How Old Were You When You Got Your First Computer?

These days, most people at least have access to a computer from a very early age. But messing around on the family computer out in the living room is a different thing than having a computer of your very own.

Images by PublicDomainPictures and geralt (pixabay).

With that in mind, we're wondering:

Feel free to expand on your experience in the comments.


    I gave my daughter a laptop for her 6th birthday, am I evil?

      No, Computers are such an integral part of the business day to day now, that it is a skill that you MUST have. I have friends who have no clue on them and how to successfully use them.

      The only things that you should do is to ensure that she understands that they are a tool and shouldn't take over your life and that interaction with other people is good and that she doesn't spend dawn to dust attached to it

      Nope, not evil, but see this as a great bonding and trust device. If you sit down and use the computer with her, play the games she plays and such, she'll see you as even more of a best friend and this will help keep her safe later on when she discovers ChatRoulette and the genuine evil that is Facebook, as you can openly talk to her about internet security and such without having her say "Oh dad, you're such a n00b!"

        yeah it is getting tough with the little brat, she is now 8 and has a youtube channel, is on twitter because school wants to be on it, tried many times to make a facebook.

        She has a bunch of sites she can go too, I double check her history with her to show her that I do monitor even if I can't see her browsing all the time. Plus it gets taken off her if she plays up at home or school.

    I was using my uncle's & grandmother's Atari when I was 7 or 8, I didn't really know much, just put in illegally copied floppy disk in to drive and turn it on, play game. It wasn't until I was about 11 or 12 that I got my first computer. IBM 486SX 33mhz, 4mb of ram, dual floppy (5 1/2 & 3 1/4), 250mb hard drive, no sound card, no cd-rom. Eventually put a pentium 83mhz OVERDRIVE processor, soundblaster 16 value, upped the ram to 16mb, 12x cd-rom, and 1gb western digtial hard drive.. I had that computer for years, I learned so much.

    I bought my first own computer when I was 20, in 2003.

    I was 8, I think. Or possibly 7. We got an Apple IIe from a local school and I started learning to program shortly after. I don't remember my first BASIC program, but my guess is a simple prompt that PRINTed your name:

    10 Home
    20 INPUT "What is your name?", A$
    30 PRINT "Hello there ", A$
    40 PRINT "It's good to see you"

    Those were good times. Gonna have to break out the emulator later on!

    I used the family computer for a long time. The first one that was actually mine, I was probably...I don't know, 17 or 18? It was either a 486 DX/2 66 or a first gen Pentium, I can't remember.

    This question is actually a bit confusing - so are you asking us when we first mucked around on the family computer, or when we got a computer of our own?

    The first family computer we had, ignoring my brother's commodore 64 which i never used, was a 386 with 2mb RAM, running Windows 3.1, 40mb HDD i think. That was when i was about 13. I had learned to touch type in primary school (in the late 1980s because of my poor eyesight my teachers felt it was a skill i needed to have) and my parents got the computer so i could do schoolwork on it.

    I still find it a bit odd when i see grown men and women (who get paid more than i do) peck at the keyboard with 2 fingers!

    A few years later in uni in 1998 would be when i bought a computer of my own - from memory it was running Windows 98 (upgraded to ME eventually), 128Mb RAM, 40Gb HDD (which was later upgraded) and Pentium processor.

    My first laptop was an LG, 15.6" screen, 2Gb RAM, nvidia graphics (i think it was only 32mb), DVD burner, bluetooth, wifi, etc. It cost about $1300 at the time. I used a USB "soap on a rope" 3G (max 384kbps) modem from 3 for years with that laptop when i was away from home (and wifi).

    These days my mobile has more processing power, the same RAM and a far superior graphics chipset to that old laptop.

    Last edited 12/04/13 10:32 am

      The question was confusing? The article was one sentence - which actually answered your question.

    3 years old. My Dad purchased a brand new Mac Plus so he could vastly improve the quality of his presentations etc. He was thoroughly derided for it at work - "why do you want to type all that stuff yourself when you have a secretary?" Six months later, all his co-workers had personal computers. He'd lug the thing home on weekends and let me play games on it.

    My family bought a Commodore 64 when I was very young. Mostly on the strength of me nagging for one for months.

    First computer that was my own was a P90 that I built myself when I was 19.

    I was 4. It was an Apple IIe. My parents copied a heap of educational games for me to use. My favourite was Fish Scales. This was in 1997.

    6 years old, with a Sinclair Spectrum. A year later I was programming in Sinclair BASIC, and writing basic text adventure games.

    I was around five. It was a ZX Spectrum, which remains one of the best games machines ever.

    Does a Dick Smith Wizzard count as a computer? Ahh, 1983. It had a keypad of sorts and my parents were nice (read cheap) enough to buy me a book full of games that you could type in yourself. Helped me learn BASIC. Oh the fun we had looking through screen after screen of code looking for a misplaced piece of punctuation after a dreaded "Syntax Error". Fun times.

      Apple II clone which I built myself, I was 12. Learn BASIC, play lode runner, Sun Dog and Atlantic Strike with my school mates on it. Good old days.....

    Instead of what age I think what year is more interesting. I was 20 in 1988 and I got myself an XT (yes that's XT not an XP typo) with twin 5" floppies.

      My first own was also an xt, but I was about 10..
      Before that shared a trs80 with my brothers.. must have been about 4 or 5 at the time. It had a tape deck, no fancy schmancy floppies. And I had to program my own games (ie copy them out of a book). Taught me how to be very. fucking. patient.

    I got my first (Windows) computer when I was 15-16ish, so around 2005. I saved up and got a friend to buy the parts and build it for me. After that I've been building my own machines (nothing super fancy, but it's good to know what you're paying for and how it all fits together). My family (mum and younger siblings) are still using the same computer that we all shared back then, which we must have got back in '02. It makes me sad just thinking about how old it is so I'm building them a new one.

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