Weekend Open Forum: Your very first computer

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member
As I was reading through our recent series on the history of the microprocessor and personal computer, I couldn't help but take a trip down memory lane back to my first computer.

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Atari ST (512kb Ram). This was where my love for computers came from and dictated my career choice. After that Apple Macintosh 630. Great Computer with a TV tuner!


TechSpot Chancellor
Apple II - around 1978-79. It was actually given to our until while I was in the Army. No one knew what to do with it and it sat in a corner. One of those, "the Army thinks you should have it - so make it work." I took it and started creating the most basic of databases and spreadsheets to manage inventory and personnel records. A lot of the stuff I created ended being used Army-wide until better programs and hardware came around.


An Acer branded PC if I'm not mistaken.
With spec :
Pentium 75 MHz
1 MB ATi Mach Series graphics
1.2 GB hard drive
Sound Blaster compatible sound card
6x CD-ROM drive
14 inch monitor with 640x480 px desktop resolution
Windows 95

Damn I'm feeling nostalgic right now. :D
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In 1994 I had an Acer pc with:

Intel 486SX 25MHZ
2MB Ram (expanded later to 8MB which made it fly)
106MB hard drive expanded to almost twice the size with DOS 6.0 disk compresion (that option actually worked)

I still have it... in the closet of course.


TS Evangelist
Atari 800XL. In some ways it was the best home PC you could get till the STs and Amigas came out. More reliable than a Commodore 64, easier to use (IMO) than an Apple IIe and cheaper than either. The biggest drawback was that software was hard to find in my area.


TS Booster
I had a comodore 64 as a child but the first computer that really got me into computers was the Compaq Presario don't remember the model. It had a first generation Pentium processor, 8 MB of RAM, a 1X CD ROM drive with 16 bit multimedia audio. I remember how hard it was to get games running, configuring IRQ sound settings and such, vesa settings, extended and expanded memory, creating .bat files and boot disks to get them running. The game I enjoyed most and which actually ran without a problem was Lucas Art's Full Throttle. I couldn't believe the whole game had full audio dialogue. It came with Widows 3.1 preinstalled and a horrible Compaq skin called Bookshelf or something. I remember buying Windows 95 on about 20 3.5" floppies.
We have come a long way.


TS Evangelist
My parents bought a asus or acer computer with 2x 1 gb hdrives in the mid 90s . It ran d2 very sloppily. I had to install classic and the expansion on separate drives.

I bought my first computer in 2001, an emachine piece of junk, it came with 128 mb of ram which ran very slow on the new windows XP. Word on the street was ram could magically make any computer faster so I bought another 128 mb ram stick for about 30$ from some shady guy a co worker knew.

About 5 years after buying it my hard drive got some kind of bug where it would not delete anything. So it slowly filled up and eventually became unbootable. I eventually just threw it in the trash. I still don't know if I had a bad hard drive or way to many viruses as I believed at the time.

I later learned that a lot of emachines were made from recycled parts and had bad psu's that tended to fry mobos.

My parents gave that first computer to the church and as far as I know still runs to this day. I have the old dvd drive from it, when my dvd drive went bad I replaced my emachine dvd drive with it, then my little bros dell dimension 2400 drive and eventually my dell dimensions 2400 drive with that old acer dvd drive.

They don't make em like they used too. That drive probably still works the last time I used it was in 2009 when I built this rig.

p.s. more likely a cd drive idk

Julio Franco

TechSpot Editor
Staff member
Mine was a 386 33MHz clone. Don't recall the exact specs, but it was along the lines of 1 or 2MB of RAM and 80MB hard drive. I remember my dad was supposed to buy a monochrome monitor but Windows 3.1 was becoming more popular so he "invested" in a 800x600 color monitor.

Scott Elsdon

TS Rookie
A ZX81 with a massive 1 KB or RAM, I saved and saved up to then get the 16 Kilobyte RAM pack upgrade., Typing in all those programs in Sinclair Basic. Then a Spectrum, ! Colour ! then a BBC, a C64 an Amiga ! then the dreaded PC, Of all the machines I've owned, the sodding Windows machines have been the worsed. They may have the top specs, but all are stuck in Start bar, C drive, three letter file extension, crud, nothings moved for 30 years.


trainee n00b
Breadboarded 8080 or 8085 I think (1980), back in my last year of high school. Basic rule for learning about programming and hardware was to build yourself something first.

After that, it was all work machines only for the best part of a decade. Burroughs and Honeywell mainframe punch card bliss [/sarcasm] and a series of generic 286 machines.
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An Acer 486DX, with a 15 Gb hard drive, 5.25/3.5 floppy, less RAM that an entry level computer phone, but a VESA graphic card.


I had a packard bell 486sx 25 mhz with a 160mb hdd and 4mb ram my stepdad and I upgraded this thing to the max: Powerleap adapter 586: 133mhz maxxed out at 20 mb of ram an 8x cdrom drive with sound card and a 2 mb isa video card. It played warcraft warcraft 2 command and conquer and played doom 2 very nice. Duke nukem 3d would work but on low settings

saif raza khan

TS Rookie
I had a um...... servo............ I think,yes,that was a servo pc(cos u know it had servo written over it,not long ago when dual core pc and pc with 2 gb ram were commonplace,I was still flaunting a pc with single core 1.2Ghz celeron pc with 256MB ram and 50 GB HDD.


TS Evangelist
I had a Control Data terminal when I was a kid. membrane touch screen and a modem. But my first Real PC was a VIC 20. kept me off my dad's Tandy.


Sharp mz80k but didn't actually own it as such. If that doesn't count, than it must be the texas instrument ti99, a truly devilish machine.


TS Enthusiast
After some years on a Spectrum ZX and Amiga 600 (Why the *uck did I sell it!?), my dad bought us a PC:

486DX 40 Mhz
8 GB ram
260 mb HDD
2x speed CD drive
Logitech 8 bit soundcard (A.W.E.S.O.M.E)
15" CTX Monitor
and a Canon Bubblejet 520 printer.
Windows 3.11

The specifications at that time was mind boggling. Most consumer PC's had ~1-2 MB ram, no cd drive, HDD at ~100 mb and the most awesome part; the soundcard.
I had friends over that didn't know games had sound other than the internal speaker and we were in AWE when we played Doom :D