R50e, an IBM ThinkPad R500 (the last one). Some year ago, My nostalgia push me to buy an old Macintosh Classic too...
    I still miss my Amiga 4000/030 (Nebulus Game and Tower of Babel, real games I mean! Not like the ones my kids are playing today!...)
    Best regards to all.

  15. Avatar for Jim
    Jim August 8th, 2011

    Victor 9000

  16. Avatar for Christopher King
    Christopher King August 8th, 2011

    VIC 20

  17. Avatar for register512
    register512 August 8th, 2011

    My first computer was an IBM 360/50, with 256KB of memory, and about 60MB in on-line disc space and 6 tape drives. It filled a fairly large room in the basement of the Theatre Arts Annex at Dalhousie University. I was 15 at the time, and had to learn to use a Model 029 keypunch so that I could get my programs into a form that the system could read. My first programming language was FORTRAN IV.
    In my final year at high school, I used a PDP-8/L (with FOCAL) and an HP 2110 (with BASIC).

  18. Avatar for Bob Ammerman
    Bob Ammerman August 8th, 2011

    My first computer was a Northstar Horizon. Following that was a Ferguson Big Board system that I built myself.

  19. Avatar for Jooky
    Jooky August 8th, 2011

    My first computer was dial-up terminal that printed on thermal paper. My dad worked for Xerox in Texas and would bring it home occasionally. You could play Chess, Zork, or Star Trek. Second computer was a Timex Sinclair and lasted about two days before I returned it. Then off to college with and Apple 2C, an Amiga 1000, and then finally a PC. It became obvious during College that the PC had taken over and thats what I would ultimately be working with. My favorite was the Amiga. It was so far ahead of its time and some would argue that it's still not obsolete.

  20. Avatar for Bob C
    Bob C August 8th, 2011

    1. Timex Sinclair w/tape drive
    2. Commodore 64 2-Floppies, 300 Baud Modem, Joystick & Printer
    3. Packard Bell 486sx With 2x CD ROM Drive & 4 MB RAM 170 MB Hard Drive

  21. Avatar for morondeguise
    morondeguise August 8th, 2011

    PHILIPS VideoPAC

  22. Avatar for Brent
    Brent August 8th, 2011

    The TRS-80 was my first computer too. I still have mine at home in the closet - along with games, joysticks, tape drive etc. I had the 16k model. :)

  23. Avatar for Brainjar
    Brainjar August 8th, 2011

    My first home computer was glorious TI 99-4A Texas Instruments
    excellent home computer. Pure Basic without shortcuts ... (VIC 20 & Commodore 64 style). Execution time 1 second for statement, but all screen pixel reacheable .... I was twenty years old .... and I spended several nights learning programming ... This now is history.

  24. Avatar for Antonio
    Antonio August 8th, 2011

    My first "hand-on" computer was a little bit more than a calculator, the HP-9810 at the high school's Electronics laboratory in 1981... Later on, the school purchased a Commodore PET 8032 and an Apple II, on these computers I started coding. As a Christmas gift, my father purchased a C=64 with floppy disk: that was amazing to me.
    To date my daughter, as long as other "native digital" can hardly believe that at the times we didn't have the Internet...

  25. Avatar for dogboi
    dogboi August 8th, 2011

    TI 99/4a, then a Commodore 64, then a Commodore Amiga 500. Ah yes, those were the days.

  26. Avatar for Rogelio
    Rogelio August 8th, 2011

    Started with a TRS-80 Model I at school and soon with a 16k CoCo 1 (while learning Motorola 68xx programming). Honed my skills on those until I was able to purchase my own, the CoCo's little brother: the MC-10; by the mid 80's I had added a 64k CoCo. Did a minor stint with the TI99/4A and the VIC20 but the 6809 uP had my soul already; tried the IBM PC only to get back to a CoCo 3. Still have all the noted machines setup and running (plus other additions over the years: C64, ST1040, VIC20, Mac SE, Apple IIc...)

  27. Avatar for Chaluta
    Chaluta August 8th, 2011

    Commodore 64, with the floppy drive the size of a small toaster oven, tape backup and all the works. Still have it in my closet back at my moms :)

  28. Avatar for Steve Furniss
    Steve Furniss August 8th, 2011

    Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor for those who do not know) - 8k RAM, Cassette tape storage. Excellent computer for its day. I wrote plenty of programs in BASIC and machine language. Then Apple II, then IBM PC...

