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QOTW: What was your first computing memory?

This week, the team have been discussing their very first computing memory. This will probably reveal a lot about the age of some of our team. We recently worked out that when Matt and Charles first met and started producing community software, some of the younger members of our team were still in primary school.

What is your first computing memory?
An easy question for tech-heads as we've all been toying with computers since our earliest days.

Brandon (Senior tech support and development)

971279_10151817351521153_847189448_n.jpg.99662d58ecf871558ef2dbe2a3ec042e.thumb.jpg.c9ede76cbb478d53dd0f405bfaef8ef3.jpgWe had a VIC20 and a Commodore128 growing up. In 6th grade I got into BASIC a little bit and wrote my own home-grown computer program for my school's science fair on the Commodore. It had a 'moon' and a rocket ship sprite, and the sprite flew around the screen and landed into the moon, ending with a quit or play again option. I won the science fair that year.


Mark H (Tech support)

MarkH.jpg.e74da5597645820c0705fb4982ed2ecb.jpgMy first "Computing Memory"...... that would be the mainframe I got to play with in 10th grade, one which some wealthy benefactor donated to my Junior High School, 1970. Magnetic core memory and drum memory, and not a transistor to be found within it..



Marc S (Tech Support)

marcs.jpg.56952e4c8cb28fc62ec5d6892a03b9f6.jpgFirst memory of an actual computer, rather than just a games console, would be the Atari 65XE. My parents got me one for Christmas, along with a few different books and games. My parents were expecting me to hit the games the second I got it, and instead I was copying out the code for making the computer 'Do things'. I guess that was my introduction to programming at the time. 


Rhett (Cloud Support)

rhett.png.14d063e80c4e4c4196e4a23f39bb6422.thumb.png.c469a119118a1da39d17782747aff4f3.png.31c1518e3f224f8a3811df9f91d2d533.thumb.png.381d399097ee1c58437db9475c05ab36.png"Learning "Basic" on an Apple II in College with 5 1/4 floppies! followed by building my first PC, a 386DX 40, then doing home banking via dial up and dos prompts"



Matt (Senior Developer)

13775584_10154032958017798_6235039191375454111_n.jpg.63ac0b5a363205c71126a98aa98c0d12.jpgThe BBC Micro. It was a computer developed for the classroom to encourage a nation of coders. My dad brought one home along with a magazine and we spent all night typing in a Star Trek game from the magazine and debugged it together. I still have nightmares over my brother reading it out and calling a full colon "a double dot". I loved that machine and often tinkered with it between playing games and using it for homework. I remember writing a Naughts and Crosses (tic-tac-toe) game in school that my teacher did not understand and assumed I had cheated. Special shout out to "Elite" the space trading game that stole most of my youth.


Ryan (Senior Developer)

ryan.png.57d04e6e0f74959b46991dd48f0198f8.thumb.png.136bc194882afa8a796b947d8621abb1.png.003d7129e5fce83a1014f17c9c0d043f.pngMy first real computing memory was on a Packard Bell running Windows 3.11. I performed my first "echo" at the MS-DOS Command Line, and it was all downhill from there. 



Andy (Senior tech support and development)

10494810_10154404752720319_3498719764777772876_n.jpg.47f14e7bbe6878502562a622cee393a0.jpg.2f67ebea1624e22601594dbc81611661.jpgMy first computing memory is probably playing Sim City on the BBC micro at school aged 6 or 7 but computers were a part of family life from before I was born so I must have had some interactions before this I can’t remember. My first Internet memories were getting home from school aged 10 helping dad build PC motherboards he designed from scratch. I would help place the components before they were soldered and then I would get to use the single machine set up in the corner which had the Mosaic browser and then later the first version of Netscape Navigator installed. I still have an original Internet Movie Database account from 1993. This was probably also my first “Job”. I’m still waiting for my first pay packet!


