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What computers did you own in the old days? Share your story!

Heath/Zenith H-151 kit featuring the 5Mhz 8088, two "high capacity" 320K 5.25" floppy drives, 11MB HD, amber 320x225 mono display, all assembled from a kit costing $2400 (or about $5000 pre-assembled). This was a state-of-the-art system in 1983, one of the first 16-bit PCs. I also had a Daisywriter 2000 daisywheel letter-quality printer to go with it.
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  1. First desktop i had was a 486 @ 66MHz, i dont remember the rest of the specs but i recently stumbled across the add for it and its manual the last time i was home, it was weird. My dad had an old DG-1 that he got in the late 80s when he worked at DG, its still in the basement i believe, but its been a long time since it was used.
  2. My first computer I got for Xmas when I was 5 in the late 90s was a PII @ 300MHz, 64MB SDRAM, and a 14GB HDD. I don't remember my first video card, but I remember having a ATi ALL-IN-WONDER card later on in that PCs life. It survived up until 2 years ago when I upgraded to a temporary thing, and then a new PC (my current one) last year. I also had a tray-loading iMac G3 for the longest time....
  3. My first pc was a 486 with a 512MB HD running windows 3.1 I forget how much RAM, but it was not much. That was a pretty good PC when my dad bought it for me.

    I forget when that was, mid 90's
  4. I remember I had a 486, too, also with a 512 MB HDD... seemed like a lot at that time! Had Windows 95 on it and really hated it, because by that time W2K was already out. I also had a 500 MHz Celeron rig with 3dfx Voodoo 3 16MB in it, but seeing people above with 5MHz computers suddenly makes Voodoo seem like yesterday, so I'll stop here =)
  5. AMD K6-2 533mhz, 64mb memory, 8mb GPU.

    The thing would overheat and shut down anytime I placed a load on it for any length of time. I tried everything I could think of including removing the case and placing a box fan against the MB, but nothing helped.
  6. TI 99-4A, with 16K of ram...upgraded to an Amiga 1000 with 512k. Then got a 486SX-25 from Gateway...
  7. my first comp was a zx81 but if your talking PC wise mine was a amd k6 500 with 3d now lol, couldn't run quake 3 what so ever but could play Unreal T. happy day :)
  8. Commodore vic -20 then the 64 then the 128.
  9. the frist pc i had (rather my dad bought) was a '486' (pre-pentium). think it had 66mhz cpu, 4mb ram, 100mb hdd, windows 3.11, 800x600 crt, not even cd rom.

    first pc i bought was 533mhz celeron (socket 370?), 10gb hdd, 64mb ram, windows 98fe, 1024x768 13" crt. over time it got upgraded to 256mb ram, 40gb hdd, cd burner, geforce gpu.
  10. My first semi-computer was an Intellivision II(gaming system) with an ECS computer component add on. Intellivision had 8k, and the computer component added 2k. However, you could only program basic language with the 2k on the computer component. My basic language programs would always go over 2k, and when you entered a numbered line of basic language past this, it would turn gray, indicated memory full. It had a really cool detached keyboard.

    My first real home computer was an Apple //e with 128k of memory, followed by a 16bit Apple IIgs years later.

    My first PC was a pentium 166, in 1996 when I finally retired my Apple IIgs.
  11. My first computer was a Commodore 64.

    My first PC was a Micron Millennia with a Pentium MMX CPU. That was a piece of crap, too many issues. After that farce I decided to build my own PCs.
  12. i lived in the old days and there were no computers, i had to use an abacus to add up
  13. It was 1982 when I worked with a Cobra 400 (Sycor 440, Intel 8080 processor).
  14. This type of thread seems to come up every now and then.

    My first PC was many. My grandfather had a old old system, not sure of the brand, that was running a 486 if I remember correctly. Then at one of my schools we had dos based systems with 486s and another had some Apple PCs with DOS, before Apple did their own OS.

