• My First Computers

    From Davew@1:124/5014.2 to All on Sat Nov 7 22:39:09 2020
    My first computers were:

    Times Sinclair 1000
    Mattel Aquarius
    Commodore VIC-20
    Coleco ADAM
    Epson Equity 1 (my first PC)

    I have an odd path before my first PC. Those were fun times. Anyone ever use the Sinclair or Aquarius. I never met anyone else who owned either one.

    DaveW

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  • From Dave Drum@1:229/452 to Davew on Sun Nov 8 12:33:50 2020
    Davew wrote to All <=-

    My first computers were:

    Times Sinclair 1000
    Mattel Aquarius
    Commodore VIC-20
    Coleco ADAM
    Epson Equity 1 (my first PC)

    I have an odd path before my first PC. Those were fun times. Anyone ever use the Sinclair or Aquarius. I never met anyone else who owned either one.

    My first "computer" was an SWTP-6800 built from a baggie of parts. Assembly instructions and manual were one mimeographed 8 1/2" X 11" sheet of paper.
    No keyboard (or storage) and you programmed it with DIP switches.

    First "store-bought" was a TRaSh-80 Model I - with the Level II ROM. I
    briefly had a Timex-Sinclair 1000 followed by a C=64. My nieces had C=64s followed by Coleco Adam(s) - which were used more for Mario Brothera and
    Donkey Kong than school/learning.

    My first "real" PC was an IBM w/256K RAM and a 10 MB hard disk. Also a
    5.25" floppy drive that would hold 100K of data. That was followed fairly quickly by a PET 4032 with a floppy drive - but with only a 40 column
    screen. I then moved up to a PET 8032 (like in the movie 2001 - a Space Oddity) and 8050 dual floppy.

    Then I got my first Amiga (2000) and all was gravy after that. Bv)=

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  • From Ron Lauzon@1:275/89 to Davew on Sun Nov 8 10:07:00 2020
    Davew wrote to All <=-

    My first computers were:

    The first computer I ever used was a TRS-80 Model I Level II (upgraded from Level I) that my dad brought home from school for
    the summer. A few years later, my school got Commodore PETs.

    I jumped over the whole VIC-20, C-64, TI-99/4 era and started right in on the Univac 1100/80 in college.

    The first computer I actually owned was a Sperry HT (IBM-XT clone with a higher
    clock speed). My college had a plan to
    allow us to purchase computers on a payment plan.

    Shortly after college I upgraded to an early 386 system - with my first hard drive.


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  • From Jay Harris@1:229/664 to Davew on Mon Nov 9 08:46:46 2020
    On 07 Nov 2020, Davew said the following...

    My first computers were:

    Commodore VIC-20

    My family's first computer when I was growing up was the Commodore 64. We had the whole kit & caboodle including the monitor with built in speaker, dot matrix printer, joystick and cassette drive. Everything except the modem.

    We had a few cartridge games (which I liked because they loaded instantly), but we also had the cassette drive with a bunch of games loaded on several cassettes.

    I remember our local library had books full of basic code printed out, including some games. I remember spending way too much time typing these games out and then saving the code to one of my tapes.

    Later on after we got an IBM Aptiva (486 DX2/66) the commodore monitor was moved into my room where I hooked our Super Nintendo up to it. Not sure whatever happened to the C64 itself.


    Jay

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  • From Nigel Reed@1:124/5016 to Davew on Mon Nov 9 12:27:13 2020
    Davew wrote:
    My first computers were:

    Times Sinclair 1000
    Mattel Aquarius
    Commodore VIC-20
    Coleco ADAM
    Epson Equity 1 (my first PC)

    I have an odd path before my first PC. Those were fun times. Anyone ever use the Sinclair or Aquarius. I never met anyone else who owned either one.

    Sinclair ZX81
    Vic-20
    BBC Micro
    Commodore PC (something like 256k, green screen)

    I owned a ZX Spectrum later on in life. Saw someone selling one in the newspaper so went ahead and bought it.
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  • From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to Davew on Sun Nov 8 15:17:00 2020
    I have an odd path before my first PC. Those were fun times. Anyone ever use the Sinclair or Aquarius. I never met anyone else who owned either one.

    I have a working T/S 1000 in my shed. It has the serial port and 16K RAM expansion packs on it. I even have the original user's manual for the T/S 1000!

