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First time you used a computer?

When did you first use a computer?

  • 1996-2000

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2001-2005

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2006-2010

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2011-2015

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2016 or later

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    21

HaiGan

Busy Bee
Contributing Artist
Just out of curiosity. As we all use computers for our hobby and/or work, when did you first use a computer and can you remember what make and model it was?

The first computer I got to use was a BBC, probably a model A. Not long afterwards I got to have a go on the ZX Spectrum, Apricot Sirius1 and Amstrad CPC464. A bit later my own PC became a 'portable' Apple Macintosh 128k ('portable' because it had a handle built in to the top of the integrated b/w monitor, processor and floppy drive case).
 

3WC

Brilliant
Contributing Artist
Probably an Apple IIe in junior high school. Learned some basic programming and played a lot of Apple Adventure (text based game similar to Zork).
 

Alisa

HW3D QAV Queen Bee
Staff member
QAV-BEE
Are we talking ANY computer, or personal computers? :) Guess that shows that I'm not in my 20s right there, doesn't it ?

First time using ANY computer was in college - mid 1970s. It was a BIG computer in another room, so all I was using was a terminal. There was a Star Trek game, and being a Trek fan, but having never used a computer or having a clue about what to do, I of course decided to play! Short time later after clicking keys which ended up doing things like randomly shooting off photon torpedoes, the game ended, and a message came up on the screen that went something like this (never wrote it down but it is kinda burned in my memory even after all these years). It used my maiden name which I don't want to put here, so I'll leave that as xxxxx:

Captain xxxxx, you have destroyed the Earth.
Everyone is dead.
You are responsible.
You can not play this game any more.


After laughing my head off a bit, I took them seriously and had nothing to do with computers til about 1993, when we bought a used PCs Unlimited with an 8086 processor from my brother-in-law for $75, because he was upgrading to a new fast (lol) one that ran Windows 3.1. Our shiny not-so-new 8086 ran DOS 6. PCs Unlimited was a dba (doing business as) for a little company that dropped it after a few years and became just plain old Dell Computers. Our recollection is that it had 16 kb (yes, that's kb, not mb or tb) of memory and probably about a 10-20 mb hard drive. I instantly fell in love with the Quattro spreadsheet program, which was to me just THE coolest thing since sliced bread. To be able to make lists and sort them by columns or lines got me hooked on computers.

We upgraded shortly after that to a very fast (for the time) Dell 486 - with Windows 3.1, so hubby could learn CAD (Computer Aided Design) - which I learned along with him, though his skills are WAY beyond mine.
 

Flint_Hawk

Extraordinary
I was a late comer to the computer world & my first experience did nothing to encourage me. The machine was custom built, by a place that was recommended, then shipped to me. It was exciting to finally get it. But when I turned it on the monitor was filled with smilies, that were laughing. Even the computer experts here could not get rid of them & the place that built the computer had no idea what was going on.
 

Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
CV-BEE
My first computer was DOS based, and if my memory serves me (sometimes doubtfully), it was DOS 3.x. A co-worker's husband built it, and came to set it up for me. I eventually upgraded it to DOS 5, and that's the computer I used while getting my CIS & Programming degree between 1989 and 1995. The last couple of years I did all my work at home, as the college was updating all their labs to Windows at that point.

IIRC (again sometimes doubtfully), my first interaction with Windows was when one of the attorneys at my office gave me a laptop he was getting rid of because he had purchased a new one, and another attorney gave me Windows 3.1 For Workgroups. I installed it on the laptop, and then wrote a menu so I could choose which OS I wanted to work in during the boot-up process.

My first Windows based desktop (from Gateway), was Windows 95. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. I was so used to being able to program with DOS, and a number of the DOS-based applications I used back then.

Then my last desktop (also from Gateway) had Windows 98SE. Again, I didn't absolutely love it, but I didn't absolutely hate it.

Then I bought my first laptop (from Dell), and it had Windows XP Pro. This version of Windows I liked. The only drawback was it was only 32-bit, and a good many computers were being built for 64-bit. I had this laptop for over 7 years, and only had to get rid of it after I dropped it a couple of times, the second time making it impossible to use. Luckily, Staples had a store here in the neighborhood, and they were able to access the hard drive and back up everything to my external hard drive, so I didn't lose anything. ~whew~

Then I bought my current laptop (HP), and it has Windows 7 Pro. It took me several weeks to get it set up the way I had my WinXP set up, especially the Start Menu, but once I had that just the way I wanted it, Win7Pro became my fave Windows version, tied with WinXPPro, except now I'm set up for 64-bit applications.

