Friday, November 14, 2014

My first computer

This was my first ever computer as well. Loved it at the time. I have the best memories of the computer games, which were loaded by cassette, and used a 128x72 pixel display (an 64x24 character space, and each character could be replaced by a 2x3 pixel grid)!
I had mine extensively modified with sound, custom character ROM, and cursor keys. I also had SEA DRAGON, ALIEN TAXI and SCRAMBLE - cool games. Later I got the expansion unit and a full set of disk drives. I can remember using LAZY WRITER to write my fanzines (printed on an Epson dot matrix printer and then photocopied).

Those were the days

Loved that device!
My second home computer was one of these. It had a "Dual boot" in that it came with a couple of disk drives, and if you didn't insert the CP/M boot disk, it'd boot to MSX. There was also a cartridge slot in the top for games! It was OK but a bit under powered. CP/M was best for word processing with WORDSTAR. I even wrote a technical manual for it!

My third home computer was an ATARI PC2 XT. It was an IBM Clone (we call those simply "PCs" nowadays) and had built-in vEGA graphics. I had a "massive" 20mb hard drive on mine, and spent many a weekend riding my pushbike to the Western Australian Institute of Technology (W.A.I.T., now Curtin University) to copy free and shareware software from the CD-Rom archive distributed from a repository at (if I remember correctly) Oakridge in the USA??? The Internet was in its infancy at that point, and services like ARCHIE were still being used.

I would have a certain amount loaded on the hard drive, and the rest archived to floppy. There were useful programs back then like Telnet, YARN (a newsgroup reader) and LYNX (a text web browser), games like Captain Cola and Helicopter Rescue (where I killed more hostages than saved on average).

Thereafter all my home computers (except one) were PCs of various sorts. But this was the last pre-mouse computer I owned.


The one PC exception was a classic Mac that a boarder gave me In lieu of
rent. For several years I used it to play CDs in the bathroom while I had a bath. Fell apart eventually.