    Later,
    Sean

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  • From Kurt Weiske@1:218/700 to Jay Harris on Tue Nov 10 07:41:00 2020
    Jay Harris wrote to Davew <=-

    My family's first computer when I was growing up was the Commodore 64.
    We had the whole kit & caboodle including the monitor with built in speaker, dot matrix printer, joystick and cassette drive. Everything except the modem.

    I had the thermal printer; expensive, curly paper. I used to have a
    walkthrough/solve for ZORK printed out on that printer saved
    somewhere.

    I sold the 64 when I went to college and needed to compile code. I
    bought a used XT, the 64 went to a man who ran a BBS and needed a
    spare for his work.




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  • From Jay Harris@1:229/664 to Kurt Weiske on Tue Nov 10 15:24:02 2020
    On 10 Nov 2020, Kurt Weiske said the following...

    I had the thermal printer; expensive, curly paper.

    I think the first computer shop I worked at had a fax machine like that. It was a beast, but you couldn't keep the faxes filed forever as the image would eventually fade.

    They replaced it with a canon "bubblejet" fax machine. It was basically just the insides of an inkjet printer but with fax capabilities.

    Jay

    ... Why was King Arthur's army too tired to fight? Too many sleepless knights

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  • From Shane O'Neill@1:305/3 to Davew on Sun Dec 13 20:20:50 2020
    On 07 Nov 2020, Davew said the following...

    My first computers were:

    Times Sinclair 1000
    Mattel Aquarius
    Commodore VIC-20
    Coleco ADAM
    Epson Equity 1 (my first PC)

    My first computer Timex Sinclair 1000, I still have it in its original box
    with manuals, cables 16k RAM expander (in its original box). About 17 years ago I bought a 2nd Sinclair 1000 in the box with 16k RAM expander in case anything ever happened to my original.

    My next computer was a c64 followed by a 2nd one c64c, 128, Amiga 1000.....

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  • From Michael Knapp@1:275/89 to Ron Lauzon on Thu Jan 14 17:00:52 2021
    Re: Re: My First Computers
    By: Ron Lauzon to Davew on Sun Nov 08 2020 10:07 am

    Davew wrote to All <=-

    I jumped over the whole VIC-20, C-64, TI-99/4 era and started right in on
    th
    Univac 1100/80 in college.

    The first computer I actually owned was a Sperry HT (IBM-XT clone with a
    hig
    clock speed). My college had a plan to
    allow us to purchase computers on a payment plan.


    That's cool! I had no idea that Sperry made PC compatibles. I Googled it and checked it out. Would have been pretty neat to own a personal computer with the Sperry name on it.

    My first computer experience was on a TRS-80 Model III. But the first computer
    I owned was an IBM PCjr. Worst of both worlds: not as good at business software as the IBM PC, and not as good as games as a Commodore or Atari. But I learned a lot by trying to make things work.
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  • From Brian Klauss@1:104/116 to Michael Knapp on Thu Jan 14 20:25:55 2021
    Re: Re: My First Computers
    By: Michael Knapp to Ron Lauzon on Thu Jan 14 2021 05:00 pm

    I jumped over the whole VIC-20, C-64, TI-99/4 era and started right in
    on
    th Univac 1100/80 in college.

    The first computer I actually owned was a Sperry HT (IBM-XT clone with a hig clock speed). My college had a plan to
    allow us to purchase computers on a payment plan.

    That's cool! I had no idea that Sperry made PC compatibles. I Googled it and checked it out. Would have been pretty neat to own a personal computer with the Sperry name on it.

    My first computer experience was on a TRS-80 Model III. But the first computer I owned was an IBM PCjr. Worst of both worlds: not as good at business software as the IBM PC, and not as good as games as a Commodore or Atari. But I learned a lot by trying to make things work.

    My apologies for the over-quoting but whenever I see a TI-99/4a I jump at the opportunity to talk about it. I got my first one in 1982 (Christmas, I was 7).
    Even though it was a little lame, cartridges, 40-column display, it was still amazing! I spent too many hours learning the ins and outs of computers, dialing up BBSes and college VAXs and learning more and more. When I finally got my IBM PS/2 Model 30 286 a couple years later I was living the dream.

    What it ultimately comes down to is what brought us our love for computers. If it wasn't for my father buying me that TI-99/4a, I wouldn't be where I am today (thanks Dad).
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  • From Ron Lauzon@1:275/89 to Michael Knapp on Fri Jan 15 09:30:00 2021
    Michael Knapp wrote to Ron Lauzon <=-

    That's cool! I had no idea that Sperry made PC compatibles. I Googled
    it and checked it out. Would have been pretty neat to own a personal computer with the Sperry name on it.

