Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My First Computer

My first computer was a Commodore 64. It was originally sold from 1982-1984 and still holds the record for the most units sold of any computer system ever, about 17 million. 

It had 64K RAM, a bunch of games, a full color display, and a sound card and interface that let you program your own sounds and music. It came with a really slow, loud floppy disk drive that was supposed to be an improvement over the original cassette-based drive and an old-school dot matrix printer.

Instead of a GUI, you had to enter all the commands in BASIC, but it seemed pretty easy at the time and I thought it was really cool to be able to type in code and create pictures, sounds, and short/simple programs. It was definitely enough to start a girl on the road to geekdom.

We only had it for a year or two, because my parents bought in in 1994, when I was a freshman in high school, and it quickly became clear that it wouldn't work well for word processing or this new thing called the internet that teachers were encouraging us to use for research. We got a Gateway PC with Microsoft Office, a "real" inkjet printer, and a dial-up connection the next year and were up to date as far as mid-90s computing went, but I still have a soft spot for the old Commodore for showing me that programming was fun and not too hard.

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