Do You Remember Your First Time Using A Computer?

When I was five years old, my parents came home from wherever people bought computers in 1994, toting new Mac to replace their outdated first computer, the 1990 Mac Classic.

I was given my first computer in 1994, when I was five-years-old. It was an original Macintosh Classic — the first Apple Macintosh to sell for under $US1000 — which my parents bought shortly after its release in 1990 and retired to my bedroom four years later, when they come home one day with a new computer, their second, an updated Apple model, purchased from wherever people bought Macs in 1994.

My Mac Classic sat beside my bed, had a 9-inch monochrome CRT display with 512x342 pixel resolution, a built-in SuperDrive 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, 1 MB RAM, and a 3.6 V lithium battery. It weighed 7.25kg. On it I played a variety of games, the most memorable of which was 5 A Day Adventures, an educational computer game that teaches young children the importance of eating 5 to 9 fruits or vegetables a day. It was designed by the Dole Food Company (in collaboration with the Society for Nutrition Education and behaviour) and had come bundled with our new 1994 Mac.

The game featured singing and rapping animated fruits and vegetables, meant to teach children at a 3rd grade level how they are grown, their nutritional value and best cooking methods. I thought it was just about the coolest thing I'd ever seen, in all my five years of life. My parents told me that the person who sold them their new computer said we'd one day be able to watch TV on our computers; this, to me, seemed an impossible magic.

I tell you this, because a friend of mine recently posted to Facebook a still image (pictured above) from a home movie taken the day she used her first computer for the first time too.

This is what she had to say about it:

I remember before I got that computer I used to beg my mum to take me to Best Buy, where I would play on the sample computers for hours. She would literally have to drag me out of the store. This was the day she finally caved. This was the start of my nerd tendencies — well not the start, obviously, if the first thing I did was go straight to Encyclopedia Britannica to "research" elephant seals.

Everyone remembers their first time. What was yours?

[Thanks Arikia!]


Comments

    An Apple II at High school in the early 80's.

    I played with a friends Amstrad CPC-464 a few times and was given a CPC 646, With a Floppy Drive! in 1986.

    Then it was an Amiga A500, and the A1200 later.

    My First PC was a Packard Bell with a 100mhz Pentium.

    Got a Tandy MC10 in 1983. 4K RAM, tape drive, plugged into TV. No software so I learnt BASIC fairly quick. Then upgraded to Commodore 64, then PC and regularly upgraded to bigger and better, but now downsizing (?) to iPad.

    486 dx-2. had a massive 16mb of ram, and a 400mb hdd.
    Damn.

    Tandy TRS-80 in grade 3. Monochrome, not the colour computer (had one of those later at home). Had fun learning simple programming in LOGO (remember that?) and playing Snake years before anyone had a nokia.

      Did you make the slalom and car-racer program too ?

    I played with the a "VIC20" first at highschool during recesses and lunch then the first Apples then Apple II's.
    My own first was many years later after a trade or two and long time away from "tech stuff".
    It was a 286 with a "Massive" 8meg of ram I upgraded from 4 meg, after that "Prince of Persia" played faster LOL

    My first experience with the magic of computers was in Grade 2 with the Acorn BBC Micro http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Micro. The school had four of five of them which was considered pretty cool in 1986. The most memorable game was Granny's Garden. Can't remember much about it other than the graphics being made from a pallete of about 8 colours, and a scary witch appearing every time you died.

    My first home computer was a Commodore 64 with tape drive (loved summer games and "skate or die") followed by the legendary Amiga 500. Powered by a 7Mhz CPU, 512k ram (I paid $100 to get an extra 512k expansion "card") and wicked stereo sound. It delivered some amazing games at the time and a developed a loyal userbase.I use to regularly go to nerdy swap meets to trade the latest and greatest games and demo discs. Shadow of the Beast 2 and Cannon Fodder were two of my favourite games.