That was 7 1/2 years ago, and now I'm thinking it's time for a new laptop, but I'm hesitant because I definitely don't want Windows 10, and I'm also hesitant about switching to Linux, though I've heard Mint is a good version for those who do 3D work. We shall see what I wind up with. ;)
 

LisaB

HW3D Vice President & Queen Bee
Staff member
Co-Founder
In the mid to late 80's. I babysat for a neighbor and they had a Tandy machine that you had to type in code to make it do things. I learned a bit about writing code to make things happen on the screen and used legal pads to write things out to try the next time I went there. I didn't get very far.

We got our own Windows computer as a family in the mid 90's and went from there.
 

McGyver

Engaged
The first computer I used was some IBM knockoff... it was a kit of some sort, or was built from parts and was fairly Frankensteinish... my friend’s uncle built it for him in hopes he’d want to learn about computers (which he did)... That was probably around 78’ or 79’... it had a typing game that I liked to play... by 1980 I was taking a computer class using a Radio Shack TRS-80...
I tried to get my parents to get me a computer, but they didn’t think it was a good idea because all I’d do was write games for them... which was probably true.
Yeah... that would have been a dead end, hu?... because video games were just a fad...
Since it was fairly frustrating to only work on the computer in the small amount of time I had at school, I quit computer classes at the end of tenth grade... Off and on I used computers (almost exclusively Apple) at work, learning whatever I could on the side... Photoshop and Ashlar Vellum being some of the programs I picked up messing around on the side... I didn’t actually get my own computer until the late 90s.
 

HaiGan

Busy Bee
Contributing Artist
First time using ANY computer was in college - mid 1970s. It was a BIG computer in another room, so all I was using was a terminal.
I got to look at a mainframe in the 70s, my Dad was sysadmin at the company and they had a bring-your-kids Open Day. The computer and its associated drives took up a whole floor of the office building, and the magnetic tape cassettes for removable data storage were over a foot in diameter, several inches deep, very heavy, probably only 255kb capacity. They didn't let me touch anything, though. I didn't get to use it until I did work experience in the CAD department there in '89.
 

Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
CV-BEE
The first computer I used was some IBM knockoff
Yes, the first computer my co-worker's husband set up for me was an IBM clone too. IIRC (again doubtfully) it was a 386, which was slightly faster than the 286 computer's we had at work at that time.
 

Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
CV-BEE
I got to look at a mainframe in the 70s, my Dad was sysadmin at the company and they had a bring-your-kids Open Day. The computer and its associated drives took up a whole floor of the office building, and the magnetic tape cassettes for removable data storage were over a foot in diameter, several inches deep, very heavy, probably only 255kb capacity. They didn't let me touch anything, though. I didn't get to use it until I did work experience in the CAD department there in '89.
I never got to actually "see" a mainframe, but one of my computer classes had us programming for mainframes, so we had access to it for running our programs, and printing was done on one of those large printers which fed those wide stripe colored printer paper they used for mainframes back then. Not sure what type of printers they have these days with access for printing from mainframes.

All the other classes I took had desktop sized printers, 1 for each 2 students, so I usually shared it with one of the other students, who happened to be sitting next to me.
 

Rowan54

Dragon Queen
Contributing Artist
I took a class in FORTRAN in 1975 at college. Therefore, the first computer I used was a main frame accessed by a teletype terminal. My class was told how lucky we were that we'd missed the punch cards by one quarter. (However, given how difficult using a teletype terminal...where everything had to be typed correctly on the first try unless you wanted a really *annoying* time trying to edit something...I wasn't so sure that it was an improvement over cards.)
First computer of my own was an Apple Macintosh, the 28K one, in 1984, the year they came out.
 

Rae134

Renowned
CV-BEE
Contributing Artist
I'm sure it was a Commodore 64 (its the only one I remember Dad having)
 

Satira Capriccio

Distinguished
CV-BEE
Contributing Artist
We bought a Tandy Color Computer, when everyone else was buying the Commodore 64.

I learned to program in Basic, but it was decades later before I started programming "in real life."

I think the next computer after that was an HP.
 

