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Your First Computer
#1
Tell us your story about your first computer.   

Please include topics like:

                   Hardware:  cpu, memory, storage devices, monitors, etc.
                   Software:  OS as well as your favorite applications or development tools.
                   Likes:   (favorite app, great tactile keyboard)
                   Dislikes:   (fans sound like a jet engine, a good portable heater)
Idea  Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

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#2
I got my first computer was a dell Inspirion laptop.
Its specs where:
Cpu: i3-2310
Ram: 1x4g ddr3
Gpu: Some old AMD Chip
Drives: 320G harddrive
Screen: 13" 1366x768

I got this computer when I was 12. It was originally meant for my brother, but he just ended up using the main home computer. After about two years of using the thing I got another computer. I got another computer and so it got given to my father.

After a few years the computers hard drive failed I regained ownership of it. After replacing the hardrive and upgraded the ram to 8G, I installed Linux on it and after a month I turned it into my daily driver and became a full time Linux user.

I have now retired that computer after a partial logic board failure. But It as really served me well over these past few years.
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#3
Got mine back in '97 and it was the fastest of it's time at 800Mhtz Pentium III CPU and two slots of 128mb Ram memory and a massive 20GB HD.  It served me well until 2004.  I had one of those humped Microsoft keyboards which were quite good for learning to type.
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#4
Mine must have been in 1998 running Win95.

Specifications? No idea. All I remember is that it was a beige box with wires coming out of the back and a slot in the front for floppies. It did its job competently which is all I ask of any tool whether it be a computer, a screwdriver, or a lathe.
Cliff Coggin
Mint 18.3
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#5
I was going to college (Electrical Engineering) and working full time repairing consumer electronics.  My first computer class involved using a micro M6800 trainer with a seven segment display and a numeric key pad. We wrote and manually entered the machine code in to the micro trainer.  After that class I was hooked on computers.

My first computer was a Heathkit H-89 All-In-One computer.  My first encounter with a bank was to get a loan was to buy the computer.  The H89 cost $1695, and it would have bought a Ford Maverick for that money. 

The kit required you to build the power supply, the black and white monitor, and assemble everything else together.   Thankfully, the video logic board and the cpu motherboard came with everything pre-solder.  I had to installed the CPU, ROMs, and SC RAM chips.   The computer had an 8bit 2MHz Z80 processor and 16KiB of SC RAM.  That was not a typo I used Megahertz and Kilobytes terminology.  The floppy drive was a 160KiB 5 1/4" drive.
  
I learned to program in Z80 assembler, Basic, Cobol, and C.  While I was banging away at a Basic program I quickly ran out of memory.  I saved up some cash to upgrade to 48KiB RAM amd eventually to 64KiB.  My next hurdle was running out of storage space.  Again, I saved up and bought two 640KiB 5 1/4" floppies.  Eventually, I modified the CPU motherboard to run at 4MHz.  From there I was able to continue on with my Basic, Cobol, and C learning in this configuration.  

What I like most about the computer was the tactile feel of the keyboard.  I found one other keyboard on a Data General 6053 that had a similar feel.  That keyboard rocked for me.  The video logic board would draw a wide array of ascii graphic symbols to make for a very interesting serial ascii terminal user interface.  Also, the black and white monitor was very sharp. 

My dislikes were the outrageous prices.  But, I was hooked and wanted to learn computing.  Instead of wasting money on a car, I invested in gaining computing knowledge.

If you are interested in pictures and more information go this link:
https://heathkit.garlanger.com/hardware/systems/H89/

Idea  Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

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#6
My first computer was a Toshiba Setellite L-500-D laptop I got from my grand parents when I was about 12. They thought I might need in in school, but for the first few years I just used to watch videos on the internet. The device came with Windows 7 64-bit, which reinstalled two times with the provided system rescue disc because I caught a "virus". The "virus" was just a simple program that placed itself into the autostart folder and once started, opened and fullscreened a webbrowser with some message. I later learned how to remove this kind of malware (basically just boot into th secure mode of windows and delete it from the autostart folder).

After a few years, I mainly used that device to play some games with friends (Mostly Team Fortress 2 with my good friends Anton and Ida). Surprisingly, the device held up well (at least compared to my friends really old computers) and we a lot of fun. I must have been around 14 at that time. This was also the period I discovered the registry editor, which also lead to some fun as well as some frustration.

