how old were you when you built your 1st PC?

By STK ยท 43 replies
Jul 3, 2004
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  1. How old was everyone when they built their first computer, if you have built one already? you can also tell us what it was, or any other stories about computers you tried to build.
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I've been into computers since the age of about 5 or 6 but I took a break from the ages of about 16 to 21.

    When I was 21, I got back into computers. My life changed the day I got a 486 back then. I upgraded it to a pentium 200. But I did not fit the motherboard myself.

    Sometime after that my HDD died, and I had to buy a new one. So I fitted it myself. It took me about 1 hour just to get it inside that small, packed case, and to get the BIOS to recognise it, to format, it, etc. Then was when I installed Windows for the first time as well.

    It all began at that moment. Now, I can fix PCs in my sleep. It doesn't matter what is wrong with them. And I work for a multinational investment bank as an operate programmer, I write Perl and Java code and work with UNIX systems. I could only do that because of what happened to me that day when I fit that drive.

    Of course, I went on to build whole computers. I even took a job as a computer technician for years after. I worked on an NT LAN. We upgraded the domain to Windows 2000. All of these things I could not have done without what happened on that day.
  3. erickdj

    erickdj TS Rookie Posts: 69

    I was 17 when I built my first PC. I developed an interest for computers at a very young age, but my parents didn't buy one until I was 14. It it was a slow learning process, but once I got a computer I could mess with, my ability to work with PC's took off like a rocket. I've recently graduated with a Computer Science Degree and work as a systems administrator at a small office.
  4. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    The day i started to learn to use computer was also the around the first timei started to use the internet. This was back in 96 when i was 10 years old. Dad was pissed of at times as no one at home knew how to repair it and had to send it to a tech guy for repair. It wasnt until I got older till I stop crashing Windows OS.

    When I was 15, I got an 800MHz Duron rig as present from mom. I was really unsatisfied with the specifications and decided to find ways to upgrade it. Stumbled across Techspot then known as 3DSpotlight. Then I did my first sound card, video card and CD burner upgrade all at one time. Then built my first PC, an AMD XP2000+ when I was 16.
  5. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    The first computer I built myself was when I was 23 (that was in 98) and it was a Celeron 300A @ 504 MHz and a Whopper Celery Sandwich HSF on an A-Bit BH6 with High Perf Micron RAM and a HUGE 10 gig WD drive :) I bought my first computer (actually my mom paid for it) in 87. Gone through a lot of machines since then.
  6. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,671   +988

    I got my first PC when I was 8 (or around that age), what I can correctly recall however is that I built my own when I was 14...
  7. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    I actually built my own around 12 years old, back in 2000. It was a P3 450 (that I overclocked to 558) on an Abit BH6 with 128MB of SDRAM and a 10GB WD Caviar HD. Draws a few comparisons with Papa's first built machine :D Some of the components were from my dad's old machine, which he upgraded and gave the old stuff to me (for my 12th birthday I think) and showed me the basics of how to build one.

    I was a natural with computers, I immediately understood how to build one, with just looking at the parts. About a year later I discovered TechSpot, and, well, here I am now. I don't love computers as much as I used to (which you can tell by my apparent decline of posting), but they're still a big part of my life.

    I actually got my first computer when I was around 8 or 9. It was a 200MHz Mac, and all I did on it was surf the internet and play Escape Velocity (which is still a great game).
  8. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    My first computer was a Commodore 64(which I still own minus the monitor) The fist machine I built was a 286 that was actually built from the parts of two pre-existing machines. Since then, I would wager that I've built several hundred(both personally and professionally)

    I've always been one to tear things apart to see how they work and am always trying to improve the way things work. I've been doing PC and electronics repair since I was about 15. Doing a lot of general electronics repair and installing car stereos when I was in HS. Currently I work in Corporate Tech support for a well known computer company and run my own Electronics repair business on my off time.
  9. MYOB

    MYOB TS Rookie Posts: 492

    I started messing around with the internals of machine from around 9, but the first time I went out and bought more than half the components of a machine in one go, I was 14.

    I'm proud to say my desktop is still, in theory a 1997 Dell Dimension H-266. All thats left is the NIC though, and I've actually rebuilt the H-266 by now :)
  10. STK

    STK TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    ok well it seems most of you built your first PCs at early ages. i am going to look into it, i saw the building a PC thread, i will look over that. but do u guys think i should go with cheaper hardware for my first built comp? if you know of any sites or videos on how to build PCs, help would be appreciated.
  11. smtkr

    smtkr TS Rookie Posts: 131

    I was probably around 18 years old
  12. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    I bought a barebones from Dell (Dimension p100c) in 1995 I believe, and upgraded that.
    You can find the specs for it here but the year in that post is wrong.

    Built my first computer from scratch in 1997, Pentium ][ 300Mhz (slot1), Asus P2L97 motherboard (and that is all the specs I remember right now).

