How did you first get into computers?

macwhoelse

New member
AmiBayer
Joined
Sep 8, 2010
Posts
96
Country
England
Region
Exeter, Devon
Back in late 1983 I was visiting my brother who had just come back from Asda (Carrefour back then). He had acquired an Aquarius computer that was being sold for £15 ! apparently Mattel just stopped making them 4-5 months into production and pulled out of the computer market.:unsure:
Carrefour obviously bought lots of stock and sold them cheaply.
Anyway, my brother and I spent quite some time programming & playing about with this early computer & had great fun. From then on I was smitten.:D
Within 6 months I bought my very first computer that I could afford. It was the Commodore 16 & I got it cheap at Blackbush Market.(y)
I never looked back after that. It wasn't long before I got into the Amstrad CPC464 & Commodore64. I was in the Air Force at the time & we had gaming nights around each others houses, with the wives not really getting what all the fuss was about.:blink:
Then in 1987 whilst at RAF Lyneham I bought my first Amiga 500 & took it proudly down to the computer club on camp & showed it off to the other members. Everyone was gobsmacked when Dpaint was running! compared to the Spectrums , BBC's , Amstrads & C64's that were in the hut.
I knew then, the Amiga was a very special machine & the rest as they say is history.:roll:
So, when did you first get bitten by the computer bug?
 

fitzsteve

Retired Slacker
AmiBayer
Blogger
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Posts
20,003
Country
UK
Region
Sevenoaks
I first got into 'Games' when when my parents bought an Atari 2600, we'd all sit up in the lounge in the evening playing games on the big screen (lol probably a 20" back then)

We loved Centipede, Space Invaders & Asteroids :cool:

My first computer came a few years later, my very own Spectrum 48k which I got to keep in my bedroom! I was only about 7 or 8 so this was awesome, but I only had a black and white portable TV (n)

We also had a Spectrum 128 (my Step Dad was into computers as well) we got to use that on the 'Big screen' (probably a 21" :D)

I loved my Spectrums, I eventually got a +2a one Christmas after my 48k started to call it a day, trust me it got a lot of use!

Sadly I missed out on Amiga the first time, we didn't have the money for one and I ended up with games consoles until I got my first PeeCee.

I was always so envioius of the kids at school who had A500's and later A1200's (if they were rich)

Steve.
 

jvdbossc

HypnusBE
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Posts
3,326
Country
Belgium
Region
Antwerp (province)
The C64 bread box was the first second hand computer I got. It was second hand. Shortly after Amiga was introduced. It was to expensive. The C64 was swapped with a 286. That was a complete shock:mad:

The 286 had nothing, not that much colors, no "sound", exept some beeps.

No banner software to print a banners etc.. Those 9 pin printers with a C64 even seemed to perform better.

Then a 386 SX. Then a 486DX. 24 pin printer, still the same complaint, no creative way do to some imaging with it.

In that time I was able to acquire a second hand amiga 500, later even an A1200. Even in the 486 time it stould strong.

Then a 486DX2 (already 16 MB) Then a Pentium 133 mhz. THen an Athlon 500 mhz overclocked to 700 mhz.

I had a few second hand machines, like macs, msx, etc.. But did not like them to be honest. Also had a black keyboard computer etc.. It seemed worthless compared to the C64. They were all sold or thrown away.

The only kept are the C=.

The latest machines for daily use are Thinkpads, currently T60. Dual boot XP for Lightroom,Photoshop,Photmatix(hdr) etc.. Ubuntu Linux at work for the serious work.
 

macwhoelse

New member
AmiBayer
Joined
Sep 8, 2010
Posts
96
Country
England
Region
Exeter, Devon
We loved Centipede, Space Invaders & Asteroids :cool:

Yeah, I loved those games too. I was one of the lucky kids that got to play these games in an arcade when these machines first came out in the late 70's. I still play Space Invaders now on good old M.A.M.E.:D

Mac

---------- Post added at 09:22 ---------- Previous post was at 09:19 ----------

The C64 bread box was the first second hand computer I got. It was second hand.

