First computer encounters

Anything to do with New Zealand Classic or Vintage Computing not covered in the other forums

First computer encounters

Postby LilJoe on Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:10 pm

Someone may have already started a thread on this but I couldn't find one so I started one, feel free to move/delete this Tezza if this is in the wrong spot, or if there is another one already.

Being born in the late nineties, I missed these memories. Having read many stories of first computer encounters, I've wanted to hear more so ...
What was your first computer encounter or early memory, was it that System 80 you saw in a computer shop window or the spectrum your family got for Christmas? I would love to hear everyone's story.
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Re: First computer encounters

Postby mrad01 on Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:03 pm

It was 1979, I was a small child at Ruawai Primary School - and we got an Apple ][+ computer. That expanded to 3 Apple ][s. A few years later the principal of Ruawai College pulled me aside and spoke of the schools latest purchase - an Apple Lisa. I was in charge of learning this new technology and passing it onto other students. That was a pretty cool responsibility. I even had a key to the special "Lisa room".
The school tried a few other machines including a BBC model B (which nobody touched - pretty much ever) and Dick Smith machine (which I cannot remember the model). Yes, I was one of the computer nerds who spent lunchtime in the computer lab playing Wizardry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wizardry and Microwave - great memories. The BBC was sold eventually along with the DSE machine.
At home, my parents started looking at a home computer. I had a fountain video console, and had an Apple ][+ from the school from time to time during the holidays, but my father thought it was time to have a full time machine. We settled on a SpectraVideo. I picked up a brochure like this one http://samdal.com/images/svi/docs/docsvinside.jpg which showed the impressive array of stuff you could get from the SpectraVideo. I had my heart set on the SV318, but my dad ended up buying the SV328. I was happy. I wrote a HUGE amount of BASIC on that machine. I'd say it was one of the most advanced BASICs around at the time, I could do anything. While I could write 6502 assembler (because the Apple ][ BASIC was pretty basic - we had to), I didn't really venture there with the SV328 (Z80 based). I now have several SV328s (with pretty much every peripheral) and even a SVI838 XPress 16 in my collection.

It all became a bit more serious when the school wheeled out the Apple ][s and dropped in Macs. The Mac 128k was our first Mac - and it grew from there. It was a step up, but a lot of the "hacker" feel went out of the computer lab at school and it was now about word processing and using a mouse. Even Lisa didn't have that effect, you had a feeling Lisa was still a bit of a hackers machine. (Now I have one of my own, I understand why).

I also remember going to friends houses for weekends and holidays to use their computers and play games - everyone had different machines back then, so it was fun to visit. Spent hours on friends C64s and Spectrums - and even the odd Atari too.

I have great memories of the 1970s/80s/90s/2000s in computing! Let there be more!
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Re: First computer encounters

Postby Carcenomy on Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:51 pm

I remember as a very young kid going to visit my uncle Barry, he always had heaps of neat computers - a ZX81, then a Commodore 64. When I was five mum and dad decided it was time to get with the programme and get a home computer, and the salesman (god bless him) managed to convince them that getting a 64 was a dead end and an Amiga 500 was a better idea. Other than that, it was Apple IIs and Macs during school followed by 386s at high school. We weren't progressive in Central Southland. ;)
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Re: First computer encounters

Postby kevman3d on Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:38 pm

The end of 1980 in Whangoa college in the far north. I was 10, and the school got 2 apple 2's. Only the kids who were good at maths were allowed to use these machines, and that mean't not me... However in 1981 my parents said that I could get a computer if I paid for it from the many years of savings... I ended up buying a ZX81 for $199... After that, I was allowed to use the school computers - even with a lack of mathematical expertise. The Apple 2's became more game machines - we'd secretly get disks from kids at other schools and play Apple Panic when the teacher wasn't around. :)

That moment of pride of owning my own computer is where it all started... And its why I remember it so fondly.

Later I got a ZX Spectrum (16k), my brother got a VIC20... The Spectrum I still have - and tomorrow I'm pestering a friend who I gave my ZX81 for his collection if I can get it back. Whether he says 'yes' of course. lol...
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