Rich’s semi-nostalgic post yesterday has some of our readers reminiscing about their first computers, ones they owned or ones they first used for geeking out, ahem, I mean programming.
- Sounds like Floyd had a Radio Shack/Tandy TRS-80, but he says he worked with card batches in college.
- Raimonds used a real classic, the Soviet-made Elektronika BK-0010.
- We know Rich used the Timex Sinclair 1000.
So, I’ll take my turn next.
All this has me whimsically recalling the days of BASIC written on my elementary school’s Apple IIe. I think that’s what it was anyway. Growing up, computers and gaming consoles were luxuries we couldn’t afford, still I managed to get some time on the school computers.
Anyway, as a geek-child of the 80s, I appreciate this shirt.
Through the rest of my educational years, I used Macs of all types (SE, II, IIx, IIcx, LC, IIsi, IIci, Quadra, Centris, Performa, Powerbook) exclusively for all manner of desktop publishing. Remember Quark Express? We used to go nutty with that in the high school journalism room.
I got my first exposure to command line tools in college, using Emacs and Pine for email, still from a Mac though, and I even used a NeXT briefly, believe it or not.
Anyway, all that changed my senior year in college when I supported some animal called a Windows 3.11 at the library. This was the beginning of the Windows era for me.
Then I graduated into the happy, fun world of Win 95 and NT 3.51 and 4. I got a smattering of Solaris too, but not enough to stick beyond basic Unix commands.
I tried to jump on the Red Hat bus in the late 90s, but having two machines allowed me to use the Windows crutch. So, I stayed with Windows, moving through the usual suspects ME, 2000, XP.
After a ten-year hiatus, I finally returned to Apple in 2006, and I haven’t regretted it (yet). I’m still not XP free; despite using Ubuntu and OS X on my machines, I still have to keep XP installed on my wife’s desktop. Although, she does rock an OS X Macbook too.
So, my first computer was really the Apple IIe I used in elementary school. Unlike Rich, I’m not a die-hard hobbyist; in fact, had I gone a different way out of college, I might be just another n00b, er more of a n00b. Still, I enjoy messing about with my machines and trying new software, maybe I’m a wanna-be hobbyist.
How about you? Feel free to regail us with your tales of yore. This is a fun conversation I’m glad Rich started.