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Author Topic: What was your first computer?  (Read 11944 times)
nightflier
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Vectorian
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« Reply #45 on: August 07, 2009, 08:18:07 am »

Ohhh... Commander Keen was a good game..

I remember that one .....


Yes! It runs great in dosbox. I installed it on my daughter-in-law's MacBook. My son immediately became nostalgic and started to show her all the hidden secrets and tricks. It was a touching moment.  Cry
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M0E-lnx
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Vectorian
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« Reply #46 on: August 07, 2009, 09:30:25 am »

I might need to hunt down a copy of that for myself. Wink
was one of my favorites back in the day.
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brokndodge
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« Reply #47 on: August 07, 2009, 06:34:36 pm »

my first was an atari 600 xl.  we even had the optional cassette tape data storage drive.  yeah it took game cartridges.  but it had a keyboard and if you turned it on with out the cartridge in, it booted into a BASIC operatic system.  i remember my dad tried to write an amortization scheduler on it.  he spent a week working on it before he ran out of memory.  he used the whole 16kb.  the only game we had was frogger.  i can't tell you how many time i got that poor frog killed. 

second machine: lazer xt 8088.  we had a whole 640 kb.  that machine was upgradable to a whopping 1mb.  tho we didn't have the money for that.  no hard drive, they were in the thousands at that time just for 10 mb.  we started out with one 512kb 5 1/4 inch floppy.  the monitor was monochrome orange.  but that was the kewlest color i had ever seen.  total cost: $800! the biggest day of my young life was when dad brought home the second floppy drive and installed it.  it wasn't the same color as the other one, but i didn't care.  that meant i didn't have to swap disks anywhere near as much.  the machine was so big that we didn't have a table it would fit on, except the dinner table.  mom wouldn't let us keep it there.  so dad cut some 2x4's for legs.  when people said desktop computer, thats what i thought they meant for years.  cause ours was the top of our desk.  my wife finally threw that old desk out a few years ago.  made me so mad.

then we got a champion 286 as a hand me down.  that was one blazing fast machine. a friend made me copies of his 3.5" floppy disk copy of windows 3.0.  man now that was kewl.  we could run windows!  or a program, but not both.  we had vga, 256 real colors!  not 16 shades of orange!  the champion was so small it fit right on top of our lazer xt desk.  wow how technology had progressed.  that was my first experience at scripting.  tho under dos 5, it was called batch files.  i wrote a small shell menu that listed the 5 programs that my mother used.  we had all kinds of space on our huge 20mb hard drive.  even had a modem.  started out with 300baud.  gradually moved up to 1200.  then a big jump, the 14.4 kbaud modems got cheap.  i finally got my first 386sx-33 about when when 3.11 fwg came out.  dad lost his job and it got repossessed.  but man, i had hit every bbs in the area by then.  i started working about that time, throwing papers and doing yards around the neighborhood.  i saved up enough for a used 486 dx 4-100 mb.  i put 4 mb of ram on it.  had a huge 120mb hard drive.  couldn't afford windows and my old boot leg disks had gotten corrupted, so i hunted down a copy of minix on the schools computer.  that was my first experience with a unix environment.  i fell in love.  i could change anything i wanted.  had xwindows and could run programs at the same time.  saved up teh $300 for a us robotics 56k hardware modem.  around 1993 i found linus's kernel and stallmans gnu tools.  it was 95 before i got linux running.  that was an early red hat i think.  i've been through so many linux distro's since then that it's hard to keep em straight.  i stuck with red hat for a long time tho, then i found mandrake.  does anyone here remember back before they changed the name to mandriva? 

my first real ,linux distro was red hat, my mother bought me a 2 inch thick book all about linux system admin in like 95, had red hat on a disk in the back.  had to go buy a used cd rom drive to use it.  i think i still have that book here somewhere.  seems like around 1997 i discovered cheapbytes.com.  that was awesome, i didn't have to spend a week downloading my next upgrade.  i could just buy it.  my first purchase was mandrake, my second was debian.  once i got that installed and patched i was totally hooked on the whole apt-get scheme.  my life had been dependency hell for some 5 or 6 years at that point.  all of a sudden linux was user friendly.  i resisted ubuntu for several years.  finally made that leap about 4 years ago.  i discovered vector linux around 5.8 i think.  it seemed to work on anything i put it on, so it became my old standby.  if i couldn't get ubuntu or debian installed, i'd throw vl at it till i could get the kinks worked out.  finally one day after 6.0 came out, i realized that my "old standby" really should be my main distro.  if it works on anything, i should be running it full time.  haven't looked back since. 

