What Was Your First Computer?

What Was Your First Computer?

We all remember our first computer; for some of us, it turned out to be a very important turning point. What was your first machine?

Chances are you don’t know too many people who don’t own a computer these days.But no matter how ubiquitous the tech becomes, we’re sure you remember where it all began for you. Whether you started with punchcards, bashed out your first programs in BASIC, had a PC with no USB ports or cut your teeth on a shiny new ultrabook, we want to know — what was your first computer? Share your memories in the comments below.


    • Nice to see ppl posting their computer timeline too.

      For me it was. Headstart LX Cd Rom (088-68), Then a Pentium 1 (90mhz), later upgraded the 1GB HD to a whopping 8 GB! I also installed a jazz drive in it haha. Jazz… 1GB of tape data.
      Then moved to a Pentium III 500mhz. That was a bad buy because just a few months later they started coming out with better Hyper-threading chips. The last PC ran windows 98, up until about 2007 (used by my mother) then it became so unsupported, we bought her a brand spanking new Core5. 🙂 Aww…

      In the meantime I switched to AMD lol. And am now happely sitting on 8 cores.

  • We had ours in 1997. Acer, Pentium 100.
    All I could remember about it was that it ran everything from AFL 98, to Quake, to Where’s Wally? At The Circus.
    Good times.

    • A man after my own heart – same as me.
      Most people here are talking about the old Amstrad systems – I used to sell those as a weekend job – mainly the CPC 464 if my memory serves me correctly 😉

    • C64 for 1982 Christmas @ $800, +$900 for the Floppy Drive!

      At the time I was not happy since my best mate had a VIC-20 and nobody knew what a C64 was. But my bigger problem was I had to wait 2-Years! before any of my mates had a floppy drive so we could swap games, Dad said he wouldn’t waste his money on one of those crappy tape drives – in retrospect a very wise man.

      I then went though a similar “problem” years later with an Amiga 2000.

      • I had to wait 2-Years! before any of my mates had a floppy drive so we could swap games – that’s right, peer-to-peer sharing is nothing new! Although that was with our Amiga. I didn’t even know you could get a floppy drive for the C64.

    • Dad got the family a Commodore 64 for Christmas in 1983.
      Got much use out of that and then got an Amiga 500, which I used up until my second year of uni – then I got a PC – 386dx40 – remember playing with Linux 0.98 on that thing despite not having enough memory to compile a kernel (only had 4MB ram) and my mate with 8MB ram had to build one for me!

  • I had pretty much every Spectrum. ZX, ZX+, ZX+2 (inbuilt tape drive) and the ZX+3 (inbuilt 3″ floppy drive). I still miss the sound the tapes made when loading 🙂

  • Yay Amstrad! First computer I programmed was the school Apple II, but the first one we had at home was the Amstrad CPC 6128. I still have all the 3-inch floppies stored away.

  • 386sx with a 9k modem.
    Brilliant little machine, To send a email you had to log on to the BBS and type out the Email them it was sent to a computer with in the BBS that was connected to the internet to send it out for you when they logged on. Wish i knew the difference between the sx and dx chip set when Duke 3D come out.

  • A 486DX with sound blaster and CD-Rom sometime in the mid 90’s. My mum bought it to help us with school work, but we didn’t know anyone who knew anything about computers, so I had to work things out on my own. I pretty much hash up my current problem solving skills to this computer and all the lego I got as a kid.

  • 486 SX33 (15Mhz, 33Mhz Turbo), 4MB Ram, 210MB HDD, 1x External SCSI NEC CD-ROM Drive, 1x 5.25 Disk Drive and 1x 3.5 Disk Drive, Dos 6.22 and Windows 3.11. Cost Dad about $4000 at the time and ran like a dream. Took 2 hours to install windows from 11 floppy disks.

