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Topic # 183991 5-Nov-2015 16:44
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I moved into a new house recently, and for a number of reasons I didn't have time to cull lots of junk before the move, so am just sorting through a lot of boxes now. Last night I opened one that had some old business documents dating back nearly 15 years - I binned more than 90% of this but at the bottom of the box I found two pieces of "vintage technology" I had completely forgotten about.

One was a Sharp IQ-8400 Electronic Organizer that was the sole "computing power" for my consulting business in the early/mid 1990s - until I eventually bought a Windows PC. The other was an IBM WorkPad c3 (a re-badged Palm Vx) that was given to me by IBM after I had put some business their way, and I relied on this for a few years from 1999 onwards.

Looking at the IQ-8400 made me wonder (apart from how primitive my current smartphone might seem in 20+ years!) what other people's first piece of personal technology was - perhaps the thing that made you a "geek" - and whether you still have it. Anybody want to share?



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  Reply # 1421856 5-Nov-2015 17:51
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Well, my first computer was a ZX-81 (yes, I am that old), but I suspect my first piece of day to day tech was a Psion 3 which I later on changed for a 3MX. I suspect I still have it, and it probably still works (they made them to last back in those days).

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  Reply # 1421861 5-Nov-2015 18:05
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PC: Amstrad CPC6128
Handheld: Apple Newton

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  Reply # 1421870 5-Nov-2015 18:21
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whoa thats too far back to remember but was a Sanyo Portable with twin floppy drives, 8088 processor and 256k ram. No modem but was the best thing I had ever bought. That didn't last long though :)





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  Reply # 1421879 5-Nov-2015 18:26
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I had some sort of a Casio personal organiser in the 1990's; with a serial cable to connect to the desktop.  Actually pretty useful.

And a Motorola flip phone!!




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  Reply # 1421885 5-Nov-2015 18:41
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Mine was an Apple II with 64K of Ram and, a year or two later when I had saved the money, I added a then massive and fast 140K single-sided disk drive.

Interestingly, my shiny new i7 with 16GB of Ram emulates it pretty perfectly and runs all the old titles just fine embarassed

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  Reply # 1421887 5-Nov-2015 18:46
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My first computer was Atari 400 with massive 16k ram up from standard 4K and Microsoft Basic.  It was expensive around $2000 to $2500. Cant remember the exact cost




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  Reply # 1421889 5-Nov-2015 18:50
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A ZX-80 with 1k of ram laughing

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  Reply # 1421894 5-Nov-2015 19:01
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andrew027: I moved into a new house recently, and for a number of reasons I didn't have time to cull lots of junk before the move, so am just sorting through a lot of boxes now. Last night I opened one that had some old business documents dating back nearly 15 years - I binned more than 90% of this but at the bottom of the box I found two pieces of "vintage technology" I had completely forgotten about.

One was a Sharp IQ-8400 Electronic Organizer that was the sole "computing power" for my consulting business in the early/mid 1990s - until I eventually bought a Windows PC. The other was an IBM WorkPad c3 (a re-badged Palm Vx) that was given to me by IBM after I had put some business their way, and I relied on this for a few years from 1999 onwards.

Looking at the IQ-8400 made me wonder (apart from how primitive my current smartphone might seem in 20+ years!) what other people's first piece of personal technology was - perhaps the thing that made you a "geek" - and whether you still have it. Anybody want to share?




If you want, donate it to NZ technology museum.... Mark & Katie Barlow at https://www.techvana.org.nz
Good people there and they have some amazing stuff!




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  Reply # 1421895 5-Nov-2015 19:04
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I can't remember the model but it was a little Tandy box that plugged into the TV, had (I think) 2 kb of RAM, no permanent storage, and a primitive BASIC interpreter. I learned my first programming moves teaching it to play tic-tac-toe. Later I upgraded to my first real computer, a Kaypro running CP/M on a 8086 with two big floppy drives and 64KB of memory. That was my business machine for a time and I learned assembly on it from the most incomprehensible manual ever written. Later I added an incredibly expensive state of the art 1200/75 baud modem and joined the BBS world. It was a very long time ago.

