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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 3rd May 2007, 1:21 am   #21
stuie319
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

hiya


pet 4032. with the 'proper' keyboard.
splendid. I bought another off ebay to relive the youth but its motherboard was u/s.
I bought 2 boards in the hope one would live and neither did.
Its still here....
After that a speccy 48k I wrote and got a publishing deal for a game in 1984 (written in basic and compiled into machine code) the basic source code got me my O level and the machine code copy dissappeared with the company that bought the rights
hey ho


Stu
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Old 3rd May 2007, 9:34 am   #22
CanonMan
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

An Amstrad CPC464, which I still have in my collection to this day.

I've since added a CPC6128, an orange Commodore PET, an Atari 1040STe, some more Amstrads and Psions and a few PC's.
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Old 3rd May 2007, 12:30 pm   #23
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

Micro-professor MFP-IP.
Amstrad PCW 8256.

Sadly all i have left from the above two are the user manuals.

Commodore C64 bought new in 1990, still got it with a shed load of software and magazines somewere in the house.

Regards.

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Old 3rd May 2007, 12:31 pm   #24
BassoonBloke
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Smile Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

Hi Folks,

My first computer was a Nascom 2 from Henry's in Edgeware road many moons ago. It was second hand, even then, and i managed to get a backplane board and various assorted add in boards to go with it all.
I had a lot of fun with it, and eventually gave it all away about 20 years ago (i wish i had'nt now i must admit !!).
Those were the day's of 'proper computers' !!

Cheers,
Alan.
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Old 3rd May 2007, 1:25 pm   #25
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

The first computer I used was a Prime 500 mainframe at work back in 1982 but the first computer I bought was an Amstrad 1512 with a colour monitor and dual drives in 1987 for the princely sum of £850. I remember having the memory upgraded from 512k to 640k for a cost of £128 - a bargain!
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Old 3rd May 2007, 4:58 pm   #26
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

The first computor I remember being in our family (and I must have been about four) was a 'Commodor' - I remember the brand, if not the actual model. I used to play a fishing game on it!^^
I have a vague memory of typing instructions on it, although I can't remember much.

We threw it out after it caught fire (well, smoked alot!) one day.
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Old 3rd May 2007, 7:12 pm   #27
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

Like several above, I started with a ZX81. I also had a 16k memory pack and thermal printer. I learnt to program in BASIC with this.

It was followed by a Commodore VIC20 which I always felt was limited. It was OK for games and commercial software like word processors, but was useless for programming in BASIC as it was so slow (especially if you wanted to do something with graphics or sound).

I then had a BBC Model B, with floppy disk drive and an old dot matrix printer. This was an excellent machine and I kept it for several years. I had 'copies' of various software ROMs for it, and fitted one of those sideways ROM cards plus a socket to the left of the keyboard for EPROMs. It was good for programming in BASIC. Overall a very well designed machine, ahead of all the competition at the time.

I then got a 286 clone PC that was being thrown away where my dad worked. This was damaged in transit and they couldn't be bothered to get it fixed. I plugged the ribbon cable back onto the hard drive and it worked fine. It came with a Taxan monitor with a lousy picture. A letter to Taxan bought me a copy of the circuit diagram and a common faults list, and the first fault on the list was the one mine had.

I have had a number of PCs since then, in recent years more Dell than anything else.
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Old 3rd May 2007, 8:08 pm   #28
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

My first PC isn't all that old, PII running Win 98 The motherboard/processor is the only original component. My Grandfather owns it now. Second was a BBC model B of which I have two now, complete with printer, disc drive and Microvitec CUB monitor. I have a fair few tapes with various games on, and some rather expensive business software. A huge amount of draft school work was typed up and printed on this computer. Various bits of software were transfered to a newer PC via the 5pin serial port to allow old games to be played on the Win 98 PC. The BBC is more fun tho. I never did find a teletext adaptor for this computer (under £100) This is the most reliable computer I have ever used. Hooray for the BBC micro! I never did very well with 'Castle of Riddles' That damn bear kept hugging me to death!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HMV 1120
We threw it out after it caught fire (well, smoked alot!) one day.
Both the PSUs in my BBCs smoked away fiercely after the first few hours of use. A simple replacement of the cap across the mains sorted that. Did make me jump tho.
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Old 3rd May 2007, 8:44 pm   #29
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

