This News.com.com story takes some famous names in the IT biz and asks them each what their first computer was. Then the story invites readers to share their own “first computer” info.
But… you have to subscribe to their website to do so. Wow, no, thanks, I’ll just… hey! I have my own site!
Anyway. I must have been about twelve years old, as I’m pretty sure this was during the later stretch of Mom’s marriage to Mike Schomler, and we were living in the (rather nice) double-wide on the hillside above the Westerdahl property. (My stepdad worked for them at the time. I’ll have to tell some more stories about those years, later, won’t I?) I don’t remember how I came into possession of such a thing, but my first computer was a quirky self-contained lump of metal and plastic dubbed the Commodore PET 2001. It sported a built-in (cassette) tape drive and a quaint chiclet-style keyboard. Yes, it was many years later that I learned to touch-type, as it’s nigh-impossible to do so on a purely rectangular layout. Almost all of the actual programming (from scratch) that I’ve ever done in my life was on that machine, though. Hell, I even still have some of the tapes… though I’m pretty sure they’re degraded beyond all use, now, if not entirely copied over with music I recorded from the radio. (My other favorite toy during those years was my portable cassette/radio deck, after all.)
While I made use of a variety of other machines (those of friends and classrooms) in the years since I gave up on the PET, it wasn’t until the mid-’90s that I owned a computer of my own again. Ah, back when a 486 was a wonder to behold…