    But the one I remember the most is a 95 Compaq running Windows 95. Pentium 75MHz, 16MB of RAM, a 2GB HDD (HUGE in those days but we filled it in a year) and even a CD drive, which was rare back then as they just started to become affordable.
  15. I had a couple old computers back in the day, but the first one I built myself allowing me to remember what was in it, had an Athlon 64 3400+ Clawhammer, 3Gb ram, 300Gb hard drive, and a Geforce 6600GT.
  16. Best answer
    First computer was a
    TRS-80 Color Computer
    Motorola 6809e 8/16bit CPU 2.77 mhz ?
    could poke/peek the CPU to run at 4 mhz
    16 kilobyte ram
    cassette drive (loaded programs from audio cassette)
    then
    TRS-80 Color Computer 2 (CoCo)
    64k
    5.25 floppy drive
    with a dot matrix sheet printer
    US Robotics Hayes 300 baud modem
    I rememer getting a 1200 baud modem later
    thinking how fast that was LOL

    Anybody else remember
    BBS's
    Phreaking Sprint and MCI with wargames dialer
    Captain Crunch
    Thinking Zork was the greatest game ever?
  17. My very first computer (not really mine, GenRad, Acoustic and Vibrations Analysis Division) was a PDP11. I was only 18 at the time, so I'm old, but not that old. A little later a Computervision CADDs4(X) (Nat Semi). Think 6 people on one shared cpu and a 300 MB drive that weighed a ton! And this is graphics, lots and lots of graphics, not word processing. I wrote my status reports on an old and very dumb chip tester! First PC was the very well know IBM (can't remember the model name) 8080 chip based PC. Then there was Apollo (Agis OS) on a token passing ring network (which beat the pants off the difficult to install Ethernet of the day) finally Sun Spark workstations (Unix B4.2). VI anyone?

    Like everyone else, I have had one great new "NOW" PC "until it isn't" after another. Never thought I would complain about Multi-core X.XGHz chip speeds and 300mbps networks after sharing ONE 300 MB drive on what was essentially a time share 486 pc. Oh, I forgot the VAX and good old VMX! CRYPTIC. 7.5 inch floppies! Mag tape back-ups, oh joy! I'm a chip designer (ASIC's & Timing Closure?) so I love it all. Thanks for the good reading and the break. Does anyone remember Dungeons and Dragons when it was played on a dumb terminal - no pictures!

    The Sandy Bridge is an engineering marvel. I am in love!
  18. "Does anyone remember Dungeons and Dragons when it was played on a dumb terminal - no pictures!"

    Would you adopt me? :)

    Seriously I do remember D&D oriented programs
    that would assist you with map making and DMing the games
    I even tried writing a crude one myself (PASCAL compiler on an Apple IIe LOL)

    I do remember playing a primitive WW1 biplane fighter plane
    one on one over a 1200 baud connection

    i do remember using PEEK/POKE commands to OC a Motorola 6809E

    Now I am looking to upgrade from a C2D 3ghz and HD 5670
    because it isnt powerful enough LOL

    You do realize one day hopefully enthusiasts will be fondly talking
    about that obsolete slow 2600K they used to have :)
  19. My first PC was a 386. I don't remember the clock speeds or anything, but I can remember the 40MB HDD. It was immense.

    After that we got a 486.

    Then the Pentium 1 was at the order of the day, at 333MHz with 64MB RAM (two 32MB sticks). This PC was insane. Sink Sub Pro anyone? :D

    After that we got a Pentium 3, which basically sucked.

    Then I got a Celeron 2.1GHz with 128MB RAM later upgraded to 256MB.

    It sucked, so I got a Pentium 4 3.2GHz (awesome machine). This machine had a 40GB HDD, and people were all like "holy crap, you're never going to fill 40GB in your life". It had 512MB RAM and a GeForce FX5200 AGP card (later swapped for a PCI version).

    That machine packed up and stopped functioning after a shortish while, so I got another one, this time the P4 3.0GHz with Hyper Threading. This PC I used to game on with a 7600GT for a long time, only getting more RAM (up to 2GB) and a GeForce 220GT graphics card until it became too slow.

