Stack OverflowWhat was your first home computer?
[+141] [472] Adam Tegen
[2008-09-19 15:18:57]
[ hardware nostalgia ]

What was your first home computer? The one that made you "fall in love" with programming.

There are 300+ entries, many (most?) of which are duplicates.

As with all Stack Overflow poll type Q&As, please make certain your answer is NOT listed already before adding a new answer - searching doesn't always find it (model naming variations, I assume).

(1) The photos inline with the answers make this an awesome poll. We should add photos to every answer where possible. - Schnapple
OK, I've added a lot of photos because I felt like it but I can't keep up. Anyway, good post! - Schnapple
@Schnapple, agreed! All of the photos really make this page great. - Jon Schneider
Which computer here do you think is the most collectible? - Jonathan Webb
So offtopic - but fun. - Aardvark
Wow, that question just shows that StackOverflow is NOT the best interface for doing a poll. Not surprising. - Yar
(9) How about adding: - If you own the duplicate, please delete it. - 1.01pm
(27) Still waiting for some 19y old to post picture of MacBook Air ... - stefanB
(1) If you google "first home computer stackoverflow <your computer>" you should see if your computer is on any of the pages so you can vote it up. - BubbaT
How do you add a photograph? - BubbaT
(11) Should this be marked as "belongs on superuser"? - Paul Nathan
(4) LOL stefanB :-) Indeed, iPhone is far more powerfull than most of computers listed here :-) - Bernard Notarianni
On a related note, I create this question over at SuperUser:… - RedFilter
I think it's time somebody picked the correct answer to this. - levik
I think your question and its answers let me know average age group of SO users (at least answer owners). And happy to know, I'm quite young one here. - VOX
This could've been great, but it looks like most people are just listing any computer that's not listed or just submitting duplicates. Speak-and-Spell, calculators? C'mon... - kirk.burleson
[+290] [2008-09-19 15:19:24] jinsungy

Commodore 64!

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(1) The commodore 64 was rockin'! - Dan Harper - Leopard CRM
Does voting up this answer as if it was a poll make sense? - Martin Beckett
Given my gravatar, I'd have to agree - Schnapple
(10) Load "*" ,8,1 - Penguinix
(2) Extra points if you know what POKE 53280,7 does! - Steve Hanov
Did you know that you can program in Forth and in Lisp on the C64.. Why didn't I know that back then. Sad. :( - Flinkman
Check out an emulator like It takes you back. It also emulates other Commodore machines like the Pet (my first). - Don Kirkby
(2) @Steve Hanov: Changes the color of the screen or border? Don't remember which or what color that was though. Man, back in the day when colors could be represented as one or two digits... - Schnapple
Wow you could program lisp on the C64!? I still have mine at my folks house(overseas), maybe one day I'll start it up and try that out. - Robert Gould
@Schnapple: you win, it turns the border yellow. Now if you can play the song "Lay down your head Tom Dooley" using only POKE statements you win. - Steve Hanov
(6) Had these at school when I was 8. Anyone remember 'Logo' with the drawing turtle? First 'programming language" I learned. Things like functions, abstraction, loops. I told my Dad I waned to be a 'logo programmer when I grew up. - Ron Tuffin
(1) Give me a Compute magazine and a Commodore 64 ... oh the memories! - mattruma
(3) I feel bad I had to raise the vote count from "64" to 65. Oh well. I still have mine! - erickson
Never could figure out graphics, so I wrote an ASCII-art Centipede knock-off, all in BASIC, on my C64, which was attached to my dad's old 10-inch TV. If only I had that floppy disk still... - Ben Dunlap
(1) My favorite, I'll never have so much fun with any machine as I had with that one! - superwiren
(1) I was about ready to explode when my 1541 disk drive arrived! and nearly as big as the comp itself! I really was the envy of all my C64 owning - tape loading friends! - geocoin
@Schnapple: My mnemonic was, POKE 53280 changed the border because 0 looked like the border of the screen; POKE 53281 changed the background. - David
(1) Anyone remember RUN magazine? - David
Computes! Gazette was the best, hammering out a dozen pages of assembly to get a new app was a such a chore, but worth it. C64 was probably the greatest computer ever built. So simple, so valuable. Introduced so many to computers. I dont see another computer ever being as influential as this one - Neil N
Although a friend of mine had a ZX81 on which we programmed games! OK, we typed them in from a magazine. - community_owned
My first computer, made me getting into assembly code very quickly. - boxofrats
what about SYS 64760 ? ;) - Stefano Borini
(1) Pricing in 1988 Commodore 64 - $300 Floppy Drive - $450 ?#$? - Damien
(1) I loved/love my c64. I had a book full of code to make stupid little games. I used to sneak out of my bedroom at 2am when I was 6 and type in as much of the code as I could. I never got it to work, but I've been passionate about programming ever since. - Micah
ahh, the load, run combination was simplicity itself. Who here's played the guitar hero port for C64 - Spidey
Still have mine too (at my parents house).. My cousin even had a "color" screen. Damn was I jealous! ;) - andyp
And a soft reboot was only a SYS 64738 away! I remember mine fondly. It took a few years until I got my 1541 .. and I never had an actual monitor, just used a small color TV. - Tim Post
Shift run/stop... - Pool
(1) Another commenter!!! Stay awhile, stay forever..... Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhh!!! - Ash
Destroy him, my robots! - Erik Forbes
[+114] [2008-09-19 15:23:21] Aidan

zx Spectrum 48k

Take that you 16k owners :D

Check it OUT!

ZX Spectrum ///

(c) 1982 Sinclair Research Ltd.

That was my first one, too ! - paercebal
And my first ever piece of software was JetPac, by Ultimate (they are now known as Rare) - Charles Roper
When you could type in programs from a magazine and get the 16/48 magazine on cassette. - Swinders
My parents got one of these when I was about 3 years old. And I learned programming on it when I was 8. - Bert Huijben
I begged and begged for one of these. My dad finally relented when I was in grade 4, but only after 10 gold stars at school and all my chores for a month with no slip-ups. (@Charles Roper - JetPac and Jetset willy). - Ron Tuffin
poke 35899,0 I wonder how many programmers have that as their first bit of memory manipulation :) - Aidan
@Aidan, infinite lives in Jet Set Willy. It was like black magic. - Charles Roper
(1) ZX Spectrum :) It's been a long long time, hehehe. Loved it, started gaming on it, then entering tons BASIC game program from books and have it ran. Then created my own code using BASIC after I know enough of it. Excellent beginner's computer - Jimmy Chandra
Halls of the Things may well still be the most fun game I have ever played :) It was pretty unknown even at the time, though... - Joel in Gö
I have mine hanging on the wall of my office, so I won't forget where it all started. And I can still remember the day back in the early 80's when I got it upgraded from 16k to 48k... Wow! - Lette - spender
Where is the sound!!??? I used to love the sound in Willy ! :)) LoL Aidan, good ol' times :) - Perica Zivkovic
(1) Ah, that brings back some memories. My mum couldn't afford to buy me games for it when I was 8, so she bought me a book about programming games and I've been programming ever since! - BenAlabaster
(1) Wasn't my first, that was a C64, but modded up because it was such a fun machine. I've still got the user manual and it has op codes and descriptions of each cpu instruction in the last chapter. How many computers can make that boast these days? - justinhj
that was my first too, good times searching for all those game books, keying in the 'draw and animate shapes' BASIC programs. I had the Zx Spectrum+ it had a different keyboard: - Steven Adams
Building hardware for my Spectrum helped get me my first job. It let me ask difficult technical questions to the panel interviewing me, who must have been at least a little impressed. (FWIW, it was about how to build circuits to arbitrate between hardware signals, and the solution is nasty and theoretically can fail to make any decision at all too. All of which explains why I couldn't build one with simple parts and a degree-level education.) - Donal Fellows
My dad had this one! He let me have it. It hasn't been run in years though. I need to get a power adapter for it! - Vivin Paliath
(1) Ahh .. the sweet sound of a tape loading from cassette ... about 4 mins to load 48kB but then .... turbo load!! And then, after typing in a game or program from byte code, only to realize that you had missed a byte somewhere and the speccy had already rebooted. - nonnb
[+112] [2008-09-19 17:31:07] radioactive21

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(1) wow.. speechless.. - jinsungy
(14) Hi Ada! I thought you were dead??? - Vincent McNabb
lol :) We have a winner! - Dan
(1) Babbage is here! - FlySwat
(39) This is sacrilege but why am I thinking "Will it blend?" :-) - Jonathan Webb
(1) If this is true, you win the question, sir. - Internet Friend
I actually own one of these.....a small scale model though lol not as detailed but it's sitting on my shelf. - radioactive21
I'd like to see an animation of one of these. - spoulson
@radioactive21: does it work? - Jonathan Webb
@johnathan webb, nope just a stand still model nothing moving. I've never thought about of getting a scale model of a working one. Maybe I will later on. - radioactive21
(1) That's not a computer, it's just a fancy calculator! Show me a Logic Mill in working order, then we'll talk. - Wedge
(32) Not THE first computer, YOUR first computer.... geesh! - Aardvark
(5) That's just too funny. got my upvote. - Ben
(10) Wow an original Fortran 27 compiler!!! - MrDatabase
Can it core a apple? - Andres Jaan Tack
I still have this one! ;) - Secko
[+104] [2008-09-19 15:19:30] Adam Tegen

Commodore VIC-20 [1]

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I picked one of these up at a garage sale recently. It still worked. - Eric Z Beard
This was my first. My mom ended up frying it and felt so bad about it that we upgraded to the C64. Ah, good times. :) - Brad Wilson
With Bill Shatner doing the ads who would not have bought one? - Jim C
I vaguely remember having one of these when i was 4 before we upgraded to the C64 - Jarod Elliott
(1) I wrote my last big app on one of these in 1985 - a game with 9 different sub-games you wandered between, looking for 3 control rods to stop a nuclear reactor from melting down. All in 6.5k of RAM. - CAD bloke
My family had one of these when I was younger. My dad and uncle wired a reset switch into the side of it. I remember thinking of it as "the-little-red-button-of-death". - Jeremy Bade
and it's back!!!… - m_oLogin
I've voted up both this and the C64 answer. Technically, the VIC-20 was my first machine, but I did prefer my Commodore 64 though since it took me through most of my "youth." Well, until the Commodore Amiga came along, of course! :) - CraigTP
(1) I had the 16k ram pack too. It caused all the base addresses to move so if you had a program that poked to the screen written with out the RAM cartridge it didn't work with the cartridge installed. Prepared me well for PC extended and expanded memory under DOS. - jmucchiello
Got one when I was 5 - also got a programming-for-kids book with it (with files on cassette) - Programming with Gortek and the Microchips - so that was my introduction to BASIC. - Anthony
Jim Butterfly was my hero at this time ! I use it to learn hex and assembly - I remember having spend a summer at trying to type op codes at the command line ! I then discover Compute! (?) and tinymon. The rest is well know : I cannot sleep without having coded something in my day :) - Sylvain
Yessss, I had a Vic20 with the memory expansion board. I felt powerful .. ! - egapotz
I adore my 64 (well, I did when I still had one). Man, those were the days. A simpler time for sure. i still find programming to just as fun today as I did then. Thank you Commodore! - Loki Stormbringer
Isn't that just a keyboard, not a computer...? - Coronatus
I can remember poking the built-in character set into sprites (more or less), so I could do some rudimentary game development. Gosh, I was about 14-15 y.o., and I had committed to memory so many addresses to peek and poke without having to use a reference. Prior to getting the Dataset storage device I used to write code and leave it on, hoping no one would mess with it and the power would not go off. Prior to my first computer baseball (and Strat-O-Matic) was everything to me, but the VIC-20 was the start of a new obsession. - Chris Adragna
[+85] [2008-09-19 15:21:05] Alex Fort

A 386DX, when I was about 4. It was state of the art, and cost about $1500 or something stupid..

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Also had a turbo button (didn't know why it existed)

(9) turbo button: at the time the machine was lauched, there were slower machines on the marked and more importantly software build for slower machines. Also because of the commonly used turbo botton, every new customer would want one on his/her new computer. - Per Hornshøj-Schierbeck
I had one almost exactly like that one :') - ramayac
Wtf, exactly the same case as the one my dad had in like '91. 386DX-25. - Timbo
(22) haha, we used to sell computers back in the 386/486 days and we HAD TO HAVE cases with a turbo button and a turbo MHz display ... the only thing the TURBO button did was changing the MHz display but the costumers were happy! :) - steffenj
Ah yes, took a 386 DX--TURBO BABY!--to Packard Bell, purchased at FedCo (were you in So Calif in the 1980s and just went "OH Yeah"?) - micahwittman
I had forgot the Turbo button. OK, the next machine I build will have to have on one on it. :) - WolfmanDragon
(9) This was your first PC?! Dude, I'm old. - ctacke
(1) My first PC (not computer) was a 486 Dx2-66, with turbo button. I was shocked at how fast Doom was when turbo was enabled. - peacedog
(1) turbo button: when cpu/bus frequency settings were "jumper" based, it was possible to place the turbo button on one of them and actually overclock your pc with this magic button. - MatthieuP
Ouch. Begining to show my age I guess. - asp316
I started programming on something very similar. Good 'ol 386... a spectacle of graphics & sound. - Steve Wortham
(1) @Hojou, from university: turbo button was invented cause of lack of synchronization between CPU and peripheral equipment frequencies (if i remember correct). Backward compability. - Arnis L.
(2) @Arnis: Mostly the backward compability. The only reason to turn off the turbo was to clock the CPU down for programs written when 33Mhz was still not even a dream. Running a game designed for 4.77Mhz wasn't always fun :-) - Fredrik
This was my second computer. Before this was a 286 12Mhz. - BacMan
(2) this one even has a cd-rom, very modern :-) - bandi
No way this is a 386 of the era. It has a CD ROM drive for Pete's sake!!!! No way. It would cost more than the complete machine. And it should be from Plextor. - Robert Koritnik
It's an early 486 but nothing fresher: The Mhz display has only 2 digits. - Pekka
386/2mb ram was my first, too :) Killed windows 3.11 about a bazillion times (and i keep counting). Later, we upgraded to 486/4mb or so, which was really expensive. Nowadays, my 3ghz quad with 4gb ram was only 500€, which makes me kind of happy and sad at the same time. Crazy world! - atamanroman
[+84] [2008-09-19 15:20:28] Martin


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Yes! (Check out my profile...i have a "Sinclair ZX-81 BASIC Programmer" badge. You can have one too.) - Stu Thompson
Mine had a 16K memory extension... hot machine, great keyboard ;-) - ThatBloke
I had the 16km ram extension too attached with velcro - and a funky rubber keyboard that kept peeling off. - Martin
I built mine from the kit! But I screwed it up and had to send it back to be fixed for $20. - Mike Powell
Ah yes, this is where I learnt to touch type. - dajobe
Ummm, is it just me, or does that thing not have a space bar? I'm sure it was fun, but yikes! - Matt
The space bar is the normal sized key in the right corner. It is not so weird when it is your first keyboard, seriously :) - Stu Thompson
Ahh, I remember when Dad brought one of these home, and showed me how to write a little etch-a-sketch program. Then how to fix it so the cursor would jump onto the other side of the screen when you went off the edge. It was AWESOME. - Daniel Earwicker
I eventually glued the memory expansion in place. What a ridiculous design - you could barely breath for fear of wobbling it! Clive Sinclair - genius! - Stewart
This was also the first computer that I ever over-clocked. It didn't take long to burn out... - Stewart
(10) It even had intellisense!!! - Chris Needham
earwicker: Your dad sounds so cool! Yes this was my first too. - Preet Sangha
racing games in 1K - tell that to the kids and they don't believe you - MrTelly
Spent six months with a whooping 1KB, then I had my brother buy the 16KB extension. Then we fought and he took back his extension. Lesson learnt: always buy memory on your own. - Yann Schwartz
Lads and Laddettes - Programming doesn't need colour. Spectrum was just personal arcade machine made for jumping barrels. - Steve Perks
built it from the kit and worked first time. Ran hot especially with the 16k pack so my Dad made a stand/plinth with a cutout below the heatsink and you could leave a little battery fan running beside it to help cooling. - Kevin
I technically wrote my first ever commercial software on a ZX81 when I was a school kid. It was a 1K game that I sent to a magazine and ended up being published in a book (one of those 50 best ZX81 listings books by Tim Hartnel) - Dan Diplo
This was my first computer, I learned so much on it and yet it seems almost unusably small these days. yay I'm vote 81 on the ZX81. Well, it amused me :) - John Burton
[+84] [2008-09-19 15:35:51] Paul Reiners

Amiga 500! With BASIC!! alt text

(1) SWEET memories. Too bad Commodore couldn't market the machine. Otherwise, I think it would have more marketshare than Macs do. - Troy DeMonbreun
I'd forgotten what a good looking machine the old Amiga was. Yeah, it's a shame it never made it. The machine architecture was insanely good! 7Mhz CPU and 512K RAM - wow we've come a long way.. - Jonathan Webb
Yeah those were the days. Of course, mine would crash several times a day even while idling. Remember guru meditations? - Gabriel Ross
I wished current operating systems learned something from the Amiga OS. Remember how you could alias the drive and when you referenced the name it would ask to mount it if it wasn't mounted. Multi-tasking OS on a 800k floppy with room to spare. - bruceatk
Guru Meditations? Oh yeah and reading Mapping The Amiga to find out why it crashed while waiting for the machine to reboot. Are today's computers as much fun? - Jonathan Webb
I still have mine in the attic! - Aardvark
ATARI rulez! No, just kidding :-) The AMIGA was a great machine. ATARI users were always envious about the graphics and sound engine. - Johannes Hädrich
(2) I still have mine in the lounge room under the TV. About once a year I pull it out and play a bit of Speedball 2, Supercars 2, and SWIV. I've got about 100 floppies with games on them. I love this computer. - Stewart Johnson
Loved mine to bits. still have it in fact. the killing game show and anything made by psygnosis was the nuts :) - geocoin
It was an Amiga 500, but I had no idea what BASIC was :-) I used it only to play games. - haarrrgh
I first played Prince of Persia on this one... I remember extraordinary graphics and sounds! pfeeww... old times.... - RVeur23
Adventure games on 10+ floppies, good times. - GvS
I started learning C on that awesome machine by creating a text graphics adventure game. - lothar
If memory serves me correctly then amiga basic was written by microsoft. - Dan Sydner
I remember my first encounter with the 500. I was 3 or 4 and my cousins had one. I was a bit young for programming, but I loved the games and it gave me basic typing skills at a very early age. - Kieran Hall
I remember those days that we were composing music on NoiseTracker with only 4 channels. Today we have at least 32 channels on a PC, but not that spirit. Those were the days... - Burak Erdem
[+75] [2008-09-19 15:22:48] Bill the Lizard

TI-99 4a [1]

It had a crusty old TI-BASIC interpreter and you had to save programs on audio cassettes. I still remember how awesome it felt the first time I got that to actually work!

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That's what I started on too! And I remember having to be very careful where you started the cassette. If you started playing back the cassette in the wrong place, it wouldn't load correctly. Ahhh... the good old days. - Kevin
Do you know that the BASIC program to save to tape is smaller in RAM than the program to load from the tape? Eventually, you can't retrieve your program. - darron
The out of memory thing was fun though, it did AWESOME stuff when that happens. It had a green on the bottom third of the screen, light blue on top, a beautifully shaded red bar in 'sky', and the font was squashed like you typed into the distance on a field. Possibly the best graphics it could do. - darron
I remember these being cartridge driven rather than tape driven. The cartridges looked to me the same as Atari games (or later Nintendo) with a bunch of leads on a circuit-board. My dad worked for TI at the time & we programmed simple animations & stuff in Logo - 3rd grade. - Isaac Dealey
The TI 99-4a had a built-in cartridge slot, AND a dedicated cassette drive port. (and many other options available for the breakout expansion chassis) - Matt Kane
@mkb: Unfortunately for me, I didn't have any cartridges for the cartridge slot. I got my system secondhand, and I didn't even find out until years later that there were many games released for the TI 99-4A on cartridge. - Bill the Lizard
My first "real program" was a Morse code practice tool for one of these. - JasonFruit
I wrote an INFOCOM-style adventure game with a VERY few graphics, and a lame English-language parser. I remember thinking how AWESOME it was the first time I ran out of memory. - mmc
speech synthesizer... Parsec, munch man ti-runner, etc. - Tim
Did any of you have a TI-99/4 (before the TI-99/4A)? Or did you wait until it was super cheap? - Nosredna
@Nosredna: I got my TI-99/4A super super cheap second-hand after it had been out for awhile. - Bill the Lizard
My second-ever computer - I bought it super-cheap when new, then TI decided to stop selling them one month later! I think the TI was the only home computer that came with the option to control two tape decks simlutaneously. - Mark Bannister
[+69] [2008-09-19 15:19:53] zigdon

Apple ][+ - learned BASIC, then taught myself assembly.

