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First post, by King_Corduroy

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I'm not talking about hobby computers, I mean for doing work. Like what was the first computer you ever purchased just cause you needed a computer. The first computer I ever purchased was an IBM ThinkCentre 8183 sporting a whopping 3ghz hyper threaded Pentium 4 CPU, 2GB of RAM (might have been less honestly to begin with but that's what it ended with) and a 40GB HDD. I remember thinking "WOW! I'll never fill this hard drive up!". 🤣 It ran Windows XP (The best version of windows naturally) and I got it around 2009 from a store in the Gurnee Mills Mall called "MiComp" for about 100$.

Sadly don't have many pics of it at all and I got rid of it years ago cause it developed bad caps and it wasn't very upgradeable since it only featured two PCI slots.
Double shame, cause they seem kinda hard to come by now.

IBM-ThinkCentre-S50-8183-DGU-SFF-Pentium-4.jpg

Check me out at Transcendental Airwaves on Youtube! Also wtf, why are whoppers so good?!

Reply 1 of 30, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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Reminds me of this thread.

My first PC is an Epson-branded IBM clone. Yes, Epson, would you believe that? Apparently Epson made PCs in the 80s. Too bad I don't have the pic.

I was twelve years old at that time. My dad wanted me to become audiophile like him, thus, the amplifier. But my mom had different idea. She said home computer was better for education and development. Well, she was right. For example, English isn't my first language, but I honed my English by playing titles like Quest for Glory (it was titled Hero's Quest back then) and Ultima 6.

pc-epson-ax2-baru.jpg
No, the photo isn't mine, but my first PC was indeed an Epson.

I still like good sounds nonetheless. Later on, mom and dad bought us our first Sound Blaster, and no, we didn't use those flimsy, beige-colored computer speakers, because dad donated his Kenwood DC-20 mini component system (which he never considered hi-fi, but was already better than what other people use with their Sound Blaster at that time). It became like tradition for me ever since, that I always prefer using real audio gears with my computer instead of what-so-called "PC multimedia speakers," despite the latter is more convenient and easier to setup.

Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman.

Reply 2 of 30, by Intel486dx33

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The First name brand computer I ever purchased was a used Sun Microsystems IPX ( What they use to call a “lunchbox” because of its size ).
I was enrolled in computer education school at the time and taking Certification classes in MS-Windows, Novell, Sun Solaris, and UNIX Flavors. Living In Silicon Valley there where lots of computer stores and lots of places to purchase used computers.

My friends showed me this shop that was refurbishing Sun Microsystems computers for resale.
I purchased this IPX which was one of the least expensive Sun computers they had for about $300
I ended maxing it out with Dual frame buffers ( video cards ).
64mb ram
2gb SCSI hard drive.
Network card
I think it had a 40mhz CPU but this thing was really slow because it used slow ram.

At the time about 1994 we where taking classes in UNIX flavors and Sun Solaris.
I just fell in love with the stuff. The workstations where of higher quality than Windows PC’s
And UNIX was the Operating System that ran Silicon Valley.
Just about everyone was using some flavor UNIX and UNIX companies dominated Silicon Valley.
With SGI, HP, Sun Microsystems, Next, IBM, etc.

Even Microsoft was using UNIX computers as there Backbone webservers and database servers. ( 🤣, it’s true and it was funny to see ).
I think even today they use Linux and Oracle database servers.

Any company who was anyone was running UNIX as the backbone of there websites and portals and webservers, email, database clusters, etc.
The UNIX computers where built to run 24/7/365 days a year and did not need much maintenance.
Yes, they where very expensive to be a common home computer for the time. But they where a necessity for a BIG company.

Today, A good UNIX based home computer would be an Apple Mac running OSX.
As you can see even today UNIX computers are just higher quality builds.
I think you can still download Solaris x86 from Oracle who purchased Sun Microsystems.

And Yes, We played Quake on our Sun Microsystems computers. We would play against the MS-Windows PC users.

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Last edited by Intel486dx33 on 2020-05-20, 15:40. Edited 8 times in total.

Reply 3 of 30, by Intel486dx33

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More IPX photos.

