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View Full Version : What computer did you own or wish to own



GameGavel
23-02-10, 07:51
Just curious what computers you all had when you grew up. Or wish you had. I started out with the measly Timex Sinclair 1000 (I know, laugh). When all my friends had vic-20s and were then getting C-64s my parents got me this little black frisbee with a keyboard. Actually, I learned quite a bit about programming on that thing and had about a dozen cassettes filled with programs I had written. My mom threw it all away - ARGHHH!

After that I did get a C-64 and then my parents really made up for the Timex by buying me an Apple IIc when I was in High School. And that IIc was the best gaming computer I ever played. My buddy had a IIE and I remembering getting hundreds of games from him (pirated of course) and thought I was in gaming Heaven.

I just loved playing games on the green monochorome! Like I said, the IIe/c had some great games - Choplifter, Castle Wolfenstein's, Skyfox, Taipan, Captain Goodnight, Wizardry Proving Grounds, Raster Blaster Pinball, Oregon Trail, Bilestode, etc. I ended up selling my IIc to a friend of my cousin way back when and then lost track of it. I did attempt to buy it back many years later, but he had got rid of it :(

So I finally found another one near by a few months ago on Craigslist and now it's down in the arcade (like new and all original boxes) and I still play it all the time.

Kind of an old vid showing the Apple IIc I picked up off CL :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W92EQbqNMNA

Duke.Togo
23-02-10, 10:11
We were broke folks when I was a kid, but my Mom did manage to get me a TI-99/4A when they were dieing on clearance. I didn't have many of the cartridge games, so I spent an enormous amount of time keying in BASIC games out of old magazines. I still have all of my old cassettes with these, and it still works like a dandy. I have a warm place in my heart for the old thing, and still enjoy some Parsec, Hunt the Wumpus, and Munch Man from time to time.

I did get a C64 in middle school, but the power supply died in the thing after a year and we couldn't afford another, so that was the end of my computer days until many moons later with my first 286 PC (2 MB of RAM and a 10 MG HDD, amazing stuff...)

Foo
23-02-10, 10:57
i remember several people hoping for c 64's at christmas , but their parents not knowing any better getting them a vic 20 ( you can just imagine them in the store saying, same commodore name KABOOM!KABOOM!KABOOM!KABOOM! it we will buy this its cheaper)
poor kid gutted on xmas morning playing omega race when he should be playing last ninja

GameGavel
23-02-10, 11:15
i remember several people hoping for c 64's at christmas , but their parents not knowing any better getting them a vic 20 ( you can just imagine them in the store saying, same commodore name KABOOM!KABOOM!KABOOM!KABOOM! it we will buy this its cheaper)
poor kid gutted on xmas morning playing omega race when he should be playing last ninja

I bet you're right. LOL:ROFL

andyuk
24-02-10, 02:17
It could have been worse.. It could have been a BBC Micro!!! That way you'd have a real 'educational' machine and the sh*t kicked out of you every day at school for the honor. ;) OOh or a Dragon 32.. Hmmmm 12 different shades of green and yellow.

Me, Hmm always fancied an Oric Atmos when they first appeared. Mainly because they looked so nice, and I knew no better. Happily in my case I got a Spectrum instead. ( Miner.. Shush heh ). Moved to the C64 eventually, blowing my college grant on the thing. ( Hmm wise choice there I think.. ), and then the Amiga range. 500, 1200..

Just wish the 64 had a better version of basic, would have been helpfull with the course I was doing at the time. Man that was hard work....

F-zero
24-02-10, 04:54
I had a 48k zx spectrum, i kinda have a love hate relationship with it.
I hated it at the time as the graphics were so distant from the arcade games i played.
But as the years have past nostalgia has got the better of me.
I dug it out at the beginning of january (my original 1983 model) and did a composite mod on it.
I've been playing it when i get the chance and its ok, some good titles i never played before.
I always wanted a C64 though.
27 years later i eventually got one, christmas 2009 :)
Great system, would love a flash card add on but they're a bit pricy at the moment.
Apart from that i've never owned any other retro computers but if i was to buy another it would be the Commodore Amiga.
btw, anyone read the commodore book, On The Edge?
Well worth a purchase.

Foo
24-02-10, 09:59
do you remember getting you first computer and trying to convince your parents how it would help with your education, little did they know you would end up with joystick cramp from playing donkey kong for ten hours straight

Gordon Bennett
24-02-10, 11:34
I always had Commodore. I started with a borrowed Vic-20. No software at all for it, just type-ins and whatever I could write myself. I think I still have a cassette somewhere with the very beginnings of an adventure game on it.