Quote:
Both the PSUs in my BBCs smoked away fiercely after the first few hours of use. A simple replacement of the cap across the mains sorted that. Did make me jump tho.
ISTR there were "issues" with certain PSU's in the BBC - although mine held together OK. Incidentally, I forgot to mention, I still have the set-up in the loft, complete with Philips monitor, external hard drive, EPROM baster and expansion ROM board).

What did “go” in my BBC was the graphics chip - The colours died - one at a time - then the whole thing packed up when the chip died completely (ISTR some clock from this device was required by other parts of the machine ). I got a replacement fairly easily.

As Paul mentioned, you could get all kinds of software on ROM for the BBC – my expansion card was fully loaded with all manner of things, including a rather nice version of Pascal !


I used the BBC to type up my degree essays and dissertation. Kingston Poly had a lab full of them, so I could transfer work between digs/ home and Poly. This scheme nearly fell apart when they “upgraded” to Amstrads – I hated Amstrad computers ever since. Fortunately, 2 BBC's remained tucked away in the corner of the library.

I wrote a TV test pattern program for the BBC ( bars, cross hatch, grey scale (etc) I blew this into a ROM to make the BBC into a test pattern generator - This was its last use really – until I bought a Test Pattern generator PCB from the Dinosaur guys .
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Old 3rd May 2007, 11:27 pm   #30
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewhouse View Post
never did find a teletext adaptor for this computer.
I have the Morley Electronics one. In fact that was the last application for which the Beeb was used regularly - before I obtained a Hauppage TV card for my main PC which includes teletext - until they switch off analogue.

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Originally Posted by evingar View Post
I still have the set-up in the loft, complete with Philips monitor, external hard drive, EPROM baster and expansion ROM board).
Ahh, the EPROM blaster - yes, I've got one of those as well, along with a little UV "oven" to erase them again.

The expansion board on mine is choc-a-bloc to the extent that I made use of the option to have a "sideways ROM" which was actually RAM - allowing me to load ROM images from disc to get round the limit of 16 ROMS. It also allowed me to develop my own ROM software. I did find, however, that I needed to make a small modification the OS ROM to erase the lower part of the ROM area on startup, otherwise a bad ROM image could prevent successful startup until the memory image had leaked away.
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Old 4th May 2007, 8:01 am   #31
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

My first computer was an Oric 1, which I sold on eBay only a few years ago.
6502 machine code was a challenge.

At work, we started to retail the Apple II (unsucessfully) and then the Amstrad CPC464. Also unsuccessful as Dixons and other shops had got there first.
However, I foolishly said that I could make a better demo tape than the one supplied.
Money went to mouth, and the rest was history; in 1980 I forsook the world of TV, video and cameras and telling others how to fix them and became a software developer to create TVVC's first office systems in Manchester, just across the road from Granada Studios where my office window looked at the back of "Baker Street".
The TX100, KT3 and 3V41 were fading into the past ...
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Old 4th May 2007, 12:51 pm   #32
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

My first computer was a ZX81. Had a 16k (non-Sinclair) RAM pack and a ZX Printer. I managed to blow it up fiddling with the edge connector and bought another for $20. Sold it a couple of years later - probably about '86 - for $20 and thought I did ok - of course they're now selling on Trademe for > $100

Then a gap of a few years, and in 1989 I got a second hand Ultra Turbo 286 - ran at 10 MHz, and I spent $1500 on a 120MB hard drive (people thought I was mad - no way I'd use that much space!) and after installing a 2MB ISA memory board in 1992 you could hear the memory check 'ticks' slow down part way through as it switched from the 10MHz motherboard memory to the 6 or 8MHz (can't remember which) ISA card.

