What was your first?

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Profile Alan Smith

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Message 867143 - Posted: 19 Feb 2009, 19:58:17 UTC

I ran across my first computer the other day. Fired it up and it still works! It's an Exidy Sorcerer. Bought it in 1978. Got it maxed out with a whole 32k of memory. No color, no sound, but hey, it DID have upper and lower case characters! External storage was a cassette player. Even the original 9 in black and white monitor still works. (Imagine crunching an AP WU on this...). It WAS a little pricy...$2500.00

In these days with the screamin', fire-breathing computers people use it's kinda fun to think back where all this started.

What was your first home computer? Do you still have it? Does it still work?

Here's what it looked like. Funny thing, this one picture would have taken up 2/3 of the memory of the computer shown. ;-)

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Message 867149 - Posted: 19 Feb 2009, 20:17:44 UTC

32K of memory! That was hot stuff. My Timex/Sinclair 1000 (circa 1981) only had 2K.



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Message 867151 - Posted: 19 Feb 2009, 20:25:30 UTC
Last modified: 19 Feb 2009, 20:26:29 UTC

It was an Amiga 600


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Message 867153 - Posted: 19 Feb 2009, 20:31:18 UTC - in response to Message 867149.  

Yeah, memory was a little more expensive back then. I've got on old Byte magazine (1982?) with an article about memory finally breaking the penny per byte barrier. Can you imagine 1mb costing $10,000.00?
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Message 867185 - Posted: 19 Feb 2009, 21:47:08 UTC

Apple ///...it is still in my parent's basement, but I haven't fired it up in about 15 years...


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Message 867187 - Posted: 19 Feb 2009, 22:09:09 UTC - in response to Message 867153.  

Yeah, memory was a little more expensive back then. I've got on old Byte magazine (1982?) with an article about memory finally breaking the penny per byte barrier. Can you imagine 1mb costing $10,000.00?



Not here. I got a 2MB Memory card. It has cost DM 20,00 or something like that.
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Message 867209 - Posted: 19 Feb 2009, 23:51:03 UTC
Last modified: 19 Feb 2009, 23:58:03 UTC



It came as a box full of parts, including bags of resistors, capacitors, diodes, ...

It was the first computer I built. (the more recent ones have not taken nearly as long).

[edit]

I got mine with dual full height floppies, 768K RAM and 3 bit RGB video.


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Message 867219 - Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 0:03:36 UTC
Last modified: 20 Feb 2009, 0:09:15 UTC

My First computer was A Headstart III computer

HeadStart III





$2,995
HeadStart III

With the explosive growth and fierce competition of PC-compatible computers, microcomputers keep getting more powerful and less expensive. Nowhere is this more evident than with the HeadStart III. This 12-MHz, 80286-based IBM compatible's features include 1 megabyte of memory, a fast 32-megabyte hard drive, 5 ¼- and 3½-inch quad-density floppy disk drives, a VGA graphics card and monitor, a mouse, and three expansion slots.

LETS BEGIN IN 2010
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Message 867230 - Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 0:45:34 UTC
Last modified: 20 Feb 2009, 1:40:26 UTC

eMachines eTower 366c (No photo available)
Specifications
Specifications
CPU: Cyrix® M II-366 (w/512KB L2 Cache) Processor
Operating System: Genuine Microsoft® Windows® 98

Memory: 32MB SyncDRAM (up to 256MB)
Hard Drive: 3.2GB HDD (Ultra DMA EIDE)
Optical Drive: 32x Max. CD-ROM Drive
Video: ATI Rage IIc 3D AGP with 4MB SDRAM
Audio: Crystal CS4235 3D Audio
Network: Internet Ready
Modem: 56K ITU V.90 PCI Fax/Modem
Peripherals: PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse, Stereo Speakers
Ports/Other: 2 USB Ports (1 is on Front), Audio In & Out / Game Port on Front, 1 Serial / 1 Parallel
Expansion Slots: 3 Expansion Slots

Cost me a total of $700, including the 13" VGA (CRT) monitor.
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Message 867235 - Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 0:57:16 UTC - in response to Message 867143.  

In these days with the screamin', fire-breathing computers people use it's kinda fun to think back where all this started.


Its this exact thought that I decided to start my own computer museum. Since I am a fan of the x86 architecture, I have focused on IBM compatible PCs only. Its fun to pull out one of the older machines and remember what 'speed' was like back then.

What was your first home computer? Do you still have it? Does it still work?