    • 128D here too! =D Like you, it was mostly just a C64 for me, but I learned to program in BASIC and in C64 mode you needed to do some complicated PEEK and POKE commands to do some simple things, whereas 128D mode had a way better set of BASIC commands. At age 8, it was an ideal machine for me to teach myself about programming.

  • Guess I’m getting old; ZX81 (which was borrowed from my dad’s work – came free with the photocopier). Then mum bought me a ZX Spectrum 48k one wonderful Christmas.

  • At work it was a PC-XT (ie with a lumbering 10MB external hard drive) running Lotus 1-2-3 and not much else. Before that it was all VAX terminals at uni, including some that had no CRTs, only paper.

    The first I had at home was a slightly used Compaq 386 circa 1987. I was thinking about it only a few days and shuddering at what it cost in today’s money.

  • IBM 486SX 33mhz (not the DX with the math co-processor), 4mb of ram, 256mb hard drive, dual floppy (3.5 & 5.25), 2400 baud modem, no sound card, no optical drive.

    I did many upgrades to this computer, added a 4x cd-rom, bumped up the ram to 16mb, put a 1GB hard drive in it, got a SoundBlaster Value sound card, and the pièce de résistance… An Intel Pentium 83mhz OVERDRIVE upgrade processor.

  • 486SX – 33Mhz
    4MB Ram
    200MB Hard Drive
    Sound Blaster sound card
    4x CD-Rom which plugged into an IDE port on the sound blaster card
    Windows 3.11
    I also think it had an 8MB graphics card in it.

    I thought it was amazing when we got it (late ’93 if i recall right). And for the time, I suppose it was.

    It’s crazy how much things have changed

  • I had one of these…behold the Apricot PC!


    Dual double-density 3.5 inch disk drives! High resolution monochrome green/black monitor! No hard drive! 16KB of RAM!

    It was actually pretty awesome for its time.

    My first IBM compatible PC was like many others here, an Amstrad. I can’t remember the exact model, I think it was a PC5386SX but I’m not 100% sure. All I can really remember about it was that it had a 386DX CPU and 2 MB of RAM. We later added an extra 2 MB of RAM, a Sound Blaster card and a Double speed CD-ROM drive.

  • A 486-dx33 which at the time was the second fastest personal computer you could buy. It cost one third of my annual salary and I had to get a loan to buy it.

  • My First computer was a VIC20, then the C64
    I actually had the VERY FIRST IBM PC in Australia on my desk at work. I worked in a mainframe environment, and we were big IBM partners and they brought it in to us.
    The first version was not an IBM PC XT, but was called the IBM PC1, it had 2 x 5.25 floppy drives, and to run Lotus you need the DOS floppy in one drive and the Lotus disk in the other. We connected it into our mainframe as a dumb terminal / PC

  • 1981 – PC Clone (Taiwanese, I think); 8086 chip 4.77MHz! 256K RAM, 2 x 5.25″ floppy drives; no HDD; monochrome (green) screen. I was able to run the operating system (Dos 2.?, then later Dos 3.11), word processor (Wordstar), and large documents. Man, that computer rocked! Only cost me $3500!

  • My first PC went WAYYY back…. It was an Exidy Sorcerer… Tape drive and all.. I remember those huge red cartridges… and playing the game LEM on it.. Every time you crashed (which was fairly often) you needed to rewind the cassette tape and play it again so the computer could reload the game… It had BASIC as its OS and that’s where I learnt initially to program.

    Before we had the cartridges we had to type in our own games before we could play them and pages and pages and pages of instructions on how to write your own programs.

    My parents bought it well before I was born.. They were released in 1978.

    CPU: Zilog Z80, 2.106 MHz (later 4 MHz)
    RAM: 4 kB, expandable to 48 kB. larger sizes came standard in later runs
    ROM: 4 kB, cartridges could include 4 to 16 kB
    Video: 64×30 character display, monochrome
    Sound: none (external additions possible)
    Ports: composite video, Centronics parallel, RS-232, sound in/out for cassette use, 50 pin ribbon connector including the S-100 bus.


