[thechat] Ancient computers (was: IT is here!)

Luther, Ron Ron.Luther at compaq.com
Fri Dec 7 09:22:17 CST 2001

Hey Norm!

Another member or (soon-to-be) member of the "30 years of programming"
club, eh?   Kewl!


First computer parts played with - cord board and cords ... hmmmm ...
let's see --- he's a small child, right? -- let's give him a large metal
object with very sharp corners and a set of short very strong "guitar
like" cables with 1/4 inch metal jacks on the end as toys ... sounds
about right .... yep, my folks loved me!    ;-)

First computer used - A Wang micro (model # unknown) - no disk drive at
all - used  an "iron maiden" card reader -- [opened like an antique
toaster - many many many pairs of "pins" that would close and try to
send an electric charge across the conductive (#2 pencil graphite) you
put in the cards ovals to read your program.]   

First program written and debugged - find the sum of all integer
reciprocals from 1/1 to 1/200 ... written on the above around July of
'71 or '72.  {Summer school before Freshman or Sophomore year in high

First computer paid to use - a model "10" or maybe "10A" teletypewriter
on a dedicated line to a Honeywell mainframe.  Yep -- a model "10" --
big butt black beauties! -- no monitors - an integrated line printer, a
keyboard with really really horrid round black keys and a paper tape
printer for i/o!  If you ever see one you'll find it in a museum! ...
{Hint - the "10A" was patented in 1920!  Nothing but the best for us at
the phone company!} ... the "10" stood for "10 baud"!  How productive
could YOU be coding at 10 baud?  {Writing statistical analysis programs
in Fortran77.}

First computer owned - Atari 800 - purchased the day the Commodore 64
hit the stores in Cleveland.  ['81 or '82, maybe?  $1200 with a
single-sided single density drive (90k storage) and a monitor.] (I
wanted the Commodore - but there was a LOT more technical literature and
support available for the Atari!)


Old? ....    ;-P

-----Original Message-----
From: Norman Bunn [mailto:norman.bunn at craftedsolutions.com]

First PC - Seequa Chameleon  (1984)
30 lb portable, 256KB RAM, 2 360K 5-1/4 floppy drives and 9-inch
Ran 8086 chip for DOS and Z80 chip for CPM.
$3000 (ouch!)

First computer ever used, IBM mainframe, SC State College (1971-72).
to swap out the disk drive when I wanted to run my Fortran code.  I was
senior in high school.

Yes, he's that old!

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