Next came my first proper computer that I owned outright - A Commodore 64, complete with monitor and disk drive. Heaven. My grandparents funded that one with the belief that I needed to have a computer, and once I had it I would be set for life. I also picked up Infocom's Hitchhiker's Guide the Galaxy the day I received it - having a computer read a typed sentence and respond appropriately was amazing.

Of course when the Amiga came out I was drooling all over it as much as anyone else. No help from the grandparents there - as I said, as far as they were concerned I had a computer already and thus had no need for a new one. How was I supposed to tell them that I couldn't go another day without playing Shadow of the Beast or The Secret of Monkey Island?

Well eventually I did get one. That kept me for a while, but in time I did grow up and bought my very first PC - a 486 with CD-ROM. And a copy of Sam and Max Hit the Road. Fantastic.

Wanted? Well, I always wanted an Atari ST. Of course it was impossible to have that and the Amiga both at the same time. I did eventually pick one up long after its time had passed.

Dhalamar
25-02-10, 12:42
When I was young we were a PC only house. I have unfortunately never even TOUCHED a Commodore 64. The closest I've ever come to that was I had a Vic 20 given to me a while back, but it was JUST the unit itself. No drives, software or anything. And since the best I could ever do in programming ANYTHING by myself was Hello World in Basic ... yeah. hehe

The first computer I ever touched was a 4.77mhz Sanyo with dual 5.25" floppy drives and a green screen monitor. Then we got an XT that went up to a whopping 10mhz with a 5MBhard MFM hard drive (doublespaced to 10) running DOS with Norton Commander and a VGA video card for 256 colors, so I guess we were a little ahead with that one since most of the systems like that I've seen were either monochrome or CGA. :)

And it just went up from there over the years, always being a little behind. having a 486DX2/66 with 24MB of RAM with Pentium 2's were hot and P3's were coming out ... etc etc :)

Right now my system upstairs for the main part of the house is a 2.1ghz dual core with 4GB of RAM and a 256MB Geforce 8600GT, and I have a little AMD Athlon XP 2600+ with a gig of ram and onboard Geforce 4 MX graphics I use downstairs, along with a netbook.

I find it annoying that we were always a PC house back in the day. Had I any choice in the matter we would have had a Commodore 64 or an early Macintosh or something.

Alas, it wasn't the case. I didn't even touch a computer that wasn't a PC at home until around 1998.

But it was those old PCs that allowed me to play these kickass door games back in the day, so I guess I can be grateful for that.

Gordon Bennett
25-02-10, 12:52
I wouldn't regret having the PC. Granted, it wasn't quite the gaming machine in the 80s that the C64 and Spectrum were, but despite its limitations there were definitely some very worthwhile titles on it.

I remember playing Civilisation on a machine very much like your XT - flopppy drives, VGA, and not much else. The game took 45 minutes to set up the world, running through the opening slideshow at a snail's pace.

Once it started, however, it played beautifully. Fantastic game that was.

jhart711
12-03-10, 05:55
My college had a computer room off from the library that had several TRS-80 Model IIIs, since I worked in the library I spend a fair amount of time on them. I would love to have one of those.

My parents bought me a TRS-80 Color Computer, I currently have five of those.

John

Cyberhawk
08-09-10, 01:33
Oh man, I've owned some pretty rare and fun stuff back when I was a kid.
Unfortunately I never realized the value of those things until I grew up.

So first I got a Pentagon 128. This is a Russian clone of the ZX Spectrum, with
128K memory. The thing was in a huge metal case with a big ass switch on the
back. You had to REALLY lean over the thing (especially when you were under 10
years old) and put all your strength into throwing that thing on. It had a dedicated
monitor and also a real keyboard (keyboard and computer were not in the same
case). The thing ran with 5" floppies and MCs.

Then I got a so called Subor (better known as Dendy). That's a Chinese / Russian
clone of the NES. It kicked ass, because it was a toploader and all in sleek black!