Jennifer (Designer)

ipspink.thumb.png.60c9f617f7fb273a7fbf13374171e833.png.961a3172effa9cd8ea83cead9c41d7ca.pngMy first really strong memory of computers in general was a Mac. It was Oregon Trails at school with those huge 5 1/2 floppy disks. I always remember how excited I would be to see that black and green screen with that 8 bit old west adventure. True facts. If there was a modern like Conan Exiles survival game that was Oregon Trail based I would most probably get it. If it exists don't tell me about it!


Daniel (Senior tech support and development)

daniel.png.90faabfcc41fb099187a38120cc8fcef.png.552338efcb44d455c8795c134a63addb.thumb.png.1f502a5214e3cbc97adf3bd5795febb8.png.9a5c5608359a79f669856ff92b191b27.pngMy first coding experience was in the school with really, really old DOS computers.. No Basic, No Pascal ... it was the famous TURTLE aka LOGO!


Stuart (Senior tech support and development)

ips-logo.png.0c9ee7c1c50d673105092adb07b097c9.thumb.png.78ac935d0ec7cd807639c71a63be0436.png.88bd532bf8fe0c2d936096f1c954aabd.pngMy first real computer related memory was having a Commodore 64 and an early Amiga with Theme Park. For some reason we also had an external drive for the Amiga that meant we could copy games. After that it was a steady progression of Windows based PCs and now I've got a "large" Laptop that everyone at IPS loves to joke about.


Edited by Matt



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Playing Commander Keen, but not knowing how the controls worked. Suddenly he made a jump. It took months before we figured out how to shoot his lazer blaster. And then there was the pogo stick!

Edited by Orioni
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Mid 1980s when I was in first or second grade, we would have computer class. Go down to the classroom with 10-15 computers, they had blue screens with IBM spelled out in ASCII art? Grab a floppy disk with Oregon Trail or Number Munchers and pop it in to play.


EDIT - This looks about right...





Edited by Phillyman
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ZX Spectrum** in 1984, see I'm showing my age now *sigh* :D

**This was sold as a  'Timex' for those 'across the pond', well it was almost the same machine anyway.

Later on, a BBC Micro. I still code a little bit to this day for the Spectrum too, being involved in the 'retro' scene as such, and we have released a few new games over the past couple of years although they are based on a core engine of an existing game, extensively modified however in nearly every way.

I do not have much of a 'collection' these days although I have somehow managed to hang on to about 60% of the tape based software I purchased 'back then' although I do own a couple of Spectrums and a few BBC Micro's  as well as an Amstrad 464 and an Oric Atmos, all were very good machines in their day in their own ways.

I did have a slightly similar thing happen to me as happened to Matt regarding 'teacher incorrectly assuming' things, most annoying at the time. :) this too on the BBC Micro as that was used in about 95% of schools "back then" given its general ruggedness and ease of expansion.



3 hours ago, The Heff said:

What, nobody first used the Acorn Electron?

So many memories. :aww:

A school friend had one , complete with the plus3 and plus 1 'expansions' IIRC. They had the ADFS "L shaped" addon drive for sure. It was a decent machine, my only real caveat about it was the lack of Mode7 really as the other modes ate a bit too much precious ram...

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Mine was a commodore 64 that i got in '86 for my bday (i'm still angry DAD, i had asked for a NES! got that for xmas tho lol) but i'm glad he did, i learned a lot about computers from it (oddly enough not a whole lot about programming lol). I had scratched my initials into the back of it, with an infinity symbol (cause i was obsessed with the concept of infinity when i was a kid). sold it at a garage sale in 92 when my dad had gotten me a second hand macintosh. then years later, around 2012 i was at a salvation army thrift store with my sister, looking around. saw a shelf filled with old computer parts, and found a few commodore 64's and when i flipped the one over i found my initials and the infinity symbol. it made me smile that it was still out there. I didn't buy it, it needed another master :).

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As I am 16 years old, I cannot bring up some interesting old stories as you do, but maybe you like mine, too. 

