The Wayback Machine - Things we played with before you were born

My first computer bought second hand for $600 in the 1980s – took out a loan, even. With this picture, I launch a reminiscence Topic, @jill_linuxgirl, to share with the youngsters around here. This beauty was stolen from my office way back then.



@Lulu, here is one of my favorite computers from the mid eighties in my collection! :grinning:. The Atari ST running DEC’s Gem OS!! :heart_eyes:


Ooooooooooooh. Hot pants!


There was a lot of rivalry between ST and Amiga owners! I remember annoying a friend by showing him Amiga emulating TOS :slight_smile: It didn’t run anything major but just GEM was quite fun to see on an Amiga!

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Our first was a Commodore 64… what a great computer. Before there was DOWNLOADS there was TYPE-WHAT-WAS-PRINTED-IN-COMPUTE (and make sure its for your computer’s version of basic! :slight_smile: )

It could take hours to meticulously type in lines of code from some computer magazine or library book, and then more hours to trouble-shoot and debug the typos. I can remember when we finally upgraded from a tape drive to a disk drive.

Computers seemed so much less detrimental to health back then… because you could start your program loading, run out side and play for a few hours, and then come back in to a computer game ready to use while you ‘rested up’ from playing outside.

Ohhh, the kids these days will never know terms like, “Load “*”,8,1”, 300 baud, 40 column, or having to put a desk fan blowing directly on the power brick.

@ak2020 I had always been fascinated by the Amiga, but never actually saw one in person until this year. A guy I know had one in parts in his shop. The only thing missing is the mouse! He claims it ‘works’, but looking at the mother board, it’s pretty corroded by a leaky battery. I don’t have the Techspertise to clean off the corrosion and solder on a new battery. But if we were to box it up and ship it to @jill_linuxgirl… ?!? Hmmmm.


I also started on a C64. I got it when I was 5 or 6 and my dad could get his old pc from work.
I spend the 80’s using my dads old computer when he got another one.
I remember going from the C64 to a 8088 IBM ps/2 then replacing that with a 80286 ps/2.

I sometimes still miss turning on a computer with a physical flip switch and not just a push button.
Not missing CRT monitors though.


I also started with a C64 with a cassette reader :crazy_face: plugged on my father old tv.

Explaining to a kid nowadays how you launched a game is gold :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


LOAD “*” ,8,1



The first computer I used, I reserved for say 1 hour/day in 1970, often late in the evening.
A 32-bits Philips P1100, 64KB of core-memory of 1 micro-second. The CPU arithmetic unit was 8 bits and for each 32-bit addition we needed 4 steps of each 8 bits. The CRT was used to display the 16 registers, memory content and addresses hexadecimal. The main frame I used, had 3 HDDs of 7.5 MB each, the line printer, paper tape and punch card equipment. We used it for testing new peripheral controllers and in my case data-communication controllers with hard wired data-link protocols.
Initially I put the program in memory using the keys on the front panel, in a later stage of the testing I switched to paper tape and typewriter with a test program :slight_smile:

The tape units on the photo were from the USA, later we used Philips tape units and the first production units had the nick name; “Die Zigeunerbaron” (Gypsy Baron), a famous German opera song, starting with the words; I can’t read, I can’t write, that’s not my skill :slight_smile:


My first computer, used at school, was an Apple IIe. I played games like Number Muncher on it.

I loathed the layout of the arrow keys, making game-playing hellish. I knew it could have been much more sensible.


You know, it wasn’t until just recently that I learned the ,8 ,1 was sector and track info. I never knew WHY I typed that as a kid, just that it was what I needed to do to get ‘Seven Cities of Gold’ or “Racing Destruction” to load.

(Confession: Sometimes… sometimes I turn the terminal colors cyan and blue just for the commodore fun of it. :stuck_out_tongue: )


you take the cake!

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