Author Topic: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?  (Read 30840 times)

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Offline PA0PBZ

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #50 on: July 29, 2017, 08:59:57 pm »
First one I used - no idea. It was at the other end of a teletype thing on a trade show. Yes, that was the only way to use a computer at the time.
First one I owned was a KIM-1, set me back about a years earning from my paper delivering job. It should still be around somewhere, but with a blown PIA if I remember correctly.

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Offline digsys

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #51 on: July 29, 2017, 09:12:31 pm »
CDC6400 Fortran 4, Adelaide University 1970? approx. Charge out time $20 per processor sec. Computer club members - free 10Sec a week.
Had a job cleaning the valve pins !! Heaven :-)
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Online Nusa

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #52 on: July 29, 2017, 09:44:46 pm »
Hard to say, since I've been around computers my entire life, wound up in it as a career, and I've used many of those things you now call vintage.

I don't personally remember the incident, but my parents have a story about me in 1960 (at the age of 2) hitting the big red emergency stop button in the university computer room and shutting down the mainframe. That's the risks of taking your kid to work!
 

Offline amspire

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #53 on: July 29, 2017, 09:54:29 pm »
CDC6400 Fortran 4, Adelaide University 1970?
Sounds like all Australian engineering students in that era did Fortran with the Watfor compiler. It resided in core memory and could compile at an unbelievable 100 lines of code per second! Perfect for handling thousands of student assignments without having to reload the compiler for each job. I never touched Fortran again after the course.

Pascal became really big a few years later. The C language seemed to be reserved for the Computer Science students only. Probably the compilers were not very efficient.

 

Offline digsys

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #54 on: July 29, 2017, 10:48:11 pm »
Quote from: amspire
  ... Pascal became really big a few years later. The C language seemed to be reserved for the Computer Science students only ...
Ahhhh yeah, I remember the introduction of Pascal, and the first programming language wars (on PUNCH-CARDS  :-) ) !!  Never got interested in C
I moved to Flinders University, SA's rival uni, and moved into other science fields. There were sooo many new ones to discover :-)
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Offline SL4P

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #55 on: July 30, 2017, 11:26:35 am »
Signetics KT-9500 board (expanded to 8KB)
ETI serial  terminal kit.
A long time ago!
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Offline SL4P

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #56 on: July 30, 2017, 01:13:01 pm »
My boss had an SC/MP based kit (before EDUC-8)
It was playing with that which led me on to a bigger & better world!
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Offline amspire

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #57 on: July 30, 2017, 02:59:57 pm »
Did anyone here make the Electronics Australia EDUC-8 or the Miniscamp? Still got it?
I wanted to build something like the IMSAI 8080 that came out a little later, but I was never rich enough. It was a pretty huge investment back then but at least is was expandable into something practical. It looked like a real computer at the time.

The EDUC-8 was just too limited for anyone but a college in my opinion. It was a computer built totally from TTL logic I believe with an incredibly small amount of RAM. When they said it was a learning computer, they meant it. You probably had to write in machine code directly.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #58 on: July 30, 2017, 03:03:22 pm »
I guess my brain was the first. 

Does this one count?  ;)


http://www.experimentierkasten-board.de/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=50

The Kosmos "Logikus", which I got in the early 1970s. A plugboard, 10 switch banks, 10 little light bulbs (behind a transparent paper overlay). Essentially you could wire logic equations, and the user would position the switches, either to provide input or in response to the output shown via the light bulbs. No clock or registers in this one, thank you very much!

The Logikus did come with a great instruction book and clever application examples. It could help you solve logic puzzles, for example -- I seem to remember the one with the wolf, the goat, and the cabbage which you had to get across a river by rowboat...

Sorry, I could find German web pages only. Has this been sold elsewhere under a different name?
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logikus

EDIT: To answer my own question -- yes, the "LOGIX" was a licensed version for the US market. And the overlay on this LOGIX looks very much like that skipper with the wolf, goat and cabbage:   :)


http://www.samstoybox.com/toys/LogixComputer.html

I believe I have that same model that I got as a child.  I remember it taking me a fair amount of time to assemble and then work my way through all the examples.  I remember having a favorite example but it's been so long.  Maybe some sort of cannibal and missionary..  Maybe TIC-TAC-TOE.   
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #59 on: July 30, 2017, 05:24:20 pm »
Quote from: amspire
  ... Pascal became really big a few years later. The C language seemed to be reserved for the Computer Science students only ...
Ahhhh yeah, I remember the introduction of Pascal, and the first programming language wars (on PUNCH-CARDS  :-) ) !!  Never got interested in C

I first sampled "wars" with character sets and 5 channel punch tape, as used by teleprinters. My first assembler program was to convert from something-or-other to Elliott code. It worked first time, partly because I had unwittingly and triumphantly reinvented FSMs :)

Exercise for youngsters: how do you encode all the digits plus a few symbols plus the upper-case alphabet in the 25=32 codes available in 5 channel paper tape?
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Offline rolycat

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #60 on: July 30, 2017, 09:30:15 pm »
Exercise for youngsters: how do you encode all the digits plus a few symbols plus the upper-case alphabet in the 25=32 codes available in 5 channel paper tape?