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Reply 4 of 30, by newtmonkey

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My first PC was an IBM 386SX16. I don't know the exact model. It had a VGA card and small hard drive. It didn't come with any sound card, but we eventually got a SB-compatible that used a proprietary slot that was crazy expensive as far I can recall.

I got this PC primarily for three reasons:
- I knew that my dedicated word processor machine wouldn't cut it anymore as my school assignments got longer and more complicated; editing long papers on that tiny screen that only showed a few lines at a time was nightmarish
- I wanted to get into BBSing, and as far as I knew you needed a PC to do that (I was wrong, but, hey...)
- It was hard to go back to my C64 after seeing PC games in glorious VGA with Adlib music on my friend's high end custom 386!

My PC was pretty slow when I got it; we went with IBM because we assumed you couldn't go wrong with IBM... the PC was built like a tank and ran well for what it was, but 16MHz was pretty slow by then. It was perfectly fine for BBSing, writing up and printing documents, and playing most games out at the time—though Ultima VII was sadly nearly unplayable (still managed to get quite far into it!).

Reply 5 of 30, by cyclone3d

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Hmmm... the only computers I ever purchased for doing work were ones I purchased through the company I worked at. All were Dell. No idea what the first one I actually purchased for myself though. Probably something like a Latitude E6420.

All my previous computers I built myself from parts except for the first computer we had when I was a kid. That was a computer from a local computer place... a 386SX 25Mhz with 4MB RAM and 120MB HDD with DOS 5.0 and Windows 3.0.

Took all of a few months before I started upgrading it.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 6 of 30, by kixs

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I've moved from Atari 800XL that my father bought as a family computer in 1986 to 286/16 that I bought with my brother in 1992.

It was used generic built:

286/16
Octek Fox II motherboard with 1MB memory in chips
C&T 256KB VGA card
Conner 41MB HDD
5.25" 1.2MB Teac floppy
VGA only color monitor
some generic mechanic keyboard

Later memory was upgraded to 2x 1MB SIMM and HDD to 80MB. It was a nice computer that demanded I tweak config.sys, autoexec.bat as much as possible and Windows 3.1 too 🤣

My Amibay: SALE | BUY - Updated on 2020-05-18

Reply 8 of 30, by _Rob

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After 3 "home computers", my first IBM PC compatible was a Philips NMS 9110 which was later upgraded with a 31MB hard-card (harddisk on a ISA card).
I also replaced the 8088 with a NEC V20 to try to prolong its life a bit.

It came with a ATi Small Wonder ISA card (Hercules, CGA and Plantronics combo) and despite it being an XT clone, it has 640KB +128KB that you could use as a type of "high memory" for things like mouse drivers, with a special utility to get more low memory.

This one, but with two 3.5" drives and originally a green-screen monitor.

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Reply 9 of 30, by jakethompson1

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I was in elementary school and bought an IBM PS/2 30-286 at a yard sale for like $25 or so. Learned a lot of DOS on it, plus it was the first machine I had access to where I could "format c:" and reinstall as often as I wanted as part of learning.

Reply 10 of 30, by VileR

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First one paid for with my own hard-earned cash? A generic Pentium II build which I honestly don't even remember much about, other than the Voodoo II.

Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-05-18, 10:24:

Even Microsoft was using UNIX computers as there Backbone webservers and database servers. ( 🤣, it’s true and it was funny to see ).

Why funny? Given their long run with XENIX I'm sure they knew what UNIX was good for.

web  /   blog   /   tube

Reply 11 of 30, by Desomondo

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First PC I invested... some... money into was a Pentium 233 MMX system in late 1997. It was supposed to be for studying computer science at uni... but mostly got used to play Quake, Starcraft, etc.

The first PC I bought completely with my own money was an Athlon Thunderbird in mid 2001. The old Pentium was really struggling by then 😀

Win98 PC: Pentium 4 3.2 | Gigabyte GA-8I865GME-775 | Geforce3 Ti200 | Aureal Vortex 2 + YMF744
WinXP PC: Core 2 Quad Q9400 | Gigabyte GA-G41MT-S2PT | Geforce GTX 280 | X-Fi
Win10 PC: i7-8700k | ASUS Z370 TUF | GeForce RTX 2070 Super | X-Fi Titanium

Reply 12 of 30, by gdjacobs

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VileR wrote on 2020-05-19, 20:54:

Why funny? Given their long run with XENIX I'm sure they knew what UNIX was good for.