    Then I got my current PC, Core 2 Quad Q8400, 3GB RAM and a GTX460 1GB. Next upgrade will probably be my last and I wish it to be a Bulldozer rig :)

    EDIT: I do remember these old games though. Ski was played until waaaay past the little monster, Lemmings was beaten and beaten again and I loved it. More games were Pacman, Tetris and several text-based games that made very little sense for me, but I kept typing commands and looked in awe at the screen that replied. Oh, and Age of Empires 2: Gold Edition was played on the P1. Multiplayer games, super-*** framerates and all-in-all fun and more fun. Need for Speed 2 SE also rings a bell. FZR2000 cheat car anyone? On the Pacific Spirit race track? :3
  20. You know I wonder about my ten year old daughter

    she has grown up using the Wii,Xbox360,PSP 3000,DS and my system.

    I wonder if she will be fondly remembering Crysis 2 as she jacks into her
    neural network virtual reality system with 32 core 128bit CPU with 128gbs
    of ram?
  21. Not my first one but I had a Hewlett Packard HP-67 Programmable Calculator (pretty much like a computer) in 1975 I think and my friend had the earlier HP-65.They were easy and fun to program and both had motorized magnetic strip readers in them.There were also thousands of applications (great for engineering,mathematics,physics other sciences) yes even hundreds of games developed for both.There was even a large member user group with thousands of members,newsletters etc.Great thing about them was their versatility as both were small hand helds and great for mobility field and school work.Probably far more practical and useful than the early lumbering large and heavy impractical microcomputer kits of the mid 1970's.The HP-97 (I think that that was it's model number basically was a HP-67 with a very small printer built in to it.Not handheld but it was easily moved and portable.HP really had the high tech quality stuff at that time during the 1960's and 70's and quite an outstanding reputation.
    Steve Wozniak of Apple Computer fame I believe even owned the HP-65 before coming out with his Apple I.From What I've read he had to sell it at the time for funds for his Apple I project I think.Plus I've read that he worked in HP's Programmable Calculator Division for a while and especially liked what he was doing there.
    HP even had a programmable scientific calculator in 1967 which they sold to the scientific,engineering community.Of course I remember the punch card days (oh God) and still have a stack of them in my shed.

    I had some motorized mechanical calculators from the 1940's that I found in thrift stores.They sure make a lot of noise and are extremely slow especially with long multiplications or divisions.Of course those are merely calculators and are not programmable.
  22. king smp said:
    You know I wonder about my ten year old daughter

    she has grown up using the Wii,Xbox360,PSP 3000,DS and my system.

    I wonder if she will be fondly remembering Crysis 2 as she jacks into her
    neural network virtual reality system with 32 core 128bit CPU with 128gbs
    of ram?

    You know, I think it's sad that today's kids will never play around in DOS, having to type the commands you want to execute. Remember having to type "c:://" to access the C::// drive? Then having to type "win" to get into Windows 3.1? Even as late as Windows 98, remember simply clicking "cancel" when asked for a password and if the guy who set up the PC didn't know what he did it defaulted to the Administrator account and logged on? Sigh, nostalgia... :pt1cable:

    Funny thing it, I'm not even that old. Almost 22, to be honest. And I still remember all this.

    Also, claiming a 32 core 128bit CPU now is going to make you the laughing stock in a few years. Future generations will start working in terabytes of RAM, and wonder how the hell daddy and his friends came around with a maximum of 32GB to use. If there's one thing we learned it's that we cannot put numbers on technological development. Or something. Which is what Gates said not long after he built a PC with some amount of RAM (can't remember the exact amount, was something like 8MB I think) and said "humanity will never need more than that".
  23. "Also, claiming a 32 core 128bit CPU now is going to make you the laughing stock in a few years. Future generations will start working in terabytes of RAM, and wonder how the hell daddy and his friends came around with a maximum of 32GB to use"

    I can't even dream of what she will have at age 40 (Lord willing we are still here)
    the 128bit CPU 32core 128gb ram with Petrabyte hard drive is really only 5-10 years away (at most)

    Dont know how many people have read the cyberpunk writer William Gibson
    (author of Johnny Mnemonic movie) who wrote tremonduos
    books about a techno future with souls living in electronic existence on huge hard drives and living in a virtual world

    Where does the arc of technological progression end?

