curlyheadboy
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The Vintage Computer Thread

Thu Sep 15, 2005 8:39 pm

So, how many of you guys were kids in the '80s and have good memories of the Commodores, Sinclair and similar stuff?

I owned a C= VIC 20 and later a C= 64, amazing what those machines could achieve with just as much as 64k RAM and 1Mhz CPU!

I remember that, when i first got my C= 64, i felt like i owned a NASA supercomputer!  cloudnine 



If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
 
TedTAce
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Thu Sep 15, 2005 8:54 pm

My Mom had two Kaypros, unfortunately she donated them to charity  Sad
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ClassicLover
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:01 pm

My first computer was a Tandy TRS-80. I used to have to type in the code for the games. It was just as much fun as the game  Smile

About 6 months later, my parents bought me the Commodore 64 Family Pack. Loading games from tape was sooo much fun - not. Eventually, a couple of years later, we got a disk drive.

I had that through to my first PC - an IBM 386dx-40mhz.  Smile

From there, 486dx4-100, then a Pentium 133, then a 233MMX, and now I don't have a computer, because I am living away from Australia.

Trent.
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FLYtoEGCC
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:29 pm

I started off all those years ago with a Commodore 16, then a couple of years ago moved to a C64. I didn't realise it until a couple of years ago when I was researching them on the internet, but the version I owned was a rarer Mk2 edition with a different style case than the Mk1/C16 style case. Might have been worth a few quid if my dad hadn't chucked it out...
Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away...
 
aireuropeuk733
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:33 pm

I started with a Vic 20 and the tape player to 'load' games.

I'll never forget the 'load error message' that I always used to get when loading a game called 'Cave Fighter'!

I also remember chaning the colours in the Vic 20 using 'Poke' commands.

And my first programme..?

10 Print "Hello"
20 Goto 10

CLASSIC!!

AE733
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TheRedBaron
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:38 pm

First one ...a Sinclair...yeah dont laugh!

now true history....

I tested my long in storage apple II+ like 7 months ago and to re record the floppys, so I turn it on and go to the bathroom, and my kid (13y old), says " Dad this computer has problems, the monitor only has the green color"

TRB
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wunala
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:42 pm

Quoting AirEuropeUK733 (Reply 4):
10 Print "Hello"
20 Goto 10

Yes, that was my introduction to computer programming too. Then you got flash by changing the background colour, or changing the text.

I had a Dragon 32, and yes had the flat tape player to load games. Sometimes they came on "hard disk" and you slotted them in the side. My favourite games were Lunar Patrol, and another one that you were a huge sperm looking thing that flew through a cave and you had to avoid the oncoming things, and the stalactites and stalagmites.
 
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mighluss
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Thu Sep 15, 2005 10:14 pm

Amstrad CPC 6128



My first computer already had a 3'' floppy, it costed the same, if not more than the actual cost of a PC, and I'm talking of some 18 years ago, when a beer (for example) costed 1/3 than it costs now.

BASIC. a true classic!!!! I learned programming with it. So far I "designed"  and typed an ASCII characters redesigner, a mini piano, and a car simulator (well just gauges gears, and sound)... hehehe!

We start of the PC era, was the end of my programming skills (I bought my first PC just 2 years ago)

Ops! Favorite games:

Ikari Warriors (poked version)
Chuck yeager's (like a crappy FS)
Out Run
Renegade (also poked)

[Edited 2005-09-15 15:17:23]
Miquel.
 
ltbewr
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:33 pm

My first experience with PC's was about 19 years ago, in about 1986. We got at work then an IBM PC with a 286 chip, 4 mhz RAM, 10 MB HD, 2 5 1/2" floppy drives, a 12" monochrome (green) monitor and using DOS. I remember it cost about $5000 (~$12,000 in today's money). In about 1987-88, I recall using a NEC laptop computer, with a maybe 9" LCD screen and costing then maybe $8000. It was amazing then to me then and quickly learned to do word processing and small databases of document information. I recall a modest database then (about = to 40 pages of data today) took over an hour to process before it would be able to print out, and print out was on a dot matrix printer.  old 
 
alphafloor
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:43 pm

My first computer was a Commodore 64 received for 1985 christmas. What a revolution in comparison to other machines ! 16 colours ! 8 sprites moving separately ! 64K ram ! I have to say that I was lucky enough to have the floppy and not the tape ! And indeed, it was amazing to see what the programmers could achieve with it. My first game was a simulator called "Space shuttle" and "Pitfall II"... so amazing.  smile  Soon I swapped games with friends from school and we rapidly built an network of C64 friends. We read all the scrollings of crackers presentations until the end and found some adresses, we connected to guys from around europe and I was trying to swap some hot "news" with them. A good friend of mine was good at cracking and we started to do some illegal stuff, that was really exiting ! I even remember when I used for the first time a modem that a friend lent me and I connected my C64 to some strange servers and didn't understand anything about it !

