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November 23rd, 2003

First Computer

Ryan MacMichael is enjoying a Chicago-style soy hot dog.

There’s been a fair amount of discussion here at the Ping on old computers, but we’ve never come right out and ask you what your first computer ever was. So, here it is:

What was your first computer?

For me, the year was 1983, and the computer was a Commodore VIC-20.

Posted in Miscellaneous

FROM: dave
DATE: Sunday November 23, 2003 -- 12:44:39 pm
I, too, got a VIC-20 in 1983. Nobody could teach me BASIC, though - and at age 8 I wasn't quite ready to teach myself. Computers pretty much stayed alien to me (except for games) until highschool.

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday November 23, 2003 -- 5:44:19 pm
1985 - Atari 800 XL. It was my high school graduation gift from my parents.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Sunday November 23, 2003 -- 6:03:22 pm
We didn't have our own home computer until 1991. It was a 386 and it was great for Sierra games.

FROM: mel
DATE: Sunday November 23, 2003 -- 6:28:11 pm
I don't remember the year, probably around '85, and it was a Commodore 64. We had the coolest games for that thing, too. I think Alice in Wonderland (a seven disk set, and not the cute little floppys, the ones that actually were floppy) and Lode Runner were my favorites...

FROM: Ace High
DATE: Sunday November 23, 2003 -- 9:40:21 pm
I got an old 286 back in the 80's and taught myself BASIC on it.

FROM: Aaron [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday November 23, 2003 -- 10:39:55 pm
It was either a Commodore PET or a TRS-80 (don't know which model) around 1980 or so. My aunt worked for the state of California and would rent a Commodore PET computer for the summer via her job. Me and my cousin (1.5 years older than me) would spend all summer playing around on that thing. I remember spending untold hours entering BASIC programs or wating 45 minutes for a game to load off the cassette tape drive.

My dad is an accountant and was an early adopter of accounting software. He had a TRS-80 (model 2?) and I learned BASIC on it.

A year or so later I coaxed my parents into buying me a TI-99-4a, then a year or two later a Commodore 64 -- which got great use from for many years, up until I left for college in 1990. College it was a 386 PC and the rest is history....

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday November 24, 2003 -- 9:59:16 am
I didn't get to own a computer till I was in college in 1995, but it's so funny how in, not even 10 years, we've progressed. I remember the awe inspiring speed of the P1 133Mhz processor, and my friends saying things like:

"2 GIGS?! What are you going to do with that huge 2 Gig hard drive?"

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Wednesday December 3, 2003 -- 1:48:13 pm
Time to catch up on replies...

My first PC was an Apple IIe that my did would bring home during the summer in the mid-80s. I learned the heck of everything on that machine, though. BASIC, machine language, whatever. I wrote bulletin board systems for it, for heaven's sake.

I didn't own a computer until high school. I now own five, with only two in regular use. Two of the others will likely get relegated to a net terminal or a box to play around with Linux, should I ever feel the need.

FROM: Henry Baldridge
DATE: Wednesday June 28, 2006 -- 12:24:09 pm
Back in the late '50's a child's toy was sold. It had a board with a cardboard sheet covering a foil sheet. It was set up so one cold ask it math problems and by making a circuit a light would light which looked like it had a computer answering questions. Then I had a computer class which taught how to use IBM cards. Stick a pile in a machine and it would kick out some of the cards. Also they would program an IBM computer built into a desk. A computer originally meant somebody who could do math.

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