I dunno if I qualify as a youngster - I never encountered paper tape, but I have punched cards in anger.

Anyway, the answer is that you don't. You encode the alphabet plus a 'shift to figures' code. Then you re-use the same 32 codes (less the 'shift to letters' code) for digits and symbols until you need to switch back.
 

Online Gary350z

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #61 on: July 30, 2017, 10:04:08 pm »
The first computer I used:
Some type of small main frame in the basement of the college library that was connected up to several terminals, I remember three CRT terminals and two teletype terminals. You saved your programs on paper tape. This was 1976.
I heard there was a computer in the library basement and thought that was interesting. I played around with it for a while, then printed out one of its programs (it was in BASIC). By studying the program I figured out how programming worked, and started writing my own programs. I had no programming instruction, classes, or books. I learned just by studied that original program. My first programming class was two years later, which was very easy because of what I already knew.

The first computer I owned:
Ohio Scientific C1P, bought in 1979 for $350.
4K RAM
8K BASIC in ROM
Programs were stored on an audio cassette recorder.
Had a keyboard and hooked up to a TV through a home made RF modulator.
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Offline brucehoult

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #62 on: July 30, 2017, 11:10:05 pm »
Personally owned? Pick between TI57 in 1979 (8 floating point registers, 50 bytes of program space) or Apple IIcx in 1989 (16 MHz 68030, zero RAM, zero HD at purchase .. I added my own 3rd party of each. Anything from 1 MB - 128 MB RAM was supported).

Used: HP97, TI58, Burroughs B1800, PET, TRS-80, Apple ][, PDP11, VAX, Macintosh, DEC Rainbow, Sanyo MBC555, IBM 5150, DG MV...
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #63 on: July 30, 2017, 11:24:03 pm »
Exercise for youngsters: how do you encode all the digits plus a few symbols plus the upper-case alphabet in the 25=32 codes available in 5 channel paper tape?

I dunno if I qualify as a youngster - I never encountered paper tape, but I have punched cards in anger.

Anyway, the answer is that you don't. You encode the alphabet plus a 'shift to figures' code. Then you re-use the same 32 codes (less the 'shift to letters' code) for digits and symbols until you need to switch back.

Almost correct :) There's also a "delete" code (all holes punched) which works in both lettershift and figureshift modes; hence there are a total of 60 symbols available.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 11:27:20 pm by tggzzz »
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline rob77

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #64 on: July 30, 2017, 11:41:03 pm »
first i used was a Tesla PMD85-1 (8 bit 8080 with 48kB RAM)


and the first i owned was a Didaktik gama - it was a ZX spectrum clone with 80kB of RAM.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 11:43:08 pm by rob77 »
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #65 on: July 30, 2017, 11:46:04 pm »
Almost correct :) There's also a "delete" code (all holes punched) which works in both lettershift and figureshift modes; hence there are a total of 60 symbols available.

Almost correct :)  The essential control characters (letter and figure shift, carriage return, line feed, space) all need to work in either state. That reduces the number of encodable symbols a bit further.
 

Online cdev

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #66 on: July 31, 2017, 12:01:09 am »
The first computer I actually owned was probably a VIC-20 I owned for a while in the very early 1980s. I had a lot of fun fooling around with that but, as I couldn't connect up to anybody else I eventually exhausted all its possibilities and then life changes made it so I didnt have the time or money for several years to get another one. My next computer was not really a computer, it was a dumb Televideo 925 terminal that I found being thrown out which worked and had a 80x24 screen. That was the machine that I used to hook up to my first Unix BBSs - a process that gradually led me to the Internet. After I got an Atari 520ST I started being able to get bits of computing related work, and my income rose a bit. Then I got a used Mac, the first in a long chain of Macs.

Eventually I was able to afford non-used computers too.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 12:14:45 am by cdev »
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #67 on: July 31, 2017, 12:02:23 am »
Almost correct :) There's also a "delete" code (all holes punched) which works in both lettershift and figureshift modes; hence there are a total of 60 symbols available.

Almost correct :)  The essential control characters (letter and figure shift, carriage return, line feed, space) all need to work in either state. That reduces the number of encodable symbols a bit further.