    It was about the same time as Commodore was going bust after the failed Amiga 1200 and CD32, that I decided to get my first PC; a Pentium1 66Mhz with 16mb of ram.

    It was an Apple II + in 1979, i was 8. I wrote a small program that drew a castle in AppleSoft Basic and I learnt how to generate random numbers to draw some stars in the sky. The stars appeared really slowly even though they were just single pixels, but it was just awesome.

    PC 8086 and 8088 CPU - 512K RAM with 5'' floppy drive, running DOS 2.0. CGA 320 X 200 4 colours. this is year 1988.
    good times playing Digger and Pacman all night through....

      x2 only ...

      wait for it....

      my Dad got us a 30 meg HDD!!!! - it was sooo huge at the time we had zero chance of EVER filing it up. 12 months later we double spaced it.

      Dad also being an electronics technician built a Hercules emulator to get 16 colours (of green)

      Digger, Pac Man and Alley Cat were the games of choice in the day. Later it was Leisure Suit Larry when I found out the Alt+X Cheat to get into it.

    funny story. when i was a kid we had 1 mac II computer to share between the entire school of a few hundred. That ment we we're all allocated a block of time to share with another student.. Anyways, it took weeks & eventually my turn came around & I was very excited. So was the guy I was sharing my computer with, so much so that he forgot to goto the toliet & tried to hold it in. This resulted in him doing both a 1 & a 2; right as we started & I ended up missing out on my computer time for a few months. *sigh*.

      this is so far the best comment :) thanks for making me lough so hard that my bub just jumped out of his chair mark. :P

        yeh, it was a disaster, his pants practically exploded.. I remember the teachers rushing around worried about the computer getting damaged.. I still feel slightly annoyed by the situation to this day.. & I wonder how the other guy feels.

      I feel so bad for laughing at this poor guy. Hopefully he now sees that it's frickin HILARIOUS

    ah memories... mine was an old second hand Apricot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apricot_Computers) with a black and green monitor, I remember my dad waiting til i got from school so I could load up leisure suit larry for him from good old dos prompt.

    My first experience - literally changed my life. It was a Sinclair Z80. It was given to me as the owner just got the colour z81. I remember my mum going nuts as i poked around the TV - to have a white screen pop up with a blinking cursor. Wow. I read the manuals from cover to cover. Twice. Some years later I then borrowed $1000.00 to buy a computer sight unseen called a Micobee. It those days, it came in a kit , included a soldering iron. I became part of that community. A few years Later on I was lucky enough to "test" one of 5 3.5" discs in Australia.

      My first experience was the Microbee - we had them at school!

    XT-8088 with 640KB RAM and a 5 1/2" floppy drive with a massive 20MB harddrive :) and oh yeah how can I forget the 4 colour CGA monitor...my fav game was Police Quest 2 and yeah it had a Turbo button to boost the processor from 4mhz to 8ghz :))

    I had apple 2e's in primary school.... tonk and picadilly pairs... im only 25 but man i'm starting to feel old!!!

    first computer i actually owned was an amiga 500! i wish i still had it!

    Commodore 64 - My dad brought it home from the computer store , I was so excited I can still remember my impatience as my dad read the manual trying to figure out how to load a game. Probably around age 7.

    Amstrad was my first, but the first ever PC i bought personally was a 486 DX-2 66, with 4 megs of ram and 100 megs of HDD... paid over 200 dollars to buy 4 more megs of ram just to play Wing Commander 4.

    those were the days.... .... why do they really put those turbo buttons for? its not like you would use it to make your computer slower?

    Sinclair ZX80. Oh the joy!

    Dick Smith Wizard! Learning basic @ 4 was awesome!!

