What Was Your First Computer?

michaelalreadytakenNovember 4, 2006

I've been hanging around the Apple store at the mall lately and salivating.

It got me to thinking about my first computer, which was an Apple.

I remember paying almost four thousand dollars for some Apple, whose name now eludes me, that had no hard drive at all. To use it, one had to continually swap the 5 1/4 inch floppies.

It had no modem at all because... there was no Internet (at least not for the masses)

It had a word processor and a spreadsheet and a database program. That was it.

I eventually sold it to some guy who wanted to keep bowling league scores.

Anyone else?

MichaelAT

warning: if you haven't been to an Apple store--save yourself--don't make that first visit--

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rozannadanna(8 TX)

not quite that long ago - it was an e-machine

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 8:06AM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

too late, we always visit the Apple store when we're in Charlotte. Daughter, you know. The store is always crowded.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 9:30AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

My first computer experience was a little different than yours, and took place just before computers were common in businesses, no one had them in homes.

I was working for a hardware/appliance store doing bookkeeping, and we made an arrangement with NBofC (bank) in Seattle where we coded daily invoices, then touch toned account #s/fees/credits to the banks computer via special phone line. The next day, we picked up the print-outs at our local bank. Very primitive, now that I think about it.

About the time of the big computer boom, I quit working and didn't have exposure to computers at all, and didn't think I needed any. My brother decided to boost me into the current century and brought me an older Micron, scanner, printer that he was no longer using. Dated, but loaded with two hard drives, every office program ever created, zip drive...lots of things I had no idea what to do with. I plugged along with that older computer for years, learned much, and replaced it with a more contemporary Dell just three years ago.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 12:23PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

At work I've always used computers, but not personal computers; monitors and keyboards connected to several mega-mainframes filling several floors in some building in New York. (Truth or myth? Not sure..) Those were the days of black screens and glowing green pixelated letters and numbers. Our first computer was for DH's business maybe around 1988. I think it was an Apple, but I don't know what kind. Finally got on the internet in '98; DH kept saying it wasn't necessary, but I insisted. It was inevitable. Our latest is a Gateway bought in 2000, has had the hard drive replaced, and a new monitor in 2004. Bought the kids mac notebooks for college after our daughter's first pc laptop crashed multiple times from viruses and finally destroyed it. Love the macs, love em.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 12:45PM
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vics_gardenkeeper(7b AL)

In 1984 an IBM PC unior--you had to save every 4 pages the memory was so small. And the next year Harvard Law School required use of Wangs with floppy discs the size of phonograph records! I have to use Microsoft at work but I'm only Apple at home. Anyone remember paper cards for feeding to the machine?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 6:52PM
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michaelalreadytaken

Interesting reminisces.

It isn't quite time yet but my next will definitely be an Apple... again.

MichaelAT

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 9:04PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

My Father used to bring boards home to wire...and my family goes farther back with IBM to when my Mother's offer of employment was signed by Tom Watson.
I had an Apple and then we had a Data General One with the first IBM chip. Then Aptiva 286.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 10:45AM
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labrea_gw

I had a very early APPLE then a built from a scratch mother board and 14.4 modem 8 megs of ram when ram was expensive remember $50 or mor a meg wow.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 9:59PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

The IBM 360 at my Jr. college. Upgraded to a 370 the next year. Mom still have some punched cards from my projects somewhere in her house. No, actually it was the Teletype w/punched tape that my high school has that could access the "main computer" via phone lines, we used that in 12th grade. My first ability to remote access from home was with a TI Silent 700 terminal with thermal paper. Fun times, fun times...

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 10:09PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

How about a Commodore 64 or a TRS 80? I think they came before the 5 1/4 disks. You used program cassetes. They became game machines.

In college, everyone walked around with a stack of IBM cards which you punched on a special typewriter. You stuck them into a card reader and the computer produced a report.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 9:37AM
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iowa_jade(C 5b H 6)

In college one of my room mates was into programing and carried around a briefcase of those IBM cards. Computer time was limited so he only had access at odd hours during the night.