It was during these days that I discovered Flight Simulator II. Very basic at that time but so interesting. Finally I bought the game because I wanted to learn how to use it properly... the guide was in english and I read it maybe 50 times before understanding all the details of this simulator. The C64 was a very positive experience for me.

Years after I left my parents house my father thrown away my old C64 to my great disappointment !  ashamed  During a night in late '90 I went with a good friend from that era in an alternative bar in GVA and surprisingly there was a section of vintage computers. Among other machine like VIC20, ZX Spectrum, Atari there was a C64 with a floppy disk driver and plenty of disks  dopey  ! We spent the whole night drinking beers and having a good time with this slow, very slow machine... and then we realised how patient we were !!

From time to time I look to these old games with an emulator I've downloaded.

My favorite games on C64 were : Flight Simulator II, Commando, Ghost'n'goblins, Cauldron I+II, Summer Games II, Winter Games, Boulder Dash, Ace of aces, Fighter Pilot, Load Runner, Masquerade, Archon... a so many others I can't recall.

Alphafloor
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mighluss
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:58 pm

Quoting Alphafloor (Reply 9):
Boulder Dash

 Big grin Big grin Big grin How could I forget!!!!!!
Miquel.
 
SlamClick
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:53 am

Atari 800 here.

Still have it boxed up, complete, out in the garage, along with all the documentation, floppys with the programs I wrote in BASIC etc. I've been planning on keeping it until all the world's remaining Atari 800s go to that great landfill, then selling it and retiring.

Unfortunately they are still only worth about $40 and only to someone who:
1. Actually wants one and
2. Doesn't have a barn full of them already.

DOS 1.2 anyone?
CLOAD? What's a cload?
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ManuCH
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:06 am

My first one was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum.

After that came a Mac - at that time just called "the Macintosh" (with 512KB RAM and 2 DD floppy drives). It was "homebuilt": my dad was upgrading the Macs in his office, so I got an old motherboard and put it in a homebuilt case. The entire system was connected to an Atari B/W monitor.

When this one was old enough, I received my first PC - actually, a clone, with a NEC V20 processor (instead of the more expensive Intel 8088). 8 MHz - WOW! And there was a 5 MB harddisk in it. 5.25", obviously Big grin and running DOS 3.2. That's when I learned programming in Borland Turbo Pascal... when I was 8.

Ahh, good old times...

-Manuel
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concord977
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:11 am

Ah, the memories. My first computer was an Osborne "portable".

The operating system was something called CPM. You had to put the operating system in one floppy drive, and your program software on the other side. There was no place for data!

When the case was closed, it looked just like a sewing machine.

http://koti.mbnet.fi/~oju/retro/Osborne.jpg

http://koti.mbnet.fi/~oju/retro/OsborneSide.jpg
No info
 
curlyheadboy
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:35 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 11):
CLOAD? What's a cload?

I've found this:

Early home and hobby users of personal computers in the late 1970s and early 1980s sometimes typed in programs, usually in the BASIC language, which were published in the computer magazines of the time. This was a lot of work, and prone to error, so the idea of publishing a magazine directly on a computer-readable medium so that the programs could be run directly without typing came independently to several people.

Some ideas of putting bar codes into paper magazines, which could be read into a computer with the appropriate peripheral, were floated at the time, but never caught on. Since the common data storage medium of the earliest home computers was the audio cassette, the first magazine published on a physical computer medium was actually a cassette magazine rather than a disk magazine; CLOAD magazine, for the Radio Shack TRS-80 computer, began publication in 1978, named after the command to load a program from cassette on that computer system.

CLOAD was not the first electronic periodical, however, because various ARPANET digests had been published as text files sent around the network since the early 1970s. These, however, were pure ASCII text and hence were not diskmags by the current definition. Also, at the time, few people outside of academic institutions had access to this forerunner of the Internet
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
 
SlamClick
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:25 am

Quoting CURLYHEADBOY (Reply 14):
CLOAD magazine,

Never saw that magazine, but the TRS-80 must have used similar commands to my Atari. "CLOAD" meant load from C: as is, load the program on the floppy disk.