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Hey, that's an Apple III, not a II+. - zigdon
Looks more like an Apple II+ CPU with an Apple III monitor. - codebunny
Yes, I edited the picture to show an apple ][. Didn't notice it was an Apple III monitor though. - zigdon
I learned Applesoft BASIC, then 6502 machine language from the monitor. And, Integer BASIC, USCD Pascal, Graforth, assembly and maybe some others. - Mark Stock
Oh I loved monitor mode and 6502 and stuck with that until I learned C years later. - John Fricker
i also had a Profile hard drive - with an enormous 5MB of storage, it cost $5K and was the size of two loaves of WonderBread side-by-side. - Steven A. Lowe
Rocky's Boots! Robot Odyssey! That was an amazing machine. - dmo
I loved my apple 2+, that's how I got into bbsing. - crosenblum
This was my first computer as well. - DanM
Logo! Basic! ProDOS! Ah, those were the days! - cwallenpoole
[+64] [2008-09-19 15:23:31] Don

BBC - awesome machine!

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In particular, I remember BBC Basic's inline 6502 assember which used a for-next loop to provide multi-pass assembly. - vextasy
Ah, the fights with my brother in order to play Elite on our BBC B.. 3D graphics on a machine with no multiply and divide instructions. Braben is a real genius! - Jonathan Webb
Don't forget Ian Bell. He was responsible for the 3D stuff. - slim
@slim: Thanks for reminding me. That's a great link too! :-) - Jonathan Webb
I remember the weird sounds that came out of the tape deck that you used to load programs into the BBC computer. - Benjol
(2) And the way the machine would pause the cassette player during loading which ended up stretching the tape so that it stopped working. Finding programs on a 90-minute cassette was a pain as well. - Jonathan Webb
I remember borrowing books about basic programming from the local library and dutifully transcribing the code, with little idea what it actually meant. If it didn't run, my debugging didn't extend much beyond putting a REM statement at the start of each failing line. - Don
Though it was a Commodore PET 3032 that I really cut my teeth on, it was the BBC Micro that really triggered an explosion of enthusiasm for me. I've still got two in the loft, a BBC B in a Viglen split case and a Master complete with Z80 second processor. I love 'em! - Steve Morgan
They had these in my school. We learned to graph math functions on them. - Stewart Johnson
Last year, at school, we had to program this piece of machinery. Had quite the time with it :-) even though I didn't touch the real machine (we used ). Ended up implementing a simple circle drawing algorithm which also used the multi-pass vextasy describes. - Jasper Bekkers
Not my first home computer, but it was the one I learned how to program on, as it had a half-decent BASIC interpreter. I had a Spectrum and later a C64 but their BASICs were too limited and I was never very good at translating large conditionals and subroutines to the GOTOs and GOSUBs that were available on those models. - finnw
My mum was a teacher in the 80's and got take home the Model B in the summer break (at my insistence!). Best summer holiday ever was playing Elite on a proper monitor with a floppy drive... - Dan Diplo
[+58] [2008-09-19 15:45:49] micahwittman

Not programmable (I guess you could hack the ROM), but I distinctly remember the a-ha moment on groking division [1] while holding the Little Professor in my hand.

                                               Little Professor

Huh, I just discovered it's featured on The National Museum of American History website.


(6) I had one of these! Thanks for the nostalgia moment - Graeme Perrow
Crap! I forgot all about that little thing. Thanks for the reminder! - Vincent McNabb
My brother had one of those! It would make an interesting 'circuit bent' project for music. - Jonathan Webb
Oh, wow...I remember this thing. Totally forgot about it... - Stu Thompson
Glad to know we were all under the auspicious tutelage of L. Professor. --Thank you for the stopping to comment. - micahwittman
Holy crap, I remember this thing! The buttons weren't attached at the bottom so you could stick your fingernail underneath the bottom and tear the button off! But you could still push it with your fingernail from the little button remnant that was left at the top! Yes, I did abuse toys. - Matt Gregory
More details on "Little Professor" (including device internals, product packaging) <>; - micahwittman
Damn I have spent many hours with that!! - mslot
(8) "while holding the Little Professor in my hand." I'm surprised you haven't gone blind. - Daniel Earwicker
I used mine for at least a year. Then I took it apart. - Barry Brown
OMG. I had one of those! Completely, totally forgot about it. - benjismith
(3) +1 for gratuitous wikipedia link. "Ooooh, so that's what division is." - notJim
[+52] [2008-09-19 15:43:57] Milner

TRS-80 [1], I believe, was one of the first I ever got to use (as a very small child). The first one I actually programmed on was an Apple IIgs [2]. I prgrammed all sorts of stuff in Apple BASIC, and used to run programs that were printed in a computer magazine (can't remember the name of it). That did it for me, though it took a lot of years (college) before I actually dove into computers head first.

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I still have the old IIgs sitting around some where. I'm tempted to see if it still works!


I couldn't afford the fancy model with 16K or numeric keypad, so (eventually) found TRS-80 magazine and ended up hacking the hardware instead. That mag also led me to the lowercase mod, which was very nice. - Huntrods
(1) I remember when my dad brought home this computer! I was 5 and it was the most fun thing ever! We started with the tape player and was THRILLED when they came out with the floppy drive!!! Ahhh... Good Times... - JFV
Along with our TRS-80 my dad bought an old 110 teletype to be a printer. At 110 baud it was easy to send it data via the cassette port. But it was so darn loud - I ended up 'recording' 110 baud data to tape and playing it back into the teletype at night. My first experience spooling! - n8wrl
'twas the model III for me. dual floppy drives! 48K ram!! - glenn jackman
ok, here's an SO question - how do I hack TRS-DOS so that it will believe me when I tell it the year is anything later than 1987? =P - JustJeff
I had to use these damn things at school. They certainly made me appreciate my Commodore 64. - Damien
(1) Used to call these TRASH-80 because it was made so cheaply :-) - DJ
We had one of these in a cupboard in our house, bit it didn't work, so I can't really count it as my first computer. Still took it apart in a destructive way throughout my childhood. - optician
+1 because there's "Star Trek" on the screen. - rwmnau
I had the TRS-80 Model I, with 4k of ram and a cassette drive. No expansion interface for me! I went on to own a TI99 4A, Sinclair ZX1000, Apple ][+, Apple IIgs, many pcs and now I'm comfortably back on an iMac. - Jeff Paquette
Ah TRS-80. I had the model with the cartridge slot on the side and I could never get it to read tapes, so I just had the one cart of some really generic baseball game. It was more fun to watch the computer play itself than play that game. I'll never forgive my dad for making me throw it away when the audio jack stopped working! - SoloBold
My first home computer was a TRS-80 manual. I never got the actual machine but it was enough to get me hooked! :) - Len Holgate
[+48] [2008-09-19 15:21:39] Chris Upchurch

Apple IIe, programming in BASIC, of course.

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I 'moved up' to programming in SuperPilot - Simon Munro
This was my second computer, after the ZX81. My setup looked exactly like the picture! - Barry Brown
Programming BASIC? But which one? Applesoft BASIC (yay!) or Integer BASIC (boo!) - Beska
My dad had this as his first computer (ever) and I taught myself Applesoft BASIC on there. It had Green on Black monitor too. - Brett Rigby
First computer, learned Apple then QBasic. - Kris.Mitchell
[+46] [2008-09-19 20:26:24] Jon Schneider

The IBM PC model 5150 -- the current Wikipedia poster child [1] for all IBM PCs!

IBM PC model 5150

My Dad brought this home from his job at IBM when I was about 4 or 5 years old. Specs of the 5150 that we had:

Like other machines of the time, the 5150 came with BASIC on the ROM image; the machine would boot to the BASIC development environment if there was no floppy in the A: drive. You couldn't save your programs, though, unless you booted to a DOS diskette (DOS 2.0!) and ran BASIC from there.

By the time I was 6, I was spending hours and hours programming on this thing! F1=List, F2=Run, F3=Load, F4=Save...

Dad eventually added a 2400 baud modem to the machine -- I was in 3rd grade at the time, so around 1985 -- and I logged onto my first BBS [3] from this machine, too.


Funny it took this long to turn up the classic IBM PC. Maybe the price tag stopped it being popular. - Richard Morgan
I was young at the time, so this may be unreliable, but yes, I seem to recall my Dad mentioning that the price tag on this machine (circa 1982) was around $2000. And that was in 1982 dollars! Hopefully my Dad, working for IBM as he did (and still does today!), got some kind of discount... :-) - Jon Schneider
(2) This was also my first, minus the CGA display (mine was monochrome text only)... man, I sure miss that keyboard though. They don't click like that anymore. :) - David Crow
(1) I learned GW-BASIC on this bad boy in 1985. Thank you Eastman Kodak for letting my father bring this home for me to use! - Scott Alan Miller
Never knew what "del" actually meant until a week or so after hitting Enter. - random
(1) > (A: is the one on the left) < I can't believe you had to type that. It must be a sign of the times. Or I must be getting old. Or both. - Euro Micelli
(1) I grew up with an XT (5160) ... I agree about the keyboard - dassouki
Don't you mean EGA? CGA had only 4 colours, not 16. - finnw
the oldest one I worked with :) - modosansreves
@finnw: Double-checked, apparently my recollection was correct: CGA supported 4-bit color, so 16 colors. - Jon Schneider
Not my first, by a long shot, but I had one of these. In fact, I still have the keyboard. I only wish I could find an adapter that would allow me to use it on a modern machine. CLICK, CLICK, CLACK! - BoltBait
Technically, my first was an IBM-clone 8086 2.33Mhz w/Turbo (4.67Mhz button/overheat), CGA, 640KB of ram, 10 MB HDD (which I used dos debug on to get another 1.1 MB out of it). - eduncan911
(1) That was the second computer I used at work and the first pc (used a mainframe before this).And Lotus 123 was wonderful as we had been hand creating and calculating spreadsheets that had thousands of entries. - HLGEM
[+46] [2008-09-19 20:46:24] Ashley Davis

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(10) As crazy as it may sound I actually think I was already programming basic on my C64, before I ever touched an abacus. - Robert Gould
(1) i think i still haven't touched an abacus.. - Claudiu
[+42] [2008-09-19 16:07:59] user13276

Atari 800 XL!! --yeah, I'm getting sentimental too... sad... :)

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Wow that was the first computer in my house, when i was a kid I remember my brother teaching me very basic programming, making a loop that would print "You are a pig" over and over in fancy patterns, we didnt have the disk drive, and I vaguely remember stuffing a fairy cake in the cartridge slot - community_owned
I still have this somewhere with a bunch of floppies. Never had any cartridge though. - shoosh
Awh. Makes you nostalgic huh. - _ande_turner_
my parents got me the disk drive - I remember obsessing over the D.O.S. manual.... thinking about all the programming possibilities now that I didn't have to preset the location on the tape drive to load the program that I wanted........ - user13276
I had the 600XL first, then upgraded to the 800XL -- 32k ram to 64k ram :) - AdamBT
Ah, the memories... Where is that blue screen with the word READY? - David Rabinowitz
This was actually my second computer (TI-99 4/A was the first), but I loved this thing!! - Coding Gorilla
[+42] [2008-09-19 19:45:07] Jeremy Banks

Look ma, it's a picature!

I remember seeing lineups of people in computer stores, waiting to sit down in front of this new computer and try out this new-fangled "mouse" ... - Paul Lalonde
Still one of the best computers ever made…perhaps. - Will Robertson
My boss called it an electronic etch-a-sketch. - dacracot
Yes, but how many etch-a-sketches have the signatures of all of the designers embossed inside the case? :-) - RobH
My first was a 512K (400K Floppies). The memories. - bendin
@bendin Same here. - Adam Jaskiewicz
got one of these after the TI-99. pricey - Tim
amazing that the OS was only 64k..ish ( - asp316
I still have it and it work fine !... i got the better 800k version ! wow - marc-andre menard
Loved these old tings. More for the old shareware games than programming... I still remember the old boot sound on those things. There's something very relaxing about it. Does anyone else hold a soft spot for System 6, or is it just me? - SoloBold
(1) I was frustrated with the Mac, I couldn't figure out how to program it. Commodore 64 I just had to turn on. But this thing? I figured BASIC had to be in there somewhere... but that's before I knew there were other computer languages! - Qwertie
I hate these with all of my being... they littered our public school system destroying student's interests in computing - ccook
[+34] [2008-09-19 15:21:57] Geoffrey Chetwood

TRS-80 Color Computer II

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That's a TRS-80 model I in the picture, not a color computer. - Andrew
Have you seen the mocha emulator? It's a full color computer 2 emulator with a bunch of ROMs, written as a java applet. Brings back a lot of memories. url: - Guy Starbuck
Fixed the picture now - Tall Jeff
(1) Hell yeah! I miss my Trash80 CoCo2. - vfilby
Also the first computer I ever programmed. - mgroves
[+34] [2008-09-23 13:01:42] levik

Mine was a portable :)

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I still have mine :) - Callum Rogers
[+25] [2008-09-19 18:18:16] DanWoolston

ZX80! still have it. still works.

(2) As I started with a ZX81, the ZX80 was a kind of legendary lost ancestor thing. I never even saw a picture of one until about 1984, I think. Was it basically like a ZX81 but permanently in 'FAST' mode so the display stopped working whenever it had to do anything? - Daniel Earwicker
(2) It was great, it's 1K RAM was shared between program and display (which was a variable-length "string" with end-line characters - you could see the end of your display disappear when you used too much memory. - paxdiablo
Of course, I had 2K which was the same memory chip piggybacked on the current one with the chip-select pin bent out and soldered elsewhere via added circuitry. We were "real men" in those days, not afraid of a little soldering. - paxdiablo
They're also worth a bucketload on eBay, I believe. - paxdiablo
I'm sorry to say I'm partly responsible for the rarity of these, having destroyed one with an inept DIY repair job. - finnw
@Earwicker: FAST mode, yes, although I did see some code that emulated SLOW mode. - Charles Stewart
Actually, the original ZX80 came with a 4K ROM - you could upgrade to the equivalent of a fast mode-only ZX81 by buying an 8K ROM. My first computer was a second hand ZX80 with the 8K ROM already installed - I subsequently bought a small piece of circuitry (from a place called Compshop, as I recall) that added SLOW mode. - Mark Bannister
I sold mine to a cousin, wish I'd kept it. I have my ZX81... - Len Holgate
[+24] [2008-09-19 15:56:56] KPexEA

Commodore Pet Basic 4.0, 32K ram and a tape drive, this was back in 1981.

I wrote a version of Defender on it ( called Paladin ) in 13k of hand coded 6502 using the hex editor since the assember required a disk drive and I didn't get one of those for another year.


I started on this as well, back when I was 7 years old. The other school kids would be outside having fun on lunch and recess, whereas I would be having my fun in the library writing quiz games on the PET. - mattlant
My uncle had one of those. First time I ever touched a computer. Brings back memories. - Jonathan Webb
Mine too. I still have it. It is a wonderful machine. - Grant Johnson
As I commented on the C-64, check out an emulator like I had a Pet at school, and then my friend got the C-64 at home. They kept us out of trouble. - Don Kirkby
wow - hardcore :) - reefnet_alex
(1) Dude, the Commodore Pets we had in school (would be 1977, I guess) only had 1k of RAM. We did have one upgraded model with 4k! Such luxury. - Brad Wilson
This was the first computer that I ever saw programmed. My dad wrote a little BASIC app that did some simple geometric shapes on it and I was hooked c. 1980. - Scott Alan Miller
I never owned one of these, but it is the first computer that I ever used. I typed in a BASIC program from the manual and spent the afternoon modifying it. It totally sparked my interest in programming and I quickly bought a TRS-80 Model I to continue. - BoltBait
Does anyone remember the game "Lawnmower" ? I'm pretty sure it was for the Pet... perhaps for Commodore 64. - MrDatabase
I had an earlier model with small keyboard and 8KB RAM, which was my main computer from 1980 to 1983. Some time later I still used it as a terminal for my next one (a 64KB CP/M machine). - starblue
We had these in school. I discovered that you could do cool tricks by printing control codes. The other kids never worked out why my machine was in lower case and theirs where all in upper case! - Mike Sutton
We had one of those at school (early 80's). My first big disappointment with computer programming was learning that PET Basic wouldn't run on my ZX81.... - Dan Diplo
(1) This was the one where you could poke a value into the CRT controller that would completely stop the raster scan, leaving the beam parked dead center on the screen, making an INTENSE green spot that would quickly burn a permanent mark on the screen. - JustJeff
[+23] [2008-09-19 19:51:46] bcash

My first was the Apple IIc [1]. This was arguably Apple's earliest aesthetic device, so I figured it needed its own answer.

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Ah, my second computer....after the zx-81 - Stu Thompson
My first real computer. I eventually had dual 3.5inch floppies on this bad boy. That coupled with the built in 5.25 drive was almost as good as a HDD (not). I learned to program modifing BBS software in BASIC (TProBBS). - Aardvark
Family had one of these as a 'portable' to take when we moved to the UK in 1986. i think it still exists, and there are several disks of games like diamond mine and one-on-one - geocoin
My first computer as well! An unexpected Christmas gift (after I'd expressed interest but told my parents I knew they were too expensive so I wasn't expecting to get one any time soon). Best. Christmas. Evar. - peacedog
(2) I still have mine and it still works. That little beast is what I taught myself to program on. (Gotta love learning to code with only a list of keywords) - Matthew Whited
(1) I wrote more lines of BASIC on this little beauty than I can remember. They were mostly failed attempts to write text-based adventure games. - Adam McKee
Was mine too. I remember playing hours worth of Lemonade Stand, Conan and Moon Patrol on this thing like crazy. I think I still have it somewhere at the parents house. Wonder if it still works. (H.E.R.O. got alot of play time too). - user16208
(1) Forgot about space quarks..can't forget about that... - user16208
[+22] [2008-09-19 19:39:54] Johannes Hädrich

The great ATARI 1040 STF [1] with 1 MB RAM and the razor sharp SM 124 Monitor.

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My first programming environment was GFA Basic [2], a really impressive Basic Interpreter with procedural concepts.



Loved my ST and GFA Basic. You couldn't get more productive than that. - bruceatk
totally agree ;-) - Johannes Hädrich
Still have one and the my orginal GFA Basic books - 1.01pm
With a SCSI hard drive and the MagiX replacement OS, it was super quick and a joy to use! - Nelson
I had a 1040 STE, and started coding with Omikron Basic when I was 10 years old... I probably still have the book somewhere ;) - Thomas Levesque
[+22] [2008-09-19 15:22:44] Francis Beaudet

TRS-80 Color Computer [1] First edition with the chiclets keyboard.

