Childhood computers

So! What did we all use for computing when growing up! Cast your votes and tell us your story…

  • Acorn
  • Sinclair
  • Commodore
  • Atari
  • Apple
  • DOS
  • Something else

0 voters

Texas Instruments TI-99/4A!!!

Cor. I didn’t even know about those at all…!

Northstar Advantage or Horizon. Don’t remember.

Of course, that assumes one has grown up! :smile:

As I was born in the late 1970’s and I’ve always lived in the UK one computer was pretty much a constant through primary and secondary school. THE BBC MICRO!!!
I remember there was a guy who maintained a few of them at the local youth club and being fascinated by a game called Chuckie Egg. It was a very basic 2D platform game but at the time I thought it was the most amazing thing ever.
We also had a Commodore Vic-20 at home. I’ve still got it in the loft. It must be 20 years since it was last powered up.
I remember having a big thick paperback book that was entirely BASIC code for games from cover to cover. I don’t think I typed out all of them but i did have a go at quite a few. I’d spend HOURS typing it out but they only ever worked half the time. Even when it did work the games were pretty much always shit but it didn’t matter.
I remember having a Toshiba MSX machine as well at one point. They never really caught on in the UK but you could get games for it on cassette tape in my local newsagents, which was all that mattered!
I missed out on the DOS era games as PCs were just too expensive and at that time I was more interested in drinking White Lightning (a truly horrendous, cheap, strong alcoholic beverage that claims to be cider) down the park or playing Sonic the Hedgehog or Micro Machines 96 on my beloved Megadrive (Genesis).


Commodore seems a bit of a broad category. I’ve never touched a Commodore 64 but spent many hours on an Amiga 600 in the early '90s.

I can’t exactly remember (I didn’t really care about computers at all until about 2006) but I’m pretty sure it was a pc jr because of the cool keyboard. It was my Mom’s computer and it was a “very important business machine!” she kept in her home office. My siblings and I were allowed to use it for school reports only. However, a) there was no lock on the office door and b) she got a subscription to compuserve…and I’m pretty sure that’s how I got insomnia

IMSAI 8080 … ZX81 … Apple II with a Z80 co-processor (used for a telescope tracking system).

Jeez, I loved that game!

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So, you’d say that “Commodore 64”, “Commodore Amiga”, and “Other Commodore machines” should be three separate categories? That’d change a few results already, maybe. So do explain your reasoning…

Nah, I’d say “Pre-Amiga” and Amiga would be the categories. The distinction being that the former are 8-bit micros and the latter are GUI-based machines more akin to modern computers. The reason I’d lump the 64 and the others together is that they used the same version of BASIC the whole time. Makes sense to me anyway!

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I was born in the very early 1980s, my family got a BBC Micro B, started gaming on it straight away and by age 7 I was learning BASIC on it. Over the years I accumulated more 8-bit machines (2 BBCs, a PET, a couple of C64s and an Atari) and then moved on to a 486 which I upgraded through Pentium. I won a minor programming award using a BBC when I was 11 and a career was born…

Being not all that old - my first computer was a IBM compatible running Windows 95. First experience of Linux was around 2000. Properly got into it in highschool with Fedora Core 1, installing Mandrake 8 at home because it came with TransGaming (and the Sims).

Did others had to build one? :nerd:

Not being that old my first experience with computers was probably the Commodore 64 and the Apple Macintosh. Then sometime around 1995 I remember we had an Amstrad PC. Then in 1997 I build a frankenmachine from scavaged parts… That’s also when I started mucking about with Linux, but it wasn’t until 2000 when I got my hands on Red Hat 7 that I completely removed Windows from a machine and ran Linux only (even had to get a winmodem to work which was a little beyond my abilities at the time!).

Since 97 I’ve built a3-4 desktops and had a few laptops.

I completely forgot about the TI-99/4A. I had one as well. Considering how much time I spent playing Munch Man, Car Wars, Alpiner, Parsec, BurgerTime, et al I’m not sure how this escaped me during recording.


Amstrad CPC464 and an Atari ST

I remember we went in to Dixons to buy a TRS-80 or Tatung Einstein, but fell for the sales pitch and came out with the Amstrad. Probably the only “good” advice I’ve ever had from Dixons’ sales staff :wink:

Being at school in the 80’s in the UK, naturally the school computers were RML Link 380z and Link 480z (think we did have a BBC Model B too).

Oh how the mighty have fallen!!!

@sil you can run RISC OS natively on a Raspberry Pi, which I find is quite fun, even though I only played with Arcs at school (like you, I had an Electron at home but moved onto Amiga rather than more Acorn)


you can indeed, and in fact I have! But what I really want is for the good ideas that RISC OS had to be part of my desktop experience today; going back to it as it was keeps those good ideas but also misses out on the last twenty years of evolution :slight_smile:

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