What was your first Computer?

by The Lone Ranger 43 Replies latest jw friends

  • SnakesInTheTower

    this brings back memories...

    I played on the Trash80s at the mall before I got my first computer. I used to program it in extended basic..my favorite thing to do was to make it clear the screen then print something rude dead center...then later scrolling...then later i figured out how to lock out the keyboard until the computer was off...so the sales guys couldnt just make it go away..lol

    I had a variety of computers in high school because i bought, fixed then resold them for awhile...

    first computer I owned...TS-1000... (same as the sinclair)...can anyone say membrane keyboard? .i even had the 16K memory expansion pack..remember that? if you wiggled the computer too much it would come loose and you would lose everything.. they said it couldnt generate sound..but i programmed something in machine code that allowed you to enter music...and it looped back through the speaker on the cassette player (which doubled as the data drive...OMG..) ..of course, the clever JW that i was, the first song I programmed was a tinny version of "Were Jehovah;'s witnesses" or some such nonsense... blech...

    I had a TI 99/4A... my uncle had the works ..he had the big expansion box and all the bells and whistles..every conceivable peripheral he had..printer, hard drive, modem...etc...

    I later had a Commodore 64... wow....38K usable memory... I think my average Word file is that...

    I still remember my first internet connection was Compuserve..and later Prodigy.... 300 baud modem.... primitive BBS...no such thing as WWW anything... met a few JWs on some JW BBSs.... now i am on at about 1mg...i think...high speed uverse...

    anyone remember the early word processors on the computers....I used WordStar in high school (83-84).... not the WYSIWYG that we have today.. you had to use <B> to make things bold, etc... kinda like HTML today..... i think the computer used 8 inch diskettes...then later 5 1/4/....then later 3 1/2.....can you believe i had a floppy installed on my new computer 2 years ago? I still had stuff on floppies and it was only $25 for the drive...

    I later got a 386 based computer..i think i spent $3000 for it...

    My current computer (2 yrs old) is a Pentium duo core 3.4Ghz with 2GB ram and a 230GB hard drive... and i only use about 27GB of that...

    funny..the memory card in my cell phone is 1 gig....and is smaller than the fingernail on my pinky......and that first computer i had only had 1 kilobyte...and how tiny was that thing?

    thanks for the trip down memory (pun intended) lane...

    Snakes ()

  • WTWizard

    My first real computer was a TRS-80 Model 4. It had a whopping 64K (of course, not all usable). It had a monochrome monitor integrated in the chassis (green), a floppy disc drive (actually two of them), and zero hard drive. I swapped that for a Commodore 64, which has a crap floppy drive (they all did--they loaded slow as hell).

    Then The Tower.

    After the Tower, I got a used, non-Y2K compliant computer to research the Washtowel CD-ROMs. That sat since 2001, and ended up getting thrown in the garbage. The computer I have now has a wimpy 1 GB memory and a tiny 200 GB hard drive (they are coming out with 1 TB drives and 6 GB RAM models). And I have a slow 8 MB/sec Internet connection.

    Hopefully, those models will look wimpy and sluggish in a few years. I would like to see someone develop an oscillating gravity Internet (no blackouts and infinite bandwidth) and CPU (infinite speed and unheard-of storage capacity and reliability). If they can do that and bring the cost to around $1,000 I am planning on getting one.

  • FlyingHighNow

    I used to say I was never going to use a PC. When our library went to the computer for its catalog, for the first time I used a computer. I had to ask for help and felt very intimidated. Then my second husband, now an ex (a JW), bought a used computer in 1999. It used Windows 95 or maybe it was 98. It had a floppy and a hard disc drive, but you could not burn CDs. I sat down and taught myself to use it, with help from my buddies in AOL Oldies Music Chat. We had AOL and the first thing I did was look up the official WT site. I got a search page full of apostate sites. Of course I read them.

    I have figured out some things by myself. I would love to learn more.

  • eyeslice

    Ah the days when you saved your programs on to cassette tapes!

    I once spent days programming Yahtzee for the Atari and cam home one day to find that my kids had 'borrowed' my tape and recorded music over the top of my program. No easy way to back up work in those days

  • Confession

    I too was a TRS-80 (Trash-80) guy. I think it was about 1981 when the head of our little high school's math department brought them in. We had no idea what the hell they were, but it wouldn't take long. In our school, taking computer classes meant learning how to program them in the BASIC language. I graduated in 1984, and I have no memory of anyone ever loading some outside software into our computers. Originally they had only 16K, but we eventually expanded them to 64K. (Who could EVER need more than that?!) We used the cassette drives for storage too. NOT all that reliable.

    I did my best to make these things do everything they could do. I created a crude-but-engaging Asteroids game with little characters that would actually close in on you in the graphics mode. A friend created a good facsimile of Frogger. When I was a Senior, I was the only guy who took the Advanced Computers class, so all I did was create programs for the teachers. One of them was a program that would let our football coach enter the previous week's plays of whatever team we'd be playing the next week. It then generated a one-page grid that would tell him exactly what that competing team could be expected to do in any given situation.

    Not long after high school, I'd get my own TRS-80 color computer. Many years later (maybe '94) I'd get my first IBM PC 486.

  • Jim_TX

    First computer?

    Let's see... when I got my first computer... they weren't making them... I had to build it myself. That would be about 1976 through 1979 or so.

    I bought the P.C. boards, and parts (mail-order), and soldered it all together. It was a SwTPC 6800 (Southwest Technical Products). It initially had 2k (thet's 'k' - not 'M') of static RAM, but was expandable. The memory board for this 2k RAM was about 7-inches by 9-inches and had something like 32 chips on it.

    It had no operating system, and you had to program in Assembly Language... which I had to teach myself. Later, I bought Tom Pittman's Tiny BASIC - which came on Punch Tape and I needed to upgrade my RAM to 4k. I had a Teletype and would load the BASIC - while eating my supper. The teletype sounded like a sewing machine as it read the paper tape - and then went 'kerchunk' when it was through.

    I had lots of fun with that computer, and learned a lot. If I wanted to save my work, I had to save it to paper tape. (No cassete recorder for me).

    Later - a friend told me about this neat computer that a fella was trying to sell... a VIC-20. It had color graphics, a cassete tape and a whopping 5k of RAM. I bought it for... I think about $300 or so.

    Funny... I remember taking college courses related to computer programming back then... folks would ask... 'What will you use a computer for?' 'Lot's of things, I would reply.' ... Most folks never understood me - or what I was doing - half the time.

    After my VIC-20, I bought a Commodore 64, then a Commorore B-128 (not the C-128 - older), then an Amiga 1000, Amiga 4000 and an Amiga 500 for my daughter.

    Yeah... later on I had to abandon the Commodore series - and turn to IBM's or clones, but I still miss those simpler - and slower - computers.


    Jim TX

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Sinclair ZX81. I used to program in assembly language to get some speed out of it and make the most of its massive 16k memory.

    I still have a working Spectrum.



  • drwtsn32

    Mine was a Timex Sinclair 1000, which was the US version of the ZX81. I loved the space "button" and the McDonald's cash register-style keyboard.

  • TheListener

    First VIC-20 (made by commodore)

    Then Commodore 64

    I loved those things. The tape drive, floppy drive and the plug-in expansion modules. whoo hoo.

  • still-fading

    TRS-80 It was a beast along with the cassette tape drive!

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