  29. Avatar for Prune
    Prune August 8th, 2011

    Newbear 77-68: a kit computer based on the motorola 6800 with 256 bytes of RAM (yes bytes, not even kilobytes).
    I/O was 2 rows of 8 switches, one row for the address and one for the data input, and a row of 8 leds for data out, with a loudspeake across one of the LEDs for audio out. Amazing what could be done with such a set-up.
    Later I took the memory up to 16 k, added a cassette recorder for program storage and then added a Creed teleprinter for IO (fiddling those switches got a bit tedious). Next steps included a 5 1/4" floppy drive and an adapted B&W television with a Newbear graphics card, and a digital keyboard.
    It's all still gathering dust in the attic.

  30. Avatar for Alexander DiMauro
    Alexander DiMauro August 8th, 2011

    Here was my first, at the tender age of 10: Texas Instruments TI-99/4A

  31. Avatar for Kervin Gomez
    Kervin Gomez August 8th, 2011

    My first computer was an Atari 130XE.
    Developed several programs in BASIC and Assembler.

  32. Avatar for Renee Cousins
    Renee Cousins August 8th, 2011

    My first computer was a TI1000 -- it drove the graphics to my 9-inch B&W "monitor" using the 3.58MHz Z80 CPU, meaning little was left for actual CPU use. I graduated to a VIC20, a CBM64, then my first "real" computer, an Amiga 500. Stuck with Amiga until their demise with my heavily non-stock Amiga 1200 and then switched to Mac. Avoided using Windows until the XP era.
    Anyone who says that their first computer was an XT or higher, or complains about the tiny 20MB hard drive they had to suffer with, looses extreme geek cred. Seriously.

  33. Avatar for Nunya
    Nunya August 8th, 2011

    And Microsoft was there......

  34. Avatar for Chris Olson
    Chris Olson August 8th, 2011

    My first computer was this one: http://oldcomputers.net/osborne.html
    Ah, the memories! I had so much fun programming that thing, but not lugging it around! 92K floppies! Two of them!
    Chris

  35. Avatar for Jack McGuire
    Jack McGuire August 8th, 2011

    You aren't that old. My first computer was a Univac 1108. The terminal was a telex teletype with punched paper tape.

  36. Avatar for Bob Price
    Bob Price August 8th, 2011

    Intel iPDS100 with 5-1/4 Floppy, external second floppy drive, 8080 ICE pod, 8051 ICE pod...I still have it

  37. Avatar for William Balthrop
    William Balthrop August 8th, 2011

    My first computer was built from a kit in 1978. My second computer was a TI99/4. That led to becoming the Senior Technical Editor at 99'er magazine, and then Home Computer Magazine. I wrote a lot of the programs people typed into those little boxes every month. I got a chance to play with the PCjr a few months before it was release down at IBM - Boca Raton, FL.

  38. Avatar for Steve Keller
    Steve Keller August 8th, 2011

    My first was a Adam by Colicovision. Still have it as something to show others at times. The only thing I don't have is the Black & White 13 inch tv that I used as a monitor. It got me through nursing training many moons ago. LOL

  39. Avatar for Chipper
    Chipper August 8th, 2011

    First was a Vic-20 with tape drive. Later I owned several C-64s and C-128s (set up a BBS on them too) and a TRS-80 Model 100, all before jumping on the IBM-PC bandwagon.

  40. Avatar for Stephen
    Stephen August 8th, 2011

    IBM 1440: 10 millesecond cycle time; around 20 cycles to a typical instruction. 12k of memory. Oh, and even though it was in Germany, it had builtin instructions for LSD (pounds shillings and pence).

  41. Avatar for John Everest
    John Everest August 8th, 2011

    Bought first computer -- no. Had to build it using Signetics 2650 some toggle switches and 7 segment displays.

  42. Avatar for Chuck Partridge
    Chuck Partridge August 8th, 2011

    Wang 2200 T in 1974. It wasn't mine personally, but they needed someone to program it and they came to RIT to recruit a Co-Op student who could spell "Micro-computer" and "Basic" and could type. I lived on that box for a year. 48K Basic in the ROM, 8K user memory (later upgraded to 16K), cassette tape, 3MB hard drive (1.5MB removable cartridge, 1.5MB non-removable). They later started using Datapoint 1100 and 2200 series machines, so I added Databus to my language set. The engineers got dial-up access for developing APL programs, and I had 2 semesters of APL so that came into my universe. In 1979 I got a job in Miami doing APL development, both TSO and on the neat little IBM 5100 series machines. The 70's were kind to me....