Wow, what a great "first computer" to get. You must have had fun with that. I am as fond of the C64 as much as my Amigas.:D
 

fitzsteve

Retired Slacker
AmiBayer
Blogger
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Posts
20,003
Country
UK
Region
Sevenoaks
We loved Centipede, Space Invaders & Asteroids :cool:

Yeah, I loved those games too. I was one of the lucky kids that got to play these games in an arcade when these machines first came out in the late 70's. I still play Space Invaders now on good old M.A.M.E.:D

Mac

My Arcade days were spent on Street Figher 2, Final Fight, Fatal Fury, Hard Drivin' and I loved Mad Dog Macree :ninja:
 

AndyLandy

Acceleration!
Treasurer
Joined
Aug 29, 2009
Posts
9,898
Country
UK
Region
Southampton
My first computer was my trusty ZX Spectrum +2A. It was a Christmas present, back in 1988 I think. I was only six or seven years old at the time. My Dad had always vowed that he'd never let a computer into the house. After all, he worked with the things all day, he didn't want them in his house as well, but it was apparent to him that I really needed one at home, so he conceded. I was learning Spectrum BASIC aged about 7 or 8 and that's where it all started for me. A couple of years later, I got my A500+, which is how I learned to love the Amiga.

Of course, the damage was done, and the number of computers in my parents' house has snowballed over the years. The wretched things are everywhere now! In hindsight, I think my Dad foresaw this coming, but I'm eternally grateful to him for giving me a computer so young as it's shaped my life and career to bring me where I am today.
 

Slayer

New member
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Posts
718
Country
New Zealand
Region
Dunedin
I was 18; my direction in life to become a great Dr and then a surgeon changed because a girl moved next door when I was 15. I had applied to be a policeman (career move) but had to wait for possible acceptance. In the meantime I started at the freezing works, good money, and also good place to keep your hands warm in winter... although, not all people like warm blood flowing over there hands ;)

After one season I was seriously worried that my IQ would be damaged (since the job was so errr... hmmm... not really thought provoking)

I had 2 varsity mates both with cpus, one had an amstrad (I was hooked on Knight Lore and I kidd you not I could map it from memory!! AND could finish it without dying... a bit like my abilities on Great Giana Sisters... but anyway!) the other chap had a Commodore 64...

They both encouraged me to get a cpu... but I wanted something different, then low and behold the A500 had just been released...

I went down (completely ignorant of cpu terminology) and got all the details of this new cpu...

I walked out with an A500 $1500, an extra disk drive $500, half a meg more memory $500 and a 1084S $1000. And never looked back or over the fence...

But anyway, the Amiga IS the only cpu :)
 

jvdbossc

HypnusBE
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Posts
3,326
Country
Belgium
Region
Antwerp (province)
@macwhoelse

I still got one very close and ready to hook up to my television together with the ULTIMATE II it is still very much fun till today.
 

Phipscube

WipEout Fanboi
Joined
Apr 11, 2010
Posts
2,245
Country
Denmark
Region
Ringsted
My first experience with Computers wasn't exactly a computer, but an old Binatone system that was basically a slightly enhanced Pong. It came into our house when I was 6 and I loved playing the Skeet shooting game as it had a "REAL" rifle addon too. It was basically shooting a randomly moving dot, but I loved it. we had that old machine for a while and the fun gradually faded away.

The next time was a few years later in my old school club, they had an Atari 2600 and I got addicted to Pac Man, Centipede and Jungle Hunt. I'd go to the club just to sit and play those games in turn with the other kids. It became a social thing to gather together and play. But then one of the kids got an A2600 at home, so we would play at his house and of course for longer!

In the meantime one of my other friends got a Speccy, this wasn't so much of a wow moment, but I soon discovered that computer games could be more sophisticated and a little more in depth than the console games. I remember sitting all through the night with my friend on championship manager trying to get Hull City into the (then best) first division. We did it after about 8 hours non stop!

Gradually all my friends got computers but I still didn't have one... why? by this time my family was piss poor to be honest. we didn't have much at all. So I would enjoy playing at friends houses, which I liked very much.

My first computer was an Amstrad CPC 464 that I bought for next to nothing off a mate, and then very soon after I traded it for an Atari ST that was broken. It only needed the joystick ports re-soldering, and that funnily enough is when I tried to teach myself how to use a soldering iron. I managed to fix up the ST and give it a clean so it looked rather nice. I had a good year of fun with that mainly playing games. Wings of Death and Leisure Suit Larry to name a few. Then I got very lucky one day... one of my friends who had an Amiga 500 wanted an ST for doing some serious music work. I was about 15 at this time. He offered his A500 for my ST, straight swap!! He even gave me about 200 discs full of games! I didn't even have 50.

I had the Amiga 500 for a few years and enjoyed countless games on the system. by this time nearly everyone I knew had the A500 and we all regularly got together to "swap" games ;) It was great for me as I was so skint. Gradually I started looking at the PC. This is where I made a BIG mistake. the A1200 had just come out, but I got sucked into hardware specs and decided to "upgrade" and get an Amstrad Mega PC 25MHz 386SX machine. This was around 1993 and I used some of my College grant and the sellings of my A500 to plump 500 readies on the Amstrad......

