Author Topic: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?  (Read 19405 times)

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Offline shawty

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #225 on: December 23, 2017, 07:10:18 AM »
My first computer was an Apple II with two floppy drives and a green monochrome CRT. I don’t know how much RAM it had, but I can remember playing »Lemonade« and »Nibbles«.
I still have this unit but it is sitting in storage at my parents place and has not been turned on for at least 25 years.

I'll give that a try thanks.

I did however have an interesting Idea Last Night.

The RTC/Cmos chip in the A5K is an PCF8583 which is an I2C based device.

I know what the I2C address of it is, as it's in the programmers reference manuals, so I got to wondering if I could just remove the SMD that's on the mobo, and wiring the I2C lines SDA/SCK and GND directly to an Arduino Nano/Micro or similar.  I know which 3 lines I need and where to get them, and importantly I know there active, I also know where to get a 5v supply from to power the Arduino.

My thinking is to program the Arduino to be an I2C slave, on the address the computer looks for the RTC chip, then just let the Arduino save the settings and such like in it's on board Eprom.

In all honesty, I'm really not too bothered if the clock actually keeps the correct date/time, the important part is that the system settings are saved, and looking at the data sheet for the RTC chip, i recon I can quite easily emulate it using an Arduino, or even just something like a DSPIC (I have a few of those lying around too)

Anyway, it's all just theory at the moment, like everything I want to do for me, it'll end up going on the "Stuff for my Retirement" pile :-D

BIG THUMBS UP TO A FELLOW BEEBER :-)
 8)
Meh....
 

Offline Calambres

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #226 on: December 23, 2017, 07:24:40 PM »
My first computer was a Sinclair ZX-81. I loved programming that semi-toy. I got the infamous 16KB expansion dongle: the connector was so flimsy you couldn't move even the slightest. Otherwise you got a beautiful system reset.

Next was the obvious step: Sinclair Spectrum 48K. I used it very thoroughly and even programmed a financial program using "Microdrives" that was used commercially by a friend's firm. I ended installing the guts inside the keyboard of an old AS/400  :-/O  It worked very fine!

My first "proper" computer was an IBM Portable 5155. 15Kg of portability, go figure! The system was only 256KB RAM and I hacked it to 640KB. In Bill Gates' own words: "640KB is all you'll ever need for RAM". It had two 256KB 5 1/4" floppy drives. Later I added an IBM 5161 "PC Expansion" that was the size of an IBM Personal Computer, with  a 10MB disk drive. In IBM's own words: "10MB is all you'll ever need for file management"  :-DD

Then I got an IBM XT-286, a strange mix between an IBM-XT case and IBM-AT guts, only a bit faster. That was the sexiest XT-286 in the world  ;D : It had a 20MB disk drive, 16MB RAM, 2MB "Expanded" memory option, 287 Math coprocessor, External tape backup system, Token Ring adapter, VGA adapter (IBM 8515 monitor), Monochrome adapter (IBM 5151 monitor) for a dual display system,  SoundBlaster, IBM ProPrinter 4201 and other options I no longer remember... all card expansions were used. You couldn't expand it any more!. I still have it.

The next computers were a lot less glamourous  :)
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 11:04:30 PM by Calambres »
 

Online boffin

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #227 on: December 25, 2017, 12:13:11 PM »

My first "proper" computer was an IBM Portable 5155. 15Kg of portability, go figure! The system was only 256KB RAM and I hacked it to 640KB. In Bill Gates' own words: "640KB is all you'll ever need for RAM". It had two 256KB 5 1/4" floppy drives. Later I added an IBM 5161 "PC Expansion" that was the size of an IBM Personal

Actually the 640k quote is a well reproduced myth.  The 640k limitation was instead based on the architecture of the IBM PC that put the graphics memory starting at A000:0000 (the mono card put the text at B000:0000 and the colour card put the text at B800:0000).  If you could forgo graphics, and used a CGA for text only, you could happily make a PC run with 736k of RAM.  Later invocations of MS-DOS (6 IIRC) allowed you to load TSR programs "high" (using LOADHI), and you could map RAM into the D000:0000 and E000:0000 spaces (C800:xxxx was used by HD controllers)
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #228 on: December 25, 2017, 03:17:19 PM »
 There were actually a lot of 'holes' in upper memory you could exploit, depending on the hardware you had installed. When programs like QEMM came out, I became an expert at getting the most free DOS memory and organizing resident programs in the upper memory holes. I always took it as a challenge to get the most free memory in the lower 640K.
 And speaking of QEMM - their other product, Desqview, brought a pre-emptive multitasker to DOS. I was able to run my Opus BBS in college while still reserving enough of my machine to write reports and such with WordPerfect, or even run circuit simulations with pspice.

