When Did You Get Your First Computer?

When Did You Get Your First Computer?

In the past, having a computer in your own home was a rarity. These days, computers are much more commonplace, but having one of your very own is still kind of special. When did you get your first?

Photo by filip robert (Shutterstock).

Go back thirty years, and having a computer in your home was almost unheard of. These days, many kids have powerful computers in the form of smartphones in their pockets, and many households have one computer per resident.

Anyway, we want to know. When did you get your first computer and what was it?


  • First Computer I owned was a Sinclair Zx81 back in 1981, followed up in later years by a Zx Spectrum 48, Atari 800xl, Acorn Archimedes, Commodore Amiga and then onto pc’s

  • First access to a computer in the home was a Commodore Vic 20 in 1983.
    First access to a x86 clone was an Amstrad PC 1512 in 1987, had two 5 & 1/4 inch floppy drives, no hard drive

    • Amstrad 1512 dual floppy was my first too.
      I remember when I upgraded to a massive 8MB hard drive for my second Amstrad!

  • Not exactly sure if it was 1996 or 1997. Got my first P150, with a 8GB hard disk and
    iomega zip drive and Windows 98. It could run Photoshop 4.0 🙂 . Isdn internet also helped with me sending files quicker to uni and back.

  • 1987, the Apple IIgs. It had virtually no memory, dual 5 1/4″ and 3 1/2″ floppies, and for its day, great sound. and a 640×200 monitor with ‘spectacular’ colour graphics 🙂

  • First baby was the Commodore 64, much fun was had with that machine, followed closely by the Amiga 500…complete with 1MB extra ram switch. Yeah! Later moved on (with much resistance) to a Pentium DX66 machine.

  • 1990, a 286 10Mhz with a 20Mb hard drive (phwoar, never fill that) and a VGA card (wow, photo realistic graphics!)

    About 6 months after that I knew I was going to be a computer programmer… this was at age 10 mind you…

  • almost bought a VIC20 in 1983, but then I read in a magazine (news travelled slower back then) about this new C64 that would blow your mind. Spent all year saving every penny and some help from mum/dad I blew my mind in 1984.

  • 1st access: In High School via cards that had to be marked in pencil only so they could be fed & read to & by a mainframe. Wrote basic scripts that printed pretty mean calendars (after weeks of debugging – because that was the turn around time … must have been 77/78 …

    1st ‘computer’: A Dick Smith VZ2000 (!) – Sinclair Spectrum clone. Bought with own money because parents couldn’t understand the concept of ‘home computer’. Or ‘computer’ for that matter …

  • Inherited an old Atari 8-bit from my uncle back in 1995-ish. Outdated when I got it, but more than enough for a 7 year old.
    Bought my first computer in 1999, an iMac G3. Greatest day of my life.

  • When my workplace installed a computer and I realised that it was just being used as a data base. I needed a database for my music collection, I got a computer with a 52mb drive (just increased from 40mb). It cost twice as much as my current machine with 2tb of storage.

  • About 1987, I bought home a used Compaq PC-AT Turbo! from work. Cost me a grand or two. IIRC it was something like $6000 new

  • Far back as I can remember we had computers around for my parents business crap, but the first one I remember was a 486 with Windows 3.1 on it, which wound up with a lot of shareware on it from friends. Eventually this got replaced with a Pentium 120 with 16mb of RAM and Windows 95 after I bought a CDROM game that we couldn’t install on the 486.

    In maybe 96/97 my school started a laptop program and I wound up with my very own Pentium 133 with 32mb RAM – I was in heaven.

  • I was in high school, the computer was a pentium 233, 4GB HDD, 64MB RAM, running Win 95 but I upgraded to win 98. Absolutely loved it, and learned so much by screwing around with it.

  • Family got an Amiga 500 back in… 87? Not 100% certain. First x86 was a 386 SX-33. The PC was ultimately fairly disappointing initially, after all the amazing games I played on my Amiga. The Amiga was light years ahead of it’s time.

    • The Amiga 500 was astonishing — it competed graphically with the SNES (and eclipsed it on sound) a good five years into its life cycle.

  • ~1980 with a Dick Smith Wizard, which was a re-badged Activition.
    Then at Tech 1982/83 got to play with a real machine, PDP-11 mini mainframe.

