tufty
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:10 pm

Tangerine Microtan-65. Given to me as "broken" (i.e. mis-assembled), some time with a soldering iron and borrowed "scope and it worked. It had a hex "keypad" made from toggle switches, which eventually got swapped out for a matrix of doorbell pushbuttons and various other push-to-makes. Ghetto

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v12cat
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:13 pm

ZX81. 16K RAM pack (wobble wobble AAAARRRGGGGHHH!). Kayde internal graphics card (under 'keyboard').

ZX Spectrum 48K. MicroPower I/O board add on with analogue joystick  .

Tatung Einstein with twin 3" CF2's. Luxury!!   Xtal and BBC basic.

….and where my hands on programming faded away……….

Xerox system 60 8086? PC.

386sx40 home build…

and so on.

Bring on the Pi…..!!

Dave64
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Re: What was your first computer?

Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:52 pm

IWhen I was 15 I had a ZX81 with a extra 16k add on (wow) and hours of fun laboriously copying pages of code out of books to make it do the simplest of games or loading from the cassette recorder (great fun) then I had a long break away from PC's until I moved to Ireland aged 32 and picked up a Fujitsu Siemens Celvin which was the first time I ever had Internet the front loaded CD ROM player packed up so from what I had I built my next computer and every one since then and finally got fed up with windows and started using Linux (the two lads still have windows vista & 7 and I can't believe how slow they are I can't wait for them to get fed up with it so I can change them to Linux as well)

Baldrick
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Re: What was your first computer?

Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:45 pm

Like Dave64, my first computer also at about 15 was the ZX81 initially without the 16k module and later with. I remember waiting for each week / month for the magazine where you'd spend all evening typing in the code for this weeks program only to have to it not work at 2am in the morning. Rest assured like everyone else there were errors in the program and it wasn't until the following week when the errors were published could you get the program to work.

From the ZX81 I moved onto Spectrum / BBC model B / HP9000 / DEC PDP11 / NEC / Microvax / PC's / SUN Sparc 2 /5 / 10 etc.... IBM destop / AT / 286 Compaq 286 / 386 / 486 and the list go's on and on.....

Baldrick

brian_reiter
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Re: What was your first computer?

Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:22 pm

Hmm a lot of this sounds familiar, in my case Dragon 32, ZX81, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Amiga (various),  a variety of single board computers and then latterly Arduino, Xgamestation kits and PCs.

At work its been largely a variety of DEC/Compaq/HP kit (OpenVMS), Windows and odds and sods of unix.

iDaemon
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Re: What was your first computer?

Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:10 pm



Commodore 64, aged about 12 or 13.

I never managed to work out to create a fecking sprite which was the holy grail. Talk about arcane. Unsurprisingly I ended up playing games: Falcon Patrol, Uridium, Mission Impossible... Hours and hours playing Elite, sometimes with my dad, (who has since rediscovered it as 'Oolite' on Open Source and whiles away his retirement playing it today!).

I get a second chance to learn some programming the Pi....

Thank you Raspberry Pi Team for helping me through my mid-life crisis.

Simon, Norfolk, UK

mgmt_idiot
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Re: What was your first computer?

Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:38 pm

Progression of use / programming

Osborne 1 > Ti-99/4A > BBC Model B > IBM PC2 > Amdahl 5890 VM/CMS > Acorn A5000 > x86 ad nauseam

PotatoHandle
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Re: What was your first computer?

Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:41 pm

I actually can't remember much about my first computer. It had a 5 1/4 inch drive, it was massive, heavy, had a tiny green and black screen, and a gigantic red mad-scientistesque switch on the side that simply turned it off, but looked more likely to cut power to the whole state. No idea on any technical specs or brands though.

The first computer I remember reasonably well was our Wang 386, 16mhz (I think), 4mb of ram, Which ran a GUI which I think was called powermenu. Ended up upgrading it when it couldn't run Doom, haha.

Next was the 486, a pretty high-spec one at that. DX2, 66mhz, 16mb ram, CD drive and Windows 3.1, later upgraded to 95.

Apollo
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Re: What was your first computer?

Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:51 pm

It seems I am the second one who had an Amstrad CPC 464 (with additionally 3" diskdrive and green monitor) as his first computer which was selled in Germany as "Schneider" trademark.

I must have been around 10 years old and I have very fond memories of the time, learning first BASIC (which was awesome!) and later assembler (Z80 rulez) which I used for cracking cassette games to copy them on disk and programing games (which no one ever got finished).

Some years later I moved to PC (386DX with 16MHz), then 486DX, Pentium, K6-3, Athlon etc. all with self built PCs except my some years old laptop.

