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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 10th Nov 2023, 5:59 pm   #261
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, UK.
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Default Re: What was your first computer and do you still have it?

An interesting discussion, but we are drifting away from the core subject of the thread now unfortunately.
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Old 14th Nov 2023, 9:44 am   #262
Stuart R
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Location: Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, UK.
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Default Re: What was your first computer and do you still have it?

Back on track then, hopefully, eventually....

In the early eighties, my secondary school had an assortment of odd computers, the maths department had a Research 380Z, a 4 or 5U 19" equipment-cased thing that you could book a session with at lunch time, outputting to the large BRC black and white school's telly with sun shades. Downstairs in the Technology lab there were a few more BBC and Spectrum units, coupled to old Ferguson Courier portable TVs -one had case damage, bridged with strips of Meccano. Also a large box with terminals and toggle switches on the front called FREAK II.

Most of my school friends had ZX81s and Spectrums, friends at the posher end of town had BBC or Acorns - my parents didn't have the money for that.

Dad insisted that we had something with a real keyboard so we could learn to type properly, so off to the Co-Op for a Commodore Vic-20 starter pack: Computer, cassette deck, separate dangly modulator pack and a spiral bound book 'Introduction to Basic - Part 1'. Dad immediately went out and purchased an 'Introduction to Basic - Part 2' and a snug fitting cover to protect Vic's keyboard from dust.

A neighbour's boyfriend at the time had just graduated to a Commodore 64, so we inherited his Vic-20 games cassettes which gave us a bit more fun during one summer holiday but sadly we never really did much 'education' with it and (like most of my computer training since! - Micro-Professor MPF-1 Z80 trainers at College) there seemed to be an awful lot of typing involved for little on-screen reward!

A second-hand IBM-AT was used after college to churn out job application letters and CVs. This was followed by a second hand IBM PS/2 which carried on until I spent a lot of money on a Y2K Compliant system in 1999 (they really saw me coming!). Currently typing this on one of Unreal Dave's HP systems.

The Vic-20 is still in a drawer upstairs with all accessories. It got an outing around 10 years ago when the local Museum wanted to create a 1980s room setting. Local press reviewed the event and described the Vic-20 as a 'Typewriter'.


Last edited by Stuart R; 14th Nov 2023 at 10:10 am.
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Old 14th Nov 2023, 4:54 pm   #263
Sean Johnston
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Default Re: What was your first computer and do you still have it?

A Tandy 100, bought second-hand in 1982. Still have it, along with memory upgrade and accessory proprietary format floppy disk drive.
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Old 19th Nov 2023, 3:14 pm   #264
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Default Re: What was your first computer and do you still have it?

Ooh bits & bytes, my first one was a sinclair ZX81 kit to which I added a 2 1/2" thermal printer & a wobble free rampack, second was the Spectrum 128 & microdrive & tactile keypad, then onto Amstrad 256 which I quickly turned into a 512 with a DMP printer & regular 3.5" drive, added a very expensive SCSI 500mb HDD!

Now I was hungry, so got another 512 then a Comodore X86 & an Oki mono laser wow that was expensive, started inheriting the 286's from work then the 386's & 486's and pentium's etc. Along the way got to repair but keep a sinclair zx80, dragon 32 & my mums old bbc, an Amstrad portable thing and some kind of small Tandy, Apricot & Tangerine from work and a couple from college with names starting with N & R.

Nowadays it's i5's & i7's but somewhere in the loft I've still got the ZX81, I sold all the kit to my boss for £15 in the late 90's & he just gave it back to me 10 years later when he left.
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