Blast from the Past: What Was Your First Computer?

Blast from the Past: What Was Your First Computer?

Sonia Zjawinski
Mar 26, 2009

I didn't get a computer until I was midway through high school – that was 1994. It was a hand me down from a family friend, a Macintosh SE/30. While I don't remember the specs, I do remember its squat and compact design and its black and white screen. All I ever did on it was write papers, which were printed on a dot-matrix printer mind you. It wasn't until my parents got me a proper computer when I started college in '96 that I realized just how cool computers were.

That was the Toshiba Infinia 7200. I picked it because of its rad monitor design, which featured built-in speakers, a stereo-style volume knob, and even telephone perks. Yup! It wasn't quite VoIP, but since we were all using dial-up at the time, when the phone line was connected to the Toshiba desktop and you got a call, you could answer it via the computer and talk over speakerphone. Pretty innovative at the time.

I used that computer until 2001 or 2002, when I bought myself an iBook with my own money. I was so damn proud of that purchase. I'm on my third Apple laptop and can't imagine going back to a PC. What was your first computer?

After the jump the story behind the computer pictured above...

That's Joey Harrison's first computer. He writes, "It was 1983 and computers were the latest, hottest thing. I was terribly excited about getting one. I paid $1800 for my Apple IIe. It had 64 kb of ram. Was there software available? I don't remember any. The Web was still a decade away. I took a class in Basic programming. With a great deal of effort, I could add sums. After about six months, I sold it and returned to my typewriter. Three years later I bought a Commodore 128. By that time, there were rudimentary word processors available. I dabbled on the Internet (the Web was still a few years off) and found little more than brief text conversations that reminded me of CB chatter. My how things have changed."

photo: Joey Harrison

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