Some time ago I rediscovered my lovely Amstrad CPC via an emulator and I now own different versions (CPC 464/6128, CPC+ 464/6128) from different countries (UK, FR, DE) and some expansions like IDE-Controller and 512K extra RAM.

In my spare time I develop some code and effects in Z80 assembler and I got active in the demo scene to not let the memory of this great computer die and to show what is possible with this old 8bit computer, nobody in the 80s thought possible.

*sigh* Thanks to this machine I found my perfect proficiency and nowadays I work as a freelancer consulter for embedded and multimedia systems.

With the Rpi I wish to contribute somethings to the community as well if my time allows.

MikeyT
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Re: What was your first computer?

Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:18 pm

Lol! Good topic!!

My first computer in the late 70's was an Acorn System 1 (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn_System_1)

This was quite swiftly followed at HUGE expense (£360 in about 1979, which is about £2420 at current earnings apparently) by a Nascom 2, in turn followed by a MAP-80 system.  I remember programming in Crystal BASIC, an extensible BASIC interpreter. A friend had one too and between us we wrote a disk operating system for them.

We still laugh about buying 16K (yes, K - not a misprint) of RAM for £64!

Then I moved to a 80386 system and Turbo PASCAL, then Minix, then Linux...and the rest is history!

Somewhere in there I bought a BBC Electron for the kids, on which I absolutely got hooked on Elite.  Now I enjoy playing Oolite occasionally and X-Plane 10 more often, on my multi-core home-build with masses of RAM and a powerful video card.

But most of all, like all the rest of us, I am really excited about getting my hands on a Raspberry Pi and recapturing some of the smell and feel of a single board computer.

Can't wait,

Mike

david_fraser75
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Re: What was your first computer?

Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:32 pm

Prometheus said:


I keep noticing this in most people's introductions, so I figured that I'd make a thread about it here in Off Topic. I've looked through the entire section, and can"t find a pre-existing topic in this vein, so…

What was your first computer?

Mine was a Commodore 64 (the later off-white coloured model), which I got when I was about five or six years old.

Whilst I never really got my head around programming (I don't have the mindset for it – I seem to struggle with learning any sort of second language, for some reason ), I learned several valuable lessons from having a computer of my own, like the need to treat things with care, the value of trying new things, and the very basics of telling a computer what to do from a command-line. The latter is what sometimes causes me to get a bit confused when I encounter people who have a fear of command-lines, as I just can't see what there is to worry about. (I didn"t really deal with GUIs until 1996, when my family got a computer with Windows 95 installed, and I remember all too well how incredibly confusing and unintuitive I found it.)

What was everyone else's?



My first computer was a single board computer called a 'Tangerine'

It was a single board computer that had a hex keypad for data input, a UHF modulator for connecting to a television. no permanent data storage, 1Kb of RAM and 8Kb of ROM and a 6502 8bit processor.

It was in kit form and I assembled it by soldering the chips onto the board.

I had no idea how to program it at first. It had a great A4 paper manual that outlined the instruction set of the 6502 and the hexadecimal number system, among other interesting stuff.

When I finally understood the significance of hexadecimal and the link to the binary number system it was a revaluation that has rarely been surpassed in my life.

On a par with getting E=MC^2.

I look forward to the RaspberryPi with similar feelings of excitement.

bigcripe
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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:41 am

My first computer and only apple product I've ever owned......a Apple Macintosh LC

steveroush
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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:08 am

An IBM 1620 in 1968 (core memory).   Fortran II on punchcards.

A manufacturers list (from quick memory):


IBM (mainframes)
Amdahl
DEC
HP
Data General
AT&T
WD (Western Digital!)
Motorola
NCR
A NIKE missile-guidance computer (decommissioned)
Lots of Intel-based systems

steve

hjongste
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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:25 am

After drooling over a Sinclair ZX80 eventually I decided for a Tandy TRS80 (better keyboard and separate screen AND 12 Kb!!! memory. That must have been in 1980.

Followed (in 1984/5) by an Amstrad PCW256 (upgraded myself to a 512 by inserting four extra RAM chips).

Then a Tandon PC in 1991 etc etc etc.

After my second PC and since 1994 I started assembling my own. I have never bought a desktop computer since, just home brew.

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crundy
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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:17 am

ZX Spectrum 48K. The fact it came with a programming manual is what got me into coding. I was writing boring little applications when I was about 7 or 8. Oh, and I could complete the first Dizzy game in one run, which my friends thought was the most awesome thing ever (we were geeks with very low expectations of life!).