    The Sorcerer that we had we sold to a US Museum back a few years ago.

    Followed by my grandpa’s Apricot.. then we bought an IBM XT 8086 with 4MHz and 640k ram and a 10MB HDD and 1.2″ floppy.. those were the days !!

  • Our first home computer was a 80286 running at 6mhz, but 10mhz on turbo power!

    It had 512kb ram, and everytime i wanted to run commander keen i had to freemem because of the TSR so i had enough ram available to start the game.

  • Sinclair ZX80 – now there was a machine, even though my watch is more powerful these days. Wikipedia reminds me the XZ80 had 1 kB RAM and 4 kB of ROM. Hard to believe now just how much such a seeming “toy” could change lives but it did!

  • We had a 486 of some sort that ran Windows 3.1. Then there was Pentium 90 with 16mb RAM and a 900mb HDD, which we got for the CD drive. Then in year 7 I got my own laptop… A Pentium 133 with 32mb RAM and a 1.3gb HDD. Man, the games I played on that thing.

  • mine was a IBM PC way back in 1982. My father worked for IBM, and he was allowed to trundle home a PC on weekends.
    later that same year, the school where i was a student in yr4 opened what they termed a “computer lab” filled with 10 BBC micro computers.

  • The first computer I used was an IBM mainframe that sat in it’s own air-conditioned room and was programmed in Fortran IV using punch cards. Debugging was a nightmare, and if you dropped the cards…….! The first owned was a Microbee – fantastic little all Australian machine. I then moved to Amigas which were technically ahead of the curve of everything else at the time, but sadly not properly marketed by Commodore. With the demise of Amiga I was forced to move to Windows machines (I didn’t want to get caught out in a dead-end again so didn’t go with Apple – LOL!) and have been using them ever since.

  • Original TRS-80 that I learned BASIC on before it almost drove me to frustration-driven suicide at the age of 10. Then the greatest computer ever made—Commodore 64—then Amiga 500. I fondly remember Christmas 1984 for the 1541 my dad bought me which cost more than the C64.

  • We never had computers when I was very young, I don’t think we got one til 1994 or thereabouts.

    It was a “Gateway 2000” 486 SX33, think it cost just over $3000.

    Had a colour screen capable of amazingly high resolutions such as 640×480, ran on windows 3.11 and had a CDROM drive, I think it had 8mb of ram, probably less actually. No Modem, I think you had to be some kind of uber nerd to know how to use one to dial into a BBS.

    It utilised advanced technology such as a serial dot matrix printer with that tractor paper, shook the whole table when it printed and sounded like a chainsaw while printing.

    Eventually the CRT monitor died like they always do and you had to give it a good whack to try to get it to work again. Also I remember having to delete stuff constantly and doing all kinds of weird stuff rewriting batch files to try to get games to work.

  • I went from Vic 20 to Tandy Colour Computer and then Atari ST (a “serious” computer, when all my friends were playing games on their silly Amigas…)

    I think I bought my first PC second hand in 1995 – was a 486 and cost me about $1500…

  • For me it was a Tandy TRS-80 Model 1 with a whole 16kb of RAM, got it back in 1981.
    Taught myself a few programming languages including good old Z80 Assembler, those wwere the days.

  • IBM clone XT, no mouse, one 51/4 floppy and no hard drive that my wife bought for her uni studies back in 1989. Cost about $1500 if I remember correctly. We picked it up on a Friday and went back on the Monday and demanded an OS to go with it! The salesman gave us a copy of DOS3.3 and we were happy. I knew nothing about piracy etc back then. The best thing she ever bought because the challenges it presented made me realise that I liked and had an aptitude for computers so I went back to uni and been there ever since. One challenge I remember was getting Leisure Suit Larry to work. Leisure Suit Larry needed 2 disk drives and our computer had only one. I studied up on RAM and virtual drives and eventually was able to play the whole game by copying one disk into memory.

