Author Topic: What was you first computer?  (Read 5062 times)

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Offline ez24

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #50 on: February 24, 2018, 10:00:00 am »
My first computer was a stick that I used to make the calculations in sand.  I feel that old  :-DD

Before that I just grunted inside my cave.
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Offline Macbeth

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #51 on: February 24, 2018, 12:14:15 pm »
My first computer was a stick that I used to make the calculations in sand.  I feel that old  :-DD

Before that I just grunted inside my cave.
Thinking back, other than using my fingers and thumbs, we all learnt to compute using Cuisenaire rods as infants. It was a couple of years later before we were introduced to the Abacus. This was the 1970's it has to be said. I liked those coloured rods.
 

Offline TwoOfFive

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #52 on: February 24, 2018, 12:35:33 pm »
Couldn't afford a Curta?
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Offline Macbeth

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #53 on: February 24, 2018, 01:11:19 pm »
Couldn't afford a Curta?
My Local Education Authority certainly couldn't afford a Curta back then it has to be said, besides being slightly too complex for infants I imagine.

I still couldn't afford (justify) one now!!!  ;)

I know you are a young lad, what method was used to teach maths in your first 2 years of infant school? (Don't tell me Curta's!)
 

Offline TwoOfFive

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #54 on: February 24, 2018, 03:01:02 pm »
Two years of infant school? Not entirely sure what you mean by that, but I'll just take that as, when you started learning maths.

I used a pencil

and a piece of paper.

and computed like that.

I actually did that for a long time. It wasn't until around 4-5 years ago did I begin using calculators. My first real calculator (that I used) was an HP-48G, followed by a 50G, and I am now using my HP Prime.
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Online ebastler

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #55 on: February 24, 2018, 06:20:41 pm »
[...] we all learnt to compute using Cuisenaire rods as infants. [...] This was the 1970's it has to be said. I liked those coloured rods.

Oh yes -- here's the official state-approved German version which we used, also in the early seventies:



I found them great to visualize addition and subtraction, and also basic multliplication and factorization (lay out rectangles). And when you were done with your math, you were allowed to build towers!

They sadly missed the chance to teach us the resistor color code at the same time, though... ;)
 
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Offline Chris-IP5

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #56 on: February 26, 2018, 11:18:20 am »
My first was VIC-20 it was great. It had a tape deck (with counter, which made it better than my radio-cassette! ) and a joystick and I used it on an old TV in my bedroom. I was pretty young. Couldn't stop programming it once I got that reference manual.

Bad thing? Power supply kept failing and I hay had to be "offline" until a replacement came.

Next came Psion Organiser II which never left my hand.

Can I include Casio fx-7000? It said calculator but you could program it and in a way it had better graphics screen than my VIC...

And more Psions and Amigas, BBCs, Archimedeses.

Still have them all.
 

Offline Johnboy

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #57 on: February 26, 2018, 03:49:31 pm »
If we're including analog... It would have been this.
 
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Offline gardner

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #58 on: February 27, 2018, 05:22:01 am »
I would interpret the scope of the thread to require turing-complete user-programmable stored program computers.  That would let out slide-rules, captain amazing secret decoder rings and non-programmable calculators -- as well as appliances with MCUs in them.  Just my opinion though.
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Online ebastler

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #59 on: February 27, 2018, 05:49:19 am »
This thread developed into spanning a surprising scope, considering that it started with 1990s run-of-the-mill Windows machines.

So how about way back in the 1930s and 40s, when "computer" was still a job title? ;-)
(No, I did not own or use one of those. And am not sure whether they were Turing-complete...  ;))
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #60 on: February 27, 2018, 06:38:25 am »
 My first technically was a TRS-80 Model 1 Level 1. But We couldn't afford to buy one, I used the one in the local Radio Shack. My first computer that I actually owned was one that used the RCA CDP1802 CPU. They were a LOT of fun to program - simple 91 opcode instruction set and VERY logically organized. And amazingly flexible - 16x16 bit registers, and any one of them could be the program counter, switchable on the fly, any could be the index register, switchable on the fly, etc.

 

Offline djacobow

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #61 on: February 27, 2018, 07:35:53 am »
So how about way back in the 1930s and 40s, when "computer" was still a job title? ;-)
(No, I did not own or use one of those. And am not sure whether they were Turing-complete...  ;))

One of my calculus teachers in engineering school had been a computer. She was actually a pretty brilliant mathematician and had an interesting career that showed her capability and also the limits put on a woman in her time.

http://www.hillandwood.com/obituary/110264


 
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Offline Johnboy

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #62 on: February 27, 2018, 12:18:44 pm »
Nobel Laureate and Caltech professor Richard Feynman described the "computer" position in one of his autobiographies, and I remember being kind of bowled over by the concept of a room full of women serially crunching equations digit by digit and being used as a check on each other's work. Babbage's invention and its direct descendants must have followed an extremely slow growth curve in terms of capacity and accuracy if the human computers proved more efficient.
 

Offline Beamin

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #63 on: March 02, 2018, 07:52:06 am »
[...] we all learnt to compute using Cuisenaire rods as infants. [...] This was the 1970's it has to be said. I liked those coloured rods.

Oh yes -- here's the official state-approved German version which we used, also in the early seventies:



I found them great to visualize addition and subtraction, and also basic multliplication and factorization (lay out rectangles). And when you were done with your math, you were allowed to build towers!

