For this week’s edition of Truthful Tuesday, Frank, aka PCGuy, asks…
What was your first experience with computers?
Okay, I’m going to skip my college course in COBOL programming and having to deal with flowcharting￼￼, code sheets, 80-column punch cards, and an IBM mainframe 1401 computer.
Instead, I’m going to jump to 1982 when I bought my first personal computer. It was an original IBM PC.It came with an 8088 Intel chip that ran at a whopping 4.77 MHz. The operating system was PC-DOS, it came with two 5 1/4 inch floppy disk drives and no hard drive. I upgraded it with something called an AST Six Pack, which added a clock and calendar so you didn’t have to enter the date and time every time you logged on, plus some additional RAM, a parallel port, and a serial port. Then I added a 10 Mb hard card, figuring that a 10 Mb internal hard drive would last me a lifetime. I also bought an RBG color monitor from Princeton Graphics.
From the software perspective, I got WordStar for word processing, VisiCalc for my spreadsheet, and Microsoft Flight Simulator for fun. I soon added a blazingly fast 300 baud Hayes modem and discovered online bulletin boards and, eventually, something called Prodigy, on online subscription service that was a precursor to America Online (AOL).Personal computing has certainly come a long way sonce the early 1980s, hasnt it?