Photo memories of 18 first computers

Franklin Ace 2000 series

TRS 80 model 1

TRS-80, Model 1. It used a cassette tape drive for storage. I wrote a program in micro-basic." (Steven Stengel explains at oldcomputers.net that T = Tandy, RS = Radio Shack, 80 = Z-80 microprocessor.)

 

Sinclair ZX Spectrum

 

Apple Macintosh

 

TI 99/4

 

Timex Sinclair 1000

First computer was a Timex Sinclair with a 16k expansion pack.

 

TRS 80 Model II with Table

The TRS 80 Model II had many additional items available, including a computer desk designed just for it. SquidProQuo says: "Radio Shack Color Computer. Cool little package, 16K RAM with a 8908 processor at first, I think. Then, third party accessory vendors started popping up all over and offering lots of cool stuff that Radio Shack didn’t offer. Even had a devoted magazine for several years. For a while, I used it with a phone modem to connect to Georgia State University’s Univac for a class in PASCAL programming. Good memories (no pun intended)."

 

TI 99/4 A

"The TI/99 4A was my first computer. I added the PANASONIC KXP-1180 cassette tape recorder they recommended due to its variable tone control, and then added the Texas Instruments peripheral expansion box and disk drive and speech synthesizer soon thereafter. Everything still works except for the speech synthesizer, but overheats easily. That’s no biggie, since I still love it and have it set up next to my widescreen TV downstairs. It’s a real conversation piece when people come in. It used a TMS9900 processor, if I remember correctly, and a dedicated graphics processor. Its sprite handling in extended basic was beautiful and very easy to handle– you could take any 8×8 character in the ASCII set and redefine its look using a TI extended basic statement that took as its argument a sixteen hex-digit string. Each digit’s binary equivalent equated exactly to the bit pattern of 4 of the eight pixels in each row of the resulting redefined character. So 2 hex digits redefined the look of each row. You could also set these characters in motion as sprites. The floppy disk drive was accessible only when you plugged in the ROM pack that ran the disk drive, but this was pretty transparent and not a problem. I was a high school student at the time, and a big gamer on this machine. I played most of the Scott Adams adventures on this machine, and several TI proprietary games and some third party games. The sound was pretty good on this machine as well, but it couldn’t compete with the three channel sound of the Commodore 64 by any stretch."

 

Heathkit H-29

Heathkit Microprocessor Trainer. This device has a boot ROM and programs in Motorola 6800 machine code. It has a Hex keypad and an LED display. There is a breadboard area where you can wire up input and output circuits."

 

Mattel Aquarius

Z80 based, this has a 3/4 scale keyboard and connects to a TV. You either used plug-in program cartridges or a cassette drive. There was an option for a CP/M based floppy disk drive expansion

 

Commodore VIC-20

One of the first, inexpensive color computers, remember their first computers to be the $300 Commodore VIC-20. VIC stands for Video Interface Chip.

 

Commodore 64

Thought it looks a lot like the Commodore VIC-20, the Commodore 64 was actually less expensive at $200 and is one of the top selling computers of all time

 

Atari 400

Atari 400. The cartridges went under the metal shield so as to protect users from radio emissions.

 

IBM PCjr

 

Compaq

 

Apple II

Apple IIs, which improved on the Apple I mostly in that the Apple II displayed color.

 

Kaypro II

TechRepublic member Jason S. tells us: "Our first home computer was a Kaypro 8088 with 5.25" Floppy and a small hard drive with an EGA Monitor. The whole setup was top-of-the-line at the time and cost a minor fortune. Two years later, we went to go back to the store to buy a newer one and found nothing but a parking lot! We were amazed. I owned that Kaypro up until 4 years ago when … See More we had to move and I didn’t have the storage to take it with 😦 I still have two others that we bought, too – a Pentium 2 333MHz and a Pentium 3 733MHz (that are still used today)." The Kaypro II in the photo has an all metal exterior.

 

Digi-Comp I

All photos are from Oldcomputers.net

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