And at last I got the first original piece of hardware, a Sega Mega Drive II. It did
come in a strange box though which I can't see over here in Europe. It was an
Asian model - looks like Japanese ones, but plays PAL games only. Still no clone,
full original. To this day I never owned another original console but the Mega
Drive and still love it : )

teknohed
08-09-10, 03:57
My dad was a serious professional, so he skipped all that mucking about with Mini Computers and went straight to the worlds first portable IBM clone. The Compaq I. (http://oldcomputers.net/byte-compaq.html):

http://oldcomputers.net/pics/byte-compaq1.jpg

I saw him lug this beast with him through airports on more than one occasion. It was basically the size of a modern Desktop PC, with built in Keyboard and screen. I logged many an hour of King's Quest and Microsoft Flight Simulator on this baby. Eventually he got a Compaq III before graduating to a 386.

SubaruBrat
08-09-10, 04:19
So first I got a Pentagon 128. This is a Russian clone of the ZX Spectrum, with
128K memory. The thing was in a huge metal case with a big ass switch on the
back. You had to REALLY lean over the thing (especially when you were under 10
years old) and put all your strength into throwing that thing on. It had a dedicated
monitor and also a real keyboard (keyboard and computer were not in the same
case). The thing ran with 5" floppies and MCs.

Then I got a so called Subor (better known as Dendy).


Was this East Germany? I don't recall ever seeing those two brands/models in the stores. In Darmstadt you would be hard pressed to find anything but Commodore and usually a smaller shelf space for Apple.

BydoEmpire73
08-09-10, 05:12
My family got a c64 in the early-mid 80s. Loved it, and I still have it. Played a crapton of games on it, and typed in the occasional BASIC game in from Compute!'s Gazette. I used Apples at and was doing a lot of programming, so I was fortunate enough that my folks got me an Apple 2c around '87. I realize now how expensive that was at the time, but having an Apple 2 at home got me going on my programming career, so it was probably a good investment. I played games on the Apple, but mostly did programming. I learned an awful lot on that system - I still have most of my discs, but they're unreadable. Later on I worked all summer to save up enough for an Amiga 500 and bought one - the first computer I bought with my own money. Unfortunately I didn't get into programming on it, and just played games. Amazing games, though. I still have that. When I went to college I got a 386 clone. I used it for school, but the SoundBlaster/VGA era of PC gaming was fantastic. When I graduated and got a job I bought a Pentium clone.

Wow, thinking back, I had a new computer every couple of years. I get ticked off now when I have to replace mine after 5 years...

Chris
08-09-10, 06:27
Yeah we grew up with a C64 too. Early 80's man, I'll never forget that. I'll never forget being up late at night playing Jumpman, Ghostbusters, and Impossible Mission. I wouldn't play Forbidden Forrest at night because it was so freakin' realistic. I also remember playing Astro Panic, this game that my dad got out of Compute!'s Gazette that he joked he had "made" and I believed him. Hehe.

retroshaun
10-09-10, 05:48
Bizarrely enough I remember all my mates getting promised ZX81s (Timex 1000s?) from their parents back in 81 or 82. I asked for the same thing (to be one of the "crowd") and was massively disappointed at getting a VIC-20 on Christmas Day. Until, that is, the guys came round and I saw their jaws drop at the "graphical excellence" of my gift from Santa! LOL! One of the few times a computer store salesperson has ever persuaded my parents to get something they didn't intend, and it turned out to be a good recommendation!!

I followed that up with a C64, Acorn Electron (for school work of course - basically an underpowered BBC Micro) then an Amiga then the dreaded PC at which point everything went downhill!

Cyberhawk
10-09-10, 07:27
Was this East Germany? I don't recall ever seeing those two brands/models in the stores. In Darmstadt you would be hard pressed to find anything but Commodore and usually a smaller shelf space for Apple.

Guess again, it was far, far more east than East Germany ;-) As a famous Russian
song (by DDT, for those who know it) says, "I was born in the USSR".

SubaruBrat
10-09-10, 08:07
Oh, I assumed you were German from your location listing on your post. You should write an article for the site on gaming and computing in the USSR back in the day, I would certainly enjoy reading it. The classic image of cold war era Soviet stores was grey stone walls where rolls of thin toilet paper and Vodka were the only products, where as Europe, the UK and the US had the giant display walls full of gaming goodness. It would be cool to hear a first hand account of what was available, popular and how you got it.

Cyberhawk
11-09-10, 01:09
Oh, I assumed you were German from your location listing on your post. You should write an article for the site on gaming and computing in the USSR back in the day, I would certainly enjoy reading it. The classic image of cold war era Soviet stores was grey stone walls where rolls of thin toilet paper and Vodka were the only products, where as Europe, the UK and the US had the giant display walls full of gaming goodness. It would be cool to hear a first hand account of what was available, popular and how you got it.

