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Old Yesterday, 8:27 am   #61
Dai Corner
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Default Re: Early personal computers - what for?

I was earning fairly decent money but still living at home in the mid 1980s so had the cash to splash on home computers like the ZX81, Spectrum, BBC Micro and Commodore 64. For me, the most important development was the modem, allowing access to social media (bulletin boards), banking and online ordering. Literally decades ahead of their time.

At work, the departmental budget stretched to a Commodore Pet so we could write our own software instead of having to go to the 'Data Processing' Department, custodians of the mainframe.
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Old Yesterday, 5:25 pm   #62
avocollector
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Default Re: Early personal computers - what for?

I bought a ZX 81 when they came out to try my hand at programming after getting some idea from my 1969 maths master who really had some advanced ideas on it. The value I saw in it was as an advanced calculating machine you could put a set of figures into a general formula and solve a problem - then there was the games which were fun and never loaded properly from the cassette player half the time and well as the wobbly picture on a B & W TV. But later I started hearing about things like bulletin boards and word processing from my Electrical Engineer wife. Next they appeared at work and we were encouraged to get used to them - previously there were just terminals to a mainframe you just logged into but we'd found out that you could use the terminals as typewriters when not logged in plus they had a printer - ooh great fun. Anyway then a change of career saw me writing a thesis for Uni and I had to have my own one - think it was close on $3000 at the time (early 90's) 386 DX I recall with Windows 3.2, Word, Borland paradox and a HP printer. The original ZX 81 languishes up in the attic somewhere.
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Old Yesterday, 6:30 pm   #63
AC/HL
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Default Re: Early personal computers - what for?

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Originally Posted by Richard_FM View Post
At the same time my parents bought an IBM PS/1, which was a mixed bag, being DOS based but having Works pre-installed, which helped building up my word processing and spreadsheet skills. It was still working OK in 2004 when I was on parental orders to get rid of it. I still have the hard drive & mouse from it somewhere.
The first computer I bought for myself was a PS/1. Intel 286 processor and DOS4, which could use DOS shell, a bit like the original Windows 1. Did everything I thought I would ever need, big mistake. The power supply was in the monitor and the disk drives were non standard. Long gone now, I still have a memory card (also non standard) somewhere.
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Old Yesterday, 10:55 pm   #64
Richard_FM
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Default Re: Early personal computers - what for?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_FM View Post
At the same time my parents bought an IBM PS/1, which was a mixed bag, being DOS based but having Works pre-installed, which helped building up my word processing and spreadsheet skills. It was still working OK in 2004 when I was on parental orders to get rid of it. I still have the hard drive & mouse from it somewhere.
The first computer I bought for myself was a PS/1. Intel 286 processor and DOS4, which could use DOS shell, a bit like the original Windows 1. Did everything I thought I would ever need, big mistake. The power supply was in the monitor and the disk drives were non standard. Long gone now, I still have a memory card (also non standard) somewhere.
I would have tried to kept the base unit if it could have been used without the monitor.
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