I once wrote a very lengthy program in BASIC, a geometry tutorial. It took me a month of evenings to complete. I took it over to a friend and fellow 800 user's house to show him and "saved" instead of loading. In other words, I saved "nothing" to the file name - overwrote the whole thing. No backup copy of course.
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QuestAir
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:35 am

My first computer that I personally owned was a Macintosh SE-30. Thing is, the computer's older than I am! Fortunately, I've upgraded since then.

'Do we carry rich people on our flights? Yes, I flew on one this morning and I�m very rich.' - Michael O'Leary
 
curlyheadboy
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:00 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 15):
I once wrote a very lengthy program in BASIC, a geometry tutorial. It took me a month of evenings to complete. I took it over to a friend and fellow 800 user's house to show him and "saved" instead of loading. In other words, I saved "nothing" to the file name - overwrote the whole thing. No backup copy of course.

Oooh Sh*t!!   

You made me remember this: Once i wrote down a program in basic on the Commodore 64, it was a sort of very simple video game. It took me a whole afternoon to finish, and then i realized i didn't plug the tape recorder (no floppy thisk at the time). I knew i shouldn't plug it while the computer was on, but if i turned it off i would have lost all data. So i took my chance and inserted the plug. Needless to say the computer blew dead. Fortunately in the '80s they still repaired hardware, it was quite expensive but my Commodore was brought back to life in around 15 days.  

[Edited 2005-09-15 22:04:29]
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
 
redngold
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:01 am

Get this -- I don't have an internet connection at home (all of my posts are made from computers at work or at a public library) and my home computer (which I just got last November, almost a year ago) is a Gateway Astra.

 old  redngold
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mighluss
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:21 am

Quoting Redngold (Reply 18):
all of my posts are made from computers at work

like me until 2 years ago.

When I bought my Amstrad (without any game) I discovered that the last pages of the manual, came with 2 or 3 games (WRITTEN!) for free (200-300 lines, plus subrutines)... needless to say that I typed them, and in fact later discovered that was a good way to learn BASIC.
Miquel.
 
j_hallgren
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:33 am

First one I had was TRS-80 Model 1...came with 16KB, tape cassette and modified B/W TV as monitor...all for $800! This was 1980, I think...Bought the Expansion interface $300 (another 16KB plus space for 32KB more, as I recall) which allowed me to use TRS-DOS on my $500 floppy 5 1/4 single density drive. Became quite an expert on it...decoded, figured out and commented the ENTIRE TRS-DOS O/S for my own use...I should have made a book of it but others beat me to it..
COBOL - Not a dead language yet!
 
AirScoot
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:46 am

I started with the VIC20, went on to the C=64, followed by the C=128 (at that time I also managed to take over my brother's Apple //e. When I moved out, I ended up getting a Commodore Amiga (I'm starting to notice a pattern here). Didn't go PC until probably 12 years ago.

I went down to my parent's about a year ago and on a lark fired up the //e.. they still have it set up in my old bedroom. Little did I know, my favorite game (SunDogs) was still in the drive. I ended up playing for a couple of hours before I knew what was happening.

On that note, a lot of the games that were available for those platforms are now out of copyright and there's a website out there that has a good number of them available as Abandonware. Anyone interested, let me know and I'll forward the link. I recently downloaded Neuromancer for the PC running under Dosbox and it was just like I remembered.
 
SATL382G
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:45 am

I was a kid in the 70s and I did my first computing on one of these:



It wasn't strictly a computer rather it was a dialup (110 baud, woo hoo!) terminal for a timesharing mainframe. No capability to save to disk, everything was saved to paper tape. The tape machine punched 7-bit ascii words in the paper. I used to have a shoe box full of these paper tapes...... Oh and the punches were good for party confetti....

First PC I owned was one of these:



It wasn't as well supported as the CommodeDoor 64 but it had much better graphics. Was quite the deal when I got it upgraded from 4K ram to 32K ram... Still have it, it still works....
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
jafa39
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:47 am

I go back to the very first Sinclair, can't remember what it was called ZX1 or something?

I recently (last month) donated a 533MHZ Compaq to an old couple who have volunteered for us for over 40 years, they were still using an AMIGA 3000 with a 33.6 Modem!!!! I did wonder why they asked me not to send them attachments.

Even further back in the past, I was momentarily a cool kid at school because i was one of the first to actually own a calculator!!!!! That was a Sinclair too(scientific no less) , came in a cool black case and had blue buttons!!!! Man, those 70's girls couldn't resist blue buttons on a calculator!!!  Wink
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ScarletHarlot
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:04 am

Me too, Sinclair ZX81 as my first computer! I would have been around 10. 1k of RAM - membrane keyboard - it was smokin'!  Smile

Then we got a VIC-20.