When I was 15, the screen of the device died. I removed the screen and used my 30-somewhat inch TV as a monitor, which reduced my available deskspace to basically zero. At the time, I did not know that the laptop lid is also housing the WiFi antennas, which led to some confusion until I disassembled the lid.

The device now slowly began to die. I went through two charging cables until the battery died. Since I just bought myself an amplifier, I had not enough funds to replace the laptop, so I just kept on using it.
Oddly enough, the power button stopped working, so I "modded" the laptop with some button I found in my grandfathers basement. Despite my horrible soldering job, the laptop did once again turn on and luckily no magic smoke escaped.

I don't know when exactly that thing stopped working, but I remember that I had to use my mothers computer for school tasks when I was 16 or 17. I still have the harddrive, but I somehow managed to make that drive unusable (no idea how): It is write protected and seems to be encrypted but does report healthy SMART values... Quite sad, since it would be fun to look through my old files again.
My website - My git repos

"Things are only impossible until they’re not." - Captain Jean-Luc Picard
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#7
Mine was a z80 "portable" with amber monitor and cp/m os (I still have the huge stack of of cp/m user manuals in the shed).
Can't remember how much memory but do remember plugging in each separate chip.
1 5.25 inch internal floppy and 1 external 8 inch floppy.
And a 300 baud acoustical modem.
( gosh I'm so old )
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#8
(12-19-2018, 11:25 PM)spudnuts Wrote: Mine was a z80 "portable" with amber monitor and cp/m os (I still have the huge stack of of cp/m user manuals in the shed).
Can't remember how much memory but do remember plugging in each separate chip.
1 5.25 inch internal floppy and 1 external 8 inch floppy.
And a 300 baud acoustical modem.
( gosh I'm so old )


Wink
 I wonder how many people know what an acoustical modem is.  Or for that matte,r a modem in general.
Idea  Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

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#9
First PC I was able to use regularly:
Siemens Scenic 4N Notebook, my grandfathers business machine
Hardware: Intel x486 33 MHz, 4 MB RAM, 250 MB hdd, integrated monochrome Display
Software: MS-DOS 6.22, later Windows 3.11. Favorite Application in DOS: EDIT, Windows: Minesweeper
Like: Look and feel of the notebook. The idea of using a computer. The idea of using a computer with a GRAPHICAL INTERFACE!! With a mouse pointer on the screen!!! Awesome! (Never saw this before anywhere else.)
Dislike: The price which made it impossible to buy such a device for myself.
Note: I pretty much had no idea about why and how to use computers, I just liked it a lot. This was ~1994.

First PC I owned myself (~1999):
Highscreen Big Tower (customized PC), got it as a used machine
Hardware: Intel Pentium 1 100 MHz, 8 MB, later 48 MB RAM, 500 MB hdd, added a 2 GB hdd later. 3,5" Floppy drive and CD-ROM drive. Added a floppy 5,25" drive later. 15" CRT Monitor. Standard keyboard. Tried to add a 4x CD burning drive later. Bought a modem and a color printer later.
Special: Mouse with a third button!
Software: Windows 95, later Windows 98. SoftMaker Office '97 (Cheap resold version from my school). Favorite Applications: Probably Netscape, some DOS games, Word. Nothing special.
Like1: The ability to print a document in color and having everybody say "Wow, did you do this with a COMPUuuuuUTER?"
Like2: The web. And the way it was back than. With text and without too many ads, pictures and effects. You could just retrieve information from the internet without having to type in your personal data everytime. Internet felt like it was way less about making money. Not that anything nowadays is necessarily bad. It's just different.
Like3: The computer case was big enough to store say... uncle Dagobert's moneybag in. That made it highly scalable and tempted me to upgrade every now and then. So I was able to learn a little bit about hardware and installing device drivers.
Dislike: Never got the CD burner to run stable. The system would usually crash when trying to burn a CD. With 2x speed it worked in about 80% of the time. I had to throw away a lot of CD's until I figured this out.

Btw: Windows 3.11 was hilarious. I still like it today. Totally different story than Windows nowadays. In the 90s, Linux was considered to be a freaks-only play-around system. At least in my community. Windows was the thing. And very honestly, I think it actually was. EDIT: Until the early 2000s.
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#10
My first computer was a Gateway machine with Windows 95 on it that the wife and I bought used from a friend in 1999. I don't remember what the specs were but it was a pretty low end machine that we used AOL to get on the internet with. Those were the good old days that if you had one phone line you got disconnected when you had an incoming call.
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