I started in 2011 with my first own computer, some 300€ faeces from Acer I got from MediaMarkt. The first programming skills I got were VisualBasic (things like a program that asks you things like What's your favourite colour, how old are you, etc.), a little bit later I started with HTML & CSS to build my first website for a Minecraft server I built up with friends.

I kept that computer for a long time, its still here in the mouse, but 2014 I got a MacBook from a friend and started to dive in into mobile app development. 2014 was the year apple pushed iOS 8, the iPhone 6 / 6 Plus and of course Swift, which was the first serious programming language I've learned and experienced.

After 1,5 years of learning, I've worked on my first serious app which was FrostyFashion, a thing I built up with two friends - a graphics design guy and another cool guy who has great experience with server-side programming and built up a great beackend for the app. It gathered your location and told you what to wear based on public weather data. You could also save in what you were the last days (including photos that were synced to all your iCloud-enabled devices) and based on that it made a 50 / 50 recommendation on the weather data and what you've worn before.

This app got around 300 users - only 20 of them from Germany - but many from New Zealand (don't ask me why, I don't know). Later on, we pushed a v2 of this with groups and a party option to discuss what to wear on parties and festivals and so on based on polls and opinions - and of course: the weather and what you've worn the days before. 

In 2016, I've applied for a WWDC scholarship with that app and got accepted, made my first trip to America and got to know many cool people, learned very much about the Apple ecosystem, platform and how the people work there. That year I purchased a MacBook Pro which I financed with my first job offering by a small startup here in Stuttgart, I built an app for their shop based on Ionic.

This is how I started. When finishing school next year in July, I want to do something with programming or at least computers, but I am not sure which specific thing interests me the most.

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Wow, that brings back good memories.

Mine was a ZX81 (1K RAM) ... can you imagine that 1K, yet it worked fine, was a friends that he showed me when I visited him.

I was so impressed that I ordered a ZX Spectrum 48 (this was 48K memory) a few weeks later then had to purchase a cassette recorder to connect to it to load the games, I remember getting that on credit and was so pleased when I got it, eventually started to try and write my own games (in Basic as it was called then)

I used to play games on that but got fed up losing all my lives (usually 3 or 5) and having to start game again so started to learn to 'hack' into the game and changing the code to get endless lives.

Then progressed to Spectrum 128+ (128K ... ok you already guessed that I suppose) with disc drive and managed to convert all my games (which were on cassette tape) to the discs and carried playing games and still practise Basic code and then the Z80 code which was fairly simple at the time for me. Bought books and magazines to help me. I still have some of the old discs lying around (some still with the games on and some unused as well) but sadly no Spectrum

Had that one for years and still had it when got married and got the wife playing some games as well, some nights up until 4am (no idea where the time went as ... 'just one more game then go to bed' and before we knew it we found it was 4am)

Good times had with those, but ask me about the code of nowadays ... forget it .... wouldn't even know where to even start.


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My first personal computing experiences (as opposed to coding) were playing the Zork text adventures on my brother's old Commodore 64 (one of the first thousand made apparently) and listening to Queen's Greatest Hits and Rush's 2112 over and over again.

My first coding experience was writing a multiple-choice quiz program in BASIC on my IBM PCjr.

Yes, you heard right - IBM PCjr.  Yes, I did buy one of those....:rofl:


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Mine was also a ZX81 at home and some weekly lessons at school which involved punching cards and reading paper-tape but for the life of me I can’t remember what we were trying to make the thing do!

After that I have recollections of an RML380Z at secondary school: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_Machines_380Z

Edited by Edward Shephard
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17 hours ago, Hatsu said:



Ah BlueMax, I remember it reasonably well although I played the Sinclair/Timex version. :)

Left (loading screen) , Right (in-game screen) from said version:


I have to be honest I was with some games more interested in the loading schemes and their associated code rather than the game itself. Not for this title though this was quite reasonable all in all.

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