<expletive deleted>

You might think senility is creeping up on me; I could not possibly comment :(
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Gliding aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Online Nusa

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #68 on: July 31, 2017, 12:23:11 am »
Almost correct :) There's also a "delete" code (all holes punched) which works in both lettershift and figureshift modes; hence there are a total of 60 symbols available.

Almost correct :)  The essential control characters (letter and figure shift, carriage return, line feed, space) all need to work in either state. That reduces the number of encodable symbols a bit further.

Known as Baudot-Murray code, after Emile Baudot's hand-keyed telegraph code, later modified by Donald Murray to minimize wear on punch machines (common letters used the fewest holes). Western Union used it for over 50 years. The TTY version of the code was a slight modification of that.

Baudot is also where we coined the term "baud rate", which refers to symbols per second. In modern usage, baud rate usually uses symbols defined as 1 bit, which makes it the same as bit rate.
 
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Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #69 on: July 31, 2017, 12:36:29 am »
First computer programmed:  IBM 1620 at school



First computer owned: a system built on the S-100 bus with CPU, DRAM, I/O cards from several vendors...



And I built several "Ferguson Big Board" computers. Z80, 64K RAM, CP/M, on-board dual floppy interface, and on-board 80x24 CRT terminal.




« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 12:39:40 am by Richard Crowley »
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #70 on: July 31, 2017, 12:48:41 am »
Almost correct :) There's also a "delete" code (all holes punched) which works in both lettershift and figureshift modes; hence there are a total of 60 symbols available.

Almost correct :)  The essential control characters (letter and figure shift, carriage return, line feed, space) all need to work in either state. That reduces the number of encodable symbols a bit further.

Known as Baudot-Murray code, after Emile Baudot's hand-keyed telegraph code, later modified by Donald Murray to minimize wear on punch machines (common letters used the fewest holes). Western Union used it for over 50 years. The TTY version of the code was a slight modification of that.

There were several such 5-channel codes. My school had one, the local tech college with the computer had another - hence my foray into assembler for a 39-bit machine.

Quote
Baudot is also where we coined the term "baud rate", which refers to symbols per second. In modern usage, baud rate usually uses symbols defined as 1 bit, which makes it the same as bit rate.

Except where it isn't, with all the OFDM modulation systems being modern examples.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Gliding aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #71 on: July 31, 2017, 01:06:54 am »
Almost correct :)  The essential control characters (letter and figure shift, carriage return, line feed, space) all need to work in either state. That reduces the number of encodable symbols a bit further.

<expletive deleted>
You might think senility is creeping up on me; I could not possibly comment :(

Ahh, don't be too harsh on yourself there!
I cheat -- I am keeping a Baudot teletype in the study to refresh my memory occasionally.  ;)

(Fond memories of that one: It was actually my first computer printer. Obtained third-hand in 1980, when radio amateurs were happy to replace those noisy buggers with microcontroller-based RTTY solutions.)
 

Online CatalinaWOW

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #72 on: July 31, 2017, 02:59:21 am »
My first use computer was an IBM 1620 that was the training computer at university.  It was student operated, the console, card reader and card punch were all just walk up and use.  Used magnetic core memory and punched cards and the memory were the only storage options.  Languages available were assembly and FLAG (Fortran Load and Go) a memory resident version of FORTRAN II. 

From there it was on to a Burroughs 6600 which was the university mainframe.  Batch input on card decks, or, drum roll please, you could use the new experimental time sharing system using teletype terminals.  Reliability was not one of the strong points of the time share system.  I will always remember the frequent -

P
  L
    O
       P

System Failure.  Restarting.

Burned the old "Save Early, Save Often" mantra into my brain.

My first personal computer was the COSMAC Elf II.  Fun but basically unsatisfactory.  The only really redeeming feature was that it was the embedded computer used in my job at the time and it was nice to have the extra background/knowledge.

Then went to a homebrew Z80 based S100 bus machine with dual 8 inch floppyies that was my workhorse for several years, even after building a single board Z80 computer into a terminal to take to work.  This was a few years before my employer provided anything other than mainframe computer support to employees.  That S100 machine with upgrades lasted until I finally decided that the IBM compatible desktop thing was for real and bought a clone.








 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #73 on: July 31, 2017, 08:12:01 am »
I feel young now starting with a Commodore 64.  Then I got an SX64 then an Amiga 500 then a 20MHz 286 and ah HP48SX and PIC16c54.
 

Offline brucehoult

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Re: What was the very first computer you owned or used ?
« Reply #74 on: July 31, 2017, 08:57:23 am »
I remember those "Big Board" ads well and wished that I had a spare $500 in US money, plus whatever it would cost to send money to the US and a board back.

It probably would have cost a heck of a lot more to make it useful.
 


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