They sadly missed the chance to teach us the resistor color code at the same time, though... ;)

That's funny that exists because I do mental math by picturing colored bars like that that join together to make 5 or 10. even numbers have smooth round ends while odd numbers have angular fat ends. Below and above five have either convex or concave ends to make them fit: A three should be a short block with a concave V shaped angular cut out on the end while a 7 would be longer with convex V on the end. Or you make them odd even odd patterns if you are making blocks that equal five. Sounds complicated but you can literally see the answer to almost any number you can remember the length of in your head so it doesn't require thinking just seeing a round peg fit in a round hole.
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #64 on: March 02, 2018, 09:58:05 am »
That's funny that exists because I do mental math by picturing colored bars like that that join together to make 5 or 10. even numbers have smooth round ends while odd numbers have angular fat ends. Below and above five have either convex or concave ends to make them fit: A three should be a short block with a concave V shaped angular cut out on the end while a 7 would be longer with convex V on the end. Or you make them odd even odd patterns if you are making blocks that equal five. Sounds complicated but you can literally see the answer to almost any number you can remember the length of in your head so it doesn't require thinking just seeing a round peg fit in a round hole.

Synesthesia?. Interesting phenomenon I've only encountered on LSD.
 

Offline geekGee

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #65 on: March 02, 2018, 01:15:09 pm »
Compaq Deskpro 386/20
  • 20 MHz 80386
  • 1MB RAM
  • 5-1/4" 1.2MB Floppy Drive
  • 60MB 5-1/4" Hard Drive
  • VGA Video Card (640x480)
  • 14" VGA Monitor

It was the fastest Intel x86 computer back in 1988. 

My first real job was for a Compaq reseller so got a good deal but it wasn't cheap.  I can't recall how much but do remember later adding 4MB RAM to it for about $1,800.   

 

Offline VintageTekFan

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #66 on: March 02, 2018, 01:48:24 pm »
An Apple IIGS. No HDD.  Only two floppy drives.  From there I got a generic 386sx25 with 4MB of RAM.
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Offline Wimberleytech

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #67 on: March 09, 2018, 02:28:26 pm »
TI99 4/A
Same here...my first "personal" computer.  The first computer I ever used was IBM 360.
 

Online Circlotron

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #68 on: March 09, 2018, 04:48:09 pm »
They sadly missed the chance to teach us the resistor color code at the same time, though... ;)
Probably because it was hard to include a zero length piece.  ^-^
 

Online Circlotron

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #69 on: March 09, 2018, 04:54:02 pm »
November 1989.

Philips P3204.
10MHZ 286.
added 287 later
640K RAM
44MB Rodime 3055 voice coil HDD
360K and 1.44MB floppy drives
DOS 3.3
14 inch 640 x 480 VGA screen.

Protel Easytrax
Flatbed A3 plotter
 

Offline tek2232

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #70 on: March 09, 2018, 05:01:04 pm »
My First computers:  :)

Sinclair ZX80 (used video memory as working memory)  :palm:
Commodore VIC20
Commodore C64
Commodore Amiga 1000
Then came all the Intel x86 base computers
 
 

Offline ggchab

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #71 on: March 14, 2018, 11:16:20 pm »
My first computer was a TRS-80 model 1 level 1. I upgraded it to level 2 (more powerful BASIC and a numeric keypad). Then I bought the "Expansion Interface" with 32KB of RAM, the floppy disk drive controller and a parallel printer port. I finally bought a floppy disk drive to replace the cassette recorder.

Some years later, I bought an Amstrad PC1512.
 

Offline mdijkens

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #72 on: March 15, 2018, 07:05:31 am »
A Philips P2500 CP/M computer


Just before the IBM PC started dominating the market  ::)

Before that, as a kid, I stuffed punch cards inside a bigger mainframe job of my dad; got the printout 2 days later
Until I had an undiscovered loop which made the Mainframe department at Philips bill my dads department a $1000 extra  :-DD
 

Offline TwoOfFive

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #73 on: March 15, 2018, 07:15:57 am »
ow
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Online JohnPen

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Re: What was you first computer?
« Reply #74 on: March 22, 2018, 01:27:16 am »
Very first computer was at college, an Eliot 803 computer,  punched tape input.  Calculating the area of a triangle which kept failing and eventually traced to one hole in the punched tape occasionally failing to punch through.  Later on actually built an Fairchild F8 based cpu system for an application at work.  This used punched tape to input the original code and saved copies to a tape recorder.  Finally built a Z80 based home computer in 1979 using hand drawn PCBs. This consisted of a character generator chip, a 1K UVROM and 2K static ram.  The latter provided the display/screen memory plus a small amount of space for programming in machine code.  Hangman worked fine until the 'word' exceeded 22 characters then it crept in the screen display at the top of the screen. Added a printer to the Z80 system using an IBM Golfball, it was solenoid driven, via a diode matrix to match it to the character generator. Other developments added Tiny Basic, 2K UVROM and 16K dynamic Ram.  Also added 'FORTH' in a 4K UVROM.  Then children arrived and everything changed.  It became Atari games then moved on to a TI-99,  followed by sundry Enterprise's followed by AMIGAs.  Finally defeat, gave in to Microsoft and ever since it has been PCs.  Other electronic activities continue however. :)
 


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