What was your first computer?

My first computer I ever used was an Eagle II with a suspicious rust colored stain on top. The box it arrived in had been torn open by thieves looking for color TVs, and they’d cut their hand on the large staples leaving the top of the screen with a stain from dried blood. Fortunately for us the thieves didn’t realize that the computer was worth several times more what a color TV was worth, so they left it in the depot and it got delivered.

The Eagle II was powered by a Zilog 80 processor running at a blistering 4MHz, it had a total of 64k or RAM, no HDD, and had two 5.25 inch Single Sided Quad Density (SSQD) floppy drives. Startup meant inserting a boot disk in drive A to launch the OS from, then remove that to insert your tools software disk in drive A, and after launching the CP/M line editor ED opening your project from drive B. Then because this was the most punk of all languages Compiled Basic (CBASIC) after saving your work you had to launch first the compiler and then link the compiled products together with the linker to gerenate an executable package and saving the executable onto yet another disk, having removed somebody from either A or B. Oddly enough even all these years later ED, CB86 and LINK86 commands are still etched into my brain.

Other machines that still haunt my dreams are the incredibly cyber punk RAIR Black Box, seriously that was its name! It was powered by an Intel 8085SA running at 3MHz. This powerhouse could drive up to 4 (yes four!!!) workstations. Later in the eighties an Amstrad 1640 joined us in the office, used for administration and billing. It was a DOS 3.2 box, but we had it boot into the GEM Windowing System which was an early GUI. That introduced me to desktop publishing and led to me writing a long running 'zine for local roleplayers in my teens.

With the EAGLE and the RAIR I wrote and sold point of sale systems mostly for fashion stores across Europe and the Middle East. I also ended up writing systems for taxi companies, video rental shops, and golf clubs. I also helped companies move from typewriters to word processors for administration and management. The late eighties and nineties were a fun time to be a “computer consultant”, I can remember upgrading the old monochrome monitors at one client. They gave me the old (but still working) screens to dispose of so I promptly took them to another client and sold them for twenty quid each. That paid for a good pub lunch!

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First one we had in the house was a Pentium 90 we ordered over the phone from a magazine advertisement from Gateway in '94.

First one I used was probably a Apple II at school but we didn’t even have any games or programs. They just expected us to write what we wanted to use it for. (No one did)

Then before we got ours at home I was always over at friends houses on theirs and they had 386s and 486s.

Oldie I currently have is an Apple IIc with the small green screen. I got it because it reminds me of it being 2010 The Year We Make Contact.
appleiic-2010
(Actually traded a coworker an old router for it back around 2008).

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My father bought me a TRS-80 Color Computer when they were first released, with the glorious chicklet keyboard and 4K of RAM. That was before most schools where I lived had computers, and I was in middle school a year or two later before I used an Apple II for the first time. I loved that CoCo with it’s Tandy(Microsoft) BASIC. What I learned programming it served me well in high school where we were by then required to pass a BASIC course.

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@datarez and @BustaMarx - ah yes, the old Apple II computer lab days. My computer lab at high school had IIgs’s, but nobody could afford to have one of those at home so most of us that had computers at home had IIe’s or IIc’s. IBM PCs were starting to eclipse the Apples by my junior year of high school in homes.

Good times.

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Beeteedubs, anybody here remember the Laser-128? That’s the Apple clone that I had at home (never owned a real II series computer) but I used the shit out of that thing! It had all sorts of plug-n-play (sorta) peripherals that you could get for it that made it customizable without having to open up the case and monkey about with the insides.

Man, I miss that machine.

I never heard of a Laser-128. There were those Tandy “IBM PC Compatible” machines they would sell at Radio Shack I kind of remember.

One more I remembered using a Macintosh in my high school TV class. It was just used for writing scripts.

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I remember the extensive ad campaign for the Laser-128, but I never owned one. Same with the Franklin computers. I think Apple sued Franklin out of existence though.

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They did, although I had several Franklin peripherals that I ended up hooking up to my Laser 128. The Laser even looked like an Apple IIc, but from what I understand, somehow Laser was the only company (or one of the very few) that were allowed to make Apple-compatible devices without being sued into oblivion. I want to say that some ex-Apple employees started the company after it became clear that IBM’s strategy of allowing clones became the market dominator.

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Actually, the history of the Laser 128 is a lot more interesting. It was produced by VTech and was basically a reverse-engineered Apple product in a clean room environment. Apple tried to stop them, but they were unsuccessful (unlike with Franklin). They were a proverbial thorn in Apple’s side, and even forced apple to make the IIc Plus in response to the Laser 128/EX.

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I started out on the C64 that was on display at the local supermarket (it had an computer section with a C64, an Atari and some business oc’s on display). I used to take home books on the C64 fro mthe library, write my own programs in a little notebook and then go test them at the supermarket :slight_smile:
A couple of months later, my dad got us a C64 so I turned into a stay-at-home-and-program kid… first in basic and lateron in 6502 asm.
I saved up and a couple of years later splurged on an Amiga 500, for which I also got a 2k4 modem.

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Ah, the good old days when programs were simple enough to publish in magazines for users to try out at home. :smiley:

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My first PC was bought second hand from my uncle’s friend. It was Windows 95, but didn’t know how to recognize hardware at that time, I was too young. It was highly customized with sounds from movies for error messages. There were a lot of memories of playing emulated pokemon through DOS, and listening to System of a Down’s Toxicity record at ungodly volumes while playing Duke Nukem 3D.

This was just as people were getting the internet, but at this time I was maybe 10ish, and around 2000.

Looking back I was basically running a meme machine with all these ridiculous sound bites like Wayne from Wayne’s World saying “Exqueeze me?” when there’s a “are you sure?” message or Troy McLure from the Simpsons walking off the job when a fatal error was made.

After my parents broke up and my mom,sister and I moved into a new place, by this time Windows Media player already existed, but again we still didn’t have internet. I remember wanting to listen to music in the dining room while doing homework and getting food ready before my mom got home. This is when I learned how to rip cds onto that computer by routing sound options through the sound recorder, and although the recorder maxed and cut off at 30 seconds, I had to rapidly, and repeatedly click on the recording button again to keep the recording going by creating a new maximum recording time.

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