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The 7 - One Question... - What was your first computer?
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#1 Posted on 7.9.05 1946.05
Reposted on: 7.9.12 1950.42
The Commie64 was NOT my first. It was just the first one I was able to connect to other computers with, via modem.

My first computer was a Texas Instruments TI99/4A ( I had some games with it. The ones I can remember off hand are MUNCHMAN which was a PAC-MAN ripoff and PARSEC which was a STARGATE DEFENDER ripoff. I also had this shooting game where there were two guys on each side of the screen and you controlled one of them trying to shoot the other. you dodged bullets by ducking beneath a tree.

You could program in BASIC with it. I even remember my very first program.

020 PRINT "Dad is a jerk!"
030 END

...He WAS a jerk, too, because I didn't get the Speech Synthesizer which would have made this program all the better.
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Mr. Boffo
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#2 Posted on 7.9.05 2012.42
Reposted on: 7.9.12 2018.42
My first computer was a second hand Intel 80-88 that we got from my uncle, who had a computer related job. If I recall correctly, it had a 40 mb hard drive, which seemed like it would last us forever. The monitor was monochrome, so it could display two colors: black and this horrible looking yellow. It some games (most of them written in BASIC, I think) and a word processor. Since this was before we had the internet, I transcribed the US Constitution from our encyclopedias to the computer when I was 10. No real purpose, except that I got really good at spelling constitution. When I finished, I planned on updating the language of it. Of course I never actually finished that, a problem which I have had with my personal projects all my life.

Though speaking of BASIC, I remember the Apple II-E's we had in elementary school. Somehow it ended up at a command prompt (the program running off the floppy disk must have crashed) so I typed in the following program:

2 GOTO 1

which of course would lead to the computer printing that over and over until someone shut it down. Good times.

I also recall making DOS computers crash by typing in CTTY NUL at the command line.

(edited by Mr. Boffo on 7.9.05 2014)
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#3 Posted on 7.9.05 2015.32
Reposted on: 7.9.12 2018.44
Radio Shack TRS-80 Model I
Eddie Famous
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#4 Posted on 7.9.05 2030.12
Reposted on: 7.9.12 2030.33

I programmed (in BASIC, natch) a great text pro wrestling program, with about 100 wrestlers. You could have a tag match or a single. Wrestlers were rated on "control factor", agility, ability (technical wrestling), strength, endurance, weight (Andre was a "3", Lanny Poffo a "1"), fouling, injury, cuts, "second wind". They each had a finishing move and a submission move..the data strings were Looooong. I had a timer programmed in, there were "random" events like run-ins, ring ropes breaking, etc.

Andre couldn't dropkick, but Ric Flair couldn't bodyslam him either.

When someone kicked out of a pin, or tagged out, their "second wind" rating was added to their endurance. This resulted in a tag team getting really rewarded for quick tags.

If someone got tossed out of the ring, they had a ten-count to get back in, the longer they were out, the more damage they obviously took. Sometimes, the other wrestler would comeout for a "pier-sixer".

I had Don Muraco and Dusty Rhodes fight a 60+ "minute" match...

The "random" wrestler to rush the ring usually turned out to be Matt Borne, which shows you just how random the C64 numbers were.
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#5 Posted on 7.9.05 2040.27
Reposted on: 7.9.12 2042.43
Apple IIC

Oh how I loved that Green Monochrome screen.
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#6 Posted on 7.9.05 2102.52
Reposted on: 7.9.12 2103.30
Commodore VIC-20. I spent a lot more time on the Intellivision.
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#7 Posted on 7.9.05 2104.30
Reposted on: 7.9.12 2105.09
I loved my C64. I miss it still.
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#8 Posted on 7.9.05 2223.57
Reposted on: 7.9.12 2224.20
Atari 5200.

I had Frogger on cassette, and played it while planted 2 feet in front of the TV.

I was king of the world.
Mrs. Guru
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#9 Posted on 7.9.05 2252.53
Reposted on: 7.9.12 2253.10
We had a Timex Sinclair that apparently had a word processor and ticker tape printer, though I only ever remember using it to play Frogger. First computer I owned myself was an 8088 that I bought from a friend so I could call BBS systems from the privacy of my own bedroom. Considering how much trouble I managed to get into with a 2400 baud modem and an 8088, I doubt my future children will be allowed to use the internet unsupervised before they turn 21.
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#10 Posted on 7.9.05 2323.59
Reposted on: 7.9.12 2325.06
I'm fairly certain we had another one before that hooked up to a TV, but the earliest one I can remember was a Leading Edge (this is around, I think, 1990?). Amazingly, my father wrote a menu, as this was pre-Windows. Who knew he could program?
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#11 Posted on 8.9.05 0135.14
Reposted on: 8.9.12 0135.29
The Apple IIe was the first computer I ever used...the first one I actually had at home was the VIC20, red headed step child to the C64.

With all the games and hardware available now, I still think M.U.L.E. and the text based adventures were some of the best games I've ever played.

I remember how excited I was to get every issue of Compute! magazine. After only SEVERAL hours of typing incomprehensible machine code, I had several games that I could play (such as an air combat game, or that juggler).