    Its growth is so exponential in nature that it is bound to result
    into something almost supernatural

    Wow is it late (2 AM) and I have had too many energy drinks LOL
  24. Toxxyc said:
    You know, I think it's sad that today's kids will never play around in DOS, having to type the commands you want to execute. Remember having to type "c:://" to access the C::// drive? Then having to type "win" to get into Windows 3.1? Even as late as Windows 98, remember simply clicking "cancel" when asked for a password and if the guy who set up the PC didn't know what he did it defaulted to the Administrator account and logged on? Sigh, nostalgia... :pt1cable:

    Funny thing it, I'm not even that old. Almost 22, to be honest. And I still remember all this.

    Also, claiming a 32 core 128bit CPU now is going to make you the laughing stock in a few years. Future generations will start working in terabytes of RAM, and wonder how the hell daddy and his friends came around with a maximum of 32GB to use. If there's one thing we learned it's that we cannot put numbers on technological development. Or something. Which is what Gates said not long after he built a PC with some amount of RAM (can't remember the exact amount, was something like 8MB I think) and said "humanity will never need more than that".


    It was 640K as in kilobytes as in no one has need of more than 640K.
  25. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRS-80_Color_Computer was the first computer i used as a kid
    Have been given various 286, 386, intel486, amd486, cyrix686, IDT winchip (pentium mmx clone), pentium mmx, amd k6-2's throughout my younger years.
    I Have overclocked every computer I have owned since my k6-2 including vid card's and CPU. First vid card OC was a Nvidia Riva 128 4mb!
  26. CoCo rules Crowe
    Remember Dungeons of Daggorath?
  27. jj463rd said:
    It was 640K as in kilobytes as in no one has need of more than 640K.

    That's insane. Today simply sending an SMS requires more storage than that. :3
  28. king smp said:
    First computer was a
    TRS-80 Color Computer
    Motorola 6809e 8/16bit CPU 2.77 mhz ?
    could poke/peek the CPU to run at 4 mhz
    16 kilobyte ram
    cassette drive (loaded programs from audio cassette)
    then
    TRS-80 Color Computer 2 (CoCo)
    64k
    5.25 floppy drive
    with a dot matrix sheet printer
    US Robotics Hayes 300 baud modem
    I rememer getting a 1200 baud modem later
    thinking how fast that was LOL

    Anybody else remember
    BBS's
    Phreaking Sprint and MCI with wargames dialer
    Captain Crunch
    Thinking Zork was the greatest game ever?


    BBS's? I sure do! The internet of the old days. They would sometimes link up and you really did have a nationwide system. VT-100 terminal emulation! I had almost forgotten.

    64K, 5.25 floppys, cassette drives, 300 and 1200 baud modems. :)

    I first logged on to the internet using a 1200 baud modem. It took 5 minutes to load the page.
  29. jj463rd said:
    It was 640K as in kilobytes as in no one has need of more than 640K.


    Speaking of 640k, remember the 640k barrier? It was only broken in 1995 with windows 4, aka windows 95.

    Seems like yesterday and an eternity at the same time.
  30. I am going to go watch Wargames
    and play Zork
    http://www.infocom-if.org/downloads/downloads.html
  31. Did noone else have a ZX Spectrum 48K+
  32. FALC0N said:
    Speaking of 640k, remember the 640k barrier? It was only broken in 1995 with windows 4, aka windows 95.

    Seems like yesterday and an eternity at the same time.