    So I upgraded my first computer when I was 14 and built my first from scratch when I was 16.
  13. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    I "played" on a computer for the first time in 1968, an IBM Mainframe Model 1401, with 8KB (!) of memory, which in those days could already do teleprocessing and document reading.
    The watercooling took up as much space (or more) as a complete good-size living-room. We "played" music by letting the (chain-)printer print series of different characters, producing proper tones.
    The computer was fed with cards and only understood Assembler (today I can still program in Assembler).
    Somewhere in the 70's I got a Sinclair, then a Commodore 20, followed by a 64 and in the 80's got my first PC, a Sperry with an 8086 CPU and 640KB and a 20MB Seagate HD. When the 286 processors came out (around 1983 I think), I bought all the bits and built my first PC. I spent a fortune on a 1MB memory extension card, and I can still feel the pain in my fingers from pushing in those tons of IC memory-chips.
    I've lost count of all the PC's I have built (not quite as many as Stormbringer) for myself, friends and family.
  14. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    I can't tell you the years, but I can tell you the what's.....followed much the same path as realblackstuff only with an Atari 400, 800, Apple IIe, Amiga 500 and upward. Owned my first pc about 1994 or so (don't even remember the brand), but only built my first about 1998. Now, at the ripe old age of 50 I've built more (for friends, family and work) than I can count and love every minute of it. It all somes second-nature now but I'm still learning alot thanks to many of you here. Never to old for that, eh? ;)
  15. tha smokah

    tha smokah TS Rookie

    ive built all 20 of my pc's..cept my 1st IBM k62 500mhz..that got me into pc' i cant seem to
  16. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Got my first at the ripe age of 3, a C64 with 8k expansion cartridge, dual 5.25 floppies, a tape deck, 300 baud modem, and a green phosphor "monitor" that sucked.

    I went through several of all of the above.

    Then built my first at 14, a pentium 33. Had adult assistance. w00t.

    First one I can take ALL of the credit for was a celeron 300 oc'ed to 450 when I was 19.

    Dang we've come a long way in a hurry.
  17. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    I was a PC as a child.

    After some therapy & transplants, I've become much more human these days.

  18. Shiney

    Shiney TS Booster Posts: 160

    Nice one rick, you cut me up :)

    As for the PC's Exactly the same as Masque minus the apple plus 4 years on age. :)
  19. SOB

    SOB Banned Posts: 119

    i was 45

    around then i guess. been building them, upgrading, the usual. but, alienware has my eye right now, and i'm focused.
  20. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    I was 11 or 12.. I think 12.

    It was a 1700+ AXP which cost me (er.. my dad) like $170 at the time. He told me how I had to use stand offs when you put the mobo in, but other then that it was all down hill for me.
  21. bkaa

    bkaa TS Rookie Posts: 36

    I was 15 when i built my computer, I bought all the parts with my own money (summer job) and it felt kinda ughh weird speding over 350 dollars on computer at the time. Now, i dont regret it at all, im 16 now :D . My first machine was a AMD 2000xp i oc to a 1.8. :D
  22. tha smokah

    tha smokah TS Rookie

  23. Jbo

    Jbo TS Rookie

    I guess I'm definitely considered by most to be just old, as December13 last time I was fraggin 52 years of non-age, but technically unable to escape facts of history, I can't escape that I was born in52, only two years after Leo Fender first made a "regular"guitar into an "electrified" instrument.
    And of course i do try to connect as much astigmatism to this as I can, so's folks will think I'm cool&stuff.
    Since my Dad was a quartet singer(gospel/bluegrass, back then there was only radio) before WWll, and was also a piano tuner, like his Dad and brothers and uncles from Arkansas, but upon returning home from the war, he resumed tuning pianos in churches all over sw Kentucky, and I was 9 when his injuries finally claimed his life by having formed a tumor in his brain where shrapnel was deemed by surgeons unsafe to remove.
    I had tones, intervals of each and every flavor drilled and re-drilled into my brain as a tot, I crawled between his legs and other areas on the floor as he worked, when home could be the site of his work,
    I suppose I was destined to do something "tonal" based most likely was the candidate.
    But since I do remember this was not "life story time", (I can't seem to paint the picture I wanna paint with much less information) I do hope readers will overlook my inequity this time.
    But anyway I have just built my first pc.
    I have built from Asus p4p800d mb, a very nice sounding Digital Audio Workstation
    I am using two raptors in raid with the Intel facility onboard, anybody know why they put that Via chip on there?
    Anyway I was advised to use the Intel route for raid( I had at least 2-3 to choose from)
    But Ableton Live and Garritan Personal Orchestra, are my two favorites, about which i can go on for some time, but shall not
    but I have watched all thru my work years as technology was passing me by(sortof) and jumped on the chance to retire early when my doc told me the reason i have been in such agony at work was a legitimate one , 3 ruptured disks... Since I have not been working,1-2 years, I have studied computers and DAW's here at home, online, and anyway possible.
    Anyway having been a musician all my life and knowing from reading that someday the things which only the wealthy could do would someday be available to those with proper computer facilities... for audio recording I mean...(digital)
    So I still wanna be a successful artist (ND) would be fine, i am not partial, and I do not care too much really for any fame, but thats me I guess in a nutshell.

    anyone who will listen and tell me why they think my chances are so poor to complete my goal, its not worth my effort, can please do so by means of this link where my music(some) can be sampled

    ps I agree with Rick
  24. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Well I guess I've put off posting in this thread long enough.
    Started with a C64 back around 1984 or so (single disk drive, some Okadata printer, a tape drive, and 2 joysticks for gaming). Then moved on to a Macintosh SE/30 (first mac to read HD Floppy disks, had a 68020 processor I think and a math co-processor, ran at 16Mhz). Then on to a Mac Performa 550, then onto a UMAX Mac Clone that had a PowerPC 603e processor.
    Then I bought a HP Pavilion (forget the model number) Pentium 2 300Mhz for college in 1998 .
    Then I got a new computer in 2000, I didn't build it, but it was all custom parts (not a branded comp). I'm still using that one today as my main comp.
    The first one I built was in 2001 and it was for a friend of the family after her's got fried by lightning. It was a 1 Ghz Duron on an ECS K7S5A motherboard.

    I recently graduated from college (masters degree for those of you comparing when I started college in 98 to todays date :)) and I have a job now so I'm beginning to look into building one for myself this time.
  25. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,077

    this is a good thered

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