My first hands on experience with a computer was at college. This was in the form of the Apple II. This was a remarkable machine for its day, complete with a small B&W composite video monitor, twin 5.25 floppy disk drives. (No hard disk). In fact the 2 computer rooms each with about 12 machines in each ran different versions of the disk operating system. This meant that the computers running the older version could not read the disks from the newer systems. This prompted me to spend the hard earned cash on a micro of my own.
At this time there were numerous makes and models to chose from, Sinclair, Atari, Commadore, Acorn plus many others. Some were even in "kit form" i.e. solder the chips into the pcbs.The most common of these being the Sinclair ZX81 (or even earlier the ZX80)
My interest in computers dates back to those's early days when just about every high street shop was selling computers. My first computer was a Commadore VIC-20. This had a massive 3 k-byte of memory. Though I did add a plug in cartridge to add another 3 k-byte to it.
Programmed in Basic, and programs saved to cassette tape, using a dedicated (and quite reliable) tape deck.
The VIC-20 cost in the region of £200, plus about another £50 for the data recorder. Where most home micros used a domestic tape recorder and audio tones, the VIC used a dedicated tape deck, giving far more reliability for saving and loading data.
I then moved to the BBC Micro. This had 32k-byte Ram. 7 different text/graphics modes, including teletxt graphics. But when using 80 column mode, 20k out of the 32k of memory went onto the screen.
These machines were programmed in BBC Basic. This was by far one of the best Basics on any home micro at the time. It allowed highly structured programs to be written, even by beginners.
This is where I bought the first "Real PC". This had 4 Meg Byte of memory, 1 Meg Byte of video memory giving an 800x600 screen. It also had a "massive" hard disk. 80 Meg-Byte. I say massive because of its physical size. It was a 5.25" footprint. (Modern desk top pc hard disks are 3.5" )
This was a AMD 386DX-40, which for its time was a powerful machine.
This was followed by AMD 486 DX-4 100. Then came the Intel Pentium 133. This was followed by a AMD K6-2 500.
AMD Athlon 2800
This is where I went for a laptop. Intel Core 2 Duo CPU. 1.66GHz. 1 G-Byte Ram and a 120G-Byte Hard Disk.
All this power in a small package, is unthinkable when compared with the earlier machines I used.
The Athlon gave up the ghost. Current main system is a Mesh
Intel Core I5-750
128 SSD System Drive
2x 1GB Data Drives
DVD with Blu-Ray Read
Last Updated Monday 03-May-2010