    No,it was broken much earlier.Those were just the limitations of the early IBM PC/XT models(8088 CPU).Remember now the IBM AT (80286) could utilize much more memory and there were DOS memory managers.Even earlier versions of Windows as a GUI shell supported and utilized extra RAM (386 Enhanced Mode) like Windows 3.X versions.
    See here
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Personal_Computer/AT
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memory_manager
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_3.0
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_3.1x

    I had several 486's with Windows 3.1 and 3.11WfW/DOS 6.X that had 4 to 32mb RAM in them.
    I remember configuring the autoexec.bat and config.sys to try to get the maximum conventional memory for DOS so certain DOS based games would run.Many of those DOS based games could use a lot of memory and some later DOS based games had memory requirements like needing 8 mb RAM minimum etc.Tricky when needing a CD-ROM drive and trying to maximize conventional memory whilst having other drivers too.
  33. simon12 said:
    Did noone else have a ZX Spectrum 48K+


    I had the rarer Americanized Timex-Sinclair 2068 72K variant.
    I found another one much later on in a thrift store too.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timex_Sinclair_2068
  34. This is what my father bought me when I was 6, (2004)

    Intel Pentium 4 - 2.39Ghz
    Some Intel board with 845G Chipset
    128MB DDR RAM (later added one 512MB)
    40GB IDE Seagate Barracuda
    LG CD ROM 48X
    Some local 350W PSU
    A large but useless and dull looking ATX Mid Tower.
    LG 15" CRT.

    Still I use that monitor with my new build. I used that PC until it died this year.
  35. jj463rd said:
    No,it was broken much earlier.Those were just the limitations of the early IBM PC/XT models(8088 CPU).Remember now the IBM AT (80286) could utilize much more memory and there were DOS memory managers.Even earlier versions of Windows as a GUI shell supported and utilized extra RAM (386 Enhanced Mode) like Windows 3.X versions.
    See here
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Personal_Computer/AT
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memory_manager
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_3.0
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_3.1x

    I had several 486's with Windows 3.1 and 3.11WfW/DOS 6.X that had 4 to 32mb RAM in them.
    I remember configuring the autoexec.bat and config.sys to try to get the maximum conventional memory for DOS so certain DOS based games would run.Many of those DOS based games could use a lot of memory and some later DOS based games had memory requirements like needing 8 mb RAM minimum etc.Tricky when needing a CD-ROM drive and trying to maximize conventional memory whilst having other drivers too.


    No, it was worked around. But it was still there. It didn't actually go away entirely til windows 4.0.
  36. HAD A Intel 80386 Compaq 25 mhz Processor, with four slots of ram that equaled to 1 Mb, 15 mb hard drive, 5.5 floppy, totally Dos based, couldnt wait till windows 3.1 come into the market. Even then it sucked... had to type c:/win to get into windows, then there was photoshop 1.0 that brings back memories... I went PC because to own photoshop you had to drop $2000 mac version, PC was half price, oh and this computer went for $3,500 when it first came out. My scanner was $1,500 and yes that amazing printer call dot matrix for another $1,500. Patriot Systems

    Then I was happy when I bought my first monster machine few years after... 100 mhz processor, with 30 Mb hard drive, 5.5 floppy, with 3.5 floppy, 2x CD rom, four slots 1 Mb per slot, Windows 3.1 with DOS. $2,500 My first laser jet Okidata for another $1,000 256 MB flatbed scanner $1,400 Tiger Direct
  37. My first build PC was PC-XT w/ NEC V series CPU (Socket equivalent for 8088).

    My first Apple is Apple II-e.

    I always built my PC... I don't purchase name brand w/ the exception of that Apple IIe.
  38. king smp said:
    CoCo rules Crowe
    Remember Dungeons of Daggorath?

    no, dont think i played it, i was pretty young, like 5-6 yrs old at the time. i remember some Cordial stand game, you had to programm it yourself in basic from an instruction book lmao. And loading from tapes!.......omg, so slow, so many errors.
  39. Crowe you remember loading from audio cassettes
    So cool
    I remember those days
    I started with my boombox hooked up to the computer to load
    programs
    Then I saved up and got the official TRS-80 Data Cassette Deck
    then I got the 5.25 drive
    what a glorious day that was!
    LOL
  40. Yep I had the same one
    I actually had the coco 1 (16kb) which was grey case with "chiclet" style keys
    then I had the coco II like your picture
    there was a 64kb ram model and then later a 128kb model
    The games back then for the CoCo were on cartridges
    but they also had a 5 1/4 floppy drive
    I used to go to a CoCo computer club in the basement of a Church
    every month to swap software with other owners
    Mine is still in Mom's attic
    I want to set it up to show my 10 yr old what computers were lilke
    in "ancient" days LOL
  41. FALC0N said:
    BBS's? I sure do! The internet of the old days. They would sometimes link up and you really did have a nationwide system. VT-100 terminal emulation! I had almost forgotten.