They were also quite familiar with the BSD codebase as they frequently poached it for use in NT subsystems.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 13 of 30, by darry

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First PC I bought with my own hard-earmed money was based around a Pentium 150 on a PC Chips M550 with an S3 Virge 325 and 32MB of RAM . I previously upgraded through a series of 486 setups that started with 486 DX/2 on VLB and culminated with an AMD 5x86 at 133MHz (overclocked to 160) on PCI, but these were paid with student loans (which I did pay back later, so maybe the 486s should count).

Before that, I traded in the family 386/25 for a used IBM PS/Valuepoint 6384 F20 (486 SX25 with onboard Tseng ET4000).

Good times .

Reply 14 of 30, by Caluser2000

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Mine was a 286/16, 1meg of ram,40meg hdd, 3.5"/5.25" fdds, joystick, serial mouse. 101 key AT keyboard, 256k Oak vga card with 14" 28 dot pitch crt monitor. It was in a baby AT case with flip top lid. I fitted a MediaVision Thunderboard sound card and some cheap speakers. Ran DRDos 6.0 with GeoWorks Pro 1.2 and various other Dos programs. Also came a Panasonic 9-pin dot B/Wmatrix printer It was the ONLY brand new computer I've ever owned. Learned a lot on that system...

There's a glitch in the matrix.

Reply 15 of 30, by Caluser2000

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Caluser2000 wrote on 2020-05-20, 06:31:

Mine was a 286/16, 1meg of ram,40meg hdd, 3.5"/5.25" high density fdds, joystick, serial mouse. 101 key AT keyboard, 256k Oak vga card with 14" 28 dot pitch crt monitor. It was in a baby AT case with flip top lid. I fitted a MediaVision Thunderboard sound card and some cheap speakers. Ran DRDos 6.0 with GeoWorks Pro 1.2 and various other Dos programs. Also came a Panasonic 9-pin dot B/Wmatrix printer It was the ONLY brand new computer I've ever owned. Learned a lot on that system...

There's a glitch in the matrix.

Reply 16 of 30, by yochenhsieh

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My first PC was bought in 1999. The spec I remembered:
AMD K6-II 400mhz
Motherboard with SIS530 chipset (forgot the brand)
Memory 64MB
HDD 10GB
Windows 98

As SIS530 cannot play much games, I later bought a nVIDIA TNT2 M64 PCI, and another 64MB memory in 2000. (This board didn't have AGP.)

Reply 18 of 30, by ShovelKnight

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My first PC that I bought with my own money was a Samsung X10 laptop. It was quite a famous model that Intel used extensively to demonstrate the advantages of their then-new Centrino platform. Quite thin and light for its time, in all-metal case, and with a whopping 5-hour battery life!

Horrible piece of junk with keyboard that flexed when typing and hinges that lost their tension in about 9 months. The built-in CD drive was also typical Samsung (meaning that it was slow, noisy and bad mediocre at both reading and writing). I have been wary of Samsung products ever since.

Reply 19 of 30, by devorn

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My first PC was a TRS-80 model I, 16K with Radio Shack (Microsoft) level II basic, and a cassette deck for loading and saving programs. It was a 'later' (late 1981) model with Alps keyboard and numeric keypad (which was actually quite good) and the machine included the lower case character set. The cassette out port could be connected to an amplified speaker for sound (when not being used to write to a cassette tape). Glorious monaural sound. A company in Jamaica NY (USA) made a product that interfaced an Atari Joystick to the machine (Alpha stick) and was supported by most games. They had quite a mail order business going at the time. Business was done via fax. Amazing the newsstand publications of the day that were chocked full of BASIC, Z80 Assembler and many other technical articles to learn from. Tandy Corp also made many technical documents, manuals and programming aids available. May have been very low end by today's standard, but the learning experience was priceless.