What was your first computer?

  • IBM System 3 Model 8. 16K of memory. It was a single partition machine about 2 1/2 k was the operating system. The memory was iron core. The we moved into the big time by adding 16K, making a total of 32K memory. The cost of the 16K iron core memory and the installation and testing by IBM was 12,000 dollars.

  • RadioShack TRS-80 color computer


  • @other:

    My first box was a Commodore C64… great introduction!

    Dito! (1983) 😉

    But to be honest. Mainly i used it as a game console. 😊
    Of course i tried to write some BASIC stuff (wouldn´t call it "Programs") - but I wasn´t ambitioned enough to continue my "career" as a programmer. Actually my first real relationship to a girl (thanks Katharina!) needed too much of my time… (the hormones... 😛 )
    My first real PC was a 386DX/33 with enormous 4MB/RAM and a 120MB HD. First DOS only then Win 3.1...
    ...man -- the time passes so fast... :dry:

  • Also a Sinclair ZX81 with 16k RAM. Towards the end I bought a high resolution graphics pack for it, I think that was made by Memotech, but it was a bit of a disappointment.

  • My own first computer was an IBM XT with amber monochrome display, back in the mid-1980's and bought thru an arrangement with my workplace. Prior to that, I was writing/coding a few of my own programs on punch-cards to run overnight during "dead-time" on the company's IBM mainframe.

  • My first computer was the Mac 512K. I still have it and it still working. 😎

    I sometimes play the old games like Missile Command, Asteroids, write stuff with MacWrite and draw in MacPaint. 😎 I have a box full of old floppies with cool programs.

  • @kenny:

    My first computer was the RCA Cosmac VIP. It featured the 8-bit 1802 processor and programming could be done in CHIP-8 using the 2 kilobytes of RAM. This CPU was CMOS and static so it could be single stepped or run at a very low clock speed which was totally cool. It also became one of the first space hardened microprocessors and is still used today on satellites as a boot strap or watchdog.

    Naturally I forgot all about the Cosmac VIP when I got my Acorn Atom. It had an actual keyboard and I eventually got it up to 12 kilobytes of RAM. Ah the memories (2114's to be acurate 🙂

    My first computer was also the VIP … Dad worked for RCA so we got it early. Expanded it with 8K RAM, ASCII keyboard and printer (converted from an old teletype); Dad also got s copy of a Tiny BASIC written for the ELF computer (another 1802 hobby system) which I converted for the VIP. (Dad was the hardware guy, I handled the software.)

    First computer I actually owned (as in paid for) was a Timex/Sinclair 2068 (US version of the Spectrum).

  • Vivaldi Team

    In fact, the first used computer was Robotron (manufactured in DDR, if you remember this country 🙂 ) like this:

    It was in 1986, on Baikonur Cosmodrome (Russian space launch facility). And, of course, it was not my personal machine - it was "office machine" 🙂
    But my first Fortran lessons was there.

    Then, 1989 - Atari. Then, 1991 - IBM PC/AT, all computers was not my personal - it was work computers.

    And then 1996, my first home personal computer - some IBM PC compatible with Windows 3.11 preinstalled and with Windows-95 on floppy disks 🙂

  • @Shpankov:

    It was in 1986, on Baikonur Cosmodrome (Russian space launch facility).

    You win 🙂

  • Vivaldi Team



    It was in 1986, on Baikonur Cosmodrome (Russian space launch facility).

    You win 🙂


    Yes, I'm old guy 🙂
    And lucky 🙂

  • @Shpankov:

    (manufactured in DDR, if you remember this country 🙂 )

    Btw. (just info): It´s still there! Nowadays we only call it differently… :woohoo:

  • My first computer was ЕС-1841:

    I cannot remember the year definitely, somewhere at the end of 80-ies. But it was first my own computer. Before that I used CM-14 (beginning of 80-ies), Robotron, PC/AT 386, DVK 3 and some other computers, but all of them were owned by the companies Iworked at that time.

  • Vivaldi Team



    (manufactured in DDR, if you remember this country 🙂 )

    Btw. (just info): It´s still there! Nowadays we only call it differently… :woohoo:

    Yeah, exactly 🙂

    People much more important than just country titles 🙂

  • Commodore 64 with datasette of my brother, cassette demagnetized in one step! :S

  • Vivaldi Team


    Commodore 64 with datasette of my brother, cassette demagnetized in one step! :S



    as you asked me, I had finished your dissertation. Written on this diskette. That's all, I fly away in vacation. Love you!"

  • Vivaldi Ambassador

    I am another that started with the Timex version of the ZX-81.
    Then I got the 16K memory module, then a data cassette deck. Then I graduated to the Spectrum and Zebra Systems disk controller with 2 3 inch 360 Kb drives (from Texas if I remember correctly). I then found the Larken Disk Drive system (made near Ottawa) which would allow me to hook up 4, 5 1/4" drives.

    As there was a thriving Sinclair/Timex user community in Toronto at the time I joined and eventually got a QL. Its microdrive always ate my tapes so I never used it much.

    Learned a lot though. Played a few games, learned to program in Sinclair Basic, and Z81-Forth. Did the BBS thing with the original 300 baud modem and then got myself a real 1200 baud modem to better communicate.

