Truthful Tuesday — My First

Truthful Tuesday

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.Original IBM PCIt 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).Prodigy Online ServicePersonal computing has certainly come a long way sonce the early 1980s, hasnt it?

17 thoughts on “Truthful Tuesday — My First

  1. cagedunn September 1, 2020 / 1:37 pm

    I seem to have no problem understanding every word of this …
    and I remember buying RAM sticks with 4k and installing them …
    but it doesn’t feel too far in the past

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango September 1, 2020 / 11:24 pm

      This was almost 30 years ago but I remember it as if it were yesterday.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Carol anne September 1, 2020 / 2:47 pm

    fascinating read! I was 2 in 1982! I didnt know the internet existed back then, well I knew military personel used it, but I didnt think home users did. Great read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 1, 2020 / 11:30 pm

      It wasn’t really the internet as we know it today. It was dial-up access to what amounted to interactive bulletin boards. Pretty primitive by today’s standards.

      Like

  3. PCGuyIV September 1, 2020 / 2:49 pm

    I remember the 8088 system that I had. That was my first PC, meaning IBM compatible. I got it for free from someone who said it was mine if I could make it run.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Taswegian1957 September 1, 2020 / 4:12 pm

    Isn’t it hard to believe how rapidly computers and the internet have changed in a relatively short time? They are so much part of our everyday lives now while back then they were a novelty and most “ordinary” people would never have imagined using one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 1, 2020 / 11:41 pm

      One of my best friends had a Commodore 64 and he was a whiz kid with it. I think a lot of people were introduced to home computing with the C-64.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sadje September 1, 2020 / 6:00 pm

    Yes things have changed such a lot. Now, they almost change daily!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Marleen September 1, 2020 / 8:26 pm

    My first experience with a computer, other than a simple calculator (I’m guessing on the time frame for calculators), was a course I took in high school in 1980. Yep, we learned about flow charts. And I learned the language, BASIC. I don’t know what kind of machines my school had.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. leigha66 September 7, 2020 / 9:26 pm

    I remember getting our first computer in the early 80s I believe. It was an Atari 800 with a cassette drive. It took FOREVER to load games until we moved up to the floppy disk drive. Even had a printer for the Atari. They were great computers but got little to no support from the company. I was even a member of a local computer group along with my dad for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

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