Of course...this was after SEVERAL more hours of trying to find my typos that would make the poor VIC hang.

Of course that was good preparation for trouble shooting a lot of the VAX based command procs that I work with now.
Karlos the Jackal
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#12 Posted on 8.9.05 0143.57
Reposted on: 8.9.12 0144.10
Timex Sinclair 1000, membrane keyboard and all. Man, I wish I knew where that was.

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#13 Posted on 8.9.05 0546.11
Reposted on: 8.9.12 0550.25
First one I had was a kit from Southwest Tech called the M6800. Had to wire-wrap it, but I eventually got CP/M to work on it. First color was the Vic-20. First 8010class was a Tandy 1000, which eventually became my BBS PC.
Shem the Penman
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#14 Posted on 8.9.05 0602.19
Reposted on: 8.9.12 0607.08
Vic-20. I was a Commodore guy for most of my computing life -- Vic-20 to C64 to C128 to Amiga.
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#15 Posted on 8.9.05 0709.50
Reposted on: 8.9.12 0716.14
Our family had an IBM PC jr. ( My dad bought it in the 30 seconds that it was popular, for somewhere over $3000. It had 128k of memory. There was one 5 1/4" drive, and two (count 'em, TWO) cartridge drives. And of course, we had the green and black monochrome monitor. It was advertised as a "portable" computer, as you could order an optional black plastic suitcase (even had a three number lock) that the computer could be placed in to transport it.

To run a majority of the programs, you had to place the BASIC cartridge in the drive, and then load the program from the floppy drive. Without the basic cartridge, the computer didn't know what to do with itself.

Our one major upgrade was, what was called in the PC jr. land, a sidecar. Our particular sidecar was a parrellel port for the printer. I always thought they called it a "Parrellel Port" because it was a physical add-on to the side of the computer that was "Parrellel" to the computer.

Oh, and it also ran MS DOS 1.0
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#16 Posted on 8.9.05 0817.35
Reposted on: 8.9.12 0817.35
Apple IIc, BABY!
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#17 Posted on 8.9.05 0819.10
Reposted on: 8.9.12 0821.33
The first one was a commodore 128. My dad insisted we got this one (instead of a C64) because it had more power and could run good word processors.
Ofcourse we only used it to play games on C64 mode.
*sigh* good times. Start up 'Bounty Bob' after school to find my dad had spent the entire previous night to get the highscore.

I still believe that some of the coolest games were for the old school machines like the C64. I had a tennis game with the top 100 of that time (real names) and about 40 tournaments. The graphics were decent enough and it just played very well.

Oooh..and we had a power cartridge attached to the thing. Making it even easier to start up games (from disk). Yeah baby, none of that "press play on tape" or load "ganename",8,1 bullshit for me!

(edited by dMp on 8.9.05 1520)

(edited by dMp on 8.9.05 1522)
Deacon Jim
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#18 Posted on 8.9.05 0954.53
Reposted on: 8.9.12 0955.56
My first was a Sinclair ZX81 (anybody remember this one?) The year was 1981. It came as a kit from Great Britain. I ordered it from some magazine. I had to solder it all together. And it actually worked. It had 1K RAM, but I got the 16K expansion RAM that plugged on the back. It didn't fit real well, so if you jiggled it, it would crash.

Believe it or not, it actually had a real spreadsheet and word processor. I had to type them in originally which took FOREVER. Then I had to save them on cassette tape, it took about 15 minutes just to load the programs into memory from the tapes. Then, the silly thing would jiggle and crash. I then bought a printer for it that resembled cash register tape with heat sensitive paper.

I think Timex bought the US rights to the Sinclair and marketed them for a few months.

I couldn't wait to get rid of that and graduate to my C-64. Ahh sprites were a wonderful thing.

(edited by Von Erich on 8.9.05 0958)

(edited by Von Erich on 8.9.05 0959)
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#19 Posted on 8.9.05 1010.10
Reposted on: 8.9.12 1011.59
Dad bought an Apple IIgs for me when I was very little. Paid like 2 grand for it, and we were the envy of the neighborhood.

I had Space Quest and Police Quest for it, as well as about 20 games we got from my dad's coworker. In fact, the original Space Quest box, disks, and instructions are still sitting on dad's bookshelf. Wonder if that's worth any money today.
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#20 Posted on 8.9.05 1108.50
Reposted on: 8.9.12 1108.59
My first computer was a Heathkit build-it-yourself microprocessor, with 32 chips I had to solder in myself. It didn't even have a real keyboard (caps only plus numbers), the output was only lineprinter, it was basically a glorified calculator. But I learned from it.

My first modern computer was a TRS-80 level 1, which had 1K RAM and no hard nor floppy drives, we souped it up over the first few years to use a cassete tape storage, upgraded the processor to Level III and memory up to 64K, then we added a joystick on an added RS232 I/O adapter to play Scarfman.

To me, it was easier to relate to what/how computers did their calculations.

I've only had 3 other computers since (dozens more at work), but I don't like to upgrade very often as I hate paying for obsolesence.
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