OH DEAR! I soon realised how bad the machine was compared to even my A500 let alone the A1200. Jerky games, crap sound, DOS command line, EMS XMS memory ARRGH etc etc. I ended up just playing Megadrive games on its Sega side. So sold that after a few months for next to nothing and ended up with a Megadrive + Mega CD for a while. I wanted an A1200 now and was kicking myself for not upgrading properly! Another year later and I got lucky again. a friend of a friend had passed across to him a faulty A1200. He used it for a while to do some Video editing but got pissed off at having to bang the machine all the time to stop it crashing. He gave it to me.....

WAW! I was over the moon! I was once again lumbered with faulty hardware, but decided to try and fix it.... I couldn't... and for around a year, I put up with it crashing randomly (sometimes all the time, sometimes good for a few days). Even though it didn't work properly, it was 100 times more awesome than the shite PC i'd had *SHUDDER*. One day on my umpteenth attempt to find the fault with the A1200 (this time with a magnifying glass) I suddenly noticed something wrong, a leg on the CPU was slightly lifted. I slightly touched the leg with a soldering iron. then the machine never crashed again! I also discovered I had quite a skill with a soldering iron by this time and thats what made me realise I should be in repair. I have been repairing various forms of hardware ever since for a living.

I got more into serious stuff, helping my friend with making GFX for a video through a genlock, then later for my own "art" videos. Deluxe paint was awesome even then. As Commodore went under I didn't give up on my A1200, I "kept the momentum going" and upgraded all the way to a PPC+BVision Tower etc. I tried to program in Blitz basic to see if I could make a game in the flagging market, but discovered early on that my head isn't good for that kind of thing. I later bought another A1200 off a friend. This was my "back up" machine (and the one I have now actually all beefed up). I soon realised Amiga was going nowhere and even though I desperately wanted to keep going with the Amiga, in 1999 the PC caught me again, I sold off my Uber PPC A1200 Tower and stuck my backup in the loft.

11 years later i'm back! (y)

Hmm sorry, that turned into a bit of a novel! :D
 
Last edited:

commodorejohn

Shameless recidivist
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Posts
1,607
Country
United States
Region
Minnesota
When I was a child of 7 or 8 years old, my dad brought home a mysterious box. He explained that it was a computer, which at the time meant very little to me. It was a Macintosh IIcx, and he set it up and showed me around System 7, and I was hooked. Not long afterwards, he got ahold of a bootleg copy of Mac BASIC (the real one that was designed for the Mac, not the Microsoft shovelware version that the real one was squashed to make way for.) I realized I could make the computer do whatever I wanted, and suddenly I knew what I was going to be when I grew up :)
 

Brataccas

New member
AmiBayer
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Posts
590
Country
Swindon
Region
Wiltshire
No choice for me, was brought up with them. My first was a Commodore 16 which then turned into a C64, C128, A1000 and many many others. The A1000 we bought new on the UK release hence my addiction to `Faery Tale Adventure`. At the time (1987) we also had a large selection of Macs as they were given to my Step Father to develop with. He worked as a project manager for Schlumberger and they had hundreds of them for staff to take home and use. Also had a few IBM XT and 8086 AT`s but never really got into them, always went back to my Commodore`s :)

Cheers,
 

AmiNeo

CodeMonkey
Joined
Jul 28, 2010
Posts
7,436
Country
UK
Region
Kendal, Cumbria
Well for me, I was 4 years old and we had a Sinclair speccy in the house, I remember playing games like this one where you were an astronaught and had to collect peices of your ship around the level to rebuild it and launch to the next level??? (I was 4, dont recall the name lol).

A year or so later my great uncle brought round a commodore 64 which belonged to him, but no longer wanted. I LOVED IT! :LOL:
There was a big box of games and programs and I'd sit for hours at a time playing games such as short circuit II, Hawkeye, Stuntcar Racer and others which I dont recall the names of.

I got a mastersystem aged 8 with Alex Kidd and Master of Darkness which kept me going up til then. A year later it was a Megadrive off my uncle and then a SNES for XMAS! I later got an Amstrad CPC Green monitor Computer from my mum as she had a friend who didnt want it. Then later, Amiga 600 when I was about 10.