Edit: On reflection, the Kaypro could not have had an 8086 CPU. I am an old person and I mix things up. 






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  Reply # 1421961 5-Nov-2015 20:00
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I still have a Palm Pilot III. What a PoS that thing was. It had volatile memory. If you didn't keep the two AAA batteries charged, goodbye all your data.

My experience with that might be why I've never got into smartphones and other such gadgets.

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  Reply # 1421981 5-Nov-2015 21:11
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My first computer was a Total Peripherals 386 with 120 Mb hard drive running windows 3.1

My first mobile was a Motorola flip phone. 

My first hand held device was Palm 515, followed by a T3 and finally a TX. I still use the TX from time to time as there is an app on there that I still use.  I reckon the Palm devices were awesome in their day. Their handwriting recognition was not too bad either.

I still think the Palm organiser/calendar was better implemented than many more recent devices.




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  Reply # 1422007 5-Nov-2015 22:26
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I had a Sharp digital diary in the mid 90s and it was very similar to that one, although it had a much smaller display. It was actually very useful, but I upgraded to a Palm m105 sometime around 2001 I think.

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  Reply # 1422044 5-Nov-2015 23:01
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C64. $995 on special. The tape drive was only $295 extra

Considered a Dick Smith, Wizard was it?

Typed in games from mags, great fun.

First real PC was an AMD DX2/80 only $2850. 4MB RAM, RAM was only $100 per MB then....

Upgraded to a Trio64 Videocard, only $900...

Edit: this is why the third million was so tough

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  Reply # 1422080 6-Nov-2015 01:00
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A Casio PB-100. It was a primitive programmable calculator, vintage sometime around 1984. It was purchased from "LV Martin and Sons". It had a one line alpha-numeric display and built in BASIC.

I then upgraded to the Sinclair ZX81. And a tape machine that only ever worked half the time. I modified the keyboard on it to a raised button thing, and also constructed a joystick that fitted to the keyboard for games when I was about 12 or 13. I remember hand typing 16KB of hexadecimal into it from a magazine for the game 'Red Ants'; all 16,384 entries had to be perfect.

Then it was an Atari 130xe, with tape drive then an expensive 5 1/4" disk drive. Printer. Oh, SpartaDOS.... lol.

An Atari 1040ST next, was a lot of fun but always felt a bit rushed to market. I remember trying to get Minix to run on it. I bought a super expensive removable hard drive it it too - a "megafile 44". 44 MEGA bytes. Not giga. It was magical. Atari decided to have some bastardized version of SCSI in it, which I later removed and just used as SCSI.

When I purchased an Amiga 2000. The megafile 44 was cannibalized, and being that it was an RLL drive I came up with the cunning plan to format it as two partitions; the outer one (on the longer disc tracks) having a higher sector density. I did not know at the time that SCSI logically re-assigns the sectors based on the disks hard wired ROM based geometry. Bastards. For a while it seemed to be working, but all I actually managed to do was confuse the computer's OS. Luckily I never put anything important on it. The Amiga was a great machine; I especially miss it's logical disk assignments that were used in place of the ridiculous hard-coded arm long pathnames windows/dos has. Bloody pathetic. I later purchased an Amiga 4000. 

But by that stage Commodore was determined to kill itself, and support was dropping off. The monitor alone was $2000 dollars (a fancy Sony multisync hi res; totally outclassed by any LCD today for 10% the price....).

First PC was a Pentium 150mhz based machine. I even managed to get it to play MP3 files at the same time I was playing LAN quake 1. lol.

On a later machine I built my own water cooling system, before everyone was doing it. I had to use parts out of cars and hand mill the cpu block with a file and a drill. Always overclocking the cpus. 


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  Reply # 1422123 6-Nov-2015 07:55
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Rikkitic: 
Edit: On reflection, the Kaypro could not have had an 8086 CPU. I am an old person and I mix things up. 




Not necessarily. There *was* a version of CP/M for 8086. And a Kaypro that ran CP/M. Although it might not have been an 8086 one.




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