I was broke for a good many years, so my first certainly wasn't my first foray into PCs. The first one I actually owned (bought with my own money) was a refurbished Packard Bell 486SX 25MHz machine with 2MB of RAM soldered onto the motherboard, 4 30pin expansion RAM slots, 5 ISA slots on a riser card (no VLB or PCI), onboard Oak VGA with 512KB DRAM (technically VRAM is a different technology and is not simply any RAM for video), no L2 cache on the motherboard (sockets for up to 256KB of L2), 130MB Conner Peripherals HDD, 1 3.5" 1.44MB & 1 5.25" 1.2MB floppy drives. Didn't even come with a CD-ROM or sound card. Spent lots of money upgrading the thing to the max! ...and yes, it still works. :) When I bought this, the original Intel Pentium 60MHz was just released, and systems with this new chip cost $3,000 or more; mine was $600 without monitor, mouse or keyboard.

Of course, there were many, many hand-me downs and other type computers that I had before, but I don't consider them my first because I didn't spend my own cash on them.

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Message 867255 - Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 2:14:33 UTC - in response to Message 867235.  

First computer I used was an IBM 3270. Size of a small fridge, and IIRC, 640K RAM. First languages used were JCL and Fortran IV.

Excluding programmable calculators, first computer I owned was an second hand Amiga. Even came with a colour printer, but the printer ribbons were very expensive.

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Message 867259 - Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 2:27:35 UTC

Here's My 1st computer.


An ATARI 400 w/64K ram!
The T1 Trust, PRR T1 Class 4-4-4-4 #5550, 1 of America's First HST's
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Message 867309 - Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 8:39:40 UTC


With each crime and every kindness we birth our future.
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Message 867325 - Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 11:27:29 UTC - in response to Message 867309.  


My first was a 386 SX25 - 4MB RAM - 1MB VGA card and a 40MB HDD

I was amazed with my video card ... 1MB RAM was awesome!
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Message 867328 - Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 11:35:22 UTC - in response to Message 867309.  




LOL. I remember this "Brotkasten"" very well. We had lots of fun.
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Message 867342 - Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 13:41:14 UTC - in response to Message 867219.  

80286 at 12MHz? Want to speed it up to 16MHz? My sales pitch is too late, you say?

I had a mailorder business that sold "speedup crystals" for such machines. I'd negotiate with electronics distributors and buy the timing crystals in bulk, say 500 of them at $2.00 each. Then I could sell them for $29.95 through an ad in the back pages of Computer Shopper.

Suddenly the market dropped out since motherboard manufacturers caught on and stopped using sockets for the crystal. I was stuck with a bag of a couple hundred.

Anyone remember the NEC V20 chip to replace Intel 8088 series? I sold a boatload of those. They gave a 7% speed improvement to the original IBM PC. The "tool" we shipped with it for removal of the original processor consisted of a 1' long strip of plastic banding material as used for tieing up big boxes. You snaked it under the original processor and gave it a yank. I hope nobody took their eye out with this "flying processor" tool.

I dreamt of owning an Apple II, but had to settle for a Commodore VIC-20 as my first machine. It played a heck of a game of asteroids.

Bob Mahoney
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Message 867345 - Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 14:24:04 UTC - in response to Message 867328.  




LOL. I remember this "Brotkasten"" very well. We had lots of fun.


Yes, programming this was just horrible.
Basic V1.0

Poke 64667.

With each crime and every kindness we birth our future.
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Message 867370 - Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 15:28:27 UTC - in response to Message 867143.  

I ran across my first computer the other day. Fired it up and it still works! It's an Exidy Sorcerer. Bought it in 1978. Got it maxed out with a whole 32k of memory. No color, no sound, but hey, it DID have upper and lower case characters! External storage was a cassette player. Even the original 9 in black and white monitor still works. (Imagine crunching an AP WU on this...). It WAS a little pricy...$2500.00



It still works? Incredible.

Anyone remember what storage capacity you got from a cassette tape?
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Profile Alan Smith

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Message 867379 - Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 16:30:12 UTC - in response to Message 867370.  


It still works? Incredible.

Anyone remember what storage capacity you got from a cassette tape?


Can't remember, but it depended on the length ot the tape. I always used the shortest tape I could find. You could name the program/file, but unless you could remember the tape counter nubmer of where on the tape it was located, it could take a while to find. The 'search' just ran at the normal cassette speed, so if the file was near the end of a 90 minute tape, well... ;-)

Thought it was great when I finally got an Apple ][ with a diskette drive. It held a whole 140-150k. Those were the days, huh?
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Message 867380 - Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 16:38:17 UTC - in response to Message 867345.  


Poke 64667.


LOL

Yeah, I remember having a t-shirt made back then...

Programmers Peek Before They Poke

;-)
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