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What was your first computer?

I remember playing Star Wars from a cassette on our Apple ][. My dad bought it in a bike shop and it came with paddles and some starter cassettes like Breakout, Applesoft BASIC and Star Wars (complete with slightly off-pitch theme song). Later we upgraded the ][ to a ][+ on the inside (capable of addressing a whopping 8K of RAM!). We also upgraded to two disk drives -- something you really needed for playing Wasteland. The dual drives might have been on my Laser 128, but that was the first computer that was given to me specifically. The Apple ][ started it all.

Things progressed nicely when I caught my first computer virus by unsafely downloading some Monty Python sounds on my dad's Macintosh SE/30. Today my iPhone has far more computing power (and has yet to see a copy of Disinfectant cleared on the App Store) than a room full of 80's-era Macs. For anyone who reflects back upon their first computer and their current computer, it is a similar, dizzying experience.

As we head into a new decade, we've assembled a few stories from our Seed contributors on this same topic. Each contributor recalls a specific type of computer and their own special experiences with their first computers. The last story, "Helping My Mom..." is more about how computers have left a generation behind, and how the technological divide still exists... But it's OK -- the future is bright for computing, as we now carry miniature PC's in our pockets every day. Here's to the future!

To jump to a particular story, click below.

The Digi-Comp II

The Sinclair ZX81

The sad little IBM PCjr

My first computer: remembering in black and green

A used IBM 80286

Helping my Mom slide technologically backwards




Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/psd/ / CC BY 2.0

Tags: features, history, retrocomputing

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