When did you get your very first computer, and what was it?
When I was 24 years old in 1983 a roommate and I split the cost of a TRS-80 Micro Color Computer (AKA MC-10) and a bunch of accessories for it.
I am old. I began with a TRS-80 from Radio Shack. It used a cassette tape to load programs or else you could type it using Basic.
I knew people with the TRS80. And, the Commodore 64 and 128. But, my first PC was bought in 10th grade - 1988.
I wanted a Commodore 128 (to play games, obviously). But my mom said get a DOS computer or nothing. I got the Tandy 1000HX. I think it was the first Tandy that did not need a floppy to boot. DOS 2.11 was built in. It also had the new 3.5" floppy disk, and I had an external 5.25" floppy drive as well.
I used that computer until I got a 386 in 1993 or 1994.
I never learned to type. I taught myself. I still only use 1 finger on each hand, and a thumb to hit the space bar. But, I started from hunting and pecking to typing 70 words a minute using this method. Still do it today…
1991 - Mac Performa 400. Not Apple’s best, but I loved it anyway. I had my first taste of the internet on that machine on AOL.
A Sinclair ZX81 (sold in the US under the Timex TS1000 brand). I saved up half the money out of my pocket money and my mother paid the other half as a Christmas present. £69 was a lot of money back then!
It had a full 1KB of memory and a 3.25 MHz processor! The display was a whopping 32x24 characters, with block graphics.
My first computer, in 1977, was a TI-58 programmable calculator that I used in high school, mostly physics class. I taught myself how to use its programming language.
I got my first computer in 1978, it was an Apple II…
My fathers Commodore 64 back in the 80’s was the first I tinkered with, but my first purchase was a Power Mac 6100 or 7100 (I don’t recall) in 1994’ish.
It was the family computer and was a Texas Instruments computer.
My dad saw the coming computer revolution early on which I’m very thankful. It sticks out because he was a building manager (janitor) in one of high schools in our city. He saw the trend of people having computers and wanted us as kids to have one.
One Christmas the local appliance store had an amazing deal on this TI computer so my mom and I waited in line in the rain to get it for my dad. Then when my dad came hom from school he asked “What did you guys do today?” And I crowed back “We bought you a computer for Christmas!!!” And my mom promptly face palmed.
We would play all kinds of games on it, via the cartridge or the tape player.
Then we found some computer magazine and I typed the program in by hand from the computer.
Later on we had a paper route and we got sick of handwriting the bills to go out to our customers. My dad wrote a database in DBASE from the books he got out of the library to calculate how much each customer owed, print it out on a label, etc. The price varied based on if you got the paper each day, only the weekend (Sat, Sun) or only Sunday and how many days each month. The program did all the calculations and spit out a label on the dot matrix printer labels.
We would queue up the print job at night, go to bed and hope things didn’t get jammed up. Then we would just tare off the label and place them on the envelope the Press gave us to bill our customers. It was pretty awesome
I got my first computer when I was 12. It was an old compaq desktop, super slow even for the era I had it. It was probably 8 years old when I got it. It was struck by lightning along with 4 other computers so my parents went and purchased two laptops, one for me and one for them. Since then I’ve had two other laptops. Have considered getting a desktop, but at this point if I do, it will most likely be the Mac Mini.
First PC I paid big bucks for was in 2004, An e-machine, 256mb ram, 80gig HDD $512 refurb.
But, my time on computers goes back to 1995 at the local Library, they had a nice computer lab in the basement.
Then I started buying junked out units and got into the mechanics of the PC’s. As I learned more, I used my knowledge to help out low income Senior Citizens keep their computers running. Free of charge, of course. Good way to get a working education.
I grew up around computers since our household had a “breadwinner” in OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) sales (a marketing sector now broadened beyond hardware roughly known as “B2B” (Business-to-Business)), so the whole concept of a 1st “Computer” is fuzzy, especially if we’re going to count calculators like the “Trash 80” (TRS-80). Other than arcades, my 1st exposure was watching my brother and his friends type in pages of symbols to then run a simple graphics routine like a line bouncing around the screen. Our household’s 1st owned electronic computing devices or “machines” were probably Tiger Electronics LDC games, the monochrome kind with static illustrations which could be “inked” independently. After that it was the Atari 2600 (we weren’t quite affluent enough for a Commodore), then NES. A while later it transitioned to Wintel boxen clear through my leaving with a 486-something. PC’s by then weren’t that special, so my inhereting my 1st actual, personal machine was kind of a non-event (given my level of enfranchised privilege at the time). I kind of inhereted it mostly for myself when my brother left a few years prior anyhow. Sorry if my story’s kind of boring. shrug
Christmas 1983 - I got the new Atari 800XL
We had the 2600 game console for a while and I had been eyeing the original 800 for quite a while (no internet, just scouring Atari magazines). The 800XL was new that year and in short supply, but somehow my parents pulled it off.
I remember sitting there on Christmas day with it hooked up to the family TV, typing in a couple of programs from some magazines and playing them until I had to turn the computer off (I didn’t have any storage yet).
I quickly added drives (dual floppies FTW), monitor, modem, etc. I wish I still had it all to fire up once in a while.
From the 800XL I went to the Atart ST line and stuck with them until the company eventually went under. Then it was building my own PC clones (pretty sure I started out with a 386, which was pretty speedy at the time).
IN my late teens in high school in the late eighties I picked up a TI994A and I thought I died and went to heaven. I loved the game Hunt the Wompus. Before that I had a Colecovision Adam which was much more a glorified word processor. AH good times
My first computer was a Kaypro, ~1980ish. I still have it.
I dont remember specifally when had to be early 80’s I think? For Christmas I got my first computer a Commodore 64 that I owned, it was great did everything on it. However before that I didnt own it but played a lot on my brothers Radio Shack TRS-80 which was my first experience on a computer.
Got a used Commodore 64 when I was around 9. I LOVED it!
I can’t remember what year it was, but my first computer was a Commodore Amiga 1000. I loved that thing, it was so far ahead of everything out on te market.
But unfortunately, it wasn’t compatible with anything I was using at school, so I sold it and got an Apple II. Not even a real one, I had a clone!
Sorry to get off track - what is your handle referring to?
To answer the question, you guys are all old!!!
I think I was 10 or maybe 12? It was a Compaq desktop running Windows 95. I played Wing Commander and Lemmings. My first machine I messed with was a clamshell iBook. Learned to open it up and upgrade parts and upgrade the OS and stuff like that.