  • My first toy was the Spectravideo Compumate, an add-on keyboard for the Atari 2600! 😃
    Then, in 1986, I went to High School and was introduced to the Commodore 64! :woohoo:
    I've also had the pleasure of playing with a wide variety of other home micros from the '80s. But the C=64 will always be my first love.

  • I could ramble on for days about old computers, but not one that's very familiar to me is anything but a PC or a PC-compatible. I'm thrilled to see this topic populated by so many people with broader past experiences to share.

    Parts of my own story might be of interest to some of the younger people here, though, because feeling stranded in the mainstream with hardware designed for Microsoft OSes was a big part of what attracted me to the Opera browser as a sanctuary and kept me using it for fifteen years.

    I grew up out in the sticks in northern Wisconsin, unaware that any computer existed (well, except on Star Trek 🙂 ) that didn't require the user to punch holes in a card to tell it what to do. I wouldn't have known of those computers, either, if not for a teacher who arranged for temporary access to one of them, and who sent my brother home from school with a big stack of those cards to punch. A television commercial for the Commodore VIC-20 was probably my first clue that anyone could have a real computer at home, and very few people where I lived could afford a Commodore.

    The first computers I used (unless you count Atari TV game consoles, or a restaurant chain's Norand order entry terminals) were at a new technical college campus in 1987. I forget whether the IBM name was on those machines, but it probably was. (Women from my social class, there and then, were usually treated with suspicion if everything they wanted to know about the hardware in the box was any more than "You'll break the computer if you ever pull out a disk when its light is on, or if you ever turn off the power switch for any reason," but I do remember that being an A student eventually earned me the privilege of knowing "Enter the word 'park' before you hit the switch." 😛 )

    Photos of the IBM PC-5150 on Wikipedia remind me of those machines. They had two 5-1/4" floppy drives and no hard drive. I didn't much care what they lacked; I was too excited about finally getting a chance to use a computer, even if it was only to learn how to be other people's very own organic robot that cranks out documents.

    The first computer I owned was a Quantex Microsystems QP6/150 SM that my daughter's boyfriend picked out for me in the summer of 1996, just before Windows 95b came out. It had a modified Intel Venus board, without the optional USB ports because 95a couldn't use them. The optional onboard audio hardware was missing, too, apparently because of a bug in its Windows driver, so it had been replaced with the obscure Ensoniq Soundscape VIVO ISA PnP card that was a bear to get working on Linux (even before anti-Linux PCI winmodems and such became the norm, although the 33.6K ISA PnP modem on this machine was an actual modem, and it still works). At the time, my Diamond Stealth 3D 2000 PCI graphics card was apparently nothing to sneeze at, except among some of the people who already knew that such a thing as an AGP slot existed on some motherboards.

    This Quantex machine's BIOS couldn't handle hard drive capacities beyond the 8.4GB barrier. Intel's last flash upgrade for that board added support, but Quantex fell behind and then disappeared.

    So, when my 2GB hard drive became too obviously small after four years, I sat there with no OS but Windows 95a on a 30GB drive for three more years, unable to set up a dual boot with Debian because the MaxBlast floppy packaged with the drive refused to install the EZ-BIOS software unless I agreed to fill the disk completely with fifteen FAT16 partitions to accommodate Windows 95a, and I couldn't see how to boot to DOS to run the Windows 95a setup program without first installing EZ-BIOS.

    I stuck with Windows against my own wishes just to have a fully functional ISA PnP sound card and modem, because I couldn't "RTFM" to get either card working on Linux when I didn't know how to find out which "FM" I was expected to "R," and which "FM" was obsolete or otherwise inapplicable to my own system. :silly: That trusty old-buddy-old-pal Opera browser was like a godsend then, always there to remind me that some businesspeople still cared about letting customers have a choice. (I could hardly afford to pay for any non-free software at all then, but the decision to pay for an Opera upgrade was still a no-brainer more than once .)

    Fortunately, in 2004, someone with money who'd been reading my incessant whines on message boards for years felt sorry for me and sent me a new machine with an unmodified Intel motherboard that didn't seem to hate me much at all. Shortly after that happened, my curiosity about older computers suddenly grew because I could experience them as things I was choosing to use, like Opera.

    The last time I counted them, I had about fifteen computers whose ages remind me of myself–unfashionably old, but not very notably old. 🙂 That corner of the luckily dry basement reminds me of the Island of Lost Toys that the unappreciated Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer discovered on a popular claymation TV special when I was a tiny child. Hardly anyone seems to want these machines, but I have great fun tinkering with them when I'm in the mood for it. I remember watching a 16-bit Opera browser run like a dream on a 386 with Windows 3.1, and almost exploding with pride in having known which company deserved my money.

    The oldest computer down there is the hand-me-down Packard Bell PB 500 that my daughter abandoned when she moved out. It was good riddance from her point of view, but I still can't get rid of the pleasant itch to finish figuring out how to get Minix or ELKS running on it.

  • Amstrad (Schneider) PC1512 (two discdrives, no hd)

    Printer: Star NL-10 (makes lot of noise) :lol:

  • First computer at home: eastern german, home made ( by my father ) ZX81 workalike
    First computer that was actually mine: a KC 85/3
    First computer bought with my own money: an Amiga 500
    First NetBSD box: an HP9000/345


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