After that for my own/home PC I had a TL Systems 386DX/40, custom built 486DX-2/66, custom built P133, TL Systems PII 266, custom built PII 450, custom built Core2 Duo 2.0 and custom built Pentium-D media centre. I still have the TL PII 450, Core2 and media centre.

Work PCs are many and varied - at Ernst & Young I initially had cast-offs: Apple Mac Portable (remember those?), Toshiba T3100SX, Toshiba 4600. Then when the local office 'devolved' I had new laptops - Compaq 4131T P133 and a Toshiba Satellite Pro PIII 600 with a product code that escapes me.

Now in my position I change laptops every 6-12 months so since 2003 I've had a Compaq N1020V, Toshiba Tecra S1, HP Compaq nx7010 (two models), HP Compaq nc8230 and my current nc8430 will be replaced in July with the new model set to launch then
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Old 4th May 2007, 2:40 pm   #33
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

My first computer was also a Sinclair ZX81, which I soldered together from a kit using 18swg solder and my Antex X25 iron with a 1/8th bit. Worked first time !
Initially this was powered from my 'Hobby Electronics' bench power supply but I later made one specially for it. Other additions were an 'inverse video' board and a full size keyboard made out of 6-way banks of keyboard switches (J.Bull) on a home made pcb. I bought the Memotech 16k rampack for it later and the final bit was a Maplin 8255 I/O board.
The intention was to put the lot inside a case with connectors a-la BBC micro (by which time I was using at my work in the local college) - but I never got round to it.

[ As an aside - Every time the college upgraded their computer labs I couldn't resist saving some of the old systems from the skip. So I also have the following :-
Cromemco System Two
Cromemco System Three ( with 8 inch floppies ! - used these when at college learning Basic & Cobol )
Comart Communicator (another S100 bus system)
Compustar Superbrain II
Apple II Europlus (lots of!)
BBC Model B's
Olivetti M24 ]

OK, back to my own systems...

The next computer I bought was a BBC Master. This was used with a Philips colour monitor (still working and being used with a Sky digibox) twin 40/80 track disk drives and a Citizen dot-matrix printer. Upgrades to this included the 'Master 512' 80186 co-processor and I also have a GIS teletext adaptor. Due to my hoarding nature I still have all of the above equipment

The first PC I owned was a 486SX-25 which I assembled from parts bought individually. I've had various PC's since - all assembled from parts, but after the last one I built two years ago (P4 3.0GHz) I've decided it's not worthwhile making your own anymore and I intend to use that one for as long as possible as I don't want to waste any more money on computers !

Andy
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Old 7th May 2007, 10:49 pm   #34
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

Pretty sure mine was an Atari 520STFM that a friend of my mum's gave me. I soon upgraded it with external hard and floppy drives and even a couple of CD-ROM drives, then all that went inside a cheap PC case. Then I got another STFM that had 2.5MB of RAM and an overscan card, and then eventually got a 1040STE from school as they were getting rid of them in the music department!

I fetched it up to uni in my first year a couple of years ago, but the host adapter card in the PC case must have gone, as the hard drives weren't working properly and would not even format properly

I still have it all in my mum's loft... will get a mono monitor VGA converter and a cheap flat panel display sometime, try to fix those hard drives and put it back into service for MIDI and music!

Oh by the way, I painted the big STFM metallic black and the STE purple!! Then swapped it all for a new Mac G4!
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Old 8th May 2007, 10:13 am   #35
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

My first PC was a bought in November 1997. It was a Intel 486 DX2 566Mhz with a huge 8M memory and 540Mb Samsung hard disc. I bought another 16Mb FPM memory, a 2.1g Fujutsu HDD, and a CD-ROM drive.
The case had previously been a Lofgren 386 (don't know what that was).
I kept its AT desktop case for a rebuild untill I needed a CD burner and that meant another rebuild, everything was now ATX form factor.
It's so damn hard to get a actual full depth desktop case nowadays. I think it's only business users want them, except awkward b*****s like me. Then I want one with a standard PSU as well. So I recycle someone's old refuse.
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Old 8th May 2007, 2:03 pm   #36
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

Mine was a ZX80 built from a kit. Don't remember too much about it now and later upgraded to the ZX81 also built from a kit. Had a lot of fun with that using the 16K rampack. Space Invaders, Pacman, draughts, chess all fed into a modified Philips portable at video level. A mate of mine who was much better at programming actualy built his into a 'buggy' and could program it to avoid obstacles.