Consoles kinda took over from there. Ys: Vanished Omens on the SMS is still one of my favorite games, if not just for the music (been playing it again on my Android phone). Got back into coding when we were allowed to use the BBC Micros at high school. Then Quickbasic on the PC, then Visual Basic, and then I got a real job after Uni and learnt other languages (Perl, PHP, .NET & Java).

So yeah, a coding manual shipping with the R-Pi would help with the stated goal. I know that's been mentioned a lot but I can't stress how important it would be.

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crundy
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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:20 am

iDaemon said:


I never managed to work out to create a fecking sprite which was the holy grail. Talk about arcane.


Yeah I was the same. I really wanted to create games on the speccy, but just couldn't get my head round making sprites.


Simon, Norfolk, UK


Oh, a fellow naaarfolkian. We're probably related. Whereabouts are you? I'm in Norwich.

jamesh
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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:02 am

I live right on the Cambs/Narrfolf  border, but was at University in Narwich, so have some memory of the place. It was a LONG time ago though.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
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crundy
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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:04 am

JamesH said:


I live right on the Cambs/Narrfolf  border, but was at University in Narwich, so have some memory of the place. It was a LONG time ago though.


My first job was at the UEA. I'm currently living just outside Norwich.

davidgoodenough
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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:09 am

My first computer, and here I am showing my age, was a mechanical computer called a DigiComp.  I am not sure if I still have it (the mice might have eaten it in the attic), and it could not do much more than binary logic operations, but it described itself as a computer and started my interest in computers.  After that I built myself an analog computer, but then moved to large digital iron (IBM 360/67) at Durham University (they shared it with Newcastle University and ran an operating system call the Michigan Terminal System).

Details of the DigiComp can be found at:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digi-Comp_I

Mine did not look quite like either the V1 or V2, but not a great difference.

gregeric
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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:21 am

My interest was piqued by ads for the Science of Cambridge MK14 in electronics mags. As a bareboard computer conceived in Cambridge, surely that's the forerunner of the Pi?

Never saved up enough to buy one, then along came the Ohio Scientific Superboard II (cf UK101) which I enjoyed hacking both hardware & software (6502 assembly plus BASIC).

Was blown away by review of Commodore Amiga A1000 in a computer mag and eventually aquired an Amiga 500, dabbling with ARexx, later A1200, then onto PC running IBM OS2 Warp, which first got me on the net.

Since then I've taught myself a little C on Windows PCs and played around with Atmel AVRs in assembly. All for hobby use.

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Jongoleur
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Location: O'erlooking the sea, and all those effin windfarms...

Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:17 pm

gregeric said:


My interest was piqued by ads for the Science of Cambridge MK14 in electronics mags. As a bareboard computer conceived in Cambridge, surely that's the forerunner of the Pi?



As I mentioned in an earlier post, my first computer was a Mk14 - I wish I still had it!  However, the earliest Acorn, the Acorn System 1 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn_System_1 ), also a "bareboard computer conceived in Cambridge" has a better claim as it's an Acorn! 

I didn't go down the Acorn route as I think it was rather more expensive than the Mk14...
I'm just a bouncer, splatterers do it with more force.....

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Method
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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:47 pm

Glorious Amiga 500... I miss it very much, now.

tim_ring
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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:24 pm

First computer used was a Honeywell mainframe in the basement of Kevin St. College Dublin (can't remember much about it). Originally lusted after ZX80 but eventually bought Nascom 2 with 32k ram borad (kit with thousands of parts). This is the machine I really learned to program on. Microsoft basic and Z80 assembler. Still have it but last time I tried it would not power up (next winter project).

MacWorld
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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:40 pm

First one I used was my father's Amiga 500. I still own it and it still works but I didn't use it for years.

The first computer I bought sadly was a custom built windows machine (AMD 1700+). Damn I had troubles with this thing. I didn't had choice since Oracle wouldn't run on a Mac. Then I bought my current MacMini 2ghz.

cowasaki
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Re: What was your first computer?

Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:56 pm

VIC20 which was owned by my brother but I used in more than him whilst learning programming on it and the Commodore PET computers which we had at school.

Followed by Amstrad CPC464 then CPC6128 at home whilst programming BBC model B at school and friends.

Then onto Atari ST1040FM before getting onto Archimedes A440 (whilst now being the technical services manager of a large Acorn dealership and repairing/designing upgrades for them.)

I have since collected a few old 8 bit machines and actually have a couple of BBC model B computers, spectrums and Amstrads in my attic !

Then finally onto Windows PCs and Macs...........

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