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    I had a TI-99/4A as my first computer. Ran it through high school then moved on to use some other stuff when I got into college. My SECOND home computer was a 80386 that I built from pieces that I spec'ed and purchased individually. My first hard drive was a 212MB Maxtor that cost me about $500. Ouch.

    I now use Mac's as my primary compute device with linux servers to run my home network (been a linux user / admin for over 20 years) and a Windows 10 virtual machine that I connect to for my "work" programs (MS Office stuff, including Visio).

    I abhor Microsoft products, but they are still a necessary evil. And, quite frankly, paid my bills for a lot of years when I spent my life fixing the problems others had with THEIR various Windows machines.
    ---

    2011 JD 2520 with 200cx loader, 61" materials bucket, and Artillian JDQA Pallet Forks (42" forks). 62D MMM, ballast box, turfs, and loaded rears.

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  3. Top | #22
    bmichael's Avatar
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    my first computer was the Atari 800 but me and my brother just loved the Atari 2600 video game system
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  4. Top | #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmichael View Post
    my first computer was the Atari 800 but me and my brother just loved the Atari 2600 video game system
    It's funny... I relentlessly BEGGED my parents for an Atari 2600 but got the TI instead. I was SO disappointed on Christmas morning...

    Turns out I made a career out of technology and that was where I got my start.
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    ---

    2011 JD 2520 with 200cx loader, 61" materials bucket, and Artillian JDQA Pallet Forks (42" forks). 62D MMM, ballast box, turfs, and loaded rears.

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    OT: favorite MS joke

    A helicopter was flying around above Seattle when an electrical malfunction disabled all of the aircraft's electronic navigation and communications equipment. The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it and showed a handwritten sign: "WHERE AM I?" People responded with "YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER." The pilot smiled and knew then exactly where he was - at Microsoft. A technically correct, but completely useless response.

    ---------

    An idle CPU is the devil's play thing.
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    The first computer like equipment I used started in college in 1968 and was 80 column Hollerith card handling equipment like IBM card sorter, 403 accounting machine, card re-producer and key punch machines. The programming was by wiring a program board to do the specific function needed.

    I migrated from that to an IBM mainframe when they first became available for industry primarily used for accounting functions.

    In the early 80's I acquired a Kaypro portable computer with the cpm operating system. This machine coupled to a 300 baud modem allowed my programming staff to remotely link to the mainframe systems off hours to resolve problems. I carried that 26lb beast through airports on business for quite a while. We rapidly migrated to DOS based pc's and finally windows based machines. The first dos machine I had for home computing was a Compaq with an Epson wide carriage dot matrix printer. I used it for work and my kids did home work assignments on it.

    My oldest son's first computer was a TI-99 when he was around 10. He learned BASIC programming on that machine, he quickly figured out he needed a tape backup to save his work as there was now diskette drive on the machine.
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    Yep, did that

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylh View Post
    My first was Radio Shack TRS-80, with 16k ram and a cassette drive.
    Yep, had one of those. Can't say I ever want to use a cassette drive again.

    Then had a 4P, maybe a couple of them. Big step up as it had a disk drive.

    Treefarmer
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    Yep, did that too

    Quote Originally Posted by AlKozak View Post
    I hated guys like you. First year of college - 1972 - needed either a $20 K&E aluminum slide rule or a $300 HP calculator. Mom and dad opted for the slide rule. That began a several year hatred of math in general, a bad attitude to have when you are an engineering major...

    Al
    I was in the same boat although we had no option for a personal computer. The slide rule was it for a couple of years unless you had time on the college mainframe. I was using a slide rule and learning Fortran at the same time. . . I was out of college for a couple of years before I got a personal computer. I think I still have the slide rule, somewhere. . .

    Nothing like typing punch cards to teach you accurate typing. It was just no fun at all to drop the cards off only to get a "Program aborted, syntax error" message. It didn't tell you where the error was just a cryptic message. Syntax errors were usually typo's. On the other hand, a logic error like an endless loop meant you chewed up your computer account with no results to show for it.