Janet

Extraordinary
Contributing Artist
The first computer I used was around 1982 an Apple Lisa. It was my brother's. We had one game for it a mystery. Then about 5 years later my Dad bought my sons a Tandy which they loved. I bought them a lot of the King Graham series for it and Loom. Oh and Colonel's Bequest. Man those were fun!
 

pommerlis

Busy Bee
Contributing Artist
First time I used a PC I totally destroyed it by formatting the C drive. Not even Dr. Dos could cure that boo-boo.
I can't remember when exactly but we had internet down here, dial up but still and I know internet for the public became available on 1th May 1993 here. Easy to remember since the 1th May is my birthday.
Anyhew, that formatting thingy happened again and then my stepbrother had enough. Since I wasn't DOS-compatible he lend me his brandnew, state of the art, bloody-hell expensive toshiba laptop with windows on it. It was the latest craze in PC-land and it was one of the first laptops on the market. I didn't even dare breath on it but my stepbrother assured me, "Windows is PC for Dummies".
Well, that would be me but windows was so easy. Little symbols that made sense. Not typing mile-long sentences to command a machine to do something wich it doesn't if you forget a punction mark or a backslash.
It's nice, little symbols. Works so much more relaxed for that Grey Mass Computer that I carry around for *cough*54*cough* years now.
 

DanaTA

Noteworthy
I bought Diane a Commodore 64 for Christmas one year in the early or mid 80s, can't remember exactly when. She used a word processor and a spreadsheet. I played games on it. Loved Crossbow! At first, we only had the tape drive. Slowwwwww loading. The graphics in the games were pretty good, though, on the color monitor. Then we got a floppy drive. So much better, faster. Then we got GEOS and some GEOS applications. It was so cool, looked like a Mac. We got a mouse. Different fonts, graphics, GEO-Publish. I read in the manual that you can make it do things by typing commands into a document in the format called BASIC. I tried it, and got a kick when it worked, which was just about every time I tried something. So, I got a book on BASIC from the community college library. I liked doing this. My brother-in-law gave us an IBM XT with a monochrome, amber, monitor. A friend almost immediately upgraded it for me to a Turbo XT, with more memory, a Hercules graphics card that had something like 720 lines or resolution. Graphics, though monochrome, looked great! He also gave me a 40Meg hard drive (it came with a 20Meg drive). Then he gave me a copy of MS BASIC compiler. Eventually, I wrote an accounting type program with it. At the time I had a photography business. I took a class at the community college, Introduction to Computers. I aced it, because I had already been introduced to the various concepts. I was helping my classmates with the homework. After about 6.5 years in the photography business, it started to fail. The economy had gone south and jobs started to dry up. I thought that maybe I could change carreers to computer programming. So, I enrolled in a computer programming course. I had graduated from high school in 1971. My study habits during junior and senior years were about non-existent. This was 1991. So, I only took two classes per semester. Aced them all. Then I took the Elements of College Math class. I only squeaked by in Algebra II in high school. And I made the mistake of taking the accellerated class, which met five days a week! By Thursday, I was so lost I went to my car and started to cry. I told the professor next day and he suggested that I withdraw from the class and get my money back and take a remedial Algebra class. I did. I did alright, but I didn't ace it. Got an 83. It brought my perfect 4.0 GPA down to a 3.95. But I aced the rest of the classes, including the math one. So got my AS with a 3.95. Then I did some contract work programming for the friend who upgraded my computer (he continued to do upgrades for a couple years). Also did contract work for someone else. Then I looked for a permanent job...didn't care for contract work, not knowing if I'd have income for weeks at a time, sometimes. Not a lot of experience, but an agency sent me to an interview. Then a few days later, sent me back to the same company. I was asking for a salary of $40K. The agent told me they didn't want to pay that much. After the second interview, I called as instructed, and he told me they agreed to $40K without any hesitation! This company was COMDEX, at the time the world's largest producer of IT trade shows! I was so happy, and it was the best job I ever had. I was working with FoxPro for DOS, and eventually Visual FoxPro for Windows.

Dana
 

McGyver

Engaged
I'm sure it was a Commodore 64 (its the only one I remember Dad having)
I soooooo wanted that computer... A friend had it and I thought it was the coolest thing, especially the graphics... everyone else had monochrome Tandy computers. Well, except for a friend who had one of the Atari computers which he never used. That was around the time people started buying their kids computers because computers were the wave of the future... nobody knew how to use them or what to do with them, but it was like you had to have one.
 
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