Computing Since The Black And White Days

When you ask me about my first computer, I require clarification. I’ve had many “first computers” in my life. They’re all considered classics at this point, and I’m searching for decent emulators (and accompanying legal ROMs) to relive those days.

My first family computer was a Commodore Vic20. As explained in the video below, my grandparents had it set up in the back room of their house. It was connected to a black and white television, so most of my color POKEs were seen in grayscale. That was my introduction to the color “cyan.” He had a Commodore cassette tape drive, but we never really used it.

My first school computer was an Apple ][e. Are you surprised? Of course, we only had one machine for the entire school – and the only game we cared about was Oregon Trail. At least, that’s all I can remember playing with the proctor in the hallway. The Altoona Public Library also had an Apple ][e.

My first home computer was a Commodore 64, which “Santa Claus” brought us one year. It wasn’t mine, but I was pretty much the only one who used it for something other than gaming. I did a bit more BASIC programming, and quickly realized that I really didn’t care for programming logic.

My first self-owned computer was crappy (even by the day’s standards). I picked up a $200 glorified dumb terminal from a “For Sale” ad on ISCABBS, if only so that I could access our university’s modem bank from the sanctity of my own dorm room over a 14.4 modem (even though the bank’s highest capacity was 9600).

My first “real” computer purchase was made after the release of Windows 3.11. I learned quickly that Packard Bell was cheap for a reason (though the 486 DX2/66 set me back a whole $2200). Still, I was pretty happy with it.

[tags]old computer, computer history, first computer[/tags]