  43. Avatar for Jono
    Jono August 8th, 2011

    TI99-4A, which I upgraded to 512K of RAM, 4 floppies, 2 5-meg hard drives, and an 80 character display. I was disappointed when I switched to the XT and had to downgrade to a 4-color display.

  44. Avatar for Larry
    Larry August 8th, 2011

    I had to build my first computer - for $500 I got a big printed circuitboard, a big bag of parts and assembly instructions. The end result was a Processor Technology SOL20 computer running off of 2 motorcycle batteries until I was able to build a case for it.
    It was the grandfather of the all-in-one computers after which came the PET and TRS80 systems.
    Of course, I had to have storage, so I paid $450 for a Shugart 5.25" single-sided single density hard sectored floppy drive with the amazingly large storage capacity of 80KB (Formated).
    Yes!! Those were the days......

  45. Avatar for Jay Reidy
    Jay Reidy August 8th, 2011

    An IBM PC with two, count them, two floppy disk drives.
    I bought extra memory that came in a long plastic tube and turned my machine into a roaring 4Mhz, 64K machine with built in Basic.
    j

  46. Avatar for Derek
    Derek August 8th, 2011

    My first computer was a Commodore 64. I was lucky that my parents bought me a 1541 floppy drive to go with it, since many of my friends were stuck loading from cassette tape (the game "Frogger" took 6 minutes to load!). I still have it, as well as a collection of other Commodore models that I have collected over the years, with my thousands of 5.25" floppy disks that still work. I thought the manufacturers said that they would only last 10 years?!?
    The really great thing that I remember most about Commodore computers was the abundance of "Public Domain" software and source code released by the many Commodore user groups. Long before "Open Source" came into existence, Commodore was promoting sharing of knowledge and code to help further computer programming interest. I bet that a lot of current software patents could be invalidated by resurrecting this old PD software as evidence of prior art.
    I was always amazed at how fast and responsive those 1 MHz computers were. When confined by 48K usable RAM, assembly language was the way to go. Many applications and games used the BASIC interpreter for menus and simple user interfaces, and left ML to do the hard work behind the scenes. It was almost like magic until I learned 6510 ML. I heavily used the "Commodore Assembler Development System" and the much better "Merlin Macro Assembler" which had an interlaced 80-column mode! My parents bought for me, as a gift, the Abacus "Super C++" and "Super Pascal" compilers, but they were too slow to consider using for anything but playing around with the languages, so I stuck with the BASIC v2/6510 ML combo for most of my development.
    I can't imagine what PCs would run like if everything was in raw, optimized ML.
    I guess it's the old trade-off of execution speed vs. development speed, and the developers won when they could simply require that their users throw hardware at the problem.
    -Derek

  47. Avatar for Max
    Max August 8th, 2011

    This was my first computer http://oldcomputers.net/aquarius.html I remember the first "out of memory error" that made me understand how little is 4Kb of ram memory (I didn't have the 16Kb expansion). Then came a commodore 64 my big love. That old times computers were less powerfull but maybe more personal than now.

  48. Avatar for Terry Gilman
    Terry Gilman August 8th, 2011

    My first computer was a 4K TRS-80 Model I which I inherited from my brother when I was 16. A lot of people refer to the TRS-80 as the trash-80, but for me I used it to write and sell some games with a friend of mine and used that money to fully fund going to college...so trash or not, it was a good machine to me.

  49. Avatar for Tom Wright
    Tom Wright August 8th, 2011

    My first computer, actually owned by my employer, was an IBM 1800 with 32K 16-bit words of memory. Its console was a teletype keyboard/typewriter with paper tape reader. It had an 80-column punched-card reader and a 5MB disk cartridge. Very advanced system for its time (1969). We wrote software in assembly language that was compiled and linked into the O/S (because it ran as an interrupt service routine) that controlled a conveyor system used to sort and batch axles in a Chevrolet axle plant in Buffalo, NY. I think the purchase price of this system was somewhere in the $25K range.
    My first home computer (1990) was an Atari 1040. The 40MB hard drive I bought for it set me back $475! My first PC came along in 1992 when top-of-the-curve systems ran about $2500.

  50. Avatar for dpminusa
    dpminusa August 8th, 2011

    First Home Computer Circa 1982.
    Osbourne Hand-held. The famous Adam Osbourne hand holding the computer Ad that changed the world. Worked but was not well made.
    Soon followed by a classic IBM dual 5 1/4" floppy, 640K, Mono CRT system with a dial-up modem. This one got a lot of use for several years.