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mine had an impressive 16k of memory. I used the cartrigde to learn ascii so that I could build better/fast games. - osp70
Me too -- my dad upgraded the RAM to 64k for $400. Have you seen the coco emulator? It's a full color computer 2 emulator with a bunch of ROMs, written as a java applet. Brings back a lot of memories. url: - Guy Starbuck
Mine had no external storage. It was a hand-me-down from some neighbours that saw I had an interest in computing. Every time I wanted to play a game I had to copy the BASIC from a book or magazine. - mlambie
while i had a zx-81, my best friend had one of these. it was fun too. - Stu Thompson
Had one with the multipack expansion and dungeons of dagorath cart - 1.01pm
My dad taught me to program on this machine. He'd read out BASIC from magazines, and I'd type it in, and we'd switch up. One of the first games we copied was called "Crash". A little block in a maze you had to move through without hitting other blocks on the sides of the walls. I learned to modify things like the maze, the speed of the "car" and change the sounds. Awesome. - Richard Hein
@Guy Starbuck : My dad did too! I found the instruction booklet for soldering the chips to the board when I was about 18 and had a good laugh. - CptSkippy
@Richard - early pair programming. =P - Erik Forbes
[+19] [2008-09-19 15:20:00] JeeBee

Amstrad CPC 464

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Did you have a favourite game? Minder? - Joe R
I don't remember any of the games, but I used to love playing on this machine. I'd type in the long BASIC listings from the back of Amstrad magazine to play games and stuff. This is the machine that got me into computers. I had a friend with a CPC6128 -- I was so jealous! - Stewart Johnson
BEST. MACHINE. EVA. Mine was a green screen no less. - KiwiBastard
I had one of these, but I was always shocked by how slow the BASIC was. Much slower than the BBC Computer. No idea if it was the chip or the software. - Daniel Earwicker
Locomotive BASIC was faster than many others though! I think the large screen memory and complex display layout made it appear slower. Probably also why tools like the Laser BASIC compiler appeared (and Sprites Alive, etc). - JeeBee
Had one with a green screen too. - dwo
[+19] [2008-09-19 15:25:26] Ludvig A Norin

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Osborne 1 [1], running CP/M. I learned BASIC, Pascal and DBase programming on that one! Sweet memories... all my friends had Commodore C64:s, but I had a real computer with no graphics capabilities and no games.


That is awesome, we have one of those sitting in storage still. We put it on display at our last training day to show the advancement of tech. - osp70
I wish I had it still. My older brother took it, and gave it away years ago. By the way, on the screen you can see the help screen of WordStar! - Ludvig A Norin
I still have mine but haven't tried to boot it in years. - David G
(3) And, it's portable! lol - Chris Pietschmann
(1) Ah! I borrowed one of these whan I was 14 years old. It had one floppy drive and one 300 baud modem. My mother asked me why I connected the "thing" to the phone, and my excuse was that it used power from it. Was a sad day for me when the phone bill came... :-) - Eigir
One of these was donated to a local college. We decided to plug it in and see if it still worked. The screen turned on and it seemed to be working ok, although after about 3 seconds smoke started to come out of it so we decided to turn it off at this point. - Callum
(4) that thing looks like some military missile launching device - MAD9
missile commander .....launching 1..2...3... go - crosenblum
[+18] [2008-09-19 19:17:47] Cosma Colanicchia

Amiga 1000, the first Amiga home computer.. hey, I had the expansion to 512KB of RAM! :D

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I had only wished to have an Amiga when I was young... - spoulson
(1) I still have one. Still works. - Mark T
Mine works too. The 512KB expansion still works as does the second floppy drive. DeluxePaint! Faery Tale Adventure! Artic Fox! Those were the days. I learned AmigaBASIC and Aztec C on this machine. - Scott Alan Miller
If you open up the case, all the signatures of the design team are molded into the plastic. - Joseph
I still have three of those, all working ! Not my first home computer but I just love them. - boxofrats
This was my first one too. Waited a while for it - think I got one of the first ones sold in the state where I lived. - Anon
(1) It's not even funny how far ahead of the PC the Amiga 1000 was at the time. - Neil N
Defender of the Crown -- best game ever! - San Jacinto
[+16] [2008-09-19 15:26:35] Cameron MacFarland

Amstrad CPC 6128 [1] Similar to the 464, but had twice the memory (128Kb!) which was paged because an 8-bit processor can only address 64Kb at a time.

Amstrad CPC 6128

Also it came with a 3" floppy drive instead of a tape drive.

No, not 3.5", 3"

Amstrad 3 inch floppy disk


I had a green screen 464 but saved up to buy an external disk drive which took these 3" disks - it was my pride and joy :) - Macka
I had a 6128 and seem to remember one of the first things I did was following the manual's instructions regarding the format command - on the CPM (operating system) disks. I never did replace them... - Alistair Knock
I also had one, learned my first English by reading and typing in programs when I ran out of games to play with. Then a year later we started learning English in school and I finally understood what the hell 'if' meant. - Andrioid
I talked my dad into getting one of these so I could program it. I convinced him it was capable of doing his accounts. - justinhj
Aww I haven't see a floppy like that in years! Here's to memories of changing the border colour of the screen in the first program I wrote in BASIC... - Kieran Benton
I have still mine (stored in the attic). I'm sure it still works fine. - Anthony
What about using this nice image… ? - Wernight
[+16] [2008-09-19 15:23:02] pdavis

Commodore 128!

Commodore 128

OMG! i never knew they did it in a base-station + kbd format. thought it was an all in one a-la Amiga 500. - geocoin
Oh yeah! I hoped it was mentioned in this thread! - furtelwart
(3) How I wanted one of these! - Nathan Fellman
This one was weird-ass computer. - Nosredna
That was my first computer. I once spent 4 days in the summer after grade 5 painstakingly copying code out of a series of magazines, only to see a red circle bounce once across the screen. - S.Jones
This was actually my second computer (the 128D to be precise), but the first one I bought myself. - Daryl Hanson
[+15] [2008-09-20 15:44:01] Jazz

I started programming on the HP-48S, in RPL (Reverse Polish Lisp) that made me love Forth and Lisp.


Nice picture!! That brings back memories... - TonyOssa
I have an emulator for this thing ... and I still use it and LOVE it! Rock on HP48SX! - cplotts
Nice, I had one of these in middle school and remember the oddness of RPL. - qstarin
[+13] [2008-09-20 14:42:48] community_owned

The mighty Acorn Electron, purchased from Boots the Chemists because my parents could not afford the BBC Micro that I really wanted. It allowed me to do my school computer club homework at home though. My "monitor" was a 14" black and white TV with a rotary tuning knob. It would slowly drift off frequency and need tweaking back on to the correct channel periodically. "Elite" seemed to take forever to load but was one of the most awesome games ever.

Acorn Electron on Wikipedia [1]


Did you ever have unofficial competitions to see who could type in the most impressive BASIC programs on the display computers in Boots? - Jonathan Webb
My first and second computer. I once wrote a two player game in one line of BASIC. - Tom Hawtin - tackline
I got my first computer, an Electron on my twelfth birthday. I was gutted that didn't get a BBC Model B with its MODE 7 goodness. I had the "plus one" extension that provided joystick and cartridge slot, although the only game I had was frogger, or the AcornSoft equivalent. I got very good at it. - spender
I spent far too much time playing PacMan on this as a child - Matt Lacey
[+13] [2008-09-19 15:27:17] Aardvark

Atari 400

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Bought one of these for my daughter in 1982. This and Star Raiders was a great combo. - bruceatk
(2) SCNR: That thing looks soooo ugly :-) - Nils Pipenbrinck
(1) Without Star Raiders I doubt I would be a software developer today. Seriously. - Aardvark
16K of memory! So much more than my first mainframe -- a 1.4K 1401! - Ken Paul
...and the mainframe was at a local college, that was uphill from my house - BOTH WAYS! the snow! ... carrying a huge stack of punch cards! ;) - Aardvark
(1) Star Raiders is my favorite game of all time. - Nosredna
[+13] [2008-09-19 15:21:27] StuffMaster

Apple IIgs (used). Taught myself basic on it.

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ooh, that image is a woz edition! i will be crying myself to sleep over not having mine anymore - Kris
Hypercard games! - MrDatabase
looks like the link is broken - Nathan Fellman
Ahahah, the "Mac" interface that you load from a floppy disk! Actually it was pretty lame compared to the real Mac. - Qwertie
[+12] [2008-09-19 15:19:51] Gero

IBM Ps1 hehe with 2mb of ram

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Ours had 1mb of ram, and a 30mb hard drive. Looked identical to that though. - Wedge
one of the nicest looking family of PCs - Martlark
(1) 2MB of RAM? You showoff!!! ;) - ivan_ivanovich_ivanoff
Holy f*! I remember that mouse! xD - Arnis L.
It's the peanut! - CptSkippy
[+12] [2008-09-19 16:10:08] bruceatk

Atari 800. $747 - 24k - cassette. Upgraded to 90k floppy $444.00. $250.00 to upgrade RAM to 48k. $200 for 16k RAM module and $50.00 to solder 16k onto the existing 8k board. ( bruceatk [1])

Atari 800
Atari 410 Tape Drive


ANd the memories it provided - priceless - mattlant
Long live Jumpman Jr.! - spoulson
Add a pic of the tape drive and this will be my favorite answer on SO. - Nick
I remember playing Ultima III and IV, on my mates Atari 800.. so sweet. Oh, and Dandy, and MULE... having 4 joystick ports was outstanding. - Scott Ferguson
MULE was a great game ... I remember all the Scott Adams adventures too with fondness - PaulB
[+12] [2008-09-20 09:52:30] Brent.Longborough

Ferranti Mercury

Ferranti Mercury. They didn't have "Home Computers" back then...

(1) wow... fantastic! - ramayac
(2) Beautiful. Reminds me of the Burroughs B5500 I saw in high school, or the IBM 1620 I used in college, then on to the 360 and 1130. - Mike Dunlavey
(1) wow, had look up wikipedia on this one.. it's amazing how far did technology progress in last 50 years. - lubos hasko
(1) 11 people used this as their first computer? But Wikipedia tells me they only sold 19 of them. :) - Robert P
(1) (1) Don't know if 11 votes means 11 users. (2) We had to actually share it with other people. My timeslot was usually 4:30 to 5:00 am on Tuesdays... - Brent.Longborough
[+11] [2008-09-19 15:45:17] Vihung

BBC Micro Model B [1]

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A BBC Micro Model B when I was 7

It had a cassette interface and plugged in to a regular TV

I taught myself Basic on it and then taught myself 6502 assembler.

Some years later we got a word processor (Acornsoft View) ROM installed in it, a floppy drive (double sided, double density, twin floppy drive!), a proper monitor and a dot matrix printer.

It was all the computer I needed for about 10 years


(1) Wish I could vote this higher.... ah chuckie egg.... - thrope
[+11] [2008-09-19 16:46:10] Adam

Commodore 128D /w Epyx Fastload Cartridge


Though I had access to a few Apple ][e's and such before I owned a PC.

[+10] [2008-09-19 17:02:04] hometoast

Mine was the Timex Sinclair 1000


soon after was the TS2068

2k RAM, expandable to 16k! - mbeckish
16K, however, disabled the 2K onboard. When the membrane keypad started to go on ours, my Dad took it apart and put it in a hand-made sheet metal case with an old teletype keyboard on top. Would you believe it worked? I bet he still has it. - JasonFruit
Was that rebranded Zx81? - Dan Diplo
@Dan Diplo: Yes. I think in EU it was ZX81 and in the US, the 1000. - hometoast
[+10] [2008-09-19 19:13:29] Paul Wicks

Zeos 486dx2. 66mhz of screaming raw processing power. It could play doom. Also, it weighed about 40 pounds since the entire case was made out of what seemed like half inch thick steel.

It eventually died (bad power supply), although the 14 inch monitor soldiered on for a few more years before starting on fire and going out in blaze of glory.

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Wow, That was the dream machine my mate had down the road. I was stuck with a 486sx 20 (turbo down to 8mhz) 2mb on board ram. 80meg hard disk I think(ah the days of dblspace) . Upgrades were 4mb of ram (£120 - 1992 ish) sb pro (not the nice sb 16, but better than standard sb for some reason) cdrom - how else could I play rebel assault... - optician
I've had 2 monitors flame out on me. Pretty scary. I had a 386DX-33 and I remember my neighbor got one of these too... I was pretty jealous - snicker
I had one of these buddies (an Acer though)... the dx2 means it was overclocked from 33 mhz. 8mb of ram was pretty impressive back in the day. I remember it costing something like $2500 - jle
To play doom you had to run it in DOS with 8MB, or else you needed 16MB :D - mna
[+9] [2008-09-19 15:38:35] Liam

Commodore Amiga. First home computer to have a dedicated graphics processor (AGA).

Mine was an Amiga 1200, 2MB RAM, 14MHz CPU, 3.5in floppy, no hard drive. I got it in 1992.

I got a demo of AMOS Professional with a magazine. In less than 770KB it provided a BASIC interpreter, editor (with auto-indentation), animation capable paint package, audio editor, 2-pane file manager like FreeCommander, online help and sample programs including a Mandlebrot explorer and a Mario clone. All in 770KB!

Amiga 1200

(2) AMOS! That was a great little development package. - Jonathan Webb
Holy crap, I remeber trying to figure out the seperate bob animation language they had. AMAL, I think it was called. I had the compiler for that as well. Later, I switched to Blitz BASIC. It had inline assembler. Fun times. - Internet Friend
(1) Hey, Francois Lionet has put the AMOS source code online [here][1]. :-) [1]: - Jonathan Webb
Who remembers the easter eggs in the AMOS help system? - Liam
AMOS is still my favourite version of BASIC ever. Shame I discovered it so late (1995 I think, by which time the Amiga was well out of date.) - finnw
[+9] [2008-09-21 06:10:03] Craig Trader


A borrowed copy of Basic BASIC [1], and a pad of paper.

My parents couldn't afford to buy me a computer (I couldn't afford to purchase my own computer until after I'd been programming for 8 years). The local high school didn't get a computer until the following year. The closest computer access for me was a dialup terminal at a public library 20 miles away.

So my first dozen programs were all written out by hand, and then executed on paper...


I'm such a geek for saying: that's cool. Did you ever type in and run those paper programs? - Barry Brown
By the time I had access to a computer, I had graduated to programs that I couldn't run in my head / by hand with pencil and paper. - Craig Trader
[+9] [2008-09-24 00:34:57] ykaganovich

мк-85 [1] мк-85


(1) I trust the "Electronica" name. - Purfideas
This was my first one too, and actually I still use it. Mine is labeled 'CASIO FX-700P' though. - Cees Meijer
[+8] [2008-09-19 19:25:40] Jay

No pics, but mine was a 286 PC, 640K RAM, no hard drive, but it had TWO FLOPPY DRIVES (A, B).

So we used to create a RAM drive on it and load TURBO PASCAL, a fantastic compiler and really a beautiful language to program (Pascal).

I had a 286, and taught myself Q-Basic. That's when I started programming. - Lance Fisher
[+8] [2008-09-19 16:53:47] JoshM

Kaypro II!

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Learned BASIC on this bad boy.

(2) WTF is that?! I wish computers still looked like that! - reefnet_alex
(1) My dad's first computer! We lost TV reception in the entire house every time he turned it on. good times. - bendin
(1) Very cool box. CP/M and a game called 'Ladder' Hooka!!! - n8wrl
Now that brings back some memories - HLGEM
When I was a boy, my uncle (the scientist), would lug this to family events. It was the center of attention for those of us old enough to be allowed to touch it! What was the name of the game with the jumping letter 'P'? - Joshua Berry
The game with the jumping P was "Ladder", a Donkey Kong play-alike, iirc. - JoshM
This was my first computer. I actually programmed on it, in PL/1 no less (and later in C). - Paul Lalonde
[+7] [2008-09-19 15:37:00] community_owned

Colecovision + Adam computer [1]. This thing was inexpensive, came with a cassette drive, printer and Apple BASIC. I was able to upgrade to a Commodore 64 shortly after.



I had one of those. I remember being really good at the Buck Rogers game that came with it... I also did some graphics programming on it. I build a sprite map for the elevator from C64's 'impossible mission' and then hooked up the controller so it could go up and down. Fun times. - Jack Bolding
Buck Rogers! What a great game. I also had the Atari add-on, and a large selection of games for it. Cartrige and cassette based system...totally amazing. - Robert P
Cassette drives ftw :) - crosenblum
[+6] [2008-09-19 15:40:53] community_owned

Dragon 32 With a 5+1/4 drive incuding Sprite Magic! Those were that days.

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I didn't have anything as fancy as a floppy drive, I had a tape machine with the perfect "loading" volume marked in tipex! - Antony Scott
So you were the person who bought the Dragon 32! - Dan Diplo
[+6] [2008-09-19 19:52:24] Dodi

IBM PC Jr with extra floppy drive, extra memory, color monitor, chicklet keyboard and a daisy wheel printer. I was the only person in my dorm with their own PC in 1987.

Image copied from Wikipedia [1].


I was wondering how far I was going to have to scroll through the comments to find this one. I was eight, and my dad was cool enough to spring for the bolt-on 640k memory upgrade and the 300bps internal modem. Ah, memories. - Meredith L. Patterson
While the PC Jr was not the first computer I wrote code on (that honor goes to the original IBM 5150 owned by a friend of mine) it's the first PC that I personally owned and had in the house. I had many "sidecars" for extra RAM, ports, etc. and a replacement keyboard for the original Chiclet. But writing for this machine taught me how to be economical with code. - Bob Mc
The first computer I coded on was a Commodore PET, but the first one I owned was a PCjr. I loved the wireless keyboard! My dad bought this for me, and the rest is history. Literally. - RedFilter
[+6] [2008-09-19 18:57:35] Jonathan Webb

I don't see it here, but a school friend had an old Oric-1 [1]:

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Did anyone else have one?


Was that the one that had various sounds effects such as a gunshot noise built in? - John Topley
@John Topley: I can't recall if it did but seemingly it did have the same sound chip as the Atari ST and other machines. - Jonathan Webb
Oric-I is my first computer ! Oric Atmos is the next. Yes it has sound effects built-in. ping -> magical pink sound zap -> laser zap shoot (?) -> gun - Sake
My first too! It broke when I bumped the table it was sitting on. :( - John McCollum
Ha, hours of fun ! Graphic mode (240x200, 2 colors per 6x1 pixels block) and sound was accessible from the BASIC, a hefty 48Ko to play with, and quite crappy tape storage. In my nostalgia dreams, ORIC1 basic, run by a 6809 CPU and the C64 graphic chip... - Monkey
[+6] [2008-09-20 06:25:31] Chris

The IBM PS/2 [1] owned by my parents (still working to this day).

IBM PS/2 model 30


Oh yeah! I loved that machine. - Paul Nathan
[+6] [2009-07-01 08:25:15] Ledhund

Computer pic

atari 520 stfm

Was the only one at school to have one of these, everyboby else had amiga 500's. I took my first look at code on this one, but couldn't get any of the stuff in a 'type this in and hit run'-book to work so gave up.

It did however teach me to solder, as the neighbour's 2-year-old sat on it, pushing one of the (pipe-ish thing for getting a hole for a screw deeper inside the case) through the keyboard pcb, breaking about 20 connections.

[+5] [2009-06-03 12:37:57] Mohit Nanda

ZX Spectrum 128K

Sinclair ZX Spectrum

The first machine [1] I got my hands on, was in year 1995, a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128. [2] I was just 10 years old and had started my tryst with code.

Tell you, you can't even imagine how HAPPY :) I was, to own a 'PC' (if you may call it) which

But, it was good enough for anyone who has to start learning programming I did and grew along as the PCs around me did too.

First computer is like your first love. You can't just forget it.


Finally found it! This was my first machine too. It was great! - djeidot
[+5] [2008-09-20 22:22:57] Eric Lathrop

I started on a TRS-80 Pocket Computer [1] that my uncle gave me when I was 9 or 10: TRS-80 Pocket Computer I punched in a BASIC slot-machine program from a manual, and edited the source so I could cheat! Those keys were tiny, even for a kid!


I loved this one! My dad brought it home one day when I was in grade 7 and it got me interested in programming. - jgreep
I got mine as a junior in high school. I programmed in the entire periodic table of elements because we could use calculators on our chemistry. I even asked my history teacher if we could use calculators on the test ... she said, "yes" ;D - chefsmiler
[+5] [2008-09-19 19:44:08] Arne Evertsson

Commodore Plus/4

[+5] [2008-09-19 17:34:44] Gudmundur Orn

Amstrad PC 1512 [1]

with two 5.25" floppy drives and a color monitor

It came with MS-DOS and the GEM window system. When I tried to make a backup copy of the GEM floppy, I actually destroyed it by confusing the SOURCE and DESTINATION parameters :-) That was my first WTF moment.

But I didn't find out about programming until I got my next computer, found QBasic and read the help file.