Then I changed to a Commodore 64 which had some really good graphics routines albeit somwhat cumbersome to program with it's Peek and Pokes.

Happy days though.


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Old 11th May 2007, 1:33 pm   #37
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

Like a lot of people I got my home computers by raiding the scrap bin at work. The first computer that I really did some work on (ignoring school and uni) was a Research Machines 380Z (64k CP/M Z80 machine with 5.25 floppies) which we developed some programs for for managing energy expenditure. This was upgraded by work to a CASU (8 inch cp/m box) and then through various versions of XT until the PC's really took over.

At home I started with a Transam (I think) Triton which was an 8080 machine with plug in cards that you could take up to 64 k. There was an upgrade where you could get a 48k version of CP/M running on it but I never tried that. I've still got that and with a bit of mucking around I think I could get it going

This was followed by a Cromemco s100 system running MP/M (DPU = digital processing unit, you could put all sorts of processors in these).

After that I went through a sucession of 286 boxes (savaged Compaqs) and a Compaq 386 until I finally splashed out some money and bought a pentium one motherboard. I ran this for a while until an industrial controller fell off a moving sorting machine at work and I upgraded to a P2.

Currently I've got a dell laptop for PC stuff.

Stashed away are the Triton, two or three PDP11s (I used to write control code for these) and a couple of vaxen. I've also got a BBC model A and a Z80 cp/m machine stashed away somewhere. A couple of old compaqs are also salted away (one for copying 5.25 inch discs, the other as a development system for running old intel 8080 compilers on).

Robin
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Old 11th May 2007, 4:18 pm   #38
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

My first new computer was a Commodore C16, later I went backwards and got myself a ZX81 with the extra memory that was fixed on the back with Velcro! A friend had a Commodore Vic 20 and then, much later, I had a BBC B, initially with a tape drive, then, later, with a 5 1/4" FDD.

I went away from computers then and quite a while later had a 286, then an 8086, then, after some time, a 386 and went on from there to more modern machines.

I have many happy memories of the C16 and the ZX81 though, they were amazing machines! Waiting for a programme to load from tape was something now which is sadly long lost.
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Old 11th May 2007, 4:28 pm   #39
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinBirch View Post
Like a lot of people I got my home computers by raiding the scrap bin at work. The first computer that I really did some work on (ignoring school and uni) was a Research Machines 380Z (64k CP/M Z80 machine with 5.25 floppies) which we developed some programs for for managing energy expenditure.
The RML 380Z and 480Z were the very first computers I ever used, at school, way back in 1980.

I'd love a 480Z for my collection. Anyone out there got one they'd like to sell me?
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Old 16th May 2007, 7:25 am   #40
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Default Re: what was your first computer and do you still have it?

My first computer was the Commodore Amiga 500+, it was given to me as it was dead and I managed to fix it, my first computer repair! I kept all of the extras in their boxes even today, I did have over 500+ floppies with it but I have transferred all that I wanted to CD (Using the Amiga A4000).
The 500+ is as follows
A500+ with an extra 512mb upgrade inside

GVP 530 turbo 30MHZ accelerator with 512MB HDD and 6 MB ram (Plug into the side)

Techno sound Turbo 2 sampler

SCSI CDR (Never got the CDR side to work)

SyQuest 88MB removable HDD drive

I also still have the A570 CDROM with an external SCSIHDD, the A570 was upgraded to 2MB ram and an SCSI card.
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