    Treefarmer
    Last edited by Treefarmer; 08-26-2018 at 08:59 PM.
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  10. Top | #28

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    I started out with a Commodore VIC-20 hooked up to a B&W TV. Also had the add on cassette tape drive.

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    In the mid 80's I graduated to an IBM clone, a Leading Edge Model D with 512 KB of RAM, dual 5-1/4 floppies, running at a whopping 7.16 MHz in turbo mode all viewed on an amber monochrome monitor.

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    A few years later I moved to a 386 clone we got at Price Club (the old name for Costco).
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  11. Top | #29

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    Like a few of you other guys, my first computer was a TI99/4A with a cassette tape player as storage. Bought it used from my brother in '83 or so. Learned a little about BASIC programming.

    Left my career as a tool maker's apprentice and went back to college in September of '83. Started out as a computer engineering major which meant that (like some others) I got to learn a bit of FORTRAN using punch cards. Nothing sadder than seeing some poor soul trying to rearrange a punch card deck that they dropped on the floor. Fortunately, that never happened to me. Switched my major to accounting and took the required "Business Applications" class which was taught on IBM dual floppy PCs using 5.25" low density (360 kb capacity) disks. In the 10 week class I learned MS-DOS, SuperCalc, DBase II and WordStar. I was hooked!

    While I was in school my brother was working for Wang Computers at the time (does anyone remember Wang?? ). He found me a used Wang PC with a 30 MB hard drive and a 1.2 MB floppy. The drive had a 20 MB IBM DOS partition and a 10 MB Wang version of MS-DOS partition. To get into the IBM partition you had to boot to the Wang OS first, then use the floppy to boot into the IBM partition. I would use both sides of the drive - IBM for all of my school apps and the Wang side to run the Wang word processing (which Multi-Mate copied) and also the MultiPlan spreadsheet. I had a Juki 6300 daisy wheel printer hooked up to it. I turned out a lot of nice looking term papers on that daisy wheel printer in the era of 9 pin dot matrix printers!


    My first "commercial piece of software" that I wrote was a Lotus 123 spreadsheet full of macros and data input areas. In 1985, the State of Ohio mandated a certain layout on a state designed form for reporting wages to the state. I created a spreadsheet for this so the secretary at the CPA firm I was co-opping at wouldn't have to type the forms on a typewriter. I put an ad in the Ohio Society of CPAs magazine and sold many copies of that spreadsheet for $35 each! My next application was a program to print 1099's and W-2's from a database using FoxPro (I bought the FoxPro compiler so it was standalone). Sold a good number of those as well.

    In '88 I was working for a large national CPA firm and my brother was still at Wang. He calls me one afternoon and asks if I want to go to Cincinnati that evening. I asked "what's the attraction tonight?"

    Him - "Bill Gates is going to be there to demonstrate his new spreadsheet - Excel. It's supposed to do away with Lotus 123."
    Me - "who is Bill Gates?"
    Him - "Bill Gates owns Microsoft. You know - MS-DOS... Microsoft DOS?"
    Me - "Oh, OK. Sounds good - see you there!"

    So, I saw Bill Gates personally demonstrate Excel v1.0 using a runtime version of Windows 2.0 on a color Compaq computer hooked up to a HUGE color projector. There were probably about 40 or 50 people present in a lecture hall at the University of Cincinnati.

    My first laptop was a color UltraBook pc. 30MB drive, 1 MB of RAM, Windows 95. It was somewhere around $5500. That was in '95.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dianedebuda View Post
    OT: favorite MS joke

    A helicopter was flying around above Seattle when an electrical malfunction disabled all of the aircraft's electronic navigation and communications equipment. The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it and showed a handwritten sign: "WHERE AM I?" People responded with "YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER." The pilot smiled and knew then exactly where he was - at Microsoft. A technically correct, but completely useless response.
    There is a similar line in an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie where he parachutes into a junk yard and asks a little boy "Where am I?". The boy responds "Earth... Welcome!"
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