  • Tandy TRS-80 Model 1 shortly after release. My Dad bought it on hire purchase for no exact purpose, and they forgot to bill him at all for it. After banging my ten-year-old forehead on the keyboard after weekend-long visits into BASIC debugging hell, my Dad became the greatest Dad who ever lived by getting us a Commodore 64 complete with the Choplifter cartridge. I asked him a few years ago why he decided to join the computer revolution at its dawn, and he said he couldn’t remember–just that it was interesting. Talk about hitting the jackpot as a ten year old in 1982 with two computers at my disposal.

  • First computer was and i still own it is an Amiga 500 with 1mb Ram upgrade
    Also have the Amiga CD with a 10GB HD in it

  • 1995 with a 486 DX2 66 which introduced me to the world of BBS’s and Doom2 multiplayer. Prior to that I lived in a Nintendo only household for the best part of 10yrs.

  • Mine would have to be the VIC20 followed by C64 then the Amiga 1000. Ahh, the 80’s such a great time for kids.

  • My dad got me a ZX Spectrum when I was around five years old. The first game I got obsessed over was a conversion of the arcade game Phoenix. Good times.

  • First computer I owned (as opposed to one that was given to me) was a Gateway 450 I bought mid-way through my first semester at Uni. Before that, I had an Amiga 500, which I still have and I still pull out every so often.

    Ah, Guru Meditation.

  • 1979 – Apple ][ with monochrome 15″ monitor, tape drive and a whopping 32K (yes, KB not MB) of RAM. I lasted a whole two weeks with the tape drive before I figured I’d either throw it in the bin or shell out some more $$ for a 143KB, 5.25″ floppy drive. Total price was around $2750 in 1979 dollars. Probably should have kept it. I think I still have the floppies somewhere.

  • No one else had an Amstrad? C’mon. Family computer Amstrad CPC464 in 1984.

    Roland in Time ftw. Took like 20mins to load it off the cassette-tape deck (yes, really) that was built into the keyboard.

  • My family bought a near new Commodore 64 of the son of the Singapore Ambassador in Canberra Australia in 1986. It was amazing it come with the works. It had those crazy paddles, joysticks, 5-1/4″ floppy drive, cassette drive. dot matrix printer and the black ad yellow printer.

  • 1984 Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K – My grandma got it for me when I was 4 years old, they saw the how important computers would be in the future. Ah, how I miss hooking it up to the TV and loading games from a cassette tape – Also started writing my first programs on it in the primitive Basic language it came with when I was 5 years old – Best thing my grandparents ever did for me 🙂

  • First access was a fiends Microbee when I was all of about 10 so around ’83? and commodore 64 and commodore 128…

    Finally convinced the folks these things were the future and First computer of my own was a 386 DX 10Mhz with a turbo button to hit 16Mhz! Phwoar! had 100 meg HDD and a Trident 1meg video card.

    Pools of radiance never looked so…..

  • 2010 (Dell Inspiron 1545, still use it to this day all OEM) – which was one month before I hit University… came out with a Computer Science Degree.

  • Mine was in 1987, a MacPlus. Duel Mini Floppy Drive and no built in Hard Drive. To stop swapping disks I had to buy a 20mb DataFrame Hard Disk. The MacPlus was cool because inside of the cover were all the signatures of those who worked on it including Jobs and Wosniak. Wish now that I had never traded it. 🙁 I still have the Apple Bag to carry it in though plus the bag for the printer. All up it cost me over $AU8K. OMG! WHAT was I thinking? 🙂
    Great computer though and far surpassed anything else at the time. I had Excel 1.04 when everyone else was using Lotus 123 on their PC’s. Excel was far superior. Was also using a Word Processing software named MacAuthor when everyone else was struggling with WordPerfect on their PeeCees.
    Had fun programming in HyperCard, a really powerful and easy programming language very much based on simple English.
    Hacking into software named ELIZA that created a doctor scenario/patient scenario with some really crude results kept my friends amused for hours. As well as the all too familiar and standard Mac OS “knock-knock” jokes.
    After that came the PizzaMac in the early 90’s (my first colour screen) and from very soon after that was my first PowerBook which still cost me well over $AU5K and which I later upgraded to a G3 chip.
    From then on it has been PowerBooks, MacBooks and MacBook Pros up to my current 15″

  • Sinclair ZX80. I bought the floating point ROM to bring it up to ZX81 specs. Next was one of the dual processor Apple ][+ clones. Next was a CP/M machine built around an Ampro little big board. I lose track after that as I started collecting any computing hardware I could find. Unfortunately most of them ended up in a skip when I moved in with my wife to be.

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