What/When was your first Computer?

Joined
May 21, 2019
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228
Location
Albuquerque, NM USA
Real Name
Don Roy
I worked for IBM after college, so for me first was the original IBM PC, got mine in Dec 1983 after a year wait. It ran at 4.77MHZ, had no HDD, only two 5.25" floppy drives (160KB space each), DOS, and cost me $3,300 on employee discount. Found this photo online.


IBM PC.jpg
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Joined
Sep 13, 2007
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16,275
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
My first one was the IBM PCjr, which was IBM's first computer designed for use in the home. It was 1985, the product had been discontinued because it was unsuccessful, and my wife was working for a computer reseller. The reseller gave its employees the opportunity to buy a computer at the cost of shipping, which is what the reseller would have had to have spent to return the computers to IBM. The computer had one floppy drive bay and a cartridge slot, no internal drive. The personal finance program that we used, Manage Your Money, required using several cartridges to access all of the program files.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
230
Location
Western NC Mtns
Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8/I laboratory computer in chemistry lab at Virginia Tech, while I was in graduate school in early 1970s. 4k RAM with punched paper tape reader for entering programs, etc. Major upgrades included doubling RAM to 8k and adding a dedicated HDD (a whopping 10k). Manual input via teletype keyboard.

Many late-night hours involving interfacing lab instruments to the computer and programming machine-language instructions to control the instruments. Those were the days!
 
My first machine was the IBM PS/1, in around 1990 or 1991. I had been using computers at work prior to that, but this was my first purchase for personal use at home. The thing had a whopping 512 KB of memory and if one wanted, one could upgrade to an even more whopping 1 MB..... Wheeee! I quickly moved to better computers over time, but I do have fond memories of that very first machine.

One day about a year or so later I was visiting someone, friends of my mother-in-law's, and when the man of the house opened the door, first thing he said to us was, "hey, c'mon in! Want to see my new Windows machine?" My mother-in-law stared blankly at him and I grinned eagerly. Oh, YESSS!!! I'd heard about Windows 3.1 but hadn't yet laid eyes on a machine with it. He and I spent the next little while in his office as he proudly displayed the wonders of Windows and the graphic interface. Wow, I was impressed. Soon as I got home from that trip, I went right out and bought me a machine which had Windows......

I hated DOS and was so delighted with the graphic interface; it's not surprising that so many people felt the same way and that Windows became popular very quickly in homes and offices.

In autumn of 2005, I had another first, when I purchased my first Apple computer, the G5 iMac (rev B)..... This was the next-to-the-last version released before Apple made the big switch to Intel processors.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Messages
3,115
Location
Tacoma, WA
Real Name
Ken St John
I'll join up with Mike ... an IBM PCjr!! Main use was MS Word for DOS v1 (or maybe 2) which I used to write my master's thesis and a bunch of other college papers in the late 80's. Also played around with BASIC programming, but quickly found that I had NO talent at all for programming!!

Now ... if we're talking work related ... from 1972-1977 I used the DSAP (Data Store and Processor) in a Minuteman ICBM Launch Control Center under Montana!!

Ken
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
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1,678
Location
BC
Real Name
Paul
My first was a Sinclair ZX80 but returned it as it was somewhat... limited. First real computer after that was a Commodore Vic-20. That was a great little machine.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
19,223
Location
Idaho
Mine was a custom built one made by a local business. We got it in about 1990 for our kids. Greg had no interest in it so I dove in and learned how to use it so I could help the kids learn. I loved it so much and have always had nice computers ever since. I still love learning how to do new things on the computer.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
22,647
Location
SW Virginia
I worked for IBM after college, so for me first was the original IBM PC, got mine in Dec 1983 after a year wait. It ran at 4.77MHZ, had no HDD, only two 5.25" floppy drives (160KB space each), DOS, and cost me $3,300 on employee discount. Found this photo online.


View attachment 1663003
Same computer, and about the same time. Our dean decided every faculty member (Engineering) should have one so we all got them free and could carry them home if we wanted to. First task: figure out how to compile a FORTRAN program using only floppy disks. Got it to work, but it was painful.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
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6,550
Location
N Idaho
PDP8/s. I had a student job working part time on a computer project at Stanford Medical School, it was winding down in 1972 and we had an old PDP8 sitting in a corner. It never saw much use, I enjoyed playing around with it and when no one wanted I took it home. Stayed with me until 1976 when I moved to NZ.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2009
Messages
6,312
Location
Meadville, PA
At work I remember using Wangs, which I believe were essentially electronic word processors, and Leading Edge. The first computer I owned personally was an Apple IIgs, signed on the front of the case by Woz. The first PC that I owned was after that one, a 386 chipped PC by Gateway.
 
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