(1) This was my first one too. I started programming with it - typing in assembler copied from a magazine, and the BASIC that was in GEM. - harriyott
+1 Think mine is still lying in a shed at my parents house! - Harry Lime
I had the HD20. 20 whole megabytes of hard drive space. Never gonna fill that bad boy up... Really enjoyed test drive and that old F1 game. - John Oxley
Two floppy drives? That was luxury, ours only had one, but did have a RAM upgrade to 640K My PC1512 was a Christmas present (around 86/7), my father left my mother to draw in the better GEM paint package a Happy Christmas message to me, but after he left the room the program kept giving Abort, Retry, Fail messages and despite her selecting Retry, somehow the paint application got deleted. I do seem to recall that GEM had some form of Basic, and certainly had a turtle as well - I played around with programming that although it was 10 years or so before I did any other programming. - Sliff
Whoah! I had that one, but with a monocrome monitor... my neighbour was the lucky one with a cga color one... Also, my parent bought what here was called a "hard disk card", that is, a hard disk hooked to a controller card, of a size of 40 Mbytes. Dad had to return that in exchange for a 20Mbytes, cos the 40 one, was to noisy to stay at home... hahahaha But I loved the volume knob it had, for playing the games music at a high volume... Maniac Mansion, Mach 3, Double Dragon, IBM Golf, Space Invaders, IBM Alley Cat... Lotus 123 ;) - Andor
A link to a photo: - Andor
[+5] [2008-09-19 15:28:19] px

While not as cool as many above.

Packard Bell 486DX2, 4MB on-board RAM, few months later I upgraded with additional 12MB on three 72 pin simms.

I had the Packard Bell 486SX (no DX or DX2) and it had 2MB, which I had to upgrade to 6MB to run DOOM. At low detail. Good times. - Schnapple
Almost same thing. - Antoine Claval
You were so spoiled.. - jlafay
[+4] [2008-09-19 15:22:32] Ant

Dragon 32.

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(1) Sigh :'( I still have mine... the single piece of hardware that changed my life, I suppose... I was eight years old. - Manrico Corazzi
Officially the worst computer ever made. My mates dad worked on mainframes (Icarus Superbrain anyone?) when we were kids. He bought a Dragon for his son, and managed to persuade them to refund him when he pointed out all the flaws in the thing! - reefnet_alex
Dragon ... but not Naturally Speaking. - micahwittman
Rip off of the TRS-80 Color Computer. And not very subtle either, I think they copied the ROMs and got sued out of business. - U62
[+4] [2008-09-19 15:44:38] community_owned

I had the TI-99-4A and the Extended Basic cartridge. Made a pretty decent Pac-Man knock-off at the time too. I think we even sold some software cassettes of it here and there.

I remember using the sprite animation to create little music videos - I mean if you were going to have a cassette player hooked up to the thing, you might as well pump some music out too!

[+4] [2008-09-19 15:46:11] el_eduardo

Commodore 16... parents did not want to buy me the 64k version... ahh miss those days.

Commodore 16

Ditto - I also had this due to parental units not being willing to shell out for the C64. - Ian Nelson
What, the 64 just wasn't child friendly?:) - johnc
[+4] [2008-09-19 16:53:21] SoloBold

an Apple 2 e

I learned to program on the Apple ][e. AppleSoft BASIC is... is not something I like to think about too much ;)

The Macintosh SE was the one that made me fall in love with computers.

gotta love the full height drives! - geocoin
lol I had 4 of those in my bbsing days :) - crosenblum
[+4] [2008-09-19 16:41:39] Nullczyk

Atari 130XE... with an XC-12 tape drive!

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(1) I was beginning to think I was the only one! I had a floppy drive, though. :) - Bombe
Yep, this was my first, with two 5 1/4" floppy drives, a 1200 baud modem, and a dot matrix printer. - BrianH
[+4] [2008-09-21 17:22:26] Kristin

An old Compaq

I had a Compaq portable myself, two floppies, no hard drive, $3000. Very heavy to carry back and forth to work which I did as we only had something like 5 IBM pcs for 90 of us to share. Still have it inthe closet, hope to sell it an an antique someday. - HLGEM
[+4] [2008-09-22 20:29:20] Steve Paulo

An 8088 PC-XT clone running at something like 4MHz. 640kb RAM, MS-DOS 3.0, and GW-BASIC. Don't believe it had a hard disk, but hey, when you have two bootable 5.25" floppy drives, who needs one!?

I just realized there's no way the machine in question had 640kb of RAM... must have been 64kb... - Steve Paulo
Inves PC 640 X turbo. 2 Floppy 5 1/4'' - 640Kb. - antispam
(1) Yep, I had an 8088 PC-XT clone too. 640KB RAM, no hard disk, two 360KB floppies. 4MHz with the turbo button on, something like 1.4MHz without? 4 colour CGA graphics but only an amber monochrome monitor. Good times. - Kieron
Mine as well---but both floppy drives can't be bootable at the same time, I guess! And if it was 8088, it must be having a turbo button! - Jaywalker
[+4] [2008-09-20 04:55:03] shea241

Timex Sinclair ZX-81 / 1000 With the expansion memory and all

[+4] [2008-09-20 16:39:59] Argalatyr

The HP 41C and synthetic programming [1] - the notion that data and instructions were stored in the same (binary) format was a revelation for me as a teen. Pulling modules to blur that line between data and programs also felt like dark magic.


This was mine too. My brother owned it. I programmed with a friend on it when he was at footy practice. Love the red leds! - Martlark
pic… - Martlark
[+4] [2008-09-19 20:53:02] GvS

Like a lot of Dutch: MSX Philips VG 8020.

I remember one time, I had programmed a fractal (Mandelbrot) in MSX-Basic. After 1 week (!) of calculating I came home from school. My mother told me, she turned off my computer when cleaning the room.

But the first computer I ever used was (naturally) the IBM System 34 (or 36, don't really know, I was only 10 years old). When I was visiting my father at work. After 15 minutes I was able to find the games.

MSX Philips VG 8020

[+4] [2009-08-20 12:27:04] MAD9

The 1st computer in our home was a Z1013, a ZilogZ80 compatible single-board computer made and sold in eastern germany from 1985. It had a 1Mhz processor and 16KB RAM.

Robotron Z1013

[+3] [2009-08-28 14:58:51] Joe

It was a Compaq Portable [1] with an 8086, 20MB HDD, and 2 5 1/4" drives.


[+3] [2009-10-07 22:57:30] pixel

Timex Sinclair ZX81 [1]

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[+3] [2009-10-12 02:05:59] bbg

Vector Four. CPM operating system. Z80 processor. 2 8-inch floppy drives. And Basic, where I got hooked on coding.

Read more about it here [1]

(I see someone listed a Vector One [2], but this one is quite a bit different.)

alt text


[+3] [2009-10-14 20:59:44] The Master Prawn

I got an Acorn Electron in 1993 from my brother in England, who inherited it from a crazy trip to a car boot sale. I leaned how to use a keyboard and write BASIC, getting magazines to get listings for Games. I still have the thing along with an Amiga 600, which I got years later.

alt text

[+3] [2009-10-14 21:20:39] billmcc

My first computer was a Logix Electronic computer.

With a clock frequency of about 0.2 Hz. 8-)

alt text

I got one of these as a hand me down from my cousin. I couldn't remember what it was called. - ScottS
[+3] [2009-08-02 05:28:05] Stephen C

Mine was a Synertek SYM1 6502 development board with (IIRC) 1K ram, a 20 something key membrane keypad and 6 digit LED 'display'.

SYM1 development board

I later expanded to 4K ram, a BASIC ROM, and a keyboard + TV adapter.

[+3] [2008-10-18 18:37:24] Federico Ramponi

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Christmas gift. A little expensive, but worth its cost.

[+3] [2008-09-21 22:38:28] johnc

Dick Smith VZ200 [1], for all the Aussies (and Kiwis, apologies spdenne) out there


Not just Aussies, Kiwis too - Stephen Denne
No offence intended :) - johnc
ohh... we had one of those for a weekend (might have been Easter)... before Dad decided that if we were going to get a computer, it better have a real keyboard (like the IBM's at his work), and not toy rubber keys. - Scott Ferguson
[+3] [2008-09-22 06:33:09] community_owned

HC-90 (with a Z80 microprocessor)
HC-90 computer

not enough keys! How did the typing work? - Martlark
ME TOOOO!!!! I had one too :) - Andrei Rinea
this thing looks awesome. could be a console in the Death Star - MAD9
[+3] [2008-09-21 14:33:10] cschol

Schneider CPC 464

"The Schneider CPC-464 was produced in Germany by Schneider Rundfunkwerke. It was first marketed successfully in Germany, then in France and Spain and maybe other European countries. It was basically the same machine as the Amstrad CPC-64 with a less colorful case and keyboard and some slight hardware differences, like better quality back connectors." ( link [1])

I later even upgraded with a color monitor an external floppy disc and an annoyingly loud printer...

Schneider CPC 464


The Amstrad version (CPC 464) was my first computer, with that same green screen. - Pascal Thivent
[+3] [2008-09-20 19:51:19] Tall Jeff

The KIM-1 based 6502 Microcomputer

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My first (non-minicomputer) and truly in-home. - gbarry
[+3] [2008-09-19 20:01:46] cpm

alt text

The first computer my family owned was the HP 5030, preloaded with Windows 95.

I feel insufficiently old school.

Although, the first computer I used regularly was the Apple IIe's at school. The sales clerk was a bit confused when I said I wanted to buy one of those suckers when my parents said we could get a computer in 1996.

Wow... this reminds me of when a student in a class I was teaching called a Pentium II processor "Really Old"... (about three years ago) - Matthew Whited
wow I remember this machine, mate had one, I hated it.... bloatware wasn't any better back then.. - optician
So this is that computer from The Sims! - iconiK
[+3] [2008-09-19 19:06:26] grigy

Self-made computer Radio-86RK from a russian magazine.

i8080 compatible processor, 32KB of RAM, running Microsoft BASIC.

alt text

[+3] [2008-09-19 15:56:13] epatel

ZX-81 [1]


I had the expansion module, which (I think) gave no less than 16 kilobytes of RAM! - Thomas Padron-McCarthy
[+3] [2008-09-19 15:45:59] James Muscat

BBC Model B - my father managed to cobble a 3.5" floppy drive to it (rather than the then-standard 5.25") and I still remember installing a word processor by physically inserting a microchip! alt text

Was that WORDWISE? The expansion ROMs were a great idea - instant loading! - Jonathan Webb
I still fondly remember typing games (in BASIC) into one of these and then having to go back thru a 'debug' (read find the typos). - Hamish Smith
[+2] [2008-09-19 15:45:16] ShayH

An Amstrad 464 with a green screen and a tape deck.

[+2] [2008-09-19 15:35:51] geocoin

Dad had a Franklin ACE1200 (the Apple ][ clone with double full height 5 1/4" drives)

alt text

which we wrote a BASIC looping program to 'do' my 'homework' (entire class punishment for something trivial) of 100x "I will not yada yada" given by a lunch monitor.

my own first computer was a C64 which i punched a few basic progs from some books into until someone gave me a box of games.... and so endeth my programming life until university!

[+2] [2008-09-19 15:36:54] Tim K

My first computer was the Timex Sinclair ZX81 as a birthday gift in 6th grade and I then purchased the 16 Kb memory module upgrade so that I could load the cassette tape based games that I had also bought with allowance. I remember loading and saving programs to tape and eventually writing a Farm Market Simulator game and playing that with all of my friends in the neighborhood. We'd all crowd around the old B/W television set and watch the random numbers generated for corn, soybeans, cows, and pigs and then we'd all pick how much we'd invest in the items each month.

It was my first introduction to programming and even though I couldn't get my hands wrapped around how the games I played worked, Flight Simulator and Maze, it started me down the technology path and shaped the patience I have for troubleshooting the issues I run into today. Thanks Timex/Sinclair...

[+2] [2008-09-19 15:19:30] Kris Kumler

IBM Model 5120 [1]

I've still got a box of 8" floppies around somewhere.

alt text


Sweet. It looks almost portable! - Chris Farmer
Haha! Yeah, it required two people or a two-wheel dolly to move. - Kris Kumler
you had that thing at home? - Stu Thompson
Yes, my father put it on a large steel drum. It would have broken any table we had. - Kris Kumler
[+2] [2008-09-19 15:19:59] Galwegian

Toshiba MSX 64k

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Man, that picture brings back memories :) - Frans Bouma
I had one of these too, with the external tape drive. Loved it. It's one of the earlier computers I used to learn BASIC programming! - Brett Rigby
[+2] [2008-09-19 15:31:56] WolfmanDragon

An Aquarius [1], it came with 4k of memory! I still have it in storage, just for kicks.

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[+2] [2008-09-19 19:16:22] Smallinov

Tandy RLX 1000

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[+2] [2008-09-19 15:55:47] Internet Friend

I don't yet see an image of...

Spectravideo SVI 728

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Yes, the keyboard is just as terrible as it looks.

(2) I love the placement of the power button. Must have been a joy spending hours writing a good program and going for left shift... boom. - Ludvig A Norin
Thankfully, that's not an actual power button, just an indicator light. It's just that all the buttons on this machine feel like they're floating on jelly. Creaking jelly. - Internet Friend
Given the average keyboard of the era, it actually looks pretty good. - U62
[+2] [2008-09-19 17:26:01] AlanKley

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Zenith/Heathkit Z-100. Came with an 8-bit Intel 8085 that ran CP/M, and a 16-bit Intel 8088 to run MS-DOS or IBM PC/DOS OS's. Got the Amber monitor! Got a student discount from The University of Texas.

Ha! I had one too from Clarkson University. S-100 bus! - John Fricker
[+2] [2008-09-20 22:13:58] DiGi

Didaktik M (ZX Spectrum clone), 1992

Mine was Didaktik Gama :-) - Peter Štibraný
[+2] [2008-09-22 07:12:53] jericho

A 486DX IBM PC Compatible Computer running on Windows 95.. Back then I used it to program in Pascal and C...

[+2] [2008-09-22 07:58:39] Merkin

TRS-80, Scott Adams adventures!

Then on to Commodore Vic20, 64, Atari ST

[+2] [2008-09-19 21:52:02] Mayowa

286SX with a whopping 2Mb RAM or would the Speak&Spell qualify?

[+2] [2008-09-19 20:44:52] reefnet_alex

Like several others here a ZX81 with 16K RAM pack, but I just wanted to add...

I got in such trouble for that...

[+2] [2008-09-20 01:07:17] Svet

Pravetz 8 [1] - Made in Bulgaria:) It's an Apple II clone if you wonder. It was kind of common in Bulgaria back in the days.

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[+2] [2008-09-20 01:51:36] Jason Stevenson

My first was the Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer 3 with 128K of ram!

TRS-80 CoCo 3

You might enjoy "Vcc" tte Color Computer 3 Emulator for Windows - 1.01pm
[+2] [2008-09-20 17:51:57] Knox

alt text The Sol-20 by Processor Technology which was based on the 8080 processor from Intel. I learned assembly language and it had the horrid audio cassette way of saving data. Eventually I got a 2400 baud modem and used that as well.

(Picture from [1])


[+2] [2009-06-03 15:12:10] zvolkov

Programmable microcalculator MK-61

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[+2] [2008-09-22 16:13:33] Phenwoods

A TRS-80 [1]

It had a fantastic 16KB of ram. Later added the Expansion Interface, a box as big as the computer, which increased the memory to a total of 48KB, and allowed you to add a floppy driver.


[+2] [2008-12-22 17:57:19] MatthieuP

Mine was "Alice32" ! French computer :p


That's a beautiful girl! - binOr
OMG, I remember of Alice now! - Pascal Thivent
[+2] [2008-10-04 00:30:09] fredarin

A Nascom 1 of 1978/79


1 MHz Z80, 2 kB RAM of which appr 850 bytes user RAM, 1 kB ROM, RS232, RF out, TTY, PIO lines, 300baud casette, single board uncased.


Z80 machine code + monitor

The Nascom ruled (the earth in the age of dinosaurs). I had a Nascom 2 (the greatest Z80 based machine of all time!). - Tim Ring
[+2] [2009-08-02 05:47:35] benjismith

Franklin Ace 1000

The Franklin Ace 1000

Eventually, Franklin lost a patent infringement lawsuit to Apple, for this fine Apple ][+ clone.

I learned to program BASIC on this guy, waaaaay back in the mid-1980s. My brothers and I used to write text adventure games on it.

[+2] [2009-08-02 06:22:36] Marcos Buarque

Brazilian computer CP 500. MIne was white. Urgh... ugly, but I loved it. alt text

[+2] [2009-08-14 22:39:01] cwap

Amstrad CPC 464! :)

Amstrad pic

All my friends had nintendos and amiga 5/600's at the time - but when my mom came home with one of these bad boys I was sold :)

[+2] [2008-10-14 20:52:18] MrDatabase

alt text

(2) You are not that old, are you? - Andreas Rejbrand
[+2] [2009-07-01 08:17:20] Peter Stuer

My first foray into computers was a HP 41CV [1]. Do not for one moment think this was a mere calculator just because of the form factor.

alt text


This was one awesome calculator... loved it! - Paul Lalonde
[+2] [2010-07-21 06:45:25] Ross

My first computer was PRAVETZ 82 [1]. You may not have heard anything about it. It was a clone ("pirated" copy) of Apple II produced in a former communist country :)

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[+2] [2010-09-18 19:13:49] tcrosley

In 1971 I bought a Kenbak-1 [1], which was declared in 1987 to be the first commercially available personal computer. I had just started working on my MSCS degree, and had taken an assembly language course for the Univac-1108. I wanted to continue writing assembly language at home, and this machine, with its large number of addressing modes (but tiny memory), was fun to learn on. My machine is now in a vintage computer collection [2].

pic of the inside of my Kenbak-1


[+2] [2009-08-16 13:35:25] Kevin Beck

My very first computer was a TRS-80 Color Computer. I love that ugly grey wedge so much. Many a night was spent in the Dungeons of Daggoroth. :)

[+1] [2010-10-22 20:01:37] Jive Dadson

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Oh wait. You said "programming." Well, TI gave me a programmable calculator I could take home. That was 1979. But I didn't use it much. The first computer I took home had a "Turbo" button on it. If you didn't push the button, it ran at 6Mhz, to let games run that depended on timing. I wasn't too long after that when I got a laptop. I think it was 20MHz, maybe 40Mhz 286. It's probably in the garage collecting dust.

The first computer I programmed was an IBM 360 in 1971, but that was for a paying job, and the computer was a tad large to take home. :-)

[+1] [2010-10-22 20:11:03] Thanatos

The Compaq Deskpro 386.

Compaq Deskpro 386

Ours had upgraded hardware, and was able to run OS/2 2.0. Learned QBasic on it. I still miss many of the DOS games I used to play on that machine...

[+1] [2010-08-17 14:49:29] JasCav

I started actually programming on a TI-82, editing the BASIC games that I traded with a friend in my 7th grade algebra class. So much fun.

alt text

[+1] [2009-11-25 05:04:19] Daniel

awwe geez, here's one I don't think anyone would know... VIDEOTON TV-Computer Learned BASIC on it alt text

it even had a slogan - "Kein Bild, Kein Ton - Videoton"

+1 I used this! Go VIDI, go! xD xD xD (though I had a C64 at home and that was my first as well) - andras
I am surprised, I thought there was a total of 2 made... - Daniel
[+1] [2010-02-27 20:28:27] kmontgom

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Ohio Scientific Superboard II

[+1] [2010-04-02 23:07:53] DMan

I joined too late. I'm not going to post what computer I started out with, because I'll get laughed at on how modern it is :(

(1) We all had to start somewhere. Pretty sure i wouldn't have gotten a computer as a kid if it wasn't for the fact my dad was a big computer guy and i got all his old stuff. :D - TheDPQ
Ha, kind of the same for me... I didn't start programming stuff at all until I got my own computer. I got interested after supposedly 'learning' everything there is to learn about the computers from a consumer point of view. - DMan
[+1] [2009-07-01 08:22:29] bunn_online

Vtech Precomputer 1000 [1] at age 8

Fundamentaly an educational toy, but it had a BASIC interpreter which was the only feature I ended up using :D

Precomputer 1000


Wow, I think I had that! It lasted about a week or two before I accidentally stood on it one day and broke the screen. :( - Ant P.
[+1] [2009-07-01 08:23:11] glasnt

I had a REAL computer.


(No idea on the stats, I just remember it ran Jazz Jackrabbit from DOS)

(2) Jazz Jackrabbit was FREAKING SWEET! Ah, those were the days. - Tullo
[+1] [2009-10-12 20:12:43] dcpking

alt text

well, an 11/44, actually, from a company that didn't want it any more because they were upgrading to VAX. The power bill went up, but I never needed to turn the heating on that winter!