    64K, 5.25 floppys, cassette drives, 300 and 1200 baud modems. :)

    I first logged on to the internet using a 1200 baud modem. It took 5 minutes to load the page.


    Thanks for reminding me of the old VT-100 terminals!

    Again, Dungeons and Dragons anyone? No Pictures!

    I hadn't remembered the name of those old dumb terminals or exactly how we hooked up, but I do remember setting the baud rates and such. Thanks for the memories.

    before 5.25 floppies there were mag tapes and 7.5" floppies. Whole databases, Board designs and Chip library macros (small cores), on a 7.5" floppy. Redraw was something you did before your lunch break. you could hear it chucking, more like grinding along.

    This is too much fun.
  42. Are you sure you dont want to adopt me technetitgirl?
    I am good at cleaning and yard work

    I read about CPU architecture for fun but it makes my head hurt sometimes

    How about the fun of Dot Matrix printers with that crappy perforated strip
    you had to rip off or your teacher wouldn accept your report LOL
  43. king smp said:
    Are you sure you dont want to adopt me technetitgirl?
    I am good at cleaning and yard work

    I read about CPU architecture for fun but it makes my head hurt sometimes

    How about the fun of Dot Matrix printers with that crappy perforated strip
    you had to rip off or your teacher wouldn accept your report LOL


    I've always wanted a minion!

    Seriously, well sort of, how about plotters and GERBER DATA! or worse GDSII. if you've never heard of the later two, they are xy coordinates generated from cad or eda (electronic design automation) tools for generating anything from drawings to masks, etc.

    I used to clime into the drum plotter to change the drums (ink). I can't remember the name of it. This is probably only entertaining me. Sorry I got carried away.
  44. No dont stop
    I find this fascinating
    (Each one of your posts is about 15mins on Google and Wikipedia LOL)
    I was born 1970 so I only know computers from back then from the
    home user viewpoint
    I do remember my Uncle bringing me home IBM punch cards to play with
    Made the best paper planes out of them LOL

    Nowadays my 10yr old daughter thinks that Nintendo 64 is "ancient" technology
    and that rotary dial phones were used in the 1800s (i corrected her on that)

    I do remember that besides IBM
    NEC and HP were the other major players if memory serves me well

    I did watch some fascinating documentaries on IBM history
    on Youtube

    Everybody thinks because they left the home computer market
    that they were in trouble.
    In fact they ditched it to move into enterprise level software development
    Much higher profit margin than home computing
    and also patent development
    IBM has more patents than any other entity in the world if I got it right
    they just sold something like 30K patents for a huge amount
    and that is only a small portion of their total patents
    Almost any tech company probably somehows pays a licensing fee back to IBM
  45. king smp said:
    Are you sure you dont want to adopt me technetitgirl?
    I am good at cleaning and yard work

    I read about CPU architecture for fun but it makes my head hurt sometimes

    How about the fun of Dot Matrix printers with that crappy perforated strip
    you had to rip off or your teacher wouldn accept your report LOL

    Epson still make dot matrix printers and we still fix them lol. People still use them believe it or not.
    I read there was a version of linux/unix for the coco....that would have been interesting.
  46. technetitgirl said:
    Thanks for reminding me of the old VT-100 terminals!

    Again, Dungeons and Dragons anyone? No Pictures!



    No D & D, but I do remember text games in general.
  47. iam2thecrowe said:
    Epson still make dot matrix printers and we still fix them lol. People still use them believe it or not.
    I read there was a version of linux/unix for the coco....that would have been interesting.


    Man you just brought back a forgotten memory
    I think is was called OS9?
    I recall some unix like OS
    but just cant remember it
    wow I got old

    also I worked about two years ago selling Heating and AC equipment
    and the invoice printer was sheet fed dot matrix
    turns out for massive amounts of greyscale printing that is the most cost effective
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