I bought some game playing machine that used tapes and I believe we used the TV for a monitor. I can't remember for sure.

I had two DOS systems, one with the floppy disk. The last DOS came with a hard drive, was portable, book sized and like almost all DOS; fast. That was just shy of 5 grand.

Then 3.1 Windows. When this first came out it the system was so slow it was maddening. When I dropped my bread, it was faster and I got all sorts of new interesting programs like speech recognition, publishing and a neat little program where I could go on a business partners computer and operate it like it was my own even though we were cities away. "Doom" was the best game ever!!!

I have used Apple computers at work and they are fine.

I should have invested all of the money I have spent on computers in the stock market, but I would have missed out on all of that fun. You can't take it with you.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 1:11PM
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iowa_jade(C 5b H 6)

We bought it at Sears. We DID use the TV as a monitor. I can't remember what model we had.

Cool!

Here is a link that might be useful: ATARI

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 2:01PM
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michaelalreadytaken

I forgot all about the TIMEX "computer" that came from K&B Drugstore on a rainy, cold, Sunday afternoon long ago. It had to be hooked up to a television.

I saw it in one of their inserts in the Sunday paper. I honestly believe that it's still the only thing I've ever bought in my life as a result of seeing it in a Sunday advertising supplement. I could be wrong about that but it's not far off the mark at any rate.

K&B Drugstore was such a GREAT place to escape to on cold, rainy, afternoons. A person could "hide out" there and nobody cared. Paperback racks, magazine sections, browsing through all the stuff in the aisles... but I digress.

It came with a small guide to BASIC and I taught myself to write screensavers that very much resembled the rotating, triangular lines that Windows now has as a default choice (or did).

I don't think the whole "program" was more than ten lines.

MichaelAT

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 3:46PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Dad bought the first IBM PC when I was about 12 [stillhave it for posterity], and later my parochial school had Apples with TVs as monitors for us to learn programming.

When I saw that our PC only had Lotus 123 and Supercalc, I complained to dad... and he dropped the BASICA manual in my lap. I'd turn my card tricks into programs and infuriated the class computer geek for beating him in class ;] The IBM had music available in its BASIC [Apple didn't] and I'd throw in little ditties to rub it in ;]

No hard drive, yes !freaky when those came out! but we had TWO floppy drives so we could use one exclusively for the System Disk [on a floppy!] WOW, so different now.

Much more recently, my babies were the 390 MVS mainframes or DEC/UNIX Vaxs or 400 boxes for that UberMegaCompany, and I dare say I miss them since my unfortunate departure.

Interestingly, those operating systems are all rather old and still kickin'. Black screens with boring letters blinking are used the world over, don't let MS fool anyone!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 3:13AM
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theroselvr

My dad the Radio Shack Commodore 64 IIRC. I would never go near it. Used to cringe when he made me sit there loading floppies.

my 1st purchase was a Compaq 5475 Win 98. It was a wholesale club complete computer special for $1,000+ That computer was a great investment.

Would love to have a Mac mini

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 6:34AM
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kathwhit(z8, West OR)

My first computer at home was an Apple Performa. It had very little memory and my DH soon bought another hard drive for it. But it was good enough to get me through grad school and do all the word processing that was required. It never crashed, and I grew to love Apples.

I have been a school counselor since 1998 and have used Apples at work ever since I was hired. My first computer at work was a Apple G3. It was huge, but so fast and so much memory. Now I have an iMac G4 at one school and a G5 at the other. Both have Mac operating system 10.3. They are wonderful! If I every get my own computer for home it will be a Mac laptop. My DH has a PC at home that is always getting viruses and runs like a dinosaur. I never use it if I can help it (which is why I'm offline in the summer). I love my Macs!
Kathy

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 12:28PM
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