[+1] [2009-10-14 14:15:40] dermatthias

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The Schneider Euro PC.

[+1] [2009-10-15 03:35:31] Rob Hyndman

Microbee 16K IC [1] (with only a cassette tape drive).

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[+1] [2009-10-15 04:08:17] Ben

This handsome devil:

PC Jr.

Which was essentially a Scubaventure [1]-dedicated machine.


[+1] [2009-11-22 13:25:04] Talvi Watia

The Intellivision Odyssey 2.. Technically just changing the cards for the game controllers can be considered programming. (as a kid I was the only one that could figure it out when my parents couldn't.)

Also - you can consider the times when playing Astrosmash [1] on level 10+ and having smart bombs fly right through you can be considered software debugging. (that is when I first learned about sprite-collision.)

The Intellivision Odyssey 2


[+1] [2009-07-01 08:02:38] Priyank

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(3) This is a duplicate - Stephen C
[+1] [2009-06-04 22:39:07] 動靜能量

Superboard II - Challenger 1P (from Ohio Scientific. 4kb RAM!). We used it in our school for our Computer Club.

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wow. that thing looks rugged. - MAD9
[+1] [2009-06-30 14:27:50] ToastedSoul

Sharp MZ-80K

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It was my grandmothers, got me interested in programming.

[+1] [2009-06-30 18:42:15] Stefano Borini

This one

Grillo parlante

More infos here [1]. Although I would also like to report my second computer, also a rarity

Commodore SX-64

the Commodore SX-64. Not really portable... movable I would say.


I had a Commodore SX-64. At 23 pounds it was definately more movable than portable. My first exposure to BASIC programming was on this baby. - jschmier
Looks like an oscilloscope. - Andreas Rejbrand
[+1] [2008-09-25 22:25:12] Aardvark

Honeywell 316 [1]

"Mom's" first computer?


[+1] [2008-09-25 22:29:58] MattC

The IBM Convertable! Taught myself Basic on this bad boy.

[+1] [2008-10-14 18:52:17] EdmundG

Ohio Scientific Challenger 2P

It had several different operating systems, OS65D, and UCSD Pascal. I either typed games in from books and magazines or bought them.

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[+1] [2008-09-22 12:25:42] vonolsson

Being from Sweden, I obviously had a Luxor ABC 802. Never heard of it? Well, one of their slogan were "who needs to be IBM compatible?" so...

[+1] [2008-09-22 12:32:47] mlarsen

A Lambda 8300 [1]


[+1] [2008-09-24 04:35:55] Bratch

TRS-80 MC-10. I think my mom got it free from some crazy guy my step dad knew in the early 80s, when I was about 13. It came with the small keypad, 4k RAM with an external 16k module, cassette loaded, a few books with BASIC programs, and you could connect it to a color TV.
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[+1] [2009-06-04 20:55:31] rasjani

Atari 600XL - still have it in the box somewhere with tapedrive and busted powersupply.

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Same here! It wasn't as popular s the 800XL but when I was 13 I taught myself BASIC on it. My mother scolded my Dad for spending half a salary on "the useless toy", but today she cannot live without a computer ;) - BeMeCollective
[+1] [2009-06-03 20:27:07] Jonik

Despite the 380+ answers, this one was still missing: MikroMikko [1]!

These were manufactured in Finland by Nokia Data, a division of the company that later went on to concentrate on mobile phones and networks. (Nokia Data was sold in 1991 to ICL, which in turn was absorbed to Fujitsu, or what nowadays is Fujitsu Siemens Computers.)

I had the original model, MikroMikko 1 (pictured), which dated from early 1980s. It was equipped with:

I can't really say I fell in love with programming with it - I just toyed around and created primitive Basic programs. (I did plan some elaborate text adventure game but never got around implementing it properly with my very limited Basic skills.)


[+1] [2009-06-04 05:40:16] masher

386SX with a 40Mb harddrive. Can't remember the RAM...

Had both 3.5 and 5.25" drives and a colour 9pin dot matrix printer!

[+1] [2009-06-04 16:19:09] E Dominique

Datavue Spark

The Datavue Spark, though mine was white(ish)!
I've had countless nights with GW-Basic, Quick Basic, DOS debug and old Sierra games together with this beast...
My screen died after about a year, after I fiddled with some wires back in the modem slot, and after that I had an external CGA montitor instead.

The Datavue Spark was one of the First Laptops Ever Made. It Featured a Powerful (Back Then) Intel 8088 with a clock Speed of 9.77MHz.

It had a tiny blue 5” screen made by Epson that supported 16 Colors. DOS could be run on this system, but needed a boot disk to do anything.

Due to a very high retail price, very few Spark were sold. Datavue made it up until 1993, then the company went under due to the many more powerful laptops on the market at the time. Datavue produced many other laptops.

[+1] [2009-06-03 13:07:37] Steve Schnepp

A Thomson TO7/70 [1]

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The image is stolen borrowed from Wikipedia :-)


Fortunately, I used Thomson computer at school only (MO5 and TO7). The keyboard of the MO5 was the first keyboard ever. However, I'll remember the logo "tortue" for ever. - Pascal Thivent
[+1] [2009-06-03 13:15:24] Martin McNulty

Apparently I'm the only one so far(!)...

I give you, the mighty, Amstrad PCW9512:

Amstrad PCW9512 with daisywheel printer

Primarily a word processing machine - you could either boot into LocoScript, or if you used a different (3") floppy, into CP/M. In CP/M you could use something called 'Mallard BASIC' (if memory serves - so named because it was as fast as an Olympic runner named Mallard!)

Ahh... the nights I was kept awake by the thundering of the daisywheel printer. Sounded uncannily like a machine gun!

[+1] [2009-06-03 13:41:13] doekman

The Sharp PC-1211 hooked me into computing: alt text

Those were also sold under the Radio Shack (Tandy) brand, weren't they? - Barry Brown
[+1] [2009-06-03 14:22:42] David Sykes

I can't believe nobody has mentioned the Acorn System One [1]

1k of ram, plus another 128 bytes in the io chip

I managed a basic interpreter, a 7 segment space invaders, and a Mastermind game solver (but not all at the same time).

I even bought the 128 byte ram upgrade


(1) This was my first computer as well, the 6502 was quite an elegant processor. Got it for my 15th birthday 30 years ago! - Tony Edgecombe
[+1] [2008-11-29 12:02:52] Charles Faiga

Intel SDK-85

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PROCESSOR 8085-A, RAM: 512 bytes ROM: 2k

[+1] [2009-03-24 11:51:28] Rui Carneiro

p2 350mhz... shame on me :(

No reason to be ashamed. (Mine was P200MMX.) - jholster
[+1] [2008-09-20 17:05:04] David Ameller

Amstrad 286 with 1Mb of RAM!!

[+1] [2008-09-20 04:14:35] pro

The Sharp MZ80K, which had a tape drive that you could load BASIC from.

Must be 25 years ago.

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I was 6 years old when my father bought one of these second-hand in 1983. Wouldn't be where I am today without it. - odd parity
[+1] [2008-09-20 01:02:48] pro3carp3

The first computer I had at home was a Commodore 64 with a tape drive. I used a Commodore PET, TRS-80 Model II, and Apple IIe at school. Later I learned dbase II programming on a kaypro II.

I really fell in love with programming on the 64, Sprites, Simons Basic, even some assembly and C.

LOAD "Nostalgia" FROM 8,1 run - David
[+1] [2008-09-19 20:13:55] Uhall

A 286 PC when I was in high school.

[+1] [2008-09-19 20:15:34] Nathan Koop

386 with colour monitor & a enormous 4 MB RAM

I came across a 386 with 16MB of RAM onces... never knew you could put that many 30pin SIMMs on one motherboard. - Matthew Whited
[+1] [2008-09-19 21:59:35] Optimal Solutions

Wow, the memories. Atari 800. I was about 12 or 13. BASIC cartridge. ANTIC magazine and a tape recorder to store programs. Learned all about Sprits, DMA, collision and it had an amazing 4-voice synthesizer chip that I coded some vicious music with! I would give a year of my life to go back and spend it in those days again! Wonderful memories for me.

Oh, and I did get a book on 6502 Assembler and did quite a bit of ASM programming back then too. - Optimal Solutions
[+1] [2008-09-19 22:05:21] Gilles

Thomson MO-6. There's very little chance that you know what this machine if you didn't live in France at the time. Awesome computer in any case:

As you can see it used standard audio tapes for storing the software. Copying one was as easy as having a double tape deck (which wasn't that common at the time) and making a copy of the audio track. I think it was a bit of a problem for all the software vendors at the time :)

[+1] [2008-09-22 22:48:27] community_owned

A brazillian Apple 2+ clone from Unitron:

Unitron Apple2

[+1] [2008-09-23 05:50:48] goths

486 DX2, 4 MB RAM, Windows 3.1

[+1] [2008-09-23 06:16:46] Steve Obbayi

I remember the "Little Proffesor" I think i was from Texas Instruments [1] then i got the Zenith Data Sytems 80286 where i learnt Basic Programming and teaked my 1st game on it... nibbles. It also had Gorilla on it.

CPU: 80286 
RAM: 64K 
HDD: 32 MB 
GRAPHICS: Monochrome 
Floppy: 5 1/4 Inch 
OS: MS-DOS Version 5

Oh what a Joy!!


[+1] [2008-09-23 12:55:03] Chris B-C

I discovered my passion for programming on a Tandy TRS-80 when I was about 6. After becoming bored with the contents of the TRS-80 programming manuals I started adapting programs from any BASIC books I could find to the TRS-80 (and later ported them to my next computer - An Epson PC-XT 8086).

Such fond memories... I wonder if it's still in my parents' garage.

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[+1] [2008-09-23 19:10:04] ShawnD

Macintosh IIsi

Man, I still haven't found Carmen Sandiago!

[+1] [2008-09-20 01:43:30] Rich Bruchal

Ye Olde TRS-80. The fist was one of the originals that hooked up to a cassette recorder to read and write data. And the second one - OMG, it had a floppy drive! Very cool.

[+1] [2008-09-20 14:53:09] community_owned

HP-85 [1]


That was my first one too! My Dad had one in his office that nobody knew how to use. Brought it home with all of the manuals and I taught myself how to program. I loved that thing! I came in this big padded suitcase. I wrote a lunar lander game and spent lot of time on it. Soon, I got a Vic-20 then a Commodore-64 but the HP-85 was my first. - Loki Stormbringer
[+1] [2008-09-19 17:11:21] community_owned

An ELF kit using the redoubtable RCA 1802 processor. It was a single circiut board with some wood wedges on the back to set it at an angle so you could use the hex keyboard in comfort. A two digit LED display and 256 bytes of memory. Very cool for 1976.

[+1] [2008-09-19 17:56:48] JP Lodine

The Amstrad PC1512 was the first computer I actually owned too. I didn't spring for the color monitor tho, had to put up with the weak black & white monitor. I remember swapping out one of the floppy drives for a hard drive. Agonized for days over whether I could afford the 20MB drive or would have to settle for the 10MB. (This was 1986 or 1987.) I remember sitting in my Compilers class, daydreaming of all the stuff I'd install on the drive, and figuring that no way could it use up 10MB -- but I got the 20MB anyway. Maybe I was feeling wealthy for some reason; more likely I was hoping my wife didn't find out how much I'd spent.

[+1] [2008-09-19 16:06:05] tidge

+1 for the VIC-20.

I used to hand program a text adventure game out of the one programming magazine I owned every time that I wanted to play it.

Also, long live Omega Race!!! (which was set in the futuristic year 2003)

(1) Comment, don't submit a new answer for it. - scragar
[+1] [2008-09-19 16:41:55] horace

trs80 model1

[+1] [2008-09-19 17:08:18] fnCzar

an abacus

[+1] [2008-09-19 18:53:48] NOMO

Phoenix Commodore, with 640KB RAM, 20MB Hard disk (early 90s)

[+1] [2008-09-19 19:23:51] Ferruccio

A HeathKit H89. It had 2 Z-80 processors!

Well, technically, one of the processors was a terminal controller and couldn't be programmed, but I got a kick out of telling people it had 2 processors.

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Don't forget, we built them ourselves. Not like today when building a computer means plugging in parts... we soldered in the individual components. And many of us designed and built our own hardware boards ourselves. Mine was a serial board. - Mark T
[+1] [2008-09-19 19:07:11] Mike Elkins

Ohio Scientific C8P. 8k ram, basic in ROM. 64 character wide screen (spacious compared to the 32 character wide screen of it's predecessor, the C4P).

There were no games for it, to speak of, so I wrote my own, learning programming as I went. Worked for me!

[+1] [2008-09-19 15:22:01] Skizz

One of these: Sinclair ZX80 [1] OK, it wasn't mine as such, I was only 9 at the time, but I did learn to program on it.

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[+1] [2008-09-19 15:21:12] clweeks

A Bally game console with a BASIC cartridge in ca. 1978.

Check out that keyboard. There were plastic overlays for different games and the one for the BASIC interpreter gave you "color" keys -- basically three different shift/ctrl/alt keys that turned it into a "full" keyboard. There was also a "gold" key that provided whole words "print," "goto," etc to make things faster. Wow...what a drag. :)

[+1] [2008-09-19 15:34:59] Vincent McNabb

Apple ][E of course. In fact that computer is older than me (Built in the seventies) but it got me started and I used it for years claiming it as my own when the family got a 386.

I started programming on it when I was seven because my Dad had been teaching my brother how to code on it and I was jealous for the attention. It ended up that my older brother now does nothing to do with coding and it has been my greatest hobby ever since.

[+1] [2008-09-19 15:40:16] Flory

Tandy 1000 A. Nothing like computers from the Trash Shack.

[+1] [2008-09-19 16:03:57] JRL

Commodore Vic-20. Great piece of kit with those big plug-in 64k RAM Packs.

[+1] [2008-09-19 16:04:32] Tahir Akhtar

An unbranded 386 PC with both 5 1/4" and 3.5" floppy drives. It came with DOS but we soon upgraded to MS Windows 3.0 with a dozen or so floppies. Before that I had done programming on GW Basic on school computers, so DOS based QBasic loaded with this thing made me super-excited. It was a super-productive IDE for me :) No need to generate line numbers for each line :)

[+1] [2008-09-19 15:59:25] xsaero00

Russian KUVT Korvet [1]. It was based on Soviet microprocessor, a clone of the Intel 8080 CPU - KR580VM80A [2]


[0] [2008-09-19 15:59:30] community_owned

TRS-80 Color Computer II

although programming with it didn't cause me to "fall in love" with programming

some of the games were fun tho...esp Dungeons of Daggorath [1]


This is a duplicate. - Jeremy Stein
[0] [2008-09-19 15:59:32] Joe Lencioni

Tandy TL/2 1000

[0] [2008-09-19 16:00:35] Simon Knights

Computer that got me into programming was an IBM 360/40, but the first 'home' computer I had was an Amstrad CPC464 - you could run CP/M if you had the disk drive - and it came with the firmware manuals.

[0] [2008-09-19 15:48:29] Keith

The first family computer that I was able to work alone on was a Tandy 1200 (an 8088 XT clone). Wrote many lines of GW-Basic code on it.

[0] [2008-09-19 15:49:04] spoulson

Atari 130XE, the last of the Atari 8-bits.

Atari 130XE

I still have mine with 384k mod. - bruceatk
I had this thing decked out. ICD 1MB ram box, 20MB MFM HD, 2x ultraspeed 1050 drives. I left the ram box on all the time so I can boot off it, but it eventually overheated and died, killing my HD interface, too. :( - spoulson
[0] [2008-09-19 15:50:47] ddc0660

My first home computer was a pieced together 486 running DOS 5.1. It was horrible, but I loved to tinker around with it. Whoda thunk I'd be writing code for a living back then!

[0] [2008-09-19 15:55:11] community_owned

The Apple IIe.

[0] [2008-09-19 16:05:16] David

I had access to an IBM 5100 for a while. But there's an entire graveyard of early computers that passed through my hands. Everything from DEC's VT180 to a Coleco Adam to an Atari 800 and a 1040ST and an Amiga 2000 before getting a PC clone when Windows 3.1 came out.

[0] [2008-09-19 15:56:31] Michael Easter

TI 99-4a though I mostly gamed on it.

Then C-64 and many blissful hours typing in programs from Byte magazine... IIRC, they had some kind of assembly validator that would beep when a line was correct.

[0] [2008-09-19 16:13:31] Derek

I consider the Parker Brothers Merlin to be the first computer I owned. It had a microprocessor and you could program music with it.

I had one of those myself. Funny enough, I also had it before I got my first real computer. - RobH
[0] [2008-09-19 15:41:38] Steve Duitsman

Challenger 2P [1]. Floppies FTW.


[0] [2008-09-19 15:41:45] community_owned

Apple II - no games available so I had to try and write my own....not very easily if I remember correctly

[0] [2008-09-19 15:20:38] gbjbaanb

I had an Acorn Atom [1]. 2kb of RAM was enough for me!

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[0] [2008-09-19 15:19:52] Kevin

I bought a used Vic-20 with my own money and it even included a tape drive!

[0] [2008-09-19 15:32:40] Jim Ford

TRS-80 Color :) Classic.

This is a duplicate - Jeremy Stein
You can't just mark every entry as a duplicate. a quick survey of the first few pages shows that my comment at 15:32 is only precluded by one other trs-80 reference at 15:27, which is close enough for the possibility of simultaneous entry. Also, why are you trolling for duplicates more than a year later? - Jim Ford
[0] [2008-09-19 15:33:20] Erik Engbrecht

Apple IIe...taught myself BASIC and Logo, followed by a IIgs where I taught myself Pascal.

[0] [2008-09-19 15:34:48] SumoRunner

I got a Coleco Adam [1] as a Xmas gift in 1984. It was one of the greatest fiascoes of the early PC industry.

alt text

I kept it for only a couple weeks and returned it for full refund, then went out and got a Commodore 64.


[0] [2008-09-19 15:29:27] Matthew Cole

Apple IIgs! I taught myself Apple BASIC. :-)

[0] [2008-09-19 15:28:02] muriloq

Microdigital TK-85 - a Brazilian clone of the Sinclair ZX-81, with 16 KB RAM.

alt text

[0] [2008-09-19 15:27:00] stephenbayer

Mine was a TRS-80, I eventually had the Model 1, model 2 and model III, as well as the coco 1 and 2. and my first program I ever wrote was a stupid tick tack toe program in Z-80 Assembly on that TRS-80 model 1.

This is a duplicate. - Jeremy Stein
[0] [2008-09-19 15:24:39] Dana

Vic-20 for me, too.

[0] [2008-09-19 15:25:04] m_pGladiator

Apple II without floppy drive

[0] [2008-09-19 19:07:54] Mark Allen

TRS-80 Model 1. We got it when I was 8 years old, and somehow my parents got a set of programming books meant to teach kids BASIC. We also had a floppy disk (and LPT port) adapter that was about the size of a standard AT style case and sat under the monitor, while the TRS-80 Model 1 itself was built into its own keyboard.

[0] [2008-09-19 19:10:10] Cyberherbalist

Commodore VIC-20, where I typed a BASIC program into it from a magazine article (a game). That was fun, and when the computer was turned off the program was gone (no cassette recorder at first to store the program).

Much later I learned PC-type programming using Turbo Pascal 1.0 on a Sanyo 555. My first real PC programming.

[0] [2008-09-19 18:02:49] p5ycho_p3nguin

IBM PC XT I remember spending long hours playing BEAST on that thing. Best game ever.

[0] [2008-09-19 18:04:35] devinmoore

My first was not the oldest one I ever owned, it was a standard Macintosh. I think my dad got it through some early-access program.

[0] [2008-09-19 18:06:23] defmeta

Sinclair ZX81:

Sinclair ZX81

Followed by a Spectrum 48k, then finally an Amiga 256k! Since then it's been a steady stream of Apple Macs with brief forays into Thinkpads and an EEEPC.

What a long crazy journey it's been!

EDIT: changed 32k to the correct 48k config as J. Topley pointed out in the comments. My memory/logic sometimes fails me.