Aged 13 I was admitted to Alder Hey childrens hospital with AML Lukaemia, and an organisation called make-a-wish came around offering anything I wanted! At the time I'd never had a PC and could think of nothing else, so I told them I wanted a PC and ended up with a Pentium II 400MHz HP when I was 14. A couple of years later after recovering from a bone marrow transplant and missing out on most of my GCSEs, I took on an NVQ in IT maintenenance and repair and the rest is recent history :LOL:.

I'm now MS certified, A+ certified and have done Ciscos CCNA course and passed. Though my CCNA is not valid now and I'm struggling to find work as I never got around to driving lessons :roll:
 

TheCorfiot

Out in the Wild
VIP
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Posts
8,698
Country
Greece
Region
Corfu
I was very lucky to have witnessed & been part of the whole British Microcomputer Boom, starting with the ole TRS-80 & Acorn Atom of which I hand built 2 at the age of 13. So going to school & watching these strange new machine's arriving (BBC's) began my love of Hackery,ie installing Disc Interface's & butchering Tandy Floppy drives to work with the Beeb's much to the school's disgust.

Ive been a retro Hacker really since the day when the systems were current, It's just I find those old systems have a wonderful human arcitecture & so accessible, they never bore me.
I went from 8 bit Acorns to Amiga as the PC XT did bugger all for me at the time it came out even though I used them from old DOS days & even designed I/O solutions to work with PC's, I only let one into my home when I could hold off no longer.

My main retro systems are Acorn BBC's, Acorn RISC PC, and of course Amiga, of which I find the Amiga has a fantastic & unique online community (family) & support.

Recently the C64, ZX Spectrums & TRS CoCo have entered my arena too ;)

TC :cool:
 

ptp170

R Tape loading error, 0:1
AmiBayer
Blogger
Joined
Aug 20, 2010
Posts
715
Country
UK
Region
Devon
My Grandpa died in 1984 and his ZX Spectrum 48K was passed down to us. My dad kept it in the box and it only came out from time to time on the main 14" TV downstairs. Later we got a second 12" TV in the dining room and the Speccy was permanently set up in there. We only had a few games like Pool, Rommels Revenge, U-Boat etc but it was enough to start getting me hooked. I also started to program around this period but it was really basic (excuse the pun) at the time.

A friend of mine up the road had (and indeed still has) a 128K and I remembered being amazed at the difference in sound 'quality'. Oh, how I lusted after a 128K....

I had the 48K for many years but in 1990 it started to become unreliable due to the 'M' key failing and random times when it wouldn't turn on properly. It was pronounced dead later on :cry:

I saved up for an Amiga 500 but during that time they bought out the 500plus so I decided to save yet more money and go for that one instead. Finally I purchased the Cartoon Classic pack from Evesham Micro's. My parents went to pick it up for me whilst I was at school...needless to say I was ridiculously excited when the final 'hometime' bell went and I ran outside only to be told that they weren't able to get one because they'd run out :cry:. I sulked all the way home to discover a brand spanking new Cartoon Classics box on the dining room table....they'd had one all along and my parents were playing a (cruel) prank on me.

20 years later I've repaired my original Spectrum but managed to fry my cassette player in the process :(...am on the look out for a replacement deck if anyone has a spare to hand(y)
 
Last edited:

AmiNeo

CodeMonkey
Joined
Jul 28, 2010
Posts
7,436
Country
UK
Region
Kendal, Cumbria
I've seen a few of these cassette decks go in the 'for sale' threads since I've joined, I'm sure you will find what you want if you keep an eye out (y)
 

ptp170

R Tape loading error, 0:1
AmiBayer
Blogger
Joined
Aug 20, 2010
Posts
715
Country
UK
Region
Devon
I've seen a few of these cassette decks go in the 'for sale' threads since I've joined, I'm sure you will find what you want if you keep an eye out (y)

Will keep an eye out on here or may post a WANTED if I get desperate! :nod:
 

HonestFlames

New member
Joined
Aug 18, 2010
Posts
346
Country
England
Region
Shropshire
VIC-20 bought by my mother at a time when they cost upwards of £200 (probably equivalent of £500+ now, what with inflation). I must have only been 6 or 7 years old.

I remember Cosmic Avenger (cartridge), Chariot Race (tape) and a couple of Scott Adams adventures. Voodoo Castle and Adventureland. My mom was seriously addicted to those. She would play until 2 or 3am every night! I used to sneak out of bed at 4:30, 5am just to go on it and play games.

There was a clear progression of Commodore machines, from C64C through A500 and A1200. Then I was able to start buying my own hardware :)
 
Top Bottom