    I liked it. I'm still looking for one (or at least the box to make into something but they are RARE).

    But in college, our Sperry/Univac did not have a good reputation. During crunch week, your FORTRAN program would lose its parameters. If you did something like CALL FUNC(1,2,3), what FUNC got was 1, 2 and nothing that had anything to do with "3".

    My first computer experience was on a TRS-80 Model III. But the first computer I owned was an IBM PCjr. Worst of both worlds: not as good at business software as the IBM PC, and not as good as games as a
    Commodore or Atari. But I learned a lot by trying to make things work.

    A lot of us had the same. I had to beg and borrow computer time when I
    was in high school. Luckily we had some good teachers and when they got tired of us pushing the Commodore PETs in the computer "lab" to their limits,
    they got us an account on the school's IBM mainframe doing FORTRAN.
    (Until we got kicked off for trying to print out some "proprietary" program listings - not trying to change our grades or anything.)


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  • From Mike Dippel@1:116/110 to BRIAN KLAUSS on Thu Feb 4 02:36:00 2021
    Mine was also a TI-99/4a I had the entire Plato series and made my son
    do one lesson a day to help him with his education. It had a terminal
    emulator so I could make it talk computerese. I had a couple of game cartridges as well.

    I subscribed to Boardwatch magazine so I could learn TI Basic.

    Ah, the memories!
    ---

    * Origin: --- Nothing is so simple that it can't get screwed up. (1:116/110)
  • From Blake Patterson@2:240/8001 to Brian Klauss on Tue Mar 16 14:40:13 2021
    My apologies for the over-quoting but whenever I see a TI-99/4a I jump
    at the opportunity to talk about it. I got my first one in 1982 (Christmas, I was 7). Even though it was a little lame, cartridges, 40-column display, it was still amazing! I spent too many hours
    learning the ins and outs of computers, dialing up BBSes and college
    VAXs and learning more and more. When I finally got my IBM PS/2 Model
    30 286 a couple years later I was living the dream.

    Brian, the TI-99/4A was my first computer, as well. And, I also got mine on Christmas 1982 (I was 9) -- same morning! I have a photo of the system that I took with my Kodak Disc Camera, which I also got for Christmas that year.

    https://is.gd/x0LzAC

    I did a blog post that shows photos from '84 when it was a rather more
    expanded system. Have a look:

    https://bytecellar.com/2016/07/03/33-year-old-roll-of-film-offers-a-glimpse-of- my-vintage-computing-beginnings/
    ( short link: https://is.gd/GMKfnl )

    A great machine. I still have a TI setup, in full, with 80-col F18a
    expansion and a RPi 3 connecting it to the Internet (TIPIPeb). Pics of all
    that can be seen in the gallery that's part of the first link posted above.

    Cheers!

    bp

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  • From Mike Dippel@3:640/1116 to Blake Patterson on Tue Mar 16 11:38:22 2021
    Brian, the TI-99/4A was my first computer, as well. And, I also got mine on Christmas 1982 (I was 9) -- same morning! I have a photo of the system that I
    took with my Kodak Disc Camera, which I also got for Christmas that year.

    A great machine. I still have a TI setup, in full, with 80-col F18a expansion and a RPi 3 connecting it to the Internet (TIPIPeb). Pics of all that can be seen in the gallery that's part of the first link posted above.

    It was my first computer as well. I had 2 game cartridges, a terminal emulator, and the
    entire Plato series of education floppies on 5-1/2 disks. I joined a Users Group and met
    plenty of others that wanted to share their knowledge.

    I subscribed to Boardwatch magazine and took time to copy endless lines of code just to
    show a sprite moving across the screen.

    Great memories!

    My first PC was a Packard Bell 286 with a very slow modem. I purchased Wildcat DOS
    version from Mustang Software and had 4 phone lines connected to it. I was able to
    share my internet connection because one of the phone lines was on an auto-dialer to an
    internet provider.

    We've come along way since then!

    Mike

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  • From Jeff Thiele@1:387/26 to Mike Dippel on Tue Mar 16 11:22:05 2021
    On 16 Mar 2021, Mike Dippel said the following...
    It was my first computer as well. I had 2 game cartridges, a terminal emulator, and the
    entire Plato series of education floppies on 5-1/2 disks. I joined a Users Group and met
    plenty of others that wanted to share their knowledge.