@Stu Thompson: I didn't see a pc succession identical to my own anywhere else. Sure a few Sinclair ZX-xx's as first computers, but my answer wasn't solely about that. There is other contextual meaning.

Already listed. delete and add +1 to the 'real' entry, please - Stu Thompson
There was no Spectrum 32K - it was 16K or 48K! - John Topley
[0] [2008-09-19 18:12:20] Wes P

Apple ][e :D I remember playing Stickybear Math on the monochrome green. Then, one day, my dad brought home a switch to hook the computer up to the TV!! Color monitor baby! Stickybear was never the same. On top of that my dad showed me how to write programs that drew blocks of color. I was psyched beyond belief. From that moment on, my destiny to become a programmer was sealed.

[0] [2008-09-19 18:14:33] Richie_W

Amstrad 464 Plus (Basic 1.1 OS)

[0] [2008-09-19 18:16:17] StubbornMule

TI-99/4A [1]

That was the one that did it for me. I had so much fun on it with its Basic and the Extended Basic add-on. Of course you had to be careful with the cassette and loading and saving programs. Tons of fun :)


[0] [2008-09-19 18:22:16] user18195

Casio PB-100. With the memory expansion pack that took it up to 1568 bytes of user RAM (not a typo!). It had room for 10 programs, in a tiny BASIC. Amazing what you can do in that space. And it was really easy to take to school.

[0] [2008-09-19 18:26:34] SomeMiscGuy

My first home computer was a TI-99/4A, but my father at the time used to work for American International College so I got to play with a PDP/11-40 at a rather young age :)

[0] [2008-09-19 18:29:16] community_owned

Apple II+. Love programming in Basic, including some simple graphics. Also had great games for it such as Lode Runner, Castle Wolfenstein, and Aztec (right name?).

[0] [2008-09-19 18:47:50] Ian Hopkinson

I nearly had a ZX81 for Christmas in around 1982 but got a VIC20 because Sinclair had trouble delivering then I had an Amstrad CPC464

[0] [2008-09-19 18:49:48] Tom

Commodore PC 80/286, Turbo Pascal [1] and Turbo C [2]/ C++ [3] hooked me for life and eventually made me seek a career as a programmer :)


[0] [2008-09-19 18:50:07] Pop Catalin

HC 85

HC 85

[0] [2008-09-19 18:51:31] community_owned

Amstrad CPC 464

[0] [2008-09-19 19:18:15] lajos

zx spectrum 48k. it was awesome. i knew every assembly command. those were the good old days.

[0] [2008-09-19 20:04:18] knight0323

my parents bought a packard bell legend 486 with 8mb ram and a 800 mb hdd and windows 3.x but i regularly used apple IIe's in school from k-6

[0] [2008-09-19 19:59:29] Guerry

Sinclair zx81

[0] [2008-09-19 16:40:25] Dan Adams

My first was a TI-994a however the one that I learned to program on was Tandy Color Computer 2. I saved up the $250 of so to get a 156k floppy drive. Wrote a few games and learned a little assembler on it as well. I had it for years. But I always pined away for an Amiga.... ahhh the good old days..

[0] [2008-09-19 17:09:01] Swish

Commodore VIC-20 Woot Woot!alt text

[0] [2008-09-19 16:58:35] Andrew Queisser

Apple II Europlus. My dad took me to his lab and they had Apple IIs there to control physics experiments. After many Saturdays at the lab he bought one for us and I used and abused it for years.

[0] [2008-09-19 17:02:32] Adam Neal

Packard Bell (shudder) 50 MHz 486DX2, a whopping 4 MB of RAM, upgradeable to 64!! Ran Dos 6.22, Win 3.11, even had a CD-ROM!

[0] [2008-09-19 16:21:20] taudep

Damn, what a great walk down memory lane with that little owl calculator, the vic-20, the Apple IIc, Trs-80. The Coleco Adam. I didn't see that above (but I probably missed it).

[0] [2008-09-19 16:22:51] Craig Boland

+1 for Apple ][e

I started out playing the Wizardry [1] series, then fell into dabbling with BASIC programming through high school. Though not the smartest guy around, programming came naturally. Years later I got back into professional programming with Visual Basic during college, and now C#.


[0] [2008-09-19 17:32:57] community_owned

TI Speak & Math ;)

but seriously, probably Logo on Apple II was my first experience with programming

[0] [2008-09-19 17:40:44] Martin Lussier

A split between an Apple IIe (wrote BASIC programs)

AND: a XT TURBO 640K [1]. It still runs DOS 4.1, for such classic arcade epics such as Zaxxon and Test Drive 1 & 2. Ran on a CGA monitor... yikes.


[0] [2008-09-19 17:42:34] user779

The first one I owned was in 1995 I think - a 486 DX4 100MHz 540MB HDD .. i forget how much RAM it had :)

[0] [2008-09-19 17:43:53] JohnOpincar

Xerox 820-II at my Dad's office. I always got a kick out of copy being "PIP" which I believe stood for peripheral interface program.

[0] [2008-09-19 17:55:18] ragu.pattabi

Wipro Genius AT 286. 1 MB RAM. 2x5.25" floppy drives. MSDOS 6.22 and a rock solid monochrome monitor. No hard-disk. No mouse.

I couldn't locate a image of this machine, but let me tell you it was magical! Changed my life.

[0] [2008-09-19 17:22:15] Martin Bøgelund

Lambda 8300 [1], a ZX81 clone with a green rubber-key keyboard. Learned (ZX) Basic on that thing.


[0] [2008-09-19 17:22:31] Thomas Andrews

TRS-80. 4K memory, used an audio cassette for program loading and saving.

Spent more than $500 of my own money to upgrade to 16K memory.

This is a duplicate. - Jeremy Stein
[0] [2008-09-19 17:26:47] Peter GA.

this is was my great firts programing PC:

AT&T Safari 3151 Laptop Computer

AT&T Safari 3151 Laptop Computer with Intel 486 DX4-25/75 MHz Processor

[0] [2008-09-19 17:28:26] Brad Osterloo

VIC-20 with tape drive at home, and used a Commodore PET at school

(7th/8th Grade around 1982 or so)

[0] [2008-09-19 17:29:12] paulo.albuquerque

The Timex Computer 2048 [1], the variant only sold in Portugal and Poland.

I spent quite a few hours of my youth fiddling around with the azimuth of the head of my tape recorder.


[0] [2008-09-20 14:58:01] community_owned

My first true compy was a Schneider Joyce. It had Mallard Basic and Wordstar on a floppy iirc, and the printer connected via a very proprietary plug to the main unit which housed both the CPU and the green monochrome monitor (I am talking 1980's here - Schneider the German company later sold out to or merged with Amstrad the British).

Before that, I owned a second-hand Sinclair ZX-81 with a memory extention thingy that added 16 Kb (as in a whopping 16384 bytes) to the on-board 4 Kb RAM (4096 bytes). The display was a small 6" black-and white TV I could lay my hands on (Russian Shiljalis, still have it. Runs on 12 Volt car battery, and also on a 220 Volt adapter. Manual includes detailed circuit diagram, for reasons unbeknownst to me).

And way before that, as a high-school student I used to spend some of my free time in the local Capi-Lux store, where they had an TI-41C on display. Or perhaps it was an 11C. It was the first programmable calculator I have ever interacted with. Stopping there after school, I would input the code from the manual (50 or so lines, with a calculator-style keyboard, nothing qwuerty-like in sight) to play "Moonlander". The objective of the game was to iteratively input fuel burn rates in such a way that at the end of your fuel, your elevation would be zero and your speed as well.

Heck, in 1973 I was the first in my class to own a digital watch! It had a LED display. Go figure.

[0] [2008-09-20 20:00:48] Jason Mock

The Apple IIe my parents bought. It was great! I played SuperBunny, and Castle Wolfstein. My parents bought me a book with simple games to program using Apple Basic. That computer is probably the main reason I'm a software engineer today!

alt Apple IIe Those were the days...

[0] [2008-09-20 21:53:52] Ed L

A Micron Pentium 90... wow do I feel young I started in Paradox and moved to Delphi, Python, C/C++, Haskell, etc

[0] [2008-09-20 22:09:11] Turnkey

Apple ][+. Had to buy a chip to be able to display lower case on the green-screen monitor. But it had a TV out and could do some games in 16 colors, quite a big deal at the time (1981). Then bought an Apple ][c and after that a Commodore Amiga 1000 (1985). The Amiga was quite a computer for the time as well.

[0] [2008-09-21 07:08:29] community_owned

Commodore 64C with external floppy drive followed by a Compaq Presario 486. First ISP was phone modem through AOL and then a 10Mbit dorm room connection at Cornell. Talk about a jump in connection speed.

[0] [2008-09-21 08:45:39] Bittercoder

Vic 20 - Such a sweet machine - I remember saving programs to tape, and then high-speed dubbing to another tape for backup purposes - though I had exposure at school to early Apple computers, which I think might have been before we got a PC. I didn't get serious about programming until we got a 286 16mhz AT PC with GW-BASIC though, I think because I was always kicked off the Vic-20 if people wanted to watch TV.

Anyone remember this Advert? [1]


[0] [2008-09-21 12:27:39] community_owned

Compac Deskpro - PII 350 mHZ, 128 RAM, 6 GB HDD, 4 MB graphic card.
I bought this computer in 2005, for programming in C++ ;)]

[0] [2008-09-21 12:34:12] Rob Wells

A Digi-Comp 1!

[0] [2008-09-21 12:51:42] Piku

Acorn Electron. After developing a nasty obsession with taking electronic things apart and trying to "build" computers out of wire and cardboard boxes, my parents finally took the hint one Christmas back in 1986 or so.

I had quite a lot of fun just messing about on it, and then one day I discovered BASIC.

[0] [2008-09-21 13:52:33] community_owned

Acorn Electron with tape drive. Programming BASIC and playing Repton.

[0] [2008-09-21 13:58:43] domus.vita

Cybermax AMD-133 (overclocked from 90 [I think]) with 16MB RAM, 56k modem, 20GB HD, 4MB video card, and 17in CRT. My wife was generous enough to let me get it with her 401K check after she quit teaching.

Not to brag, but the next Christmas I got another 8MB RAM from CompUSA with my $50 gift certificate. True story.

Sorry, no pic. Cybermax went bankrupt in 2006 and I can't find any images.

[0] [2008-09-21 14:27:11] Can Berk Güder

Self-built 386DX with 170 MB HDD. I don't remember how much RAM it had, but I believe it was 2 MB or something.

It ran MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1, and I learned MS BASIC and PASCAL on this baby. =)

[0] [2008-09-21 15:19:14] Jason Short

Commodore VIC-20! 4k of RAM baby!

[0] [2008-09-21 15:19:41] Ignas Limanauskas

Elektronika BK-0010-01 (Электроника БК-0010-01) with Vilnius BASIC in ROM.

[0] [2008-09-21 15:23:21] Iulian Şerbănoiu

I had a HC91 - a zx Spectrum 48k copy when I was young (very young - 10 years).

More info here [1].

alt text


[0] [2008-09-20 22:26:10] cciotti

Apple IIe

[0] [2008-09-20 22:35:01] Nick

Zenith 386 with a 512 MB hard disk alt text

[0] [2008-09-20 23:32:26] Purfideas


I was like single-digit in age and heard my father and uncle debate whether this was a "universal computing machine" and the answer came down to that little DSZ at the bottom... I had to try it.

hp65 prog calculator

[0] [2008-09-21 04:37:05] Michael Johnson

Well.... an Apple IIe at school, which prompted me to get a Commodore 64 at home, which was my only computer from 5th grade until sometime in my first year of college (in '90-91). I did BASIC, Assembly, and Pascal on that little beastie.

Incidentally, I had my C64 modded to add a second SID (sound) chip for six-voice stereo music and a 512K memory cartridge (I think... it might have just been 256K) for use with GeOS.

I'd add pictures... but there's already plenty ;)

[0] [2008-09-21 04:44:48] Bob Minteer

A 48k Apple ][+ with a composite green screen and a tape drive.

alt text

Bingo! for me (well, my first Apple computer anyway) <typing on a MBP> - micahwittman
[0] [2008-09-21 04:53:35] dwelch

Vic-20 but before that I had been exposed to something similar to the KIM-1. The vic-20 would be considered more of a home computer...

[0] [2008-09-21 17:50:33] community_owned

466 mhz celeron, hehe, I started late, voodoo3 was such a beast for halflife1 and counterstrike

[0] [2008-09-21 18:15:49] Fabien Hure

I first started with an Oric Atmos ... 48K to do wonders in 6502 Assembly language ...

[0] [2008-09-21 19:07:52] community_owned

An old HP pavilion running Win95.

[0] [2008-09-21 19:15:04] Asaf R

An 8088 IBM-Comaptible XT from just before ATs came out. It had a 16 color VGA screen with a screen saver (in MsDos) that displayed a colorful clown.

It had a menu which was nothing more that a bunch of batch files and a listing of them displayed at the end of Autoexec.bat. I found that out wanting to add a new game to the list. That was all the spark I needed.

Thanks for a good minute of nostalgia.


[0] [2008-09-21 19:28:55] Robert Brook

First 'home computer'? BBC something or other. First one I bought? Mac Classic.

[0] [2008-09-21 19:35:56] Nick

An Acorn Electron, though the most complex program I wrote for it was something like:

10 print "Hello!"
20 goto 10

It was cool at the time..

[0] [2008-09-21 20:33:17] Greg Whitfield

First one I used properly was a Commodore PET that my dad used to bring home from work to keep me amused in the school holidays. The first one I owned was Sinclair ZX81, and I upgraded the memory myself by relacing the 1k memory chip with a 2k one, and wielding a soldering iron to change a link so it picked up the difference.

From there on to a ZX Spectrum, but also programmed BBC Micros at school, along with a UK101: UK101

At uni I had an Amstrad PCW8256, using the cracking CP/M O/S, and Turbo Pascal (I think) for proper programming. alt text

I'll start singing "Memories" next....

[0] [2008-09-21 20:36:15] Yonatan Maman

Atari 800 XL with 64KB (16KB of them were ROM)

[0] [2008-09-21 20:40:37] Kris

TRS-80 - you know it!

alt text

[0] [2008-09-21 22:21:09] Mariano

Commodore 64. I want to emulate it in Silverlight!

[0] [2008-09-23 19:57:04] Yurii Soldak

Orel BK08 (ZX Spectrum clone produced in USSR back in 1991)

With Basic onboard and using cassette player to load available programs.

[0] [2008-09-23 21:28:21] Pokus

Commodore Vic-20 with tape cassette to save data.

[0] [2008-09-23 23:46:46] timepilot

Atari 800 - still have it, still works.

[0] [2008-09-23 13:08:33] Scott

Tandy 1000 with an add-on 20 mb hard drive card. Dual 5.25 floppies and we had the RAM upgraded to 640k. That machine rocked on good old GW-BASIC.

alt text

[0] [2008-09-23 13:08:37] community_owned

Like so many of you guys my first computer was the Commodore 64. It was sold as a multipurpose computer, but I mainly used it for playing games.

Mine came with the classic tape drive as disk drives was really expensive back then.

Favourite titles: International Karate +, Ghostbusters, Commando.. ah brings back.. For all you old C64 fans, check out the C64 tribute band Press Play On Tape [1]. I watched them at the JavaZone'08 conference in Oslo last week, and those guys are really great ;-)

My second computer was a Commodore Amiga 600 (anyone remember those?). I had a ancient 14' Sony color TV (from 1972) in my room that I used as monitor for both the C64 and the Amiga ;-)


[0] [2008-09-23 13:53:18] Rui Vieira

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K.

The good: It introduced me to programming.

The bad: It was BASIC.

Also, IMHO, the best keyboard ever.

[0] [2008-09-23 16:03:32] community_owned

Oh how I miss my Commodore 64. SID Chips FTW! :)

[0] [2008-09-23 17:16:55] Odilon Redo

From about 1984, my parents had an IBM PC 5150, and I was so mad that it had no graphics of any sort. My friends all had Spectrums and Commodore 64s. We had a total of 2 games - Othello and "BUGS!" (a Centipede clone done entirely in ASCII characters which I still can't locate anywhere on the web to my increasing dismay). I broke Othello trying to reprogram it. Doh!

But actually, no graphics turned out to be an amazing thing as I ended up loving text adventures so much that I started writing them and programming very badly in BASIC. One thing led to another and now coding pays for my whole life. I still kind of miss the glowing green text-only interface though... but not the endless floppy disk failures. Ugh.

Oh, and I still hanker after the days I spent on my Amiga 500+ which is now going yellow in my attic. It still works somehow, just with a few more guru meditation errors.

[0] [2008-09-23 17:37:42] Chris Lawlor

The Commodore VIC-20 [1].

It had a cassette deck for permanent storage, and plugged into the TV. Had about 3.5 kb of usable RAM, more with an optional memory cartridge.


[0] [2008-09-23 18:38:00] rec

alt text

Computer name:      Chess Champion Mk II
Manufacturer:       Novag
Dates from:         1979
Dimensions:         23 x 15 x 6 cm (including display height of 2 cm)
Power supply:       adapter from 220 to 9 volt
Rating:             beginners / weak occasional players (Elo 1090)
Other details:      operated via keys
                    red LED display
                    produces tunes
                    same program also in housing with rounded edges

[0] [2008-09-22 08:13:30] Yoi-Nami-Ra

Commodore 64, but with a tape driver. Writing down and loading a program was taking few minutes. Not saying about head calibration.

[0] [2008-09-22 10:31:59] JDibble

My first computer was the Sinclair ZX-80.

[0] [2008-09-22 10:56:44] Shoban

I got my first computer late!! when I was in college! With 512MB ram and 40GB HDD... I fell in love with her the very next minute it came home!!!

[0] [2008-09-22 20:33:33] Maurizio Pozzobon

IBM 386 when I was like six years old, loved playing on that thing

[0] [2008-09-22 20:48:33] community_owned

Wang 2200 T [1] plus a whopping 5MB hard disk the size of a dorm fridge.

I wrote a joystick-controlled text editor for it, because it had no mouse.



[0] [2008-09-22 21:48:59] user17996

Packard Bell 486 DX2, 4MB RAM, Win3.11. ;)

[0] [2008-09-22 22:30:28] chrisd

alt text

HP 38E programmable financial calculator. They thought I must be doing unbelievably complex calculations at the bank where I was working, but actually I was programming this thing all day long. Still have a little notebook with the handwritten programs, which was needed because there was no way to save them.

[0] [2008-09-22 22:38:02] rpfnovak

My first was an Amstrad 2286. Tere was a game written in QBasic where you were an ape and you had to throw bananas across the screen that I loved playing. That made me want to code something of my own in Basic and so that's how it all started.

[0] [2008-09-22 22:44:17] alexp206

Used a TI-99 for years, but in 1990 we made a leap into the future when we got our 12mhz 1MB of RAM 286 from DAK [1].


[0] [2008-09-22 07:42:17] community_owned

Oooh ... Old days :) AX170 - SAKHR ... contains only Basic and painter !!

[0] [2008-09-22 07:03:48] Rippo" alt="alt text" />A faboulous ZX81 with a massive 1k of memory!

[0] [2008-09-21 23:07:34] RaduM

My first PC was HC 85 :)

[0] [2008-09-22 01:41:42] stevemac

As with a lot of others, Commodore 64.

[0] [2008-09-22 02:36:41] rayray2030

Hyundai 286 that my parents bought me from a PC Warehouse in NJ. Yes a Hyundai like the car.

[0] [2008-09-22 05:51:40] dennisV

Commodore 64! That was approximately 20 years ago...

[0] [2008-09-22 06:16:01] community_owned

A Color Genie!

I still have it in my office (as a show piece though!) :)

[0] [2008-09-19 22:15:54] WACM161

A pentium 200 with mmx Using Visual Studio 6 we had that thing pumping out Open GL 3D images from C++! USING 128 mb OF ram and a 4GB harddrive.

[0] [2008-09-19 22:27:24] Jeremy Cantrell

The Tandy Sensation (486, 4mb ram, 1x cdrom, windows 3.1)

The Tandy Sensation

[0] [2008-09-19 22:33:49] Nick Woods

The Apple ][+ at school in 3rd grade. The countless hours spent after school writing GOTO statements were sheer joy--except perhaps when you had to shift all of the line numbers because you didn't leave large enough gaps!

