My first computer was an Amstrad/Schneider CPC664 in 1986. It comes with a Z80 CPU running @ 4MHz, 64kB RAM, a 3’’ floppy disk drive (really great) and a green screen. I remember that I wrote my thesis on it using CP/M and Wordstar, but most time we play Bomb Jack :).
I believe it was about 1980-81. It plugged into a color TV and booted to BASIC. I still have the computer, tape drive, and I think some game cartridges - I even had a printer but I don’t know what became of it. I haven’t fired it up in years, but the manuals are on my bookshelf. In addition to a friendly no-fail intro to BASIC programming, they include the schematics and a reference for 6502 Assembler mnemonics.
I used to write my own BASIC programs. I was already into chatbots and AI by then. The computer magazines of the day would publish BASIC programs line-by-line. My younger brother would painstakingly type them in. One that I remember him entering was a pretty decent Centipede knock-off.
In the mid 70’s, my father shipped equipment from the US to holland and built a home computer. It was a model from “the Digital Group” but I dont know which one. On that machine a took my first steps at basic programming although that didn’t amount to much. I was about 7 at the time.
A few years later we got the TRS-80 model I on which I started to actually learn to make programs…
I remember we had a subscription to BYTE magazine with advertisements that prized 16K RAM at only $1200,-
Thank you al for your stories. Reading them gives me a slight idea how old you all are
I also still remember entering BASIC code from a magazine…it was a pain in the b***…forgot one cmma and was wondering why the code did not run Troubleshooting in 400 lines printout with a 9-needle printer with a almost blank ink ribbon on low quality paper and find a missed comma was quite challenging at this time.
My first computer was in 1979 and was an Ohio Superboard II - An excellent machine with it’s 4KB of program RAM and 1KB video ram (both of which I doubled). Good BASIC and I learned 6502 assembler programming with it and did a really good ‘space invaders’ implementation.
I moved on to a BBC model B and learned so much with it due to it’s multifarious interfaces. I ended up using them at work and wrote a version of the ‘animal’ program to allow minimally skilled technicians to diagnose printer and VDU faults on the production line. At home I built a SPO256-AL2 chip based speech synthesizer interfaced to the parallel port. A talking computer - WOW!
At some point I bought a Sinclair Spectrum, primarily to learn Z80 coding and absolutely hated the ‘dead flesh’ keyboard, but after the 6502 machines, 16 bit registers were an absolute luxury.