Reply 20 of 64, by .legaCy

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my own PC was an Athlon XP 2400+ 512MB DDR 400, GeForce 4 MX440 20GB Maxtor HD.
but before that i used my dad pc which was a celeron 300 with 64MB of pc-133 SDRAM

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Reply 21 of 64, by Neco

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Although I might ocassionally share my computer access with family, many of the first computers in our home were exclusively my toys and I had control over them, and pretty much was the only one who knew how to use them. My mother did teach me a little MS-DOS (she was a secretary at the time).

My very first PC compatible machine is, depending on who you ask, loved or hated. I received from my 5th grade teacher, an IBM PCJr, which she in turn had been given by her father.

It had 640k of RAM, and it also had the external hard drive expansion. I had the later model keyboard not that horrible chiclet one, and I thought it was neat how it had infrared for cordless communication although position was a bitch... I think I had a joystick with it as well. I had the color monitor, but no printer I think. I can't remember if it had a standard parallel port for printers or not without looking that up. But most all connectors on the machine were proprietary IBM connections. I remember using "The Printshop" so I'm fairly certain I had printing capacity. I owned several dot matrix printers in my youth.

It had an Intel 8088 CPU @ 4Mhz or something like that. I believe it was 16 color, wiki lists it as "Video Gate Array" (VGA?). It did have a 5.25" floppy as well.

I was a really curious kid and I loved to take shit apart to see how it worked. Unfortunately this resulted in me trashing one of the hard drive platters. Looking at how drives are designed now, you might be appaled to find out after you take off the metal case cover, you have full access to the hard drive heads and platters. So I took it apart a little, then put it back together but messed up the platter alignment with one of the screws, introducing a wobble.


This is the intro to a kinda cool movie called Short Circuit. around 44 seconds that is almost the same exact sound I heard when the head began grinding on the platter, it literally stripped the magnetic coating off exposing bare metal.

God I miss that machine, I also miss my C64 which I had owned before the PCjr but that's a story for another non-PC thread 🤣

Reply 22 of 64, by Salient

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My first personally owned PC was an IBM AT clone. It was a 286 12MHz with 1MB RAM and 40MB harddisk. For the dutch people around here maybe they remember the name of the store that sold these assembled machines: "Hacom".

I got it from my father when he upgraded to a new PC (386DX/33) and although that was of course a much faster PC, I still was thrilled by the fact that I finally got my own MS-DOS computer, so I didn't mind it at all.

Besides, mine had a soundcard (Adlib) so I felt like king of the hill anyway. 😀

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(Always) looking for: Any Wavetable daughterboard, MIDI Module (GM/GS/XG)

Reply 23 of 64, by Tiido

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It was a Compaq ProLinea 4/66 with a surface mounted 486SX2, 32MB RAM, 120MB HDD, ET4000W32 with 1MB VRAM and it ran Windows95. No sound card and no cache so games ran pretty poorly on it.

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
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Reply 24 of 64, by Murugan

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My first PC was a Commodore PC10-III but the first one I completely bought myself was a custom built P3-500. Don't remember much from it though. I know I started out with a TNT2 that died after 2y and got replaced by a GF2 Ti (still have the box from that :p). The motherboard was an Asus one but which....Probably 512MB RAM or so. Perhaps I still have the invoice, I saw it some years ago when I was cleaning up hehe.
I am not completely sure if I paid for my P75...Otherwise that was my first one.

My retro collection: too much...

Reply 25 of 64, by Intel486dx33

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Year - 1993
Location - Silicon Valley
Favorite TV show - Computer chronicles.

custom computer shop build
Intel Chipset Motherboard Socket 3 ISA
CPU - Intel 486dx-33mhz.
Ram - 4mb.
Hard-drive - Conner 120mb.
CDROM - Sony IDE 2x with controller ISA
Audio - Sound blaster compatible ISA
Graphics - Oaktech SVGA ISA
Modem - 14.4 ISA
Floppy - 1.44 and 5.25
Display - SVGA 14"
Printer - Laser with HP emulator card.
OS - DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.11

Last edited by Intel486dx33 on 2018-10-24, 12:14. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 26 of 64, by Tiger433

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My first PC was AMD 286 with 12 Mhz, 1 MB of RAM, Trident VGA videocard which was very slow, 20 MB MFM Seagate HDD, 1.44 Floppy. I used there DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1. And I played there Wolfenstein3D in very small window, Commander Keen Dreams, Prince of Persia, Prehistorik 2.