  51. Avatar for Tom Hamilton
    Tom Hamilton August 8th, 2011

    First pc class computer was a HP9845B which was strapped to a PDP 11/45. Split time writing DEC FORTRAN IV and HP Basic.... Then moved to IBM 360/85 wahoo!

  52. Avatar for CoreAn_Crack3rZ
    CoreAn_Crack3rZ August 8th, 2011

    Wow! that's really2 old. Never even saw those things on old computer stores.
    Wonder if I could still buy and use one of those. Hey, does anybody know where I could buy one of those computers?

  53. Avatar for Gerry Suggitt
    Gerry Suggitt August 8th, 2011

    My very first computer was a 3 bit plastic "toy" that I got when I was about 10 around 1964. It was amazing which is why I am relunctant to call it a toy. It was a mechanical wonder.
    It was about 6 inches high, 3 inches deep and 12 inches long.
    It had 3 horizontal sliders (3 inches deep by 12 inches long) each with a "0-1" sticker on the end which were displayed through a slot at the end of the "computer". So if the slider was in one position you would see "0" and in the other "1". Thus the 3 sliders made up the three bits.
    You programmed the computer by placing small tubes over pegs that ran down the edge of the slider. These pegs were paired with one labeled "set" and the other "reset" (if my memory serves me right). In front of the pegs were spring loaded rods running vertically.
    In addition to the 3 "data" sliders there were 2 "clock" sliders that were mechnically connected to each other. One of these you pushed in and pulled out for one clock cycle. The second "clock" slider moved in the opposite direction. As the "clock" slider was moved in and out by hand, the rods were pulled away from the "data" sliders, the "data" sliders could move and then the rods were returned. If a peg was there, the rods were stopped but if no peg was there, the spring loaded rod was able to travel further.
    Attached to the rods were short connectors that travelled perpendicular to the main sliders and connected to other rods on the back. Thus when the rods on the fron were stopped, the rod on the back was in and when the rod on the front was in, the rod on the back was out. The rods on the back touched other pegs on the sliders and when you "clocked" it was these back pegs that pushed the slider left or right.
    Anyway, it was able to count up and down and play the game of "Nim".
    Wish I had a picture to show you since I know no one can figure out what it looks like from my description.

  54. Avatar for Ira
    Ira August 8th, 2011

    My first computer in 1979 was an Alpha Micro, it ran on an S100 bus. In 1981 I got an IBM PC soon followed by a PC-XT. I currently have 20 IBM PC's made between 1981 and 1985, Classic PC, XT, AT, Portable and Convertble. They all work! I learned to program in C using Borland Turbo C on a PC-XT. When I write C code today I do it on my XT using Turbo-C then port it to a more modern C compiler.

  55. Avatar for Gary
    Gary August 8th, 2011

    My first computer was an Ohio Scientific with 4k of memory and an upgrade of 4k for a total of 8k. My next one was the Timex Sinclair and at that point I knew I needed more. So I bought a bare board and populated it with all the chips. It was a Xerox 820 model with 2 floppy drives capable of storing 80k on each floppy. I learned a lot from this computer and interfaced it to all kinds of hardware that I built from scratch. It was my first CPM OS. The next computer was my Bondwell portable computer. Weighed about 20 pounds in a suitcase style setup. It also ran CPM. This was all in the late '70's before the IBM pc's made it to market and finally caught my eye. Those were the days.

  56. Avatar for Bill @ Stanford
    Bill @ Stanford August 8th, 2011

    Cromemco Z-2 www.old-computers.com/.../computer.asp
    Built my own 16k 'expansion' board.
    Anyone remember 'Pickles and Trout'? Took me forever to figure out that was the founders names (too visual at times).
    -b

  57. Avatar for Adrian Mees
    Adrian Mees August 8th, 2011

    Rockwell, Aim 65: a whopping 4K memory, 20 char (16 segment LEDs) display and no case... what a workhorse!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIM-65

  58. Avatar for GregB
    GregB August 8th, 2011

    My first computer was an IBM 1410 at the University of Detroit in 1966. It had a card read/punch, printer, 4 tape drives and 80k (that's 80,000) 6-bit characters of memory. For student programming classes, we flipped it into 1401 mode where memory was limited to 16,000 characters. Since it only ran one program at a time, it was as good as "mine" when it was running my code.

