Hardware of Yore

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dstrauss, Feb 7, 2017.

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  1. neonnoodle

    neonnoodle Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I had one of these and LOVED it:

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. XJ12

    XJ12 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    and we complain about today's bezels.
     
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  3. Sweetpea8472

    Sweetpea8472 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    But at least it's not a rectangle with rounded corners!
     
  4. southdunes

    southdunes Scribbler - Standard Member

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    This is a kick*ss thread. But it's making me feel my age right about now.

    My first PC, if it can be called that, was the Atari 800. Was followed shortly thereafter by the 800XL, then a somewhat respectable Packard Bell (286) sometime in the late 80s. Think my first foray onto Prodigy and Compuserv was on the 800XL. Fun trip down memory lane -

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. XJ12

    XJ12 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    my first computer/console was a TI 99/4a. had game cartridges. So I could save money playing Donkey Kong at home instead of the arcade.

    Wrote a Yahtzee game in basic on that thing. To save the program, you just used any old old tape cassette recorder to "record" the program.
     
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  6. XJ12

    XJ12 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    my first "real" job (after college), PCs had barely taken off. my first "workstation" was an IBM XT with a workstation number of 16. They started numbering all the computers at the work place starting with 1. So when I started working, I worked on the 16th computer that the company had bought. some places I interviewed with for a job after college, maybe the secretaries had PCs for word processing. the engineers had to submit programs to a mainframe for the simplest of tasks. What? I actually decided to not accept a job offer from any company that didn't have a PC for the engineers. When I toured the job sites, if I didn't see a PC I just made a mental note, not going to work for these guys.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
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  7. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

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    My first mobile device was the TI-66 - 1983

    [​IMG]

    My first computer was the TI-99/4A (with the Modem and a Cassette Tape Drive

    [​IMG]
     
  8. dellaster

    dellaster Non-Creative Plebe Senior Member

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    Nice nostalgia! Similar to others, I started with the Sharp PC-2 variant, though I actually counted my HP 41CV as my first "computer"—including a mini card reader for recording programs and a color plotter. Very cool.

    Then on to the Commodore 64 when it first came out at about $600, which I covered with the sale of two programs (a utility and a game) to COMPUTE! magazine. That was with a cassette drive, the external 5.25" floppy drive came later along with the 300 baud modem. At 300 bits per second I could read CompuServe posts as they slowly loaded on the screen, character-by-character.

    Then in 1984 it was a 512K "Fat" Mac which I kept and upgraded till the PowerBook 180 laptop. I'll stop there since the 1990s are recent times from my perspective. ;)
     
  9. kvoram

    kvoram Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    So many great stories here. Kinda makes me wish I was born a decade or two earlier to witness it all from the beginning.
    But on the other hand I will have a bit longer to enjoy quantum computing, holographic displays, brain-computer interfaces etc. Or I will still be fit enough to join the fight against our machine overlords after we have reached singularity. Let's see what comes first ;)

    My experience has been different, geographically and more so by age. After I was born, my family moved to Germany, more specifically then West-Berlin. Even though we were in an enclave behind the iron curtain, thankfully it was politically too important and even divided still by far the biggest German city, so we also got the same tech as the rest of the West. But whenever we went to our families in what were then Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, the disparities when it came to personal computing were distinct. Changes came fast though during the 90s.

    By the time I was old enough to know a computer in the mid-80s, my father had a Commodore 64 which was replaced with a C128 as soon as that came out. My best friend's family back then had an Atari, while my older brother's best friend swore by their Amiga. As a kid it was all about games of course, so I only knew what do with those 5.25" floppies and what to enter to start the games. IMHO, the most durable piece of tech accessory ever produced was the Competition Pro joystick, impossible to destroy no matter how hard the beating. By the end of the 80s I got a Game Boy, which I guess was my first own piece of "advanced" tech. But more importantly, I saved up what seemed like a fortune of my pocket money to buy the Atari Lynx. Money-wise that was a kid's equivalent to me nowadays getting a high-end Surface Studio, but man was I proud. I was way ahead of my peers.
    My father then bought a 486 at the beginning of the 90s, with a whopping 120MB hard drive and 4MB RAM. Coming from the C128, everything about it felt as if my father had switched the family car to a Lamborghini. I can't remember a time I felt more wowed by a piece of tech, but then again my teen self was more easily impressed. Software-wise things were seemingly changing fast, going from MS-DOS to Windows 3.1, and then always having to work around that pesky 640kb limit. But the joys going from 5.25" floppies to 3.5" and then CD-ROMs.
    I still remember how there were those those regular events in town where all kinds of computer hardware was sold, a nerd's equivalent to a toy store.
    The decade before that new thing called World Wide Web came to our computers, in Germany our online service was a system called Bildschirmtext (BTX).
    It took a few upgrades of the family PC until I finally received the old one as my own by the mid 90s. By the way, were Luigi Colani-designed desktops a thing in the US?
    Thinking back, it may be a deception of my memory but it still seems that the last 15 years of the old millennium seemed were giant leaps for mankind, whereas the first 15 years of the current millenniujm are just small steps for man.
    The one thing that remains from that era is that I am still using Norton Commander follow-up Total Commander to this day as my file manager.


    [​IMG]
     
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  10. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    In 1983, I got a glimpse of the future at our local (one and only) computer store, that was an Apple and HP dealer - the Apple Lisa. It was not on display - you had to be lucky enough to hang around and get a view upstairs of this marvel, which they were using to write programs for some local oil companies - it was $10,000 in 1983! Made the forthcoming Macintosh down right frugal...
    [​IMG]
     
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