First Computer Build

  • My first computer build was a DTK 386sx-16 in a re-purposed PCMan case circa 1990. SIPP's for memory.
    What was yours?

  • I don't have a picture, but a Cromemco system running Cromix (and they even have a WiKi page in the early 1980s. It had 192KB RAM - 64KB for the OS, and 64KB for each of the 2 users. 2 serial VT100-style terminals attached. I remember also getting a Canon typewriter with serial interface - after some hacking around we could print documents to the office typewriter.
    It had WordPerfect and hospital admissions software, and it worked. Shame we can't fit software into 64KB these days (to be fair, programmes could have 64KB segments and the OS could swap in/out 64KB chunks of programme as needed).

  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    Altair 8800.  Still sorta runs.

  • @Phishfry:

    My first computer build was a DTK 386sx-16 in a re-purposed PCMan case circa 1990. SIPP's for memory.
    What was yours?

    Mine I think was called an XT, it had an ugly orange screen  ;D

  • I was lucky enough to grow up in a geeky family. My dad drove to Philadelphia and bought the Comodore PET straight from the factory store the day it went on sale.

    Learned how to write a "basic" chess game on that thing… Line for line right out of a book, the old fashioned way!!

    Anybody remember this rag:!

    Always nice to have a tutorial!

  • Juku ES101

    Soviet Bloc copy of Intel i8080A. CP/M operating system and (I think) 3Mhz CPU, no HDD, just 5inch floppys

    found even picture from the Net

  • Netgate Administrator

    ^Awesome! Nothing I could post comes close to that.  :)
    I think the first machine I had to do any real work to was an old IBM PS/2 model 60, 386. It was sometime after it was current though. Still useful as a seat, saw-horse, axel stand etc! Crazy build quality.


  • Moderator

    The first computer i ever played with was this IBM AT.. Even tho my dad bought it for Accpac Accounting and Lotus 1-2-3 :)

    That thing could have been dropped 5 floors and survived! Built like a tank!

  • IBM PCjr…

    Still have the damn thing!  It even had a wireless keyboard.

    pic from the net.

  • My god - My fading memory….

    My machines were pretty much simultaneously commodore vic20, Atari 1600xl, and Apple II

    Seems I like the Atari best.  I remember its basic language was more well formatted than the others, didn't use lucky charms like symbols as commands and if you made a syntax error it would let you know where.

    You know what else I remember - Coding and coding and coding and the damn lights would flicker and that was it.  I had no storage.

    Eventually I got a tape drive - The ones that used normal cassette audio tapes.  I even got a modem 300 baud acoustic.

    There wasn't alot of building until I started making clones of IBM machines from parts out of a "Blue Chip" catalog about 3x as thick as a phone book.

  • It's not a computer until it can run Unix, so..

    My first computer (that I was allowed to modify)

    My first actual computer:

    The first computer I built (from parts) looked a lot like this:

    (We're not going to talk about the Apple 1.)

  • VAX - I modified one of those once…  Broooookkkkked it...
    Not my fault (-:

  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    Gotta love the matching paint.

  • Thanks for the memories of those Digital Equipment Corp days - PDP 11/84, VAX 11/750, Unibus, buying 1MB memory cards for around $5-$10,000. I missed the DECsystem10/TOPS-10/TOPS-20 thing, I guess I am just too young. It's a shame DEC did not see the way to make VMS the affordable OS for all. The DEC lads had to go to Microsoft and help them with VMS+1=WNT, which ended up with a lot of the security/ACL… concepts re-engineered from VMS.

  • Dude, HP spun out VMS development, and the new team has an x86 port in the works!

    They got the band back together:

  • Awesome. I have a little military background. I worked on SUDAPS while in the Navy. Basically a Unisys VAX 8600 VMS Mainframe. I will never forget the IBM Selectmatic typewriters for terminal printers. Those were the days.

    Shipboard Uniform Automated Data Processing System

  • Okay seems like we are conflating two things here. My first computer of my very own was a Commodore Vic-20. I too use to write programs in basic and learned to do that from typing in computer games from a magazine. My dad even got me a tape drive so that I could save my work. I remember learning my first lessons about sequential and random memory. (Priceless) My first IBM computer was a Tandy 1000SX it was a original XT machine I remember it had a turbo button that would make the machine 4.77 MHz up from the normal mode of 1 MHz, It also had a 20 MB Hard drive with a 5.25" floppy drive which was unreliable (I lost a lot of code back then). The First computer I built was a 386SX 25 MHz. Remember that the SX meant you didn't have a math co-processor. I believe it has 2 MB of SIMM memory (Single Inline Memory Module) I put a whopping 100 MB Hard Drive and it ran Dos 5.0 which had stacker or something like that which would compress the data on the drive to give you nearly 2x the space at a performance hit. **Remember I/O cards (setting interrupts and address ports)**I don't know about you guys but I wouldn't trade those days for anything. Yeah you can do a lot more with today's technology and lets not even talk about the Internet. Yeah I use to use BBS back in high school (early 90s for me) but it's not the same. I think it gives you perspective as to what we have today and the prices too. We take a lot of thing for granted, I remember when ram cost $35 a Megabyte out of a Computer Shopper Magazine! So I have 16 GB of ram on this laptop that I'm writing this by my calculations the ram would cost over half a million dollars ($573440)

  • My first was a Commodore 64.. Wish i still had it.. I can still remember the days logging into BBS with a 600baud modem.. Fast forward 5 years I think, my dad got me a IBM PS/2 386sx computer…  Played with that for a couple of years and then decided I wanted upgrade this thing... Yeah, that was fun! I had to hack up the case a little to fit the MB of a P90. Can't remember the maker of the MB but I recall it had a 1MB of Cache on that bad boy...  A year later I decided to buy a real case for it and sold it to some company in Texas to buy my first car..... Wish I had pictures of it, it was smoking back in the 90s

  • I worked on a Submarine Tender so it was a large ship. We had the big iron upstairs(VAX 8600) But i only did data entry and requisition status on that via a terminal in our workspace down in the bowels of the boat…Next door to our shop was "Tech Library" for the repair department and they had microfiche and TRS-80's. What a contrast... Was really surprised to see Tandy onboard. The VAX was mounted on special shock mounting and the TRS-80's were commodity. The VAX was actually a Sperry unit but Unisys had bought the company. From the looks of the above pictures it may have been a rebadged DEC maybe ruggedized by Sperry for shipboard use..

Log in to reply