    Hi, Mike!

    Have you checked out irata.online or cyber1.org? Both are running CDC Cyber emulators to make PLATO available again. A special comm program (or, I
    suppose, a PLATO IV terminal) is required, but the Windows/Mac/Linux clients are available at both sites. Cyber1.org tends to focus on the history of
    Plato, while irata.online tends to lean towards new development and microcomputer access, with Atari, Apple, TI-99/4A, Commodore, and other
    clients available for download.

    Jeff.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." -- H. L. Mencken, who indeed was a racist thereby proving himself right.

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  • From Daryl Stout@1:19/33 to Mike Dippel on Tue Mar 16 13:21:00 2021
    Mike,

    My first PC was a Packard Bell 286 with a very slow modem. I purchased Wildcat DOS version from Mustang Software and had 4 phone lines
    connected to it. I was able to share my internet connection because one
    of the phone lines was on an auto-dialer to an internet provider.

    My first PC was a Radio Shack TRS-80 MC-10 Micro Color Computer, with
    the 16K RAM expansion pack. Programs were loaded and saved via cassette
    tape, and I had a 300 baud modem that you flipped the switch to ANSWER
    or ORIGINATE (the latter if calling a BBS, CompuServe, etc.) once you had loaded the software, then manually dialed the phone number. You'd "hang
    up" once you connected. I had a portable TV as a monitor.

    The next computer was a Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100 (then 102) laptop.
    I found 2 programs in the Model 100 Special Interest Group when I was on CompuServe, that let you run a BBS on the Model 100...but you could only
    run it at one baud rate (I chose 1200 baud). I no longer have those two computers, but the program is on the files area on my BBS.

    For my birthday 29 years ago in 1992, a friend of my brother's (I
    originally didn't know him) was an employee at Arkansas Children's
    Hospital in Little Rock. They were getting rid of their old computers,
    so I got it as a present. It was an 8088 XT, with a monochrome green
    monitor (you could see the burn in), with DOS 3.2, a mouse, a 3.5"
    and a 5.25" floppy drive, with 640K of RAM, and a 20 Mb hard drive.
    That was the birthplace of The Thunderbolt BBS, running GT Power 15
    on dial-up.

    We've come along way since then!

    Every time I look at the bulletin of the history of the BBS, it
    brings back a lot of memories.

    Daryl

    ... I finally got 8 hours of sleep. It took 3 days, but whatever...
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  • From Brian Klauss@1:104/116 to Blake Patterson on Tue Mar 16 19:10:00 2021
    Blake Patterson wrote to Brian Klauss <=-

    @MSGID: <6050BE1E.236.fidonet_classicc@caughtinadream.com>
    @TZ: 003c
    Brian, the TI-99/4A was my first computer, as well. And, I also got
    mine on Christmas 1982 (I was 9) -- same morning! I have a photo of
    the system that I took with my Kodak Disc Camera, which I also got
    for Christmas that year.

    https://is.gd/x0LzAC

    I did a blog post that shows photos from '84 when it was a rather
    more expanded system. Have a look:

    https://bytecellar.com/2016/07/03/33-year-old-roll-of-film-offers-a-g limpse-of-
    my-vintage-computing-beginnings/
    ( short link: https://is.gd/GMKfnl )

    A great machine. I still have a TI setup, in full, with 80-col F18a expansion and a RPi 3 connecting it to the Internet (TIPIPeb). Pics
    of all that can be seen in the gallery that's part of the first link posted above.

    The memories...

    I had the "white" unit, speech synthesizer, PEB, GRAM Kracker, two 5
    1/4" half-height FDDs, and a memory expansion card in the PEB.

    Those were the days.


    Brian Klauss <-> Dream Master
    Caught in a Dream | caughtinadream.com a Synchronet BBS

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  • From Ron Lauzon@1:275/89 to Daryl Stout on Wed Mar 17 08:54:00 2021
    The first computer I used was a TRS-80 Model I Level II (It had been upgraded from Level I and had RAM added). My dad brought it home from his school
    for the summer.

    My school system had Commodore PETs, so I spend plenty of time on those
    too.

    But the first computer I actually owned was a Sperry HT. IBM-XT clone, but
    ran at about double the clock speed. My college offered them on a payment
    plan for students. Upgraded the RAM (to a full 640K!) and added a Hercules Monochrome Graphics card to it.


    ... Took an hour to bury the cat. Silly thing kept moving...
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