Main PC:Gigabyte GA-MA69VM-S2, Phenom II 555, 4GB DDR2 667, GT210, 500 GB HDD, Samsung E2220
Retro PC: ASUS P5N-EM, Pentium E5300, 1,5 GB DDR2 667, 7600GS, 80 GB HDD, 17" LCD

Reply 27 of 64, by brostenen

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The first one in the family, was an Unisys PW/2 series 300 machine. That is the model with a 286, ega, 640k Ram and 20mb harddrive. I am the current owner of that system, yup the real physical same machine. It is complete with all original parts, right down to the manuals that are even in mint condition. And the BIOS setup floppy disks as well (one 3.5 inch version and one 5.25 inch version). It has the original EGA monitor as well and the original keyboard and original optical 3-button mouse. Though I have installed an SCSI controller card, CL-5422-ISA and Audician32-Plus soundcard. Then I still have the original parts and can revert the machine back to factory standard, if I want to.

The first one that I bought, was an Cyrix 486 slc2-50, 4mb Ram, ET4000-ISA, CD-Rom drive, 120mb HDD and Sound Galaxy NX-Pro soundcard. It was a pure ISA system with the CPU soldered on. I believe I bought it in 1993, after working a whole summer, earning money for the first time. First job as well.

Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

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Jah ich will trynen... Die Leute wie macht scheisse in dem Grünen.

Reply 28 of 64, by henryVK

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As amazed as my family was at the first computer we owned, noone would have thought to take a photograph of it. I'm always suprised by people taking pictures of their appliances, not because I think it's tacky, but because in my family photography was almost exclusively reserved for vacations or get togethers.

Anyway, I can only guess what kind of computer my first one was. Some 386 with a Trident graphics card. To my immense frustration, my uncle, who gave the machine to us, also included only the first disk of King's Quest III.

Reply 29 of 64, by tayyare

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Mine was as follows:

386SX-16 with a Hadeka motherboard
1MB RAM (as 8x44256 RAM chips)
Intel 387SX-16 Mathco
512KB OAK 067 VGA Card
Noname multi I/O controller
40 MB Seagate ST157A HDD
Sony 1.44MB 3.5" FDD
Teac 1.2MB 5.25" FDD
14" Mono VGA Monitor

The price was exactly 1.250 USD + VAT (still have the receipt).

Purchased from a crappy no-name cheap system builder and it is the only PC that I have, but didn't built myself. It served me till I graduated from university (end of 1994) with those upgrades:

4MB additional RAM
240 MB Maxtor 7243AT additional HDD
Trident 8900 or 9000 1MB VGA card
Soundblaster Pro 2.0 sound card

I'm now able to mention some exact specifics of that PC since I still have some of its main parts on hand, but when I went to the cheap and crappy noname PC builder, I had almost zero knowledge about computers and what I asked for was "a computer", nothing else much... 😏

Only specs I gave him was: "no 286", "VGA graphics" (I had seen Wing commander II and knew that it was not possible to play it in hercules mono systems which was the entry level norm at that time where I live), "a mathco", (numerical analysis with FORTAN was my main serious purpose for having a PC) and "additional 5.25" FDD" (for data exchange issues with the PC workstations in the aeronautics department).

In about a year or so, I started working as a part time service technician for another cheap noname builder, though... : 😈

Geforce4 Ti 4200 64MB
Diamond Monster 3D 12MB SLI
120GB IDE Samsung/80GB IDE Seagate/146GB SCSI Compaq/73GB SCSI IBM
Adaptec AHA29160
3com 3C905B-TX
Gotek+CF Reader
MSDOS 6.22+Win 3.11/95 OSR2.1/98SE/ME/2000

Reply 30 of 64, by aleksej

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My first own PC i build between 2002-2005.
ASUS P/I-P55T2P4 rev3.10. Bios was patched for SS7 CPUs and hdd >128gb support. It was also pimped out by COAST module (512kb L2 cache in total) and TAGRAM chip. This mobo was very stable on 83mhz FSB.
AMD K6-III+ 550ACZ Super Socket 7 cpu underclocked to 500mhz (83x6). Worked stable with passive heatsink.
512mb ram. Four 128mb FPM double high modules with ECC by Samsung for Intel servers.
Seagate Barracuda 120gb IDE hdd.
3Dfx Voodoo4 4500 32mb PCI
Creative AWE32 CT2760 w/2x16mb (full 28mb) + Yamaha DB50XG
Gravis Ultrasound Max rev2.4
Disney Sound Source + SiliconSoft SoundJr LPT covoxes.
3COM 3C905-TXM PCI network card
Promise Ultra133 TX2 IDE controller (with short cable ofcourse, UDMA drives don't like overclocked PCI bus and cable shorted to maximum was good receipt for safe work).
Plextor PX-716A DVD-RW drive
Teac dual floppy drive (5.25" + 3.5")
ZyXEL U-336E+
I also have Roland SCC-1 in that period of time but this beauty don't like overclocked ISA bus (83/4=>20mhz), it plays with randomly errors and i just not use it despite to one vacant ISA slot.
And some CRT monitor and desktop case, wich i don't remember in details.