  59. Avatar for Migelle
    Migelle August 9th, 2011

    My first was Misedo 85 64kb (at school) and Commodore 64 (at home).
    First command i learnt was POKE (XD).
    Amiga 500 after (later expanded to 1MB).
    and then came the PC(s)...

  60. Avatar for MikeL
    MikeL August 9th, 2011

    TI-99/4A - received for Xmas as a joint gift for my brother and I in 1982 or 1983 if I recall. By the end of the week I had taught myself TI BASIC by going through the books that came with the machine.
    Years later I picked up an Atari 65XE, followed by an Atari 520STFM, then an Atari 1040 STE (which I upgraded to a whopping 2 Megabytes). Still have the STE in my storage locker, but need to sell it soon as I am out of space. :(

  61. Avatar for Electric Herb
    Electric Herb August 9th, 2011

    First computer: IBM 1520 - punched card decks....don't drop the card deck!
    Fist microcomputer: Altair 8800 - Built from a kit. If I remember correctly, it had a 4K memory board.

  62. Avatar for Jony
    Jony August 9th, 2011

    Philco S-2000 Transac, en.wikipedia.org/.../Philco

  63. Avatar for Bob
    Bob August 9th, 2011

    TRS-80 (non color)

  64. Avatar for Troxel Ballou
    Troxel Ballou August 9th, 2011

    My first computer was an IBM 1620 with 40,000 (exactly) decimal digits of core memory and an old IBM typebar typewriter for a console.

  65. Avatar for Stefan
    Stefan August 9th, 2011

    Well, my first machine was a Commodore VC-20 with a nice casette tape ;-) The second was a Commodore C-128 D (yeah, the special edition with the steel case), followed by a Commodore Amiga 500 witch extended memory and an external 25MB (or something like that) hard drive. As my dad had some exiting professional connections, this was one of the first Amigas here in Austria :-) I was sooo proud of it, I can tell u.
    The rest are (mostly overclocked) AMD-driven PCs till now. "No Intel inside" since 20 years.
    Do I have to say that I'm working as software developper since ages *LOL* ?

  66. Avatar for skilz80
    skilz80 August 9th, 2011

    Hmm how about the abacus!

  67. Avatar for Victor
    Victor August 9th, 2011

    My first computer was a TRS80 model one 4k. That was in 1978. By 79 I was in buiness selling memory and parts for the machine. Tried the first MaC and quickly sold it. I hated it. About 2 years a go I had a option to purchase a new MAC and found it is still as lame as the first. I still work in the industry as a programmer but lately I am loing interst in what I do. Shame. It is almost a life style but I will retire next year and bid goodbye to it all.

  68. Avatar for T.Wainiqolo
    T.Wainiqolo August 9th, 2011

    Olivetti - M24 pc
    64k mem, DOS v1, wrecked everything with del *.* dos command and had to reload dos

  69. Avatar for Alan Matheson
    Alan Matheson August 9th, 2011

    My first computer was a Z80 development kit which I used to program in machine code. Not assembler but hex digits. Programs could be saved to a tape recorder but were much safer burned to EPROM. I eventually interfaced an ASCII keyboard and a Monitor then wrote a small basic like interpreter entirely in machine code.

  70. Avatar for Pierre Boucher
    Pierre Boucher August 9th, 2011

    That brings me back quite a while ago. If I remember correctly, 1978 was the year I bought my first computer, a Timex Sinclair 1000, ZX80, 2 Kb of RAM and one of the first incarnation of GWBasic written by you know who (GW - Gates William). I remember paying around $279.00 for a 16 Kb RAM extension module that plugged in the back and that we needed to remove once in a while in order to clean the contacts with a pen eraser.
    My second computer was a Color Computer (CoCo). That was quite an update from my first one. For this second one, I bought 2 floppy readers that I connected with a special extension module. The floppy readers were able to use single sided 180Kb 5 1/4 disk in which I punched a second hole on the opposite side of the first one in order to store data on the opposite side.
    After that, I bought one of the first PC, 8088, 512 Kb RAM, dual 360Kb floppies equipped with DOS 1.x (as I remember). I'm a programmer since then and I never lost the habit of writing efficient code that uses as little resources as possible.

  71. Avatar for Torben Sandberg
    Torben Sandberg August 9th, 2011

    An Acer configured with 512 kb Ram and 2* 360 kb floppydrive and a cga screen with 4 colours in 320*200 and 2 colours (black and white) in 640*480 as far as I remember.