 

Offline Calambres

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #229 on: December 25, 2017, 07:31:31 PM »
One of those "holes" is what allowed the "Expanded Memory" I have in my XT-286 (2MB max) to be paged into real memory. It was only accessible via a resident program loaded in "config.sys"

Offline cowasaki

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #230 on: January 15, 2018, 10:10:16 AM »
My brother's VIC20 in 1982

My first computer was an Amstrad CPC464 followed by a CPC6128 - I was in 4th/5th year at high school 14/15 and wrote an expansion ROM which added 150 new commands but was also programming 6502 on BBC model B at school where I completely re-wrote the networking software making it quicker and fairer as it queued stuff (they were still using it 5 years later!)....

Then on to the Atari 1040STFM where I had my first hard drive £420 for 30Mb (they had no 20Mb left so did a 30 for the same price if I turned up with cash!)

Then onto The Archimedes range as I was then a component level service engineer for Acorn machines.....
 

Online GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #231 on: January 15, 2018, 11:00:05 AM »
1st an hp9830 in 1973..74, an hp65 1975, an Apple II 1977, TRS-80 1977 (but didn't like it), Compucolor II 1979  (but didn't like it), switched from the Apple II to a Mac in 1984, and then always Macs ever since. I've never had any "PC" nor any DOS/windows machine. Now I prefer Macs for the job, linux and small sbcs for everything else.
 

Offline skyshaver

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #232 on: January 20, 2018, 02:49:46 PM »
My first computer was a Vic20. I spent the savings bond my grandparents gave me to buy a tape drive and copied code from the back of magazines. Though my fondest memory of that machine is the text-based RPG "The Count"
 

Offline Bruce Abbott

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #233 on: January 21, 2018, 05:09:25 AM »
Actually the 640k quote is a well reproduced myth.
Actually...

"I have to say that in 1981, making those decisions, I felt like I was providing enough freedom for 10 years. That is, a move from 64k to 640k felt like something that would last a great deal of time. Well, it didn’t – it took about only 6 years before people started to see that as a real problem." - Bill Gates

 

Offline ferdieCX

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #234 on: January 21, 2018, 06:14:58 AM »
I went in 1979 straight to repair Olivetti Audit 5 boards, it was my first job
First owned was a home assembled 8080 S-100. It took two years to get the naked boards and the chips to South America,
carried by mail (only 20 USD at month allowed)  :palm: or by relatives and friends who visited the USA
I still have the CPU board
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 06:20:33 AM by ferdieCX »
 
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Online Gyro

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #235 on: Yesterday at 06:29:46 AM »
Used (in order):

Education:
ICL1902S
DEC KL10

Work:
PDP11-44 2xRL02(10MB)
Dual headed VAX11-780 (Altara and Krell), with all the toppings!  8)
MicroVAX 1 -> MicroVAX II Workstations
(a bit of a DEC theme there!)
...
PCs.

Owned (in order):

Science of Cambridge (Sinclair) MK14 (NS SC/MP)
UK101 (6502 based UK clone of the Ohio Superboard)
DEC PDP11-05 (unibus, 32k word core memory), 2 x TU56 DECTape1 random access tape drives (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DECtape). Later upgraded to 2 x RX02 dual 8" Floppy.
PDP11-23plus, home built Q-Bus cabinet, RD52 (30MB) HDD, RX50 Floppies. Later upgraded to PDP11-53 as handy bits became 'available'  ;).
...
PCs :=\
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 06:32:37 AM by Gyro »
Chris

"Victor Meldrew, the Crimson Avenger!"
 
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