Then a Commodore 64. My dad had some guy bring it up from Duluth, MN and it cost like $750 US. My dad couldn't wait for it to be sold on the Canadian market.

Then we got another C-64. There was some upgrade on the hardware so we got another one.

Then a C-128.

Any of you Commodore geeks remember what JSR FFD2 does?
But that was when I ruled the world
 
Ozair
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:20 am

Quoting Alphafloor (Reply 9):
Summer Games II, Winter Games,

I think I went through three joysticks with those games on our family C-64. Eventually we would play ACE2 with two joysticks but because I was better than my younger brother I had to use the joystick that could only turn left!

My first computer was the Dick Smith Wizard back in 1983. My dad bought my three brothers and I this instead of a peewee 50 motorbike as they cost the same but he thought the computer would be better! It is still downstairs in my parents house and still works although it hasn't left the box in a few years.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:50 pm

My first PC was a Commodore Colt, Commodore's foray into the MS-DOS world



Following the Colt, we bought an Amiga 500, which had better graphics and sound than contemporary PCs!



After that we then went on to an IBM Aptiva which had a 486 DX2 66Mhz chip, 2800 BPS modem, and 4MB of RAM. Talk about styling! Even a CD-ROM drive!



Then after the IBM started getting old, it was onto a Gateway with a PIII...however the Gateway became the first computer to die on me. Sick of computers which didn't have everything I wanted to have, I took the assorted usable pieces and parts of ole' Bessie and created...Frank. Or Frank N. Stein for short. He's got the floppy drive, modem, sound card, and one of the hard drives of Bessie, but that's about it. He's an AMD Athlon XP 1800+, but I'm squirreling away money to buy him a new motherboard and processor to stay ahead of the curve once again  Smile
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
j_hallgren
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:32 pm

SATL382G: That pix of a teletype brought back memories! It was also my first dealings with "computers"...same situation...remote mainframe...I stumbled onto this while in junior college...became so good at BASIC within a week, I knew I was hooked...turned into a career as a COBOL pgmr for 25+ yrs!
COBOL - Not a dead language yet!
 
alphafloor
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:51 pm

Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 24):
JSR FFD2 does?

Jump to SubRoutine FFD2 (memory adress in hexadecimal)
Not sure though... can't remember what was on FFD2.

Alphafloor
Whatever
 
gkirk
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:54 pm

Commodore 64s ruled  bigthumbsup 
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Toulouse
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:04 pm

Mine was an Amstrad CPC 464... wow what memories. 15 minutes to load up a game on tape, which frequently gave an error message after about 10 minutes of loading, rewind, and try again. I remember I loved a game called sorcerers (I think) and Winter Games. Did a fair bit of basic programming on that thing too. Unfortunately it was thrown out a few years back when my parents moved house.
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curlyheadboy
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:04 pm

In the second half of the '80s the C=64 became very popular in Italy, almost every kid/teenage had one. The Commodore-mania was so widespread that there were radios that aired software! I'm serious, have you ever tried to play a software tape on your stereo? I'm sure you did... Well, that annoying squeaking, groaning and rattling sounds were broadcast by those radios. All you had to do was to tune on such radio station, put a tape into your stereo and play REC. It worked! Well, not all the times but... LOL!  rotfl 
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
 
smitten
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:06 pm

My first was the Apple IIGS
 
SATL382G
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:19 am

Quoting J_Hallgren (Reply 27):
SATL382G: That pix of a teletype brought back memories! It was also my first dealings with "computers"...same situation...remote mainframe...I stumbled onto this while in junior college...became so good at BASIC within a week, I knew I was hooked...turned into a career as a COBOL pgmr for 25+ yrs!

My Jr High had a couple of these ASRs in the "computer lab", this was in '75 mind you. Looking back on it the school was pretty progressive. Most U.S. public schools didn't get their first computers until 15 years later.

The mainframe we used belong to the Minesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC) which was less than a year old at the time. Really gave me a leg up in the computer biz..
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
ScarletHarlot
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:38 am

Quoting Alphafloor (Reply 28):
can't remember what was on FFD2.

That's the point...what exactly did FFD2 do?  Smile

OMG...Winter Games on the C64! One time my dad hooked up our Betamax to the monitor and a microphone to the Betamax. I played the Winter Games and my mom was the Olympic commentator! Somewhere I am sure that tape still exists.  Smile
But that was when I ruled the world
 
LHMark
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RE: The Vintage Computer Thread

Sat Sep 17, 2005 11:07 am

The first computer in my house was an amber-screened Compaq "Portable" my dad was repping. First computer game: Zork II. I still love those old Infocom text adventures.

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