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Re: My first computer was...

by LameNerd (Hermit)
on Jul 03, 2003 at 22:21 UTC ( #271310=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to My first computer was...

TRS-80 with 4k memory. The cool thing about it was the programs came on cassette tape and you hooked a plain old radio shack tape player up to it. You could listem to the programs too! Sounded like euro-techo music on crack!


Comment on Re: My first computer was...
Re: Re: My first computer was...
by tos (Deacon) on Jul 05, 2003 at 13:05 UTC
    TRS-80 too. First with 16k RAM. Adjusting the volume control was very tricky. Often after nearly 5 minutes loading-time of a bigger programm the display signaled wrong parity. Then you could rewind the tape, adjust the volume-control a tiny step and retry the whole procedure, sometimes several times. :(

    Nevertheless i loved this old banger and later i extended memory up to 48k RAM and used NEWDOS with 5 1/4 inch floppies.

    Though the modest graphics capabilities with 128 x 48 monochrome pixels (you couldn't really call them so. They were more little bricks) nearly all in those days current arcadegames like Donkey-Kong, frogger or battlezone could be played (sometimes you needed a bit imagination ;) ).

    Yes, yes ... long time ago ...

      Adjusting the volume control was very tricky. Often after nearly 5 minutes loading-time of a bigger programm the display signaled wrong parity.

      That was the worst. I remember staring at the two blinking asterisks at the top of the screen, hoping like hell that I wouldn't have to try again. Mostly I was waiting for "Pyramid 2000" to load.

      My first project (after typing in 100s of lines of BASIC code from the back of magazines so I could play, for example, a text-based racing game) was a simple drawing program using the number pad to move a cursor around. The '5' key turned the 'pen' on and off. What I couldn't manage was a blinking cursor. I was but a wee lad (8 years old).

      For what it's worth, I think I may have gotten a computer too soon, both in terms of my age, and in terms of the computer's capacities. I had a lot of drive, and even tried to learn Z-80 assembler, but I couldn't hack it and found no support for my desire to learn more. I drooled over the pages of BYTE for a few years more, praying for a computer with a color display and something better than the crippled BASIC that came with the first TRS-80. But my family didn't have the money to spend on another computer, and I couldn't do enough on mine to keep me interested.

      As a result, computing has for me only ever been a hobby. I wonder if it would have been different if I had had a C64, for example.

      BCE
      --Your punctuation skills are insufficient!


        Reason: dvergin Author mis-posted and requests deletion. (Actual post is next in thread.)

        For more information on this node visit: this

        ...praying for a computer with a color display and something better than the crippled BASIC that came with the first TRS-80.

        I too started with a 16K TRS-80 (It had Level II Basic!). I got a job at a Tandy store during my school vacation in order to pay for it myself. I too very quickly became aware of it's limitations. Then I read about the Acorn Proton (which became the Acorn BBC) and I knew I had to have one. So I saved again, sold the TRS-80 and got one of the first Beebs to get to my hometown. That was cool - It had colour graphics, BBC Basic and 32K of RAM. I learned 6502 assembler on it. It still used cassette tape though, so then I had to save for a disk drive, and then... and then... and then... ...and here I am today learning Perl.

      Adjusting the volume control was very tricky. Often after nearly 5 minutes loading-time of a bigger programm the display signaled wrong parity. Then you could rewind the tape, adjust the volume-control a tiny step and retry the whole procedure, sometimes several times. :(

      Boy oh boy, those were the days. It was especially fun when the volume control wheel got dusty, and every minor movement added loud crackling noises to the process. So for myself that meant adjusting the volume, disconnecting the uplink, playing the tape (to see if it was crackling), then rewind/reconnect.

      The most entertaining thing my TRS-80 did was whenever it started to overheat (a couple hours after turning it on), it would randomly display dollar signs ($) along the right hand edge. I still wonder to this day if it was coincidence, or an ironic sense of humour on Radio Shack's part, reminding me of the quality of what I paid good money for..... 8)

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