all these years of being a die hard linux devotee and i never got deeper than a few bash scripts.  just a few short cuts so i don't have to type so much.  or manually configure something everytime i want to use it.  whish i had discovered minix earlier tho.  would have been really kewl to have that on my old champion 286.  but the AOL wouldn't have worked.  thats what got my mother to use a computer. 

that trip down memory lane was fun.  i think it was computers that got me and my dad close.  i remember looking at my half of the 400 page computer shopper magazine one night ( dad always tore it in half so i could look at part and he could look at part).  i saw an ad for a 2gb hard drive for a mere $4000.  i said "hey dad, check out this 4 gigabyte hard drive!" we were still using twin floppies.  he said, "boy... you wouldn't use that much hard drive in your entire life!!!" 

remembering the good ole days makes me feel a lil better about using this old antique laptop.  by comparison, this thing is a super computer.  man, i really should have turned everything off before that storm last month.  lost a couple thousand dollars worth of hardware. 
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brokndodge
- OSS is not a religion, it's the solution to buggy irresponsible coding -
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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #48 on: August 07, 2009, 07:12:50 pm »

i stuck with red hat for a long time tho, then i found mandrake.  does anyone here remember back before they changed the name to mandriva? 

Sure. Mandrake was the first Linux I tried way back in 1999 or 2000. It was pretty primitive back then (though supposedly one of the most user-friendly distros then available) and I finally gave up in frustration after several months.
--GrannyGeek
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M0E-lnx
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Vectorian
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« Reply #49 on: August 07, 2009, 08:07:32 pm »

I too started with redhat around 97 or 98.
I still remember paying something like $70 for a box that had the redhat Cd, a bootable floppy with LILO and a really big book.

I tried to boot it, and of course I got nowhere, and I was not going to read the ginormous book to get it going, so I gave up on it. Until one day, I started getting bored @ work, and began playing with a couple of debian based distros that ran inside windows. After a couple of months using that, I moved to VL.
That was in the days of 5.1 (I still remember when the login manager had the floating penguins)
Have not used much anything else since.
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brokndodge
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« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2009, 09:29:38 pm »

My experience was that old RH cd was better.  But I already had a few years of minix and Linux from scratch under my belt.  That old RH cd, seems like it was something in the 4.x series, was the first time I had gotten a clean install.  Still took some effort to get X11 setup.  And of course, dependencies were a beach.  But after a few day's I had it the way I wanted it.  Ran great, till I got hacked.  Root kits were rampant at that time and the kernel was worse than swiss cheese.  I remember the excitement I felt when X finally started.  I only worked on that config file for two days.
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brokndodge
- OSS is not a religion, it's the solution to buggy irresponsible coding -
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Lyn
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« Reply #51 on: August 08, 2009, 02:41:04 am »

Comander Keen was one of the games that we installed on the Freedos machines that we distributed at my recycling charity :-) I think the third one in the series...
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nitehawk
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« Reply #52 on: August 08, 2009, 07:29:12 am »

Quote
does anyone here remember back before they changed the name to mandriva? 

Ooooh, yes!  I still have my boot floppy for Mandrake 9.1 here (keepsake).   And I have a floppy of "Commander Keen" around here somewhere, too.   Can't find my  "Johnny Castaway" screensaver floppy, though,..(gotta be around here someplace)....
And remember that fantastic (for the time) random graphics screensaver "Dazzle" (still got that, too).
« Last Edit: August 08, 2009, 07:31:13 am by nitehawk » Logged
Hiero2
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« Reply #53 on: August 10, 2009, 11:42:17 am »

Hehehehehe! Windozer, lagagnon, I'm gonna give ya a run for ur money. My "first computer" was time share on a teletype terminal, on a GE something in 1968, using a version of Basic developed at Dartmouth, called X-Basic. I got an A in my high school junior year algebra only because I kept trying to figure out how to run the homework problems through the computer, and get the computer to solve them. I don't think I ever succeeded, but I did learn those homework problems!

Then I went to college, and was immediately back in the stone age with a card-reader. Gag me, what a completely disgusting experience that was. The time-sharing teletype terminal emulated the modern PC environment - more or less real-time feedback. With the card reader I usually had to wait days, sometimes weeks, for my stuff to hit the bottom of the queu. Then I'd get a reply, only to find the program didn't run because I had a typo on line 26! Barf.