  72. Avatar for Jeff Kingsley
    Jeff Kingsley August 9th, 2011

    My first computer I owned was a Rockwell AIM-65 with 4kb of SRAM and ASM and BASIC in ROM. Included printer and detachable keyboard. 1mhz 6502 processor. I mounted it in a samsonite suitcase, added 16kb of DRAM on expansion board. Sorta portable.
    First computer worked on was Tektronix ?????? with vector graphics and plotter output/input. Also Comadore Pet, KIM-1, SYM-1, and IBM 360/165 (?).

  73. Avatar for Arnold
    Arnold August 9th, 2011

    My first computer was a Grundy New Brain, 4 MHz Z80, 32K ram. I uesed it to learn Basic and later Z80 assembly

  74. Avatar for Ron Tingle
    Ron Tingle August 9th, 2011

    I must be the oldest programmer out there, my first computer was an analog computer that I built for a high school science fair project in 1962. It could multiply numbers faster than my slide rule. My first digital computer was a KIM-1 which had a hexadecimal keypad and seven segment display. Programming was in machine code and, if I remember right, 2K of memory. From these humble beginnings to 25 years as a process control programmer. I am still amazed whenever I use an 8GB memory stick.

  75. Avatar for Sandy Cogswell
    Sandy Cogswell August 9th, 2011

    I built my first computer using the 8080 chip that I bought from Radio Shack in about 1977. It had a bootstrap ROM that was made on a separate board using 1N914 diodes that allowed me to enter programs with 8 toggle switches. The readout was 8 LED's.
    After that I bought a COCO with 4K memory, then a TI99, TRS80 Model I, COCO II, COCO III... Then I sold or gave them away and got out of it until about 1995 when I was given an IBM clone with 20M hard drive running Windows 3.1
    I've had several since then.

  76. Avatar for Ed Sanabria
    Ed Sanabria August 9th, 2011

    Ahhhh... a Timex Sinclair 1000. (Circa 1983?) That thing had a whopping 4K of RAM and a membrane keyboard that stuck very often... It loaded saved programs from tape, and maybe my player was too old, but it hardly ever worked... But I learned to program (BASIC) on it, and 25+ years later, here I am making a living at it... Those were the Good ole' days...

  77. Avatar for Paul Smih
    Paul Smih August 9th, 2011

    My first system was a Digital Group Z-80 with 34k of RAM, 2 Phi-Deck tape drives (each tape could hold about 300kb and worked like a slow floppy disk) Later I added 2 x 512k Double Density 8" Floppy drives. Used a black and white monitor. 16 x 64 character display.
    The original OS and BASIC were very similar to North Star's OS and BASIC. When I added the 8" floppy drives, I had also bought the OASIS operating system and OASIS Business BASIC and Z-80 Macro Assembler. OASIS is still around today, it's now called THEOS.
    Imagine an OS with built in ISAM files! It was a cool system that was good for a couple of years till a power supply short fried it.

  78. Avatar for David Fowle
    David Fowle August 10th, 2011

    My first work computer was an IBM System3 with 16KB, 10M of (removeable) disk and card reader/punch.
    The first computer I owned was a Sharp MZ80K with 48KB and 2 * 5 1/4 floppy disks. I paid extra for CP/M. It had some games like "space raiders", my favoure game was "D Day" where you defended the beaches; rather a Japanese perspective!
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharp_MZ

  79. Avatar for Charlie Gillis
    Charlie Gillis August 10th, 2011

    The Tandy Color computer was also my first - my only Christmas gift that year (1980). That lasted about a week, long enough to find out it was no match for the Commodore 64. The TRS-80 went back to Radio Shack and what followed were many days and nights learning Commodore BASIC, typing in programs from magazines consisting of DATA statements of machine code (loaded and executed with a BASIC loader) and saving to cassette tape using "turbo loader" software to speed up load times. I saved for months and finally got the 1541 disk drive and eventually a printer (dot matrix of course!). Later came 6502 Assembly then C, using Power Assembler and Power C. And of course a few games along the way. Me and my brother's favorites were from EPYX (Summer, Winter, and World games, Championship Wrestling, Pitstop II) and Accolade (4th and Inches, Law of the West, and Hardball!). Good times!

  80. Avatar for maddma
    maddma August 11th, 2011

    zx81, arse hanging over edge of a book due to wobbly ram pack, cassette deck which saved but would never reload due to interference... the spectrum and amiga were therefore amazing at the time

  81. Avatar for Dav0id
    Dav0id August 14th, 2011

    Scratch up another mark for the Commodore 64

  82. Avatar for Me
    Me August 30th, 2011