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What was the first system you programmed?


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I learnt some FORTRAN while I was still at school. We wrote the program on coding forms which were sent off to Bristol University where someone punched cards, the program was run, and if it didn't exceed our allocated processing time etc, we got a print-out back in a week or so time ;-)

I also vaguely remember us having some sort of weird programmable calculator that involved a paper tape punch.


Things weren't much better a few years later after I graduated and got a job at TI(UK) programming ATE for memory chips. More punched cards and reams of paper! Eventually allowed time on a TI990 for writing programs, then had to lug reels of tape around, which were just as heavy as the cards.

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Commodore Vic 20's. My father got us one fairly early on. Actually, I attended a small red-neck school near where we lived and I was the only student with a computer at the time. For a while, I would bring the Vic-20 to school each day and let the principle play with and taught him some programming in BASIC for a few minutes after school each day. He got his own by the next year as I remember.

Shortly after that, I got a Vic-Modem (300!) and got on Compuserve I think it was at the time... so I have been BlackCat or MrBlackCat since 1984.

Second was a Commondore 64 (SX Actually) I got at a pawn shop very reasonably. With its awesome Floppy Disk drive I could save stuff crazy fast, and fairly reliably. :)



Edited by MrBlackCat
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When I was 10 years old my older brother taught me a few BASIC commands. One day for some reason I had to go to work with my mother, who taught at a community college. I got to use the computers there while she worked, and I wrote a bunch of simple BASIC programs on the Apple ][+ they had in the lab. That was it for me, hooked forever. I made a career out of it, too, although I moved into management about 5 years ago and haven't done much programming since. Last week I started some 7800 basic stuff for fun, though. This is the first code I've written in a long while.

Edited by BydoEmpire
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I just saw this thread...


I had a STAR BIRD,...My friend had the BIG TRAK (But I'm still counting it)...Also Space War cabs!! (Genius CRTGamer!)


Our school had Apple II something or others so that would be where I did BASIC (and later FORTRAN, PASCAL, etc, Then KOBOL in college, I don't remember what machines though)...Shame I really don't remember any of it...And I had BASIC at home on my Coleco ADAM...


Still have the ADAM!

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  • 9 months later...

I'm an old guy, started programming in high school back in 1967 on a monrobot, which had a typewriter console, paper tape reader and punch and used a drum memory.




The next year we got an IBM 1130 with a line printer, and on Saturdays, the school had a class at an IBM data center, on an IBM 360 model 25 or 30, whatever was available that day.




In the 12th grade, I also went to a Control Data data center to program a CDC 3150. They also had a CDC 6600 there, but I rarely programmed on it, due to the demand and cost of it.






My first job was in 1973, a multi-computer, multi-threaded, database application using multiple HP 2100 mini-computers. There were 10 CDC 9760 hard drives, each one bigger than the mini-computers.





Edited by rcgldr
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Atari 800 at PCS one of the programs in lodi, without the tape drive or controllers. just simple 8k basic. i lamented the lack of a disk drive or BASIC manual but made do anyway, teaching one of the kids and managing some paltry graphics through the XIO command.


i think the code was XIO # 3,4,5 or something. really wanted a spectrum but we couldn't secure one. would've loved to teach Sinclair Basic through a zx81 or TS1000

Edited by Ranger03
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I bought a Coco in early-1983, and that was the system on which I learned BASIC (and later Logo). I badly wanted to try Pascal, but the compiler package required a disk drive, and I only had a cassette system. I wrote a handful of original games, all now sadly lost to history. My


My Elementary/Junior High had a TRS-80 Model III (just one), and I was able to occasionally play a few games on it -- mainly written by a brilliant older classmate. I signed-up for the programming class in about Grade 7, but I was told that typing class (using a manual typewriter!) was a co-requisite, so I was forced to drop the class.


My High School had a lab of networked Cocos; we received some new Coco 3 systems when I was in Grade 12.


I first used a PC when I started University, but I did not do very much programming beyond learning Turbo Pascal. I also experimented a bit with Vax BASIC on the University's mainframe system.


To this day, I have never touched an Apple II. There was one available at the local public library, but I never had the opportunity to use it. My experience with the TI 99/4A and the C-64 is almost entirely limited to store demo systems.

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The very first "computer" I had, and also the one on which I learned to program, was the Intellivision Entertainment Computer System (ECS). I took my very first foray into the greater world of BASIC, on the worst dialect of that language ever created by man or machine.




Even though I was 11 years-old and didn't know any better, it being my very first time, I still felt it was crap and did not have much fun with it at all.

20 GOTO 10

Four-character keywords managed to mangle what was to me an already cryptic language.


100 GSUB 200

200 PRIN "HERE!"
210 RTRN

It was slow, starved of RAM (I believe it had about 2K), weirdly color-coded, and although it supposedly gave you access to the built-in EXEC operating system/game engine used in the original Mattel Electronics games, it was just too slow to be of any practical use. At most you got some interesting toy programs and simple and lame games.




It was really painful to use. :(


By the very next year, my dad got me a Commodore 64 and I never looked back!!! :) For decades afterwards I claimed that the C=64 was my very first computer, mainly because I didn't consider the ECS an actual computer, more like a toy -- you know like one of those V-TECH thingies. However, if I'm honest with myself, I have to admit that the ECS was my first.



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Type-in listings? Sinclair Spectrum. First time I played Snake. 1983.

My own Hello World? Atari 800XL. Probably. 1986.

Commercially? PC ... converting PET business software in GWBASIC on a Random Tandon (stupid autocorrect) AT. Later in '86.

Edited by Tickled_Pink
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