Why not, maybe I can write such an article some day. Gray walls is certainly true,
but there were computers and electronics, sometimes not even clones of western
stuff, but genuine Russian developments. There was this guy who claimed for
many years, that he had developed the architecture of a processor, that would
literally rip apart everything western. First he claimed superiority to the 386/486,
then to the Pentiums up to Nr. 3 (I believe), then he slowly shut up. His ultra-
processor never got build, only the budget version of it, which sucked major ass
and showed no interesting and/or innovative architecture :-D

As far toilet paper goes: at certain times that one was a luxury good, believe it or
not. And vodka was illegal for a long period of time too, due to the prohibition. So
sometimes USSR wasn't even gray walls with toilet paper and vodka, but ONLY
gray walls.

spauldingd
11-09-10, 06:17
I worked all summer to earn the $600 I would spend on a TRS-80 Level I with 4K of memory. I believe this was 1978 and I was 13 years old. The following summer I would work to earn another $400 or something like that to upgrade the memory from 4K to 16K. Now I could do some serious stuff with all that memory! 8-) I still have it tucked away in a corner of my basement. When I last moved it about 10 years ago it fired right up and I was able to load a program from one of the cassette tapes. Those were great times.

Did anyone subscribe to Creative Computing magazine? Or SoftSide? I would check the mailbox every day hoping for a new issue...much like I check for a new Retrogaming Roundup show. Maybe things haven't changed all that much for me in 30 years...

Dave in Des Moines

GameGavel
11-09-10, 06:31
I worked all summer to earn the $600 I would spend on a TRS-80 Level I with 4K of memory. I believe this was 1978 and I was 13 years old. The following summer I would work to earn another $400 or something like that to upgrade the memory from 4K to 16K. Now I could do some serious stuff with all that memory! 8-) I still have it tucked away in a corner of my basement. When I last moved it about 10 years ago it fired right up and I was able to load a program from one of the cassette tapes. Those were great times.

Did anyone subscribe to Creative Computing magazine? Or SoftSide? I would check the mailbox every day hoping for a new issue...much like I check for a new Retrogaming Roundup show. Maybe things haven't changed all that much for me in 30 years...

Dave in Des Moines

Hey Dave,

Glad to see your post. Hope there is more to come. Welcome!
:WELCOME:

seanyboyuk
25-09-10, 04:19
I wanted an Amstrad CPC 464 for some time and finally got my hands on my friends one when he had enough of it. There was something that felt special about the system with its green monochrome screen. I only had a small collection of games but the 2 i played and remember the most where Oh Mummy! and Fruit Machine. Both games had me hooked and would regulary play into the early hours of the morning trying to get the highest score on Oh Mummy and how quick i could hit the jackpot on the fruit machine. Sadly my system died on me and being only 9/10 at the time i chucked it out and intended to replace it but it never came. Looking back i think it was something simple where the pins on the monitor connector needed cutting off and a new one replacing. I bet any electrician would have done this for 10 back in the day but oh well.....

miner2049er
25-09-10, 06:47
One of my girlfriends had one back in the day and I would play with both of them when I went round there.

seanyboyuk
26-09-10, 06:59
Haha nice one! :)

I never paid much attention to PC gaming until the late 90s as until then they was out of my parents price bracket to get me one. My first proper pc was a celeron 366, 64mb ram, 4gb hard disk on windows 98 SE. It felt like a dream machine at the time!

onkelarie
27-01-11, 12:05
I started computing back in 1985 with an Atari 800XL (yes, the ugly darkbrown one) and cassette-recorder. I spent ages writing little music routines in basic. I also recorded music on the right channel of the programtapes, with on the left audiochannel the software soundtrack, which resulted in having music being played while loading in my programs. I guess the atari 800xl is responsible for my carreer as a software engineer....

In 1988 I layed my eyes on the Commodore Amiga (a 500 model) for the first time. I was sold. Within three months I gathered enough money to fund my dream machine. I finally could make decent music! Karsten Obarski's soundtracker was on the screen day in, day out. I used my Amiga 500 (and 500 plus machine after the first one broke down) up until 1995. That year I made the switch to the PC world. PC's finally had catched up. With tears in my eyes I trashed my broken Amiga 500 plus back in 1998 eventually. Luckily, I can still enjoy the huge library of software that was released for the Amiga through the use of winUAE, getting a small glimpse of emulated hardware which had a soul.

Oh the memories:)