I thought it would be fun this time around to try and find out what people’s first experience of computing was.
I have no doubt that I’ve missed off many machines I could have included so, as a one-off special offer, I’m prepared to add things to the list while the poll is running. This has only ever happened once before – in very exceptional circumstances in what has become known as Clojuregate – so I’m predicting anarchy.
Anyway, get on with it.
Oh yeah baby, Dragon 32 with Microsoft Basic, yep Microsoft all the way
MITS Altair 8800 using Altar Basic in 1977
Before I ever got my hands on an IBM PC I had been working on various mainframe computers such a IBMSystem 360, IBM System 370, Burroughs 6500, DEC PDP11 etc. so the IBM PC was by no means my first experience of computing. Perhaps you need to rephrase the questions and make it ".. experience of personal computing .."
I voted for Atari 400/800 but I had the ECS for the Intellivision www.intellivisionlives.com/.../ecs_tech.html and before that the Basic Cartridge for the Atari 2600. I wonder if they live on in my dads loft ?
Commodore PET for me. I was about 4 years old, and if you had shown me a box that could actually perform magic, I think I still would have been more impressed by the PET. Nightmare Park is the first game I can clearly remember playing and it still gives me the creeps today!
My first computer was an Exidy Sorcerer (not on your list).
My second computer was an Atari 800.
I am old enough sadly for my first machine to have been Compukit UK101 (Ohio Scientific Superboard for US readers). 1978 or ’79 and cost 200GBP which got you a 6502 processor and 2K RAM with an 8K ROM. I have just reacquired it and I am really looking forward to powering it up again.
Then graduated to an Atari 400 which cost 400GBP plus 200GBP for a 14” colour TV to use as a monitor while my wife and I watched a 24” B&W TV
Sanyo MBC-1100 running CP/M... Text based and green screen....
Tangerine Microtan 65. Came as a kit and had a hex-only keypad. Was luxury when we later got the full keyboard...
A full keyboard? You were lucky! ;)
As far as I know the Sinclair MK14 only ever had a hex keypad and came with 256 bytes of RAM as standard. It was fun at the time...
I do remember envying the Microtan...
Mine was a Compukit UK101
The expanded 4k RAM version!
A Nascom 2 which came as a circuit board with all the components. OS, Assembler, Disassembler, and Basic in ROMs. A separate memory board with 16k of RAM. Fun stuff!
My first home computer was a BBC Model 'B', but the first computer I ever coded on was an ISC Compucolor II. I used to sneak into my father's polytechnic at the weekend to use them.
@pauliom - I loved my Dragon 32, mainly for the Donkey Kong though
@David Williams - Wow. That pre-dates my efforts by a bit
@Mike - I must admit I was thinking "home computer" when I created the poll but I wasn't explicit about it :)
@Andy - I loved the feel of those Atari machines. Never owned on though
@Adam - we had a room full of Pets at my school and I don't think I ever once saw any of them switched on. Purely decorative.
@Julian - Now I remember why I never owned an Atari 400/800. Well outside of my budget :)
@Chris - I confess I don't remember the Sanyo.
@Dave Bending - That's a name I haven't heard in a long time :)
@Jon Blackmore - I had to look that one up.
@Matt Phillips - Again, it rings a bell. All these memories :)
@Richard Gardiner - Sounds like some form or torture to me.
@Loconinja - A BBC B! You had it easy :)
Actually, I think the first machine I ever used was probably an Apple II but like many of the comments here, I didn't own it. I seem to remember attending some sort of electronics / computing club at a local technical college where they had one... Happy days!