[0] [2008-09-19 22:38:03] Brian

Vector Graphic with David Ahl's BASIC Computer Games:

[0] [2008-09-19 22:40:03] Imran

A custom built PC from a local shop, which I got in 2000.

AMD K6-2 450 MHz, 32 MB RAM, 13 GB HDD, 8 MB SiS 6326 AGP, ISA Sound Card, 14" CRT

[0] [2008-09-19 22:58:51] BlackMael

Commodore 64! I learnt basic and assembly on that wee beasty :)

[0] [2008-09-19 23:06:01] CindyH

I had a TI-99 in college, but I never did anything useful with it. My first home computer I had for real was a HP 150 in approximately 1984. I was one of the very few people to have a computer in college. It had a touchscreen monitor!! My mother worked for HP as a programmer, so she got a discount on it - it was only about $5K. I used it all through college and for at least four years afterwards.

But what made me fall in love with programming was taking a programming class in high school in about 1980. alt text

[0] [2008-09-19 23:08:38] Nick Arnold

My first computer was a Hewlett Packard with 128MB RAM, a 20GB hard drive, and a Pentium III at 533Mhz. The price was about $1300 at Best Buy.

[0] [2008-09-19 23:10:11] jacobsee

Laser 128

We had a Laser 128 [1] (Apple IIc clone) that we got in about 1989 when I was in 8th grade or so. I did some sweet Basic on that baby...


[0] [2008-09-19 23:26:18] community_owned

Mine was an Oric Atmos. ¿Does anybody remember it?

That my second computer, next to Oric-I - Sake
[0] [2008-09-19 23:56:49] david.jade

Ohio scientific superboard II -- 8k RAM, MS BASIC, an old B&W TV, and a cassette tape recorder

[0] [2008-09-20 00:45:49] Yoni Baciu

Apple IIe compatible

[0] [2008-09-20 01:01:18] defaulthtm

I'm another early sinclair lewis 1000 user (before the Timex version) around 79 /80 I guess - it was the one with 1K ROM 1 (it could have been 4)K RAM.


[0] [2008-09-19 21:01:00] MikeJ

I had an atari 400 with 16k of memory. And yes I did write code in BASIC on the thing. I later upgraded it to 64k and a replacement keyboard to overcome the membrane keyboard that was rather cruel to code with. Ah, the life of an 9 year old.

[0] [2008-09-19 21:39:53] Ryan Delucchi

For me, it's a toss-up between the graphing calculator (TI-85) that I programmed in high school and the original IBM PC, where I first learned programming in BASICA

alt text

[0] [2008-09-19 21:43:10] redfood

TI Professional

[0] [2008-09-19 21:49:13] Panagiotis Korros

Atari STm, connected to a monochrome TV, with an external floppy and GFA Basic!

[0] [2008-09-19 20:33:42] Gamecat

I also started with the Vic 20. Still have the books somewhere. The computer died spectaculair because i tried to do other things with the casette port ;-).

Lots of sweet memories (or should i say mid life crisis).

[0] [2008-09-19 20:37:38] community_owned

TRS-80 as well. Had a couple of 'game' coding books, one with superheroes on the cover, and I forget the other one. Although the one I had wasn't the model pictured, and we just used a TV as a monitor.

[0] [2008-09-19 20:42:31] DGM

Tandy 1000 SX ... I made that thing do quite a bit.

[0] [2008-09-19 22:00:31] pablasso

An IBM Thinkpad 300c

isn't it a beauty?

[0] [2008-09-19 22:00:48] community_owned

At school we had TRS-80 Model 1s with the mini-tape drives, later the school got the TRS model IIIs. The first one I had at home was the TI-99 4/A, with the Peripheral Expansion Box which made it look a lot more impressive.

[0] [2008-09-19 22:03:55] Noether

I don't actually know what it was, but the Internet tells me that it looked like a Compaq Portable III. Amber monochromatic screen, keyboard that attached to it, BASIC and WordPerfect.

[0] [2008-09-19 20:16:18] community_owned

My experience, was on a Apple II, and it was formatting a floppy disk. I thought it was the coolest thing i'd ever seen or done!

[0] [2008-09-20 01:53:29] community_owned

Radio Shack TRS-80, not sure of the model number. I actually discovered my parents setting it up at 11pm on Christmas Eve, so not only did I confirm the non-existance of Santa, but I also got to setup my own present that year.

[0] [2008-09-20 01:54:52] Ian Suttle

Apple IIe for meee

[0] [2008-09-20 01:55:06] Erick Sgarbi

ZX81 and after a few years a Atari 800 with an assembler cartridge.

[0] [2008-09-20 01:55:08] Rob Wells

An original Digi-Comp [1] that my father bought for me in 1966.


[0] [2008-09-20 01:58:54] cdleary

IBM 486-DX2-66!

[0] [2008-09-20 02:10:15] community_owned

Epson Equity II+ 8088 640k addressable RAM 40 MB HD Monochrome Monitor

[0] [2008-09-20 01:09:03] Panic

My first computer was a Timex 2048 (TC2048), a ZX Spectrum-based machine with enhancements, namely a cartridge port to make it compete with videogame consoles.

[0] [2008-09-20 01:33:49] Scott Bargabus

My first computer was the TI-99/4A with a black-and-white TV for a monitor. But, my first laptop was the Radio Shack TRS-80 model 100. 40 columns by 8 lines. I loved it because I could modem (tip?) into the university VAXen and work from home. It was glorious.

[0] [2008-09-20 01:34:48] Kevin Conner

I learned to program in TI-82 BASIC. Programming was so much better than paying attention in class!


[0] [2008-09-20 04:47:44] jholl


alt text

[0] [2008-09-20 05:03:48] Fernando Barrocal

Mine was a Brazilian Sinclair Clone from Microsiga: The TK-83 [1]

Microsiga TK-83

I miss the box of tapes I had :( Mostly 3D Monster Maze [2]


[0] [2008-09-20 15:53:22] MrJavaGuy

I started programming in school on a TRS-80 while travelling abroad. But my first home computer was an Apple ][.

[0] [2008-09-20 16:13:47] The Chairman

Apparently it seems that Thus far, I am one of the very few who had a cursed Apple /// or Apple III or Apple 3, or affectionately a Crapple.

Crashed more that (Windows 95)^2

See Wikipedia: Apple III [1]


[0] [2008-09-20 16:14:58] John Fiala

The IBM PCjr, with extra RAM and a floppy drive. No hard drive, but we had the Basic ROM cartridge - you plugged it into the front and always had basic on-hand, which was really cool. My dad got me my first Infocom games to play on it.

[0] [2008-09-20 16:28:24] Glenn Block

I had several early computers. One of my favorites was the TRS-80 color computer, known lovingly as the Coco. It was a great little system, with a nice set of games. remember writing my first assembly program on it, by using the poke command :)

alt text

[0] [2008-09-20 16:37:44] ironfroggy

When I was a kid I had a VTech, which is basically a toy. Back then, they actually included BASIC interpreters and that was my first experience with programming. I am very sad not to be able to find such a "toy" these days that is actually programmable.

[0] [2008-09-20 17:19:46] volley

Sord M5. Played games for a few days, then found the cartridge marked "Basic G".

SordM5 [1]


[0] [2008-09-20 17:30:49] community_owned

My First Home PC was Pentium 1 , 120 Mhz, 1.2GB HDD, 8MB ran Windows 95 then...used it for 4-5 years....

[0] [2008-09-20 17:42:05] don

Timex Sinclair 1000 that my parents bought for me at a grocery store. Followed four or five years later by a Commodore 64, which I used for about seven years (until college).

I still have both computers...

[0] [2008-09-20 17:43:28] John Topley

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 16K, later upgraded to a mammoth 48K! My Dad bought it directly from Sinclair Research Ltd in 1982.

[0] [2008-09-20 18:18:44] Crank

Commodore 64, it's BASIC language and some times later I've get back to this machine and had fun with motorolas assembler.

[0] [2008-09-20 18:33:43] lamcro

First computer ever used: one of those Apple II in 6th grade (1989).

First computer at home: My dad bought an IBM PC clone by Hyundai (1890). MS-DOS with GW-BASIC.

[0] [2008-09-20 19:31:16] David Heggie

I'm another Sinclair boy. Started with a ZX80 (for my 10th birthday (and christmas too, since it was so expensive!)). I was a Sinclair fanboy for years too. I even had one of those awful QL things [1] with the microdrive ...


ZX80 entry already exists. Just vote that one up instead, and leave a comment on it. - Scott Ferguson
[0] [2008-09-20 19:39:30] njsf

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K. After a total of 2 weeks with BASIC managed to find the complete ROM Dissasembly book and learned a LOT on programming and neat techniques. That was when I decided to be a software engineer

[0] [2008-09-20 19:48:01] Nerf42

Apple IIc. I actually ended up hauling it back and forth to Junior High School for almost a year.

[0] [2008-09-20 06:38:01] David Leonard

Mine was the Apple ][e ... and learning the 6502.. mind-expanding stuff.

Wow, this is a nostalgia thread. How come plastic these days doesn't have the excitement that it had back then?? I am looking at the great images of machines people have posted above, the machines that I recognise and I can recall the totally awesome power I felt when my hands were on them. Yet I have my hands right now on a quantifiably much much much more powerful laptop... yet it feels lame in comparison.

Bring back POKE!

[0] [2008-09-20 06:43:48] LarryF

Mine was the Timex Sinclair 1000, then an Atari 400, 1200xl, (and some other weird models I can't recall), but the computer that really got me all revved up was a C=64... I Read Jim Butterfield's ML book, and never looked back.. :)

[0] [2008-09-20 07:14:16] midas06

Gateway 286 sx 16mhz /w 2MB ram and a 20mb HD

[0] [2008-09-20 08:25:17] Jim In Texas

A Digital Group [1] Z80


[0] [2008-09-20 08:53:00] cretzel

Commodore 64

[0] [2008-09-20 08:56:23] community_owned

Like many, the Commodore 64

[0] [2008-09-20 09:42:31] Biri

Commodore +4

I haven't played on it for a year, because I was so impressed by programming in basic and later in assembly.

I still have a working one in my closet, with casette, a catrigde with Commodore Basic from the Commodore 128 series, and the learning kit for assembly.

[0] [2008-09-20 10:16:02] neslekkiM

Sharp MZ-731, with built in printer and cassette drive! :) Am I the only one? alt text

[0] [2008-09-20 11:09:04] unexist

My first computer was a C64 too - I also made my first programming experiences there. :)

[0] [2008-09-20 11:20:34] vaske

pentium..I was 15 when I got my first computer...that was incredible time...:)

[0] [2008-09-20 11:29:47] Daniel

The first machine I used was an AIM-65 [1] clone. I had 1K of RAM. Machine code monitor, Basic and Forth in ROM. It was heaps of fun :) I can still remember programming the thing in Basic.

alt text


[0] [2008-09-20 11:59:56] Zee JollyRoger

This Windows ME machine. Kinda feel a bit young. I've been collecting old "vintage" machines as a hobby lately. A proud addition that I've come to own is a Commodore 64. I adore my 64.

I never thought I would consider someone only ~7 years younger than me to be a young'n. - Brad Gilbert
[0] [2008-09-20 14:12:00] Andy Cook

A Sinclair ZX Spectrum - a UK rubber keyboarded home computer from about 1982

[0] [2008-09-20 14:25:21] Tony R

486 Acer which was smoking hot compared to my friend's 386 lol! circa 1989, I think?

I'm pretty sure it cost about $2K and I remember my dad muttering under his breath about how expensive it was, "Could put a down payment on a car for that much grumble...".

[0] [2008-09-20 14:38:29] community_owned

IBM PC Convertible Model 5140.

A heavy clunker of a box at 13 pounds. Mine also had the optional printer that attached to the rear and printed on thermal fax paper. What a joy it was to type up your own documents, only to have to go to Staples to make a copy of it on "real" paper :))

I spent lots of hours programming Basic on it, which I learned from a book. I actually wrote a file-based Hangman program that loaded the words from one of the floppies :)

[0] [2009-03-24 11:53:47] community_owned

Cant help it ...

Dell Studio !!!!!

[0] [2009-05-06 16:32:36] adamvs

Apricot F1e - 128k RAM, single floppy drive, 9in green on black monitor. It was a thing of rare beauty... I used it to write my O Level CS project in GWBasic - it was a little thing that solved quadratics (surprise, surprise..!)

There's a pic of one at

[0] [2009-05-14 10:24:32] Neil Albrock

Acorn Electron [1]

alt text


[0] [2008-12-03 23:13:04] Mike Hall

Leading Edge

alt text

Is that Norton Commander? :X - Andrei Rinea
[0] [2008-12-09 15:28:19] Darron

A Heathkit H8 (sorry, no picture)

2MHz 8080 16K of RAM (I splurged!) Audio tape for storage.

Purchased in kit form, everything except the CPU card had to be hand assembled and soldered. The 10 slot backplane took a lot of patience.

I also bought a H19 video terminal, but that was back ordered for a few weeks. So I got to run hand-assembled programs keyed in on the front panel in octal until that arrived and I got to use the assembler.

Six months later I bought a floppy drive and controller and never looked back.

[0] [2008-12-11 23:46:22] Martijn Heemels

An Atari 130XE. 128kB of RAM, tapedrive and floppydrive (overclocked with a so-called Happy chip).

I programmed an adventure game in Turbo Basic. Later, my mother threw out the machine as junk. She hadn't realized the sentimental value. Sob...

[0] [2008-12-22 17:35:44] EdenMachine

Radio Shack's TRS-80

[0] [2009-03-04 13:07:13] AFHood

Tandy 1200

[0] [2009-03-08 03:30:26] community_owned

My father had a Zx Spectrum back in 1984. I played some games, but then I was 4 and never learned how to program on it. The "computer" I programmed first was the Casio Fx-4500p calculator

I made games, math programs, and even some funny animations!!

[0] [2009-03-20 09:55:28] Tim Ring

A Nascom 2 in 1980

Hardware : 2/4 MHz Z80, 32 kB RAM + 1k video ram, RS232, RF out, TTY, PIO lines, 300/1200baud casette, single board uncased.

Built in software : 2k monitor (NAS-SYS3) & 8k Microsoft ROM basic.

Heavily modded over the years, ended up as CP/M machine with dual floppies and 256k ram. Still have it in the shed, tried powering it up last year, dead as a dodo (doh).

[0] [2009-03-20 10:49:06] Jimmy J

Acorn Atom [1]

alt text


12Kb RAM

256*192 black+white graphics


[0] [2009-03-20 11:19:07] Zsolt Botykai

Enterprise 128 [1]. alt text


[0] [2009-03-20 11:25:00] Stephen Newman

Sinclair QL [1] God bless those microdrives! I then had an Atari ST, followed by a Compaq PC 386!


[0] [2009-03-20 14:23:10] Ricardo

Celereon 400 Mhz, 32 MB RAM. Internet on dial-up. And I could play the first Half-life game on it.

[0] [2009-03-20 19:20:03] community_owned

My first home computer used a TMS9900 chip (which was the first one-chip 16 bit microprocessor). I designed it myself and made the circuit board myself. And built it myself, of course.

I then wrote a monitor, translated it to machine code by hand and entered it using the toggle switches on the CPU board. Once I had that I could use the terminal (which I had designed and built myself) to enter machine code more easily.

The storage was an old cassette player where I had ripped out all the electronics and attached straight the the read/write head with my own electronics. But I rarely turned off the computer and had battery backup for the memory.

The first bigger pieces of software I wrote was an assembler and a text editor so I could code more easily. After that I write an operating system (Unix-like, but without parallel processes) and a C compiler.

After a while I also got 5 1/4" floppy drives (what an improvement over tape) and built a graphics card.

[0] [2009-03-20 20:11:29] John Fricker

Science Fair Digital Computer Kit!

Digital Computer Kit

[0] [2009-03-20 20:44:19] shortbaldman
  1. Northstar Horizon with 16K RAM, 90K floppy drive, 4MHz Z80 processor. I had to assemble it myself from a huge box of parts. These days it only exists for me as an emulator on linux which I have written in C.

[0] [2009-03-20 20:47:38] Mark Goddard

Mine was an Apple IIc. 128k of RAM and dual floppy drives with a good old dot matrix printer.

[0] [2009-03-20 22:19:50] community_owned

Ohio Scientific SuperBoard II

[0] [2009-03-24 11:27:15] Ionuț G. Stan

HC 85

It was built inside a box made from a mailbox :)

I miss those times so much. I was 12yrs old, and I remember working for a week to write something that would act like a type-writer :)

(that is not ionut, it's ionut's girlfriend)

[0] [2009-06-03 14:41:46] Denis Hennessy

The Transam Triton - a self-assembly kit based on the Intel 8080.

[0] [2008-10-25 22:28:15] ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells

The first computer I owned was a BBC model B but technically the first computer I programmed was a kitset system based on a RCA1802 (possibly a COSMAC ELF [1]) that belonged to a friend. This machine had a set of toggle switches on the front and a LED hex display.


[0] [2008-11-18 23:48:38] Stephan Eggermont

A Philips P2000T. My father used to work at Philips Research labs. The first 50 machines were sold at a large discount to people working there with the provision that the source code for programs they wrote in the first year(s) would be made available to all P2000 users.

Wow, 12 pages of answers.

[0] [2009-06-03 13:00:12] mj2008

Microtan 65. It was 6502 based, had a hex keypad, 1k of memory (half of which was the screen memory), output to a telly. When I could afford it, I added the ASCII keyboard.

[0] [2009-06-04 20:49:33] community_owned

My first was an IBM 1620 at Tri-State College (now Trine University).

[0] [2009-06-03 15:28:06] community_owned

Mine was a Digital Equipment Corp PDT11/130, running RX-11.

In 1981, my older brother was a regional manager for Digital, and when I mentioned to him that I was interested in getting a personal computer - maybe the new Apple II-C - he said he had a computer at home in his closet he'd be happy to give to me. Elated, I took him up on it and we proceeded to load it up. We parted with him telling me "not to call him with questions". Little did I know what that was going to mean...

When I got it home, I set it up in my den and tried to figure out how to turn it on. There was no manual for it, and no On/Off switch. There was one marked "0/1", but that meant nothing to me. the only manuals I had were for the O/S, and they massed more than the hardware!

Eventually, I got it up and running and wrote my first Basic program on the box.

I later replaced it with a Digital Rainbow (sweet machine!).

[0] [2008-09-24 07:06:33] Kiranu

My love for computing and programming began when I installed Visual Basic 6 on a Compaq Presario 5528

[0] [2008-09-25 16:53:08] Thomas DeGan

I had an Atari 400 loaded with 8k of ram. Never thought I would use it all up. We won it from the Pepsi cap game. Way back when you knew you won without having to login to their web site and plug in a huge code.

[0] [2008-09-25 17:03:32] Branan

The first computer I remember using was a dual-boot Win95/DOS. It spent most of its time in DOS, running Mechwarrior 2.

The first computer I actually owned was a home-built 486 with DOS. I taught myself BASIC in the QBASIC interpreter.

[0] [2008-09-25 19:19:50] Ray Vega

A Turing machine [1].

(Image not available)


[0] [2008-09-25 22:10:56] Sean Sexton

Amiga 1000 w/RAM upgrade. Ahh, what a sweet machine.

[0] [2008-09-22 15:57:17] David

Does an IBM 5100 count? I had one of those on loan for a little while. As far as computers I've owned the list seems endless. I've had Ataris (800, 1040ST), the ill-fated Coleco Adam, an Amiga 2000 and then a series of PC-clones including a VAXmate before going to custom-build PC hardware until a few years ago when I ended up buying a total of 3 HP Media Center PCs.

And there still isn't a game out there that can compare to M.U.L.E. on the Atari 800 when it comes to getting 4 people excited and passionate playing against each other in a game of economics...

[0] [2008-12-22 19:06:38] RobH

My first computer was a Mac IIvi [1]. I still have it stashed in the corner of a closet. My next computer was a 486 Windows box running Windows 95 and upgraded to 98. That was succeeded by a newer PC running Windows XP. That one's still chugging away. I plan on getting an Intel Macbook Pro soon. (The plan is to put Windows on it so I can boot into either OS.)


[0] [2009-01-29 10:54:00] community_owned

my first computer was IBM 5170. Learnt Lotus and Basic on it.