    My, you're all a bunch of young whippersnappers and johnny-come-latelys! :-) My first time was a DEC terminal that had a built in A3 perforated sheet dot-matrix printer - no screens in those days. As you programmed, the sheets just flowed from the terminal in copious quantities. (These were later recycled into lecture notepads) There was no storage mechanism. If you wanted to save what you'd programmed, you had to redirect the program listing to a ticker tape machine that spat out a 1"wide roll of paper with perforations in it. Next day, when you wanted to continue programming, you fed the roll back through the ticker tape reader after logging in. I did have the opportunity to program punch cards ONCE... our lecturer decided that we should do it, just so we would know how good we had it with the DECs! Later, I had a little kit computer, based on, if I'm not mistaken, a 6502 processor with built in BASIC, 8k of RAM, storage on was on cassette tape, and and 4" B/W screen. Didn't get my Apple II+ clone until after I graduated from Uni.

    Playing Maths Rescue and Berenstain Bears on a 1988 Amstrad PC-1512. Would have been 3 or 4 years of age. Loved the noise the old thing makes with its massive 20MB HDD and 5 1/2" FDD. Best of all, I still have it!

    forget the hardware.. all i remember was DOS and launching duke nukem or jill to play =D

    1982 was the year I first used a computer (Apple II) at school, and then soon after bought my own (Vic-20), with my paper round money. 3.5 kilobytes of free memory, kids. There probably isn't a file that small on my Mac today.

    First year uni in 1977. Of course, we never saw the computer, just the enormous machines that made the punch-cards for us to leave for the operators to run. The computer itself was in another part of the building and we weren't allowed to see it. So you did your punch cards and it ran until it came to the first syntax error, then it stopped, the operator put a marker in your box of cards and you went through and fixed it, then repeated the process. On average it took about two weeks to do a simple mathematical formula. We were using Fortran-IV.

    The first PC I used was an Apple 2c at Kapooka, when I was in the Army, in 1984. They sent me on a dBase II course so I could create a recruit database but I got posted to Townsville before anything came of it. The next time I had any real contact with a computer was when I bought my first DX2-66 machine in 1995.

    First computer experience was in 1981 using a Tandy TRS-80 in high school - only had a datasette and everything had to be manually entered using BASIC.

    Around the same time (circa 1980) a friend owned an IBM portable which looked more like a sowing machine case when packed away and had two 5 1/4 inch floppy drives with a sepia tone screen.

    My first home computers were the C-64, followed by the Amiga 500, and eventually an IBM compatible - I also had access to a couple of friends Apple IIc'.

    First PCs I remember were at school, around 1990/1992. One of the first games I remember playing, could of been Mac, was an Aussie animated scene creater where you could build scenes of Aboriginal tribes, animals and choose a background such as Uluru or the bush - wish I could remember what the program was! Also remember playing the original Encarta, at a different school (in the library) and being blown away by the tiny little Full Motion Videos, in fact most of us who used encarta would be just to find and watch all the videos, also that general knowledge puzzle game was popular at the time. Definetly remember first using the World Wide Webon a Pentium 120 with Nestscape Navigator, also remember talking withmy mates about the upcoming Pentium 200 WITH MMX! Only 1 computer had the internet and you had to have an internet license to use it. Also remember playing my friends C-64 and being excited to see what gamesit had, eventhoughI had an Sega Master System - think it was the fun of not knowingnwhat games you'd be playing as most people had lotsa games spread across multiple diskettes. Also remember playing Wolfenstein 3D sharewareon one of me mums friends PC and then wondering why the rest of the game was missing...

      *in no particular order (ie had a PlayStation bythe time P200 were released, just so you know I wasnt poor sod with a master system still in 95/96 :P

    My first time was when my brother brought home a bare motherboard with an eight character LED display, simple keyboard and I think about 4K of RAM in about 1979. I was totally amazed that there was a machine that you could control and change even if the outcomes were pretty rudimentary. I then started reading Byte and Creative Computing magazines avidly and ended up buying an Exidy Sorcerer from Dick Smith which in turn lead to me getting into programming and development on mainframes and then into database stuff which is where I still am today! So it was a real life changing moment for me.

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