Reply 31 of 64, by gca

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IBM PS/1 some point in around '92

o 286 running at (I think) 12MHz
o 512K memory
o No hard drive, just a standard 3.5" high density floppy
o IBM PC DOS 4.1, MS-Work 2 and some tutorial stuff for the machine
o Mono screen, not sure of the spec

I recall it booted from ROM into a 4 pane GUI allowing you to select from DOS, Works, Tutorial and something else, possibly dosshell but I'm not sure.

Reply 32 of 64, by torindkflt

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I'll break this down into a few different categories, to cover all the possible definitions of "personally owned" that could be considered, since there is a different answer for each possible definition. I'll also list them in chronological order, from earliest to latest acquisition.

Bought by a family member for their own use, but then abandoned allowing me to use it - An old 1986 Toshiba T3100 portable that my mom bought at a government surplus sale in 1996 to run her Braille transcribing program. In this case, she didn't outright give it to me. Rather, she simply stopped using it after a year or so and started doing her Braille transcribing on the shared family computer (don't remember why), and I merely ended up being the only one who used it for anything from that point forward. Even then, I didn't use it for much...aside from a few brief instances of doing proper schoolwork on it, most of what I did during any actual hands-on time with it was just play around in QBASIC. Ultimately, after getting the CTX, the Toshiba ended up spending the rest of its functional life as an Interlink server, tethered to the shared family computer with a parallel LapLink cable and functioning as nothing more than a 20MB external hard drive for me to save my own personal files onto. It eventually got junked, unfortunately.

Bought by a family member & eventually given to me - A CTX EzBook 700 laptop, bought new in 1997. This is the first computer I would personally consider as "mine" in the sense that it eventually became my first personal daily driver. It had a PMMX 200, 16MB RAM, 1.4GB HDD, 20x CD-ROM, 12in 800x600 screen, Win95, and horrible battery life (about 90 minutes on a good day). It was the first proper laptop we had ever seen costing less than $1000, which is part of the reason why my mom ended up buying it (this was back when $1500 was considered a budget price for laptops). She originally got it for herself to do Braille transcribing work on, but very quickly let me have it after discovering that it wouldn't work (her Braille program required at least 6-key rollover, this laptop maxed out at 4 depending on which keys were pressed). I used it as my daily driver for 2-3 years until I received a hand-me-down desktop from an older brother, and then it just became a secondary/supplemental system. I used the CTX until I got a different laptop in 2002, and gave it to a friend after. It was in poor physical condition by then...the black paint had completely worn off large portions of the case, and both hinges were so badly broken I had to secure the screen in place with hastily-applied globs of JB Weld. 🤣 It was functionally fine though.

Acquired for free specifically by me for my own use - Separating this from the "bought with my own money" category since I literally paid no money for it. A generic 486 desktop system, 40MHz (slowed to 33MHz by the previous owner, presumably for stability reasons), 8MB RAM (some of which was faulty), ~150MB hard drive, unknown ISA video card, no sound card, no CD-ROM drive, DOS only. It was one of the old CAD terminals from my high school shop class, it had been set aside a few years prior as non-working, and my shop teacher let me have it for free during my senior year in 2001. I primarily used it just as a "tinkering" system, since my interest in old computers was still in its infancy. Only had it for about a year or so before it got tossed.

Bought with my own money - That would be a Lenovo 3000 C200 laptop in 2006. Paid for 100% out of my own pocket, all other systems before this were either paid for by other family members and given to me, or had parts salvaged from such systems and thus couldn't be considered paid fully out of my own pocket. I don't remember the exact specs other than it had a dual-core Pentium of some sort, 1GB RAM, 80(?)GB hard drive, DVD burner, wifi, 15in screen and WinXP. Used it for about 3-4 years before upgrading to a ThinkPad, and then sold the C200 the following year.

Last edited by torindkflt on 2018-10-24, 21:27. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 33 of 64, by Mister Xiado

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My first computer, period (never even had a "family computer") was purchased in October of 1998, IIRC. I had bought an issue of Computer Shopper from the local pharmacy, and was thumbing through it at work. Saw a decent system for under a thousand bucks, with a monitor, speakers, keyboard, and mouse, so I jumped on it. When the idiots at the USPS delivered it, they left it ON THE SIDEWALK IN FRONT OF MY APARTMENT BUILDING. I saw it as I was leaving to walk a couple miles to work. Rushed it back to my apartment, and then when I walked home from work at about 2AM, I hooked it up.

