punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

"My first computer..."

Just curious. I assume, by virtue of reading this, that you are on a computer. What was your first memories of a computer? When did you first encounter (in person, not like a photo or something on the TV), what kind of a computer (a computer is different things to different people, but let's assume some kind of keyboard, CPU, with monitor sort of thing), at what age, what kind was it, and how did you interact with it (if at all)? Also what was your first computer that was really yours (not shared with someone)?

My first brush with my future was when I was about 5 at SRI. My father used to work at SRI, and sometimes I got to see some of the punch card machines the students and researchers were using. Huge metal things where manilla cards would go in one end, and come out in a plastic holder at the end. Sometimes my father would bring home a ream of computer cards, and I'd make houses out of them.

I went to computer camp for two years (4th grade and 6th grade), where I learned how to program on mainframes and Atari 8-bit systems (800XL... how I miss thee).

The first computer I actually outright owned would technically be an LED calculator, but to follow my own rules, the first "real computer" was a Timex Sinclair 1000. It was a small "all-in-one" black unit, ZX80 chip, about the sized of a hardcover book, that hooked up to your TV set for a monitor, and a cassette player for storage (which, when played on the stereo, went "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP BOOOOOOOOOOP..." like a modem on Quaaludes). I got it when I was 15. One of my high school friends, Nicole Peacock, gave it to me in a paper bag because he was sick of how it sucked compared to... hell, stevonwolf's systems (Steve, I hate to say it, but your mom set you up with teh tricked technology. Damn, you always had the latest and greatest computers/game systems, and Nicole, Fred Vogel, and I were sooo jealous, yet not jealous enough to avoid showing up at your house all the time). Anyway, Nicole's bitterness was my gain. I programmed my little box to insult people, draw cubes, and even did a cheesy 3-D simulation of going down a hallway.
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