  • Fisher Price My First Tablet. Gutless little thing with 1 tb of ram, 64-core processor and a 250 tb solid state drive. You needed to use, wait for it, your finger to control the thing.

  • Ah, the joys of early computing. Mine was an Apple ][ with a whole 48K of RAM, a mono screen and a cassette drive purchased in 1980. The tape drive drove me nuts after a few weeks so I went back and got a 5.25″ floppy drive that stored a seemingly huge 143K of files.

    From memory it cost about $2700 in 1980 dollars. I guess I must have had spare $$ in those days!

  • Osborne 25 Hz 386 with 40 Mb HDD & 5.25″ FDD. Ran Desqview 386 in 4Mb RAM and multitasked much more stably than anything Win before NT.

    Unless we’re counting the HP41-CX …

  • Macintosh LC 630. Cost close to three thousand in 92/93 and came with a whopping 8 Mb of RAM and a 350 Mb HD. Bought it essentially to play MYST. I certainly look back fondly at those days as it very much seemed like magic to someone that had only used computers briefly prior to that.

  • 486DX 66Mhz (with Turbo button slowing down to 33Mhz), 4Mb Ram, Sound Blaster Audio Card, 4Mb Graphics Card, Windows 3.11
    If I used ‘Preview DOS’ and stopped windows loading, I had enough RAM To Load Duke Nukem 3D, But not enough RAM to Load the Sound Drivers so I had to play it with the pc speaker sounds. “Shake It Baby”

  • TI 99/4a in the early 80s. I loved it so much, we would program games in basic and save them to cassette tape to play them later. And of course there were cartridges too. The games were great! Parsec, hunt the wumpus, tunnels of doom, munchman, tumbleweed city. So many awesome ones!

  • A Cyrix 5×86 with 12 MB of RAM, back in 1996. those days already 16 MB was a standard so I learned how to optimize windows to tweak up the most out of those 12 megs 😀

  • Redstone clone of an Apple II+ in the early 1980s. It had two 320kb floppy drives and seemed very powerful with 128kb on RAM. It came with a brilliant photocopied Apple manual that took me from how to switch it on to writing a small shoot-the-helicopter game. I wrote many of my university essays on it using Applewriter.

  • First household computer, C64.
    First computer of my own, ST with 4 meg of Ram (and I had the version without the dimm slots. The ram upgrade had to be soldered in!)

  • Pretty easy for me but my sons (10 and 13) had their work cut out. It was not very effective at locking out a determined kid as trial and error eventually revealed the right answers.

  • It didn’t have a name that I can remember, probably something my Dad picked up at the time for work.

    I do recall that it had 8Mhz and 800KB of RAM. It ran DOS PowerMenu and had WordPerfect installed, plus games like Pango, Willy The Worm, and CrossWords. Epic stuff.

  • First PC was the good old C64. Wasted countless hours playing Mad Doctor on that thing.
    Followed shortly after with an Amiga 500 complete with it’s extra 1mb switch (still have that old machine too). Many more an hour wasted playing Moonstone.

  • Compaq Presario 524CDS
    486DX2 80 Mhz
    8MB RAM
    9.6k modem
    4x cd rom
    427 MB hard drive (which i found in my room a few weeks ago)
    nobody i kneow could fix computers, i had installed windows 95, but it took soo much room, i used “deltree windows” and the computer kinda didn’t work anymore, i had to figure out mscdex to get the cd rom working agian, and autoexec.bat and config.sys fiels

  • For me, a Compaq Presario CQ42-137TU Notebook PC, I got in 2010. It broke more times than I have fingers to count. But it served me well enough for 2 years.

  • 486DX66. Purchased so my folks could learn CAD… they never did, but I’ve made a career out of it.

    Perhaps its because they didn’t have a chance to get their hands on it and practice ;).

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