[0] [2009-01-29 11:04:53] romaintaz

My first computer was a Amstrad PC 1640 [1], which is an extended version of the Amstrad 1512 (more memory and EGA graphics! Yeah !).

Mine had two 5.25" floppy drives, and no hard drive (I had to return my copy of "Sim City" to the store, as it required to be installed on a hard drive!).

It was in 1988...


[0] [2009-02-11 22:25:19] OTisler

I'm pretty young, so...
Packard Bell C115

[0] [2009-02-24 15:23:29] Anders K.

My first computer was an ABC-80 8-bit Z80. It had 16K RAM, a tape drive and a BW 40x25 screen. I think it cost around 6000 Swedish crowns in those days which was a lot.

alt text

[0] [2009-02-24 15:33:46] unwind

The Spectravideo SV-328: alt text As I recall, it had a pretty decent BASIC built into it, with graphics. I distinctly remember the revelation of using FOR loops to draw many concentric circles, each larger than the one before. :) Me being ... oh, around 7-8 years old, it did its fair share of game-playing too of course.

[0] [2009-02-24 15:40:22] Gambrinus

intel pentium 100MHz 8Mb Ram and the tremendous amount of 1GB hard-disk-space and an borland turbo c compiler - still love that ide - has all you need - except code completion ;)

[0] [2008-09-26 15:12:22] Euro Micelli

The Epson QX-11, known also (at least in Venezuela) as the "Epson Abacus"

Quoting (and slightly editing) parts of my nostalgic ramblings from here [1]:

Epson sold in the '80s a PC called the "QX-11". As far as I know, it was only sold in parts of Latin America and -- at least in Venezuela -- marketed under the name "Abacus" as a bundle with some very impressive (if crash-prone) productivity software with a Spanish UI, apparently custom written in-house.

An 8086-2 8Mhz processor, an impressive high-resolution monochrome display at 640x400 (fully graphic) with text sharp-as-knife; a sound chip with 3-channels (sound tones) + 1 ("noise") with 16 independent volume levels; two Atari-2600 joystick ports, a battery-backed RT clock and DOS 2.11 in ROM (fast, floppy-less boot) as well as support for some custom ROM cartridges (I never saw one, and don't know what they were for). The box was about 3" x 10" x 12". The floppies were 3 1/2", but used a 360KB format.

The Abacus software featured always-active WYSIWYG bold/italics/underline display, drop-down menus and mouse support; there was a bitmap drawing program that could be driven with a mouse or a joystick and a spreadsheet with charting that could save to the same file format as the drawing program. The Word processor had on-the-fly text justification, customizable tab-stops and margins that could change anywhere in the document and embeddable images... all this while my peers were using WordStar.

Ah, yes. It also came with GW-BASIC. I was doomed.


[0] [2008-09-28 06:03:37] Shannon Nelson

I started when my dad sat me down in front of an HP desktop computer - single line of 7-segment leds for text, with a cassette interface and a big platter hard drive. Later I played a little with a Sol-20 as mentioned above. However, a couple of years later, what really caught me was the Epson QX-10 that my mom bought to do contract word-processing work.

alt text

It was a beautiful machine witih a Z-80, 265K bytes of bank-switched RAM, bit-mapped graphics, running TP/M, an extended version of CP/M. During the day she used VALDOCS, the highly-integrated WYSIWYG word-processing and business software, an at night I got to peek and poke at it with MS-BASIC and 8080 assembler. Lots of learning that summer...

[0] [2008-09-29 14:46:43] Jim C

PDP-1 was the first one I used, but they wouldn't let me take it home. The first home computer was a VIC20. I eventually added a 8K RAM expansion for a total of 11.5K and a single side floppy disk drive.

Now that think about it, by very first computer was a slide rule. It was analog instead of digial, but it was still a computer!

[0] [2008-09-29 23:13:20] dlamblin

I had a Pineapple;

Shortly followed by an Apple ][+ for years, and then a //gs, then a 386 with no math co-processor, and a 486 DX after that... then a Macintosh Quadra 950. It could run Photoshop 2 and had a programmer's button. My PowerMac 8500/120 actually has a kind of forth built in to the OpenFirmware.

[0] [2008-09-30 00:48:21] Will Harding

Tandy 1000 SL running deskmate [1] followed closely by tons of apple mackintoshes at school.

Glorious Machine.


[0] [2008-10-03 00:18:18] BlueVoid

My first was the IBM Aptiva M Series. The first Aptiva to come pre-loaded with Windows '95. The best part of it was the software bundle which came with out, including the "Hyperman" and "Cyberia" games.

While searching for the brand of Aptiva I owned, I came across this article [1] which announces the new, state of the art system. It was a good read for a trip down memory lane.


[0] [2008-10-04 00:50:07] Jeff Yates

My first was home computer was a Tatung Einstein, but I programmed on a Commodore 64 (my cousins) and a BBC Micro (at school) prior to that.
alt text

[0] [2008-10-04 11:06:21] Omar Abid

AST 100 Mhz P1 but didn't found a photo

[0] [2008-10-06 19:54:58] John Kraft

Tandy 1000EX

[0] [2008-10-06 22:04:42] Michael McCarty

Still have my first computer, an Apple ][ plus.

[0] [2008-10-06 22:49:50] community_owned

An IBM PC jr. Given to me by my boss at Amdek. I managed to score a Parallel adapter so I could print to a Ricoh daisywheel printer. Found an article on how to modify the floppy controller to add another disk drive (hacked it up and added two more). DOS 2.1 running a modified Vdisk.sys for a ram drive. DOS was in A:, Applications in B: and Data in C:. A few bytes to change the equipment status byte and I was flyin'. Whoo Hoo!

[0] [2008-10-08 03:46:54] Joe Morgan

My first computer was a 50 Mhz Windows 3.1 machine that ran everything in DOS.

[0] [2008-10-12 23:11:51] Roddy

Science of Cambridge Mk 14

alt text

[0] [2008-10-12 23:49:48] pmg

An Oric Atmos
Oric Atmos
Sorry, couldn't find a better image

Oh ... does a Commodore PR100 count?
Commodore PR100

[0] [2008-10-12 23:54:22] Mark Allen

Also a TRS-80 Model I. We had the AT case sized floppy and PPT adapter that sat under the monitor for it, and the floppy disk drive that sounded like a garbage disposal unit to sit next to it.

[0] [2009-06-30 18:51:52] community_owned

Amiga 64.

64 kbytes of RAM. External Tape reader/recorder. Just BASIC!!!

[0] [2009-06-30 18:53:39] JuniorFlip

Gateway home personal PC

[0] [2009-06-30 18:56:40] community_owned

A MSX Sony HB-501P in 1986, and I have still got it and runs ok :)

This is :

[0] [2009-06-30 18:59:52] pho3nix

My first programmable machine :) I develop an Super Mario Version for TI-83 in Basic, very cool :) My first real pc was an Pentium 133 Mhz with 8mb of Memory and 2 gb DISK. Good Times.

alt text

Super Mario on a TI-83 and written in BASIC. I think I've heard it all now... - kirk.burleson
[0] [2009-06-30 19:39:18] community_owned

Amstrad CPC 464 with green monitor!!!! then i changed it for a commodore Amiga 500 with 1 MB o RAM The i became sentimental and bought one Commodore 64 and a Spectrum zx 64kb After these computers i got an apple Centirs 610 and then my first PC with an VGA card (i do not remember its specifications).

After that PC i got another one just to play flight simulator at Full speed!!!! And after that computer two laptops one Dell and one macbook pro ...rom now on probably only macs...I never learned to program.

[0] [2009-06-30 19:42:25] community_owned

Spectrum 128K load "" LOL

[0] [2009-06-30 20:46:25] community_owned

Amstrad PCW 8256

[0] [2009-06-30 21:12:56] community_owned

Toshiba T3100/20

When I was 9, I was offered my first computer for Christmas, a 7Kg laptop by Toshiba. I was happy playing with GW/Q-Basic, Lemmings for Dos, typing some funny texts or filling spreadsheets using Works, stuff like that. Since it had no battery, everytime I was visiting family I actually had to transport the thing itself and to bring the power cord along (which was exactly the same as the ones for workstations).

Here are the original specs: "Model from Toshiba with orange 640*400 plasma screen. CPU: 80286-8 (8/4.77MHz). 640 Kb RAM, 20 M hard drive and 720 K floppy. Operating system: Toshiba MS-DOS 2.11 shipped with earlier models, MS-DOS 3.2 shipped later. Weight 6.6 kilo, size 308x80x360 mm."

Since it wasn't even sporting a 386-type CPU, I could not install Windows 3.1 on it. It was high time I moved to a "multimedia" 486DX/66 PC (but that's another story...)

[0] [2009-06-30 21:17:04] community_owned

Yo estube algo más evolucionado... spectrum 128 Kb

Todo un lujo !!!



[0] [2009-06-30 22:04:18] community_owned

i started with this !

[0] [2009-06-30 23:20:38] community_owned

Spectravideo SVI 728

[0] [2009-07-01 07:57:40] community_owned


[0] [2009-06-30 14:43:08] community_owned

Mine was Phillips MSX-2 and it was pretty awesome, yuk, yuk

[0] [2009-06-30 17:43:58] community_owned

MSX_Philips_VG8020 link text [1]


[0] [2009-06-30 18:30:00] community_owned

MSX Sony HB-201P

My best computer ever!!! I still got it.

[0] [2009-06-04 22:56:58] yelinna

I'm a newbie in computer world. Before my first computer I played with logo, wordperfect, DOS, Word 95 and mspaint (he he).

My first computer, from 1998, was:

PI processor, 64MB of RAM, 2GB Hard Disk, Win98, 15" monitor, AT power source.

Current PC: from 2005, not much better: Celeron 2.3GHz, 512 RAM, 80 GB hard disk, 15" monitor, ATX power source.

[0] [2009-06-30 14:18:26] Ben

Amstrad PC 1512

[0] [2009-08-14 22:43:30] Larry Watanabe

Dr. Nim - it is a mechanical computer that plays Nim

[0] [2009-08-14 22:44:14] Larry Watanabe

Dr Nim - it plays the game of Nim

[0] [2009-08-14 22:46:21] Charles Shoults

TI-99 4a. Dude, that thing rocked.

[0] [2009-07-01 08:33:57] Deliria

Panasonic CF2700. My parents got one when I was 10 or so. I consider it my first home-computer, as I hogged it most of the time :D

Hmm, I kind of miss those days of tinkering with MSX-Basic and wondering why people used "subs" instead of goto....... Ofcourse, back then there was no internet on which people could yell at me to not use goto ;)

[0] [2009-07-01 09:05:51] community_owned

[0] [2009-07-16 22:53:06] Adrian McCarthy

Xitan Z-80 (alpha 1) from Technical Design Labs.

[0] [2009-07-30 16:09:51] community_owned

I had a TI-99/4A. Loved it. Next was a TRS80 Model 100 portable. Both good machines - never crashed. Not once.

[0] [2009-08-02 04:49:12] community_owned

My first foray into programming was on a TI 59 calculator. It was so versatile that I took it to work to help reduce my workload, and it got the attention of my supervisor.

[0] [2009-08-02 06:29:23] ArneRie

My first homecomputer was the famous c-64 , where i have started to create crazy games with basic :-)

After this time, i have bought an 8086 from IBM, with this nice "green" Screen.. what a time..

First real pc

[0] [2009-08-04 17:42:19] Jan

first was a 386.. Then i upgraded it to 486.. so on =)

[0] [2009-08-10 18:44:31] mahboudz

Sharp PC-1500 Pocket Computer with 8K of RAM, a cool printer/cassette interface that could print/plot in 4 colors and turn a cassette player (or an external relay) on/off programatically (making for a great little alarm clock that could turn lights on or sound an external bell).

[0] [2009-08-10 18:47:52] Kawa

Mine was an Epson HX-20 [1]. Black. I learned programming on it, by editing values from the manual's examples.

Fun fact: I could barely read back then, I was that young.


[0] [2009-08-14 22:34:30] Andrew Warner.

Commodore 64. It had the tape deck too -- and I LOVED it.

[0] [2009-11-22 13:37:48] Klosterf

Czerweny CZ 2000, argentinian sinclair clon.

[0] [2009-10-14 21:51:07] Mark Schultheiss

Burroughs B22, with a tower, 8 inch floppy

[0] [2009-08-20 12:37:20] Martin

My first was a 386 with DOS and Windows 3.1 that my mom bought from an infomercial on TV. The computer came with a CD of "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?". The first thing I did was try to insert the CD into the 5.25 floppy drive. I succeeded, but luckily I didn't break anything.

[0] [2009-10-08 07:03:12] gbarry

HP-2116. In the minicomputer days, I defined "personal computer" to be "anything you could reboot without anyone caring", meaning a single-user machine. This particular machine was stuck into the lab for experimentation after they upgraded the time sharing system with something newer.

[0] [2009-10-12 01:45:03] Frank Rotolo

Kaypro with 10MB Hard Disk, Z80 processor running CP/M

[0] [2009-08-28 15:11:35] community_owned

how old are you guys?

anyway, i used a pentium III at about 5-6 years ago. i am going to give it away.

[0] [2009-09-28 13:02:30] canadiancreed

Like a few folks here, the C64 was my first. At the time I didn't' think of getting into a career of programming (hell the area that I was from, they still don't' have reliable high speed internet), but had some programming books for the machine, and even made some programs in BASIC (remember GOTO loops? Good times.).

Also found that my one of my uncles was studying up FORTRAN and COBOL back when they were brand new, and used to read (well try too anyways) the manuals from his schooling days. Should have read a bit more, I'd be making more money if I knew that stuff.

[0] [2010-04-02 23:21:44] Joel

alt text

Tandy 2000

[0] [2010-05-20 13:55:01] Don

Commodore 64 with a tape drive.

[0] [2010-07-06 15:29:57] Aakash

My First Computer (IBM PC AT). Get myself introduced with Binary world. It was fun writing basic programs and playing dos games like Dig-dug, Paratrooper, Frog, Prince of Persia, F1GP

[0] [2010-03-31 10:23:48] erikric

My first machine was an Olivetti computer with a 486sx 25Mhz cpu, 4Mb of RAM and a 256 Mb HDD. Ah, those were the days. It ran DOOM alright, and that was enough in those days.

Later got upgraded with another 4Mb RAM and changed the cpu to a 66Mhz 486dx.

The box is still around, but not in a working condition unfortunately. I think the motherboard bought it...

[0] [2010-04-02 22:59:57] leiflundgren

ABC 80 [1] Swedish computer based on the Z80 processor and a build in BASIC interpretor.

It was where I got my first taste of programming. At first me and my friend wrote programs that displayed the text from hit songs on the screen.

Later I found that the track for the car-game was described through byte values. If I changed all the values to 0 the game became much easier. (But not as fun.)

alt text


[0] [2009-12-15 21:44:11] Padu Merloti

Although the Apple IIe was my first computer, the first computer I used and fell in love with programming (10 CLS; 20 PRINT 'HELLO'; 30 GOTO 10) was the Brazilian version of the Japanese MSX, the "Gradiente Expert XP-800", around 1985.

If you look close, it does look like modern PC

The MSX was based on the good old 8-bit Z-80A, with 3.58 Mhz clock and 64KB or RAM.

alt text

[0] [2010-02-27 20:19:41] Mike Dunlavey

It was the Intel 8008 [1], in the 70s. I made a little board with wire-wrap sockets containing the CPU chip, a PROM chip, an 8-bit parallel I/O chip, and a timer chip for the memory. Then I made a power supply out of a transformer, diodes, some voltage regulators, and a couple big capacitors, all kind of poured into an aluminum box. I programmed the PROM to play a little duet on a couple of speakers clipped to two I/O lines.

There was a small disk capacitor soldered on one end that, if you tucked it under another wire, would cause the timer chip to slow down by a factor of 1000. That caused the duet to play r-e-a-l-l-y slow, so you could hear the speakers just clicking.

Then when I was a professor teaching intro C.S. I would bring the whole thing to class in a paper bag, and use it to demonstrate how no matter how fast a computer seems, it is still basically doing one thing at a time.


[0] [2010-09-17 15:04:12] Diarmuid

wang 386 with maths coprocessor!

[0] [2010-09-22 12:32:14] Werner

ZX Spectrum, with its basic was one of the best in the eighties :)

[0] [2010-10-07 10:02:51] smoop

Simply Computers, 100Mhz Pentium, 16MB Ram, 1GB Harddrive, Hawkeye Video Card 1MB video memory, 14" Screen. - Cost at the time (around 1996) £1500!!

[0] [2010-07-21 07:08:59] Windows programmer

"What was your first home computer? The one that made you "fall in love" with programming."

Coincidentally just before reading this question I read a few questions about security. You know, the biggest security problem is unwarranted assumptions. Now even though this question isn't a security issue, it demonstrates the exact same problem: unwarranted assumptions.

My first home computer was not the one that made me "fall in love" with programming. My first home computer was made by and lent by the employer that I was working for at the time, around 15 years after I "fell in love" with programming.

My first home computer had no compiler on it, for any language. If I hadn't already been in love with programming I surely wouldn't have done so from this one.

Sirius Systems and I don't remember the model number.

[0] [2010-07-21 07:14:23] Valera Kolupaev

Russian analogue of ZX Spec, called "Byte" Byte computer

[0] [2010-07-21 07:19:58] Xinus

My first home computer is not that interesting but I would have loved to write my first program on this

Its an ancient mechanical computer designed to calculate astronomical positions

[0] [2010-07-21 07:26:23] ufukgun

The CPU of my first computer was 586.

it was 100mhz but it was not equal to Pentium100.

people who have P100 could play Fifa97 but i could not.

[0] [2010-07-28 00:37:22] MatthewD

Image of the mighty SEGA SC3000H The SEGA SC3000. I had the 'H' version (pictured).

[0] [2010-11-15 20:45:24] Flowpoke

Zeos 386.

[0] [2010-11-15 21:00:58] zod

started on a samsung samtron monitor with a cpu of CYrix processor

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[-1] [2009-02-24 18:01:18] Gary Willoughby

Commodore 16 [1]

Commodore 16

And i've still got it!


[-1] [2009-06-04 22:15:52] eschneider

Commodore 64 with a Tape drive only. I wrote so much code the cursor would pause for a few seconds after hitting enter...

Later I got a 1541 Floppy drive, from there I was Amiga fan...

[-1] [2008-09-19 17:26:48] Barry Brown

Sinclair ZX81, upgraded to 16K with expansion pack. (Originally 1K of RAM.) Did a lot of BASIC programming on it and even dabbled in Z80 assembly.

I still have it, sitting in a box somewhere.

[-1] [2008-09-19 17:20:07] Dimitris

Amstrad CPC 664

This model sat between the 464 (but had a disk drive instead of a tape drive), and the CPC 6128 but had 64K of RAM instead of 128K.

Is still own it!

[-1] [2008-09-19 18:01:47] hectorsosajr

Mine was a Sinclair Z81.

[-1] [2008-09-19 17:04:52] Konrad

Amstrad CPC 464 - took so long waiting for the damn tapes to load that I just started writing stuff myself :p

Amstrad CPC 464

[-1] [2008-09-19 17:08:23] Cruachan

Atari ST 1024, with the mono monitor. Terribly neat machine - sort of a Mac Lite.

At the same time I was coding on an IBM 3090 mainframes at work using Cobol/CICS. C on the Atari was way more interesting.

[-1] [2008-09-19 18:56:37] Internet Friend

People, please try to find pictures of your computers to include with your posts. I find them... adorable.

and don't duplicate! - Stu Thompson
(4) This should have been a comment... - Omar Kooheji
[-1] [2008-09-19 15:39:32] community_owned

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k with a 3rd party keyboard upgrade

[-1] [2008-09-19 15:44:36] Garth Gilmour

Sinclair Spectrum 48K [1] - Real programmers use rubber keys!


[-1] [2008-09-19 16:17:18] mtruesdell

Commodore Vic-20 Boot to a basic interpreter. Had an audio tape drive too. Monitor was a TV. Got it at K-Mart!

[-1] [2008-09-19 16:00:39] Michiel

ZX 81

getting sentimental

[-2] [2008-09-19 16:17:53] community_owned

Vic-20, then an Atari 400, then an Apple II

[-2] [2008-09-19 16:25:10] loris_p

Commodore 64!!