After that, I abandoned computers for the most part, until 1992. I had seen the Sinclairs, and thought about getting one a lot. The price was right. I expected it would be slow, tho, magnetic tape readback is not a time-efficient i/o method. And difficult, since I figured you'd probably have to use machine language to program them, and I'm not THAT good. Other boxes were always so proprietary - I just didn't think they had that great a future. The Apple IIe came along and looked pretty good, but, man, they were expensive. I saw the first "Peanut", a pre-laptop portable, in prototype. It came in a travel case like one of those big boxes airline pilots carry. You unlatched the top, which was the keyboard, and unfolded the rest. I think the screen was all of an inch or two tall.

So not until 1992 did I seriously pick up a keyboard again. PC's. Windows 3 moved to Windows 3.1, and then wonderfully to Windows 3.11. wow. Netware 3.14 (I think) in 1995. WordPerfect 5.4 DOS (wonderful) to 6 Win (gag me, a real pig). Lotus 123, but I liked Quattro Pro for Windows much better. It was far better than Excel, too. Harvard Graphics, DB2 (or whatever it was at the time). PCAnywhere, Norton Commander. A fifteen inch monitor was a luxury, and probably set you back 7 or 8 hundred. Flip City's $375 box? It was probably 1500-2k if he'd bought it new (if memory serves). Sound cards were a real bitch, but it sure was nice having real sound! And then there were Doom, and Castle Wolfenstein for when the boss wasn't around. But it was alright - the boss was a Tetris addict.
 Grin
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M0E-lnx
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Vectorian
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« Reply #54 on: August 10, 2009, 11:47:59 am »

the boss was a Tetris addict.


LOL
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brokndodge
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Linux is sooo HOT


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« Reply #55 on: August 10, 2009, 06:56:11 pm »

ohhh, tetris.  forgot about that one.  i think i owe my bad grades in 6th, 7th and 8th grade to that one.
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brokndodge
- OSS is not a religion, it's the solution to buggy irresponsible coding -
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Trex
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Me


« Reply #56 on: August 10, 2009, 07:07:02 pm »

It seems so long ago,now...1985...Tandy TRS80 CoCo2 64kb, absolutely huge...added a floppy drive and printer..

That lasted a couple of years and then lost interest to a degree until 91 when a 386SX25, 40mb HD and 4mb of ram took its place, have been upgrading hardware ever since. Now dual core, 4 gb of ram and two 320gb HDs with lots of toys to hang off it..:-)
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blackbelt_jones
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« Reply #57 on: August 10, 2009, 07:40:13 pm »

Commodore 64 with a blazing fast 1 MHz processor.  Came with a 1541 disk drive and a daisy wheel printer.  My first word processor was Speed Script.  I got it when the developer printed the code in a computer magazine.  I typed it to screen and saved it to a 5.25" low density floppy disk.  After a time I had the local Commodore guru install Jiffy Dos. 


YES!  My first computer was a C64 which I purchased for less than 200 dollars in 1987, just before starting college, and Speedscript was my first Word Processing software.   Speedscript was all I ever ran on it, except for an alien invaders type game called Ad Infinitum.  Speedscript was operated by keybindings, not menus...   and you know what that means... hard to learn, easy to love once you learned it.  Microsoft Word and all those similar menu-driven Word processors are junk next to powerful  key-driven word processors like Speedscript and the Late lamented PC WRITE.

The great thing about my C64 was that I couldn't do anything with it other than write, and play 1 decent game. So I wrote a lot.  In fact, I actually wrote a novel on that computer.  It wasn't very good, but few first novels are.  I'm not that interested in fiction these days, but I'd still like to write.  However, I'm not going to do it on a machine that Is bursting with news, internet  radio, porn, TV shows, YouTube clips, porn, enraged political arguments, and porn.

So I got myself an ooooooold laptop over the weekend. (Pentium 2, 96 MB RAM)  intend to not get a wifi card (It's got an ethernet card. I want to use it online sometimes, but not all the time.)  I plan to keep it in text mode most of the time, and to concentrate learning emacs, which I think holds out the most hope of recapturing the power of Speedscript.

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dawnsboy
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« Reply #58 on: August 12, 2009, 12:36:15 pm »

Quote
So I got myself an ooooooold laptop over the weekend. (Pentium 2, 96 MB RAM)  intend to not get a wifi card (It's got an ethernet card. I want to use it online sometimes, but not all the time.)  I plan to keep it in text mode most of the time, and to concentrate learning emacs, which I think holds out the most hope of recapturing the power of Speedscript.

I remember PC Write as well.  I think I still have a copy.  I ought to crank up my old Commodore and check it out.  And for what it's worth I think that you've had a good idea there.
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M0E-lnx
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Vectorian
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« Reply #59 on: August 12, 2009, 12:40:50 pm »

You think that hing still boots?
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