CTX branded system and "80W" speakers, purple and white case.
AMD K6-2 300MHz with 3DNow!
3.2 GB Fujitsu HDD
3.5" FDD
Unknown 2D video card
ESS Audiodrive ISA sound card
Lucent Technologies PCI 56k WinModem (updated to v.90 via telnet later)
Basic 2 button mouse and keyboard

The CDROM drive failed almost immediately, the video card was replaced with a Voodoo 2 3000, I believe, and a DVD/CDRW drive had been added around 2000 or so. I replaced it with a Pentium 4 system I built when I got t-boned by some idiot. 20 years later, the system now has 256 MB of RAM, a Linksys 100Mbit ethernet NIC, some wonky late-model PCI GeForce card with s-video output, an ISA SoundBlaster 16 (perhaps to be replaced with a PCI SB Live card in the future), a black case, unnamed DVDR drive (I think), and either a 20 or 40 GB HDD. The motherboard had been sitting in an open cardboard box for at least 15 years, across six moves.

Last edited by Mister Xiado on 2018-10-24, 15:56. Edited 1 time in total.

b_ldnt2.gif - Where it's always 1992 (or so).
Icons, wallpapers, and typical Oldternet nonsense.

Reply 35 of 64, by amadeus777999

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First PC was a Vobis Pentium60. It cost around 2500$ back then(Feb/??/1995), albeit I'm a bit leniant on the exchange rate and inflation.

Before the 486 era the PC was a no go for us - it was all about the Amigas... that changed the day I saw Doom and I never looked back. I vividly remember reading in the magazines about DoomII's release - talk about being "pumped". In Europe "Doomsday" was 10/10/1994 - guess it was earlier in the States.

Pictured is the 14" fartula and a buddy of mine playing Blood on said Pentium(??/??/1997). Sucks that I sold the machine in 98 for around 55$. The CPU was a ceramique one and it was only years later until I saw a Pentium60 gold top for real.


  • IMG_2204.jpg
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    Those were the days... gaming and eating some junk.
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Reply 36 of 64, by Jasin Natael

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My first personally owned PC was originally our family PC, but was handed down to me when we replaced that machine with a k6/2 build that ALSO later became my second PC.

The first machine is long gone and I would dearly love to have another one just like it simply for nostalgic sake.

It was a Packard Bell Legend 316sx.

Completely stock. No sound card or CD-ROM or anything ever added.

AOpen AP53 AMD K6/2 - 233MHZ - 64MB RAM 20GB WD HDD Win98SE

Compaq Presario 5152 AMD K6-III+ 550MHZ 512MB RAM ATi Radeon 9250SE 256MB PCI Aureal Vortex 2

Asus A7V-VE AMD Athlon T-Bird 1.20GHZ 512MB RAM ATi Radeon 7500 DDR 64MB Vortex 2 32GB KingSpec SSD

Reply 37 of 64, by David_OSU

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My first DOS PC was actually a 386sx Bridgeboard for the Amiga 3000. So I could have a DOS PC in a window on my Amiga. This was installed in an Amiga 3000 Tower, along with several ISA cards and a couple of DOS hard drives. This was a year before Commodore went bankrupt, so that system wasn't used much after that. And I did all my gaming on the Amiga hardware back then.

Reply 38 of 64, by JSO

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My first PC was a Nixdorf "portable", the PC02 at the summer of 1987. (8088, 256k RAM, 20MB HDD, Floppy 5,25)
My second PC was the Nixdorf 8810 M15 laptop, 1989. (286, 640k RAM, 2 FDDs).
My third was a Tulip notebook. (386, 4mb RAM, 90mb HDD, FDD).
My fourth was a Tulip AT 386Dx desktop. (386dx25, with coprocessor, 4MB RAM, VGA PVGA1A, SVGA EMC color monitor, MB HDD, 2 FDDs). I use to have it until 1998 when I bought my first Pentium (MMx@233 MHz). I added CD-Rom and Sound Card on Winter of 1994 (December).

I mentioned them all because we use to have them all in operation simultaneously when I've started to learning how to operate the PC alone.


Reply 39 of 64, by jesolo

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The first PC that I bought for myself was back in late 1993 (we did already own an AMD 386DX-40 family computer which my father bought in 1992 and before that an Olivetti M19 which he bought in 1987).

Back in 1993, everything had to be bought separately (no onboard sound, integrated I/O controllers, etc.).
I started off with a generic PC:
Fliptop case
Cyrix 486DLC-40
Conner 170 MB HDD
Tseng Labs ET4000 ISA graphics card.
16-bit I/O controller
1.2 MB & 1.44 MB floppy drives
14" SVGA monitor
Generic 3 button mouse
101 Chicony keyboard
Initially, I had a standard 386 motherboard but, I went through 2 motherboards in the first year (they kept failing and had to be swopped out) until I ended up with a hybrid 386/486 motherboard (Jetway/J-mark).

A year later I saved up enough money to buy my first sound card (an Aztech Sound Galaxy Basic 16). CD-ROM drives were too expensive back then and this PC never got one.

I still have the entire PC but, the motherboard has failed and the HDD has recently shown signs of failing as well. Fortunately, I managed to find replacement parts.

Been thinking of building up that PC again.